16 Years Blogging

jars of spices for 16 years blogging

Today is 16 years blogging! Sweet Sixteen!

Sixteen years isn’t just a milestone for the number of years. It also represents a dividing line. I blogged for eight years and a few months on my old blog, when it was Anali’s First Amendment. Now the number of years on this domain, Anali’s Next Amendment, is also eight years.

April 29th is not only my blogging anniversary, it’s also the day I choose my word for the year.

When thinking about this new word, what first came to mind was that people enter our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. It’s up to us to figure out the difference. That discernment is part of our life’s work.

I started thinking about how a season is really quite short — just three months. But each season repeats in an endless cycle of seasons. I think this deep noticing of seasons comes with age. Because after living through so many cycles of seasons, we notice them more. That might be a reason why I was drawn to reflect on the seasons with the year long Collection of Moments project.

Life is all about the seasons of it. Like that Frank Sinatra song, “It Was A Very Good Year.” He reflects on being 17, 21, 35, and then the autumn of his years. It’s such a beautiful song — his sharing memories of these four seasons of his life. And yet season can take on other meanings.

I grew up learning to well season my food. Using spices and herbs to season our food improves taste and increases our enjoyment. Baking oil onto a cast iron pan, seasoning, prevents rusting and preserves it.

After thinking about the word season, I thought that I might have already used it as a word of the year. It seemed so obvious. But after looking back, I had not. So, I guess the word hadn’t been right before. It is now. ‘Tis the SEASON.

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!

Pandemic Surrender

thinking about surrender

During the last year and a half, I’ve done a lot of thinking about surrender. That’s why I chose surrender as my word of the year.

I believe that surrender is not about giving up, but making peace with reality. Because I’ve learned that what you resist persists and the fighting is emotionally exhausting.

A few days ago, I did a selfie photo shoot of my new look. Normally I’m not one to share many pictures of myself. But I do change up my photos on this blog and my social media every year or so. This change is dramatic, so I thought I’d blog it too.

My hair has been thinning for years and has been a constant source of stress and anxiety. Society places so much importance on thick long luxurious hair. What do you do when you don’t have that no matter how hard you try?

You do the best you can with what you have. You try to overlook comments that people make about other people’s hair while wondering what they think of yours.

Then you just get exhausted by the whole thing. Because life is short and what’s the point of worrying. I can’t control other people’s thoughts — only mine. I need to be comfortable with myself. I’m 56, soon to be 57, and want to age gracefully. Wigs, weaves and braids have never been my style, so I started looking at the other end of the spectrum.

Several of my aunts have embraced the bald look and some well-known glamorous women like Christine Platt and Ayanna Pressley rock it as well. Ayanna Pressley is such an inspiration and powerhouse that I’ve especially taken strength from her and see her as an expander. I don’t have alopecia, but many women in my family have thinning hair, so it’s almost certainly genetics.

My mom had a stroke at the end of February and I’ve been helping her get back to her life. It’s been a long journey for both of us. Through all this, we both were vaccinated. PSA — Get vaccinated!

The day before I became fully vaccinated (two weeks after the second dose) was also the day that I picked up my mom from rehab and brought her home. It’s also the day that I got most of my hair chopped off. I only have so much physical and emotional energy and focusing on my hair is not how I want to use it.

The pandemic has given many of us time to think about what’s important and what’s not. At the beginning of the pandemic, I vowed to myself that if I survived it, I wasn’t leaving it the same way I went in. None of us will. Intentionally or not. Time will reveal other changes that I probably can’t imagine yet.

What about you? How are you leaving the pandemic differently than you went in?

15 Years Blogging

15 years anniversary flowers

“I am determined to see this with love. I surrender this story and let the Universe lead the way.”

~ Gabby Bernstein

Another blogging anniversary — 15 years! And a new word for the year. This year’s word is SURRENDER. Because that’s been required recently.

According to Eckhart Tolle, “What you fight, you strengthen. What you resist persists. Make peace with it. The action comes out of presence not out of being defensive.”

There was a lot that I was fighting, because I felt like I had no choice. Then it became too exhausting and I surrendered to the situation. Within days, the situation changed. It didn’t happen the way that I would have chosen. But it allowed what I had been trying to do all along.

Sometimes I feel like I’m learning the same lessons over and over again. But maybe that’s what life is. Remembering what is true and then reminding myself how it applies in many different ways.

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!

14 Years Blogging

14 years blogging

April 29, 2006, is the day I decided to start blogging. Yay for 14 years!

I’m forever grateful to my past self for taking the leap. Even though back then blogging was considered sketchy by many. Now it’s a standard for most businesses and has been for sometime now.

What a difference 14 years makes! Given we’re now in the midst of a global pandemic, what a difference six weeks makes.

Depending upon the country you live in, or what part of the United States you’re located, many of us are still remaining at home to help flatten the curve and stop the spread. I live in Quincy, which is part of Greater Boston and we’re in the worst of it so far.

My annual tradition on this day is to pick a word for the year. It wasn’t very difficult to decide on the word — HEAL.

To make free from injury or disease.

To make sound or whole.

To make well again.

To restore to health.

I hope that this time next year, the world will be free of COVID-19 and we will have a vaccine.

While staying inside, I’m also on a personal journey of inner healing. I’ve found several people on Instagram who are inspiring millions of us to look inward. Links to them are below, in no particular order, if you’d like to follow them too.

Dr. Nicole LePera
Yung Pueblo
Alex Elle
Lalah Delia
Lacy Ann Phillips

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for being here!

This Blog Is A Teenager: 13 Years Old!

Blog Anniversary cupcakes

Thirteen years ago today, I became a blogger! Yay blogging! This blog moved from it’s original home and had a slight name change. But that happens with people all the time. Still the same blog!

In keeping with my annual tradition and with the word that I’ve chosen, this post is short and sweet.

The word for this year is SIMPLIFY. Because life can be busy and difficult, so I’m making things easy on myself when I can.

That’s it!

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Links to posts for past years are below. Thank you for reading and visiting!