A Lot Can Happen in a Decade: Happy New Year

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course

My decade began with a horrible loss.

At the end of the last decade, 2009, I lost my father. At the beginning of this decade, not even 2 years later, my girls lost their father, too. The two men who, in all the world, cared the most about my children were gone.

Over these hellish two years, I lost the house that I had purchased as a struggling single mother and painstakingly renovated by myself. I lost my car. I lost the furnishings I couldn’t afford to move out of the house. In fact, trying to move this stuff by myself, I suffered a crippling back injury that left me barely able to walk for years. Tensions were high with family members and there was even some estrangement.

I even lost my job, probably because I was in a dark place and struggling so hard to keep things together for my family that I had nothing left in me to provide customer service and participate in office politics.

To say this was a low point would be like describing the Grand Canyon as a little valley. As I struggled up through the murky waters of the worst period of depression I have ever survived, though, I knew that I would make it.

I had to. I had two fatherless girls depending on me.


I used my last real conversation with my father to inspire me to live my life in the way I had always dreamed of living it. He asked me, on his deathbed, what I was going to do with my life. I said, “I’m going to be a writer.”

He shook his head sadly and said, “No, you’re not. You only talk about writing. Writers write.”

At that moment, my grief was too profound to take action but I remembered what he had said. And when everything went to hell over the course of the next two years…when we lost EVERYTHING I had worked for my entire adult life, I turned to my father again for wisdom.

I had two girls for whom I wanted to be an example of resilience. It was time to get my sh*t together.


I wrote every day. I did freelance gigs. I got a job writing for an alternative media company which allowed me to work from home and be there if my daughters needed me. I busted my ass at that job and was rewarded with lifelong friends, a mentor, and the knowledge to start my own website, which I did in December of 2012.

A couple of years later, my mentor, who shall remain blissfully anonymous (he knows who he is) fired me. I was shocked. I said, “I thought I was doing a good job.” He said, “You are doing an incredible job. This is a mercy killing. It’s time for you to focus all your attention on your own business. You don’t need this job anymore and it would be selfish to keep you here.”

I was stunned…reeling…terrified…felt like the rug had been ripped out from under me.

But he was right. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me. My own website was doing pretty well. I had self-published my first two books while working for the other organization. It was time.

So I put every ounce of energy into making my business a success. And it worked. Seven years later, my site has exceeded my wildest dreams. I’ve published several more books. I put two kids through college/trade school debt-free. I got an audience of readers that I love like a big, extended family who has given me love, support, and cheered me on, whether I faltered or flew.

My mentor remains a dear friend to this day and he and his family are some of the people I trust the most in this world. I’d do anything for them.


And in the last year of this decade, I turned 50.

My youngest baby was ready to be on her own. So instead of getting mired in a woe-is-me-I’m-all-alone funk, I took off on an epic journey to slowly visit the places in the world that I’d always dreamed of seeing. I’m soaking in every moment, meeting new people, finding new peace of mind, and working on some brand new projects. I have a whole new set of dreams for the 2020s.

I’m happy – so happy for months that it’s reached a level that feels unfamiliar to me – almost uncomfortably so. I’m healthy – I am so much more fit and active than I was before. I’m curious and invigorated and filled with joy. So much so that when I meet new people, they comment on it. “You have such a positive vibe,” they say. They sure wouldn’t have thought that ten years ago when just going to the grocery store was an emotional, physical, and financial struggle.


If you are struggling right now with the place you’re at, just know it doesn’t mean you’ll be struggling at the end of this decade. If you pull yourself up, you focus on your goals, and you work hard, you might end up in that place you always dreamed about, too.

You don’t have to accept your current path if it isn’t the one you want to be on.

When terrible, unimaginably bad things happen, you need to take the time to fully feel them and grieve for them. Then, be sure to look for the opportunities. Look where life has placed you – it just might be on the cusp of your dreams.

If you’ve lost someone dear, remember that they would want you to be happy and successful and joyful again. If you’ve lost things or places, sometimes that is a launching point.

Some people will want to keep you where you are instead of cheering for you to go find your joy and success. If you’re surrounded by people who don’t cheer you on, disengage from them – it doesn’t have to be a big fight. You can just quietly drift away without a confrontation. Not everyone will support you because your positive changes will make their lives look like less in comparison. Don’t allow them to sabotage you.

If that’s the case for you, find a circle of people that are YOUR people. Find a group that is representative of the qualities you want to have in your life. That doesn’t happen overnight but by being helpful, positive, and particular about with whom you spend your valuable time, you’ll find your people.

You might be down right now, but you’ll only stay down if you refuse to get back up.

You don’t have to be “extraordinary” to live an extraordinary life. You just have to be determined. I’m not overly special. I’m just a middle-aged single mom, kinda chubby, kinda nerdy, without much formal education and some really difficult history.

If I can do this, you can too. Figure out where you want to be and don’t give up on getting there. You’re going to get shot down repeatedly on this journey but you’re not going to let that stop you. That’s how you reach crazy, outrageous, audacious goals.

