Out With the Old, In With the New (Year)

January 04, 2019

Photo courtesy malohan, via Pixabay

It’s a bright, shiny new year. How is it treating you so far?

So far so good, here at Catching Happiness. I’m happy to say my freelance work continues to flow in, and our son recently passed his (very difficult) 2-20 property and casualty insurance agent’s license exam. A child’s success: that’s a happy BIG thing.

The end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 have been a scramble. I’m slowly making the time to reflect on 2018 as well as begin to think about goals and projects for 2019. In November, I’ll have been producing Catching Happiness for 10 years. How is that even possible?! I still remember how exciting and scary it felt to click publish for the first time. I’ll have to come up with a fitting way for us all to celebrate!

 “Flow” was my 2018 word of the year, and it served me well. I worked and traveled more than I have in past years, and I lost a parent. We also added a puppy to the household, and even though Luna’s a year old now, she still requires significant training and supervision—and she’s not always getting it. (My husband’s Christmas slippers didn’t survive a week!) For the past few months of 2018, I’ve felt like I was riding a raft in white water—going with the flow was a fitting image to hang onto.

I’ve been thinking a lot about where I want to go, figuratively speaking, in 2019. My comforting routines have fallen by the wayside and need to be rebuilt. I’m still getting used to life at my new barn. The owner is wonderful, and it will be a good situation in the long run, but we’re still finding our footing. I need to simplify my life (again) so I can pay attention to the things that mean the most to me. (And I have a lot of messes to clean up. A. Lot. Of. Messes.)

I think my word of the year for 2019 is going to be “rise.” It keeps knocking on the door of my consciousness, but I don’t know what it’s trying to tell me yet. Guess I’ll have 12 months to figure it out.

Do you choose a word of the year? How is your planning for 2019 going? What are some of your hopes and dreams for the new year? What was great about 2018, and what lessons did it teach you? Please share in the comments below!

Traditionally, I’ve taken a break during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I didn’t get the chance to do that last week, so I’m going to take next week off instead. Be back soon!


Whew, What a Year!

December 31, 2018

Remember this? This happened in 2018!

I don’t know about you, but for me 2018 was f.u.l.l. The last few months have been a mad scramble, and I’m planning some time off this week to recover. I’d take more time, but I already have writing deadlines! (Yay for writing deadlines.)

Before 2018 becomes history, I want to say thank you to you, my Catching Happiness friends. Thank you for reading, for commenting, and even for lurking (I lurk on multiple blogs myself). Working on Catching Happiness is one of the pleasures of my life.

Happy New Year, and see you in 2019!


Savor the Present

December 28, 2018

“One of the most important things I've learned during the last fifteen years is how to enjoy and savor the present. When I am writing, I am inside the sound and meaning of the words, playing with them, curling them around each other. When I am eating, I luxuriate in the taste and texture of every bite. When I am alone, I listen to and communicate with the silence within me and the noises and messages of the world around me.

“And when I am with people, I am really with them.”
—Rita Golden Gelman, Tales of a Female Nomad


Wishing You Holiday Happiness

December 24, 2018

Prudy, Luna, Tank, and all the humans here at Catching Happiness wish you and your loved ones much holiday happiness, whatever your traditions may be. 

Emily Grosholz

What Will You Miss When You’re Gone?

December 21, 2018

Introduction by Ted Kooser: Do others of you think about what you'll miss when you leave this life? For me it will be the great skies over my part of the world. Heres Emily Grosholzs take on this, from her new book The Stars of Earth: New and Selected Poems, from Word Galaxy Press. She lives and teaches in Pennsylvania.

Here and There

What will I miss when I'm gone?
The squeak of the wheelbarrow's wheel,
Grace note that strikes with every slow
Revolution, and then the hushed, rusty
Answer in triplets from the invisible
Bird in the lackluster maples.

Branches, weeds, last autumn’s leavings
Raked from the moss-eaten pads, beds,
Borders, still untrimmed hedges.
Also the silent pale blue bells
Of my half dozen borage, ringed,
Self-seeded from the woods.

Daylilies my mother liked to set
Roadside in June. Pale Greek anemones
She never traveled far enough
To find wild, as I did once or twice, but
Maybe I'll bring her some, if over there
Windflowers blow beside a cloudy sea.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2017 by Emily Grosholz, “Here and There (from “June”), from The Stars of Earth: New and Selected Poems, (Word Galaxy Press, 2017). Poem reprinted by permission of Emily Grosholz and the publisher. Introduction copyright©2018 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Look for my travel writing here