2019 Reflections

What did you do in 2019 that you had never done before?

I had the privilege to tour Capital Records, which is something I won at a silent auction. It was a real treat as they aren’t open to the public so it was a priceless experience. What made it even more special is two of my nieces of the band, Let Flo Go, were with us. Who knows maybe one day they will be recording there.

We also went to the Rose Bowl and the Rose Parade for the first time, compliments of Aunt Michelle. It was an early morning but what a fabulous experience!

Ohio State Marching Band

I physically hadn’t ever done tubing behind a boat. There definitely is some skill involved when your driver is trying to dump you. haha. Loved it.

Did you keep your New Year’s Resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make New Year’s Resolutions. As I stated last yer, I’ve been setting monthly goals and visions, which are connected to some larger vision. I’m held accountable by my business group, Thrive, so I can stay on target. I’ve definitely discovered accountability is the best way for me to live my life as intentionally as I desire. I usually have a word for the year or season – last year was meditate, contemplate (which is a bit more active), be present and Routines, which transformed into the idea of ease. This year I’ve transitioned to ENGAGE. I’ll have more reflections on this at a later time.

My 2019-20 Thrive Group minus Jessie

Did anyone close to you give birth?

No.

Did anyone close to you die?

Two dear friends died from different cancers — my friend, Gina Mammano Vander Kam, who was a dear soul who epitomized loving others and engaging the world as a soul who cares very little about the material world. The world was a better place with Gina in it. She truly noticed the unnoticeable and brought them her light until they were strong enough to shine their own. Honestly, I’ve had so many thoughts about her since her death but simply haven’t been able to put them into words. When she moved to my home state of Washington, she and her husband, Rick, visited me and my family on the other side of the mountains. She wrote a poem for me when my son died.

For Kimber

He lives,
in the gorgeous memory of floating the eternal sea of your womb,
the sweet pulse of heart and amniotic
bathing him
in a world of blanketed wonder;
oh, how he loved
being inside
this place you created- this temple of
sacred community
carved out
of soul and sabbath;
a waiting room
of love and maternal commitment
before entering

the holy of Holies.

with tears and all of my love, dear friend, Gina

My other friend who died was, Liz Hill. She was someone I grew up with, along with her husband. We occasionally saw when we were both in our hometown together – which was about once a decade but we’d get bits and pieces of each other’s lives through her in-laws and Mom who kept in touch with my mom. She was also someone who made the earth a better place. Her memorial service brought many of our hometown people together in a place far from home. She know she is deeply missed by her family.

What countries or new places did you visit?

I visited a couple new places this year — Truckee and Mammoth, California. Both fed my soul with great clean mountain air and lots of nature to be enjoyed.

Mammoth Lakes — Hot Creek Geologic Site
Rainbow Falls

And, I finally got to stop outside of Las Vegas to see this art installation – Ugo Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains.

What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

Finishing!!! I really, really want to finish editing my book – which I’m 1/3 done with these final edits before sending it to an agent to see if I can get it published or making the decision to self-publish. I also want to finish navigating two offices and sharing space – I will move into my own space sometime this year. Also, I have a mail/paper problem. I want to finish having this problem. haha. I used to have an email problem but I’ve found a routine that works so now I’m going to tackle this endless paper problem.

What dates from 2019 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

July 4th – celebrating the fourth with my college roommate and maid of honor type friend, Shannon, and her family at her Mom and Larrie’s cabin in Oregon – a place they’ve so graciously hosted us a number of times…the last visit we’d spent 10 minutes wondering if my son, who was hiding under the couch and three at the time, had drowned – to say those were the worst 10 minutes of my life would be an understatement. So, it was absolutely magical to revisit this place once again with everyone up to speed with swimming skills and to see the picture wall that is a trip down memory lane way before husband or kids.

Charcuterie 4th of July Style
Frank chillin’ before really chillin’ on the lake
Larrie’s amazing cooking
Reunited

December 18th – Donald Trump’s Impeachment…the why? I’m interested in political process so I listened every morning and afternoon to as much as I could of the interviewing procedure.

