As we approach the end of 2017, it is time to look back and see how the year went. I do not mean how politics progressed, the state of technology, nor the world arena. This is the time to self reflect, evaluate how we did personally and did we meet the challenges that the last 12 months threw our way. It would be too easy to point my finger at different events and highlight external forces that stood in my way, or point to others that added to my hurdles and make all kinds of excuses. If I did that, I would not be taking the time to see whether or not I have grown, I would not evaluate my handling of situations, and I would not gain any new lessons that the year had to offer. As the holiday season wraps up, based on this year, I should be in a position to set realistic goals for next year and not treat the year in isolation. Whatever experiences I had this year - positive and/or negative - have continued to define who I am and who I am becoming.
This year, there were two major events that had a huge impact: Gab graduating college and the loss of my sister-in-law. The high point was the graduation. A graduation from college is a milestone in anyone’s life, yet this was the first time I had the opportunity to experience this as an adult. Proud? OMG, more than you can imagine! Gab had a laser-like focus to finish on time with a degree in music education. This meant she learned music and teaching, taking more courses per semester than I took when I majored in Accounting. This was followed by looking for a job and helping her move out. Milestone in her life? How about the milestone in our life and the changes to our household? This was a great experience (and a little sad).
The other major event was the loss of Magda. When a family member is ill, we always rally together to help out. Death is something that we picture in our minds as happening to someone older; that has lived a long life. When you lose someone, the passing affects those that are close, and everyone’s lives that person touched. We learn to face the next day and realize that tomorrow the sun will rise again. The ability to rally together and come out the other end was a lesson about facing our worst moments, figuring out (together) what meaning we can gather, and, standing tall. I am proud that as a family, we stayed tight, lived through extreme sadness, and faced our tomorrow together.
This year was filled with travel: Debbie and I to Nashville and Memphis, Bec to Africa and all of us to Jamaica. We saw the realization that our parents got a little older this year, yet we are blessed to have them still in our lives. We replaced our falling apart kitchen. I took up a new instrument. We got a chance to buddy with an Israeli Vet. While life is good and has many lessons to still learn, the year is drawing to a close. I find it interesting that we, as humans, mark time in segments. At least, this way, we can see how we have done, see how have (or have not) improved / developed during the year. And, as is human nature, look forward to the wonders of tomorrow!