Q01

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

I taught in China and that deepened my understanding of that culture. I felt wiser as a result.

I gave birth to a beautiful daughter! I am so happy to have a sweet baby girl who is healthy. I am grateful for my angel baby.

I found out my boyfriend at the time was cheating on me, believed his lies, caught him out again and dumped his sorry ass. It's been tough trying to get over him - we'd planned to get engaged this year. and up until recently, he kept saying the he was in love with me, which didn't really help my resolve. anyway, it turns out it was the best thing i could have done - am feeling much better about myself. finding it very hard to single, though

James being born. Amazing experience love him so much. Hard year but best year

I was suicidal,i felt like a failure.I had gievn various ebntrance exams and not got through anywhere.i was home ,alone and dejected.i feel stronger because of that experience.i feel if i have lived with myself in that situation,i can handle anything,as long as my soul is my intact.

My mother survived open heart surgery - the replacement of her aortic valve. I spent four months in Maryland with her and my father and sister during this time. It was frightening, moving, stressful, deep and very full of love. It brought everything else in life into perspective.

Broke up school. I didn't plan but had to. Ended in a light depression b/c of not knowing what to do then. I'm now about to get out of it. But as bad as this experience was, I also felt relieved to finally let my classmates & teachers behind me. Still feels a bit like freedom.

Came out of retirement. Greater income. Life goes on. Busy but Bev is resentful because it is preventing travel.

Took my daughter on her first major global vacation (East Coast USA; London, England; Paris, France; Lisbon, Portugal). Saw all the same sights I'd seen before, but was reminded that - no matter where I'm standing at any given moment - the world always offers me 359 more ways to look upon it than the one perspective I currently hold...

This year hasn't really had a significant experience, rather the whole year is significant in that as my final year of high school I'm having to learn to deal with intense pressures of study and exams, and the concept that I have to go out into the real world soon.

A significant experience this year might be my high school final exams. They were my nightmare during all the 9 months of school. But I have to admit it wasn't as a big deal as I thought it would be. The three days of test passed very quickly. It was more the anxiety before it all started! xD So I'm relieved now, in some ways, that I did them and never to do them again, but at the same time, i didn't really see the difference.

Being able to enter the Medicine and Surgery course at my college. I'm proud of it, but, most of all, now that I know that I will save people's lives I discovered what kind of person I want to be.

I got married to my best freind, my soulmate. All the planning and stress made me realise that no matter what happens and how others behave, we know we can always rely on eachother.

I got married 2 months ago. It was the best day of my life. I am extremely happy at the moment. Although lots of money was spent on the wedding I wouldn't change a thing. Everything went like clockwork and it was very refreshing to see all the people we care about together.

Not being able to find a job, hate the feeling, makes me feel worthless and frustrated

This year, I have finally made the move to London. It was what I wanted to do once I had finished University, but in the end, it took 18 months and a bit of good luck on my side. The biggest factor in making this possible was winning funding to work with the charity, YouthNet and from there, everything in my working life as spiralled successfully. It all started with volunteering - proof that 'one good turn deserves another'/ 'you reap what you sow' and other cliched phrases you can think of. I am amazingly grateful for the opportunities it has brought me. In short, it has made a big difference to my life.

I got in a huge fight with Maggie. Well, it was more of an misunderstanding on both our parts. She got mad at me for smoking, and because I signed off of iChat, she thought I was mad at her, which I wasn't. I tried calling her a couple of times and then got mad because she never called me. Somehow, she didn't get the calls, adding to her belief that I was mad at her, and she decided to not come to Anything Goes. That really hurt. I'm really resentful of what happened. I lost another best friend. And I really wish she came to see my show. It was my first lead role, and I would have loved it if my best friend had come to see it.

I became pregnant after 3 miscarriages. Have never felt so fantasticly happy, peaceful and at ease. It changed my life and made me a nicer person.

In late July, early August my parents got into a massive argument and i found out that mum wants dad to leave but he won't. I don't want him to leave, and i don't want to leave. i feel i have to put on a mask for my friends, so they don't ask what's wrong.

I decided to be rebellious and irresponsible for once in my life and it caused me to completely unravel. I fell into a pseudo-depression and alienated many of the people that care about me. I have learned my lesson though, rebellion only works if you do it with caution. ...I'm glad I can laugh again.

Losing my friend Michael, who I've considered to be my best friend for years. There was no immediate reason for our friendship to end, no fight; he started to become distant after he got a (problematic) relationship and a baby. I tried to fix our friendship, tried to be a good friend and adjust and help him with his new life, but maybe not in the best way? I've felt lots of things about it: sad, angry, resentful, baffled, cynic, resigned, arrogant, powerless and very very disappointed. I'm still pondering what happened but have taken some distance from it. I cannot fathom what, how, why people act the way they do, and it doesn't necessarily have to do with me. And that's a lesson that has given me peace with the situation.

I dated an abusive boyfriend. It took awhile, but I finally mustered up the courage to break it off and live my own life, and to find myself. It was the hardest thing I've ever done but the best decision I've ever made. I now live a happy life and don't take any moments for granted. I have fallen in love with who I have become.

I was lied to. Completely changed me, but I guess I've accepted it, because I like the new me. The old me was kind of a dick.

Ik kan zeggen dat het de afwijzing voor UC was, of de dag dat ik gewoon niet naar school kon. Het kan mijn zakken zijn, of mijn uiteindelijke slagen. Gala, wat een horror was, maar wel heel gezellig, of de diplomauitreiking. Ik wil ook wel vertellen over die avond dat ik op school bleef slapen, of de avond dat ik weg liep bij de scouting. Mijn vakantie in londen, mijn werk, zomerkamp, dat Annelies vertelde dat ze weer met Anorexia bezig was. Maar ik heb niet het idee dat al deze dingen me nu echt veranderd hebben. Ze hebben me aan het denken gezet, maar ik ben nog steeds Kirsten, en er was geen BAM en alles is anders moment geweest. Dus ik weet het niet.

I got married. I found my happy "ending". I felt already married to Joey so really it was just a formalization. A giant party to celebrate our love with all the people that are most important to us. I wish it could have lasted a while longer than it did though... It's lovely having so much happiness in my life. I used the wedding as an ending to my unhappiness. I said to myself "After the wedding I will no longer bother with things or people that are a waste of time and energy. I will strive for only positive things." So far everything is going wonderfully!

I was made redundant in February 2010. It at first brought fear of the unknow while at the same time relief for leaving a company that I really did not like. I have had to date 6 interviews and really not enjoying the face to face experience. I have now been off for 7 months - I want to go back to work but at the same time I don't want to. I understand however that I need a work routine for my own sanity. My other half has been nothing but supportive and has put no pressure on me - we are fortunate that we both (up to Feb) earned good salaries and we are managing on the one without a problem. My redundancy payment was also considerable and up to now we have not had to use any of it to assist with our general living costs. From October I will start looking for local work, more to get me out of the house, should i not be succesfull for the jobs I actually want/apply for.

First year in college: new friends with who I share the same interests. Opportunity to have a job and earn my own money. I (almost) feel like an adult! :)

I got turned down for a job at a big organisation which was a great opportunity. I aced half the interview and failed the other. Luckily, the bit I failed I can improve on. Feedback was positive and encouraged me to apply again in 12 month's time. It's affected me more than I thought and in a different way than I thought. I've become more disheartened with my current job, although I'm more motivated to work hard to be a perfect candidate in 12 months time when I reapply. It's given me a moment of clarity of how quickly life passes you by. At 27 and recently married, there seems a hole in mine and my wife's lives. The hole can be filled with children, but I'm determined not to have children until we're financially ready. Life is longer than it's given credit for and patience is most certainly a virtue I find hard to grasp. I'm grateful for the whole experience, whilst I'm disappointed I didn't get the job, I am motivated and inspired to work hard and now I have a clear aim, I think it'll help me be happier.

I have passed my final exam in my high school. After a long period of incertitude and stress, i could finally feel completly relaxed.

My father had a stroke, I moved to Brisbane to be with my Mum while Dad had rehabilitation. The nuns at the hospital let us have free board in one of their buildings for two months. I was moved at how caring and thoughtful the nuns were and how they looked aflter us. Dad made good progress and I believe he wouldn't have had the will to recover without Mum by his side.

This pass year, many significant experiences have happened to me and I honestly can not just choose one. Each experience plays their part in helping me discover who I am. I'm still figuring that out. But these past experiences, I'm really grateful for them. We can start off with the my Summer Fling as I like to call it. I ruined the love I had for a few months, just becuase I felt like I needed to be with someone else other than my significant other at the time. I was naive and blinded. But a lot of great lessons came from that experience and I do not regret it one bit. Nearing the end of my Summer Fling, I got into my first fist fight. It felt really good to let all that anger inside of me that was built up, be released. It made me realize that although fighting does not solve anything, it does feel good to punch something. So I advise for all of you guys to invest into a punching bag. After that, I began my first year of College. Being in a new environment, meeting new people, it was just perfect for me. But the cost of it from my parents, I felt like it wasn't worth it. To hear the struggles that my parents went through to put me through that first year, broke my heart. And I vowed that I will some day pay them back. And lastly, someone very, very important in my life found out she was getting sicker. She's been battling Cancer since the 8th grade and just thinking that she might not have many years left. I broke down. All of Spring Quarter, I was an emotional wreck. With that said, I do not regret a single thing that has happened to me. I use it as motivation so I can push myself to be who I know I can be. Everything happens for a reason right?

I left school. I'm currently working and waiting to start my course. I'm very happy with my life at the moment and if my life stays on this path everything will be ok.

Making the choice to leave my marriage of seven years. It's affected me in every way imaginable. I am thrilled with who I am now. I feel the most authentic I have in my lifetime - as though for the first time in history, I am living as me. Even though I have the least amount of security I've had in my adult life, I truly feel like a weight has been lifted and I can breathe again.

I came out, my sister Lily was born, I transferred to SIUe, I saw AVPM, AVPS, MAMD among other things. The BP spill, Moved to Illinois, aaaaand that's about it.

My Father died earlier this year. It affected me more profoundly than I expected, as I carried the burden of sorting out the whole family's affairs. It was a huge shock, totally unexpected. How do I feel - sorry, sorry that I didn't get the chance to say goodbye, sorry I didn't see how ill he was. I feel a little resentful, but mostly relieved that he passed quickly, with little pain. I also feel quite a lot resentful towards his immediate family, who couldn't put their differences behind them to say goodbye to him

I moved in with my boyfriend even though we hadn't been dating long. It has been great - when living with someone is a simple transistion it can only bode well for the future.

I began learning TaeKwon-Do, have managed to attain the rank of Green Tag (or 7th Kup, to the initiated!) I have found a new skill, and would love to carry on learning it!

We had a little baby girl, Lola Mai, last November I'm surprisingly at ease at being a Dad & look forward to being with her each day, & seeing the new things that she can do (she used a potty for the first time today!)

My housemate introduced me to my boyfriend. This seemed to result in her being suddenly jealous, as well as my other housemate, and our relationships deteriorated from there, ending in my housemates abusing my privacy, and a fight that left me feeling unwelcome in my own home, and hated by both of them, even when I feel I did nothing wrong, and all that has effectively ended any friendship, both with me and my housemates, and my boyfriend and my housemates. I can't help but feel guilty about this, feeling that it's my fault my housemate and boyfriend no longer talk, even though I'm constantly reassured it's not my fault and I did nothing wrong. I can't help but wonder if I could have handled the situation differently, if we'd still be friends, or if there really was no hope for our friendship surviving after the year living together. I feel resentful towards the way they treated me, even months after everything happened, but I still miss them. There are some pretty confusing and conflicting emotions, and I think there will be for a while.

I saw my great grandma on her deathbed. We travelled to Chonburi and visited her. It was by chance too.. we hadn't planned on it but luckily for us, the time we went to bangkok (we go every year), my grandma visited us and told us her mom was really sick so we took a 4 hr ride. Although I wasn't close to her, the moment I saw her lying there in pain and crying.. I cried my eyes out. I could tell my mom was really sad. The house was also where my mom grew up and I had a good look around and it really make me realize what a difficult time my mom had but also made me long for the simple life. To keep things short, everything made me appreciate my life more, my mom more and my family more. Nothing is more important than family.

My nan on my fathers side died a few months ago. It has caused my father to reasses his life and the relationships he has with his family. Now it seems he is taking much more of an interest in mine and my brothers lives....I am grateful, although sad that it took this long for old family feuds to fade....plus i miss my nan.

Last month a friend of mine, Bethany May Robinson, passed away. She was 17 years old. Her death affected me in a huge way, not just because I lost one of my friends. It made me realise how short life really is, and how it can be taken away without moment's notice. Beth was a bright, bubbly, vivacious and wonderful girl, and she showed me that you can't waste time being miserable. No one knows how much time they have, and you have to make the most of it. Everyone says it, but you don't realise it until it hits you in the face; life is too short. Beth inspired me to make the most of every minute I have, not to waste time with people who don't care about me, and to do everything I can to make my life worth it.

I passed my driving test and i really has given me the key to my life, for better and for worse. It has aloud me to get a job, make new friends and keep up with old ones. It has taken me to places i have never seen and old places i had forgotten. It has inspired me to be more outgoing and really just help me to enjoy life that little bit more

Going abroad for the first time in my life. It was something I've dreamed about doing for the majority of my life. It allowed me to see that what I believed was possible: that there is actually more out there that is truly amazing and that I can get out of this place I'm stuck in now. It was different to how I imagined and even though I thouroughly enjoyed it, I was also shown that it's the people that make life worth living more than the place. I wonder now if my experience was so fantastic because I was fulfilling a dream to go to a place I'd always wanted, or if it was really made because of the people I got to share it with? When I got back I missed it so much, but if I had gone back without them, would it be the same? Maybe it was them I really missed.

I found out that my boyfriend had been cheating on me and lying to me about a variety of other issues. It was the first time that I have (knowingly) been so comprehensively lied to. I was initially devastated. Then confused. Then realised the enormity of the knock that my confidence, and faith in my own judgement had taken. Now I feel stronger, and inspired. He doesn't.

burgled and diagnosed with Cancer in the same month, devestated as dumped day after diagnosis BECAUSE of the diagnosis, relived now, more focused and better off without the waste of space, appriciating every moment now + have a devoted man who loves me exactly as i am

My friend got in a horrible car accident, nearly severed his neck, and can never walk again. But through it all he has been very positive and happy. I wish we could all be more like him.

I found out that I was pregnant and hadn't planned to be. It had a profound effect on me. I felt a huge mix of emotions- I had just finished my teaching degree and wasn't ready to be a mum- I was supposed to be getting my first teaching job. I was scared but I also felt a huge amount of love and became fiercly protective of my baby-to-be.

I travelled to the Russian arctic for work. It was an amazing trip and I feel very lucky I got to go. It's also just fascinating to see how other groups of people live: while I was there I stayed in a communal apartment, visited an indigenous community and spent some time in an oil-boom town. wow.

An accretion of experiences in this past year has made me realize that I have everything I've always wanted; what prevents me from being happier is my own inability to look on the brighter side of life.

This year I made the decision to leave my job as an elementary teacher to expand my photography business full time. It wasn't the money I was worried about. It was my identity. When you teach for 18 years and so many families know you as a teacher, and suddenly you change to become something else, do they recognize your new identity. I believe my definition of success has to be that I feel happy and content. I am a photographer.

My best friend died in a tragic accident. It heightened my awareness of how little time we actually have here, in the overall scheme of things. It also made me decide to live a lot more 'in the moment', to try to live every day as if it were my last. I think this has given more richness and awareness to every day since.

Just a few days ago I ran into a woman I have known for a number of years; she was wandering aimless and confused around the shopping district near my neighborhood. It has been less than a year since I saw her last and she had deteriorated mentally so significantly, it was quite a shock. She needed to take care of some business, but couldn’t remember quite where she had to go or what the place was, so I took her in my car and we found it. She couldn’t drive anymore and had taken a bus to the area, and it turned out we needed to go to another place for her to cancel her car insurance. I then took her to a mall where her daughter in law worked and after a few tries found the shop, much to the daughter in law’s relief. This is the time of year for performing mitzvahs, but I must say that in good conscience, I don’t see how any decent person could have left this woman wandering around in terrible heat without helping her. As I am also of advancing age (11 years younger than my friend) but still having those frustrating moments of memory laps that comes with it, I felt a personal stake in her condition-could that be me in ten years? Would someone help me if I was in that situation? I think these are the questions we should ask ourselves when we see the less fortunate-what about our lives prevents us from that situation, and how can we help those who need it? I am afraid I am not always has high-minded as I was in this situation; this was someone I knew, so I knew there was something wrong with her. How have I behaved with the random person on the street who has displayed such odd behavior? I fear I have not been as kind and compassionate as I should have been.

I was accepted to grad school to complete a degree in Library and Information Science. This time next year, I will be finished and hopefully in a new job.

It has been a bad year for me... Everything has pretty much gone to hell. The pretty much best thing that has happened to me, so far, has been that for the first time in my 18-year life, I've traveled outside Sweden without the rest of my family. Me and three friends went to Germany, to the big game convention Gamescom. We had a great time, and to actually get away from the problems I've had at home and simply spend time with the people I like, doing things that I love, was a great relief. Of course, this too came to an end, but it felt great to have done something different, and to get away...

I Graduated College. i'm glad it's over because i hate homework. but i'm actually surprised by how much i miss it now, i miss my friends and the structure of life. i have no idea what i'm going to do with my life and i'm terrified, which is why i'm currently doing nothing.

Agency went through another restructure. Grateful I'm still in a job in this terrible market, angry that senior managers don't have the ideas and vision to take the business forward.

Well, my confirmation was on june. Our camp back in Vuontispirtti was so awesome! After that we had our COnfirmation and i became legally my nephew's godmother =)

Adopted "Max" a Pomeranian/Maltese? mix from a rescue shelter. He's been abused & is very fearful but learning to trust. Training is going well. My cat Annie is jealous & giving him a hard time.

I lost a dream job for (seemingly) no reason at all. I didn't have any notice that I was doing anything wrong, and I'm still really angry about it. In some ways, it was similar to a breakup of a long-term relationship - because of the nature of the job, my coworkers and I were together 24/7 and on my last day I was escorted out like a prisoner and humiliated in front of the public. Seeing photos from that job (it was highly publicized) and facebook updates just makes me really jealous and mad. I don't know if I'll ever get to a point where I don't feel resentful towards that company or angry about what happened. All I can do is move onwards knowing that I am a good person and I can and was doing the best job I possibly could, and nothing could have prevented this from happening - it was just meant to be this way.

Got Married in May, best day of my life and has strengthened my relationship with Juliet beyond words

My son was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It has changed my life completely. I've had to re-evaluate my hopes and aspirations for him. I've also had to reconsider extending my family and when we would have more children. Sometimes I feel it has brought my husband and I closer together. Other times, as he is not my husband's son, I think it drives us apart as I feel like he doesn't really understand the depth of my feelings. To know that it is very likely I will outlive my son is the most upsetting thing in the world. Most days I put on a smile and carry on but with every new piece of information and every appointment, inside I feel totally crushed. Sometimes I just want to sit and cry without ever stopping but I can't do that. I have to pick myself up and carry on.

My niece was born. She is the sunshine of my family and I love her. She was the first grandchild to be born. Now she's almost 4 months old!

Went back to work in an office after years of being home with the kids. The work has been enriching, confidence boosting and made me feel whole again. I knew staying at home without a pay cheque made me feel less than but I didn't realize how much. I am, however, struck by the fact that I am no longer the whiz kid. Although good at my job, it is harder to remember things, stay on top of the work, not be stressed. It is also humbling now that I know I don't know everything. I realize I used to think I did. A whole new level of fear of getting the job done.

I realised, I'm never gonna win. I have to just put up with it. She's had him for 22 years. I've had him for 5.

I fell in love with the man I am going to marry! There is nothing else like being with someone who you truly trust and respect. I never thought I would find him and I always wondered what people meant by, "you just know," but it's true, you really just know that they're the right one. Being with him just feels right :)

I've met Zhenia. I feel we are both on the way to Harmony now. Love (to everyone) REALLY can cure, can help. It's better to say that ONLY love can help to live happily. It's quite difficult, but it worth.

I went under Gama knife surgery shortly after my 18th birthday. It was a great miracle how we somehow obtained financial support for the procedure - to which I am very grateful. It was even a great blessing that we could even have the means for me to undergo such a procedure. I am also very touched of how much my parents and family showed their concern and love for me during that time. I am grateful for all of that, I truly am. However, I remember I was praying all through0ut the process, and came to a point when a tear rolled down my cheek and I asked God, "Why?". Why should I have this condition? I still don't know exactly why, but I know God has some great purpose for giving me this challenge, and that one day I can look back and say that this has been a blessing to me and many others in so many ways.

My sister got married in June. It was beautiful. Her absence while she was on her honeymoon allowed me to reconsider some choices in my life and now I have decided to be an actress.

Moving back to my hometown for a job opportunity. It has been tough. I miss my community in the city I moved from. My hometown is much smaller and sometimes I feel like an outsider for my liberal views. I miss my liberal church and friends I had much in common with. Here, sometimes I feel like it is tough to find my place. Ultimately I know I will, and that there will be things here I will love too. But for now, I just miss my old life, my old neighborhood, my old friends, my old community.

I graduated with my master's degree and a few weeks later, after an emotional break-up and and end of a friendship, I moved to another state to be closer to my father. I landed the job of my dreams within a month and am now living on my own and focusing on myself. I am trying to take this as a learning experience and though I am still hurt - I am trying to find it in my heart to forgive those who hurt me because I am in a good place now.

I have met a wonderful man who I can see myself sharing my life with. After a long period of singledom and then dating I was starting to feel slightly despondent about ever finding love and companionship with one special person. This man has changed all that. I heard other people say that when you meet the right person, all the worrying about when / if to call / text and how to behave becomes irrelevant. And, they were right. This relationship feels right. He can be very cheesy in what he says and does, and with the wrong person I would find suh behaviour oppressive or laughable, but with him it's just lovely. I feel energised by him, and so grateful to have met him. I can't wait to see what will happen next for us!

My mother reached her 90th birthday. How long, O Lord, how long???

I was diagnosed with leukemia. I went through all the signs of grieving. I was then told that this type of leukemia is not as fatal as was thought. Yes, I am grateful. I am now closer to God, and am inspired.

My partner bought a house an we are now living together while rennovating it. It's great to have a place for family and friends to stay when they come visit! But it brings alot of arguments about everything from paint colours to garden plants. In theroy it will strengthen us...

