by on December 23, 2015


Vacation time2015 is drawing to a close. Like any other year if has had its good moments and not so good moments. For me it has been a year of growing awareness as to what is really important to me in my life. 2015 has been a year which has seen both my own Mother and my Mother-in-law need more assistance from their children in terms of physically making it through the tasks of the day. And, while we are blessed that both Mom’s still have a mental and emotional awareness and understanding of the people and extended family in their lives, it has caused an adjustment for those of my generation. For my siblings and spouse who have been on the front lines of the care efforts, it has meant sacrificing many hours of their life. For others, such as myself or in-laws, it has meant being a support person in terms of providing reinforcement for those on the front lines.

I feel I have always been blessed to have a memory that allows me to remember a lot of what I have experienced in my life.   Some of the items may have been special, once in a life time moments. I remember sitting with my mother back in September when Pope Francis was visiting Washington D.C. and looked out on the throngs of people on the great lawn near the Capitol Building. I commented to my Mother that we knew some of what those people were feeling because 30 years before in Rome we had experienced a similar feeling when we were part of a Papal audience at the Pope’s summer residence.

However, my memories are not just of the special, once in a lifetime or infrequent moments. They can be as silly as remembering episodes of television shows that were a part of my life, and remembering absurd situations and the lines that were part of those episodes. It can be sharing with my current spouse (we have known each other for only 8 years and have been married for the last 6), occurrences that have been part of my childhood. While you do look to share with those close to you much of what you are about, often things that happened in the distance past don’t emerge until triggered by a location where you currently are, a first time occurrence with that person that sparks a memory of the past, or even a question about if you have ever experienced anything like this.

2015 was the year I turned 60 years old. And, while I hope there are many years left for me, as the memories keep coming back to me, I realize there has been quite a lot that I have already experienced. And, while not all of it may be what the world will judge as “happy” or “joyous” being opened to the realization it is all part of one’s life, helps to make it a learning experience. From those learning experiences I find I am able to get through the issues of the moment or perhaps be able to share an anecdote with a friend or a loved one that helps move them through a tough time.

My life at this stage has become all about learning, to being open to what is happening around me, to try, (although not always easy), to judge less and to accept more. I do know that the year has had me try to live a life more of “Strategy over Drama”, and to look to focus more on what is the outcome that I feel is most important to achieve, and determining the steps that are best to get there, and less focused on what it means or is doing to me. However, most of all it is remembering that it is “LIFE”, and that means we don’t get to control the outcomes or necessarily have to like everything that happens during it, but at least we have the privilege to live it and experience it. As the world moves forward toward the year 2016, I’m going to do my best to continue to attempt to learn from life’s experiences and happenings, and help me to live the best possible life I can in the coming year.

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