GOODBYE 2016Well, another whole year has flown by and now we're into 2017 already. Part of me wonders where 2016 went. It seems like only a few weeks have gone by since I launched into 2016 and that's not the case at all, it's been and gone and slipped into history. The question I've been asking myself lately is what did I learn from the year that was?
LESSON 1My first big lesson relates to work. 2015 saw me leave my long term job where I felt I was moldering away into brain death, and starting a whole new career trajectory. I assumed this leap of faith was the last one I'd take. What I discovered in 2016 was the fact that there are always new opportunities if we're open to them. One thing can lead to another and you can be in a whole new place in a heartbeat.
I thought I was settled into my new job, but out of the blue, a better offer came along - I did the "Millennial thing" and jumped ship. Today's young people are happy to try new jobs as they come up, and I found that I could embrace that viewpoint too. So (for now) I've ended up in a job that ticks virtually every box I was looking for work-wise for the foreseeable future (stay tuned because nothing is written in concrete!)
LESSON 2The second lesson I learned from 2016 is not to envy others. I didn't think I had a problem in this area, but I realized I made assumptions about people based on the exterior facade they projected (I think we all do that at times). Last year I got to know a woman acquaintance in a much deeper way - only to find that her life was nowhere near as glossy as she projected. Her marriage was a mess, her self-esteem was in tatters, she was struggling big time with her empty nest, and her life was generally a disaster.
Just because people appear superficially happy on the surface (or on Facebook) doesn't mean that is the truth of their life. We all struggle at times and nobody is immune to the upheavals life can throw at us. Money doesn't insulate us from pain, status doesn't guarantee a perfect life, being married for a long time doesn't guarantee happiness and harmony. Life is a work in progress and we're all doing our best as we ride the roller coaster.
LESSON 3Time and tide wait for no woman (slight paraphrase here). Life doesn't stand still, it moves forward - sometimes faster than we like, and we need to move with it or be left behind. Our first grandbaby was born in April 2016 and she is such an example of how quickly things change. Within 9 months she has gone from a tiny newborn infant to a mobile, smiling, eating, laughing, growing little human in her own right. I very quickly realized I needed to make time for her or I'd miss the little milestones along the way.
Our children may be grown and flown, but their lives are constantly evolving and changing and I need to keep up with the changes - I need to make the effort to drive up to see them (they live a couple of hours from our home in the country). If I sit around and I wait for them to visit or to remember to fit us into their lives then I'm going to be the one missing out. "Home" for them isn't our house and town anymore - they've moved on and I need to keep up.