Domestic Violence, Facebook, Holidays, Illinois, Mount Mary College, Random Rants

What inspired you in 2014?

The "Becky Thatcher House" in Hannib...
On my 2015 to-do list: The “Becky Thatcher House” in Hannibal, Missouri. This building is across the street from Mark Twain’s boyhood home. It was the home of the girl Mark Twain used as the model for Becky Thatcher. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, I’m late. I know. But I’ve been sick with the flu this past week (despite having had a flu shot earlier this flu season) and have accomplished almost nothing over my holiday break. Anyway, here’s my list of things that inspired me in 2014:

  • Malala: Who hasn’t been inspired by Malala? (I mean, other than the Taliban.) The world needs more young women like Malala to stand up for girls and show the world that men like those in the Taliban only want to keep women down because deep down THEY FEAR WOMEN!!
  • Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence: Survivors sharing their stories and helping victims who are in the process of making the transition from victim to survivor.
  • My therapist: 2014 was a rough year for me. It seemed like I would never find a job that would pay enough for me to support my family (my ex hasn’t paid his child support in almost two years now.) I needed steady income and benefits, which was never going to happen while I was freelancing and teaching part-time. I have kids needing braces, etc., and blah, blah, blah, one complaint after another. I was feeling really down on myself and was too stressed out about money and living to be able to focus on writing, so I decided to see a therapist for a while. I ended up connecting with an art therapist who studied at my alma mater (Mount Mary University,) and while we didn’t do any “art” together in my sessions, she totally “got” what I was going through with my lack of inspiration in my own art of writing. She pushed me to write through it, and it was a huge help.
  • The Bloggess and James Garfield’s Christmas Miracles: Check out the blog post for details.
  • Laos organic farming (among other things I’ve watched on PBS recently):

  • World Channel on PBS: I moved to an area where I am kind of in the sweet spot for picking up TV channels on an antenna. Needing to save money, I opted for purchasing a new TV antenna rather than signing up for cable. Am I glad I did! I now get all of these awesome public television stations that simply are not available on cable television. My favorite is World Channel on PBS. I watch a lot of news and documentaries from around the world, and it has opened my eyes to just how insulated we are from the “real world” here in the US. I have also noticed that the mainstream media here in the US is just FULL of FLUFF compared to news shows broadcasting in the EU.
  • Colossal: I follow this page on Facebook, and they make sure that my newsfeed is full of inspiring artwork.
  • Nature always inspires me. I need to spend more time in Nature in 2015.
  • The horrible website I am in charge of at my new job has inspired in me a multitude of ideas for transforming our website and developing our other media activities into a real asset for our department. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do with this by the end of 2015.
  • Living in a new place where everything you do — including finding your way to your new dentist’s office — is an adventure. I think the one thing that has inspired me most this year has been the act of picking up my entire life out of the rut it was stuck in and moving on!

This was a hard list to make. For some reason, I could only really think of things that inspired me in the past week. See how short my memory is?

And now for my New Year’s resolution. Drumroll, please! ….. my resolution for this year is to make a trip to Hannibal, Missouri (boyhood home of my hero, Mark Twain) now that I live so close. Since 2014 nearly broke me financially, that will probably have to suffice for our 2015 family vacation, but it’s better than no vacation, so it already has 2014 beat!

What inspired you in 2014? Please share in the comments below!

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