Present Tense

Hey 2013! You kinda sucked…..

Dear 2013:

I’m glad you’re nearly done.

I wrote a glowing review of 2012, 364 days ago. I was sitting in my kitchen in Colorado, reflecting on a year that brought a sea-change to my life.  That sea-change was internal; I put my life and my beliefs into a salad spinner and formed a new way of seeing things.  I called 2012 “my year of living honestly”.

You were supposed to be my year of “walkin’ the walk”.  The year that I took what I learned about myself in the previous year and instituted the new life.  It went from being internal and spiritual to physical, geographical and real.

You’ve been a bitch, 2013.  And I take partial responsibility.  The strategies that got me to the tipping point of changing my life went out the window once the changes really started physically and emotionally happening.  Meditation fell by the wayside, exercise was put on the back burner, I allowed my control freak tendencies to creep back in and settle into a spare bedroom in my brain.

One step forward, two steps back…or is that two steps forward, one step back.  Maybe I’ll have a clearer picture of that concept as 2014 unfolds.

I’m an optimist.  Really.  I think that things will work out just fine in the end.  I’m also a pragmatist and a planner.  Once I commit to something, I’m pretty much all-in and often that means that I can power through problems and snags and barricades like a tank.  But, that takes a toll.

The last 6 months contained a fair number of hurdles.  Selling a house, moving 1500 miles, realizing that a 10 acre farm requires a lot of maintenance, constant nickel and dime problems with the new house, working remotely and feeling cut off from friends and co-workers, the sudden illness and death of one of our dogs, being the new folks in a small, rural community and finally, living close enough to my parents to witness their age-related decline.

These were not in my plan and it felt like being caught in an avalanche or a monster wave.  I told my husband after the death of our dog, which felt like the final straw, that I had lost my mojo.

That little internal spark that I’d always had that kept me going through challenges; the core belief that everything works out.  That my internal, anti-skid control will right my course very soon.  All of that was gone and I ended up in a deep ditch, spinning my wheels.

It seems that you were my year of cold, hard reality.  Of loss and grief.  But, that’s my glass-half-empty view and I’m a glass-half-full kind of gal.  Right now, I’d look at the glass and say “there’s enough liquid in there to wash down an Advil”.  I’ll take what I can get.

So, 2013, you gave me a beat down, but we all know that growth comes after destruction.  I’m feeling a few little stirrings of my mojo returning.  It’s walking up the driveway, through the snow and will eventually ring the bell and want to come in.

I can speed that mojo up by getting back into my meditation practice, cleaning up my diet, and firing up a more regular exercise routine.  I can embrace the changes that I put in motion, including those that were not included in my master plan.

So, goodbye 2013; I’m grateful for your lessons and your time, but you’ll stick in my craw for a long time.

Now get out.


December 31, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Great blog. I agree. With change comes growth. Sometimes painful, bone-snapping growth – whether we want it or not! But I’m willing to bet that you will blossom and grow into an even stronger and more beautiful Jane. I’m writing what I need to hear for myself! haha! Best to you!

    Comment by Mary | December 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Mary,
      Thanks for the vote of confidence:) Happy New Year!

      Comment by janelondon | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  2. Great blog…brings back a lot of memories of my year in 2001. I got married, moved, had a baby 10 weeks early, and had to put my dog, my friend for life, down. There were ups and downs, a lot of tearsbut a lot of change. I had to just put my head under water and kick like hell. When that year was over, I realized that I could handle just about anything. I wake up each morning now, thankful. Thankful for the good time and the bad, and for all I’ve learned along the way. Thank you, Jane, as usual for your insight!

    Comment by Jane | December 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Jane,
      I guess we all go through those years, eh? Thanks for the note and I’ll keep your words in mind for the new year.

