Google +1

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye to 2013

In just a few hours, 2013 will fade away, and a new year will begin.

I'm not one to celebrate on New Year's Eve, but this day is nonetheless a day for reflection of the year just ending and anticipation of the one to come. What will 2014 hold for me and my family? Will it be a good year or a bad one?

2013 was a mixed bag for me. In January, I self-published my book about the challenges and successes in raising an older adopted child. From Hopeless to Hopeful: Raising an Older Adopted Child is available from, and My goal in writing this book was to provide information and hope to other struggling adoptive parents

My teenage daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in February. The baby was adopted by a wonderful local family and is doing well. We got to visit her several times this year. Had her circumstances been different, my daughter would have kept and raised her daughter, and I know the decision to place the baby for adoption still haunts her.

I did some wonderful traveling this year, to Turkey and Vermont for hiking, and to Croatia and Slovenia (with a day trip to Montenegro) as a tourist. I have some interesting trips, both domestic and international, planned for 2014 as well.

Sadly, I had to say goodbye to my 15-year-old dog Mila, when arthritis and hip dysplasia finally got the best of her. And shortly before Mila's passing, my 12-year-old dog, Tia, started having seizures and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. We don't know what her life expectancy will be, as there is no way of knowing how quickly the tumor is growing. So far, she is having more good days than bad, and the bad days aren't too bad. She still enjoys carrying her toys around, and we take a walk together every morning.

I decided to spend some money on myself, so I splurged this year and bought my first luxury car, a used 2013 bright red Mercedes Benz C250.

With my previous volunteer activities coming to an end, I continue to seek one or two new places to volunteer. Despite my great love of animals, I find that volunteering in a animal shelter is too painful emotionally. I know I will find something before long. I need a volunteer opportunity that is fulfilling yet drama-free.

One of my goals for 2014 is to take more day trips in New Mexico. This is a beautiful state with many fascinating places to explore. I also want to go back to Sedona (Arizona) for photography and hiking, and possibly return to Utah to further explore and photograph the beautiful red rock country near Moab.A trip to Monument Valley remains on my list as well.

I have signed up for an on-line photo editing course, and I also hope to get back into brushing up on my Russian language skills prior to a return visit to St Petersburg later in 2014.

There is no point in worrying about the year ahead. It will unfold as it unfolds. I have many exciting plans for 2014 as I strive to make the most of the time I have been given, work to make the world a better place in some small way, and continue to improve myself.

May 2014 bring you and your loved ones peace, contentment and good health.