It's a big, big world. But in 2016, my world just got smaller. It was a year of reflection and realization. I realized in 2016 that sometimes friends are only friends in a social media count kind of way. I realized that my parents are not the people they once were. They don't even remember the people they once were. It is difficult watching a loved one forget chapters of life as the end of the story draws near. It is no easier watching someone my age die--and to wonder what happened to enjoying the harvest? When did life expectancy narrow to mid forties?
There just aren't any guarantees. The only truth we have is being true to ourselves. Last year taught me to renew my faith...to turn to God...to stop lying to myself. I am where I am because of the decisions I have made in my life--not because of anyone else. I need to seize the opportunities in front of me and enjoy the people who are in my life while they are still in my life. It all comes down to choices.
My friend Kim lost a battle with cancer. I did not even know it had returned. We had plans to get together before the holidays, but instead she went into hospice care and I couldn't even visit because I had the flu. Before I could recover, she had died. There was no reason for my not seeing her. We lived 20 minutes apart. We were constantly going this way and that for our jobs, our children, etc. We made choices that did not include getting together. I will never have the opportunity of meeting Kim for "coffee" (she never touched the stuff). I have no one to blame but myself for the choice I did NOT make.
The truth is 2016 took many friends from me--both physically and emotionally. This post could go on and on about the loss that was 2016, but instead I would like to consider what was gained. I gained a new perspective. I came to accept that certain aspects of my old life were never as good as I have tried to make them. Moving forward, I need to at least be honest with myself. Moving forward I need to make time for the people I love the most, and I need to part ways with less than healthy relationships. Last year taught me that the life I live starts with the decisions I make. I intend to make better decisions in 2017.