So Happy to See 2019 with New Promises and Hope!

“Each New Year is an opportunity to make the choice to be joyful, content, and live life with a smile…no matter what your circumstances.”  -Pamela Lutrell

This is the first time I can remember being relieved to see a new year begin.  2018 was full of stress and challenges for our family.   My son-in-law faced a life threatening illness, and there were medical issues with grandchildren and my husband.  My new day job began last May and has been a huge blessing, yet added stress and challenges as I learned a new company and how they do business.  My own shoulder injury came with pain and a disappointing delay in my workouts which I was receiving so much benefit from.   All were challenges, yet new opportunities to learn ways to navigate life without losing my focus on joy and contentment overall.

I am not going to lie to you and pretend that I went through each day of 2018 with a smile on my face, or with peace in my heart.  But, when I felt depression attempting to move in, I was more aware of it, and did all I needed to do (lots of prayer) to make sure it did not stick around.  I constantly remind myself that life is short, and there is no time to waste with regrets or excessive worries.  A huge part of my own health is to look at all going on with optimistic eyes.

So, with hope in my heart that 2019 will be a little calmer, I am selecting these areas to focus on as I begin a new year:


I work all day as a communications professional for a university, and come home to work on the blog at night.  With so much of my time consumed by work, I find I am often thinking and planning about work….rather than experiencing the moment I am in.  So, this year, I want to enjoy the moments…be present…and not mentally somewhere else.  Time is short and I do not want to miss out on anything happening around me.



Before my shoulder injury, I was on the move all day with my Fit Bit in charge.  But the injury set me down for a time.  It is past time to get up and move more again.  I need to show up with my Fit Bit on my arm and get up from my desk during the day.  It is past time to get back in the game and make sure the gym is every day and moving goes on throughout each day.


I am well aware that sugar needs to leave my life and I am confident that this is the year.  I know all about the special diets, but bottom line, I know what to do and how to do it….and it just needs to be done! I tend to go through stressful times with bad eating habits, so this has just simply got to stop.  It is up to me…no one else.


I really believe something that keeps me younger (feeling 40, right?) is I am constantly required to learn and stretch myself for both of my jobs.  The world of communications changes daily and there is always something new to learn.  However, I want to learn even more…mental health and engagement in the world around us does keep us feeling younger with strong minds.


This will probably be on my New Year’s list the rest of my life, but with five grandchildren at the moment, I do want to be purposeful in teaching values, manners, and tips for life.  Recently I told my five year old grandson, the most powerful sentences in his life will be

I am Thankful.

I forgive you.

I love you.

He looked at me and said, “How do you know that?”  I just laughed and said…well, I am old and have learned it through a long life.

So, as you begin a New Year, what is on your mind?  What would you like to focus on in 2019?  Please share, and as we look to beginning 2019, make sure on your list is to


Note:  Today’s looks were some of my favorites from 2018.  This week we will begin to tackle the ideas some of you gave me in THIS POST.  I am always open to hear what you want to see discussed on the blog.  I AM SO THANKFUL FOR YOU ALL…YOU ARE THE KINDEST AUDIENCE AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE!!


  1. That’s a pretty good list for me as well. My husband has injured his knee so we will begin the year with surgery. I am a little nervous that he is beginning some dementia. He also has announced that he has no urge to travel, and I do. I at 66 have found myself where you were at 50. I’m tired of being chunky -I have joined a new gym but it’s not open yet, and my wardrobe is pitiful. I love the looks you show here.

    1. Oh Maggie, I hope we can help with guidance and inspiration. I am excited you have the gym in your future too. Hang in there, and just take things one day at a time. My job changes have limited my time off and ability to travel, but I have been determined to find new experiences in the place where I live. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very thoughtful post. When I read what you write, I often find myself nodding in agreement. Ìn 2019, my goals are to focus on my spiritual life first, my physical self and my mental self also. I feel I’m starting a new chapter, and agree that life is short and not ever to be taken for granted. Seems odd to be 65 and looking for my next, new purpose, but there it is! The sugar thing Pam, I’m glad you brought that up. (I’m nodding vigorously in agreement!) This new year holds much promise. Like you, I’m making the choice to face it with a positive outlook!

    1. Good for you, Karen! Even in our 60s we can do this! Never too old to start a new phase of life! Thank you for always bringing support here.

  3. Your ideas and goals are so motivating! I could use them all, except I would switch out sugar for carbs! I really need to get a handle on that!
    I have thought about my goals for the New Year and realize that I need to go a step beyond making a list. I need to look at a goal and decide what that looks like in my life. Eat healthier….how? What will I add to or remove from my diet to accomplish that. Exercise more….where and when? Walk at lunchtime? Is that practical? Be kinder to people….by doing what kind deeds or actions? Become more organized…by doing what? Prepping meals on the weekends? Getting lunch for work made the night before? Putting my outfits for the week together on Sunday? I usually have a great list that I rarely follow through with because I haven’t really delved into exactly what I will do and how I will do it.
    I know I need to choose a few areas that will make my own or someone else’s life better or easier. I plan to get a small notebook and start just jotting down goals for the New Year and then really examine each one…hopefully, now that I’m in my 60’s I can start getting my act together!!!
    Happy, healthy 2019!!

