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Q01

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you?

We had a family reunion cruise. Everyone mostly did fine, but I found that I am still trapped in a caretaker role and that being around my family might always make me feel bad.

This year I had some health issues that really scared me and I lived in a terrible state of anxiety. Once my health was better, I realized how grateful I am for those most precious moments with my husband, kids, family and friends.

Perhaps the most profound experience was going by myself to the countryside for a 10-day cleansing retreat where I reflected, meditated and wrote. I learned a lot about myself; it was a beautiful experience.

I found out my daughter has Down Syndrome. I made me love her even more.

I was promoted to Marketing Supervisor of a new store and am now in charge of overseeing the department along with my Sign team. I never thought of myself in a management position before.

As silly as this sounds, my husband's truck dying in while we were far from home on vacation was a significant experience. It helped him to realize not to sweat the small stuff and that we can handle a major disruption with calm and humor. It showed that we are a good team when life falls apart.

Infertility. I struggled with my sense of femininity, jealousy, anger, sadness, to name a few. I learned to ask for support from others and the difference between pity and concern. Sharing my experiences and feelings brought me unexpected joys in becoming closer to some new friends as well as some friends and family members. I am most grateful for how it changed my relationships for the better with my husband and my own parents.

I created an artwork with a colleague and displayed it. It made me realize that, if I am willing to take the chance, I can learn to make the things in my head. I also learned how much hard work it takes to change your life.

My brother has dropped out of my life and refuses contact despite my attempts at communicating with him. I am very sad about this. My concern about him, wondering if he is safe, knowing he is not happy, is in my heart every day.

My 2 oldest children leaving for college. We had a tough summer and I really had to dig deeply as a parent to have more patience so I could enjoy any, even small moments, as gifts before they left for school.

The normal activities of my wife and I became severely restricted because of she is suffering from severe headaches. She has always been so active, and set the pace for the two of us. The continuing worry about her health has made my outlook quite negative.

“I began rewriting a novel that sat on my shelf for nearly seven years. And my band is filming our first music video using only sock puppets.

Living abroad gave me some very interesting and thought provoking experiences, but overall it really gave me the desire to try to make the world a better place and the understanding that what it takes to do that in one place may be vastly different in another place.

I’ve lost 65 pounds this past year and it's been such a life changing experience. I've changed my relationship with food and claimed accountability for my health and body and I feel good. Plus it's a lot more fun to go clothes shopping!

I lost my virginity and became sexually active. With all the wrong people. It made me realize a lot of feelings I had about myself and sex in general, and although I'm sad that I did the wrong thing for me, I'm glad I learned from it. Now it looks like I'm starting a meaningful relationship, and for the first time I'm understanding what real sex is and means.

My mother died. I learned that death is not as final as it seems. I sense her and still learn from her. Birth is a miracle--first there are two and then there are three, but death is also a miracle, of sorts. The physical body suddenly stops working. But the spirit still whispers to us, even if it is only in the imagination.

I broke my toe and developed severe nerve pain that was so intense it consumed my focus for about 6 1/2 months.”

My parents went bankrupt and lost their home and their retirement savings. They basically had to start from scratch. I was extremely emotional and devastated while they were going through the first days of the bankruptcy, selling their home, and getting rid of most of their things.

My Dad was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. Having lost my mom two years ago I could not fathom facing the loss of parent again so soon. My dad is only 64. My mom was 59 when she died. Mortality is reality. My dad's illness has made me bolder and less willing to settle. It has imbued me with a sense of urgency and tenacity.

Well I got deployed to Afghanistan. It took me away from my home and friends and alcohol. I have had to go through crazy measures to get booze. Was this supposed to be more deep? I'm sorry I am not very deep.

“I lost my job! It was the most liberating thing that could have happened to me. It's been a rough few months, but I am now so much more grounded in who I am, and am learning to discover what I want, while forgiving myself.

My second child was born. I learned that I was pregnant just over a year ago, and that she was a girl a couple of months later. Since her arrival I have had many opportunities to reflect on how both she and older brother arrived with personalities largely intact, and have enjoyed watching them reveal themselves as they gain skills.

I had my heart broken. I never saw it comi ng. Everything just stopped working one day. He lost my trust. And I lost his. I've learned relationships can not work without that.

My beloved dog passed away. She was an amazing creature that taught me all about courage and triumphing over adversity. She left on her terms as she did everything, and even though I miss her there was a kind of peace that I gained during her leaving.

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowl Syndrome this year. Along with IBS I have anxiety issues and my doctor and I were finally able to figure out why I was getting panic attacks that had a GI component. I'm still working on controlling it but knowing why I get these attacks was a major step.

I moved far from my home and the people I love. I think it's helping me grow up and see life in a whole different way.

I fell in love. And I told him I loved him - and I knew deep down he didn't love me back. But it was the only way to let him go. It reminded me that I'm alive, and that I have the ability to be open to love again.

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