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Preparing for the New Year while saying goodbye to the old one…
Facebook has born witness to how “done” a lot of us are with 2016. This year has been a difficult one for many of us, my family included. Saying that we are done with this crazy year is not a wish to speed up time but rather a wish for a better time ahead. Something to give us hope when the chances of enlightenment seem bleak.
To those who have had a great 2016, I am glad for each of you and wish to hear your glad tidings and happy memories. Lead us through your happiness thus giving us hope, instead of chastising us for feelings we can’t change.
For everyone, my desire is that you understand 2016 has been bigger than each of us. That those of us crying out for it to be over is not just about the large number of stars and people of note passing, but rather their passing is the proverbial icing on the cake -or- cherry on top to everything else that has taken place.
Yes this year has been difficult seeing our idols, and other notable figures, parting this mortal coil. Witnessing history (good or bad) unfolding before us and feeling powerless to change it is emotionally draining. Due to these moments, some of us are keenly aware of just how mortal we are as if for the first time we fully can see our past, present and future laid before us. For many of us (young and old) we are watching the remnants of our childhood slowly unwinding and dissolving with the point that time stands still for no man. That no matter how we try to close our hand and hold on tight that the grains of sand will still seep through, slipping from our grasp.
So no I do not think any of us are making light of a year that has brought so much heartache and sorrow. Rather we are hoping that tomorrow will be the bearer of better news.
Remembering: thought provoking
It may be just a line from a song to remember from our youth but it is also one that rings true of preparing for a New Year. One could easily draw comparisons between this scout song and the way we look at celebrating the passage of one year into another. We should never just look to the future (the silver) without first remembering our past (the gold).
As the days are long and the time draws near it is a perfect way to bring in the New Year!
Remembering: a more somber note
As I was penning this post I couldn’t help but reflect on my own year. There have been good moments, a few great ones, some truly horrible ones and a lot of everyday “I hope I never forget this” kind.
This year our family experienced some of our own losses. My mother’s family lost my uncle January 2016. As the year progressed I lost several friends from a dear family friend to a guy I dated almost twenty years ago. Each loss felt more surreal and heartbreaking. With those losses came the realization that some eras were ending while others are just beginning to blossom.
At the beginning of the summer our family decided to fulfill a life long dream for both my mother and myself. We traveled to the Outer Banks. I was able to walk on the land where the first English colony lived, died, and disappeared from existence. My mother got to step foot on the beaches she had always read and dreamed about since childhood. In the process, without the rest of us knowing, Rent-a-Dad took some photos I will always cherish. At the time he didn’t fully understand how meaningful they would be to me. This trip was the first trip to the beach for my nephew. With my mom’s failing health it may be her last (the impact of that realization has not been lost on us). Rent-a-Dad took several photos with my nephew holding both my and my mother’s hand. Those photos and their importance describe how I feel about 2016.
It has been a year filled both with joy and sorrow; a year of awakenings and good-byes; and through the year it has been one packed with realizations of tomorrows never promised and moments to grab onto to cherish.
Looking to the New Year
Since childhood I have been constantly reminded of the adage “when one door closes another one opens”. Thus too as one year ends another begins.
I step into the New Year not with blinders on that make me forget all the trouble of this world but rather with a sense of hope that we as humans can work together to make this a better place not just for the future but for the here and now. That we, as a society, can work together without putting our lives in the hands of one human, or a small group of humans. As individuals, we know better than to stand blindly by while the world “works itself out” as that never really happens without lots of effort from all those that actually care. Rather we must stand up for what we believe in; work together towards common goals and better outcomes; ensure there is accountability; and be flexible instead of un-wielding as challenges will present themselves and test us all.
As we enter into this New Year we need to remember we are the change we want.
Perhaps 2016 set out to test our strength, resilience, and resolve. Maybe 2017 will be kinder to us.
Personally I know 2016 was a point of change for me and my family. For better or worse, 2016 is not something from which I can turn back. I will not let that tarnish 2017 before it gets a chance to be better and for great things to happen; to be filled with hope even at my saddest moments. It always appears the darkest before the dawn.
So let us welcome in the dawn to banish the darkness! Let this New Year be filled with all the brightness of every new beginning!