It seems that as we are getting older in life, the years are simply flying past in the blink of an eye. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to write last year’s family newsletter. Can anyone explain this, and is there any possible way for us to slow time down a bit?
As we sit and reflect back on this year, we see that the theme of 2009 was definitely change; not so much challenge, although many around the world will probably view it as such.
In the Hur house-hold, we too have been affected by changes and at times deep sorrow this year.
As most of you know, Ben and I have not been blessed with children, and we view our animals as our babies. In March, our beloved Boxer Molly passed away at age 16.
This was a tremendously difficult experience for us and especially for me as I had never been around when any of our furry-family members passed away before. We sat with Molly through her darkest moments, and were with her as she took her last breath and went Home.
Three days after Molly passed away, we were given a three-week old boxer puppy whom we named Shanti Sue. She was still nursing and so we began the arduous task of bottle feeding her. What a little baby she was; and for the first time in my life, I experienced true exhaustion. I came close to understanding post-partum depression! But what a true little angel she was and she brought us many hours of laughter, and a fair few hours of frustration too. What do you do? You have a puppy and its all par for the course.
Sadly, the person who gave her to us had irresponsibly bred his dogs with no prior medical attention to the parents, and no vaccination for the parents. The weekend before my birthday, we had to put Shanti to sleep because she was diagnosed with distemper.
This was the darkest hours in our year. It took us quite a long time to move forward as the impact of both deaths compounded in intense grief.
Despite the pain, we must move on and move forward.
In April, we launched my online magazine, “Magnify You” to great reviews and fast growing international readership base.
In May, my co-host on my radio show, Manifesting the Positive, and I celebrated our first year on air.
Throughout the year, I have been interviewed for various magazines and radio shows, as well as being a co-author in two new books; “The Power of Persuasion” by Justin Sachs and another book still in production.
In September, I was nominated for the Women Business Owners 2009 Woman of Courage Award, and went on to win this award in October.
September came with another blow… Labour Day Monday, one of our cats mauled me after jumping on my lap and landing on our other cat who was sitting under a blanket on my lap; he freaked out and I became his target.
The attack landed me in the emergency room of our local hospital where I was admitted and underwent emergency surgery and follow-up surgery the next day.
While this was a shocking event, and surprising that it would land me admitted in the hospital, there is always a blessing in all situations; this came when I was diagnosed with having severe diabetes, extremely high blood pressure, and high cholesterol; otherwise known as Metabolic Syndrome. We say this is a blessing because I am not one to go running to the doctor at a whim and would not have discovered this had I not been admitted to hospital.
This has lead to my having to change my lifestyle around completely. As I work daily at getting my sugar levels down, which is difficult due to how erratic the sugars are; and I am now on four shots of two different kinds of insulin every day.
As my health was deteriorating, I made the very difficult decision to take an extended hiatus (I don’t want to say “retire” just yet) to shift my focus and work on getting my health back in order.
I have had to reduce my work schedule almost completely, and “Magnify You” has been put on hold indefinitely and Manifesting the Positive is now being hosted each week by Stuart. As my energy permits, I am recording segments with Stuart to air. I have also scaled down my consulting considerably.
But anyone who knows me knows that I can hardly sit still for very long. As my focus has shifted, it seems to those on the outside that I am doing even more now that I was before; however, that is not the case. We are both doing a lot of service work with our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and in October, I completed several blankets which we presented to an old people’s home this past month when we went Christmas caroling. Ben and I enjoyed helping at the Bishop’s Storehouse the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving, and over 200 families were served with enough food for their holiday meals. It was a blessing to be able to serve in this capacity and give back our time and effort.
We have enjoyed working with the full-time missionaries in their great and marvelous work, and we have enjoyed various opportunities to entertain.
In October, I threw Ben a surprise birthday party, and was completely delighted that it actually worked and he was completely surprised. This was followed by a dinner party the next night at our favourite Asian seafood buffet restaurant with more friends.
Our neighbour threw a lovely Halloween party in our courtyard, which unfortunately Ben could not attend due to being under the weather, but I did and enjoyed myself thoroughly.
The beginning of November, we held a “See Ya Later” party for one of our full-time missionaries returning home at the end of his mission. We have remained close friends and he is now a permanent part of our family.
Thanksgiving brought us the opportunity to entertain again, and we enjoyed having the full-time missionaries, and some friends around our Thanksgiving table which was truly laden with delicious foods.
As the year was waning down, I decided that we needed to have a complete change, and this caused us to embark on getting a lovely new sofa, and then rearranging our whole home. It sure was a big job, and we found we had quite a lot of excess items to donate to Goodwill, and the results in our home are wonderful.
As change seemed to be the theme this year, Ben and I were talking late one night (I do seem to get rather philosophical around 2AM, just surprised that Ben actually listened to me this time! LOL), and this resulted in Ben deciding he needed to make a change, and went into the bathroom and shaved his beard off! This was the first time in over 10 years he saw his face, and the very first time I have, other than in photos.
I must say, the first few days were strange and he garnered quite a few looks from me as I simply could not stop looking. But now that the “strangeness” has worn off, he sure does look good and I am really loving the new look. I surprised many people when I announced the introduction of my “new boyfriend”. And many did not recognize him, in fact one asked him if he was my son! Yep, I think I may finally give in and get the old bottle of hair dye out and wash the gray out.
This last week before the holidays, I am caught up in baking goodies for a bake sale a friend is holding this weekend, and making cookie dough to refrigerate so that we’ll have goodies during the festive days ahead. I am also making latkes as we are in the Chanukkah celebrations. Christmas cards are being delivered, and generally last-minute running around. But through all the rush of the season, we are taking special care to stop and smell the proverbial roses, and lend appreciation and gratitude for all the glorious blessings which have been bestowed upon us.
So as this year comes to a close, and so many events occurring throughout, we see with hindsight that is 20/20, we see the opportunities to learn; to do better, to do less, but to always be open to creating change, and striving to make those changes positive.
We wish you, and your family, a VERY Merry Christmas and a beautifully blessed, happy, peace-filled, and loving New Year.
Ben and Leyla Hur