Happy 2017!

Here we go again. Let’s have fun with this one! I have heard from a lot of people that they are happy to see 2016 behind us. I must admit, to a certain extent, I agree with them! Lots of challenges this past year in so many people’s lives.

Some years are harder than others. I think it’s challenging to know what KIND of year you’ve had until you have some perspective on it…say, two to three years out.

What I would call the most challenging years of my life were 1990 to 1994. My father-in-law and both of my parents passed. My late husband was told at Thanksgiving of 1994 that he needed a heart transplant. (He received a new heart in March of 1995 and lived for almost 14 years!) If you had asked me, when 1995 rolled around, what I thought of the first half of the ‘90s, I would have told you it was hell.

Then, in 1997, I visited my sister, Pam, who lives in Portland, Oregon. We decided to make a trip to Canon Beach, on the coast of Oregon. It was late October, cold, rainy. Not a great “beach” type of day. But I felt the urge to take a walk on the beach by myself. So I put on boots, gloves, a hat, and a heavy winter coat, and started walking. After about 25 minutes, I stopped and looked out at the gray, swirling ocean. There was a storm moving in, and it was intense. And then it hit me: “NOTHING BAD HAD EVER HAPPENED TO ME.” Everything that I had gone through in those “bad” years made me learn, made me grow, made me become a better person than I was before. Those years had changed me…and guess what? I liked the “me” I had become. If I got rid of any of those experiences, I would not be who I was. I picked up a small, smooth stone, put it in my pocket, and headed back to meet up with my sister with a big smile on my face.

Guess what? I still have that stone. Every time I find myself feeling overwhelmed, as if the challenges are too great, I take out my “touchstone” and remember that walk on the beach. And I hear my late mother’s words of wisdom: “This, too, shall pass!” And I know it will!

I hope you all have a fabulous 2017. Realize that every year has created the person you are today. Love who you are. And if it’s been a really tough year? Give yourself some perspective…and go find your own touchstone!

Positive Thought of the Month
“Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance, and it allows us to appreciate their true value.” —Rafael E. Pino


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