“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” Brad Henry
I am sitting here at my parent’s house in Kentucky. It is Christmas Eve and in just 10 days I embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The day I made the decision to actually do this trip, I also decided to leave my job earlier than planned and spend some time with my family. This was not really an option, I NEEDED this time.
I grew up in rural Kentucky, Madison County. My next door neighbor was my Aunt Bev (and family), the next house was my Aunt Connie (and family), the next house was my Uncle Hubie (great uncle), go around the road and you got to my Papaw and Grandma’s, just a mile past that was my Granny’s. Just around the way (less than a mile) was my Momma Jo (aunt and her family) and this does not even cover the other cousins and such. Yep, we grew up close.
All of this said because, though I knew the future would take me away from home, this place and these people are what have always been my center and what keeps me grounded. I learned the value of hard work here, I was blessed with an unconditional love from these people, and I learned that chasing my happiness did not mean I was leaving any of them behind. So, when things are getting a bit to real or life has beaten me down, this is where I return.
2019 was a really tough year for me mentally and physically. I went through many changes and my career was really taking a toll on me. My mental health was really becoming fractured and I needed to do something. I resumed my therapy appointments and began to plan a way to make my life more of what I wanted. This involved many phone calls with my sister and talks with my best friend. My friend circle was very supportive and sent me motivation often. My bosses did what they could to help me overcome obstacles and were always there to listen. But mental health is much more of what you can do for yourself…and for a time I could not figure that out. The one thing I could do, was reassess and come up with a new plan.
This meant taking some time and coming Home. I have spent a lot of time with my sister and nephews. This is a happy place for me and those boys are good for my soul. My sister has been through a lot and being able to have real conversations about both our lives is very helpful and cathartic for us. I came to the farm and spent time with my parents. We caught up, talked about the future and just were present. I spent time with the rest of my family and even got in some horse time. Nothing like a sunset ride and looking out between the ears of a horse, I promise you! Got to spend some time and catch up with some of my closest friends. This is always good for the soul. I never take any of this for granted.
Now, for the important things: I have been to Casa Cafe (x3) and will hit Madison Gardens before I leave. HAHAHA. Tastes of Home!