31 December 2016

2016: Year in Review

This is the reflective, emotional holiday post. To read the highly caloric baking-only holiday post - click here.

I was looking at this thing on my door frame - a blessing I wrote on Epiphany, January of 2016. It means Christus mansionem benedicat or "May Christ bless this house."  Since everyone universally agrees - at least in meme-land - that 2016 was an epic fail, I looked at it and thought, "Well, I guess that didn't work."

But then I remembered that I had no deeply held personal associations with any of the big names who passed away so tragically this year. And while I recognize their loss as significant and unfortunate, none of it made me that ... sad. (And even though I DO feel a tragic sense of loss regarding the election, that's less of a 2016 thing and more of a 2015-2020 and beyond thing.)

And - I remembered where WE were - the four of us in this little house - on Epiphany, January of 2016. How quickly I have deposited into my memory banks the fragility of our lives last Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. How poignant it all seems to me now as we move through a much more solid holiday season this year. How profound the simple things are in this context.

There is a lot to worry about in the world today. And worry about it I will. (I'm good at that.) But for now, the wise thing to do seems to be to take stock.

I didn't know a year ago that we'd lose Daisy. That was the straw that broke this camel's back. I'd endured a lot already as I watched my most beloved family members endure diagnoses and enter recovery. I thought I was in the clear. I lost it when she died. I found it eventually. Whatever "it" is ... homeostasis I guess? But not without help.

I also didn't know, a year ago, that I would find Schultz and Schatzi and that they would be utterly delightful.

Sergio is on a completely different path in life and while his diagnosis last fall and his departure from Hallmark early this year brought major shifts in our world, it also catapulted him into a wonderfully fulfilling career track. It is lovely to stand aside and watch.

And here's something I don't say too often because it is cliche and it is trite and it feels like I'm gloating but ... I really love my job. Hallmark, like all of us, is flawed. But, like all of us - er, most of us, anyway, it means well. And every day I go to work I look forward to how I'm going to spend the day. This - as I have witnessed in Sergio's case - is nothing to sneeze at. And the last 12 months of work have been especially good for me, full of opportunities to better understand myself and my world. And, if we've played our "cards" right, so to speak, opportunities to a make the world a better place.

Compassion makes the world a better place, don't you think? That's the other thing hanging with the 20 + C + M + B + 16 above our back door - a Buddhist mantra of compassion. We're going to need even more of that in 2017 and beyond. It will be my hope, my prayer, and my work to make a compassionate dent wherever I can.

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