December 23rd – the day I officially took over, along with my three brothers, managing my family’s business property. The why needs to remain private but I will say – it’s been amazing to collaborate with my brothers now as adults.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I finished writing the first complete draft of my book!! Now it’s the editing phase – the hard work of layering as well as trying to get every sentence just right. Word count still needs to come down about 25,000 words.

Also, I cleaned out my closet! Gave away three bags of shoes and about five bags of clothes! It had been a while – about five years to be exact. And since August I have a clean floor and shelf. Yay – my “make sure the closet stays clean” routines are working.

What was your biggest failure?

My bedroom console continues to be a mess…ugh! The piles magically appear overnight. I swear there is an elf delivering them every time I go to sleep. A visual is necessary but embarrassing. But there’s hope – I never thought my closet would get thoroughly cleaned.

A reflection of my priorities…someday

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I discovered I had lead poisoning (don’t know where I got it) along with a couple other metals – mercury, aluminum to name two. I went to chelation once and twice a week for about six months and feel much, much better. I also seem to have resolved the chronic pain in my hip. It comes back occasionally but it’s been about five years of constant pain so I’m grateful that is no longer the situation.

What’s the best thing you bought?

Experiences – I finished my year long intensive program in Santa Fe with Natalie Goldberg and Rob Wilder where I flew every season from July 2018 to May 2019. I also finished a three series training that focused on moving trauma out of the body through touch. The healing I’ve received in my own body have been game changers. So grateful.

Where did most of your money go?

I still live in LA – obvious answer, mortgage.

What did you get really excited about?

My daughter, Eden, and I started a video series to raise adolescent mental health awareness. It’s been an absolute joy to spend time with her in this capacity. We are still working to get our stride but it’s been a win for me to play with the content and plan together. You can find us on Instagram @drkimberandeden or we post them on YouTube.com on the Del Valle Relational Institute channel.

What song will always remind you of 2019?

My Attic by Pink. I continue to uncover all the ways I’m guarded and keep myself from really being known – all in the name of relational safety.

Compared to this time last year, are you:

—happier or sadder?

Happier – My community of friends is amazing. How could I not be happier with them in my life?

— thinner or fatter?

Slightly thinner but still need to work on my blood sugar metabolism. I’m so grateful for the health progress I made. I feel so much better than I have in years – gained bone mass, lost fat, gained muscle and have much better liver readings. However, not much progress has been made around insulin stubbornness so hoping to start taking glucose levels and taking after dinner walks will help.

— richer or poorer?

Richer. I do what I love and am grateful to get paid for it.

What do you wish you’d done more of?

Played more games and have more dinners with friends. Working one night a week as well as parenting a teenager and tween has taken a toll on the amount of dinner guests sitting at our table since our weekdays so are busy and we get home late. But I’m hoping to do more hosting in 2020.

What do you wish you’d done less of?

Gathering information -though most of it has been very good. In 2020 I’m cutting back on trainings (after January (wink wink) when I’m attending a four day workshop with a dear friend)

How did you spend Christmas?

I spent Christmas in my hometown with my family, parents and brother’s families and my uncle Rhys. We were all there!!! It was amazing with good food, games, and lots of love. All the siblings had some lively conversations about politics and climate change but in the end we were all speaking with each other – silently wondering how the others could be so idiotic…until of course a good game of pinnacle started and then all was forgotten but counting trump, not the Presidential kind.

What was your favorite TV program?

We loved watching The Watchmen. This is not a show for everyone. It’s gritty but oh so very, very good. We had the tremendous privilege to watch some of the episodes with our friend, Jeff Jensen, who is a huge Watchman nerd and writer/influencer on the show. We’re just glad it made him some money and are looking forward his birthday gifts to each and every one of us who turn 50 this year – which I don’t have permission to say if that includes him or not.

What were your favorite books of the year?

