Hey there! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Life has been busy. What else is new? I find myself running none stop, which those of you that know me... that’s pretty normal. I’ve also found myself taking time to figure this thing out called Life. I haven’t figured it out yet... 🤷♀️
In all reality I’ve been figuring out who I am and what my five year and ten year plan is. Yep, real exciting adulting over here. However it’s needed. I had a five and 10 year plan, than one day that planned completely changed. After I lost Kyle I found myself floundering for a while. I tried to keep myself as busy as possible so I didn’t have to face reality. I was getting maybe 4-6 hours of sleep a night mostly because my brain wouldn’t shut off, I was eating like crap, partying and basically losing site of who I was. I was like a giant tornado spinning my way out of control. I was lost. Confused. Scared. Mad. Sad. About every emotion I could list I was. I didn’t want help, I didn’t want sympathy I just needed to work through and learn to accept that I was a grieving widow. It takes time and there is no book that tells you what and how to survive everyday. I rolled with the punches - some days were better than others!
One day at work I was asked a question that broke me. What’s your five year plan? What’s your ten year plan? I stared at them blankly. I had all that figured out and now I had no clue. I had started a nonprofit that was flourishing, worked part time at the local bar and full time at a Granite Company. Then you add in keeping up the house. Laundry. It was a lot. Especially while dealing with the rollercoaster of emotions. That was my plan at the time, just get through this first year of “widowhood”. When I was asked that question, it’s like someone hit me in the forehead... I used to be such a planner. I could do spontaneous things but I liked to have a plan. That has changed. I’ve learned quickly that plans change in a blink of an eye. And that’s okay. It’s part of life. However I had to tell myself that not knowing my 5 and 10 year plan that day was ok. My thinking had changed, I’ve become much more spontaneous. I’m not worried about being done with having kids at the age of 30. Or paying off my mortgage by 40. Or hitting all 50 states before (ok... I totally lied on that one, I will do that 😀). Instead I’ve learned to just enjoy what each day brings. Embrace the journey and know that plans change. Don’t plan your life out and be okay with curveballs that are thrown your way. Instead of planning, focus on short term goals that help you achieve the dreams you’ve longed for. A dream without a plan is just a wish... something I take to heart.
In 2018, I vowed to focus on myself. I had just lost my best friend of 12 years, 4 of which he was sick and in pain. Moving on and I’m not talking relationship wise, that’s a whole new post, moving on is confusing. Just when you think you can do it, something triggers within you that day and you lose it. I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all my shit together. Some days are better than others. I’m pretty good at hiding my feelings. In fact when people ask how I’m doing, I say I’m living because that’s what I’m doing. I’ve spent the last year doing things I’ve longed to do.. mostly traveling but also spending time with family and friends. Something as simple as family dinners with your best friends and their kids every Sunday. Shopping and pedicures with my mom catching up on each others chaotic lives. However my favorite has to be traveling. It gives me a sense of peace. It’s refreshing, revitalizing and has turned me into a more spontaneous person. I’ve been around this year... it started with a spontaneous trip to Europe with one of my best friends. While I was there I was asked to go to Hawaii with my second fam over Christmas (mine and Kyles favorite vacation destination), so I booked a ticket while in Europe. Before Hawaii I went to Boston and Texas for work... literally lived out of a suitcase for a solid month. In January, I was in NYC and Philly in February for work (week after the Super Bowl - what a mess). March was a random weekend trip with friends to LA. (Have I mentioned how nice it is to have Skymiles - 3 free flights this year). April I stayed home, it was nice. 😀 May was a weekend trip to Kentucky to watch the Foley Archery team. June I was in DC, MD, DE and VA in a matter of 4 days for work and July brings a bucket list check, Alaska. It’s bittersweet because this was Kyle and I’s next vacation. I got to pick the honeymoon spot of Hawaii but he wanted nothing more than to visit Alaska! So I’m currently on way with 20 others to enjoy all Alaska has to offer! Although he’s not with me, he really is. He was always the one telling me to go, do it... what are you waiting for? So that’s what I’ve been up to... I’m doing the things I’ve wanted to do forever because who knows what tomorrow brings. I’m seeing all the US has to offer. I will hit all 50 states before I’m 50. I think iI am at 38... so I’m well ahead of the game.
So to update where I’m at... I’m Alive. I’m Blessed. And Grateful. Thank you to all my friends and family that have helped me get through and survive my first year as a widow. A title that no one should bear but something that many face. I posted something similar the other day but I want to remind each of you reading this. Don’t wait...
✨ Life is to short to wait to do the things you’ve longed to do. Tomorrow is never promised.
👉 Buy the shoes.
👉 Eat the cake. (Within reason 😀)
👉 Take the trip.
Because why not live the life you want to live? 💋✌️
Wishing you all a blessed day! ❤️
~ Kayla Strand