Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! Happy Holidays!
It’s that time of year for pausing, reflecting, counting blessings, and extending glad tidings.
I’ll start with a bit of reflection and blessings counting…
2017’s Good, Bad & Sad
Good: The year started off on an exciting note with a trip to HAuNTcon that resulted in the launch of the Haunt Jaunts radio show on ParaMania Radio. The show has been a blast. The people at ParaMania couldn’t be any nicer, and it’s challenged me to step far outside my comfort zone. Approaching people and asking them to be guests has resulted in some of the most incredible conversations about the paranormal that I’ve ever had. I’m forever grateful to Scott Morrow for having me on his show, then believing in me and encouraging me to apply for a show of my own.
I also went to a paracon I’ve been wanting to go to for years: The Scarefest. I checked off another thing I’d been curious about doing when I set up a vendor table there. What a learning experience!
But the highlight of The Scarefest was getting to meet my crush in person, the founder of the Hollywood Ghost Hunters, Rick McCallum. I’d seen him on an episode of Ghost Adventures years ago and was enthralled.
I totally fan-girled out and couldn’t talk when I first saw him, but then a funny thing happened. Rick turned out to be an incredibly gracious, warm, and salt-of-the-earth person. His charm and wit melted my nerves and I ended up having an amazing talk with him too.
Do I still have a bit of a crush? Of course. But even more than that I have the utmost and respect and admiration for him because he’s a class act all the way. Even though he lives and works in Hollywood, he’s not full of himself. He’s humble, generous, and doesn’t take himself too seriously. That was not only unexpected but very refreshing. (Because I’ve met people with not even a tenth of his credentials who are so full of themselves it’s disgusting. So, yeah. Rick was a surprise and a great example.)
Bad: There were also lots of trips, but you wouldn’t know anything about that unless you’re a personal friend or a pretty astute Instagram follower. For a supposed travel site, I really fail at writing about all of my actual travels.
In fact, I’ve been failing pretty miserably writing on the site at all or keeping my beloved events lists maintained.
So, I’m feeling pretty low about how little I’ve accomplished this year once again.
The good news is, regardless of a new year starting or not, it’s never too late to begin again, right?
Sad: Part of the reason I let the site and writing slide so bad this year was I fell into a depression. About half way into the year came news of the first deaths: my husband’s aunt and uncle. (They weren’t married. One was the wife of his dad’s brother. The other was the husband of his dad’s sister.) Cancer in both cases.
Then came word my cousin’s 19-year-old daughter had died. That was a huge shock. Very sudden. Not cancer. Accidental overdose. Heart-wrenching.
Right after that my dad was hospitalized where it was discovered he had lung cancer. I suffered PTSD flashbacks to 2008 when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I had to take care of her. (That might sound noble but the trouble was my mom and I did not like each other. It was the most horrific time in my life. I’m positive it’s why I got cancer. However, good came from it. That’s in part how Haunt Jaunts was born!)
My relationship with my dad had always been better than with my mom. When I was little my dad hung the moon in my eyes. My parents divorced when I was 9. I remained close to my dad until I was 12. Then things changed and we drifted apart.
He was always in my life, but…well, it’s complicated. So was his death, which happened at the end of October.
I tried very hard to muscle through, but my heart was broken. (For more than the obvious reason of having lost my dad.) That’s when the depression really hit hard.
And that’s why I’ve neglected my poor site again.
I have no idea what 2018 will hold. Which is the fun part. Right now it’s full of endless, exciting possibilities.
It gives me hope that I feel a tingle of enthusiasm with the New Year’s dawning. Maybe that’s a sign I’m on the path to healing and bouncing back a bit.
Whether you read the blog, engage with me on social media, listen to my radio show –or all three!– thank you for taking this journey with me.
I hope to see more of you in 2018. Whether it’s here or any of the other places I just mentioned.
For now, I’d like to wish you the very Happiest of Holidays and a New Year filled with peace, love and laughter.