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Great Expectations

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. OK, that’s not from the novel in the headline, but that would have been cool! Because both the headline and the quote fit our lives at this first year anniversary at our home here in Florida! I’m not going to lie, it’s been a rough year for us! We had high hopes when we moved here. And we still do. But I am not sorry to see 2023 go!

When I made my previous post the first week of October, the year to date had been tough, but I assumed the worst was behind us. However, the last three months really packed a wallop! I’m not in the mood to recap it all in depth while it still feels so fresh but we’ve dealt with: my “part-time” job hours unexpectedly more than doubling, me spending Thanksgiving alone, a close family member’s cancer diagnosis, a car fire (necessitating us adding a car payment to our budget after having finally just paid off our two cars this summer), my parents cancelling their first trip to visit us here due to medical issues, my son cancelling his visit to see us because of job issues, and the wife getting COVID for Christmas. We literally have not stepped foot in a park in the past two months due to use either being too busy, too tired, or just too grumpy!

If we still lived in Tennessee and had the year we had in 2023, I would have felt like it was one of our worst years ever. But the fact that we got to spend it here in Orlando has been the biggest bright spot in a dreary twelve months.

I’m going to make it a point to get this blog back into what I really was hoping and expecting it would be after my first year in Florida. I was so excited to share our initial impressions of life here. But I hope you’ll understand that the last thing I’ve been in the mood to do is dwell even more on how unlucky we’ve had it in many ways lately.

I’ve very much looking forward to 2024, and I have even greater expectations for the coming year. We’re going to be more proactive in making our own magic when we might not otherwise be feeling it. Hopefully things will actually be much better, but I think focusing more on the good, even when things aren’t so good, will do us a world of good.

Thanks for your understanding in 2023. And have a great beginning to your new year!


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