Grateful for the New Year Despite the Pain

Sunset in Louisiana

Here we are. A new year. A time to start again according to the calendar. I usually start my new year on my birthday. But, my birthday last month was not how I intended to start my own "new year." My brother Justin passed away on that day. Now, my birthday will never be the same. I had already planned to spend a month in Louisiana to assist my aunt with her knee replacement so being here for my mom and my family was actually a blessing. 

At Justin's service, I spoke that he always lived life on his own terms. He truly did not care what anyone thought about him. It's a lesson to all of us to live on our terms even if it doesn't agree with what seems "normal." In honor of him, I am going to do just that. To lose two brothers in two years is hard. It's the absolute worst. It sucks. In both their honor I'm going to enjoy every single day. I'm going to work harder and smarter. Write more. I'm going to laugh more. I'm going to show love more. I'm going to continue to travel, and I'm going to make sure I take care of myself. 

I know to take care of myself I need to make sure that the hereditary heart disease in my family does not come to my front door. Normally when I come to Louisiana, I lose my food loving mind. I eat all the things I can't eat in D.C. The South really does have the best food. I decided before coming to Louisiana that I wouldn't do that on this trip. I would not eat boudin, fried shrimp, and Blue Bell ice cream every day. I would eat them, but in moderation. The lifestyle of a wine, food, and travel writer means you eat everything. I decided I would workout 6 days a week and get my system and body back on track. It's been two weeks and I'm proud of myself. 

I wish you new year blessings full of love, laughter, travel, peace, sweaty workouts, food, and good wine. As Tim McGraw sings "live like you are dying."