I lost my job in March. I was completely off guard. I find myself bitter, scared, insecure and feeling completely mediocre. I don't want to climb a ladder. I don't want to be a manager. I'm thinking this is further indication that the corporate world is not for me. Unfortunately, I have no idea what else I want to be or do. I don't have a masters and the thought of studying for a MBA is abhorant. I haven't paid for the first round of college. How can I borrow 30K for a degree I don't want? I'm stuck. I want to move. I can't sell my house. I don't want to ruin my credit with a foreclosure but it may come to that. There don't seem to be any jobs in my field where I am. I've interviewed or applied for every similar position for the last six months. I want a personality transplant, one with more drive and less dream. I'm inspired by people who have a vision for their life. I see people with so much surety about what they're doing or supposed to be doing. How do I get that? To complicate things I'm dating someone who ... for all intents and purposes is not suitable. He's a good, good man and those are incredibly hard to find in today's world. But we don't share the same dreams or interests. He has two children to raise on his own. I'll never be first in his life. I want to be first. I've stayed with him because I'm lonely and want someone even if it's only occasionally. That depresses me more. I'm rather pathetic I think. I feel weak and insipid because I don't have the courage to change it.

Two things: -After four (very long) months of unemployment, I found a job that was in my field, was more money than I had been making previously, and significantly cut down on my commute. Being unemployed was hard, and kept me feeling very defeated, especially since my previous job was one that I was fully dedicated to deep in my heart. Unfortunately, nearly a year and a half later, I'm still not over loosing that job. -I bought my first home. It was hands down one of the scariest things I've ever done, and I'm still not quite comfortable with my decision, but I'm stuck with it for at least the next 10 years.

I have sat here trying to think of anything significant that has happened in my life this year. I am filled with overwhelming sadness. Only as I wrote that did I realize something significant did happen. My oldest daughter and I have suffered a silent break in our relationship. I think it came with my acceptance and acknowledgement to myself that she is an alcoholic. I worry how this break is harming my 2 grandchildren (ages 18 and 13) - and am feeling powerless to do anything for them. I have told them I think that their mom is an alcoholic and how hard it must be for them. My attempts to offer them help have not been accepted. My granddaughter is basically homeless staying with friends and occasionally going back home to her mom's. She won't come live with us. She seems to only be living for her boyfriend's return from Afghanistan. It is breaking my heart. It is like watching them drown and being unable to get them to take my out stretched hand.

I have learned, unlearned, and am in the process of learning again that exercise is truly essential to joy, and that you can't always just decide to be happy. Sometimes you just have to wait for it.

Everyone talks about Men being made to lose it all over a Woman ! I beleive it's behaviour, not what Sex you are . I am a Woman who Has always been taken advantage of because THEY CAN .I can GIVE to MANY but very few can give to ME . I have sustained another person's wants , needs and desires for the last 7 yrs 8 months , while they DID VERY LITTLE to sustain themself , through their , hard times . I have watched my savings be depleted over the last 8 months with only MY MONEY COMING IN , until last month when there was no more to pay bills with , I had to File a Consumer Proposal and have my debts reduced . I have no credit for the next 5 yrs until my proposal has been paid at 40 cents on the dollar to my creditors.I AM BITTER . I used to Love this person and I beleive they think ,they tried as hard as they could ,although there were never any values spoken to me of understanding for my situation and my love to them was NEVER accepted without criticism or neglect . I went as far as one can go , the next step is severe illness and I am suffering depression from this draining ,. morbid person . Since they have . no money to move into a place of their own , they continue to be at odds with MY best , even now ! UNTIL THEY CAN MOVE ON . MY PLAN LAST YEAR at this time was to have been ready and have put money down on my house , Right Now ! AS soon as I spoke it outloud last year, I was sabotaged .... I am broke , I am resentful of any further help for this person , I am releived because I have a good job and hope to be back on my feet , by myself again , without this person . I am inspired because I have shown a better way for life to be lived although , I lived my heart and was ignored . My Mother was right , you can't Be nice to some people . MY mother was WISE , Love you Forever , Like for always as long as I'm living , MY MOMMY You'll be.( ROBERT MUNSCH) ALways Loved you MOM and now from Heaven , I hope you are recieving ,Many Blessings there. MOM I HAVE ALSO LOVED MY BEAUTIFUL GRANDAUGHTER THIS YEAR , SHE brings me JOY and has helped my condition by just playing toys and dressing up and colouring together with her ! This helped me Find Love in all my current PAIN and kept my FAith alive.Many Blessings Little Angel ! Love You Madelynn

When I lost my job it was as if my world fell apart. Yet, as the days went on and I was able to pick myself back up I was able to prove to myself how strong I really was. I put all of my networking skills to use and was able to find something better than my first job in just a few short months. As we always say in my family - you've got to see it, you've got to feel it, you've got to believe it.

I passed my written boards. I was relieved.

I had a baby! I am profoundly grateful. Sometimes I'm exhausted; occasionally resentful (as of this writing, my husband and I haven't yet entirely figured out how to juggle my work, his work, and baby responsibilities, and the high holiday season is an intense one for me) but mostly I am glad to be on this journey, and I'm amazed by how deeply becoming a parent has impacted my spiritual life.

I turned 40 this year. As a positive, I spent a wonderful week celebrating in Las Vegas with my wife and our best friends since college(and HS for me). On the downside...I have started to put on weight like never before and everything aches...

I developed a wicked case of mononucleosis. My inability to do so many routine things during my three-month recovery made me realize how interdependent we all are, no matter how old we are. I have developed a greater sense of gratitude and humility.

Grandfather was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer. Deeply saddened by the experience but realizing he has lived a long life (he'll be 84 soon) and has a very large family (70+) that will always remember him fondly.

My partner suffered with a major depressive episode. He finally got treatment for the mood disorder that had been plaguing him his entire life, but the process of dealing with his mood disorder activated mine. I invested a lot of energy in him while he was sick and getting better, and now I have no energy left. I love him more than anything, and I would do everything the exact same way no matter the consequences. I am in a lot of pain.

I ended up falling in love with someone I swore I never would. Although the hardest experience of my life has been getting over him, I would never say that I regret it and I would most definitely do it all over again - though maybe a little differently. It has taught me a lot about myself and I can now take a step back and know I did not do anything wrong by letting my emotions get the better of me. I DO regret losing my best friend and second family from it.

I started taking my writing seriously. I feel so grateful to so many people - to my husband who has been supportive of this effort and who continues to support our family financially, to my new friendship with a woman who is inspiring and encouraging, and to my friends and family who have been willing to read and provide feedback or even just check in on my progress. I also feel incredibly excited. I feel like I've begun a new adventure.

I just sent my son off for a year's study in yeshiva in Jerusalem before he comes back to sart Engineering. seeing pics of him there and skyping with him, I am sooooooooooooooo proud, and pretty jealous, and grateful that our family can get enough credit to do this.

Matt and I got to spend Christmas in our own home, with both of our families there. This was very important for me, as it was our first Christmas as a married couple and we wanted to spend it in our home. We decorated the tree, cooked a full traditional Christmas meal, and spent Christmas Eve at our church. The time was so special for me, such a blessing. A time to start our own family traditions while celebrating the traditions of our childhoods. Such a consecration of our marriage and our future. I am thankful for this.

My cousin committed suicide right before Rosh Hashanah last year. I feel like his death has hung over me like a shadow for the past 12 months. I feel like I have become a better person because of it, because I realize how fragile and precious life is. I try to make my friends and family a bigger priority, I let people know what they mean to me, I take time to enjoy life. One never knows what the future holds, so we must cherish every moment, we must make sure the people we are close to know what they mean to us. Life is fragile but it is amazing. I feel blessed and lucky to have learned this lesson, even though it was through such a tragic event that I was able to learn this.

There's been a few! Getting my first job at Poke, moving into the real REAL world, moving out of horrible Holloway and moving into lovely East Finchley, my brother getting married (in two weeks!), getting in NME for the first time, losing Nannie. It's been a great year for learning and I feel much more centered and calm and stronger than ever before.

Reached my one year unemployment anniversary. It made me realize that it was like I had broken up with someone. I'd not moved on from my previous work experience. Not that it kept me from working, because the economy is that horrible, but I realized that I'd not put forth the effort I could have.

Watched my daughter turn 1. It has changed me as a person. Changed my priorities. Impacted the way I interact with others.

Publishing a book. Inspired and motivated.

My fiance announced our engagement to a whole crowd of his friends and family, who I had never met before. I felt so awkward, scared, and shy. It turned out for the best and everyone was delightful. But it was an awkward situation that I hope I never have to experience again.

A little over a year ago I began graduate school. Meeting the breadth of people with such a wealth of experience has influenced how I view the importance of education in my life. I'm trying to begin a shift in how I prioritize my life and my future to trust my instincts and value my experiences in the job market and in my personal life more.

I married my husband this past year, and it's funny that our relationship has evolved in ways I never could have imagined. Mostly, we're exactly the same as before. And sometimes I'm still the selfish young woman who hasn't quite given up on wanting independence. But mostly we've become a whole new family- no longer just a product of our pasts, but a whole new beginning unto ourselves. It feels like anything is possible.

I broke up with my abusive boyfriend in May. We'd been together for nearly two years, and I finally found a way to leave him for good. I haven't felt as free as this in a long time, and it's wonderful.

I went on a global leaders conference in america where I met so many wonderful people, and learnt more than I could ever imagined about the world and different cultures. The whole event changed my life. I can't describe it in mere words.

The adoption of a little cat that appeared in our garage. He's part of our family now, and I can't imagine me living without him. So I feel grateful!

In October 2009, my brothers and I were able to get our Mother into an Assisted Living facility. She really should have been in one well before then because she is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She fought us kicking and screaming, but we were determined not to relent. Less than one week after she entered the facility, she called each of us up and told us we had done the right thing and that she knows she cannot live alone any longer. To this day, she is very happy where she is and I feel very relieved and very grateful.

I reencountered a highly spiritualized woman and had a very meaningful relationship with her. It was a enlightening experience and I am very grateful. Las week, I played chess with my father who's been affected by Alzheimer's disease for the last 5 years. It was a way to communicate with him and I was gratefully surprised to observe that he could still focus and think.

This year, I watched my brother marry a wonderful woman. The little sister in me can't believe that he found someone to put up with his crap - but, on the other hand, I have seen how much he has changed for the better since Tara came in to his life. Seeing how happy he is, and realizing how perfect they are for each other, gives me more hope for love than anything else I have experienced.

Many things, all extreme. 1. My dad was diagnosed with ALS, rapidly deteriorated, and died on April 5th. It's been 5 months and 4 days since I last hugged Poppo. This makes me incredibly sad. 2. I survived my first year on the tenure track. This makes me incredibly proud. Mom and I are very sad about Poppo. We are angry that he got sick in the first place, but not upset that he died. He was very unhappy and there is no hope with ALS. It is a death sentence. Poppo loved us so much and did not want to continue progressing in the disease and take us down that journey. But it sucks.

The past few weeks, it feels like my life is crumbling to the ground. It seems like it's just one thing after another after another going wrong, and I can't seem to stop it all from spinning out of control. My car keeps falling apart, I barely have enough money to put gas in the tank, let alone put money into it for repairs. I'm in debt up to my eyeballs due to school, and now I'm paying out of pocket monthly for a lease in an apartment that I really didn't need. Things with him seem to keep falling apart, and I cannot lose him. I will not lose him. He is the greatest thing in my life and he is the one who keeps me going. This is probably the most difficult time in my life; I can't believe how easy it used to be. I cannot wait to finish school so I can live my life with him. I'm grateful for this test that I've been put through; it shows my true colors and my strength to get through as much as I can. I just wish it wouldn't have happened all at once. I'm inspired by him, and that's the only thing that keeps me going.

It hasn't happened yet, but will in a few weeks--I'm going to be a bone marrow donor. Anticipating this experience has already changed me, and increased my awareness of how grateful I am to be healthy, hopeful, and living in a world where such miracles are possible. I look forward to discovering everything else I will learn.

As I wrote last year, I had hoped to successfully backpack my way through some of the world for at least six months. I did exactly that — six months to the day — and I couldn't be more excited to do it again. I'm grateful for the opportunities it afforded me, the wonderful and inspiring people I met, and for the fervor and it provided me to continue to seek out exciting new challenges. I am anything but relieved it's over, and a bit resentful that I didn't last longer than the six months. I find myself lost, and worried it was just a "once in a lifetime" thing, despite my reassurance to others that it will not be. However, nothing was more inspiring than the brilliant people and the community of like-minded people I met. Along with that incredible niche, were the inspirations I met in both Cambodia and Thailand, those less fortunate who still managed to smile despite the hardships, believing their situations will improve. I hope to find a career that lets me meld the adventure with the humanitarian and the writing, that I can see myself doing for years to come.

I moved in with my boyfriend of two years back in January. It forced me to confront my problems adapting to change, making compromises, and being considerate of his needs and how I treat him when I'm hurt or angry. The first month, we fought so often I wasn't sure we'd make it. Even now, nine months later, I still wonder sometimes if I'll ever be able to grow up and shed the selfishness needed to be in a true partnership with him. If I'll ever love him more than I love myself. I hope I can.

I left my job in order to pursue my freelance career. While life is definitely more financially stressful now, I do not regret my decision in the least. The more distance I have from my old job, the more I realize just how much my old work environment negatively impacted my life!

I left my job, because i felt it was not taking me anywhere. I managed to find another one after 5 months. I am grateful to have done what i did because it gave me a new start, which i am pleased out

Friendship break up. Thankfully, I feel completely relieved to be rid of her and it hasn't affected me in a negative way. I seem to spend time with kinder, more genuine people who don't feel the need to say horrible things about people and I no longer have the weekly fallings out making me feel miserable. I am going to University in less than a week and I feel like a new person since I came to the decision that I didn't wish to be friends with her anymore. I have a new start away from this place where I will hopefully be able to shine.

A very close friend returned to my life after a long period of silence. I was joyful, grateful, and determined to make up for lost time. Unfortunately, after several months of sharing wonderful experiences, this friend just "vanished" once more, leaving me feeling confused, resentful and very, very sad. Even though I'm fully aware that she has mental and emotional problems, I can't help but take it personally. Why couldn't I be the one to help her stay on track? I'll never know.

Losing my father was a significant experience this past year. For so many years, he was my protector and anchor. Despite his shortcomings, I felt he was always there to be on my side. During the long decline in his mental health, I slowly was released to an orphan state. I have struggled greatly with a feeling of being "lost at sea." My spouse is not that anchor/protector, and I am trying to reconcile that need with being an adult.

Becoming a full time cake decorator. It never had crossed my mind that this was something I could enjoy/be good at. I am very thankful my boss just kind of threw me in there. I finally know what it feels like to enjoy working, and I actually can see a future in this. I just wish I could find a place better than where I am now.

Changed careers, got promoted, and after a long time being independent & single I got a boyfriend. This is probably the most significant as it has challenged my ideas about a lot of things, such as men, what love is, and what I really believe to be true. It's not always been easy, but I have come out of it more sure of myself and happier than I have been in a long time!

Going to Disney World for my 30th birthday with my beautiful wife! We needed a break from day-to-day activities and unnecessary, and at times self inflicted, stress. It was the best vacation since our honeymoon. I was ignorant to the fact that Disney World was a better vacation for adults than children. We were in complete awe the entire time and lied in the moment for 4 full days. It was one of those times where you learn to focus on what is truly important and enjoy every minute of it. It gave us a bit of a new perspective on life, and we cannot wait to get back for our second helping of the Tower of Terror, the Rockin' Roller Coaster, Animal Kingdom, and Mickey and the gang!

A significant experience... That's tough. I suppose realizing that I am worth so much more than how I treat myself. I have let my body go, I have mentally and emotionally shut down. Coming to the realization that I deserve to be happy has been a tough one. But one that I certainly needed to come to.

Two significant events happened to me within the last year: Dana and I bought a house and then, ten months later, we got married in our backyard. I am very grateful. Eternally grateful. In fact, I wouldn't want my life to be any other way. I am the happiest I've ever been and I don't ever see this changing.

I upped the ante on my commitment to Torah. I bought a beautiful 375 year old Torah and knew that bringing it into my home would transform my life. I took it on as a responsibility to my community and to learning and praying with others. I am grateful that I am privileged to share this treasure and continue to pray for guidance along my way.

I quit my second job. Although it was a significant subsidy for my child’s day-care bill, it was not worth the time away from my family. All three of us are much happier. We've shared so many special moments that we otherwise would have missed had I been working.

Started my own business with a friend that I deeply respect and invested in. They say 2009 was the year full of fear and a business economy that was near close to the bottom of the barrel. To survive with direction was a testament to people's will. And something my grandma would be proud of. May she rest in peace.

This past year, I lost a very dear friend to suicide. It affected me on a lot of levels, mainly, the way I keep up with my relationships with friends and family. You really never know when you can instantly lose someone, and then you live forever with regret of the things you could have done to either help, or things you could have done together. Jessica always inspires me and she continues to do so although she is gone. She is a prime example of someone who did everything for everyone else and was always selfless. Losing her this year put a huge whole in my heart that I can only try to fill by taking her example and living life to its fullest.

My husband lost his job. I was relieved as it means he's happier, he can build back up his consultancy business, spend more time with us and help me out with the kids. I run my business full-time from home and was feeling pretty abandoned by him when he went back into the 8am to 7pm grind two years ago. It seemed like a logical decision (as we were entering a recession) but it really hurt our relationship and put a strain on my relationship with the kids. I was exhausted and vey angry. I need their Daddy around and I think we're all much happier now. The money situation will sort itself out in next few months so I'm not worried about that. Now it's time for my business to fly...with his loving support.

A philosophical thought from the past year... Natural Time Each heartbeat is a new moment, the beginning of a new day, the start of a new month, the promise of a new year filled with wonder beyond measure. Craig Salvay 03 Sep 2010

I lost my best friend to cancer. She was my confidant, my champion, and my strongest critic. I feel lost without her. Her death was premature and she was a friend until her last breath. Her courage was awe inspiring. I hope I can live up to her standards in the future. I will strive to be the good and loving person that she was.

My daughter was separated and divorced. I felt so sad for all she was going through and very helpless on top of it. I am grateful that she is happier now then she was in her marriage and I'm ecstatic about that. So yes, I am relieved that it is all over and that she is in a great place. I am inspired by how my daughter has handled this crisis in her life. I love her so much.

This is going to sound kind of stupid, but I spent a lot of time this past year grappling with body issues and coming to terms with the ugly truth that I can’t (seem to) get a date when I’m 20 lbs. overweight. I only had one mostly insignificant relationship this past year; it lasted about 2 months. The relationship ran very hot and cold and involved several unpleasant conversations, including one where the person I was dating suggested that I watch my weight as I age because—I presume—no one wants to date or marry a fattie. I hate that my body has become the focal point of my life and I hate that it has taken control of my dating life (or lack thereof). Getting rid of the mediocre relationship was necessary (for a variety of reasons) but it still doesn’t get rid of the unfortunate reality that until I learn to deal with my body and my appetite, I will have a very hard time meeting someone who I might be able to spend my life with.

Stephanie. Being with Stephanie. She came into my life, I loved her, lost her, but she made me stronger. She showed me how to hate and made me see what I really needed in my life. I was walking down pointless roads til I met her. She made me stop. Take note of my life. Look at what I really wanted. I learn't to open my heart and shortly after Stephanie broke my heart. I found the girl of my dreams. x

We found that we are having another baby. It was a surprise, so totally grateful and excited at the same time

My successful business crashed and burned along with my financial security. It has caused me to reinvent myself and my priorities which has been especially challenging as I'm in my early 60's. But I am in the process of creating two new businesses which is exciting though scary. I feel vulnerable and unprotected by our system but have spent much time reevaluating my priorities. I feel much more connected to humanity in a global sense and understand more about suffering and uncertainty.

Exams at Uni. They made me realize that I can achieve anything I want if I just "move my butt". "the difference between try and triumph is that little umph!"

I had a car crash. I am grateful I got out unscathed, indeed, and I am also happy that it reminded me that there are so many important things in life, and that life is so short, that it is pointless worrying about every petty, foolish thing. Every single day is a beautiful gift.

I was used and manipulated by a self-absorbed in-law and very angry at myself for letting it happen. On the other hand he threatened financial blackmail against my children so I gave in and let him set up the asinine trust he wanted to insure his "legacy." I was very resentful and now know not to blindly trust family - they will screw you faster than any stranger! But I've worked to let go of the anger and now feel pity for this man. He will not achieve his sterling legacy as his survivors will curse, rather than exalt, him for his selfishness.

As simple as this sounds - not fitting into my jeans. I realized I wasn't taking care of myself at college and that I needed to start exercising and eating well. I ran all summer and am now a vegetarian. For the first time at school, I feel like my life is on track. I'm confident about myself, excited for my classes, happy when I'm with friends, and I feel so much better than I have the past two years.

My brother got Married which meant the whole family went to Costa Rica as his now wife is half Costa Rican. It made me realise how good family is and how much I have now too, also made me rethink how I may want my wedding probably somewhere out of england as then only people who really want to see you get married will turn up. (anyway shouldn't think about it as dont even have a boyfriend ha ha)

Moving back to the UK. More significant than all the other moves, the others just difficult. This time I had to reassess all my values and ideas about life, family and my own role. It also made me take a hard look at the practices of Buddhism, which had been a major part of my life for years. I began to understand that I had relied on practice and ritual and that spiritual growth is not a part of that. The birth of my youngest son's child at the end of December was part of this more enlightened view of the significance of life, which I would not have experienced if I had not moved nearer to family.

I have to pick the dog we adopted from the shelter back in February. We had originally come to the idea of a second dog after reading about the plight of neglected greyhounds. The dog we read about had died already when we called, so we then went to a shelter that had many greyhounds. The woman running this shelter had a patronizing attitude the moment we entered and seemed to make it her purpose to keep us from saving a greyhound, like we were somehow invading her territory. We left disheartened. My wife then began checking other shelters and we eventually went to see a small dachshund-mix dog, a puppy from a shelter in Missouri who had ended up in New England. He was a great ball of energy and we all liked him. He even seemed to get along with our older dog, Max. The next day we got the call that we had be approved and we picked up "Pierre", who eventually was renamed TJ. TJ has been an adjustment for all of us. He has energy to spare every day, and a spirit that is independent yet needing of attention and love. He is quite the opposite of our older dog, and has kept us all on our toes.

I started taking the things I can't control less seriously. This has increased my happiness and quality family-time has moved back to the top of my priorities; allowing me to rekindle important relationships with my Wife and kids.

My cousin got married this last weekend. It was a wonderful day... lots of family, food, booze. It was wonderful to be part of such a joyous occasion, it gave me hope that someday I will find love. It also made me more aware of how much I drink... not that I wasn't already aware.

I lost a friendship and for no apparent reason. Things changed in the other person's life and they no longer needed it. At least that's what I think happened, there was no falling out, they just got 'busy' and stopped interacting. I'm left wondering what I did wrong, why they meant so much to me and I apparently nothing to them. Don't they miss it too? Nine months later I'm still trying to reconcille the situation, I still see this person in a business setting and every time I do it is emotionally painful. Every time I mourn the loss of the friendship. There was no closure, no explaination. I have been taught the lesson that you never really know how much someone else loves you, depends on your kindness, your friendship, be careful with other peoples' feelings.

