What We Leave Behind

A new year is once again upon us, and, like many people, I'm contemplating the year that was. It was a good year, possibly one of my best, even if it did have its share of dark clouds.

  • I turned forty-five right before 2017 began, and so began another Five Year Shift
  • I got more intimately involved with an organization I feel strongly about, as well as becoming a founding member of another organization that I have high hopes for. 
  • I traveled by taking a wonderful family vacation to the mountains, as well as a couple of weekend getaways. 
  • I explored the numerous places of beauty and wonder that make my home an amazing place.
  • I spent quality time with the people I care most about.
  • I finished & published my book The Box.
  • I lived life with more purpose, meaning, and adventure.

While I enjoyed every bit of these things, it's the first and last ones that resonate with me the most. I really feel that 2017 was the year when my life finally hit its stride. Never in my whole life have I felt more confident, engaged, unafraid, mindful, independent, and sure of myself than I have this past year. My 25-year-old self would be in awe of who I've become. I've truly come unto myself. I'm doing things that I would have never imagined myself doing, let alone imagined that they would have been possible. I still march to the beat of my own drummer, but I'm in charge of my own life and my own destiny. It's been a wonderful year in plenty of ways.

That's not to say that 2017 was all sunshine and roses. It was also filled with some of the hardest moments I've ever had to face. Personal struggles within myself and with someone very close to me cast a long shadow over me. The loss of a friend to suicide and my best friend's dad to heart issues hit me hard. Watching my oldest child make poor choices as he navigates the world of being somewhere between a kid and an adult have made my heart heavy. My ebook publisher, Pronoun, shut down. It's been a tough year in plenty of ways as well.

But, as C.S. Lewis said, "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." And he's right. There is a newness about the dawn of another year that gives a sense of hope, and a promise that this year will be better than the last. While I'm smart enough to know that there will still be the occasional dark cloud, I'm wise enough to understand that I can expand upon the greatness of last year as I look forward to 2018.

I'm optimistic, and I hope you are too.


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