I am a big fan of reflecting on the past and future; especially around Yom Kippur, my birthday, and the secular New Year.
My approach? I carve out an hour or two of solitude and take stock. I begin by making a list (and checking it twice!) of major events that occurred. I try to capture how each came about, review my specific role in each, and record what I learned from each. In the spirit of “hindsight is 20/20,” honesty and clarity are important.
From there, the more difficult — near impossible — task is looking head. This is when I say… if a genie were to grant me three wishes, I would ask for: (a) a crystal ball to foresee future events; (b) the wisdom to know how to handle the “inevitable;” and (c) the courage to do what has to be done in each case. What life situations will come my way next year? What part will I play in each? In which ways have I grown this year that will enable me to respond and do better next year? How can I embrace 2020 with an open mind, heart, and hand?
The year of 2019 saw the passing of my grandparents; Zaydie in January and Baba in September. My sadness has been profoundly deep. And though the year could’ve been totally bleak, it wasn’t.
The birth of my first grandchild in February brought tremendous excitement and joy, along with new ways of looking to the future. I now live for opportunities to babysit (and pray for a few more to spoil!). More importantly, I am learning about the unique role that I can play as a grandmother.
A new role at work, along with increased travel to and from Israel, have been professionally (and personally) challenging. However, meeting new people, keeping my brain engaged, sharing skills and abilities acquired over a thirty-six-year career, feeling valued, and contributing to a “bottom line” are important to me. Moreover, I will feel fulfilled and grateful — professionally rewarded — if this is the company with which I ultimately retire.
Surprisingly, the most welcome and unexpected by-product of the year is my parents’ new lease on life. At seventy-nine and eighty years old, my mom and dad no longer have to worry about anyone but themselves. Their parents are now gone. Their children can take care of themselves. Their recent move to a new home has included the formation of new friendships, engagement in new activities (my mom is even taking piano lessons!), and a more general sense of well-being. They deserve it all and more.
And so, what’s in store for my 2020? I have no idea, but here’s my wish list:
More days of skiing with my husband. Personal adventures. Travel to new destinations. Another grandchild (I may get into trouble for saying this…). An engagement (I’ll definitely be in trouble for saying this…). More time with family and friends. New and/or improved relationships. Continued positive results at work. More hugs and kisses. More dark chocolate. A pair of Christian Louboutin shoes. And of course…health, happiness, and peace on earth.
Goodbye 2019. Welcome 2020.