Watching my mother and stepfather age. My stepfather turned 85 and my mom 80 and it seems like ten years caught up with them all at once. It's very sad. They have become so fragile. They fear change. They are angry. I feel frustrated and wish I could do much more from where I live. I have one sibling who is "disengaged" and am saddened to share this alone. My mom and stepfather have lost many friends the past few years and many of my friends are losing their parents. Time does go faster the older you get and the realization that things you thought happened a few years ago actually happened ten years ago is quite a punch in the face. It has been a very stressful and tough year for friends and family all around. I am hoping that the New Year will be happy, healthy, sweet and peaceful for all.

I was laid off from my job as a hedge fund executive. It has added stress to my family life - my wife and 5 children are very cognizant of it. My wife has increased the hours she works as an RN, which has been quite helpful and I treasure her even more for that commitment. However, I feel quite guilty that she has had to take on this added burden, which clearly is taxing to her, as she works the night shift. Despite the financial pressure this has created, in some ways, it has been a relief, as I really did not enjoy my former job or the people with whom I worked. This event has allowed me to have more time with my family, whom I treasure. It is imperative that I use this time to my advantage and 1. enhance my relationship with my wife and kids, and 2. find gainful employment that pays sufficiently to get the kids through college, but also provides a satisfying and fulfilling professional existence.

My husband's mental illness has become more severe as he stopped taking medication and so life seems to revolve around his emotional cycles. I'm sympathetic but resentful. For the first time, stress is developing in my body and joy is more difficult to find in daily life. I daydream of living alone.

This past April my boyfriend (now my ex) told me he didn't believe in marriage. This caused me to question my own life, was marriage something I wanted? Can I handle a life with kids? Would I be happy without ever getting married? Even though my ex would have married me to make me happy was it good enough? I now know that I do want a life with marriage and kids. My boyfriend and I did break up because we are at a point in our lives where we want different things. I am relieved that there is no more tension at home, but it still hurts me every day because I am still in love with him, but I know that in the long run breaking up will be the best decision for us both.

I was laid off from my job on December 3rd 2009, one day after my 51st birthday. I was resentful but did get a contract job from March 15, 2010 until June 25, 2010

I graduated from high school in June. It made me think about my future, and how I want to spend the rest of my life. In the grand scheme of things we have very little time. Use it well.

The feeling of being alone has turned into more of a feeling of being independant, though that may swing back

I broke a toe bone in a fall at home and now after five months of relative inactivity am FINALLY getting around to doing things that should have been completed by now (garden a mess, home projects delayed, etc). Am grateful for the luck (?) of not being seriously damaged, and relieved to know I'll be able to walk my granddaughter down the aisle without limping :))

Although I received my breast cancer diagnosis more than a year and a half ago, I only really experienced feeling badly this past winter (2009-10). I was having dizziness, heart palpitations, terrible nausea, hot flashes, poor sleep, and other symptoms, and it was difficult to get through the days. It took quite a while to figure out which medications were causing these symptoms, and to get off most of the meds, use acupuncture and therapy, and finally heal and get myself back. I am so grateful each day that I wake up feeling normal again. But this experience reinforces my belief that while doctors know some things, they don't know everything, and it angers me that my doctors couldn't figure out that I was taking too much of certain medications, etc.

I became a grandfather! I was expecting the new role would make me feel older... but in fact it made me feel 25 again and as though i was holding my first born. Doing things ... idealistic and wholesome things that we did in our youth... in later years, makes us feel young again... but we do those activities with more experience and wisdom. a new spin on Teshuva!

My loved one died unexpectedly in June... the man I wanted to share my life with and it would have been the second go at relationships for both of us. Knowing this man and being with him was different from all other people I have known, deeper and greater. I an grateful to have had him in my life. I am devastated because he is dead and I can not anymore look forward to see him coming towards me. It seems like the cells in my body remember him along with the emotional memories. I didn´t realize that there could be such agony, grief and pain to experience when you lose your dearest human being from your life. I am also inspired to live my life to it's fullest, and to live joyfully. He did that and was a good example for me to follow. Live each day as it is your last one, there is so much truth in this saying. We should be honouring our life as it is, not procrastinating to live. Life is now!

I both went through a terrible pseudo-relationship and entered into a wonderful one. The first one, in the short term, totally shattered my sense of self - the standards I thought I had, my self-respect, my sense of worth. More than being angry at him, I was disappointed in myself for getting into and then, worse, staying in a bad situation. Getting out of it gave me a chance to reclaim my identity. I was able to redefine what I cared about, what I wanted, and what I wasn't willing to compromise. I had to be brutally honest with myself about where the weakness came from, but I think that will help me be more careful when I'm vulnerable again. These are not mistakes I care to repeat. Through that additional clarity and my regained assurance, I was much better prepared when a truly amazing guy came into my life. One of the things he appreciated was that I was a "complete person," and I think that came of the rebuilding from the past that more firmly oriented me to who I want to be and what I have to demand of myself. I'm also much better for him as a result, able to be a good partner for him without compromising myself. The terrible things I went through also help me to really, deeply appreciate all that is wonderful about him and I hope that I can always show him that appreciation, as of course that means a lot to him and he deserves to be valued to the fullest. I also feel like I can be vulnerable with him without endangering my sense of self, now that it's been strengthened by everything else.

My daughter, third child, only girl, graduated from college with her Bachelor degree in Fine Art. She's been through a lot to get there and it's taken 10 years longer than the so-called "normal" schedule. I am almost unbearably proud of her. The feeling that surprised me was one of release, freedom, that I could let go now, mixed with some nostalgia or loneliness.

Whoa! A lot of things happened in the past year. Maybe the only thing that will not happen again is me graduating in college and passing the board exam and getting a job(that is not what I have studied for) after 4 days. I am grateful that I finished college since I think I am the first in my father's side to be in this state. I am relieved in a sense that school is over. But the rest of my life has just began. That gives me the creeps. All these expectations. I am not bound to be thwarted by these feelings because I have a lot of different things to do in my life. These things does not necessarily coincide with what I have spent the last fours years for.

Getting together with my girlfriend in February of this year (2010). She flew over from Belfast on Valentines weekend and we had a fantastic weekend together. It marked the beginning of a fantastic period of love and happiness! It affected me by making me very, very happy in the knowledge that this wonderful girl loved me as much as I loved her. I felt (feel) very grateful for having met her. I'm not sure if I felt relieved of anything? Possibly relieved to be in a healthy relationship, I guess. Resentful? Not at all! Inspired? Yes, I suppose I was (still am). She inspires me to be me. Although not really anything to do with her I recently began a lifestyle change to get fit and lose weight. Her love and support simply gives me a solid foundation on to which I can explore myself. I love her deeply.

Both my husband's parents were diagnosed with terminal cancer. His father passed away and his mom is still with us. I feel helpless; unable to ease my husband and children's pain.

I've been friends with a particular person for a long time. She is fun to be around, but she is not someone I can rely on and she's very self-centered. After the last straw of her disappointing me, I tried to continue to ignore her behavior. But she pushed me (via instant messenger) to tell her what was wrong and I let her have it, big time. Although I regret some of the ways I said things, and that it has made things a bit awkward for our mutual friends, I don't regret being honest with her. So I am relieved that I don't have to deal with her mishegas anymore.

We found out that my mother has breast cancer - she went from a bubbly, adventurous lady with gorgeous hair to one who is bald, weak, and barely has the strength to nag after me any longer. This has made me completely rethink what I want to do with the rest of my life - because you never know how much of it is left.

I have come to be respected more by my employer, which has led to a sense of accomplishment and self worth.

We decided to put the family cottage up for sale in the spring this year. We built the cottage, largely with our own hands, some 45 years ago. The cottage has fallen into some disrepair after my father died and the siblings are having difficulty keeping up with the ongoing maintenance and getting our Mother up there with any regularity in the nice months. I am sad to lose such a significant place from my youth, grateful for the opportunities it afforded and the friends we made over the years and somewhat relieved not to have to split my dwindling free time between my home many hours away and a place whose meaningful connection is now some twenty years in the past.

Last December, I finally got the courage to end an on and off again 5 year romantic relationship that wasn't going anywhere. The relationship was damaging to me, and I stayed in it longer than I should have. In working through the pain and sense of loss, I've come to a place where I'm not only relieved to be moving on, but also vow to be more honest with myself, and strong enough to make tough choices when I need to.

I lost a very important flight (Paris to Buenos Aires -home-) and for first time in my life I felt absolutely alone and physically and logistically unprotected, I realised that might find myself in situations in which all I have is my body, brains and heart to deal with life, and I found out that "todo puede ser" is a very true statement. Finding myself in a foreign country, with a language I don't speak at all, without any money, and absolutely exausted was really tough, but I am proud of the way I acted and how I could stay calmed and find resources to solve my problem: get a nice hotel room, food and a a new flight back home without a single buck, Well, I had like 10 Euros, but I spent them on a book to make time sweeter.

To my horror, Dutch neo-Nazis won many seats in the elections for parliament. I feel like a stranger in my own country and fear that minorities, especially Muslims, will be even more discriminated against. I feel powerless and angry at the Dutch people.

I got engaged! It's made me think joyfully about the future, and be more humble about the present.

I graduated from college. Ti's weird to think that although i've been an 'adult' for awhile now, i'm actually going to have to prove it. I have a degree and should now be trying to live my life as i want it, not as how my parents or anyone else wants it. i'm finally in control and that's pretty scary. I have to be responsible and I'm not so sure I want to be.

I took the time to go to Greece with my mother. I realized that 1- Spring is beautiful on Crete and 2- I need to take time off, especially with close ones. I was inspired, I have been taking time to be with family. I was thankful to my mother for making the trip possible. I was releaved to be away from work and the rat race mind set. I was relaxed and renewed by the end of the trip.

Relieved. My wife successfully finished a 6 month course of chemotherapy for colon cancer. All signs are that she will be fine, and cancer free. it made me aware of my own mortality, and of hers as well. One good thing that came out of the experience was that it brought us closer together. i was able to be there for her in many new ways, and was happy to be able to care for her. She's always taken care of me and everyone else in her family...

I fell deeply in love with a mysterious man, and then did the toughest tough-love thing I have ever done by asking him to leave, when I discovered a deeper truth about some irresponsible decisions in his past that were negatively affecting his present. It was baggage that was only harming him, nobody else, but I believe strongly that he needs to take responsibility and deal wth it. While I was in the midst of asking him to leave, I had the courage of my convictions and knew I was doing the right thing. After he was gone I felt an incredible sadness. Even though I was the one ending the relationship, my heart felt broken. After several months of little contact, we are back in touch and that feels more right. It feels more important than ever to handle relationships with grace. I am grateful that I have him in my life -- I am learning so much about myself and life from our relationship in its old form and its new one -- and, without attachment to any outcome, I am curious about how the next chapter will play out.

My best friend died. I wasn't really shocked or even all that upset. I'll miss her, but life will go on as it always has. Her death has allowed me to kind of reevalute my life. I'm living for me now. I don't care about what anyone else thinks. This is for me.

I started therapy in the past year, and it feels like my entire life was turned upside down. Feelings I had never acknowledged-- about my past, my family, friendships, old relationships-- came spilling out. I feel like I'm in the middle of the tunnel; I can see the light at the end, but I'm still slogging through the darkness. It's been a life-changing, worthwhile experience, but it's also been an incredibly hard one. I'm moving to another country for graduate school in a week, and I'm not 100% sure who I'm going to be when I get there. In a certain sense, I feel like I'm starting over.

I participated in a pulmonary rehab program for COPD. I had let myself get out of shape for the past few years. When I learned I had COPD, I joined a gym and hired a trainer, but when I tried to exercise I got dizzy and nauseous, so I stopped that. When I started the rehab program (education and supervised and monitored exercise), I learned that this was because the oxygen in my blood had gotten too low. Within a couple of weeks after starting rehab I could see changes. Possibly because I had been fit in the past, I made rapid progress. I have also learned a lot about this condition and what I can and cannot do with it. I am feeling more in control and much better physically.

I finally showed my art. It was a surprisingly easy process and triggered so many more good things. It's been fantastic. It made me braver and more sure of this new path I'm on.

A significant experience in the past year was moving to the far north (very near the Arctic circle) to work in the finance department of a large mine. I left a well-paying job in a very desirable North American west coast city, which many people thought was insane. I said it was for the money, which was a significant increase over anything I could have found at home. But the truth is, I wanted out from the debt-fueled, shallow social life I was leading. I was born, raised, and educated in that city and it has become self-important and corrupt. I just couldn't live there anymore. My new home is small on amenities but huge on community and outdoor activity. I've paid off all my debt and am saving prodigious amounts each month. A sense of relief and peace has prevailed as of late. And while I miss family and some friends, I don't miss most of my life there.

Two pupils threw eggs at me in the classroom (I was a teacher, and had been for almost 12 years then) last April. I was shocked because although I'd taught in really deprived and poor neighbourhoods, I'd always been respected and supported by the pupils and the principals. I ended up on sick leave, my passion for a job I gave too much to pretty well gone. I have successfully applied for the second year of a Master's degree in translation. I'm back to the University to change carreers, and that's for the best!

My only sister, who lives far away from me, got engaged. I am happy for her but also sad because it made me realize how far away I am from my family. It caused me to feel lonely because there is so much happening daily as part of the wedding preparations that I don't feel that I am a part of.

I took risks in my career, both personally and financially. I chose to step out on faith in positions in which I ultimately felt uncomfortable. It all still seems quite tenuous and uncertain; but I can see that with every scared, yet determined, step I take forward, I am moving in the right direction. I don't have to be certain of the end at this point, I only must concentrate on every step and in doing so, the end will work out on it's own.

I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my relationship with S ( and our daughter J) by having a big party in our newly renovated house followed by a brunch the next day. Friends and family came from far and wide and friends close by joined us as well. Being with the same wonderful woman for 20 years helped me see just how much giving and receiving ongoing love and support and sharing are important, indeed essential to my well-being and desire to live an intnetional life. This moment in time also clarifed for me who really cares about me and mine and who the "also attended" are.

I put on my final doctoral recital, a huge collaboration of 38 musicians, all performing my music. It was a huge success, despite massive anxiety leading up to it. The performers were awesome. My family pitched in and threw an amazing reception afterwards. My husband was a tremendous support throughout. I felt grateful to all involved. I felt relieved that it was over. I felt inspired to write more music.

I found out I am losing the job I've had for the last ten years. In some ways, it's a relief - I have had difficult co-workers and managers and have dealt with a lot of change over the last two years, so I'm looking forward to a break from that. However, I'm in school getting a Masters' degree in a difficult field, and I'm absolutely terrified that I won't be able to find a job. At the same time, this schooling has inspired me to try something new in my life that I have discovered I really enjoy - print layout and design.

I met someone who I shouldn't have; he was a dangerous, criminal, manipulating, charming: your basic sociopath. He also was incredibly handsome and I fell for him within seconds. I am so grateful that I was never hurt, besides the emotional toil. Other women left in his wreckage were injured physically, and lost most of their checking accounts. I was lucky. I was lucky that a series of random events led him to jail. I was lucky that I never had to testify against him, and hopefully I will never have to see him again. As I begin again during the New Year, I am grateful to my family who shielded me from much of the pain, to my friends who stood by me, to the legal system that offered support, and mostly to G-d that has kept me so safe, even when I was in danger. Thank you, Hashem.

My wife's mom died. Joan had always said this would be a tough time, but the emotional rollercoaster she has been on has been beyond anything I can understand. I realize that with death, I understand (and accept it) in a clinical, logical way. People die, we move on. Others can't box the event in as I would. The event is constantly in the middle of their life.

The most significant experience of the year and possibly, of my life, has been learning that I will be a mother next year. My sister is surrogating for us and the entire process of administering the drugs, going through the transfer with her, being present when she took a positive pregnancy test, and then another the following day, and another the next, has been incredible. She just completed her first trimester and this coincides with a clean scan for myself as my second year anniversary in remission approaches. So much to be thankful for this year, none more for the formation of my new family and new marriage.

I moved in with Anne and we bought a house together. It has definitely affected me, in that it seems to have made our relationship more "official" and has increased my sense of commitment to her and our life together. It has been scary, but also very exciting. I hope that we continue to strengthen our relationship and deepen our love for each other in the year ahead.

I left NYC after seven years to start school (again) in Boston. I'm grateful that I was able to get into the program I'm in. I was very worried that I would not be able to find work or a program in Boston and it has turned out really well for both me and my husband.

My disabled mother adopted an 11-year-old special needs child from foster care. It's hard to admit, but often I do resent her decision because of the short- and long-term impact on the entire family. It's not easy for my mother to meet the needs and demands of this child, especially not with the patience and kindness that would be ideal, and my heart wrenches sometimes for both of their sakes. I have had a hard time finding a balance in giving my help and support without sacrificing the safety and well-being of my own children and marriage. I love my adopted sister, but I sometimes wish there were better options for her somewhere else.

i started chanting Torah and have received so much love and appreciation in return. i am so grateful. it feels like unconditional love. i,m greatful to my friend and teacher, to my temple friends, and i am grateful to Hashem for showing me i belong. when i chant, it is not about me. i am a channel and all i have to do is get out of the way. i,m grateful for this spiritual and communal experience.

I had a big fight with a very good friend who is terminally ill. I felt he was pushing me away to make passing easier, but I wasn't ready to let him go. We made up and things were fine for a while, though in the back of my mind I still felt like I was walking on eggshells with him, and now, he is pushing me and everyone else out of his life. I feel bad that I am not able to help or comfort him in the way he needs. I feel let down that he doesn't want me in his life.

I was baptized the day before classes started with one of my best friends. It was a huge step for both of us in our faith and I am so blessed to have her go through the experience with me. I have never felt so much peace and joy; even in the most stressful situations of my life, I feel God's presence.

My roller-coaster relationship of the past 2.5 years ended abruptly. He was supposed to pick me up for dinner and instead broke up with me. I had a breakdown, didn't eat for three weeks, and felt fear that I would commit suicide. I had to start taking medication (my therapist had been pushing me to do that for awhile) and once the medication started working, I realized that this breakup was the best thing that ever happened to me. I finally got involved in the Jewish community like I had wanted to for several years. I took on leadership positions in Jewish organizations. I became emotionally stronger. I started doing more music and writing. I made a ton of new friends, and very close ones. I bought a house. I adopted kittens. I got a new job, escaping the old one that had made me miserable for awhile. I spent time being single, which I had never really done before. My life is totally different and unequivocally better than it was before the breakup. I am genuinely happy. Out of unbearable sadness can spring forth joy.

The past year was very stressful for me. One year ago I was entering my last year of high school, getting ready to apply to colleges, being employed for the first time, and preparing myself for when I became economically independent. The biggest struggle I faced was figuring out how to pay for my college education. It was the deciding factor when has to choose between two great schools that had accepted me. I chose cheap vs. quality. I felt I was getting signs that I should go to the school I wanted, but perhaps I was just seeing things to convince myself. In the end, I didn't pick that school. Summer vacation was great. I was working and saving money. I was thinking that a few months from then I wouldn't live at home anymore. I would be a college student studying design. When I received a letter from the university with the incorrect amount I had to pay, my mother and I went to talk to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. There, they not only told me I couldn't pay the in state tuition, but I could not attend in the fall due to my Visa. I had never experienced anything like this: the incompetence of a grown woman pausing for six long months the race to my future. It was her incompetence that she did not issue me the correct legal papers when I had sent her everything. So I didn't go to college, and I am currently sitting at home doing nothing but use up the oxygen supply. I will go to school in the fall, but not thanks to anyone but my hard work and my parents who have helped me out so much. How did this experience made me feel? frustrated and powerless. I may have plans to go to college, but who cares about those plans? If life doesn't want them to happen, they won't. I feel powerless and angry, because my future is hidden by a cloud. I can't see past tomorrow.

Well, i finally find a great job, but i need to give my best to keep it, because mi boss only give a month to test me and if i dont make it well, he drop me out .......

Going through the family court issues with my brother Josh, I'm relieved I now know who my TRUE family is and who are backstabbers.

Well, I had brain surgery a little over a year ago to remove four brain tumors, Baruch Hashem, all benign. It was the first major surgery I had ever had. I am a single woman and nearly 50, and it was very heartening for me to see friends and family give me loads of support. One wonders if one has made any difference in the world and if anyone really cares, but when I needed people then, they were there for me. I was very grateful and touched! I also got rid of symptoms I'd had for decades which I had thought was "just me", but removing the tumors removed them, which was good, as one of them, a worsening speech problem, was scary and annoying to me. So, all in all the surgery wound up being a blessing and I think how the tumors were found was a divine orchestration, which is nice, thinking someone "up there" is looking down to care for me. I also learned what it's like to have post-surgery deficits, some rather bad, and be patient and allow time to heal them, which time did. Plus, the whole story is a great anecdote!

I watched my son perform at the Kennedy Center. It was so amazing to see what goes on behind the scenes. As a nation we must keep funding the arts!!!!!!

I got into Brown as a transfer student. I decided to go. I changed my mind. I think that I have finally realized: happiness isn't everything, but it should be cherished and preserved. I want to be where I'm happy, despite the fact that I might be sacrificing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I lost something that I really loved. He left me. He said i was selfish. For the first time truly begin alone without a partner, having to stand on my own two feet. Get a job. Pick up and move cities. Not depend on him to help or advise me. I am grateful, resentful and inspired all at once.

In late January my baby girl was born - her name is Nelly. This was shortly after my girlfriend and I had moved together for the very first time (because of our child). Since then life has become a total hullabaloo: Every day will be a rollercoaster-ride of feelings, for Nelly and my girlfriend as well as for myself. I have never felt so much responsibility for anything or anyone in my existence before - not even for myself - and sometimes it feels like I'm starting to crumble under this massive pressure. It's hard for me to find the right balance between job, family and being an own person with my own wishes and plans. On the other hand no relationship ever has been as rewarding as the one to my newborn daughter. Seeing her smiling and learning new things every single day makes me proud, happy and somehow stable. It's like my old life has exploded a second ago, and before a new life starts to establish itself, it keeps on exploding over and over again. In a good way, though.

I completed and saw published my first (co-authored) book for which i was extraordinarily moved and grateful. It allowed me to leave for others much of my lifes's lessons and experience in my arena of expertise...making a better world.

The whole thing with my younger brother Henry was pretty significant. My destitute brother living in Nashville TN, from whom I had been estranged for decades, collapsed on the street and was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I thought my main confusion was if I should go down from where I live in NY and see him. How I was able to get past the visiting him thing, which I thought was what it was all about, and figure out how to get him up here, seems quite amazing to me. Really, for better or for worse. I am grateful it all came together, for everyone involved, and relieved. Our frail 88-year old mother was able to see him. But having him up here and dealing with his insanity is very upsetting. I am in awe that I could have made it happen--finding a free hospice, and angel flight to fly him up, and someone to fly with him--but unhappy that I have to deal with him. And very sad that he is dying, after a life of such, what would you call it, squalor? squander? waste? Whatever.

