So I’m never quite sure…was I supposed to take stock yesterday as the old year was ending or today with a new one beginning…?   Actually I have a tendency to take stock all year long that way my bases are covered.  What I don’t do is make resolutions…I made one years ago and that’s the one I stick to.  I resolve not to make resolutions; after all, why set yourself up for failure?

Wai'anapanapa State Park - black sand beach

Wai’anapanapa State Park – black sand beach

Last year was a good year for me despite the fact that it was the first full year I spent without either parent.   I happened to be in a decent position financially so I used that to try to help some of my friends achieve their dreams and to help me achieve a few of my own.

In June, I discovered Maui, Hawaii.  Oh, you say, had you never been to Hawaii?  Yes indeed I had and I loved it every time.   I went for the sustainable farming and the farm –to-table movement.  I saw an episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods that was on Maui and was determined to go check it all out.  It was an amazing trip (yes, I went by myself and yes, it was amazing – I love travelling alone) full of beauty and adventure and, of course, phenomenal food!   The thing about Maui is that I think I could actually make a living there.  To that end, I’m going back in February 2014 to check things out further…a reconnaissance mission so to speak (plus I just love it there!)

 

My space at The Word is Art

My space at The Word is Art

In October, I joined The Word is Art artist’s co-op in Culver City, CA.  I had looked at other co-ops in the past but they wanted too much money, too much time and/or were too far away (yes, Venice Beach is too far away…I’m lazy…you should all know this by now!)   The circumstances leading me to TWIA were so perfectly coincidental that I like to think fate had a hand in it.  I read an ArtBiz blog (Alyson rocks so if you’re an artist you should really sign up for the ArtBiz blog) where Alyson recommended meeting other artists – join a meet up, take a class, something like that.  So I went online to Meetup.com, looked at art meetups and saw one for TWIA at the Culver City Affair of the Art that very weekend!!  I signed up and then realized it wasn’t really a meet up they were just going to be there over the weekend and, I’ll be honest, I almost bailed and actually did for Saturday.  But Sunday I rallied and was determined to go and at least meet these people.  I did and the rest is history – they were delightful and receptive, Renee contacted me the very next day, and within a few weeks I was a proud member of an awesome community!!

At the same time in October, I got a new contract with Wells Fargo which was perfect timing because my unemployment was running out.  It’s just a short term contract that ends January 31st but, again, perfect timing because February…Maui…remember??

Finnster the Orca Kitty

Finnster the Orca Kitty

In November, we adopted a new member into our family – the excitable and lovable Finn aka Finnster the Orca Kitty.  He fits beautifully into our family and, despite his crazy kitten-y ways (that I pray he grows out of), he’s a really great cat.

Towards the end of the 2013, I decided that I want to go to Bali too…shortly after that I came across a group called International Volunteer HQ and, guess what?  They have volunteer programs in Bali so I’m going to do a little more research and I just might haul myself over to Bali to teach English for a few weeks this year!

All in all, everything seems to be falling in place – it’s taken a while but I’m pretty happy with who I am these days and where I’m headed.   I will continue to practice kindness and tolerance towards myself and others while setting healthy boundaries.

 

I wish you all peace, love, an abundance of hugs and a very, very awesome 2014!!!

Much love always,

AV

The-boys-NYE-2013-smFYI –  Hau’oli Makahiki Hou is Happy New Year in Hawaiian. The western Christmas and New Year fell during this same time of the year that the Hawaiians traditionally honored the earth for giving them plenty to eat. This period of resting and feasting was called Makahiki (mah-kah-HEE- kee). It lasted for 4 months, and no wars or conflicts were allowed during this time. Because makahiki also means “year”, the Hawaiian phrase for “Happy New Year” became “Hau’oli (happy) Makahiki (year) Hou (new)”(how-OH-lee mah-kah-hee-kee ho).

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