2015 -The Year Of “Now You See Her, Now You Don’t”

It’s been a challenging year. I’ve been visible. Then I wasn’t. Then I was again. I felt like the Cheshire Cat at times.

It was a year of Firsts, Lasts, and Never Agains. Lots of stuff has happened, and I’m still trying to process it all.  Other than the year our son was born, I can’t remember any time that had this kind of upheaval. I hope it’s an anomaly, and not a new normal.

It was a mixture of the very good and the not-so-good. I have friends I lost to disease and mishap in this past year. That was hard, but it makes me grateful for those I still have. There were stretches of time where no one heard from me. And then I reappeared with no explanation. That was a part of my former job, and it came with the territory. Old habits die hard, but those closest to me have learned to accept these periods of absence, knowing I can’t discuss client matters. I love them all for their forbearance.

It was a tough year, but I’ve decided I’ll take it over what could have happened. As my dad likes to say, “Any day you’re on this side of the grass is a good day. You can deal with the rest.” He’s a very smart man.

On the positive side,  I’ve learned a whole lot about myself in this past year. Retirement has allowed me to able to explore who I’ve always meant to be, but got sidetracked by that thing called “I need to work to afford myself.”  I don’t regret it, really, having had an amazing first career, and I have met wonderful people along the way.

On the even MORE positive side, I’m at the stage where I now have a secondary career choice – just for fun. Not all my friends and family have had that opportunity, and I feel their loving and supportive presence with me on my current journey. More about that on later blog posts. Retirement doesn’t mean sitting in a rocker sipping tea. Tea is still involved, it’s just in a to-go cup.

My parents, and my brother and his family, are all doing well. I’m sincerely thankful for that. Mom and Dad are full of vitality, and lots of fun, and are a joy to my life. Dad’s wit flows steadily, Mom is still the quintessential elegant lady, and I’m relishing every day they are still with us.  My brother and SiL are as fabulous as always, and are doing a wonderful job with my amazingly smart nephew. My cousins (who are more like brothers, we’re so close) are happy and healthy and so are their families. It’s a lot of superlatives, but there really aren’t the proper words in English to do the subject justice. We had a wonderful holiday together, and I hope we have many more.

MiL is working through her health challenges, and is doing as well as can be expected. BiL is his usual wonderful self, and we are grateful for his wit and help during this difficult time. I’m thankful my retirement enabled me to be of real assistance to those who are so dearly loved.

I’ve been so grateful for the ongoing support of my best girlfriends – many of whom battled their own challenges this past year, and continue their struggles into the new year. I’ve been proud to have been by their side, with food, wine, love, and moral support in abundance. Just as they have been there for me. Although I don’t have any biological sisters, I am blessed to have acquired several over my lifetime – each as dear to me as any sister could be.

It’s a female thing. Just go with it if you can’t understand it.

I must say a few words about the mentors in my life. From my favorite bosses, to my second mother, to my current teacher/mentor on my new journey, I can’t express my gratitude for your influence, teaching and caring. I hope to live up to your examples.

Finally, I can’t say enough about my wonderful husband and son, for without their encouragement and support, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Or tomorrow, for that matter.

Enough of the maudlin stuff.

I’m very excited for what’s ahead in 2016, and I hope you are too. Each new year holds such promise, and it’s up to each of us to make it live up to expectations. I know it won’t be perfect, and am OK with that.  As long as everyone is happy and healthy, that is all that matters. Anything else is just a distraction.

Happy New Year to one and all. May it be healthy and happy for you and your families.