I finished school. I've been in school almost my whole life - 23 years of school. I'm very proud of all I have accomplished. Somehow, I'm now a lawyer. However, I feel lost - I'm on new terrain now and unsure of my footing. I am excited at what lies ahead but also intimidated and scared.

I fought and won. I'm grateful; more than ever. I've been facing my fears. I found my mentor. I moved on; moved along, carried on. I found peace, if only for a moment.

My significant experience this past year was the leaving of my old job and the starting of the new. I learned that I can become so close to a situation that I might not consciously think that it is unhealthy but that if I listen to my body that it will tell me when it is. I've learned that I can be very resilient and powerful even when I feel like I have none. I also find that I am more and more grateful for these painful periods in my life as I have learned so much about myself during them.

My husband and I adopted a dog from the local no-kill shelter. It has had a great effect on us both. He is something special to go home to; a reason to exercise; something new for us to talk about; a focus other than ourselves. This is as close to having a child as we will probably get. Hopefully, we will make the most of it.

I sold my house of 20 years, and invested the money in a new business. I did it because I had no income from my old business and my wife and I really need the income. Now I am waiting for the new business to turn around. This experience has taught me a lot about doing business when you are past 70 here in Mexico. Obtaining credit is really tough for us. We are still hopeful.

Visited Marrakech - my first time in a country where the main religion was not Christianity. Always been liberal minded, but made me face up to prejudices I had and was shocked to notice the Islamophobia in the UK media on my return home.

The person I'd loved for the last six years, formally and publically rejected me. And it hurt: BADLY. But I would've never learned who I was without him if I hadn't gone through it. I learned who I could trust, who I could count on and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

This year I got married...huge milestone. After 3 years with my fiance we finally got our act together and planned the best wedding we could afford. On a relatively meager income, we invited 150 of our friends and family members to join us for our special day. It went over without a hitch, absolutely amazing if I may say so. Funny thing about it is, the whole experience of being the 'bride' was surreal...there was certainly a deep emotional connection with the ceremony, and the entire day, but something about it felt very unreal - like we were filming a movie, just acting out our parts. But no regrets here...after spending the first 8 years of my daughter's life as a single mother I'm proud to be the wife of a man who I know truly loves us both. While we still experience the everyday ups and downs of loving and annoying each other, in my heart I know I have embarked on the next, wonderful chapter of my life.

For the first time I am staying so strong in a job while being happy most of the times for what I do. I understood what hard work pays and what kind of confidence it gives us when we do things with passion. Suddenly the whole world seems to be an easy challenge!

My oldest daughter, Tanya, left home for college. I'm grateful and relieved and anxious, all at the same time. The hardest part of this for me is letting go of control, of recognizing that her choices are now really hers alone (maybe this has been the case all along) and of hoping that my influence was good, that I helped give her a solid grounding. She's a terrific young woman, growing up. It's scary and amazing to see as her father.

I got married with a beautiful girl from Istanbul. Since then I have learned tons about life, met with different cultures and beliefs, share daily moments with that person and have her as a constant support. Changed my perception of life and culture.

I finished my Ph.D. dissertation research. I can't believe it's finished and that I'm now trying to finish my dissertation. I never thought I would be able to do it. I am grateful that it went as well as it did. I miss doing it though. I liked my everyday life a lot better during that period that I have anytime in recent memory. I should probably reflect on why that is.

2009-10 was such an inspiring year as a parent. The boys became confident swimmers. I used to wonder what was wrong with me as a parent that I could not convince by children that swimming was a good thing. I felt this weight off my shoulders as a parent that they finally got something that no one can take away. That they'll be safer out in the world, better prepared. Several black children dies this year in a drowning in Louisiana. Just before that Will passed his swimming test to go in the deep end of the pool. I wanted to cry knowing that last summer my child could have been one of them. It also reminded me how I need to hang in there as a parent. That it will all come as it needs to. In its own time. I want to remember the feeling of seeing them do it. At 9 and 12, the finally got it. The ocean awaits them!!

My youngest daughter -- who has been a volatile person from her first breath -- graduated college and got a job in Boston. I was very relieved but now am so sad that she is very lonely there.

I became much more aware of my breathing and much more comfortable walking and dancing. I have been much more active and feel more confident.

I stayed at our cabin in the mountains for a week and wrote songs, after having sworn to a friend that I would write a song a day while I was there. I didn't quite write a song a day, but I did write several songs...so that I experienced the joy/freedom of writing songs that didn't have to be great, didn't have to be "keepers," but were just what I wanted to express right then. The experience showed me that I could actually write songs, that some of what keeps me from writing songs is the pressure of everyday life - not just a lack of drive or creativity, which is what I feared. With free time, I could write more songs. I no longer feel scared that I can't write songs, or guilty for not writing them. I am relieved, grateful, and inspired. I am no longer looking for that answer.

We had significant foundation problems with our house... Among other expensive things. As a first-time homeowner, this was disconcerting. The actual meaning behind "a sound foundation" had never truly occurred to me before. It's made me feel anxious, especially about money.

My pregnant daughter found out that she and her husband were carriers of cystic fibrosis and her child had the disease. They decided to terminate the pregnancy and try again. She is now carrying a healthy baby and we pray all will be well. That experience has forced us all to confront an appalling choice (their decision, ours to support). I have a new appreciation for the meaning of "who shall live and who shall die." It hangs on chance and I am grateful for what goes right; it doesn't have to.

The girl I am in love with finally gave something back to me. Sex. But here's the thing, I want more. I dont mind giving up the awesome sex. I want a relationship. She makes it a point to constantly remind me that we are not in a relationship. But we are the closest friends. We hang out together all the time, we talk, chat and message each other all the time. We are both graphic designers and listen to Bon Iver, Fleet foxes, Sia and Mark Ronson. We BOTH feel guilty when we are with someone of the opposite sex and we both miss each other if we don't see each other for even 2 days! Am I grateful? well, after writing this down I have come to understand that I am not grateful. Here is the clincher she is white (from Europe) and I'm Brown ( from India). And at first I thought this was not a problem but when I asked her to describe who she thought was her Soul-mate (hate that word) she said "he's white... I guess" I wish she would understand that she is also in love with me. I am hopeful.

I think the significant experience has been falling in love and getting engaged. I am grateful and relieved, but also fearful. Now knowing what being married means, as a result of having been in a 'failed' marriage, the challenges seem greater. I want to be as good a person as I can to my husband, while simultaneously being a good person to myself -- I worry about forfeiting myself in the "name of love." I am happy that I could fall in love in the first place and trust someone again. I hope my trust is not misplaced. I find that I need to have faith.

Not one single event but rather a collective experience over the course of the last year: Every day re-learning the most important lesson in my life: to be honest with myself and other people. It's counter-intuitive because I fear my honesty will lead to judgement but actually that's my greatest strength. Every day I learn the same lesson and hopefully take it on board a little more than I did the day before and each day I am more honest, I am stronger and I am more me.

I traveled to Israel for the first time with Taglit Birthright. It made me appreciate how amazing it is to live in America, but I also appreciate all of the history and lands in Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people. I am grateful to have been able to take part in this free trip that has turned into one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I was a bit nervous to travel so far and experience a new place and culture while taking part in adventurous activities, but I am glad I ended up going. I am inspired to keep a close connection to the new amazing friends I have made. I am inspired to uphold the tradition of Shabbat in reflecting on the week's events and taking a break on Saturday to recharge. I am so blessed to have enjoyed my experiences in Israel and keep the longlasting connections with my new friends in the future.

Being made redundant is a significant experience that has happened to me this year. Initially I felt scared but quite soon after that I just felt sense of excitement as it meant I could pursue other options.Now that its been 7 weeks today since it happened I'm feeling a mixture of happiness,well being but also a bit scared that for the 1st time in 23-24 years I dont have a job.I'm starting college on Monday so feeling a bit nervous about that but sure I've made the right decision for my future.I had so many negative feeling associated with my old job,too many people knew my business and just thought of me as this unwell person incapable of achivieng anything so going to college is a chance for a new start without anyone knowing about my health and fertility problems.I'm hoping my new career choice will nurish my soul and let me put something back into society. Maybe it will help me find some peace that my life hasnt gone the way I expected and learn to accept this.

A significant experience that has happened to me in the past year is that I graduated from university with a 2:1 BA Hons English language and literature. The affect this had on me was one of accomplishment; I had achieved the qualification after three years of work and three years of an amazing experience. In one aspect I felt inspired, that the world was my oyster and I could achieve anything. On the other hand though, I felt resentful. This was because I graduated at a time of economic downturn and statistics highlighting the graduate struggle of employment. What would have been enough to secure a graduate job five years ago, no longer cuts it. I have become resound to the fact I am one of many 2:1 fishes in what appears to be the sharks' ocean.

I am VERY grateful for the "Transit Fairy" who bought our businesses and gave us a way out of a failed, money-sucking venture. It also gave us the opportunity to RELAX and for me to focus on being a MOM for my two beautiful kids who are now five and three and a half. It also gave us a new direction with taking the house out to Oruaea where it has the potential to be used for all sorts of activities: adventure camps and team-building events, hospice respites, yoga retreats, WWOOFing experiences...the possibilities are endless. It was difficult to negotiate our way through the process with Transit and we had originally hoped to receive much more money from them. In the end, though, we came away mortgage free and able to pay off most of our debts (other than the mortgage at Oruaea). The hardest part was dealing with the grieving and resentful practitioners who believed they were entitled to some compensation. Martin, Chris, Anna, Jenny and Kathy....they all attempted under-handed tricks, but in the end, we walked away unscathed and with or heads held high. I see it all now as parts of the learning curve that this HUGE adventure was; and now I am glad it is over and we are moving on!

A lot has happened in the past year but the most significant is that my partner moved from another country to live with me. We'll still trying to figure out things, but without his support this last year would have been very different, and all the efforts I made would feel useless now.

Significant events are hard to come by in my life. Other than the expected experiences like getting a new job and other unexpected but not so significant ones like, being involved in a car accident (caused by me), there has been no MAJOR events that my mind wishes to pick as significant enough. Scratch all of the above - I met the love of my life a year ago. My life has never been the same since then. She inspires me.

My father died shortly after the Chagim 2009. It was very sudden and unexpected. I went back looking at my 2009 10Q answers and in some ways, they seem shallow when just a few weeks later my life would change forever.

I decided to go to work to Houston, Tx. To do this I needed to study hard and finish a certification. After this there were a job fair and from 120 candidates they only hired 20 and I was one of those 20! It was a hard year but it worth it. I feel very proud of myself because my effort and talent was recognized and getting this job in Houston is changing my life.

One of the doctors at my job passed away, just as our company was starting to slow down. It made me realize the transience of life, and made me stop to appreciate everyone, and realize that work is not everything. People come and go, and the most important thing is to make everyone in your life realize how important they are to you at any given time.

My father passed away and I was with him when he died. His true self had been gone for a long time, so to see him free from pain was a relief. I am grateful to have had my dad for as long as I did and to know that he was a wonderful father, the best that he could be. I find myself resentful and truly sad when someone (including me) needs cheering up or a hug, that was my dad. He was a great father-in-law to my husband and I wish my dad was here today to offer support and love to my husband. He was a terrific grandfather and I am sad that my kids will not have more time with him. Also I realized that like many emotions, those surrounding death of a loved one comes in waves. I am fine one minute and then crying the next. There are no words to express the overwhelming sadness that I feel sometimes and I am grateful for my family and friends who have helped me during this past year.

I had a baby, my first child. I am grateful for an uneventful pregnancy, for having a pleasant enough birth experience, for a healthy baby and an incredible co-parent in my husband. I like to think that I am still myself with the new experience and perspective of being a mother. I am thrilled to get to stay at home with her every day and see her grow up. I feel incredibly fortunate. Some other new mothers talk about how "in love" they are with their babies and while I love my daughter fiercely, I think that I could have been just as happy without having a child.

I have a new granddaughter! I'm so excited about her future - watching her grown and develop as a young girl/teenager/woman. I want to be her buddy, and her nana, and do fun things with her! I'm so glad she lives close by! Babies are truly amazing!

This past year, following a period of tremendous self knowledge and growth, via the means of psychotherapy, I got married. That whole process and the wedding itself are events which I am both grateful for. At the same time, I realize that this is just the beginning. I am inspired to continue in my quest for knowledge of myself, and continue to work on making our marriage great.

After being out of work for a little over 2 years, I was inspired by an idea for reusable stainless steel water bottles. I awoke one morning with the idea of creating a design with the words Gratitude and Love in multiple languages. This was the start of Gratitude and Love Bottles. This has given me the opportunity to create my own business and not relay on being hired by someone else. The company also provide a means to get health insurance for us. The design reminds me daily to be grateful for what I have. No 60-70+ hrs weeks slaving for some ungrateful company, who constantly want more for less. The people we have meet and the acceptance of the product has been wonderful. Our fundraising program has helped several schools and individuals.

After having none, I grew back my eyelashes and eyebrows. It took, all together, about four years to do, but I am relieved and feel much more better looking.

I decided to become a missionary, and it changed everything. I have to raise my salary and other expenses, I'm living with a family at the moment because I can't afford a place of my own, and I'm figuring out what all this means still. I'm super excited, but also terrified. I can't wait to see what God does through this.

Travelled to Australia to live and work there for 9 months. I am really thankful for this experiences, learned to live on my own in another country and met so many lovely people. Now I would love to move out of Germany after finishing University to realize my dream!

I met the first man that I have ever fallen in love with. I felt an instantaneous connection to him, and vice versa. We casually saw each other for a few months, then he left me for another girl, whom he stayed with for 6 months. We always remained friends, and I've never stopped loving him, in fact, my love just grows stronger. I felt revived when I met him, like he brought me back to life. He put me through hell, but I don't regret any of it and know that he is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I know that he is meant to be in my life forever, be it as a friend or more, though I am hoping for more. I feel like I've found my soul mate. His passion has ignited my passion, and he truly inspires me, and I inspire him, in art and life.

My father-in-law died. I'm grateful that my oldest son had time to get to know his grandfather, but I'm sad because I doubt my youngest son will remember much about him. I try to talk about Papa Wally to the boys in the course of every day things so they don't forget. I say things like - oh, those are the olives that Papa Wally loved or that's where Papa Wally taught. Just little every day things so they don't forget. I find myself missing Wally when I find something really interesting that I want to share with someone. No one else seems to appreciate those things the way he did.

My brother just had twins. I am also starting to realize that my family isn't what I thought it was. I feel as though both my parents are manipulative. I feel like I hardly know my family and want to move away from them, and I am sad because I don't feel bad about it at all. I feel as though both my parents, especially my father have done what they have wanted throughout my life with no regard for anyone else. I feel that cutting them off will, in a way, make me like them. I feel as though my brother doesn't understand this. He is innocent in this. I am mad at him because he is older and I feel as though he has gotten a "better version" of my parents, and I got the leftovers. I am also beginning to learn what love is. I really hope that I don't screw things up with my current boyfriend because he is the best one I have had. I am learning to be less selfish.

I was in a hit-and-run accident that totaled my car on 18DEC, and rear-ended on 18JAN, exactly one month later. I suffered a concussion and nerve impingement, not to mention the loss of my means of getting around. They never pursued the hit/run driver, even though we identified the driver and the car. He wore all black, had a black hat, and drove a black car. He got out and spoke to us before driving away. I learned in that difficult few months who were really my friends and support (very few of the people who were in my immediate circle at the time), including the person I was dating, and the person who was in the car with me. He had texted me within minutes of impact, to see what I was doing. He arrived within 20 minutes of my response. He was the hero, delivering my passenger (who spoke to the driver but never got the tag or other information prior to his leaving) back home, dealing with police and my insurance company, and waiting with me until the tow truck came, at 5:30 am, all while braving a horrible icy blizzard. Afterward, he insisted we get a hotel (as it was too dangerous to continue driving the highways) to sleep it all off. As I stood in the shower wondering how a simple firewood errand 15 minutes from my home had almost cost me my life, he entered the shower, I suppose looking for his hero's reward. Needless to say, we no longer speak. Nonetheless, I am grateful for the entire experience. I learned plenty about my own strength, about the intentions of others--however cloaked in heroism, and I learned about true trust. And whom to let into (and out of) my circle of trust.

i moved away from all that was "comfortable". finally living by myself for myself, in search of the best of me to be. i am happier still struggling to shed old crutches, some days i'm very impatient of the journey and have to be reminded that each step is as important as the next.

I separated fron my sentimental companion. I feel relieved

We decided to stop the continuation of our company. 2009 was a bad year to convince clients to do business with us. This sparked me to go find a new job with an advertising company.

got sober.became spiritual.i was inspired

I saw a stage production of Rent for the first time. It was produced by a local but reputable theater group, but it was still an amazing experience because my friend and I had to fly from one city to another just to see it. A few months before the play, I was jobless and uninspired about life in general. But when I learned about Rent, being the huge Renthead that I am, I started to clean up my act and focus on really landing a job so I won't have to smooch off my parents to pay for the trip and the show. And in a few months time, my life's turned around. I got a good job, plus I got to see my favorite play on stage all on my own expense. The musical play turned out to be an amazing production and Rent has touched my life even outside the context of the play. The best part is, I still have that job I never thought I would get - 9 months later and counting.

I'm 22 and I went to the ER two days in a row with symptoms of a stroke. It ended up bring a rare symptom of migraines. It made me realize that I'm not as invincible as I thought.

Resentful. An administrator at my daughter's high school reamed my husband and I for permitting our daughter to accept a schoalrship that allowed her to study in a third world country in Central Asia. He referred to us as negligent parents.

I fell in love. It has renewed my faith in people, in myself, in renewal - in everything. It has also reconfirmed my faith in hope and my faith in faith. I am so very grateful and inspired.

Julia Gillard became the first female Australian PM. It's very exciting.

Taking the year long disability advocacy class was possibly the most significant thing that has happened to me this year. It seems to have lit a fire beneath me, and given me a passion and purpose that have been missing for a long time. The biggest effect it had on me was encouraging me to put my son in gen-ed instead of special-ed. The first 2 weeks have gone amazingly well, and I'm so grateful for the class for giving me the confidence and passion to do this for him.

Started a new job that finally helped me advance my career and help me achieve a financial comfort that I had never experienced before leaving me free to think about Living life rather then how will I get by this month. I also finally were comfortable enough to propose to my girlfreind.

I lost a bunch of weight. So far 40 lbs and counting. About 13 to go. The biggest difference is how people react to me when they see me. I really don't feel that different, maybe generally healthier, in fact I still feel overweight, but everyone seems to notice and appreciate the effort and the improvement. I'm glad I did it and am going to make a lifelong effort to keep it off. The one worry is that if I start another business that I'll prioritize it over my health. I've definitely been inspired by the process and it's inspired me in other areas of my life to take charge of those as well. I'm going to encourage others to do the same.

passed all three A levels, getting higher than predicted grade in history which will be studying at uni in precisely 11 days. i was so relieved when i found out i had got in on the website i cried. i had never been more worried or scared in my life, and it was all fine when i read the word 'congratulations'. really, thats what the last 7 years of school have been leading up too....

The beautiful birth of our baby girl who has been such a joy and yes, I do know how cliche'd that sounds, but it is so true. We had another home birth and she came out smiling. She has such a huge personality with an absolute unadulterated love for food and her brothers! Probably in that order... It has been a difficult year, with my husband working away from home a lot and my business taking up so much of my time, but baby girl just brushes all of that away as soon as she laughs. Truly amazing and I am so grateful.

After being unemployed for a year, I moved across the country for a newly created job. My first Friday on the job I was called in and told that the job - and I - weren't needed after all. Then, on my way home from a job interview, my car was totalled. That was it for me. I was left with no resources but the friends and family who loved me -- and who came through for me over and over during the months since. I've become much more thorough and careful about my job search and the jobs I consider taking and am working on starting my own business. It hasn't been a fun year, but it's had it's marvelous points, and although I'm irritated by the company and people who "hired" me, on the whole I'm very happy.

I finally made the decision to cut my father out of my life permanently. I feel relieved, because I no longer have to deal with memories of abuse every time I hear his voice. I no longer feel it's my job to worry about someone who never considered my feelings.

I fell in love with my best friend who is also a girl and that made me realise that I am bisexual, even though I had played with the thought this confirmed it for me (Unfortunatly I haven't told her how I feel because she is currently intrested in a guy.) The fact of me being bisexual doesn't bother me, I like it. But it's kind of sad that I can't tell my family or friends since they are not all that fond of the LGBT-community even if they say they are, I can see it in their face that they don't really like it.

My son (by marriage) chose to add my last name to his. This was a very meaningful gesture, since I can not have children of my own. He is an adult and he made the choice. Such a gift, now even if I pass, my name will live on in Israel.

Getting a new job and quitting my old job without another full-time job lined up was a huge milestone for me. It showed me that I can stand up for myself and that I deserve to be respected.

My husband and I traveled to Ireland for a week. I am grateful for the experience. It inspired us to start traveling now rather than waiting until retirement. Life is too short.

I nearly killed myself trying to complete a project with an unreasonable deadline and finally spent most of a morning crying alone in a hotel room, thinking that life was not worth living if I had to live this way. When the results were met with mixed reviews, I vowed never to let work do that to me again. Since then, I finally was able to prove myself to my management and my stress left me. I am pondering how to avoid the need to impress others in the future.

I started classes to become an elementary school teacher. It has been difficult and stressful to balance work, family, and school.

I've been a part of this project in my country called GROW. We were, let's say, around 40 people involved and we had 4 trainers. Two guys from Bulgaria, one from Estonia, and a girl from Poland. To say they were absolutely amazing, it's an understatement. This was my first project of this nature, where foreigners come and interact with us, teach us things but mostly bond with us through shared experiences. I can't even put it into words how much my perspective on life, future, friendships and other cultures has changed. I'm more confident now, hopeful about the future and simply more "on the right track". I'd like to say I have become more outgoing, sociable or a social butterfly, but I haven't. Still, I enjoyed this experience as much as the others, if not more deeply, in my mind and soul. I'm forever grateful to Puhi, Villu, Ivo and Anita for a summer that I will never forget, for teaching me new things and for giving me the chance, through it all, to get to know myself just a tad better. Thank you!

On January 17th (3 months shy of turning 48) I woke up to Congestive Heart Failure and A-fibrillation. My BP was 220/140 and my HR was 180. Basically, I thought I was going to die. The main affect is that I am now exercising more than ever, eating right, observing the Sabbath Manifesto, and living life to the fullest possible at this time. I am grateful for the wakeup call and inspired to be an example to any who wish to learn. Today, 8 months later, my BP is around 110/70, resting HR is 55, body fat is 21% (down from 31%) and I can play a few hours of tennis most days of the week even after my regular weight training and cardio workouts.