Don’t think you just need to make a decision and that your goals will then materialize magically. Bad things will still happen, but YOU will just get your ass up and YOU will keep moving forward.

Whether we’ve known each other for 10 years or 10 minutes, I appreciate your positive presence in my life. I appreciate being able to learn from you. I am grateful for you.

I love you guys.

Happy New Year.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Daisy: You are an inspiration to us all. Thanks for persevering and producing. We appreciate what you do.
    More power to you. May God bless you and your family. Happy New Year and decade ahead.

  • “Us guys” love you back every bit as much — even at a distance with virtual hugs. Your father would be bursting with pride if he could know of your guts, brains, grace and stamina that we all admire.

    Happiest New Year!!!


  • I knew you’d had loss, but not to that extent! Congrats on your journey. 10 years ago… I was coming to an end of several years of heavy loss/grieving. I felt the idea of ‘maybe’ letting someone into my life…. funny how I had one idea, God had another. So learned my lesson the painful (not too) way. And am much stronger & clearer on the end of 10 years. I know I’m starting this decade facing more loss (geriatric pets, aging parents), but I know how to get through it.
    Thank you again for all your work & encouragement. Enjoy your current travels & be safe!!

  • Loved this transparent, inspiring retelling of the previous decade of your life. Hoping this next decade continues to be awesome for you. Thank you for all you do for your audience=) Question though, you are remarried now, aren’t you? When and how did that happen, if you care to share.

  • Thank you.
    That’s all I was going to say, at first.I ‘m not a “commenter” usually. But this year has left me kind of shell shocked. We lost a brother in law. My daughter’s marriage broke up. I’ve had to quietly disengage from some “friends”. And last month my only sister suddenly fell dead in her bathroom. So. Saving this to read again and getting my ass up. 🙂 Thank you.

  • Thank you for writing the best inspirational message that I have read in a long time! We have all been there: the loss of loved ones, the financial losses, struggling with your health. I have been through it all and emerged stronger than ever. I just got great news from my doctor, my financial situation is looking up for the first time in years, and I have hope for 2020-despite the ongoing world insanity. I love your site, it has made me do things that I didn’t think that I could. Blessings to you and yours.

  • Thank you! Live life to the fullest and enjoy your dreams! Life is what you make of it! I know, I have. I have never prospered financially, although I have made it through to retirement. With the help of my loving spouse, I was able to be self-employed, and provided a service to many people in need. I can only imagine the struggle of doing it on your own.
    I am so proud to be one of your many friends, feeling more like family! You have been a guiding light to many, especially me, and are appreciated more than you know.

  • Thank you for your daily inspiration … This is particularly fitting for many I’m sure, myself included. It’s not how we start the race, or even how we finish it, but how we run the race that determines the fulfillment that we receive. You have overcome so much in the past decade and I sincerely hope (and pray) that the coming decade exceeds your greatest hopes and expectations. Writer’s Write!

  • Dear Daisy,

    Thank you for this wonderful letter. It is so uplifting to me. I’m so glad things turned around for you. God is good!!!! I think sometimes God allows troubles on us to brings us closer to him. Keep up the good work. I pray God continues to bless you and your family.

    Happy New Year!!!!!!

  • Daisy,
    Not only are you a writer, but you are also an educator. Thank you for the difference you’ve made in this world by encouraging common folks, like me, to reach for the stars! May God bless you and yours with a very happy and healthy New Year!

  • Heartfelt and inspirational.
    That is you to a T, Daisy.

    Thank you for all that you do, and keep us not only informed, but thinking.

    Happy New Year!

  • Daisy, Your Dad is somewhere, still shaking his head, because you proved him wrong. YOU ARE A WRITER ! Do you think he said that to start a little fire in you to prove him wrong. Parents do that.

  • Wow. What a message! No matter where we are on our personal journey, once in awhile we need to hear a rousing success story. Thanks for all you do & all you’ve taught us. Best wishes for the next decade. I turn 74 tomorrow (born Jan 1, 1946, one of the very first boomers). I figure I’ve got another quarter of a decade to get this world straightened out! Happy New Year.

  • Thank you for sharing your journey, Daisy. Words of inspiration for all of us. May this next decade bring you even more of what you deserve.

  • You are indeed an inspiration, Daisy. Keep up the good work! Keep those cutting edge and sometimes biting articles coming. And the educational ones too.

  • Thank you Daisy and all the OP family. I lost my dad Christmas 2010 . It has been a long road for me this past 9 years. I started my prep journey the year after Dad died and there has been many times I have almost said the heck with this and become a sheeple. But you ,the OP family and a few other prepper friends I have made have helped me keep plugging long. Many thanks for the encouragement and help I have received over the last few years.
    I pray for all of us and hope 2020 will be better and happier for all of us

  • You are an inspiration Daisy! God bless you and your girls! Thank you for all your wonderful articles and books. Thank you for shining light on so many important issues, making your readers think, and for your kindness too.

