Good bye 2017! This year’s takeaways…

GOODBYE 2017!! So yes, as many of us are aware of, what we have been waiting for, so anxiously anticipating, so excited for- is that the new year is finally, quite literally around the corner! 2017 is FINALLY OVER, and we are SO ready to welcome 2018 with open arms! Am I right?? Tuck in for a good long recap here…

So I’ll be totally honest, I started writing this post in August because I had to take a minute to be like “whoa” we still have 4 months left of 2017, and it had already seemed like a very long year. I really couldn’t believe I still had to get through a quarter of it, and I was just ready for it to be OVER.Β  I tend to think of years as “good years” and “challenging years,” but this time around, I want to really focus on what I’ve learned, since it’s felt kind of like a lifetime jam-packed into one year. So much emotion, so many highs and lows, and absolutely the most challenging time of my life I have experienced so far.

So, if you would like a peek into my year, please read on. And please, share your experiences as well. Community support and love is always what keeps us strong and going on. I have also found more strength in folks who have shared similar experiences, there’s something real to be said about someone who has been through what you have, and bonding over that.

This year, amongst the ups and downs of everyday life, I suffered from two pregnancy losses. This was not only was devastating to me and my husband, and but also resulted in a number of health issues for me. At the end of the summer, we lost my husband’s grandfather, and shortly after, on my birthday, we lost my husband’s Grammy. Both heartbreaking experiences. I also had a major career transition and awakening this year, unfortunately made that much more challenging by the status of my health. People in my life were up and down, and that’s something that we deal constantly, but somehow it felt more personal this year. Perhaps because of the hardships? I also felt like many of my friends and family were in huge transitions this year, with work, relationships, life… As someone who always always is there for them, and takes the extra measures to check in, I found it harder to be as emotionally present this year, but I still made every effort I could.

2017, you were a lot!! But me being me, with every challenge, I tried to learn my lesson. The main lessons I learned?
*Everyone can only handle what they can handle. We all have different challenges. There are times when you really have to step back and take care of yourself and focus on strengthening the inner you, not just the tough skin on the outside. Trying to find the positives, and hold onto the lessons, was also a lesson in itself. We spent a majority of the year just trying to understand it all first, and take care of ourselves.
*I have always thought myself to be a very spiritual person, but my faith was tested in a way it had never been before, so I learned a lot about faith. My trip home to Israel really helped with that. I felt a sense of spiritual renewal that I didn’t even realize I was very much searching for.
*That said, testing things like faith- is ok. It’s how we learn, how we grow, how we carve a new path and how we get to where we are supposed to be.
*I also learned a lot about grief and loss. I learned that everyone experiences it differently, and that there are varying stages to the process. No one can ever tell you how to grieve. And the best a person can do is just be there to help you get up when you fall.
*I truly learned firsthand, that your health is everything. And having been through months where it really felt like hitting the bottom, it is something that I realize I have taken for granted. If I wake up, get out of bed, and have a normal day- I am thankful.
*I learned that your friends and family who really truly love you, will always be there for you no matter what, even if they can’t quite understand what you went through.
*I learned that the people who question your feelings and experiences shouldn’t be given the time of day- and there will always be folks who don’t understand what you’re going through, and that’s ok.
*I also learned that if you are not valued in your workplace, or if you find yourself surrounded by the wrong people or energy, move on. Our lives are short, and yes we have plenty of responsibilities, but to be respected and valued in the workplace is something serious to our livelihood and well being, and we should all be fighting for that.
*I learned that there will be people in your life who want to be there for you, to help you, to offer you what they can. Appreciate it, respect it, be thankful for it. Thank you to all of my friends, family, community members, and perfect strangers who were really there for me this year; supportive with and without knowing all the details. I know I wouldn’t have been able to have healed quite the same without you.

You never know when life will take a new turn, and the expression “you can’t take it with you” never resonated stronger with me than this year. Enjoy your time, your experiences, on this planet, in this world, as best as possible. Years ago, my husband and I had talked about always making travel a priority. It was something that we both always wanted to do more of, and so appreciated the experiences we shared while traveling. This year, despite the challenges, my travel bug was no exception. When I was feeling good, you bet I was traveling. In 2017, I was fortunate to have visited London, Montreal, Israel, Nashville, Vermont, Colorado, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Maine, Rhode Island, Nantucket, Minnesota, San Fransisco, Napa, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs…. What did all of this teach me? These trips were much more powerful than I knew. Connecting with nature, being outdoors, experiencing culture, spending time with family… it helped us heal. Healing is important to make a priority, and though we may take pauses, and breaks in the madness- you can’t stop living your life. Life goes on, it must.

So now, after thinking much about this past year, and all of the challenges it held, I soak in all the lessons I learned. I express gratitude for my current state of health, for the new strength of my marriage and my faith, for all of the love I have been so fortunate to experience, for my new career path and direction, for family and friendship, and for many, many wonderful opportunities and experiences on the horizon. I look to 2018 with a bright, positive feeling, like the sun shining down on my face after a long, cold, winter. Open to new adventures, you never know what a new year will bring πŸ˜‰ And lastly, thank you to 2017. Thank you for teaching me that I am stronger than I ever truly knew.

Happy New Year to you all! Cheers to 2018!

xxxx

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