Went to Israel and Jordan for the first time. Everyone likes ice cream.

I decided to leave my position at the Smith School, where I had been working for the past two years and receiving little satisfaction from my efforts. When I had the realization that I needed to let it go from my life, it was like something snapped in my brain and all of a sudden I saw my situation the way it needed to be seen with the utmost clarity. I felt relieved, exhilarated and ever since that decision was made, I've felt more like myself than I had for the last two years.

After a very enjoyable exchange abroad in 2008, I decided to go abroad once more for my final year of University. I am very grateful that I got this opportunity and took the risk to give up my safe environment once more. The experience also taught me that while I love being in a different country, my home country and my family and friends living there are still the most important to me. Abroad, I went through so much happiness, excitement, home-sickness and dissapointments that I believe I have come out a stronger person.

Where to begin? I graduated university, moved back home from overseas, began a full-time job and reunited with the love of my life. Graduating was an enormous relief. But I still suffer from nostalgia from the life I led. The job was an incredible rush of excitement for about six months... now I'm not sure how long it will last. And my girl... she is the light of my life. Again. I can't wait to begin a full life with her soon.

Divorced my husband. The process of deciding and then leaving was the hardest thing I've ever done. He has a number of illnesses and disabilities and I was essentially his caretaker. Without him I feel free, relieved and happy to be exploring my own needs again. I also feel, some days more than others, guilt, sadness and regret. I am proud of myself for deciding that I am worth it. I know I was brave to decide not to sacrifice my happiness for his comfort.

We moved to a new state; and the home we have in Indiana is still on the market. The stress and anxiety of two mortgages has made me re-think how I deal with stress. How I manage. I've learned to go into a "rampage of appreciation", to meditate, to change the flow of my feelings so I can cope. I think this has made us stronger, made us dream harder and reach into creativity.

Oh, by far... the birth of my first grandchild! It's truly a miracle and I'm over the moon. The kids are all living with us temporarily and I LOVE LOVE LOVE running my dishwasher every day!!

This past year has been so chock-a-block with significant experiences that it's impossible to pick just one. I've had a major epiphany about choosing to be happy. I completed my conversion to Judaism. I got pregnant and then had a miscarriage. I came to a more relaxed place in my life and marriage. My husband got an amazing new job, which has caused us to reassess and revitalize our roles and responsibilities. Our daughter just started preschool (following all the activities of applying, interviewing, etc.). It's been a year of crazy ups and downs, and at this moment what I mostly feel is excited about the future. I am also really grateful. Having gone through hard times, I feel the security that comes from having a dedicated and reliable support system. My husband was amazing during the period following the miscarriage. And our friends were great, our therapist was great, my colleagues were great. There hasn't been one thing that I've gone through this year that I went through alone. All I ever had to do was ask for help and I got it. And the result is that I don't feel at all sad that these things happened. I feel like I live in a miracle of good fortune that I have so many blessings in my life, and the losses actually make that more apparent. During my conversion, which I completed very shortly after my miscarriage, I chose Li'ora as my Hebrew name. I chose it not only in honor of my grandma Lena but also because it means "I have a light." One thing I learned this year is that I can go through periods of significant darkness, but there is something permanent in my spirit that eventually seeks -- and finds -- the light that will guide me out. This makes me optimistic and confident about the future. Bring it on, 5771!

Tito La Rosa. Grateful.

the dissolving of one group of friends, thought it would upset me, but it didn't instead I am looking foward to meeting new people in a different group

This past year, I reconnected with my mama. While she has been a part of my life since birth, I felt as if 11 years ago "mama" fled and "mother" -- a strictly positional authoritative role-- emerged. We'd perpetuated the same broken relationship for over 10 years now. One that was trademarked with distance, pain, misunderstanding, and conditional love. In August, I visited her, and in a reach of faith (in fact, likely in response to the power of faith), I broke the silence. By engaging in one of the hardest conversations of my life, we found our way to the heartbreaking and heart-humbling honesty, necessary for healing. We are healing...slowly, but certainly.

I was fired from a job I loved. It hurt, angered, and disappointed me. I am grateful, though, for I believe that everything HaShem does is for the good. But it left me without a source of income and health insurance, which leaves me in a very insecure position. Perhaps the lesson is another reminder that I am not secure in anything, except trust in HaShem. Certainly it was good for me in realizing that lashon harah is not just about friends and when I want to apply it, but to all my speech, and is a huge lesson and impetus to work on it, pray for forgiveness of the sin, and realize my part in getting fired. I am resentful that my bosses did not appreciate all the other fine qualities I brought to my job, but again, realize that this situation was brought into my life for my betterment.

There have been so many things. My dad went into a nursing home & he has turned 95. I can see him slipping away. Our pastor left the church and to me, it seems that our floundering and lack of growth is just getting worse. I am a DRE and I thought I had a pretty good lock on things - but now I find that I have a family who was pretty much in the "thick" of RE moved to the big church so their son would have peers in Religious Ed. So all of this fills me with fear & anxiety. Sometimes I am grateful - because the opportunity is there for me to expand & grow. Perhaps, I will have to branch out & find something new to do. I find myself resenting the leadership of the church for failing to what I see as a non response to our problems and I spent most of the year feeling like I was out in the ocean on an ice sheet that was melting out from under me and I was alone on that sheet. But, I have a job, a roof over my head and food in a time when that is not a reality for everyone. So it makes me realize that I also have blessings and that I should just learn to remember that whatever happens - all will be well.

Our rescued pomeranian, Ludwig, was attacked by a neighbor's dog (tied up in its backyard) while we were out for a walk. The other dog lunged under a wooden fence, grabbed Ludwig's face and tried to pull him under. He ended up losing an eye, but he recovered well. Unfortunately, the neighbors didn't apologize, and refused to help with the $1,500 vet bill. I've been struggling between letting go of the situation or taking them to small claims court. I am trying to let go of my anger. The blessing is that we have our beautiful Ludwig and he is an amazing, sweet dog.

I fell in love again. I am excited and relieved (I was getting a little nervous that it wouldn't happen in time because I am 37) and I am so comfortable to be moving into this part of life with him. He is a really good man and for the first time in my life I can really appreciate that and give him what he deserves in return. I really appreciate him and this relationship and I am looking a life in a very different way.

I graduated high school. I know people graduate every year, but it was significant to me because it's a once in a lifetime thing. You can never graduate again with the same people who are going through the same thing. I don't know if I'm all to relieved, I just miss high school. I do want to move forward with my life and I know I had my turn, but high school was the shit and there will never be anything like it again.

I became involved in an online community called Nerdfighteria, started by brothers John and Hank Green. The Nerdfighters have made me realize just how much people who care can do. They helped the Harry Potter Alliance win $250,000 to send books to children who have none, among other things. In August, a 16 year old Nerdfighter named Esther Earl died of cancer. The fact that I didn't know her except through friends and from her YouTube videos, and yet I cried all day when I heard really made me see how powerful the community is. It's a community of love and caring, that is dedicated to decreasing the amount of suck in the world and making it a better place for everyone to live. Nerdfighters inspire me.

A significant experience that happened in the past year was my engagement to the most wonderful person in the world :) He is my best friend and I feel so fortunate to be starting a family with him!!

I reconnected with a flame from forty plus years ago and met him in his hometown. It was an eyeopener for sure. Things aren't always as you remember them, they change, but there was enough truth to the memories to make our meeting warm and enjoyable. I'm not sorry to have seen him again but I'm very grateful to be confronted with the realizations that occurred. I won't be so nostalgic for "the old days" anymore but probably still won't turn my back if they catch up to me again.

As the economy, employment etc collapses around me I realised that it is better to enjoy the today than worry about the tomorrow

Both my children surprised me in this past year. Katie with participating and enjoying theater. She never wanted to have ANYTHING to do with it in the past and John with working on and performing a stand-up comedy routine at the age of 13, in front of the whole middle school talent show. It inspired me to go back to enjoying some of the hobbies/activities I've done in the past that I've let go. I would have never had the nerve to do the things they've done and am determined to try to change my routine and to get out of the same old rut!

I got pregnant on our first anniversary. It was so exciting. I was just beginning plans for fertility treatment, so when it happened naturally it was a relief, as well as thrilling. My husband and I were daunted and thrilled with the prospect of being parents and the due date dangled in the distance like a shinny object that you can't quite make out but you know when you reach it you will be in awe. I wrote to the baby everyday in a date book and my husband's few entries brought tears to my eyes, like this one, "We brought you to the high Colorado mountain country today. The wild flowers bloom beautiful like your spirit. The stream rushes like your heartbeat. I am ecstatic! Love Dad" And then just like that the baby was gone. I lied on the hard table with my feet in the stirrups and heard the words, "This is so sad, I am sorry. There is no heartbeat." How did it effect me? There are not words for the answer. The disappointment is so deep it feels like a black hole made by the loss of such a tiny embryo along with all of the hope and possibility for it's future life. Life is so uncertain. Will I get pregnant again? I think so. Will that due date arrive? I don't know. I sit here, my face soaked in all of my sadness I can only hope. As I begin to greet my day, I will put a smile back on my face and ask life to come back into my heart... (and my womb, too!)

I moved to Atlanta from Athens, where I attended college. This is my first time living alone and setting out on my own. It's been hard not knowing many people and finding a job, but I'm really happy that I didn't have to go back to my parents house and that I'm not in debt. At first, I lived with my boyfriend for six months. Now, I live alone. Our shared living experience taught me that I really need more ability to make time for myself and my goals. I can't wait to find out where I will be in a year. Hopefully, a new and awesome job and city will be in my future.

Over the past year, I realized that a situation I thought would bring me happiness was damaging my relationships with others and fundamentally at odds with my moral worldview. I made a big and unexpected professional shift, and am much happier for it.

I quit my job at the end of 2009 and picked up a back pack to travel for 6 months this year. Learning that I can't plan ahead of times, that it's not the end of the world if I don't have my cell phone or show up late to an event, and that I have skills to return back to the workforce (woohoo) has made me a lot more at ease with myself.

My niece graduated from high school. I'm relieved and glad but also still concerned that she will not take this opportunity to start a wonderful life. Her priorities are out of order and she's never really had a good example of success. I worry that I am incapable of show that to her.

My wife had breast cancer surgery and, so far, is clean and green. I did what I could to support her. As a cancer survivor myself I'm relieved that she is OK.

I'm torn between two things: Tryst and Weed. Both were significant in the sense that I've always wanted it to happen to me, but happened far from expected. In Tryst, I was too drunk I passed out in a college party. In Weed, I became too high I became insanely scared. But I guess I'll go with weed. How did it affect me? It was slow at first. After a few puffs, I laughed so suddenly. Then things started to become strange. I felt my hands and feet tingling. Inside me was something rotating. Then one moment I was scared. I did not know what was real anymore. I wondered if I had actually passed out in the real world and whether this was all a simulation. I could not tell reality from dreams. I became madly confused. If this were a dream, what was happening in real life? I wanted to run away to find something real. Were my friends fooling me into thinking this was real? I was so scared. Were they lying to me? I couldn't tell. I looked into their eyes. I reached out to them. It felt so strange, like I was going mad. In the end, I calmed down, though in my head I was arguing with myself. I went quiet. I didn't get the munchies, which was really good. I slept. I woke the next day still quite confused. The next night I slept with the tiniest bit of fear that this was all indeed a dream and when I wake up, I'd get back to reality and I'd passed out or died or something. It really felt like Descartes. I didn't know I was that philosophical.

I started university and moved into student halls with five strangers. I learned which type of people I can and can't get on with and that I truly value my friends. I would have liked to move halls if I had the chance, but then I wouldn't have the close friend I have now.

Met the love of my life about a month ago. We've been on cloud 9 and everyday I love her more and more. She inspires me to be a better man, and I'm already a good man. Neither of us ever expected something like this to happen in our lives. The universe definitely brought us together. We've both said there are not words to describe this feeling, it's so powerful and wonderful. I'm so happy.

My oldest daughter who works for me has decided that my business is not where she wants to spend her career. I really knew that this was the way she felt, but had hoped that I had created a job description that tapped into her talents and would be intersting to her. It was a part that could be spun off and develpoed into her own. She has begun a journey into creating a project that will help the Jewish community in Cleveland and beyond, so I can't say that I'm unhappy about it, but I'm disappointed and releived, all at the same time. I want her to be happy, but am concerned that she be able to live comfortably, which the business could easily provide. I suppose given a choice, I'd want her to be happy.

Bonnaroo. I planned a trip to the music festival for almost 8 months. This was my second year but my husband's first and I really wanted it to be a special experience for him and I. However, with planning so much so far in advance, plans changed almost every week. I am happy we had this experience together with a large group of friends but it really taught me that no matter how much you may plan for something, nothing changes the fact that people are unpredictable. Next time, I'll stick to the K.I.S.S. method.

So many things happened this past year, both good and bad. I think I will pick the good one. I completed a year long internship to become a teacher. I am now doing a job I love. Although the job is stressful at times, I know that I am making a difference and that helps relieve some of the stress. This year, I am inspired to work on my patience level. To remember they are children and we as a society want them to grow up way too fast.

I got married and it was the most wonderful day of my life. I am so happy I found brian and that we are really finally living our lives together. I love whim with all my heart and vow to do anything in my power to always make it work between us. Now if only my grandma could have been there. That is the one thing about that day that still upsets me - that she couldn't see me get married. But maybe in may she will be better enough to see my brother get married. Fingers crossed.

This past year, I reconnected with a friend from high school. We weren't especially close back then, but we have always sort of eyed each other warily over the years -- or rather, I think we both felt like we should have been friends, but circumstance has never permitted. It was rewarding, because it helped me to see how many of the friendships I have made since then are essentially artificial, accidents of time and place."

There were so many significant events in this past year...for me and for those around me. Pregnancy, miscarriage, weddings, divorce, child birth....all of these life events were ones that I supported my friends through. I am not pregnant, nor married, nor having any of the baby showers and celebrations that come with those types of events. This year a significant event for me has been learning to deal with the fact that I seem to be on a very different path from most people around me. Something exciting for me and significant, was that I received a bursary to work on a personal project which means a great deal to me. I was afraid to apply, and almost didn't, and then in the end, I was rewarded for all my hard work. This event has changed my life drastically for the year 5771. I am facing a lot of fear over this success. Can I handle it, will I be able to deliver, will I do a good job. Will my work be appreciated by people? Every day I have to remind myself that the new challenges I am facing, the steep learning curve, the breaking of old habits (first and foremost: fear of organizing) and the going out in public with my work, are all things that I wanted. I got what I wanted and I am afraid. I am also grateful and inspired. For this year, I wish peace for myself and all those around me- to be able to see and enjoy all the blessings that we each have.

I got married, which obviously changed a whole lot, but what it didn't change was my love for her, which is comforting to know.

Having moved back to Exmouth after a disastrous relationship in Wales I made strong and loving relationships with my grandchildren and became part of their lives.

A dream come true, working with a live band, ended in February this year. It was such a loss, to no longer be on stage; to no longer be part of such intense creativity. The sense of loss equaled the end of a love affair; the death of something beautiful. I had to find something to replace the band and I did by going back to writing. Now a book will take its place.

My roommate and I allowed a friend to stay with us in an emergency. What was supposed to be 2 months stretched to 4.5 months. I saw my friends and myself more clearly. I have an absolute sense of my need for MY space to be respected. I felt unwelcome in my own home for most of the time. In the end, we were able to reconnect on many levels - while I certainly wasn't blameless in the tension, I was the one giving up space and routine and privacy, and that was acknowledged by the friend I had taken in. I am relived that the situation is over, yet grateful that I could help a friend when she needed me the most. I'm also looking for a new living situation - my roommate seem to be closest when there is some physical distance between us.

I had the experience of being in a really, really good band. The band has since desolved but I"m so grateful for the experience and I know that I don't want to settle for uncommitted, untalented bandmates ever again.

I fell in love. Ridiculously, hopelessly, just-like-I-always-wanted-and-read-about in love. A month after we met, I told my best friend that if I don't marry this man, put me in a home because I've gone mental! We've now been together nearly six months and I cherish him more than ever. The theme of this relationship is gratitude - we're both so thankful for each other, every day. He makes me a better person, makes me want to always strive for more, do more for him. It's an amazing feeling that I've never had before. And I'm ready for more.

The first thing that comes to mind is the BP oil spill. I live in Louisiana; it served to strengthen my realization of how delicate the environment is. Additionally the economic impact affects not only the state of Louisiana but of the whole nation.I have been grateful for the widespread publicity which (I hope) raised the awareness of coastal loss to people across the nation

My son Elijah was born. He changed a lot about our lives but mostly in an amazing way. Yes, I am very grateful, he is an amazing, healthy, beautiful baby boy. I love having someone that is apart of me and always will be.

Working with the Lessons from Auschwitz project really made me take a step back and realise the horrors of the holocaust. As a history student I am taught to think logically and rationally and do a lot of critical thinking however when it comes to such things as the Holocaust you can do none of these things. I was able to put names to faces, I was able to go to Auschwitz and see the scale of the place. It took me aback and to this day still affects me. It made me appreciate the freedoms that I have but also has given me the courage to speak out against discrimination of any kind. It has helped me understand the holocaust more and I am so glad I was given the opportunity to pass on my experiences to my fellow students and the community, to make them stop and think and maybe even allow them to pass on the message of the holocaust and let other people understand how horrific it was and how something like this must never happen again.

At the age of 23, I finally had my first everything with a wonderful person. At first, it started as a casual thing, but now it seems to be pretty serious. Taking this step actually helped me open up in all aspects of my life. I am no longer depressed and I've found that a lot of people were just as lonely as I was. Coming out to my family will be hard, though.

The biggest significant experience of this year was having a new boss at my job, who brought out insecurities in me. She was someone who reflected my doubts and feelings of "less than". At the end of the school year she did not renew my contract. I went through stages of loss- beginning with anger, outrage, desire for vengeance, and hatred of her. I have worked on letting the anger go and seeing the blessing in being released from a job that was constantly stressful and out of whack. I don't know what the future will hold in terms of employment but I am trusting that whatever unfolds is for the ultimate best. Now, when I can hold fear and uncertainty at bay, I am glad to be free.

We got a dog, and survived our first year of marriage. The dog is a lot of work. Our marriage is a lot of work. Sometimes I think I could do without either but I am not giving either of them up. I try creative ways of making both a positive experience.

In the last year, I moved from LA to Detroit, and in to an apartment with my sister. I also started a new job, pursuing my lifelong dream of being a wedding planner. Last weekend I executed my very first wedding & loved every minute of it. It's been a rough year in many ways, as I still mourn the loss of Emma, Simon, & Grahm; however, it's been a growing experience at the same time. I had really lost my core self, and am rediscovering her every day. In regards to how it's affected me....I think I'm a little bit of all of those emotions: grateful, resentful, relieved, sad, angry, hopeful, inspired...

I moved from Langley, BC to Baltimore, MD --- on my own - not knowing anyone. Just because I felt The Universe wanted me to. I became the pastor of a much larger church. The people inspire me. Making new friends wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. Yes I am grateful.

I became courageous and decided to leave the job I held for 6 years because Iwas being harrassed. I was very afraid, yet I know I had to be honest with myself and move on.

Just finished my book! Relieved and proud. Looking forward to promoting it. I think the full "how did it affect you" answer is yet to come, since it is so new. Hoping it might help me get a professor job.

I moved into an incredible new home. It feels very grown up, like maybe I've actually become an adult. For the first time, I have a new sense of space, and I can fill it with items that show who I am, and that make me feel good. Tons of Judaica, books, art, and bright, lively colors. Thank you, God, for this wonderful blessing!

I started a Qi Gong practice. At first the movemnets were very strange, uncomfortable and I wondered if I could really harmonize with the chi. After some time practicing the movements felt more natural and I felt connected to the chi energy. I also became aware of feeling calmer and more able to pass through difficult moments. I am very grateful for this meaningful practice.

I began college about a week and a half ago. It's completely changed my outlook on life because here, I'm free to be my own person. I'm glad to be away from the constraints of my parents, and able to become the person I always knew I could. But, with great freedom comes great responsibility. I know there's a certain amount of decorum I must retain in order to prolong my freedom. I intend to live up to not only my parents' expectations, but my own, as well. And hopefully find myself in the process.

I lost my job. I had thought I was secure in my position, but learned that anybody can be "eliminated". It has taken me nine months to find a new job. As a result, my requirements and plans for future employment have changed and I have made a new resolution to be more conscious of my spending habits.

I finished my novel. I feel grateful and relieved for finishing and inspired by the experience. I now have to read it just to see if it is enjoyable and semi-literate and then I have to edit and refine. My project will be to get it published which is scary and exciting at the same time.

Last night at 1: 08 am, I STOPPED THE CAR IN THE DESERT AND TALKED TO A YOUNG COYOTE, who wove a helix of restlessness around me in the cool light of the Milky Way. I am tired. I am grateful. I am worried about my 83 year old father.

I was always afraid of what people thought of me and that prevented me from doing a lot of dating. So one day I got up enough courage to tell the guy I liked that I liked him. He didn't feel that way about me but it helped me to move on an stop obsessing. It also gave me enough courage to be a little bit more free minded and open with others.

OK, maybe this sounds trite but we put a porch on our house this year. We have been talking about doing this for the past 20 years but never did it. I hve a hard time with changes and was indecisive about where it should be put and how it might impact future plans. This year we just did it. We made a decision, picked a contractor and it was built. We made some changes along the way and now it is done and we enjoy it very much. I am now sorry that it took me 20 years to accomplish this. If it impacts future plans, so we will have to live with this. Now we are planning other renovations, and though I am having a difficult time with it, it is still easier and I now know it will be worth it.

I moved from California to New Jersey to start my life. it is absolutely terrifying. I have no job, no nearby friends, and just enough optimism to keep me going from day to day. I am grateful for this experience, but terrified just the same. I hope I come out of this okay.

Hayley was diagnosed with cancer and put to sleep. I miss her constantly and feel like her life was too short. It wasn't her time to go. She had so much more to give our family.

I finished my intern year of pediatric residency. It was a very hard year full of long hours and I don't remember everything about it at all. I am relieved to be done and to have moved on to the next stage of my traning as a pediatrician, but I am also grateful that I have learned so much about caring for children.

Is it possible that living one full year with no experiences you would call significant is in itself significant? After a life full of drama, the calm is welcome but worrisome. After all, where's that other shoe? Could it be they've all dropped already?

