2019: Take Two

December 18th was the last time I wrote a post. I did not intend to take such a long blogging break. In fact, I had great plans to develop a consistent blogging habit. But life had other ideas.

I finished the first semester by logging all grades into the system on the morning of December 19th. That afternoon I began grocery shopping for the Totoro annual Christmas Eve Vigil (which was going to be held on December 23rd due to other family conflicts). I like grocery shopping. I enjoy holiday traditions. Christmas is my favorite time of year. Life was good.

On the 22nd my son called to tell us that both he and his wife were terribly sick with the stomach flu. We offered to help by taking my 15-month-old grandson to our house for the day. We kept him from 8:30am – 6:30pm. A fun but exhausting day for this Mimi who is not accustomed to a toddler’s energy level.

My youngest daughter arrived that evening from Nashville. We had a quiet dinner and all went to bed fairly early. It had been a long day.

Due to the aforementioned flu, the Vigil dinner was postponed to Christmas Eve. I decided to use the 23rd to pre-bake a few items, organize china and serving dishes, and pre-set the table. By 6:30pm I was feeling a bit clammy. By 7:00pm I was a prisoner in my own bathroom. The fluΒ struck with a vengeance.

Christmas Eve was a blur. The kids came over and enjoyed the crab and shrimp dinner. My youngest made the traditional spinach bread. I managed to come downstairs long enough to watch them open gifts.

I felt much better Christmas Day (fortunately the flu was short-lived, although potent). My youngest, however, was down and out. She remained in bed the entire day. And then she had to leave the next morning to make the nine-hour trip back to Nashville. I think we spent a total of thirty minutes together the entire time she was home.

By the weekend, all was well. I spent several hours in the nook reflecting on 2018 and planning for an optimistic 2019.

Mid-afternoon on New Year’s Eve, however, the basset climbed into my lap and remained still for thirty minutes: highly unusual. He likes to cuddle but only for five minutes at a time. When I tried to give him a hug, he yelped.

We soon discovered that somehow his collar caught on his neck rolls. Who knew how long he had suffered! We cut the collar off, thinking that might solve the issue.

As it turned out, this was the first of many basset troubles over the next ten days. After three vet visits, hundreds of dollars, and discovering he cannot tolerate any kind of medication … he finally seems to be on the mend.

At the same time we dealt with his health issues, my professional life took a downward turn. Over the course of 48-hours, seven students dropped my classes (a 30% decrease!). Since our private school pays teachers by the student rather than by the class, this severely impacted my monthly paycheck. A very unexpected blow to the family budget.

We are now two weeks into the new year, and I do think life is finally settling down. The basset is (almost) back to his old self. And I am learning to embrace my new semester schedule: I have more free time to write and fewer papers to grade (there’s always a silver lining…)

So I am officially declaring this week as 2019: take two.

January 15th is my new New Year’s Day.

I will not allow a few minor setbacks to rob me of joy.

Next week I will blog about all the plans I have for an exciting 2019. In the meantime: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


  • Debbie

    Good for you Molly, this can definitely be the start of your new year! I’m so glad you are feeling better now but what an awful time it must have been for you over Christmas! All the best for 2019! #mlstl

    • Molly Totoro

      Thank you for your kind words, Debbie.
      While my holiday was not the one I envisioned, I do realize many others have it much worse. Mine was mostly a minor inconvenience, and I am now ready to embrace the New Year with gusto πŸ™‚

  • Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond

    Welcome back Molly and I can certainly understand why blogging had to take a back seat for the last few weeks. I’m glad you are feeling better and sorry to hear about the work side of things. I do love your attitude thought and knowing you, things will pick up again. Great to have you back with us at #MLSTL and all the best for 2019! xx

    • Molly Totoro

      Thank you so much, Sue, for the nice return welcome! I do LOVE this community and greatly missed the weekly camaraderie. I am more than excited to participate in #mlstl in 2019 … and beyond πŸ™‚

  • Leanne

    Goodness Molly – what a horrendous series of Unfortunate Events! I’m so glad you’re coming out the other side and things are looking sunnier for you. I’m so sorry your Christmas went down the toilet (literally!) because it’s my favourite time of the year too and I know how devastated I’d be to have gone through what your family experienced. I guess it will make a great “Christmas story” in years to come (another silver lining!) I’m so glad you’re back and thanks so much for linking with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM πŸ™‚

    • Molly Totoro

      Series of Unfortunate Events expertly summarizes my holiday, Leanne! It was not devastating or horrible, just inconvenient and unfortunate πŸ™‚
      And I know you are right… usually these kinds of experiences make the best family stories once a bit of time has passed.
      I am very much looking forward to a continued relationship with #mlstl. Finding this community was one of the highlights of 2018!

  • Leanne

    Molly I just left a really long comment that has gone into cyberspace – check your spam and I’ll try to remember what I said – basically it was that I’m so sorry for your horribly sad Christmas – it would have been miserable for you. Glad you’re coming out the other side and lovely to have you back blogging xx
    Thanks for linking with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM πŸ™‚

    • Molly Totoro

      I’m not sure why I had to “approve” that comment… but I did receive it and so appreciate your kind and encouraging words πŸ™‚

    • Molly Totoro

      Thanks for the good vibes, Molly … I will take all I can get πŸ™‚
      Sometimes a forced break is necessary to help us refocus. I am raring to go now though!

  • Kay

    Wow, you have had a rough season, Molly! So sorry about the illnesses at Christmastime. Sounds pretty miserable for all of you. And your poor puppy. Glad that he’s on the mend as well. As to your teaching schedule, well, I guess the best I can say is ‘stuff happens’. Sigh. Life can certainly throw curves at us. I’ll be watching for your upcoming posts regarding your 2019 plans and efforts. And a very happy new year to you as well! Take care – just breathe – it will all be OK…and big hugs.

  • Pat

    Molly, there’s some quote about it’s not getting hit down that’s important, it’s about getting back up. You are certainly showing the resilience of getting back up! And I love you seeing the silver linings as well. Happy New Year to you.

    • Molly Totoro

      My natural “glass is half empty” outlook struggles to find those silver linings, but I do know they exist. Journaling (and blogging) helps me put things in perspective. Thank you for recognizing the resilience … I am well-acquainted with that wise saying and I do strive to keep running the race, even if I know I am falling behind.

  • Christina Daggett

    It’s great to have you back, Molly! I’m so sorry things were so rough for you over the holidays. I’m glad to hear things are looking up, and that you’ve welcomed in the New Year with so much optimism. I look forward to your next post. I’m going to share on FB.

    • Molly Totoro

      Oh Christina… thank you for the warm welcome! Yes, the start of the year was a bit rough, but this week has been a lovely “start over”. The basset is much better and I have had plenty of free time to write. I look forward to connecting more through #mlstl throughout 2019 πŸ™‚

  • Mary Lou

    That photo of your basset hound speaks volumes for all of you. Zen collar for all!!! Glad to hear everyone survived! When these things hit, it seems to come all at once.
    I’ll be sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL Thanks Molly! Welcome back!

    • Molly Totoro

      We thought the Zen-collar was hysterical πŸ™‚
      Yes, there is something to the old adage “when it rains, it pours” but I also believe in “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”
      I am fortunate that our struggles were relatively minor – and I am exceedingly grateful for all the blessings we experience on a daily basis.
      Looking forward to a fine 2019.

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