      Comment by janelondon | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  3. How TRUE! It seemed like this year was like trying to race through molasses. We lost our last little dog (so jealous and happy for you that you have a new bundle of spunk in your home) and a bunch of other draggy stuff that felt like lead in my shoes.
    We will go out tonight to ring in the new year – something we have rarely done over the past 25 years. We’ve often not even made it to midnight 🙂
    It feels like I need to do this AND a ton of things differently in 2014. Part of it to shake off 2013. The other part is like asking, “If not now, when?!”
    This is the youngest I will ever be. And possibly the most capable. This is more evident to me as I witness my parents slow down. Their options are steadily dwindling. Once active and never-say-no, their bodies aren’t as cooperative as they used to be.
    I need to take those “someday” trips NOW. I need to say YES to those things I have always wanted to do. I need to stop putting off those things that aren’t necessarily convenient – good and bad. I need to take advantage of every day, live fully, be present to what IS. What am I waiting for?!
    Feels like a good time for a fresh start. I’m ready.
    Thanks for sharing, Jane.

    Comment by Erica T | December 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Erica,
      Yes, molasses. A slow trudge through 2013. Time for fresh starts and perspectives. Here’s to living a full, ripe, delicious 2014.


      Comment by janelondon | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  4. loved it……totally captures my year 2013. All the problems, roadblocks, weird relationships that cannot work out because of ME and what I think I must have in a relationship with a partner!!! Yes indeed, goodbye to 2013..

    Comment by eva fain | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  5. I think that 2012 was my year of change and that in 2013, I surfaced, happy and content in who I had become. It looks so bright from here.I am living proof that after a year of challenge comes peace and contentment in the outcomes of the decisions that you made.

    I think that when you make radical changes there is a time when you have left behind the old Jane and still do not have an identity in this new place that you have created. But you will and the impetus that brought you to this place will prove itself sound in retrospect.

    Comment by Kelly@Try New Things | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  6. I agree Jane! Good riddance to 2013. Here’s to a fresh, new year with its own challenges and surprises. While I haven’t a clue what 2014 holds, I’m choosing to live it in the front seat of the rollercoaster! Cheers!

    Comment by Deb Strom | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  7. 2013 was a pretty tough year as I think about it. We lost our Golden on the 8th of the first month of that year and as you know, still stings like it was yesterday. That brought my physically and spiritually healthy walks in the woods to a halt in a hurry. And I felt it. The job was at a low point as my supervisor did not understand my worth. Then May happened. A county came calling and wanting me to do some things for them and the year took a very positive turn. My daughter brought her wonderful dog home and the walks began again. It was an down and up kind of year. Still, so much to be thankful for. Thanks for the blog Jane, I read every word of every one of them. Hey, three more months and you’ll be getting the boat out, almost, have a great and Happy Newer year. T.

    Comment by Tim Lankerd, Ann Arbor, Mi. | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  8. 2013…. Hum. For me it was a year of learning acceptance of change on a deep and personal level. I don’t like change. We are not friends and yet we walk the world together hand in hand like old time companions. I try to avoid it by sitting quietly in my rut hoping it won’t find me, but the law of entropy only kicks my ass and says MOVE! It was this year that I have been finally able to realize deep within that it’s not the fault of change that I feel so crappy when it happens… nope… that’s all on me. I went through all of my ‘loss’ in the past three years and I am finally pushing myself to the surface to see that there actually is a world out there that’s not so big and scary. I have learned much this year about resting, growing and going within to find the peace I was so desperately seeking on the outside. I learned that I really can’t do this all on my own and I don’t have to. It’s best to let go and the the Universe sort it out. I can make choices and have thoughts that change my life, but I can’t stop time from stealing away people and pets. So I love them NOW while I can knowing that when they are gone I will have done the best I could to show them. No it won’t hurt less, but my peace will be deeper and maybe that will get me through this next year.