My favorite non-fiction book was King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild. I was blown away by this historical record of the events in the Congo. It’s one of many books about abuses of power and privilege that I’ve intentionally read this year. Reading these types of books has surprisingly resulted in more personal compassion about slights I receive due to my privilege and celebrations of people who hold positions of influence and don’t try to “be more white/more silent/blend in, etc.” The country girl in me has often longed for a slower paced, less urban (shall I dare confess a more homogenous) community and for the first time ever, I’m deeply grateful and long for the diversity surrounding me, integrating into my life, and influencing the type of person I’m becoming. Books can indeed be powerful and character shaping. I also fell in love with Build Yourself a Boat, a book of poetry by Camonghne Felix. Wow. Just Wow. My top fiction book is an oldie – Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. The honesty and rawness in the writing moved me. Oh how I wish that I could write a favorite book was Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes, who I love and adore and know the world is a better place with her in it. BUT I’m going to have to say that next year because I’m only a third through and it would be cheating to say it is my favorite without finishing that last page. What I can say is – I’m so proud of her for this brave and vulnerable piece of work. (If you’re reading this Nikki — I’m that lame friend who pre-ordered your book and then its been collecting dust until Christmas vacation and my only excuse is I have read significantly less these last two months trying to edit my darn manuscript.)

What was your favorite music from this year?

Every year this question brings momentary depression because I’m simply not hip and indie. Instead, what’s on my playlist is pretty mainstream EXCEPT for my amazingly talented nieces @letflogo! Favorites from them — Polka dots and Stripes and Boogie Man. So I had Lewis Capaldi’s album along with James Arthur’s on repeat. I absolutely loved Ed Sheeran’s Collaboration Album – it was probably my favorite album. I saw some very fun concerts — Pink where we were sitting near her daughters and husband, Celine Dion, Hootie and the Blowfish, Lauren Daigle, Mumford and Sons, O.A.R. and American Authors to name a few.

Pink
Celine
Lauren
Hootie!

What was your favorite film of the year?

My favorite film of the year was Home Alone – snuggled with my eleven year old son who never snuggles with me anymore and my husband. The mutual laughter we shared made it my hands down favorite.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

My birthday passed quietly this year as I believe I worked. However, my husband asked a number of people close to me to name qualities about me and made them into bookmarks. Then – for my own celebration, I flew to Albuquerque early (I was going to Santa Fe anyway to my writing intensive…) and saw Lauren Daigle and Ahi in concert. I was supposed to get there several hours before the concert, have a VIP experience since my tickets were 1/3 of the cost as LA tickets and check in to my hotel. None of it happened as my plane was delayed – so I jumped on another plane to Phoenix that looked more promising than the direct LA flight and made it – carry on luggage and all to my concert. I’d left my checked luggage with my original flight since they couldn’t transfer it so I retrieved it at the airport after the concert. What I remember most was the support of a number of friends as I tried not to spiral into disappointment and stress about arriving to even see the concert AND asking them if they would accept me even though I would need to walk in front of a whole lot of people with my two coats, luggage and purse. I’m sure in my younger years I would have been too embarrassed to go with my “baggage” so I would have checked in to my hotel first. But I LOVED the first act who had already started when I arrived coming straight from the airport so I was grateful for growth and less care about what others think about me.

A poor angle of showing you my “stuff” by my seat…

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Getting out of LA in the fall. It was so so hot this fall and I love the changing of the leaves and the crisp air, I sometimes feel seasonally “deflated” in LA during the supposedly colder months. A way I help myself live here is try to go on a work trip somewhere cold — New York, Santa Fe to name a few of my past trips. It helps me navigate the lack of seasons in LA.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?

More of the same…comfort and color is usually my way.

What kept you sane?

My friends and community. Seriously. They are my emotional pillars.

Here’s some of them…

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2019. 

My thoughts are tiny compared to the wonders of the universe. What important things can I possibly know apart from what I can observe and hear? How large my world has become as I’ve talked less and listened more.

What new habit are you developing to decrease your environmental footprint?

Single use plastics — we are trying to eliminate using them. So far we’ve eliminated straws and utensils. Now we want to do better at bringing to go containers with us. This Christmas we all brought empty water bottles so we could fill them in the airport.

I hope your year has begun beautifully! Please forgive my grammar/spelling errors as this time around sleep is more important than rereading and since my week is packed with two more dinners of 15-20 people with one completed two days ago. I’m practicing “good enough.”

Blessings to you all. xo Kimber

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