My father's death ten months ago affected me far more than I expected. He and I had such a difficult relationship. My father made me feel as though I was wrong about everything. I felt like I was a huge disappointment to him and it was hurtful, as well as incredibly frustrating. So, I was shocked by the amount of grief I felt such at his passing. On the other hand, my husband and I are now free to move back to Oregon, which I am thrilled about. We are moving to Bend, which is my favorite place I've ever lived. I had no idea that when we moved to this slum ten years ago, to assist my father, that we would be here so long. I'm beyond ecstatic by the prospect of being near our son, daughter-in-law and grandson!!

My husband has been trying to sell his business so we can retire. He had two offers, one from a man whose demands were unreasonable, and another from a man who could not get the financing. He has tried contacting ex-employees and others to see if they are interested but the money is tight right now. He has it listed again, for the third time, although never knew when it had been listed the first time. I am frustrated that it has not sold, but probably not more than he is. A good friend died of cancer and another good friend was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, all within two days of each other. I only hope we can keep our health and retire peacefully. I sometimes wish he had sold to the first man and we could be out of here and done. I all of a sudden think of other things, but this is a significant event that can affect the rest of our lives and impact us daily.

Moved from California to Germany. I am relieved that the move itself is over, and I am grateful that we moved into our "old" apartment here. It felt like we were coming home, rather than starting a new life. We didn't like California (although we had great jobs and friends there), so it was great to return to a big city with big city opportunities! That said, I miss the conveniences of living in my home country. I still dream about being able to speak my native language, work full-time, be close to family; and I miss knowing what to do in every social situation.

I lost the love of my life after five years. He was my best friend and we had an amazing relationship. One day, he just looked at me and said he didn't love me the way he thought he was supposed to. I asked him to leave and when the door was shut, I exhaled. I exhaled five years of friendship, love, laughter, confusion, anger, frustration; and I realized in that moment, maybe I didn't love him like I was supposed to either. I woke up the next morning quite relieved. Since then, I've been lonely at times, but overwhelmingly grateful for the experience of loving so deeply and knowing that losing that deep love didn't kill me - understanding that it's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all is quite true.

My dad died. I was happy that I was able to come to gripos with my mixed feelings/thoughts about him these last few years. We got along better and I enjoyed his company so much more after my mom died 6 years ago. How Freudian is that?

My son finally potty trained at the age of 3.5. It was a milestone for all of us in the family; for me, it marked the real end of his babyhood and the beginning of his childhood. It is one less thing that he relies on me for, so was a concrete reminder that his job is to grow up, to separate, to become his own person. I always thought I would be relieved when he potty trained, and I am. I never thought I'd look fondly on his diaper days, though, which has surprised me.

I started college. it has been a big experience because i have learned to be on my own and i need to be independent. i am grateful for the experience and the opportunity to be able to go to college so that i can get a good job and learn about the things i love. it has also inspired me to be the best i can be - to get involved and develop relationships with others around me.

I moved back to Jackson in July. I am getting a divorce and could not be happier. I don't miss a thing about Florida. This time next year, I will have transferred to a university and will be meeting my academic and career goals. I hope that these experiences will make me a better person.

I said out loud for the first time my sexual orientation. I'd been batting it around in my head for so long I didn't think it'd be a big deal, but I got choked up. I'm glad that it's out even though it's opened up a floodgate of thoughts and expectations. I really couldn't have immersed myself in a better support system.

I graduated with a first from university. I can't say I was expecting to get such a high grade. I was in Cornwall on holiday when I found out from a friend and I cried with happiness for most of the day. It was the best feeling, I felt like all my hard work over 4 years had paid off!

I met someone who I never expected to become close to. We are both in relationships with other people, but I think that a bond is developing which is different. This isn't an affair, it is friendship most profound. It is beautiful and inspiring, deep and, I hope, lasting. I am deeply grateful to have him in my life and fearful that I could "mess it up". Relationships are hard for me because I tend to mistrust others--keep them at bay for fear of being hurt. But he is different--and I want to trust him. I have to figure out how to be open and receptive without expectation--that is how I want to be.

In an unforeseen moment, i was struck by the awareness that someone can act in a manner that is so cruel and destructive that there is no way to fix it. I forgave and forgot, but this sudden realization that not all things can be made better, that a person can by cruelty or manipulation, close a door, or a possibility, or a path, forever, was immensely painful and sad. This realization recurs from time to time, less painfully, but it is going to be a while before it is all processed.

I was lucky enough to work as a stage management intern for a professional dance company. It was a stressful experience, but I am grateful for the time I spent working there. The people I worked for were patient, allowing me to ask as many questions as I wished. I learned a lot and it helped reaffirm my love for my career choice.

We moved this time last year to be nearer my boyfriend's work. It hasn't worked out in that I have literally nothing here. I fear that he doesn't truly, truly understand how much I hate it here and that I will only be able to get my identity back if we move away from this place that has literally killed my spirit and my dignity.

This whole year is a crazy blend of changes and new experience. I left Turkmenistan after two years in December and spent the first 5 months of 2010 with a giant backpack in hostels and sleeper buses across Asia. Traveling alone was a revelation, to know that I could make my way from place to place with good grace and quick wits. I also became more comfortable alone. I spent hours by myself. Then I had to make my way to America again, after almost 3 years absence. It was, in many ways, harder to come back. It's easier I suppose to make a home where there wasn't one before. I didn't have to compete with memories and expectations in the same way I did. But, I had a wonderful, magical time reconnecting with my family, and I'm so grateful, thankful, and blessed to have had the chance to live with my siblings and my parents again as an adult. The slings and arrows of childhood are amusing battlescars now, and the people who bear them are somehow my closest friends. Finally I started law school, and I'm terrified of failing, panicked about succeeding and what that will mean, and so thrilled to be doing something that's propelling me forward.

Wayll......a few things. I graduated That was significant, and I feel relieved, or felt relieved. I have a job now that is demanding in ways that challenge my concept of who I am and what I can do...I am afraid I cannot do it, that it simply takes me too long to do the tasks required. Maybe my brain isn't good enough..... I am good at a significant part of the job but have this strong background feeling that I may be exposed as incompetent. However, this isn't even what I really wanted to talk about. A significant experience has been graduating yes, but celebrating with my family and driving off to Texas with my sweetheart. We have been in a long distance relationship for 2 years and we are now together again. Living together has been the simplest, most fulfilling experience of the past year and I am grateful everyday to know and love such a wonderful human!

After finally recovering from Mono, I developed tinnitus in both ears. As silly as it is, this permanent sound made me come to grips with how short life is, and while it still scares me I've slowly begun to make an effort to enjoy the time I have as much as I can and surround myself with loved ones I may not see for the entirety of my life.

I had promised to go and spend a long while near my grandchildren and daughter in Seattle and I finally did that this year. I spent six weeks in a rental just 15 minutes from their home and was there to celebrate Ben's 8th birthday and Rachel's 5th birthday as well as some marvelous days going to swim club, the movies, playing games, sharing cooking moments and just being around. My daughter took off for one week in Paris and had a great time. I love being with them and it felt good, but there is a sense that my life is really not there. That they have their lives, and although I was welcome most of the time, that I needed my own life, separately. It was an important lesson. I will no longer crave to be in two places at a time. I am at peace with living apart and know that I gave it my best shot.

This past summer, I went to work at a summer camp in Brevard, NC. This experience taught me to grow up and to take responsibility. It showed me my real passion in life and also how to fend for myself. I'm extremely grateful for the experience and the fact that I get to go back again next summer.

We got evicted from the house on Dodge and forced to take a semester off of school. I'm very disappointed and frustrated about what this will mean for my future. Right now the want to be back up in Mount Pleasant is like a physical ache, and I think about it every day. I don't want to be putting school off, and the fact that a bunch of rich frat boys and sorority chicks get to go to school just to flunk out and party while all I want to do is go to class and I can't pisses me off beyond recognition.

I was arrested for shop lifting in June. It made me feel like a fucking tool and I had serious anxiety over it for awhile but it's turned out to be nothing. I was supposed to be sued for $500, I never paid and I never head about it again. I guess they could be building a case but I some how doubt it. I wish I could say it changed me but it hasn't.

Became involved with a local pediatric, resource and research foundation It has inspired me to be a better person.

Has to be my trip to Mom and Dad's party in C/S. It was tremendously rewarding to have helped plan it and execute it - despite my contributions being made from here, mostly. the turn-out and loyalty that i saw in their friends was amazing and inspiring. Encountering my Mom and the condition that she is in was INCREDIBLY difficult. Physically seeing her and being 1-on-1 with her was often over-coming and it amounted to an extremely emotional trip. Other poignant points from the trip, abridged, telling sisters and friends about my lacklustre desire toward life. meeting with Bath, Brooks' compliment, finally fitting into size 31 jeans again, Sophia chalking me her heart, feeling a genuine pull for the quality of life in the US, reconnecting with family and feeling like people do actually miss me even though i may not feel it often, seeing Linda, Flying over Iceland, the book to write with Cindy.

I think the oil spill off the Gulf Coast really affected me. I was surprised at how little was being done and how much damage was being caused. To know that all of that oil was gushing out into ocean and directly harming so many plants and animals was heartbreaking. Especially since it seems to me that BP was not taking proper safety measures to ensure that a leak like this would not occur. People don't realize that we only get one earth and we can't continue to destroy it with our carelessness and our greed. I an very disappointed in the way the government and other higher ups are taking advantage of what we have in this world.

I got married. Honestly, this first year of marriage has been really hard. I've realized, among other things, how much I hate compromise, fiercely value my independence, and miss being alone for long periods of time. Sometimes it's so hard that I have no idea why I got married in the first place. We've decided to see a counselor, and in those sessions, I need to develop better communication skills and to figure out whether I want to stay married.

I took a serious look at my debt. I opened up to my partner who is trying to help me organize and handle it. He didn't yell or judge, he listened and helped me find tools to increase my awareness of spending and financial position so that I can pay down what I owe. I was afraid to confront it. I was uncomfortable acknowledging that I was out of control. I felt very exposed by opening up my private financial information. On the one hand, I felt a strong bond when he didn't chastise but rather too a matter of fact approach. On the other hand, I feel powerless feeling I am not on equal financial footing and able to contribute my share. Money represents independence to me.

Tim went into the hospital, again, with inability to move his right arm/hand and both legs. Wow, did this ever tumble my life! I moved us into a wheelchair-accessible apartment at a new complex. We started outpatient therapy. Tim further developed his drawing skills. Tim's work was displayed at a gallery in the Roosevelt Art District in downtown Phoenix. ... And, so on. I went to a SARN. And, with it, I finally overcame my fear of public ridicule! I am very grateful for all of these things as they have changed my life for the better. I'll attend Omega IV at the end of Sept 2010 and, like Barb, I will be better for it.

Despite being brought up Roman Catholic and being part of a family (and husband's family) that are very religious I've been unsure about religion and my place in it. I completely believe in the existence of God - having experienced the miracle of birth twice, finding love, witnessing tremendous beauty in nature and being blessed with other amazing things in my life convinced me of that. But I've struggled with my acceptance of the strict Catholic beliefs and how to bring up my children. I feared the rejection from my and my husband's family if we chose not to raise our children in a Catholic home, although both were Christened. I struggle with the importance of religion in a child's life and how it will impact them not growing up with some sort of foundation in traditional religion. But I kept coming back to the thought of how much I disagree with many of the teachings of the Catholic church and the hypocrisy of it. I want my children to be accepting of all people - gay or straight and be able to challenge their beliefs - not just believe what they are told - as I feel the Catholic church is so guilty of. I do admire the Christian aspects of the church - do unto others... having strong morals to be a good person and member of the community - and feel that we instill those morals in our children without the routine visit to church. I was so relieved to find out over the summer that so many of my cousins and family members, from the same Catholic upbringing feel exactly as I do - I didn't feel so alone in my thoughts. The only question now is where do I go from here - do I seek out a "church" or group that best fits my more liberal and progressive views - not those trapped in the middle ages? I love the idea of a Universalist church, but don't have one close enough to me that would be convenient to get to. My journey continues - and I hope that through more discussions with friends and family I will find the right answer to how important religion or the lack of it in my life and my childrens' life is.

My grandmother died. She lived next to my parents since I was 4, but in the 25 years I had to develop a close relationship to do so, I failed. There were years when I only saw her 2 times. She was the individual whose values most affected the way I live my life and I idolized her. Yet, I never bothered to visit. It made me realize how out of order my priorities were with the way I was living. At her funeral, everyone from her past was astounded by how similar I looked to my grandma. Everyone from her present, said she spoke of me all the time. She was very proud of all I had accomplished. I wish she knew that despite neglecting her, my life was one giant tribute to her. I have a renewed dedication to my family now.

Hmm, significant experience. I would say getting my first "real" job. It taught me to apply for everything because you never know. At first I wasn't going to apply for the job at the evil power company, but I am so glad I did. I love it here!

The most significant was my trip to Alaska. It's been a year of significant experiences though. I told everyone I was moving to New York but my plans fell through. I began having an affair with my friend's husband and insisted he leave her but then I found out he was hiding some pretty significant mental illness and now I'm trying to get out of it and questioning my humanity in the process. But in Alaska something happened to my brain. We were caught in a storm on kayaks, had to camp in fairly miserable conditions. But instead of wallowing in misery, I kept my head up, patted myself on the back for moving forward, doing my best. When I came home I was suddenly motivated to complete projects that had been sitting down for a while. I've started and completed new projects and I've got lots of ideas for other ones and there is a sense in my that I know I will complete them. I am grateful.

I graduated from college this past May. I was so happy to not be sick this time around and actually enjoy myself. It's weird now because all of my friends are headed back to school and I don't have to go. I'm also a little bit stressed because since I'm not going back to school, I have to become a real adult and get a job and a place to live. I have no doubts that everything will work out in the end, but it's just a little stressful at the moment.

My mom passing away was both heartbreaking and a relief. Suffering through 7 years of cancer took a toll on us both, and I was devastated to lose her, but also happy knowing that she wasn't in pain any longer. Those 3 days in which everything happened were the most traumatic of my life, but they also made me grateful that we had had so much time together that was good despite everything. I miss her so much.

My son started college.

My grandpa died. At first I spent time mourning, and missing him. And while those emotions have not gone away, they have been met with a remembrance of all that he gave me in our time together. Instead of thinking of how sad I am that he is not here to share something with me, I think of how proud he would be if he could be here, and how I must keep doing things that I know would make him happy and proud, because it is a way for me to keep him in my life.

Changed jobs, leaving negative, degrading, stagnant work environment behind for potential, growth and supportive managers. It made me realize the constant state of anger, hostility and resentment that I lived day to day, stemming from my workplace. I treated the ones I love with this level of constant unbalance that sometimes came to a head as anger, depression, or rage. While I was never physically violent, I attached those around me emotionally to try and find peace. Since changing jobs in March, I have come to realize what a balanced, fair and respectful workplace can be like and how the effects can be felt in ones' personal life. Working for a organization that respects personal boundaries and treats each person as a human is refreshing.

This year both my husband and I are finally approaching the end of our graduate careers, and beginning to think seriously about careers. We both have been offered positions that we are excited about. this has been a huge relief. I feel like our adult life is finally coming together. Education, work, housing, and childcare are all taken care of for at least another 2 years. This stability is great.

I have got my college degree in education at 38 after 4 and a half years studying hard, and after years doing other things before finding my true vocation. Plus, I have started working as a high school teacher and college professor. Feels exciting and inspiring.

My mother became quite ill. At first we weren't sure if it was life threatening, and it caused a great deal of anxiety and tension within my family. I learned that my father is incapable of handling situations like this, and I had to step in and become her advocate. At first I felt incredibly overwhelmed, exhausted and resentful. It worried me. It made me realize what my role will be as they continue to grow old. But I also realized what I'm capable of accomplishing in times of strife. This is never a role a child wishes for, but I realize now that I will be there to support my parents under any conditions.

We got pregnant with our first child. I am over 35 years old and the medical community considers that "old" for pregnancy. My husband and I met only a few years ago so we knew our window for children might be short but we didn't want to rush things. I anticipated that it would take much longer to get pregnant than it did but my husband always believed that we would be the exception. Then we had a scare with some testing that lead to more invasive tests. Once again, my husband was strong in his belief that everything was going to be okay and they were. Every day I am thankful that this man is in my life. He frustrates me and sometimes drives me batty but I have learned to trust him more, share my fears more and believe him more. I look forward to how he will shape our child's life.

My Father passed away after a year long battle with Cancer. I am learning how dependent on him I had become, and at 41 years of age I am finally having to grow up without my best friend and biggest champion. And honestly, I am afraid that I can't do it.

We had an amazing vacation in Sedona, and, on the anniversary of his passing, my father spoke to me, and told me it was ok to move on; in fact, it was time. The breadth of emotions is hard to describe, but it was very real and very visceral.

I experienced my first year of college. Away from school. I always thought it'd be a scary changed but in reality it opened my eyes to so much more and made me 100% sure at what I wanted to do with my life.

I have spent the last year unemployed, as a result of a corporate layoff thirteen months ago. During this time I've learned a lot about my strengths, and about my weaknesses. I would love to be able to give a positive answer and talk about the incredible opportunity it's given me, but the reality is that most of my energy has been spent trying to avoid bitterness and despair. I haven't yet given up hope that things will change, and that I may even come out of this a stronger person. But with the day-to-day struggle to maintain my health without insurance, and with the news reminding me that half the country thinks I don't deserve medical treatment because I'm out of work, it's tough to keep a smile. This too, they say, shall pass. I'm waiting for that passage, and growing impatient.

I had ovarian cancer. I didn't know I had cancer until it was removed from my body. I am quite relieved as the cancer was contained and did not spread to other organs. I can still conceive and carry a child. I do not have to have radiation or chemo or drug therapy. I learned the true value of listening to my instincts and to my loved ones and to my doctor. I also learned the value of NOT listening to my doctor. I learned the value of distrust. I am still marvelling at why I am sooooooo lucky when people die from this sneaky little disease at such high rates. I must finish my pet projects and I must have FUN FUN FUN from now on.

I fall inlove, deeply! It was like reborn!

My second daughter, Allison Rose Maki, came into our world on September 27, 2009 . She completed our family and she was a significant influence for a new direction in my life. I was accepted into St. Scholastica in April of 2009 and I just completed my first semester with straight A's. I am very optimistic for my future and I am more content than I have ever been in my life. I am continuing to strive for self-actualization in my life by starting a daily exercise routine and by implementing organization in all aspects of my life.

I went to build house for poor people, Im grateful.. The people in need are amazing, they make us remember that sometimes is about little things not wether if you have the latest tv or pc, is about sharing a time under the same roof with the people you care, is about laughing, talking (and not on the phone). I feel Inspired. Now is my must every 3 or 4 months.

Wow. This is really hard to answer. I feel like in this past year I've lost almost everything at least once. Most of it has been for the better, but in some ways, I feel like I'm still holding out for the return to normalcy. Generally, I'm glad it all happened. I learned, and am still learning, a lot... about love, about trust, about myself, about others, and about my faith. I've never asked so many questions in my life.... but I feel like it's the asking that makes living worth while. How else are you going to find answers? But, sometimes doubt and sadness and bitterness creep in. I can't deny that.

I had an accident in my house. I slipped and fell and broke my hip. I was rushed to the hospital and had to have total hip replacement surgery. I am married for 54 years to a fabulous man who is a holocust survivor. He was absolutely wonderful during my stay in the hospital and my recovery at home. My children and grandchildren commented on the love we share and how our years together have strengthened that love. Was I resentful that I fell? Ofcourse. We had to cancel a planned vacation. I was grateful to my entire family as well as all of my caring friends and it inspired me to be as caring to othres as they were an still are to me. I am also trying to live each day to the fullest. You do not know what tomorrow will bring.

The birth of our first grandchild was the most incredible event this year. I was so grateful for her safe arrival especially because she was breech and her mother had to have a caesarian. We were and remain grateful that our son and daughter in law are committed Jews and are going to bring Eliana the same way. We couldn't believe the miracle that brought Eliana into the world and the incredible and boundless love she brought with her. My mother died at the age of 44 and never had the incredible experience of being a grandmother and she would have loved it so much. I am so grateful that Hashem has granted this gift to me.

The death of my dear friend Jean. For almost 20 years she has been such a large part of my life that her absence is tangible. She was with me when John died and saw me through every significant event after, always with her own brand of common sense and ability to sense my needs. I am so grateful to have had her in my life and for her giving me my "family", Sue, Sami and Sherry. I miss her so much and at this time more than ever. She came and went too fast but she was a source of inspiration that will live with us all for as long as we live.

My aunt, who had been fighting breast cancer for 20 years, passed away. I used to work in pharmaceutical advertising, and because one of my clients was a breast cancer treatment, I was very intimately involved with her fight. The loss was surprisingly hard on me. I had dealt with cancer and patients for years, but mostly as statistics. Jayne's death brought the painful reality of cancer to me. I grieved by signing up to participate in The 3-Day for the Cure, walking 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast cancer. I have become more fit and have a new sense of accomplishment that I credit to Aunt Jayne. I was unable to participate due to a knee injury, but I plan to try again next year.

i got my bachelor's degree after almost 15 years. it is a huge relief, and i feel like i can move on to a new chapter, even though i'm late

I took a really big chance on a relationship and while it didn't work out, I did get to spend almost 6 months abroad in England. It was the longest time I've spent away from my home country and of course it was a really big learning experience. It actually made me really proud to be where I'm from despite its problems. It made me realize what unifying characteristics we as Americans have and where a lot of our culture comes from and how valuable that is. Moreover, I took a chance on love last year and while it didn't last, the fact that I gave it my best shot was really important because I hadn't wanted to in a long while. I met some really nice people along the way and so I don't think I would like to trade that experience. Unfortunately, I met some folks who had a less positive effect on me. So I learned to let go of those around me who don't contribute positively to my life. All very important lessons to learn and I'm grateful.

There were several significant events that happened in the past year that will likely how my life progresses at least over the next few years. My grandmother lost her battle with breast cancer at the end of June. While it was a bit of a traumatic end she was doing well right up to her last few days. I will miss the strong sense of support she always gave me. Our last real conversation was me going through my research rotation talk on breast cancer metastasis with her. She was so interested in seeing my work and was so proud of ever little step I took. She was a wonderful women who loved her family dearly and I am not sure I truly appreciated what she meant to me until she was toward the end of her fight. I am relived that she is no longer in pain and I hope to one day return to work in her memory. On the totally opposite hand, I made the decision to join a development lab for my thesis work. I know that this will affect where my academic life may take me and at least for know I am enjoying the comfort of already being part of the development community to some extent. I hope that my decision in both lab and subject leads to opening doors new scientific insights. I am grateful for the opportunity Trevor has given me and I am hoping that I can use it to run to great lengths.

