Reflections At the End and the Beginning

We have arrived at the end of another year. As is the custom at this time of year, I have been reviewing the past year to consider what it has held for me. Since I am a numbers person, it seemed appropriate to make a Year by the Numbers list. So…here is what my year looked like:

  • 3 sick days from work
  • 11 dental appointments
  • 2 doctor appointments
  • 16 vacation days taken
  • 6 volunteer events worked
  • 47 dates/coffee/lunches with my love
  • 2 school plays with my son
  • 23 coffee dates with my bonus mom
  • 1 road trip to Georgia to meet more bonus family
  • 157 books read
  • 6 hair appointments
  • countless meetings (and I really don’t want to see that number!
  • 4 special committees served
  • 1 epic concert with my best boy
  • 3 colleges visited
  • 12 sick notes written for the high school
  • 1 engagement party attended
  • 18 college basketball games attended
  • 2 high school basketball games attended
  • 6 car loads delivered to thrift stores
  • 9 charities supported
  • 1 college graduation attended
  • 20 countries reading my blog
  • 4 blog posts
  • 299 blog post views
  • 4 hospital visits
  • 1 anniversary celebrated
  • 4 funerals attended
  • 13,267 miles driven
  • 2 beer events enjoyed
  • 1 flight (2 legs) with my love
  • 1 parade
  • 4 coffee days with bestie
  • 1 ruined Shakespeare in the Park attempt (darn rain!)
  • 2 museums visited
  • 8 dinners/phone calls with my Tribe
  • 9 veterinary appointments
  • 4 ‘big’ snowstorms endured
  • 26 hours spent renovating my breezeway
  • 3 trees planted
  • 134 bills paid
  • 2 wedding invitations received
  • 5 pair of shoes ruined & discarded
  • 46 Amazon orders / 10 Amazon returns
  • 3.1 average miles walked per day

All this is simply numbers. In the end: I wrote less; I read less; I took fewer pictures. When it’s done: I didn’t have enough lunches with far away friends; I didn’t see enough family; I didn’t make enough time to hike. We can find and report the numbers we want to make the year look more positive or negative. To me, though, none of this matters.

This is what made this a good year for me:

  • I said no when an invitation or request didn’t suit me
  • I put my phone away more often when I was with people
  • I pushed through hard feelings to get to the ‘why’
  • I stepped back from societal obligations in favor of authentic desires
  • I allowed myself to be completely vulnerable with the person I trust most
  • I deepened a connection to a friend by being honest & open
  • I took responsibility for my missteps and said “I’m sorry”
  • I didn’t beat myself up because I didn’t meet the reading or writing goals I’d set for myself
  • I wrote in pen more in my planner, and was okay when things had to be crossed out
  • I chose to not listen to the people who told me I couldn’t do something and tried anyway
  • I cried in front of my son and told him why
  • I removed the weight of sentimental things that tethered me to sorrow or loss
  • I advocated for myself & my son
  • I spoke up when something mattered to me
  • I learned to navigate uncomfortable moments with the person I love
  • I chose to say ‘thank you’ often – even for little things
  • I learned to say “I’m struggling today and this is what I need….”
  • I stopped always pretending to be happy and content
  • I chose more frequently to enjoy moments as they came and not dwell on the past or worry about the future

This year had ups and downs, as they all do. But, as I continue to grow and learn and strengthen who I am I will continue to say it was a ‘good’ year no matter how hard it was.

I wish you a new day of opportunity for discovery and growth and forgiveness and grace, for you and for those around you.

Happy New Year, my friends.


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