    1. Totally agree about the specifics, Linda! I have specifics in all of the areas I have mentioned and will share more about them as we get into this new year. I have been working on my first shopping list today and will get ready for my first week of new healthy eating plan. Thanks so much.

    1. Thanks Sharon. I know this is going to be tough, but for the first time, I believe I am in a place mentally to do this! I am not attempting the KETO Diet, but believe I know what to do to make a difference.

  4. I have to agree with you on all these points. I thought I was “living in the moment” until a terrible accident in May changed how I feel about everything. Not often do you wake up and have a doctor show you how you “flat lined” on a heart monitor. Two surgeries later (one to repair my face and one to insert a pacemaker) I am now doing very well. Sometimes a little emotional, but every moment seems precious and I am so happy to have shared holidays again with my family. I no longer put off things I want to say to someone, especially to let them know how much I love them. And I am going on my very first trip to Europe and have my very first passport. Have been saying for years I wanted to do this and I am not putting it off (at 68) any longer. My husband says we are living our “bonus days”. He is 17 years post 5 bypasses and doing very well! Have a blessed and joyful 2019!

    1. Wow, Linda. Suddenly all I went through last year seems so minor. What an inspiration you are. I also try to say I Love You Often to all of my family members…such a good reminder. Thank you for sharing…I hope you and your husband are doing better. I promise I will think of your comment often.

  5. This may have been my favorite column and I thank you for it. Your words are thought provoking and wise. You’ve given me much to contemplate.
    I agree with the pictures you’ve selected they are great. You and the styles chosen are truly some of your best.
    Regarding the challenges of 2018 fortunately they are behind us!
    Happy and Healthy New Year!

  6. Very inspiring, Pam! I’m right there with you, with my own tweaks on the resolutions. Keep us posted on your progress!

  7. Thank you for sharing your goals, Pam. You are so right about being in the moment. Even though I am retired, I often find myself thinking about what I should be doing next instead of what I am doing now. We will be starting the new year with health issues for my husband, but we will persevere. One of my goals is to be more social. Because of my husband’s past health issues, I have let myself become somewhat isolated. I am hoping to change that by becoming more active at my church & reaching out to some old friends. As my college freshman granddaughter said, I need to “put myself out there”. She has done just that with great success, so I need to take a lesson from her. Happy New to you!

    1. I agree with your granddaughter, Becky! Please report back with the results when you put yourself out there!

  8. Thank you for sharing, Pam. It’s easy to look at what someone posts on their blog and get the impression that they have their life entirely together and that it’s always rosy. It’s so much easier to identify with someone who is real and who isn’t afraid to share the difficult bits of life along with the happier moments. Though 2018 got off to a rocky start for us, it turned out to be a very good year. Now, my husband has a medical appointment in January that could change the course of our life. I’m trying not to dwell on the negative possibilities though. As scripture says “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 Your goals for 2019 are great! I can identify with each one of them. And, I’m sure you already know it, but your grandchildren are adorable! Happy New Year!

  9. Grandparenting is the best blessing and underrated. This year has been not fun, I agree, but I’m optimistic that our grandchildren’s generation will make things better.

  10. When my sisters ,”how was your Christmas?” I told them of my older daughter traveling with her young family 1,000 miles to be with her father in law for his last days, my younger daughter’s mother-in-law having a heart attack Christmas eve, and my husband undergoing a MRI on his back injury 2 hours after losing our 13 year old dog to cancer. They both sympathized at what a horrible holiday we’d had…but it wasn’t horrible, in fact, it was filled with love and thankfulness. We were with family, some dire situations became less so, and we were grateful for the people in our lives and our faith in God and our future. It’s attitude, optimism, and faith that made these days a blessing. I’m certain we will also be as blessed in 2019.

    1. Beautiful, Connie…your perspective is spot on. You reminded me of how family supported family through our challenges this past year. No matter what has worked to bend us, we have remained strong. I love that you shared this. Thank you.

  11. Hi Pam,
    I will never forget when I got married at 23 my dad told me that in my lifetime I will have years that are filled with happiness, years with sorrow, years with medical issues, years with uncertainty, and you never know when they will come or go. Our 30’s were stressful for us as we had family members with serious issues. We were happily married but of course it affected us. My husband’s twin brother passed away of cancer at age 31 leaving a wife and 6 week old baby behind, my parent’s lost all their money with bad investments, a family member came out with an addition problem and we were surrounded by other smaller problems. We just had to keep going on with 2 kids in tow, jobs and living everyday life. Thankfully the last 25 years have been very good for us with much success in my husband’s career, no health issues, and grown children living happy fulfilled lives. I enjoy every moment and do not take anything for granted. I know anything can happen on any day. Thank you so much for your truthful post that we can all relate to and I hope 2019 is a great year for you and your family.

  12. Happy New Year Pam!
    Yes, count your blessings, count them one by one as the old song goes!
    I cut all sugar and have been eating keto the last 18 months and I feel great. It works for me.
    Brian is doing well, and each of our sons has a son. David is married and his boy Joshua, is 16 months and is a carbon copy of him! He looks at me with David’s green/blue eyes and it just takes my breath away.
    Luke’s son Austin is 11, and smart, tall and wonderful.
    Yes, I count my blessings knowing that life is precious.

    1. Hi Amie,
      So glad to hear the family is good, and I am super impressed you did the Keto Diet…you go girl! Thanks for checking in…it sounds like your cup of blessings is overflowing!

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