Forging Gratefully Ahead into the New Year!

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

On the contrary, I choose to look back on the past year to determine what I did well and I did not do well. I spend time mulling it all over, determining which choices could have been different and which lessons I might glean from the year, for better or for worse.

After taking stock of the past year, I move forward, resolving to do better and hoping not make the same transgressions.

As for my family and me, we experienced a lot of change last year. Our commercial fisheries changed for the first time in thirteen years. Our fishing schedule changed, which meant George was home more than ever in our years together. That alone was enough change for one year, but it didn’t end there

One of our good friends met with an unfortunate situation, and we lost that relationship for a while. Our crew changed for the first time in ten years.

And while my son, Vincent, entered kindergarten after surgery that enabled him to hear and a year of speech therapy, my youngest daughter qualified for speech services.

Our beloved and small neighborhood elementary school, for which hundreds of us fought to save, could not be saved.

What else? After teaching Jazzercise for seven years and bringing three children up in the studio, I resigned.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t respond well to change. In fact, I spent a moment or two in tears the last year, lamenting all of this change. I wanted our school to stay open. I wanted our crew to return as a whole. I never anticipated leaving Jazzercise.

However, I’m able to look forward. I also know people who have experience much worse this year. I have discovered along this journey of change that there are nice, friendly, smart, and funny people everywhere where you go.

I may not be at Jazzercise where I’ve spent nearly the last decade, but I enjoy my new friends at the gym. I’m taking classes that I am not responsible for (and have even lost eight pounds since starting) and have discovered that you can be greeted with a friendly smile, engage with others, and get a great workout pretty much no matter where you go.

I miss my friend and our regular crew, along with the nights out and traditions we held for nearly a decade, but there are also other gatherings, new friends and acquaintances with whom to experience life.

George has been home longer this year than ever in the past. In the thirteen years we’ve been together and the eleven years we’ve been married, he’s regularly been away nine months a year. This year was the opposite. It has been a challenging experience to say the least, but we are both still here giving it the good effort just like we always do.

So, yes. It’s been a year of change. Too much change. Change I wasn’t sure I would be able to navigate. But…I did. We did. I hope for calmer waters and smoother sailing going forward, but whoever really knows?

Going into the New Year, I will choose my friends more wisely. I will draw tighter boundaries some places and loosen them in others. Some friendships have crossed lines and need to be reassessed. I will offer more grace and understanding to those directly involved in my life and keep forging ahead along with everyone else. I will remain forever grateful and joyful about my three kind, sweet, and precious children.

I wish all of you a blessed holiday, a happy New Year, and peaceful waters going forward into 2014!





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