I got married! I managed to plan and execute the perfect wedding (for us) which made me feel very competent and relieved - I was so worried that it would turn out to be lame. And the actual act of getting married was inspiring and very moving. I was worried that I would be so caught up in the superficial stuff - my looks, the venue, if the guests were happy, etc - that I would not even pay attention to what was happening. But instead I was more present than I've ever been in my life (which is a big thing for me. I'm never present). I was able to fully absorb the meaningfulness and beauty of the ceremony, and I am very relieved that that is the feeling that stays with me the most- the other stuff is there, but is less salient.

I nearly undid my relationship with my spouse by behaving in ways that had gone unreflected on for years. I am grateful that she was able to bring them to my attention, and that we have started a new chapter in our relationship. I finally embraced the idea that becoming the better partner was also good for me - that I wanted to be that person, and it was worth working towards not just for my partner, but for myself.

I had a couple of significant experiences this year. Two of my best friends got married. I was happy for them, but at the same time very jealous of them and thier love for another person, that I don't have in my life right now. My Grandmother also passed away very suddenly. In a way I'm grateful that it was quick, and mostly painless, but its hard to lose her, and I still am grieving. It's also opened me up to make some changes in my life, and I'm really working on the changes instead of just saying I want the changes. I'm working on not only an attitude change but a physical change. They are both REALLY hard changes. I'm turning towards my religion to provide more support for the changes.

I graduated finally. My college experience was not a traditional one but certainly a memorable. My last year of college was everything I hoped it would be. Amazing classes, wonderful ideas were created, stellar people were met and it will stick with me hopefully forever. My last year as an undergrad. Everything I did to get ready for that commencement date and the realizations I had immediately following. I realized all my comfort in being content now caused me to be so bored with life. It was like once I finally hit my milestone it quickly opened my eyes to new opportunities that I had to take. I now look ahead and question the path, I am hopeful I will not be bored. I think that might be one of my greatest fears is growing bored with life, I certainly have made those changes to not be although the path is not so clear and I am ok with that. So *fingers crossed*

Went to Kenya - changed my whole outlook on the world and how to help others. I am grateful that I was able to get there, as it turned me from a community servicer hopefully into an entrepreneur. the dui happened to which has ruined my chance for tfa/americorp/going to canada. as long as this next plan works out though, it will all be good. who knows though.

I got into a fight with my brother. It was heated and intense but slowly we're moving forward together. I am sorry that we had to go through such a negative experience to get closer but I'm relieved that our relationship is more dynamic.

Actually, just one month ago I got married. I'm still in that newleywed stage where everything is wonderful and I'm hopelessly in love with my new husband. I hope that feeling lasts. I'm scared because my parents have been married several times, and even my new husband comes from a family of divorce. Thankfully for him, it was before he was even born. I hope that because we both know the effects we really do stick this out for better or for worse. I am happy and worried. But as my husband would say, I am a worrier.

My grandson was born! I am so grateful and inspired - it made my world light up and gave me more reasons to live happily and build my business.

I met my girlfriend 10 months ago and I would say this is most deinfitely the most significant event to happen to in the last 12 months. After being single, but not unhappy, for 3 years it felt like the right time to begin what has developed into a series relationship which has meant almost 12 months of having alot of fun with someone ... although like any relationship it's had a few bumps along the way but I think that's what makes a relationship stronger in the long term. I feel I have also matured a bit in this time which has resulted in me thinking about the future which in turn has meant I have focussed more on debt ... so meeting J has also meant I'm now no longer skint all the time!

I fell in love, with a man I had known for years, but had not seen for a very long time. Our first love affair, which lasted many years, had ended over 25 years ago. Marriages, children, moves, joys and sorrows and even death had all filled those intervening years. Though we are older and slower, we are also kinder and much more at peace. I feel we are better to each other, and better for each other, than we had ever been when young. And I am so very grateful to have this passion in my life again.

I became estranged from my adult children over a serious family issue that remains unresolved. Through the process of grieving the loss of their presence in my life I was able to reevaluate my life direction. I realized, that while my children will always be important to me, they are not the sum total of who I am. My life has meaning and substance apart from them. I am learning to be hopeful in the absence of any visible sign of improvement by placing my faith in God rather than in an individual. I am learning to accept hurt without retaliation and to draw healthy boundaries in my life that do not judge the other person but refuse to accept responsibility for the consequences of their choices.

I have been treated for depression in the past year. It started in October (hubby reckons long before!). I fell over in work in hurt my knee and also bumped my head and had a cut above my eye. This happened a week before I was due to go on holiday. I ended up with two black eyes and lots of bruising on my knee. We still went on holiday to Portugal, the bruising was subsiding but I still had tape and glue on the cut above my eye. I was paranoid about falling over again and almost never left Steve's side. When we returned home I had a phone call from work to say we were being sourced back into the bank but the whole helpdesk will be relocated to Yorkshire. I think it was the mixture of my injuries and the thought of changing jobs or taking redundancy that evetually tipped me over the edge. No alternative jobs came up and I took the redundancy in July. The tablets I am taking for depression worked well but also seemed to make me too immune to feelings. I asked the doctor about 3 weeks ago about coming off the medication. I'm now on half dose for a month and will then go to a tablet every other day for month then that's it. I'm now unemployed and looking hard for a new job.

My wife and I decided it was time to start taking better care of ourselves. We began working out together and eating better. For years I have been trying to do these things on my own and failed. Now we are seeing great progress and I know the reason is the accountability of having a partner. It makes me wonder how many other goals I attempt alone might benefit from taking my wife along for the ride.

I finally cut ties on a relationship that wasn't working. It has been a relief not to waste time on a time-waster but there is a part of me that wonders what he is doing; or more to the point, why he hasn't chased me. Clearly my ego and sense of self-worth need some work. I think I'm afraid that I won't meet anyone again. I've discovered a lot more fear and vulnerability inside than I've ever wanted to admit to. That's kind of scary but at least I know what needs to be addressed. I guess that's a relief in a way. Another thing, I just lost my father's Claddagh ring. He died when I was four and my mother gave it to me for Christmas when I was 14. It's the most precious thing I own and it's gone. I've turned the house upside down and no sign. I have been sick with grief. It feels as if I've lost him all over again.

I suffered from major depression and I was suicidal this year. I'd say the whole experience was the literal meaning of "suck" - it really, really, sucked. I hated myself, my life, my friends, my parents, the bus I rode to school, the exams I had to take, etc. So, it sucked. And to this day, I don't know why I felt like that for so long, up until last month. But. I may not be completely better, but I don't want to kill myself anymore. I've learnt to depend on myself, and not other people, which is a key thing many people don't learn until they are older, even old age. People have let me down countless times, and I've had moments where I feel like God has given up on me. But when it comes to simply asking myself,"Who are you?", I didn't rest until I got my answer. I was a person who didn't really hate myself. I loved who I was. I didn't hate the people I knew, and trivial things didn't really get to me as much as I thought. What I was truly fearing was what other people thought of me. I constantly put myself through self-scrutiny and discomfort because I thought that being thinner and prettier would get me more friends, keep the friends I did have, a boyfriend, and lots of shallow things that I thought I needed. So, when I asked myself,"Who are you?" I realised that I was a funny, smart, genuinely good person, who let what others have deemed "ugly" to become me. I was an empty shell of myself who led myself to believe that my sole purpose in the world was to please others. But it's not. So this past year, I've been accepting my imperfections as simple, unique additions to what I am. So what if I wear glasses? I need to see. So what if I've got a big nose? I'm not a barbie doll, and if I've lived with it for 16 years, I'll sure as hell continue the rest of life. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of me, the real me. The real me is beautiful, and that's the significant experience I've had this past year. That realisation that beautiful shines as bright as your self-confidence and as bright as your inner-peace with who you are as a person. I may not be a stunner on the outside, but there isn't a person who got to know me - the real me - and hated it. I suppose, in a way, my depression has been a god-sent experience. I'm not completely out of the woods yet, but I think what I've learnt, experienced, and felt this last year has given me the light I needed to get out of the deep dark forest.

My husband and I girded ourselves for the 5th year anniversary of Katrina--in which we had lost our house--by picking a group of musicians to support with a few different fundraising efforts. It helped us breeze through our own wounds and instead concentrate on how much working together in that common goal strengthened our relationship. It was wonderful, because the storm itself had weakened us. Helping others helped us immeasurably.

Probably the most significant experience was the death of my granddad. It was a hard thing to go through as I was away in California for school so I couldn't be there to comfort my family or grandmother. I felt so helpless feeling as if no one knew what I was going through and I just wanted to go home. My dad was the only one able to go to the funeral since it was in Maine. But through it all, my friends were there for me and helped me get through this.

It's interesting to realize that moving to a suburb has, at this point, taught me more about my self than has the birth of my son. I didn't want to leave the warm, tattered familiarity of my working-class, burglary-plagued neighborhood. My wife, who grew up in upper-class, white areas (suburban and rural), was always fearful at home, at the store, while going for a walk. She feared the unfamiliar look and smell of the poverty moving all around her on foot and bicycle and aging Buick. She wanted to leave. I didn't. So I asked the Lord what to do. "Don't be afraid to leave," He told me, "I know how to provide for you." So we left. And He provided for us. I'm really happy, tremendously grateful, confused by the goodness of our situation. "How'd we get here?" I puzzle aloud. Through this experience, one thing I've realized is that when you grow up poor, there is a clear divide between "us" and "them". "They" have it so easy, "they" don't know us, "they" don't like us. The roots of that separation can run so deep that a person might fear to leave poverty when the opportunity arises, so loathe is he to become "one of them." That line is blurred for me now, if not forgotten. I still feel the gap between myself and the neighbor with all the degrees and titles and accomplishments. But I'm relieved to find that I am still me, and my wife and I are still "us."

I went to England all on my own for three weeks. I think it made me more independant and I'm much more self-confident now. I made lots of friends from all over Europe and I think the experience of meeting new people and being "forced" to become friends made me grow personally. I'm very grateful for this experience.

As a fourth year pre-doctoral student in Pharmcology, I was feeling extremely frustrated about my lack of data. With failure being an everyday occurrence for the past 4 years, I was beginning to question why I was even trying to get my Ph.D. Feeling adrift, I applied for an unpaid position as a teaching assistant. Teaching biology to undergrads reminded me why I'm in graduate school and gave me a goal to work towards. Now, although I'm currently a fifth year student with no data, I at least have that experience to keep me motivated to finish my Ph.D.

I had surgery on my neck to correct spinal stenosis. It affected me in every possible way: physically, financially, spiritually. I relied on my friends and family for everything. Even my co-workers who donated their sick days were important. The surgery -unfortunately - left me physically impaired and uncomfortable, which I am learning to accept, but it did allow me to keep walking, for which I'm grateful. The experience overall made me appreciate my own strength and vitality, but also left me even more aware of my own vulnerability than I was before.

My eldest daughter left my sign company and started her own. It broke my heart. We had been so close that to be completely cut out of her life, and that of my grandkids, was devastating. Our relationship will never be the same again and that makes me incredibly sad. On the plus side, it prompted me to seek professional help with my depression and, as it turns out, ADD. There are no easy answers to anything but I hope I'm making some personal progress.

I went to Buenos Aires for 2 months, I spent the second of those 2 months working in a hostel for a free bed, trying to get a ticket home. It underlined my Passion for travel and made me want to visit more but it also was nice to only have one problem. Despite all of the financial worries, it was all about living for the now and hoping everything would sort itself out, which it did. If I can overcome the finance aspect then just having some time away, not on holiday but not living, would be amazing.

I sat the most important examinations of my life this past summer. As someone who has never taken academics seriously - but has preferred to advance their education through an unfortunate amount of personal reading - these exams didn't phase me... That is, until I sat down for my first paper. Every faraway dream of finding my calling, finding my heart and my soul and my passion at university came upon me in a wave of nausea. Shaking, I put pen to paper... Needless to say, I didn't do too well. But the fleeting feeling that my life was heading nowhere fast has inspired me to sit down, shut up and listen to my professors one more time before going off to change my life for the better.

In January, 2010, I received a phone call from an unknown woman, asking me if I could take over teaching five of her private students. This 'windfall' came at a time when I was almost without any income. I was so grateful that I rejoiced in the goodness of humanity as this 'gift' gave me renewed energy to continue teaching. This woman had called me from the States and I was living in Greece. A long distance call from a stranger, gave me a much needed income that kept me alive. It also gave me five beautiful students from excellent families and the enthusiasm of these bright students and appreciation from the parents, that all teachers desire. I feel so blessed.

My father died in January, and it made me very very sad. It made me see how important family is - but since that time, my family has split apart in many ways. My mother has gotten through it and moved out of her old house, but my sister is not speaking to my daughter, nor my daughter to her. The lesson of bringing the family closer together was wasted on them.

Had surgery, and was extremely tired, so had to give up a huge part of my job. Actually good, because that part of my job was not healthy for me. I am now doing much better and I'm much happier than I was a year ago.

I Went to the Sziget festivel in Budapest. It was freaking amazing!

I am extraordinarily grateful this past year. We met a goal that seven years ago was a pipe dream. We bought a 2-flat in San Francisco with R & T. Stars aligned for us. We're lucky. A friend said, "You deserve it." I don't believe that. No one deserves anything. I hate the word "deserves." We're just lucky.

My husband's youngest brother died rather quickly (to us) of liver failure caused by alcoholism. We didn't know the severity of (either) illness until a few weeks before his death. It was difficult to face how little we did know about this member of our family, who was just twelve years old when we married in 1979. As a married couple, we've lived away from our extended families, which has been, for the most part, good for us, but there is a price.

I had an abortion. At the time it seemed like the best decision for me. But in hindsight; im really upset with my decision. This month would have been the due date. It makes me sad to know i will not have that child (or children; there were twins at the ultra sound-though one greatly smaller than the other) I feel at though there is a void in my life right now. i dont konw if this is the void, or if this could have filled it. and yet i will never know.

I became miserable at work. I realized that I was doing work that was not really in tune or connecting with my true gifts, loves or passions. The slightest tasks became arduous and I was not performing well for the first time in my life. This lead me to reach to my passions and regain my self-love and appreciation. It also showed me that I have nothing to prove - I dropped my superacheiver mentality which caused me to sacrifice my happiness for much of my life. That being said, I became confident that I could always find a career within which I could find happiness and success BUT, that my priority was to take care of MYSELF, become a healthy and beautiful weight and find my soulmate. I developed the true desire for this for the first time in my life. It started, however, by changing my negative, self-defeating thoughts. I am now taking actions that are transforming my body and uplifting/connecting with my soul. Self love. Taking care of my "vessel", growing my vessel to receive the love of all loves and my soulmate whom I will marry. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to take this path in my life right now, so relieved that I've let go of my old self-destructive ways and so inspired for my future happiness, love and success.

The fact that my boyfriend broke up with me after 3,5 years of a happy relationship, without a good reason, made me realise how much i depended on him and didn't even had a life of my own. I am fully self aware right now, and growing up and making my own decisions without having to think about what others would want. I can surely say that I know that I am free to do what ever I want to, when i want to. So you can truly say that the break up has inspired me to become a better, independable, grown up. And actually i'm quite fond about it, it's a heavy wieght that dropped of my shoulders!

I graduated college in May. I have a diploma somewhere in my library now, and I don't get to go to class while all my friends still do. Otherwise, it hasn't been as significant as I would want it to be. I'm glad to have a degree, but I wish I was already in graduate school, instead hanging around Clemson in limbo, being only semi-employed.

I came out to my parents, accidentally, on the phone. It was something I probably should have told them at some point over the past 15 or so years that I've known, but I was always too scared of what they might think. At first, they were clearly flustered and asked questions that I'd hoped they wouldn't (like "do you think maybe it's just the people you hang out with?"). Then, when I went home a few weeks later, the floodgates opened, and we talked for hours and hours, mostly uncomfortably without seeing eye-to-eye. Then, at around 11PM, something clicked. My mother looked me in the eye, nodded, and said "That makes sense." Somehow, we'd reached detente, and our relationship seems stronger now than it ever did before.

This past year, I really wanted to buy a house and my husband really didn't. It was the first time in our 16-yr. marriage where someone would win and someone would lose--there was no way to compromise or meet in the middle. It changed things. I have thought a lot about what marriages are made of. Ours has been built around making the other person happy, and it has worked b/c that's how we both operate. It doesn't work as well when one person is happy and the other isn't. It left a pretty deep scar.

I went to Camp Secret Squirrel last month, a socialist camp . It wasn't an extraordinary weekend but it really motivated me to get out of my boring hometown. To meet such interesting people who'd done some really cool things with their lives; it was inspiring.

I fell in love again and made love for the first time. He is my ultimate love. We're only 20, we don't know what's going to happen and I've only been with him for the last almost 9 months. But I'm very sure that I'm never going to regret anything I've been through or will go through with him. It may sound that I'm too dependent on him f I say that he changed everything about me. From my views even to how I dress. I trust him that much. There's something in me that tells me that what he says is true and is always true. I sound like I'm too dependent on him because I have no doubts about his love for me and his worthiness of my trust. I trust him. And I know he trusts me. We take care of each other, we watch out for each other. It really scares me to think that with our youth anything can happen. But no matter what, I'm sticking to what I said. I don't regret anything I've done for you or with you, Nico. I will never regret anything. I don't really know how to say anything else now.

The birth of a second baby boy. I am grateful he is healthy, joyous he is with us, relieved my wife is doing well, frustrated I don't have as much free time as a I used to, inspired to learn more about myself as I teach my children.

I had some sessions with a coach that helped me find my dominant side of the brain. And it resulted I'm a right side. The surprising thing is that I have been educated on the left side of the brain, leaving the right side almost aside. LOL This discovery helped me quit my job and seek for more creative things to do. The result so far is amazing and I'm more open to new experiences. I am a sponge trying to absorb all I can in life. I even get along better with my family and friends and I'm very open to meet new and different people. I'm really enjoying this life journey!!!!!!!

As much of the United States seems depressed by a bad economy my family seems stable. Yet, we are trying to pay debt off quicker which builds resentment in the home. The significance of "sticking to the budget" doesn't always go both ways!

I started a DBT program. It is teaching me how to improve myself and not to judge. I am learning how to observe and describe. I am learning how to regulate my emotions. I am learning how to be the person that I want to be.

I became a Catholic, much to my surprise. It has been, and continues to be, an enlightening and sometimes frustrating journey. It was definitely a good decision. In spite of my disagreements with the church, my faith in God and Jesus Christ has been strengthened immeasurably. I could do without some of the dogma, but my life is much richer as a result of this decision.

I got engaged this year. I was very excited when it happened, and even still I feel so lucky that I have found the person that I am going to spend the rest of my life with. I promised him and myself that our wedding planning would not be stressful, and, besides saving money for it, it hasn't been.

Finally changing jobs has modified my outlook on life. I lasted two years working as project coordinator for the translation unit of a languages institute. The tasks were wonderful, I felt the challenge of time and skill pressing on me everyday and that is enticing when one is young. The horrid and decaying part of this position was the company, and more so my direct boss. The institution had no idea that employees had feelings, rights or even were present in the halls. It was a joke to speak with the HR representatives as they were all dumb tweets in their own right. Everyone had to be on top of their salary payments as to catch a mistake. It was stressful and just plain dissappointing. All this state was worsened by an insecure, defensive therefore attacking boss. A woman with no self respect of her own trying to obtain worth from her bossly status. This means, in plain Machiavellian ways, mistreating all subjects - fear rules. The team was comprised of five people, boss and myself inclusive. One left and detonated a bomb with her departing comments, one blew up and send everything to hell before taking a two-week medical leave of absence. I stuck with it meanwhile searching heaven and earth for a worthwhile job. The change has been so great; I feel such peace within. I am quite at easy with the new team, the new boss, the new tasks. I noticed how important it is to have a good environment around you. We we spend most of our time at work and it is imperative that we have a healthy and nurturing workspace.

My 87 yr old Aunt Elsie's decline and demise allowed me to develop a better relationship with her. She was a difficult person for me to connet with and it really made me focus of it being about her, only. I am grateful to have overcome a family of origin prejudice against her and my own fear that I'd turn into her [from the familial committee in my mind]. I am grateful and amazed to find that I miss yer.

I think I finally grokked what living in the moment really means. I can't do it all the time, or even most of the time, but there's been a big improvement in my levels of contentedness...

I have had a lump in my left breast and had to do some tests. I was very anxious . my husband was away for business, my father in law died from a cancer at the same time while I have finally been relieved as results were showing it was benign. i discover that my body was expressing the pain in my heart

I traveled to Myanmar/Burma this summer and the trip was all about experiences and meeting new people. It gave me a new way of looking on life and a renewed conviction that the western way of living is not the right way. The people are so friendly, they do not ave much but they are happy. Of course the military dictaturship affects them and that is not what I am talking about. It is more the way of living that is interesting. In the countryside they live of the land and seem to live a simple more fullfilling life. In the western countries life is all about buying stuff, having the newest mobile phone, the biggest TVand the fastest car. I have always tried to live simple and give to charity's and the experience inspired me to do it even more.

I was accepted to graduate school for writing. It was a relief - vindication for time spent doing something that otherwise might not have appeared worthwhile, but also stressful and confusing. Am I making the right decision? Will it be worth the money? Should I just give up and get a job? I am grateful, and I am inspired, and I am looking forward, but with the enormous expenses, and the difficult ways that it'll affect my life afterward, I am determined to work my ass off. To be the student and writer that deserves and earns a spot in the program. Each day matters that much more.

Finding out that my two adult children with disabilities will not be able to live on their own and will have to depend on help from others for the rest of their lives. When you have a child with disabilities you plan your life around the idea of reaching for the stars and settling for the moon. I cried for two days and then I put on my "Mommy face" and starting learning how to moon walk.

2010 was filled with life-changing endings and beginnings. Looking back, I could not be happier with the way things have turned out, feeling more strongly than ever that things happen for a reason, and that patience is a virtue that is well-rewarded.

My Grandmother died. It made me sad, but I also felt a little freer, like I don't have to worry about disappointing her anymore and I don't have to worry about her anymore. Also, she was so sick by the time she died that the death itself was a bit of a blessing.

I am grateful for having found a wonderful community away from home.

I moved back to my hometown for the wonderful surprise of a new love in my life despite having spent so much energy over the years determined to live anywhere but this city. The past seems everywhere here, and there are memory triggers on every street not just of my struggles here but also of everyone I loved who has passed away. I am much less successful than my late parents were, and that disappointment and sense of failure occupies more of my daily consciousness in this place than elsewhere.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June. For a week, I lived in a state of shock as I grappled with the cold, hard evidence that I was, indeed, mortal. How could I have cancer? Impossible! But, then again, why not me? It's a strange thing to face mortality, but once I did, I contemplated death frequently and thought about how I'd lived my life, the choices I'd made, and tried to determine if I was satisfied, if it turned out to be the end. I realized that I was happy. If I were to die, I'd do it with no real regrets. It also made me see that I have always lived life on my own terms, which is a luxury few people have, particularly women. It came to me that freedom has always been my driving force -- and I've stayed pretty true to that goal. Has it limited my career options? Definitely. Have I ever regretted it. No way. As it turned out, at least for now, the tumor was contained, it was removed, and I was able to avoid chemo. Now I'm going through radiation, and then I'll have several years of medication. I'm a regular human being, after all -- not invincible, as I believed myself to be in youth. But I have the life I've chosen, many people who love me and care about me, and I'm very lucky.

