Tuesday, December 31, 2013

5 Defining Moments of 2013

Some years are more memorable than others, and that is certainly the case with 2013 for me. It brought illness and death to my home, as well as new beginnings and a renewed focus for the future. 

The Bad
* Losing Tara. What more can I say about losing my brave, perfect little fur baby. Knowing the end was coming for many months did nothing to lessen the pain when that awful day came, and now almost six months later her loss is as raw to me as it was that first morning I woke up to life without her. To try and put a positive spin on things, she showed me that I have a strength in me that I never knew I had and because of her I made the decision to finally pursue my cat writing aspirations.

My Parents' Health. Watching your parents age sucks. In March my father had a mini-stroke. Over the past 20 years he's had 3 heart attacks, but for some reason a stroke just seemed so much scarier. It brings to mind debilitating side-effects and a lifestyle forever altered. Thankfully he recognized the signs and sought help immediately, and he was left with no lasting impacts. My mom, who for most of her adult life has struggled with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), exacerbated by a car accident 15 years ago, continues to worsen. Everyday is more of a painful struggle to get around, and I find myself wondering more than ever how much longer until she's confined to a wheelchair. I know that aging is a natural part of life, but watching the ones you love hurt is just so hard.

The Good

Adopting Truffles. She's an awfully little girl to be assigned the task of mending a broken heart, but she has stepped up to the plate and performed flawlessly. Not a day goes by that she doesn't bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart. I pray that we have many, many happy years together.

The Redefining of a Blog. When I started blogging a little over two years ago, it's purpose was to be an online version of my book journal so that I could share my love of reading with others and hopefully introduce new readers to some of my favorite books. Of course I talked about Tara now and then, but cats weren't a focus. Then she got sick and I found that writing about her became therapeutic for me. Earlier this year I joined the BlogPaws Community and a whole new world opened up. I discovered that many, many people feel the way that I do about their pets...they are pet parents. The purpose of blogging is to write about our passions, the things that drive us, and for me life has always been about cats and books. I couldn't live without either one. I couldn't be happier that in some ways Truffles is "taking over" the blog. Blogging with her and about her makes me so, so happy.

In joining the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network we're receiving amazing opportunities to work with pet brands and earn some money while blogging. I will always write about the books I love so much (especially cozy mysteries), but Mochas, Mysteries and More's primary focus now is pets, primarily cats. I only wish I had the foresight to name the blog Mochas, Mysteries and Meows!!!

Massive thanks go to Debbie at Glogirly Design for the incredible blog makeover she did for me back in February. She has become such an inspiration to me and an extra-special blogging friend.

Becoming a Member of the Cat Writers' Association. As I said in my original blog post, this was quite simply a dream come true. I've always dreamed of being a (preferably cat) writer one day, and it took me quite awhile to realize that by blogging I am writing! I may never be able to make a full-time income on my writing, but isn't the purpose of a New Year to look forward to a fresh start and realize that anything is possible?

What was 2013 like for you? Will you remember it for something extraordinary or will it fade into obscurity?


GLOGIRLY said...

Melissa, I am touched and humbled by your generously sweet remarks. You've been an absolute joy to work with and I'm just tickled that we've *met* ....I'm SO looking forward to meeting you in the fur at BlogPaws next year.

PS... it wouldn't take much to change that "more" in your header to "meows" !!! And changing your domain is a piece of catnip cake! ...just sayin'.


Lesley Cookman said...

2013 saw my readership expand in Canada and the US, in part due to you, so thank you! I shall try and post a picture of my girls, Godiva and Gloria, to you, or on to FB. And try and find pictures of the two cats who appear intermittently in the Libby books. Happy New Year.

The Island Cats said...

We wish you lots of continued good things for the New Year!

Dru said...

Nice recap

Cats Herd You said...

Great recap of the year. It's heartwarming to see how you reached such great highs this year, and the head peep hopes to meet you at BlogPaws this year.

Happy New Year!

da tabbies o trout towne said...

happee 2014 truffles….heerz ta happee nezz, health, loves N hope two nite ya get
sum high qualitee grazz N nip N hope ya findz a donut shoppe open round 3:18 AM when ya haz de muncheez !!

Anonymous said...

Wow! You have had quite the year! I'm glad that Truffles decided to adopt you :) Cats know good people when they see them. Have a very happy New Years!

CatInTheFridge said...

We wish you and Truffles many happy years together, too! Your blog looks great and we loved meeting you this year. Happy New Year! - Crepes and Alana.

A Tonl said...

We so completely understand your loss of Tara, and you're so right. No amount of "preparation" truly prepares you.

Congratulations on your CWA membership! We hope to see you at the 2014 conference and meet in purrson!!

Nature by Dawn said...

Sounds like a crazy year. I agree that it is hard watching our parents age. I almost lost my mom a couple years ago but her recovery is more than miraculous. My stepdad is not doing well at all. And my dad and stepmom are starting to encounter more and more health issues.

I love Glogirly's designs and I'm thinking about hiring her to redesign my blog too. Need $ though.

BTW, I love Truffles. What a cutie! And her name is perfect. :)

katsrus said...

Wishing you the best for 2014. Happy New Year.
Sue B

Kimberly Gauthier, Dog Nutrition Blogger for Keep the Tail Wagging said...

2013 was a learning year for me and I'm excited to take everything I learned and apply it to 2014! Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

My goodness, you've had quite a year! I'm also watching my dad's health circle the drain, and it's so hard to accept that these things are out of my control. I guess this is just something that a lot of us 30-somethings have to deal with as our parents age. You've proven that with strength and resiliency, we can get through these tough times. I'm so happy Truffles has given you joy and happiness after Tara crossed over the rainbow bridge. Here's hoping for a happier 2014!