Every year is full of highs and lows.  This year has been filled with more sadness and devastation than I ever thought possible. I have never in my life felt pain and brokenness like I have this year.  During these tough times, I have tried my best to find some goodness, pleasure, and joy in the world again.

Throughout the struggles and tragedies this year, I have learned new coping mechanisms and life lessons in the process. People, things, and even unexpected situations have brought joy and peace in ways I never expected.

Here are a few things that have made my year more bearable.

1-The love and support of my parents

I have two amazing parents.  They have always been supportive and there for me. Even as an adult, and most especially in times of distress, you need your folks.  My mom and dad were right there by my side, through every step of my grief this year. They showered me with listening ears, hugs, and support. This meant the world to me and still does.

2-My amazing husband

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The man I married is the most special person on this earth.  I truly cannot imagine my life without him. This year has been a tough one, but he has been the kindest most compassionate person in the entire world.  I thank God every day that this magnificent man is mine.  He makes every day so special and fun. He can find a way to fill the day with laughter. My husband definitely knows how to turn gloomy days bright.

3-The will to learn new skills

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Learning gives the brain something productive to focus on.  Graduate school has been a lifesaver this year.  Not only have I learned some of the latest technological skills, but the classes have given me a digitally creative outlet that I so desperately needed. In some ways, graduate school has been therapeutic and has helped me heal.  Despite the tragedies my little family has experienced this year; I have still maintained a 4.0 grade point average, while working full-time.  I will be taking my final two classes in the spring and graduate in May 2018.

4-Finding remote employment

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Leaving my career behind this year was a huge decision.  I absolutely loved my career in teaching, but the commute was becoming too much for my family and I.  After nine years of devotion to a fabulous institution and some of the brightest and sweetest students on the planet, I had to walk away. It took several interviews, revising my resume at least four times, and hundreds of applications.  Eight months later, a door finally opened.  Working from home is the perfect fit for my life as a military spouse and I hope to grow in this new career path that I have found.

5-Gardening

Building two gardens with my husband this year has been miraculous.  It did something pretty amazing to my soul being outdoors. We have begun that “farm to table” mentality in our home and we are still growing crops, even during the colder months in the south. I absolutely love being outdoors and watching things grow.  We have big plans to expand our gardens in 2018, so we will have many more crops to share.

6-Beagle Love

Losing my 13-year-old Beagle, named Lilli, to cancer was a pretty big blow this year. She was my companion, child, and best friend for a very long time. After a week without her, I just couldn’t bear the sadness. Life without a canine in it was weird.  A week later, we brought Daizi Hope into our family. She has given us so much love, during a time when we needed it the most.  We poured our love into her and found healing in the process. Daizi has been a true blessing and continues to fill our home with love, laughter, sweet snuggles, and joy. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a Beagle; my absolute favorite breed.

7-God’s Grace

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I have never had my faith more challenged than I have this year. Losing a child made me question everything, including my spiritual beliefs.  I turned my back on God, but thankfully he didn’t turn his back on me. I slowly found my way back. Some days I still have a hard time seeing the purpose in the pain, but I know that one day there will be one. God has taken away my sorrows and redirected my path.

8-Blogging

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Blogging has been a creative outlet for me. I started my blog, Strength 4 Spouses, in July of 2017.  It was inspired by several things. First, my love of writing was a huge factor. After all, I have spent the last nine years of my life as a language arts teacher. Second, my experience as a new military spouse motivated me to create this blog.  There were so many things to figure out and I felt so lost in this world.  This creation of this blog was my way of sharing those experiences to help other new military spouses. Lastly, going through a missed miscarriage was one of the hardest, most devastating things I have ever been through in my life. I wanted to write about it to help others going through this wave of emotions and grief. Blogging has been a wonderful and therapeutic experience. I have met and collaborated with some pretty amazing bloggers and learned many new skills through creating, promoting, and maintaining my blog.  I look forward to growing more, learning, and continuing collaborations in 2018.

9-Group exercise

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Exercise works wonders for the mind, body, and spirit.  Nothing is more motivating than joining a class or exercise group.  I found a fabulous group of military spouses this year, Heart on a Mission, who sweat it out daily on post.  This group has been a lifesaver. They have helped me sweat out my pain all year-long, while also increasing my endurance, losing weight, and building new friendships.  I’m looking forward to getting more involved with them in 2018 and giving back to others what they have given me this year.

10-Friends

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Friends make life so much better.  All of my friends, whether old or new, have truly made this year spectacular.  I have created some pretty special memories with so many new as well as familiar faces.  I cannot wait for more fun times in 2018.  Thank you to each of you, you know who you are, for being there and inspiring me to laugh, relax, dream, and enjoy life to the fullest extent.

Looking ahead:

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In 2018, I hope to move past the sadness that has filled my life and heart this season. I am looking forward to graduating with my Master of Arts in Instructional Technology, continuing to build my blog and help others in the process,  watching our Beagle puppy grow and celebrate her first birthday, continuing to walk in faith, and making more memories with my precious husband, friends, and family throughout a new year. Every year is a new beginning and I cannot wait to make 2018 one of the most successful, fulfilled, and happiest yet.

© Wendi and Strength 4 Spouses, 2017.

 

Comments (12)

  1. Reply

    I am glad you have found so many productive, good things to come out of this year. Congrats on the new job! I would love to hear more about your remote working position when you get the chance. Have a great holiday season and jump into the New Year.

    • Reply

      Thank you Rebecca! I truly appreciate your support and encouragement this year! We’ll definitely catch up really soon and I’ll give you all the details about my new job. Blessings to you and your family and may 2018 be your best year yet!

  2. Jem

    Reply

    Looks like 2017 was a big year for you with lots of lessons learned. I hope 2018 brings you joy and happiness x

    • Reply

      Thank you! It certainly has its fair share of positive and negatives. Cheers to a new year and a new realm of possibilities and happiness!

  3. Lisa Elliott

    Reply

    This was so beautiful. You are the strongest person I know. We are all so proud of you

  4. starengu

    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. The lessons that you have gone through have made you a stronger person. There is no doubt in my mind that 2018 is going to be an amazing year for you.

    I love blogging so much that I actually decided to start another blog (it’s going to be more of a Christian lifestyle, health and fitness blog)-LOL Cheers to an amazing 2018!

  5. Reply

    We started at blogging at the same month 🙂 I resonate with a lot of these, especially about my faith that has taken a major beating because of the recent trial. Wishing you a brighter year ahead, Wendi. 🙂

    • Reply

      That’s so awesome! That must be why we have a shared bond already! Trials make us stronger and eventually deepen our faith in a way that would not have occurred without the tough times. Blessings to you Herlina for a wonderful, happy, & fulfilling 2018! I’m looking forward to watching your blog grow and hopefully collaborating with you in 2018!

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