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 . . . a really long post. About my birthday (short version: it was a perfect day) and life in general.

for now, here’s a picture of me (which I haven’t shared in a bit):

Two of Swords

Blocking emotions, avoiding truth, stalemate. Avoiding making the decision.

(posted a day late, sorry)

Three of Cups. (same as yesterday)

Three of cups

Friendship. Celebration. Joy. Community.

The opposite of the Hermit.

Complemented by Temperance.

Three of Rods.

(same as yesterday)

Three of Rods/Wands.

Exploration. Patience. Leadership. “waiting for my ship to come in” (and knowing it will.

The Hermit

Introspective, searching, (looking for) guidance, solitude. “seek and ye shall find.”

opposite: the lovers, the world/universe

complements: the High Priestess

Thought I’d share, no commentary.

Center: 4 of cups

Crossing: page of wands

Foundation: The Lovers

Passing: 8 of cups

Crown: The Moon

Coming: 8 of Wands

Self: 5 of cups

Environment: 10 of swords

Hopes/Fears: King of Swords

Final: 2 of swords

Yesterday I got to swim with my dog.

It’s a birthday treat from J., one that came up at the last minute. You see, ’round here normal humans don’t go in the water most days. When the days are at their hottest (above 80*) yes, we go in the lakes and such. But otherwise, it’s too darn chilly unless you have a wetsuit.

Sasha swims almost daily in a lake, that’s her main exercise. I could go in, too, but its too cold (already).

But! There’s a place nearby, aquadogspa (.com) where they do water therapy for dogs, and you can do ‘self swim’ sessions once the instructor is ok with water safety and the like.

So we went.

The pool was a lot smaller than I expected. I thought it’d be like a small swimming pool (25′ long), but it was more like a double-long jacuzzi. Maybe 12′ long? But there is a jet to make a current to swim against, and it was a balmy 94* (big grin!) and we went for it.

Sasha did not like getting into the water at first. We taught her ‘step’ as the command to go in on one side (where the steps were) and had to sort of push/pull her into the water the first time. Then it was all good. J. and I stood at either end and threw her ‘duck’ (a bright floating toy) back and forth while she swam back and forth. We played ‘keep away’ and hide and go seek with the duck. We had a really good time.

I don’t know that I’d do it again any time soon. There was a lot of chlorine in the water and Sasha didn’t get as much of a workout as we expected (the current was nothing for her). But it was fun to do nonetheless.

Today I turn 43.

Today I close the door on the last year, the Lost Year (as it will henceforth be known.)

Today I move forward into a new adventure.

Each year on or around my birthday, I write a set of goals for the upcoming years. That’s pretty common, I think. Me being me, I *also* write down my accomplishments from the past year. I always accomplish more than I think I can, and I always fail to achieve at least some goals.

‘Quit smoking’ for example was on my list for something like a decade. ‘Lose weight’ is another one that lingers. But I’ve surprised myself with publishing two books. With celebrating my coven’s 10th birthing day. With facing cancer and riding it’s tumultuous wave.

The writing and realizations are a private process, one that can take days. (I’m not very good at recognizing what I do well. It has to sneak up on me a bit.) The goal setting tends to be easy, partly because I use Samhain as a time to correct my goals (new year energy and all that) so I know I can dream big.

This year the big things I want to accomplish are:

  • sell my old house
  • lose weight (20% of my current weight to be specific)
  • exercise daily for at least 30 mins (aside from walking Sasha)
  • create a system of advanced lessons with my coven
  • develop¬† coven leaders’ handbook
  • make a garden
  • finish one embroidery project (flowers) and start another (carousel lion)

I’ll check in with y’all ’round Samhain to let you know how its going.

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