Buon Anno, Friends!
I hope the first few days of 2014 have gotten off to a good (and delicious!) start for you.
It feels both strange and familiar to be back in my own small corner of the Internet again. It feels like I'm having to start all over again with blogging. I have missed writing and sharing here so much, but as many of you know, the last four months of 2013 have been busy ones as Peter and I cared for my great-aunt. Our caretaking responsibilities are continuing into the new year as we work together with my extended family in Italy to plan for my great-aunt's long-term care, and we are grateful that we are all starting 2014 in good health. I couldn't ask for more especially after all the health scares we went through last year.
Although 2013 brought a lot of worry, stress and sadness, Peter and I met every challenge head-on and emerged stronger because we did it together. There were times I thought the exhaustion was going to consume us, but as I reflect back on last year, I learned something very special: just when you think you are at the end of your rope, there is always someone who steps in to tie on more line. Always. It's amazing, humbling, and inspiring all at once.
I learned a lot about myself last year as well. I discovered that I'm a lot stronger than I think I am, but I need to make more frequent deposits into my faith and self-confidence "accounts". My Type A tendencies got a run for their money as I learned (sometimes very painfully) to "go with the flow" and to let things evolve on their own.
Despite last year's challenges, I have a good feeling about 2014. I'm cautiously optimistic, but I'm entering this year with more clarity about what I want for my personal life and I've wasted no time in starting to make small, gradual changes. I'm hoping to restore and increase balance to my life after last year's upheval and near-constant uncertainty. After pushing my health and wellness to the bottom of my priority list, I've moved it back into the #1 position, starting with a physical scheduled for next week. I'm gradually easing back into the routines and healthy habits that calm and comfort me. I'm going to start reading for pleasure again. These last few days, I've been on a household purging blitz and making regular trips to Good Will (and I'm still not finished). Now, more than ever, I want this year and future years to just be simpler--fewer complications, fewer things, and more of what matters most: nurturing relationships, experiences, connection, gratitude, and giving back.
I'm also setting goals on the blogging front, some of which are the same ones I've had for the last couple of years. After having to postpone it several times, I'm planning to give this blog a makeover and continue working toward making blogging my full-time job. I want to sharpen my recipe development skills. I plan on featuring more region-specific Italian recipes to continue my self-education about Italian cuisine and cooking techniques. I also want to continue teaching myself how to bake bread and pastries, especially the Italian varieties I love so much. I'll be bringing back the "Flavia's Fundamentals" posts to share Italian cooking basics with you. "The Side Dish" and "The Bookshelf" posts will also be returning. The ideas are already flowing!
Thank you for sharing this space with me. It feels great to be back!
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