Hello, Tracy! Been missing you, but like others here, I figured you were Christmasing elsewhere.

First, the photos, especially the first one, are splendid! Excellent shots of what appears to have been a relaxing and restorative walk.

Second, what news! I am so excited for you — and a little jealous! Can’t wait to learn more about your new career. I know mental health work is necessary and can be very rewarding, but it’s also exhausting — mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Ben’s daughter worked with AIDS patients, back when early death was certain for them, and with abused women. After several years, she couldn’t do it anymore. Now, she has a spiritual-based counseling service that focuses on empowerment and healing.

My goal in 2019 is to work towards retirement or at least semi-retirement by the end of 2020. I am making some major purchases in the upcoming year while I am still making enough money to pay for them and paying down our mortgage as much as possible so I can refinance and get a lower monthly payment for my not--so-much years. I am also putting one, maybe two, trips to NYC high on the 2019 to-do list. We didn’t make our annual pilgrimage there in 2018, and Ben and I miss it terribly.

I am so glad to see you back here and to hear the good news of positive changes in your life!

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.

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