I have never sat back and contemplated a previous year, which is funny. Now that I think about it, at work after any project we finish, I do a “post-mortem” where I look for the lessons learned so that future projects are better. In my personal life, I generally strive forward, and recognize a year has ended; however, my day-to-day activities generally are not annually based. Having set a goal for 2016, striving towards that goal and being able to see the benefits, maybe it is time to sit back, contemplate the year, determine some positive and negative impacts on my life, decide how I did, identify some lessons learned and then focus on the year ahead.
A friend had recently asked me, “It’s been a while, Wayne, so how was your year?” My initial response was that this year had some challenges. The first thoughts I had were that 2016 saw the death of my aunt, where I had to learn firsthand, as executor, the process and legalities of “winding down” someone’s life; It is almost 8 months later and I am still working on this. Next thought was having to deal with a mother-in-law in declining health - from health issues, to moving in with us, to finding a residence for her; my wife, 13 months later is still helping out. These two things were always on our mind and had to be considerations for most of the other things we did during the year. This is life and we met these challenges head on.
However, as time consuming as these were, they did not define Wayne in 2016. I set out with a personal development goal, which I have shared, relating to transforming myself – I did not let the above issues distract me, or become an excuse, for not eating healthier and exercising. As a result of this goal, I feel better about myself, through achieving something I set out to do, taking better care of myself and being happy with the results. During the year, we added a new member to the family by taking in my mother-in-law’s dog, Sadie, who had virtually no previous training and was not housebroken. By working with her, she is a better disciplined dog and fully housebroken. Yes, Lucy Lou now has a younger sister that wants to do everything she does.
As a parent, our girls have definitely made us proud! This year saw the first time our daughters planned, organized and booked their own trip to Europe. This was a one-month trip, including volunteering and sightseeing; they had an amazing adventure. Having grown up close with my brothers, I am so happy that the girls were close before the trip and even closer afterwards. This was a true sign that our children are no longer children. Academically, they have both have done better than I did. Gab has successfully completed her student teaching and will graduate in May; and, Bec has not only done well in her sophomore year, but is about to transition into a Junior (she will graduate in three years). Go, girls!
In reflection, it was a good year. There were many things to be grateful for, many positive highlights, including my wife, Debbie, where together we were able to celebrate 25 years of marriage. Feeling good about 2016, I look forward to what may come my in 2017.