  • Thanks for sharing, Daisy. I’m glad you chose this path, and I’m glad I found you. Your articles are always a pleasure, and I have great admiration for you.
    I’m with you on the struggles of the last decade, and the rewards that have come about on the other side. Here’s to a new decade and infinite possibilities!

  • Wow! Your story is awe inspiring!
    Have you ever considered writing your autobiography?

    I want to be like you when I grow up! ☺️

  • 1989 I lost my dad four months after a stroke. He didn’t know us except as familiar faces. 2000 Mom passed after living with me for eleven years and being paralysed on the left side by a stroke. I went back to work for a few months and my husbands incurable bone disease had progressed to where he required full time care. We lived on his dissabity check. 2002 my husband of 33 years was gone. All the children had married and left home so I was alone when the motor in my old car blew up a few weeks after the funeral. Social Security took back the last check and left the bank account overdrawn. I was numb with grief, on foot living 15 miles from town and no one to help me. Phone was turned off, electric off, no more propane deliveries. Thank God there was still canned food and drygoods in the camp kitchen on my property and a neighbor let me fill containers of water as needed.
    Every day I walked a loop dirt road around the backside of our little village gathering sticks. I’d come home with an harmful and build a fire in my old homemade BBQ from when I was learning to weld. I’d cook something and heat water. Then I’d carry warm water to the bath tub and wet down, soap up, and rinse off. Long hair and all with less than 2 gallons. That was life at age 55.
    Eleven months later friends coming through, towing a little 1988 Toyota Turcel, stopped to check on me. They gave me the car and a refrigerator. Then drove on to visit other friends.
    The car need tires and a battery. I sold odds and ends in the front yard till I had enough to get four used tires and a used battery from a wrecking yard. Then sold till I could pay for the registration and insurance. In three more weeks I had a job. I worked till I got sick and the Dr wouldn’t sign a work release because I of older neck and back injuries. So at 65 I officially retired.
    In 2009 I met my new husband. We married in December of 2010. I was 63 and he was 72. We bought a home in the hills that we really loved. My middle son suffered a brain bleed that almost cost him his life. I drove to his state to be at the hospital. I drove home to get a trailer to move him with. My sons ex step kids picked him up and took him to his apartment over 100 miles away. My other sons made the trip and in one day we packed up the apartment and had it all in the trailer and headed back to my home. Almost every day he had appointments with different Drs over an hour away. Those trips added up to to not being able to keep up with our mortgage and we lost the home about the same time my injured son was able to leave and work limited hours. He found a job with a little home doing maintainance on a dairy farm. We started moving back to my old property. My 1970 mobile home has sat empty for 12 years and had been vandalised. Had to move in it anyway. Tried to fix it up and gave up on it. Camped in it for two years.
    We found a 2015 repo mobile home that hadn’t been repaired to live in it. Bought that and have done the repairs myself, painted the inside, and put down wood flooring in the livingroom. Moved in in 2018. 2019 Friends built an 8″x8″ front porch for us. 2020 I’m starting to build in a little mudroom room divider that will include a little pantry since this home didn’t have one. Then shelves above the kitchen sink area for glasses and plates et. It is a less than 900 sq ft one bedroom one bathroom mobile home. I also have the hardware to make barn style sliding doors to give privacy for guest using the restroom located in our bedroom.
    We started moving A pickup not too full each time twice a week. 100 miles each way. We couldn’t stack things very high and needed help with really heavy things. It was a slow move but we made it. When the finance company lawyers started the fore closure I counter offered a deed in liou of foreclosure. It’s a quitclaim deed. They took that and allowed me to move three storage buildings. That was far cheaper than buying or building more. Moved the three for $800. 12×24, 10×12, and 12×20.
    I can understand how it is loosing everything. At 21 my husband was killed in a car accident. We were separated and the 2 boys and I got nothing. I was on my own till I remarried. Husband #2 died 33 years later. Husband #3 in as Alzheimer’s and is declining. If he gets chilled his heart starts shutting down so I have to make sure he stays inside and warm. I know one day I’ll be alone again. I’ll have no income except social security. But this time I can plan ahead. Getting out of any debt. Living simply. Have small life insurance policies on each of us and a family plot on the land. My parents, a best friend and my late husband are there. And one day we’ll join them. Another career to add to the long list isn’t likely but could be fun. If I live as long as most of my female ancestors from both parents families I’ll defiantly be an old lady. Many in the late 90s and quite a few past 100. I found one that lived to 1008. She saw a bit of three centuries. Born late 1500s and died in the early 1700s. Moved to the Mayflower Compact in 1622. Then when Rhode island was opening up they moved there. I can’t imagine living so long in such hard times. Maybe that was what made her strong.
    Daisy thanks for the bit of biograpy. Stay strong and keep on enjoying life. Glad you chose writing and finally picked it up. I enjoy the site.

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