    Comment by Kandis G | December 31, 2013 | Reply

  9. Jane,

    My 2013 has paralleled yours so much the same but different. I found out I would be getting laid off In 2012 and my husband and I made plans to finally realize my dream of moving close to the beach in Florida. I am a Colorado native but never quite felt like I belonged there. We also moved away from my very dysfunctional family, mom and 3 siblings. My dad passed away in February this year. I was laid off in April. We put our house on the market, sold it in 1 day and a month later we were on the road. I left behind my 3 wonderful kids, their spouses and our 4 grandkids.

    Prior to moving and being laid off, I fell down a flight of stairs while helping my sister move. Headfirst, on my back. I still to this day don’t know if I lost my balance or blacked out before falling. I wasn’t seriously hurt (or so I thought). My ribs were really sore as was my shoulder. I had already dropped my health insurance at work to save money for the move (big mistake), but didn’t feel the need to be seen by a doctor. Fast forward two weeks later, I woke up one morning to being completely numb from the waist down to my toes. I had no pain, I could walk just fine. I had this happen a couple of times before and it had gone away once I’d gotten up and moved around. Well this time it didn’t go away.

    I figured I hurt my back somehow in the fall so I went to see a chiropractor. He took and X-ray and there were no broken ribs or cracked ribs, he said that I had just badly bruised them. He did what adjustments he could and had me do stretches at home and the feeling came back from my waist to my knees, but I still had what they call peripheral neuropathy from my knees to my feet. My right leg was worse than my left. Went to the chiro a couple more times but Ii didn’t get better. Made a trip to the ER at Denver Health where they did an MRI on my lumbar spine and found a bulging disc impinging a nerve in my spine on the left side. Well that explained my left foot being numb but not the problems with my right foot. Then I started having really bad problems walking, Foot dropping, dragging my leg, my knee hyperextending backward.

    We went ahead and made the move and arrived in beautiful Cape Coral on July 5th. My husband and I quickly got jobs and I made appointments with doctors here to try and figure out what was wrong with my foot and leg. After MRI’s on my brain and spine and physical therapy, I am now in the process of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I just had a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) done last week, I already know part of it came back with abnormal amounts of while blood cells and I’m still waiting for the results from the neurologist. I’m not feeling good about this and can’t wait for this year to be over with. I start a new job on Monday and I follow up with the neuro on Tuesday. I’m terrified. At my age it’s usually too old to be diagnosed with MS but it happens (mostly because you can ignore the symptoms for years and attribute them to other things). I attributed all of them to going through menopause.

    I can’t afford to retire until I’m 67 but scared to death I won’t be able to work. I work in Information Techology and there is just so much that MS can affect. I moved here to buy a house and retire in 13 years, to not be able to do that will break my heart.

    I too am so ready for this year to over with, and like you usually have the mojo set in after a few days of feeling sorry for myself. It’s not happening this time. There are some treatments for MS depending on which type you have, a lot of them are new, a lot of them are worse than the disease itself. Not to mention every single effective treatment out there costs 5,000 per month. Yikes!

    Anyway, here’s a toast to a really crappy year being over with and a new one starting with hope and miracles. I miss Dom and Jeremy and you of course, but it’s nice to read your blog.

    Take care my friend and Happy New Year.


    Comment by meekocat | December 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Cindy,
      That really sucks. I wish you all the best for health and peace in 2014. Take care of yourself. For what it’s worth, I had a friend in Colorado that was diagnosed with MS and once she moved back to sea level in Texas, her symptoms dissipated. Sadly, stress can make it worse, I hear, so try and add some meditation or yogo or holistic treatments into your life. Again..all the best.

      Comment by janelondon | January 4, 2014 | Reply

      • Thanks Jane, glad to hear your friend is doing better. I’m finally doing meds to address the initial inflammation and hopefully relieve a lot of the issues I’ve been having. Unfortunately the steroids make me even crazier! LOL. Plus I start a new job Monday (thank god) but now have to explain the port in my hand away as steroid treatment for allergies. I just found a new product called Protandim for oxidative stress that researchers at University Hospital and National Jewish have been working on. It’s not a cure but it sounds promising at least in the way of exacerbations. Here’s a link for an interview done on ABC…$40,00 is a small price to pay to at least try it. This is the distributor I ordered from if she’s interested. I’ll post back when I’ve taken it for a month and see how it works.

