New Year / New Challenge with a Capital C
I like goals and usually set them in January. This year is different. My pursuit of a zestful life has challenges. It’s the New Year / New Challenge with a Capital C. It has roadblocks. It prevented me from my posting goals. And — it sucked the joy right out of them. Not that I’m not excited about my site, because I am. I just had to put on blinders and focus all my energy in another direction.
Actually, I think stopping to think and redirect is a good thing. It makes you ask why you’re doing what you’re doing and if it’s important.
Why did all this happen? My husband was diagnosed with the dreaded C word. It wasn’t just a diagnosis but a major slap in the face when we found out he was in stage 4. So much of a shock that we had to be told three times before it actually sunk in. You see, we’re generally positive people. We get told something over-the-top and we make a joke and move on. Seriously. Just surgically remove it and we’ll be on our way.
Not exactly the game-plan.
So, although this started almost a year ago, we’re in the next stage of his treatment plan and making the zestful best of it. He had surgery last summer and it took him most of the rest of the year to recover. We didn’t boat or camp or travel much at all. We squeezed in some fun, but it has pretty much been all about him and that dreaded C word for a year. You realize how much you rely on someone when they’re not able to do what they normally do. I took on everything for a while, and that was before my knee was completely healed. We just did the best we could and a lot of things got shoved into the “later” pile.
Even under all that duress, we still accomplished a lot of things. And, it gives us so much more to look forward to this year, God willing.
So, here we are at radiation treatment number 25, out of a total of 34 planned, with nothing more than one foot in front of the other. Five days a week we’re off to radiation about a half hour away, which was our choice because we respect this radiation oncologist and her team.
I had two potential C word scares myself, so my patience is sometimes a bit thinner than normal. Having lost friends and family to this dreaded disease makes me more aware of our inability to fight the inevitable.
Meanwhile, I realize I haven’t posted anything food related since December 2016. Nothing travel related landed here since October of last year. No recipes have been finished since I forget when. There are many things in process and loads of photos to manhandle, but only me and my focus on Mr. Carnivore’s well-being.
So, after much thought, I realized I need to make things simpler and not get so caught up in the nitty-gritty details. That means that the goals for 2017 are to continue with an assortment of posts on many topics, but make them less wordy and let the photos tell the story. Even my book reviews are getting rethought into a simpler format.
Here’s the scoop as I think it will be…
Farm share posts will be once or twice a month as a summary. You’ll “see” what we get in the pictures, but I’m not listing it all any longer. I’ll give some highlights from what we made, as well as some tips that I come across along the way, but they’re going to be much shorter posts. I’m also helping at our farm share pick-up location this year, so I get home too late and too tired to do much more than take a picture.
Recipes are coming — I have quite a few in development. I have to round them up and see which ones are ready to post. Sometimes it’s just a matter of trying to follow the recipe myself and see how it turns out. Sometimes I need more photos, because in my zest for the creation, I forget to document the process.
Travel posts are coming. They may not be as detailed as I’d like them to be, but I’d rather get some out there for you to see, rather than continue to hold all these photos hostage. I can always make future travels a bit more detailed. (The above photo is from our trip to Idaho last year and our visit to Ponderosa State Park in McCall. Isn’t that the perfect reading/reflection spot?)
Restaurant reviews — I’d really like to add these because it’s one of the fun things we’ve been doing during Mr. Carnivore’s treatment. We try to include a different restaurant or area in our travels weekly. That way we’re not bored with the drive and make it a positive experience.
Movie reviews — I’m toying with these. I may offer more of them, especially since we decided to do a movie marathon during hubby’s last treatments. The plan is 10 movies in 10 days. Wish us luck and some jaw dropping entertainment.
Book reviews will be posted, but I will no longer re-post reviews that I’ve posted at Romance Junkies, except for a rare few that are part of a series already on this blog. What I plan to do instead is post a monthly report of what I’ve read, and link you to RJ or Goodreads for my reviews. I spend way too much time copying and pasting and making graphics, when there is so much more new content I want to share.
Speaking of book reviews, I happily jumped onto the TBR Challenge 2017 again. It’s the one I did with the group of bloggers orchestrated by Wendy the Super Librarian last year. I love those monthly tours of the net with fellow book lovers like me.
Also, expect more book reviews on memoirs, cookbooks and other interesting things as I come upon them and those will be posted here. The books were taking up too much of the blog when the idea was to make it a wide variety of topics. This way book lovers will still get the scoop, but the rest of the posts will have equal space.
Love of the Great Outdoors — this is an area I’m super excited about. We love to boat, hike, camp, fish, and garden. I want to highlight some of those activities here with photos, tips and tidbits. I’ve touched on them in the past, but I really want to do more of this. Some of the photos may not be my best as they’ll be from my cell phone, but you’ll find out why I love living in Northeast Ohio so much. It’s an outdoor lover’s paradise.
Those are my 2017 goals for The Zest Quest — continuing a zestful life, even when the zest has been blown out of your sails. Time to fire up the engines and full speed ahead! That’s how we’ll get our revenge on the C Word – don’t stop long enough to think about it.
February 17, 2017 at 4:11 pm
Great comments. Keep up that great attitude. You both will succeed.
February 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm
Thanks so much, Barb!
February 17, 2017 at 4:51 pm
That’s my girl! Knock her down and she gets right back up….. stronger than ever. Much love going out to you from me. MOM
February 17, 2017 at 5:39 pm
Awwww! Mom — you’re the best. Thank you. 🙂
February 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm
OMGosh, I’m so sorry to hear about hubby and The Dreaded C Word. I’m amazed you decided to hop back on board with the TBR Challenge but am SO glad you did. I look forward to it every month – a chance to see what everyone pulled out of the depths of their piles, to share what we loved (and didn’t love!). It’s pure book joy, it is 🙂
February 18, 2017 at 11:49 am
Thanks so much, Wendy! I look forward to the book joy and camaraderie so much that it’s essential for my sanity. 🙂
February 20, 2017 at 6:44 am
I think you are so strong and full of ZEST. Steve is lucky to have you. You need a shoulder to lean on, I’m here.
February 20, 2017 at 12:37 pm
You’re a good friend, Mel. Thank you. 🙂
February 20, 2017 at 11:34 am
A positive attitude goes a long way. I look forward to your weekly posts no matter is in your newsletter. Variety after all is the spice of life! Putting you and hubby first and others who are important to you is understandable.
Sending prayers and hugs.
February 20, 2017 at 12:38 pm
Thank you so much for telling me that, JoAnne. I love that you’re enjoying the posts. 🙂 Thanks for the prayers and hugs. We appreciate them!
April 25, 2018 at 12:46 am
I’m really late, here.. but glad I got to have a little read about you and your family <3
April 25, 2018 at 9:54 am
Thanks for checking out the blog, Suzanne. Love it that you’re getting to previous posts. 🙂