Out with the old; in with the new! A new year brings with it new opportunities, outlooks and goals. Many have been quick to toss 2016 by the wayside, which I totally understand. Despite all the negativity though, looking back I’ve realized it’s been a pretty good year for my family and we have a lot for which to be thankful.
I’ve written before about our constant focus on social media. The ever-present pressure to compete, collide or pose for the perfect selfie is a part of our everyday lives. While I hate the devastation, hatred and turmoil I’ve seen on social media in 2016, this year inside my little bubble life has been pretty darn pleasant and has given me many opportunities to count my blessings. And, I’ve walked away with some very important life lessons.
Throughout 2016, the presence of racism, violence and terrorism in our community and world has been difficult to watch. These unfortunate acts have opened my eyes to the injustices in the world and have given me a profound opportunity to teach my young children life lessons on equality and justice. Throughout 2016 I found myself digging a little deeper to share kindness even when it was difficult. Sharing acts of kindness with my little one may help inspire their generation to change the ways of the world.
Although controversial this year’s presidential election gave my daughter first-hand knowledge of the democratic process. For the first time in her life, she was old enough to participate in discussion and voice her young opinion on thoughts about each candidate. She watched history unfold as the first female candidate was nominated for president by a major political party. Regardless of the outcome of the election, I know the historic moments we witnessed in 2016 will stay with her for years to come.
As we watch total devastation unfold in our community as the August flooding occurred my family and I questioned our home’s safety and security. In the days immediately following the flooding, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude in the fact that our home was dry, my family was safe, and little in my life was altered. I shed tears for the loss that my neighbors and friends experienced and felt a deep desire to give back. I experienced what gratitude truly felt like as I hugged complete strangers who really appreciated the basic necessities my family was eager to provide. Through the massive destruction, the sense of togetherness and strength became abundant in our community; and it couldn’t have come at a better time. The abundant acts of kindness and charity absolutely must continue on in 2017, as there is still so much work to be done.
In 2016, I didn’t travel to any far away exotic locations, I didn’t get a huge promotion at work, and the floors in my home still need replacing. But as the the year closes out on a personal level I couldn’t be more fulfilled. I eagerly awaited and watched my youngest child take his first steps. We crossed a huge milestone as we sent our daughter off to her first day of “real school,” uniform and all. I made and stuck to my commitment to make my health and wellness a priority once again, which resulted in my losing 20 pounds. I was privileged to watch the beginning of a new life with the birth of my niece.
As we move forward into 2017, I’m making it my resolution to continue to find the good in somewhat unpleasant situations. The year 2016 did have its ups and downs, but we move forward into a new year taking with us important lessons that will only make the next year even better. I exit 2016 with a grateful heart ready to tackle whatever obstacles may come in the new year!