        Comment by meekocat | January 4, 2014

  10. Excellent

    Comment by Mike | January 1, 2014 | Reply

  11. The thought of your smile( in the picture on your blog), sharp wit and semi sarcastic view on the world is about the only thing that gets me out of bed some mornings! I am grateful for you in 2013 and will be grateful to you, Dom and the kids in 2014….let’s rock and roll!

    Comment by carol | January 1, 2014 | Reply

  12. Hey Jane,
    Sorry your year wan’t the best. Even though you had some crummy times last year, you didn’t let it bring you down and keep you down. Your sweet baby puppy will bring you lots of joy in 2014!

    You and the crew are a delight every morning as I make my way to school to teach my kindergarten and preschoolers. Without you my 2014 mornings would be looking bleak! You are my personal friends and I tell my husband about you and the funny things “we” say..

    Have a Happy and Blessed New Year!,
    P.s. I love Michigan too, I grew up in Chicago but had family in Michigan. ❤️Those blue berries!!

    Comment by Susan Barton | January 1, 2014 | Reply

  13. Jane, you moved? I’m sorry but I don’t get to listen to as much of your morning show as I’d like. Did you leave Winter Park? Do you fly back and forth? Anyway, I wish you a better year. We all have those times when the hits just do a Casey Kasem on us, they just keep on comin’. Glad to you see you have a new pup! We have to move forward and not mire ourselves in the past. Always move forward but let the good memories of the past stay with us as precious times to recall and reflect upon.

    Comment by Nanci | January 1, 2014 | Reply

  14. Reblogged this on Karincassens and commented:
    Musings from the Wise!!

    Comment by karincassens | January 3, 2014 | Reply

  15. Jane! You received exactly what you asked for in 2013, it just wasn’t the way you pictured it. You wanted to walk the talk and Source gave you experiences to do just that….and you did, though maybe not the way you had intended. It may not have been pretty and easy, but you endured and rose up to meet each challenge. Your heart was broken….open, not to pieces. You became stronger in who you are. Trust yourself and know that your life is unfolding exactly as it should.

    “At the level of spirit, everything is always unfolding perfectly. You don’t have to struggle or force situations to go your way. When you become still and listen to the voice of your inner intelligence, fears and insecurities will dissipate and you will flow with grace.” Deepak Chopra

    You are a blessing to us and with that you receive many blessings in return. Breathe that in and feel the Love that is yours. Hugs!

    Comment by Lori | January 4, 2014 | Reply

    • Lori
      Thanks. You summed it all up very nicely, with the help of one of my favorites, Deepak Chopra. I may need to drag a few of his books out and re-visit them:)
      Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks again!

      Comment by janelondon | January 4, 2014 | Reply

  16. Jane…To call the predominately Catholic town you live next to (Lake Leelanau) “a small, sort of incestuous, rural community” offends me. I am your neighbor and grew up in the house you now call home. You need to get out more and mingle with the residents of this town. I have lived here all my life and find your comment ridiculous. Ed Hahnenberg

    Comment by edspolitics | January 12, 2014 | Reply

    • Ed:
      I’m sorry you took that as offensive. By incestuous, I meant in the sense that many in the community have been here for decades and generations. I was referring to the fact that many, many people here are related and have known each other’s families for their entire lives. I was not using the term in any sort of sexual or offensive way.
      Most people in this community are intertwined through marriage and long term family relationships. Please understand that I was not being derogatory, but it just seemed like the best description of what it feels like to be an ‘outsider’.
      Again, sorry for the confusion and I agree that it was probably a poor choice of words. It could most certainly be miscontrued. I apologize.


      Comment by janelondon | January 12, 2014 | Reply

      • Apology accepted.

        Comment by edspolitics | January 12, 2014

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