On January 1 of 2010, I sat down and thought about what word would sum up the coming year. After much deliberation, I decided on fortitude {strength of mind that allows one to endure pain or adversity with courage}. I had no way of knowing how appropriate this word would be. 
2010 was a very difficult year… 
Daniel and I started the year unsure of the future. After one year of unemployment, Daniel finally started a new job. But it was in a new state. The economy was terrible and we faced selling a house in a bad housing market. Daniel packed up and moved while I stayed behind until our house sold. We endured 6 long months of living 6 hours apart. It took fortitude. 
Then there was the matter of my mom getting sick and surrounding this was some family drama. It was a rough summer. 
We finally sold the house and moved into a 170-square foot camper in Chattanooga. Three months of living in a tiny space was welcome after separation but it was also challenging. After the camper experience, we bought a house in rural Alabama and I experienced culture shock that I didn’t expect to encounter in America.

In retrospect, fortitude was an apt word. It carried us through a very difficult year.

Now I look forward to 2011. We are already in a better place than we were last year. We are together. Daniel has a good job and I am freelancing from home. We have a beautiful new house and my mom is recovering. We have many things to be thankful for.
For 2011, I believe that an appropriate word for the year is adaptation {to adjust oneself to different conditions, environment, etc.}. We are continuing to adapt to living in a new environment and making new friends. We are trying our best to embrace this new lifestyle as we learn to appreciate the nuances of living in a small town. We are adapting and will continue to do so throughout the coming year.

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