There’s no doubt that the past several years have been momentous and it’s fair to say that on reflection we humans are a resilient lot. I have friends who certainly got handed some bad cards. One dear friend spending time in prison due to prosecutorial misconduct. What would have made most people give up completely, only made him more determined than ever that justice come to pass. For me, I weathered the loss of Christopher, a most special child, became Nonna Linda to the beautiful Lilyclaire, gained and lost friends for a myriad of reasons, left a job that I loved after 40 years and, through it all grew stronger for the experience.

I am an optimist at heart, indefatigable I am told, deriving strength from a look backwards every once in a while, to that little English girl who refused to let the lottery of life dictate her future. Learning along life’s highway and interpreting the past gives new meaning for the future.  As another year looms, I can’t help but pause and consider; what will the next few years bring?

2023 will soon be upon us and, it’s a good time to reflect on the past and draw strength from personal experience and achievement, no matter the perceived size. Did you give a drifter a hard-earned dollar; tip a more generously; help a charity with gifts of your time and treasure? Did you reach out to your neighbors to check on their welfare; profess your love more often to the people you draw strength from? I am certain you did all of this and more and for that you must give yourselves a deserved warm embrace.

I am of the generation when a phone book was how you searched for connections. Today, living in a digital world, we are constantly plugged in and connected to the larger world, and it is easy to become alarmed. Now it is more important than ever to draw inwards and reflect on our own life experiences and learn from them and disconnect from “friends/likes” on the world wide web.

So, what to reflect on; what did we accomplish that brought us the most joy, what were some of the struggles along the way and what did we each learn from them? What do we appreciate most in our life journey and what do we want to leave behind? By answering these questions, we will be free to move closer to living our dream life.

In the lottery of life, we must remember, though we are doing everything correctly in our life, we didn’t write the rules, someone else did. Now, going forward we must write our own set of rules.