Present Tense

My Year of Living Honestly

I’m not much of a rear-view mirror gal, but I think it’s healthy at the end of the year to sit quietly and allow the last 365 days to settle around you like a nice, fluffy layer of snow or a scratchy, irritating barbed wire fence.  If we figure out the theme of the year just lived, maybe it can teach us something for 2013.

2012 was a good year for me; for us, in our little nuclear family of husband, wife and two dogs.  2012 was my year of living honestly. I haven’t had a whole lot of those since I grew up.  I’ve had years of lying to myself or deluding myself or self-medicating myself or just flat-out, not paying attention.  I’ve even had a few where I was deliriously happy.  But, completely honest?  Not so much.

This was the year that I challenged many of my long-held ‘core beliefs’ about politics.  The year I stopped drinking the Kool-Aid and started looking for the truth that underlies all of the spin and manipulation of the two political parties.  It was shocking, painful, humiliating and in the end, freeing.  The realization that you don’t have to be ‘right’; that you don’t have to fight to the death for your side.  Pure liberation.

2012 was the year that I realized that my radio persona had bled so much into my personal life that I had lost track of ‘me’.  What’s funny and entertaining  4 hours a day on a morning radio show, isn’t quite so charming the other 20 hours.  That the professional necessity of always having to have something to say about everything is fake and tedious.  That real life dictates that one listen, learn and absorb, rather than spew.

This was also the year that I admitted that family is important and that I miss mine; terribly.  I ran out the door at 19 and never looked back.  I couldn’t wait to be on my own and proximity to my family was not a priority…at all.  Now, it is.

In May, I spontaneously bought a 10 acre farm in northern Michigan, even though I live and work in Colorado.  Once I caught my breath, I had to figure out why I jumped in.  I’m financially conservative and measured when it comes to buying something as simple as a new coffee maker and yet, I bought a second home 1600 miles away from the first one, in a weekend.

That was me speaking up.  The me that has always wanted to live near the water; the me that misses family and ‘home’.  The me that has been buried under my ego and money and career aspirations for many years.  The me that is truly, me.

So, here we go.  Every day is another chance, but there is something about starting a brand new year.  It’s like when you were a kid in elementary school and your teacher gave you a nice, clean sheet of paper and a box of crayons.  You almost didn’t want to spoil that clean sheet, but alas, nothing is created if the sheet is left clean.

What will 2013 be for you?  You don’t have to decide ahead of time.  I didn’t one year ago.  In fact, just take the first step on the path and that could be as simple as vowing to open up to the newness of a new sheet of clean, unspoiled paper.  Get out your crayons……

December 30, 2012 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , ,


  1. Jane, the words you write seem to seep out of me as I read them! I have come to similar conclusions this year and next year will be acting upon them. Retiring, buying a place in the Texas Hill Country, but keeping the cabin in the mountains and freeing myself of the chains of “success”. I have come to re-define success – which is vastly different from what I once believed. Thank you for your musings!

    Comment by Mary | December 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Mary:
      Hope you love your ‘new life’. Sometimes you just know it’s time.

      Comment by janelondon | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  2. Wow Jane! I love this post. It resonated so much because I too have had the year of honesty. I left my Midwestern family for Colorado–13 years ago–but I had “checked out” at age 18. In May I was in Chicago on a business trip and took a walk. Looking at Lake Michigan, I had that ah-ha moment: it’s time to go home. After many discussions, my husband and I are relocating with our daughter to Chicago next summer. It’s only been in the past few weeks though that I realized just how much of it has to do with unfinished business and the need to be part of my family for the first time in 20 years. Being honest with yourself is so hard and uncomfortable but like you said, it’s freeing too.

    Comment by Heidi Jeter | December 30, 2012 | Reply

    • Heidi:
      That lake calls you back, eh:). Best of luck!

      Comment by janelondon | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  3. I hope the fact that I am starting the year with a week off is a sign of being able to both relax, and clean out a couple rooms that need attending to. On a personal note I am glad to have gotten to know you better and look forward to talking face to face some time soon. I feel I have done the same with many of our class mates. Not to say all of these encounters have been all that pleasent. I guess when you get to know people better you take the risk of not liking everything that you have learned about them. I am sure some feel the same about me. You make me think and that i do like about our “chats”. You also make me want to write with more fluency and grace which I hope to continue to build on. Yes, you have enspired me. Thanks Jane.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  4. Thanks for your honest post. I really enjoyed reading about your journey.

    Comment by undertakingeverything | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  5. Nicely said.

    Comment by shellybelly12 | December 30, 2012 | Reply

  6. Yeah, now that I have become a Rockies and Broncos fan, thinking of moving back to Chicago! I think having a somewhat small family makes a difference. Not ready to make the leap yet but as you say, taking the first step. Thanks, Honest Jane.

    Comment by Jessi | December 31, 2012 | Reply

  7. Reblogged this on ciara elizabeth and commented:
    Just some inspiration for living honestly. A good read following my post on omissions.

    Comment by ciaraelizabeth | January 6, 2013 | Reply

  8. Jane,
    I enjoyed your post about the journey back home. I’ve had similar conversations with friends who are not getting along with their parents, brothers, sisters, etc. . .and I keep trying to get them to understand that they won’t be around forever and you better stop getting so upset about the small/insignificant stuff. Being that I’m an only child I appreciate this fact even more since my mom died a little over a year ago after being in the hospital for 6 days and a long slow downward spiral before that and her living with us for the last 7 years of her life. So now I have my husband and my dogs and that’s it for close family.

    Comment by Tania | January 8, 2013 | Reply

  9. I am from Northern Michigan, Petoskey/Harbor Springs area. I worked in Grand Traverse in the cherry orchards several summers. Love Northern Michigan but too many ghosts and too hard to travel there. I miss my lakes sooo much.

    Comment by Murphles | February 4, 2013 | Reply

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