Barr Lake, Cancer, Colorado, Depression, Dogs, Family, Grandchildren, Gratefulness, Happy Holidays!, Laughter, National Parks and Monuments, Nature Photography, Rocky Mountains, State Parks, Thankfulness

Reflections on 2018

This year has been such a mixture of ups and downs!  It started while I was on medical leave from work–the first 30 days started in November 2017.  I wrote about this previously, so I won’t bore you with all of that again.

Longs Peak
Longs Peak – Rocky Mountain National Park

In September, I had a visit from an old friend from Texas.  We went to Rocky Mountain National Park and many other places to see and photograph.  I was exhausted, but I began to feel better.  My therapist challenged me to get out of the house at least three times a week.  It didn’t matter for how long or where–just leave the house.  I managed to make myself get out once a week at first, then twice, then three times.  I began to go pick up my groceries–it was out of the house (I order them online).  I spent more time at Barr Lake and Ken Mitchell Open Space Park.  I was taking more photographs.

I had a heart-to-heart talk with my son and told him I needed to see them more often. I know they are busy and my grandson has lots of activities.  Lacrosse on Sunday mornings really ruins the weekends.  My time was usually Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening when they weren’t doing anything else.  So now if I get him on Saturday, I have to have him at Lacrosse by 9:00 Sunday morning.  But, it’s better than no time at all.

Kids walking to tree with three Eagles
Kids on the Way to the Tree with Three Eagles

So, on Christmas Eve it was wonderful that my son and daughter-in-law took off work early and went to Barr Lake State Park with my grandson and me.  It was the best day I’ve had in months! I felt like we were family!  My son never really adjusted to my cancer diagnosis, and he seemed to avoid me–which is something my therapist says is very common.  He was an only child, and we were very close.  He was the one who convinced me to move to Colorado, and we all spent a lot of time together for that first year–until I found that lump.  Christmas Eve this year was a real treat for me!  Not only did we spend it together, but my son finally realizes why my grandson and I love Barr Lake so much.  I think they will be coming more often now.

Mt Meeker and Longs Peak
Mt Meeker and Longs Peak

I think I’m going to start taking the dogs to Barr Lake–one at a time at first.  I’ll work up to two and then all three once I know they will behave. I need to give them the attention they deserve.  I’ve been too caught up in my own issues to concentrate on theirs.  They need exercise–more than just running around the back yard.  They need a change of scenery sometimes, too.

My depression is beginning to get better, and I’m so grateful for that.  I feel like I can finally start to live a more normal life.  I’m trying to stop the negative thoughts and turn them around to positives. I want 2019 to be a year when I begin to heal–inside and out. Wish me luck!