Serendipitously this Jack’s Smack falls on the last day of the year. The alignment begs for some reflections and revelations.
Reflecting on a year gone by offers a profound opportunity to unravel the intricacies of life’s tapestry. It showcases its vibrant hues of highs and lows, wins and losses, lessons, and gifts.
It’s a journey through time, a chance to revisit the landscapes we’ve traversed, the stories we’ve lived, and the wisdom we’ve gathered. Each experience, whether a triumphant peak or a challenging valley, contributes to the mosaic of our existence.
In 2023 I shared 50 Jack’s Smacks with our Kuel Life Community and the world – beating last year’s record by nine. Sharing my trials, triumphs, fears, joys, and sorrows through (hopefully) humorous written anecdotes brings me deep joy. I learn from my readers who comment or send me emails. Some of those communications let me know that my sharing helps others feel less alone. Others provide support and even helpful suggestions to change or improve the situation at hand.
A Quick Walk Through 2023:
“not to be missed, My Seat At The Amy Schumer Table humorously tackles the notion of invisibility with which many of us midlife women struggle”
The winter of 2023 provided me with some real AHA parenting moments. I Choose Mothering Over Parenting is a piece that delves into the nuances between those roles and how one is more desirable (at least to me) than the other.
Off and on this year, I struggled with light depression. You all listened and answered when I shared: When What You Are Doing Stops Working. The outpouring of “me too” or “try this” was appreciated and welcomed.
Then, in February, I embarked on a six-week exploration spanning Vietnam and Qatar. This solo journey led to many reveals – understanding how to balance When FOMO And JOMO Get Out Of Whack reflected on finding an equilibrium between the fear of missing out and the joy of missing out. An introspective contemplation sparked by varying travel experiences with Remote Year.
When Your Ego Writes A Check Your Body Has To Cash reminded me of the consequences of ego, and lessons learned amidst personal challenges and encounters on travels. And, not to be missed, My Seat At The Amy Schumer Table humorously tackles the notion of invisibility with which many of us midlife women struggle.
Revealing The Discomfort:
“The ennui and depression hung over me like cumulous clouds throughout most of the year.”
A pivotal moment emerged as I approached 59. Why I Posed Nude – Again At 58 depicts a transformative milestone that celebrates self-acceptance and defies societal norms. I offer it as an assertion of self-love and empowerment—a life-changing experience that reverberated through the fabric of my journey. And one, which I hope inspires other women to fully express themselves.
Amidst the warmth of summer, I cat-sat for a Kuel Life Community member and enjoyed New York City living from her Upper West Side apartment for a couple of weeks. Family weddings became milestones in my narrative, weaving tales of love, and tradition, and bringing out Shades of Protection: When Mama Bear Mode Takes Center Stage.
2023 found us exploring the notions of Envy versus Jealousy, the concept of being Sensibly Selfish, Embracing The Finite Nature Of Life, and the overall mental and physical health journey of a woman of a certain age. From BHRT Confessions: My Not-So-Secret Weapon to Sticks And Stones – Two Words That Actually Hurt to Frozen Follies: A Comedic Cryotherapy Tale, I shared the ups and downs of maintaining a health span to go along with my lifespan.
And all the while, even though it looked all roses and unicorns on the surface, I struggled. The ennui and depression hung over me like cumulous clouds throughout most of the year. Swimming Against Time: Lessons from Diana Nyad’s Journey, was a breakthrough moment for me. If you haven’t seen the movie on Netflix, just do – please.
The Truth In Reflections And Revelations:
“I am left to wonder about the unwritten path before me”
And while I’d like to say, all is great and 2023 wraps up with a red ribbon, the truth is that I am only slightly better (whatever that means.) I share this because I want women to know that we are all good at muscling through, and faking it until we make it. It is a reminder that what we see and hear cannot always be trusted.
As I look forward, with a slight nod to optimism, I am left to wonder about the unwritten path before me. A new and different amalgamation of experiences—a blend of diverse landscapes, personal revelations, and unexpected adventures that have yet to adorn the chapters of my life. And I remind myself that at the end of it all, the choices are all mine.