I'm grateful for a wonderful year in which I got to visit San Diego, CA for the first time; turned forty and wasn't traumatized by it; participated in The Ultimate Hike in order to raise funds for children's cancer research and support my friend, whose son has leukemia, while proving to myself that, even at the ripe old age of forty, I'm capable of doing much more than I usually allow myself to believe.
I witnessed my smart, beautiful and adaptable daughter, Kate, switch schools at the beginning of first grade and flourish. I witnessed my funny, adorable younger daughter, Claire, turn two and begin talking up a storm. I remain constantly amazed by—and grateful for—them; the wondrous little humans they are and the infinite depth they add to my life.
This year we adopted our first family dog, who is testing us emotionally and adding to the chaos that is sometimes our life, but who is also adding joy and love to our lives, as well as forcing us to get outside and exercise more consistently. I'm happy she has joined our family.
I went out on a limb a few times this year and connected with a few new people, which felt great and has given me hope that even at this stage of life I can learn to put myself out there and be vulnerable, and that no matter what happens as a result of opening myself up, I'll be OK.
I think I've made strides this year in accepting myself for who I am and have been a bit gentler with myself than in years past. That is huge for me.
Although I haven't managed to figure out how to be ever-mindful of the abundance in my life, I do think I've gotten better at recognizing how fortunate I am and feeling deep gratitude for all that I have.
I'm looking forward to the new experiences, the family traditions and, as hokey as it may sound, the personal growth that the new year will bring!