… and a Happy New Year.

… and a Happy New Year.

The final hours of 2022 are winding down and thoughts naturally run to evaluating the past year and thinking about the coming one.

I’ve already been in a somewhat retrospective mood. Scanning the family photos (all 12,247 of them) has presented me with scattered moments from the last 50 years, and it’s easy to be moved by seeing moments I don’t remember as a child juxtaposed next to my high school and college graduations and beyond. I also put together a movie for Annika’s 13th birthday. Seeing the evidence of the juggernaut of time and the inexorable tides of change urges me to appreciate more of what I have. It’s in my nature to focus on the things I don’t have, and it seems as if life has offered (shoved?) me into a seat to take a pause and reflect.

Annika did turn 13, and putting that movie together was expectedly emotional. I love finding the right songs, and I sobbed through much of it. I don’t anticipate many people actually watching it, but it’s more of a gift for her for the future. She’s growing into a remarkable young woman. I wish I can say what we did to make that happen.

We had planned to fly to Florida for New Years like we almost always do, but the Southwest debacle forced us into new plans at the last minute. We piled into the car and did the drive down here in one day (5am-10:45pm), which was tough. The night before I literally had a panic attack induced by flashbacks to the drive we had to do last year. Six hours of white-knuckled panic on the rapidly freezing interstate, with the sound of freezing rain causing tinnitus in my ears. Still, we did the drive (J did a good bit of it, thank god). Not sure if it was ultimately therapeutic or traumatic – time will tell.

Time is a changing. Annika’s teenage mood swings are in full display, and seeing Savita and Nora with their cousins reinforces the idea that change is happening. Not an inherently bad thing or a good thing – It’s just a thing.

What will 2023 have to offer? If experience is any guide, it will have both victories to celebrate and losses to mourn. As a friend reminded me recently, it’s not for us to bubble wrap ourselves to insulate from these experiences, It’s up to us to embrace, integrate and move through them. It’s a good time to remind myself of that and to act accordingly.

I haven’t done resolutions these past years. But I do want to reinforce my intent. This past year I’ve invested in seeing a personal trainer, and the results in terms of strength are palpable. My intent in 2023 is to celebrate my strength and continue to work toward being stronger – in all ways.

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