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Just a Thought

It is 2016. And a new year for many of us signifies a fresh start. It is during this time we make our New Year's resolutions in the hopes of making things better in our lives. While I've never been a big believer of resolutions, I do believe in reflecting on the year just passed to ponder lessons I may have learned or at the very least, to reinforce those lessons I already know.

Over the past year, several close friends announced their divorces. All came as a surprise to me because on the surface it appeared as if all were well. In fact, one in particular seemed almost too good to be true. But what I know to be true is that no one has the perfect life. No matter how many perfect pictures we post or how many wonderful stories we tell—what is projected as idyllic is likely not. And so a lesson that I continue to rediscover is that the key to happiness, well at least my happiness, is to be grateful for not a perfect life but a good one.

The country seems to be more and more divided over such issues such as gun control, illegal immigration, education, political candidates; the list goes on and on. And over the last year as the presidential election has gained momentum and those issues have been at the forefront, tolerance of differing beliefs seems to have all but disappeared and there seems to be a need to try and convince others that we are right and they are wrong. Still what was reinforced to me over the last year is that no matter how many political positions my friends post on Facebook or spew statistics on, my beliefs will not change. My beliefs are my beliefs and your beliefs are yours. As one of my favorite artists and humanitarian Bono was quoted, "To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater."

What's the saying? If you have your health, you have everything. As I've watched close family and friends struggle with life threatening diagnoses last year, this became even more apparent. A few months back, even my spirited and feisty 79 year old mother who lives with the day to day aches and pains from age said, "Getting old sucks." This was also reaffirmed when I received the news that a former colleague in her early 50s had passed away after a difficult battle with pancreatic cancer. We had lost touch with each other after moving on to other jobs but reconnected through social media. It was amazing to see her accomplish her bucket list of travels and adventures all through posts and pictures. And after I learned of her passing, I again scrolled through them and was inspired all over again. So thank you Cheryl for showing me how to bravely continue living life to the fullest; a definite lesson learned my friend.




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