My family and I rescued a dog who was on the kill list at a local shelter. He was a bit beat up looking, and overlooked. He has brought love and enthusiasm with him into the family. My two daughters have embraced taking care of him, and suddenly of our two other dogs. It made me appreciate the love we have in our family and understand how small changes can bring out the best in us.

I graduated from high school, which has really made me develop my social skills to keep in contact with all my friends before we left for post-secondary school. After making an effort, I am happy way my summer ended up, hanging out with friends that are important to me, and making sure our relationships will last the test of time and distance.

One thing that happened unfortunately was my grandmother passed away at the age of 98. i was very close to her and i miss her. i wish that i knew that last time i saw her would have been the last so we could have had the chance to say goodbye. grandma always told me she loved me and was proud of me.

I had my first legitimately serious college relationship. It ended poorly, but showed me that I can rise to the occasion and make that sort of commitment. It was the biggest romantic love I've experienced to date. I'm grateful now that the pieces have all been picked up, but ready to move onto a commitment more deserving of my time.

My spurse was stolen and I was fired from my job. At the time I thought my world was ending, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I got another job, a new apartment, I'm building my credit score, I no longer have to pay for laundry. It's great. On the other hand, my mom has a hard time trusting me, and she blames me for having trouble with buying our new house, since my dads ssn was on a card in my wallet, so they had to report him for potential identity theft. I constantly feel the need to try to prove to her that I'm trustworthy. All in all, it's been tough, but I finally feel like my life is back to normal.

I recorded a CD. It will be launched in one week. The experience of recording was amazing and magical. I am hopeful that this will boost my jazz career and help me get some more gigs!

I was recruited to IDF (Israel's army) and, since the second day, had suicidal feelings which were very strong at nights. I've completely lost my happiness since then, since it feels like my life is no longer in my hands, but in the army's. I no longer feel like devoting myself to this country's army, and I want to move abroad more than ever. I no longer enjoy stuff I used to enjoy up until the day I was recruited, and I'm not sure this feeling would go away if I'd leave the army. So why not try and leave the army? Because, if this would happen, I would get 21-profiled, meaning I might have difficulties getting a job here in Israel. And I do need to make some money in order to move abroad, so the government pretty much f*cked me up.

My grandfather passed away. We were extremely close, and I wasn't there when he passed, so I didn't say goodbye. I chose not to go to the funeral, which I think is for the best, although there are some regrets that I have.

I met my girlfriend. It made me show my feelings and has made me a better person, a nicer person. It has made me want to do something to change the world, innovate, to make a better world.

I started college. That in itself is a complete wonder. I'm exactly one week into the experience, and things are finally starting to settle down. I am terrified, and lonely, and gassy, for that matter. I want my own bed, and my own crazy parents and my own loud dog. Resentful at the moment, but relieved that I got here. I didn't think I would.

In the past year, I've shed a few people, including two really good friends from my life. As a person who had always prided herself on her relationships, and as someone who values relationships above money or material things, I expected this to be quite painful. Instead, I found that, evaluating my life and the roles those people played , and weighing my changing personal priorities, the experience was liberating. I learned a lot about myself and what's important to me, and that what people think about me isn't as important as how I feel about myself. Without distractions, I'm now able to see the people in my life who are genuine and who add something to my life, as well as my goals and how to best achieve them. I highly recommend that everyone reevaluate the people and situations in their lives that might be bringing them down.

I have experienced so much in the last year-- so many things that I've gone most of my life avoiding. I've probably lived more in the last year than I have since I was... well, since ever. I've experienced love. My first actual love, that made all loves before to be what I 'thought' was love. It was good... foreign. It hurt a lot of the time, and eventually and for the better ended. But I wouldn't take it back or undo it. It's nice to feel those things sometimes; nice to hurt, to know that you can be. It made me open to the idea that love, among other things, is possible for me... something I've long overlooked before.

In the past 12 months? Or in 2101... In 12 months, my mom almost died from a routine laser hysterectomy. She was in a coma for a month and the bills the family has taken on from that have almost broken us. But we're chugging along the best we can. In 2010, all I can think of is my anxiety getting slightly better and I have someone in my life that understands I still have some problems (or he at least acts like it) and I hope that we stay friends for a very long time.

I had counseling to help me work through a period of my life that I used to block out. It made me realise that you can't just erase these moments, they help make you and define you, but it's not necessarily who'll you become.

My long term relationship came to an end and I had to leave my 2 children with their mother. Things have spiraled out of control and are becoming quite resentful. It has made me question what I want from life, but as it's quite recent, I still don't really have the answers.

I went on a christian camp, and it just made me properly reconnect with God. Through going, I am more comfortable and confident in speaking about my faith with my friends and explaining my beliefs. I am very greatful to Hannah (I should tell her sometime!) for introducing me to the camp, and ultimately I guess, helping me to become a 'proper' christian! AND YES, inspired to the max! NB: right now its almost hannahs birthday if you ever forget when you signed up for this bethan in the future.

We lost our beautiful dog, Ole. A soul of absolute kindness, she was of a great spirit. The bittersweetness of this is she died with no pain, but did so unexpectedly. No one could have known prior that her passing would be so imminent or guaranteed, but her passing was felt by many. It was very sad, and I know all of us shed a tear at our own private moment, but all agreed she had had a wonderful life and brought even greater wonderful joy to those who got to experience her. We are also agreed that we are glad she passed as she did, without pain, unaware of her death.

I moved to the town I was born in, Minneapolis, for work. I knew no one here, but a wonderful acquaintance of mine, who no longer even lives here, guided me: found me an apartment connected me with her friends. This, at a time in her life that was quite difficult. It's been hard, taken a long time to settle in, had a bit of a bout with depression. Difficult to find friends of my own, but my guide and the people here who have helped me have made it a joy. It's difficult to find community, but there are open people waiting for you.

Last year, my cat had kittens. This was the first time I had ever witnessed birth of any kind. Holding tiny newborn kittens in my hands was so awe-inspiring. It has been so amazing to watch them grow up so quickly into cats, but at the same time, it saddens me to know that they'll get old and die long before I do.

I had back surgery and for the first time in a many years I am pain-free. Even my blood pressure has come down. I am very grateful - but I see how easy it is for me to ignore my exercises, sit too long, and not take care of myself in other ways. I have become aware of my tendency to take my health for granted. I take better care of my car than I do of myself. So this is an opportunity for me to focus on the fundamentals - better diet, more general exercise, the right amount of sleep and back exercises. Call this a New Year's resolution.

I lost my job. This was a really hard year for me. I started to question everything. I lost all the confidence that I had. The hardest part was walking into Job interviews and having to display confidence in yourself when you have none. I really had to pull myself together for my family. There were days when I would find myself yelling at my kids for no reason. Depression set in....it got bad. It took a really long time but I have found a job. I think that being without a job changed me significantly. I learned a lot about who I am and how strong I needed to be.

My Husband and I have begun building a voiceover booth. It has taught me how smart Chris is and how much I need to learn to relax and take things as they come. However, I resent the booth now that we've been working on it for 7 months and I just want the clutter-free apartment back.

I visited my dream college in the US (I came all the way from Norway), and I started dreaming of how amazing it would be to study there in the future. Every day I work as hard as I can to get into that college(Caltech). That experience completely motivated me to work as hard as I can every day, so that I one day might be able to study at this amazing college.

The most significant is also the most recent. I just traveled this Labor Day to meet my sister's two newly adopted children from Russia. Her courage in becoming a mother inspires me to ask anew: Am I staking my whole self to the fulfillment of the most scary of my own life ambitions that remain unrealized?

I fell in love. With a very dear friend. I feel grateful, happy, excited and just a little scared. I hope I can be as good as I want to be.

I was ready to walk away from my partner because he unilaterally decided to stop taking his medicine. After many difficult weeks, I learned what it meant to stick through it and be present. I am grateful that I stood up for what I needed. I am relieved that we worked through it. I am inspired that we will face the next challenge together, and stronger.

I realized that the person who I thought was my best friend, one of the few people that I've even trusted, was a complete flake. She joined a sorority and suddenly had no time to hang out, grab lunch, or even send a text. (Yeah right, you certainly had plenty of time to spend with him.)

The existence of my nephew has been the most significant experience of the past year. I didn't ever really feel a longing for a child of my own until I saw Tyler put his head on my sister's shoulder after saying Momma. It made me want someone to feel that way about me some day.

I started study at Charles University in Prague. It was very hard for me to get to this school so I am very excited and grateful. I also started live in Prague without my parents so its big change in my life.

A "break up" a married man that I fell in love with quickly and talked about marriage with, ended because he decided he was unable to get divorced. I am so grateful I never slept with him and maintained my dignity ;) I feel very blessed because it made me realize many things: A man or a person is not responsible for my happiness, I am. Happiness is a choice. I want to kick ass. I am realizing all my gifts. I am falling in love with myself! xoxox I want only positive energy around me. I have a calling to inspire people, through teaching, dance, spirituality, etc. I still need to work on: discipline, focus, big picture thinking, mental organization.

we decided to do a major downsize. its taking longer than expected, and our old house is still not sold. i feel overwhelemd right now--picking out paint colors.

I realized holding on to hatred and anger is only effecting me and that forgiveness is more about letting go and making me feel better than the person i have been harboring it against.

Mason breaking up with me was the experience from last year that probably had the biggest effect on me. I spent three years with him, and after he left, I never really learned how to be alone. It started the downward spiral to where I am today: needy and slutty and hating it. In high school, I was never worried about who was interested in me because I didn't need to be, I had Mas. Then I went to college and suddenly I was the pretty girl and single and lonely. I started turning to boys to try to make myself feel better, but every drunken Saturday night ended in the same disappointed Sunday morning. I learned how to use my body to get what I wanted and became addicted to the power of making someone want me. I stepped in the middle of three different relationships and damaged friendships with guy friends. And then, I met Sam. I thought being with him would keep me safe from myself, would change the path I was on, but I know better. I like him because I know he cares about me, because I need to feel wanted. I insisted on being "single" when I left for college because I didn't want to be tied to him if someone better came along. I wanted to be able to fulfill that feeling of need, even if it was only for a night. I'm tired. I'm so tired of being this person.

I "bought" a house. It was a complicated affair, and not wholly due to the regular brouhaha that's associated with property purchasing. The house was my parents' idea. They saw it and thought it was a great deal but didn't want to buy it under their name. I am the oldest and still unattached (not married) so I am the go-to child when it comes to things like this. Parent-child boundaries got blurred again ("Am I not over this yet?"). I questioned myself as a responsible adult and the bank questioned me as a fiscally responsible member of humanity. There was resentment -- I really didn't want the responsibility of something I couldn't afford on my own -- there were hurt feelings -- my parents were thinking of my well-being but I couldn't simply accept it as such -- there was resignation -- almost always on my part, though I'm sure that is inaccurate from my parents' perspective (oh, the generational culture gap!) -- and now acceptance. I now feel I'm starting to take hold of this as an opportunity to learn to be another kind of grown-up and to build a loving community and respite in this place I finally call home.

I got married. I am so thrilled to be with my husband, to have that relationship and to have new, closer relationships with his whole family. My new family. It was a difficult process, but now that it's over I am so thankful to have him in my life everyday.

My grandfather died in January, we hadn't seen each other in 5 years and when I was told he'd died I felt so guilty for not making an effort to keep in touch with him. It made me want to make of an effort with other family members but my dad still can't be bothered to make the effort with me.

Produced a camp to help teachers improve their practice using technology and project-based learning. It excited me to see such immediate benefits and inspired me to do more.

I moved in with my boyfriend at the end of February. When I went to stay I thought it would be temporary - just for 2 weeks until the house I planned to rent opened up - but then I fell in love with living with him. And he asked me to stay every night, and every morning I woke up beside him, thrilled to be there, and really there was no decision to make anymore. I have lived with lovers twice before, but this has been an entirely different experience. Living with J has completely revolutionized the way I look at love and partnerships - I have never felt a connection so deep, or known such emotional safety, or laugh so loud and so often. It sounds corny - it is corny - and it is wonderful. I am grateful and inspired and happy in a bones-deep kind of way, and so honored to have the chance to live and learn with this wonderful, sexy, funny man.

My husband contracted a rare and fatal bone infection from a routine dental procedure, resulting in a 7-day hospital stay and 6 weeks of home IV treatment. Being out of work, we blew through our savings and now have twice the amount of debt than we had before. It affected me in many ways: 1. I realized how trivial my problems seemed next to the fact that my husband might die, and how much I love him and love just being alive. 2. Our health is very fragile. I suddenly empathized with people who have recurring or terminal health problems, ridden with medical bills and no hope for the future. I became very grateful for my good health. 3. We were forced to readjust our spending habits and overall lifestyle. We now spend much less money and have learned to appreciate what we have. We have gone to one vehicle and I now walk 2 miles to work through the woods...it's lovely! We don't have internet, which has forced us to enjoy life more. We make dinners at home, etc. All of these things were a change for the better! He is healthy and happy now, and though we are financially behind, we have gained much wisdom.

Without a doubt, it was the series of deaths last fall that culminated in that of my former husband, just around Thanksgiving. Since we'd been divorced for decades, without any continuing contact, I'd never imagined there was still enough of a connection that his death would leave me reeling. The consequences have been many: from loss and devastation to reassessment and rethinking to reconnections galore: I left my job, I arranged my high school reunion, I'm in contact again with friends from decades past (camp, school, college) -- I feel like I'm living a new life, from the inside out. I can't say I've yet reached a new place of balance, but I believe it will come.

My estranged father passed away in December, while he was on vacation. He never received the letter I sent him to try to make peace with him. It was very hard for me to accept that he was gone, as this was exactly what I feared (that he would pass away before we made peace). I did feel relieved, somewhat selfishly, that I had sent him the letter before he passed away, as this was my one proof to the rest of his family that I was trying to make things work.

I started taking singing lessons at age 43. I have always dreamed of being a singer. I was not born with a great voice like some vocalists, but through training, my voice has developed. I discovered the music of the thirties and forties and found that I have a connection with the music of this era. I performed two songs in a restaurant a few months back, and was not even nervous!

Since this time last year so many significant things have happened, some of them good but all of them meaningul. I have clarified to some degree what my values are and what I need to do to put them into practice. I have accomplished a lot of the things I set out to do, and I still can't quite believe that I was indeed capable of doing any of those things. As a result, I have much more confidence in my ability to take care of myself and my daughter. This is important to me.

I'm generally a thoughtful, caring, empathic person, but said something that seriously hurt my best friend (without meaning to). We have been having very painful, possibly ultimately fruitful conversations since then. I'd hate if I've become more careful in what I say--as I think I can be too careful--but I have been thinking about relationships, intimacy, ways of relating well, going towards the pain as a way of reducing the pain, etc. I'm tired and sad and want our relationship to return to its previous sense of joy and ease, but I am also hopeful that we can take our relationship to a more intimate and meaningful place.

i got bacalavr of arts. and now i can call myself professional actress. We had a lot of exibitions this year and sometimes it was hard spiritually to give to audience 100% of life. But well, i was trying to do my best. Hope to move on and be a really good actress that can give something to people.

I realized I wanted to study opera, as opposed to the violin. I'm intrigued, excited, and certainly inspired. I've never loved something so much.

The most significant experience of this year has been that my partner had 2 surgical procedures that completed a physical transition from female to male. I made the choice, over the past several years, to stay in this relationship, because I love this person, regardless of gender and my own identity. This year has really moved our relationship to a whole new, much deeper and more committed place. I am proud of myself for sticking with him and this situation. I certainly never imagined I'd be dealing with anything like this in my life. I didn't know I could be so accepting and compassionate. It's amazing the power love can have. It's been quite a ride!

My parents officially got divorced. They had already been separated for 2 years, so they act of getting divorced was something I was already ready for. It was almost a relief when they made if official because there was too much in- between with them just separated. I did experience a moment after the divorce that I didn't expect. The experience of waiting and/or knowing that something will eventually happen for a long time, and then when it happens being a little surprised. Having to reevaluate your life, refine who you are and where you've come from.

I adopted my son Jonah. Changed my life and me completely. So much love to give and to receive. Best thing I ever did.

I was diagnosed with and cured of cancer. At first, I was so grateful to be alive and determined to change my life. Unfortunately I have fallen back into the same lazy, fearful lifestyle that has always defined me and left me feeling resentful. I am still hopeful that I will eventually find a way to use this experience to better myself and make a difference in my own life, the lives of the people I love, and the lives of strangers in need. (corny, I know... but true)

Menopause. For me it's been a bitch and a whore. I know it sounds ridiculous to describe this as a significant experience, but, for me, it has been. Who knew that body chemistry could affect someone on so many levels? I didn't treat myself or others very well-- I became depressed, my hair fell out and my memory became so bad I really thought I had early onset Alzheimer's. I hadn't had a good night's sleep in three months. My work suffered and I became afraid I'd lose my job. Am I grateful? Hmmm. Well, yes. I'm grateful that I finally realized what was going on and that I was able get some help. A few medication adjustments and additions made all the difference. I'm grateful I have been able to afford to buy the medications I've needed. I was relieved to know I wasn't losing my mind. I have moments when I feel resentful-- why do some women skate through menopause without a second glance? The physical discomfort of hot flashes is annoying, but having them every hour around the clock, not sleeping and the mental toll that brings was much worse than physical discomforts. I guess inspiration has come in the form of reflection. When I began thinking clearly again (sleep is just about a magic cure-all for that), I realize that I'm in the last half of my life and now is the time to do those things that I've always wished I could do. It takes a lot of energy to be constantly worried or afraid of what others will think. I do have some trouble getting (and staying) out of a rut. I try to remember to be grateful for what I have and try to make a difference in someone else's life. I hate feeling sorry for myself-- more like ashamed for feeling sorry for myself. I have so MUCH and I need to know I can make a difference. Carpe diem!

My work of over 15 years had been with the same five individuals year-in and year-out. A hotly contested election changed that dynamic significantly last December. At the time, I felt tremendously anxious and fearful of losing my income; and, I suppose, of change. It has turned out to be a far more pleasant working environment and the relationships more courteous and respectful than the previous 10 years. I am hopeful that I can maintain a belief that not all change is threatening.

LeaderShape. Chris, Kelly, Buddy, Monica, ending a bad relationship, Kris, Sarah...so much I am grateful for because of it. And Lisa lisa lisa. Taught me to be myself, to be proud and that I can make a difference.

This past year has really been shaped by my husbands's's back pain and then his surgery. It has been hard and sad, quite trying at times. watching him in pain and being with him through all the effects that has had on him and the family has been intense. The one big positive that came out of this is that I was forced to do more, and therefore challenge myself, I did more highway driving, more physical activities with the kids, and generally became more independent. It was a confidence booster, It also showed me how much my husband contributes to this family, physically and emotionally. It made me understand how hard it must be for single parents. It also forced my kids to contribute and help more, they really stepped up and did so. In and answer to the above question, I had moments of being resentful and sad, but like many a hard journey, we all came out learning lots, for that I am grateful.

A Significant experience! I had few. but the most significance one was happened just few days ago, I lost a Father for second time. I'm still numb to be able to describe the feeling, Relieved, yes for he suffer no more. Resented, perhaps for I couldn't be there. Ask me again next time, when I've calm down a bit. I'm still in an Emotional see-saw at the moment.

We decided to move in with my boyfriends mom. After being unemployed for almost 2 years, struggling to make the rent and all of our other bill payments, it was our only option. I am thankful that we had this option to fall back on. Relieved that the actual move is over. Loving our new location and looking forward to the new opportunities this will bring our way.

I met some inspiring people working at a Jewish summer camp--people who really live up to their true potential and live each day with an earnest commitment to be their best. They inspired me to pursue the best in me and apply for rabbinical school. I'm now striving for daily self-actualization. It's hard!

2009-2010- What was a significant experience in this past year? I could talk about getting my job with Jewish World Watch, or my older sister Kim getting married. But what is the most significant was my choice to leave Colin. Looking back at last years answers, reading about the way I thought about my relationship with Colin, it made me sad to think that I put SO much effort, love and myself into that relationship to make it work, and no matter what I tried, it just wasn’t meant to be. My anger has subsided from all the things he put me through and I’ve come out of it with a clearer picture of what I am looking for in a relationship, what kind of man I want to spend my life with. “You don’t need a man, Liz, you need a champion” –EPL, I really liked this line because that is the way I feel, I want to be a part of a dynamic duo taking on the world together. I want to find someone I connect with on a Jewish level, I want to do a havdalah service under the stars with someone in my arms feeling that amazing connection as we sing together. I want someone who understands how important Judaism and my work are to me and my life and share my passions. I know I will find the perfect person for me, build an amazing relationship, get married, and have a family with a very amazing person whom with which I will have a great partnership that will be easy (for the most part). For now, I’m going to do me- I’m going to hang out with friends, build my home, and create my life full of love and fulfillment. Then when someone comes along, he will think that I am the most amazing person he has ever met, I will feel the same about him, he will pursue me and court me and it will be romantic! Because I have a say in what I want, and that is what I want! Haha

As I sit here far too long trying to figure out what to say I have thought about so many things and decided not to write about them because I just get upset and cry. I can barely see through my tears now. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to do this 10Q thing. I think my best bet is to try to keep busy and not think.

I watched my sister's successful business go through a downturn based on bad decisions by a new partner. Made me appreciate my current partner and the success our business has had.

I decided there was no place in my life for my best friend. She was as close as a sister to me...but the years of her judgments about my choices - most of which were in stark comparison to her own choices - finally wore me down. She did and said some really awful things to me (and others!) related to choices I was making related to my wedding and marriage. Enough was enough. I miss her every day - especially since I'm about to have my first baby and I can't believe she isn't a part of all of it. But I know it was the right move. Who can live under that microscope? With friends like that...

I have become more clear-sighted abt people - less willing to tolerate narcissm and mire grateful for my real friends.

I was laid off though I was almost about to quit. It was the best firing of my life and taught me an important lesson: My happiness is 100 times more important than pleasing and working for a miserable, ungrateful, micro-managing, control freak bully.

Graduating and finishing University - It was a wake-up call that I really needed to sort my life out, and my relationships. I'm grateful, relieved and still coming to terms with it - but I'm so glad I went through with it as I think its made me a stronger person.

After many years of being a "MOM," I decided to start doing a competitive sport. I pushed myself to compete in races and found myself to be very driven and competitive! I love to compete, and I really love to win! It showed me that I can bust out and do things just for me, have fun, and feel great about myself.

When my grandmother died quite suddenly in May, I finally understood the enormity of human mortality. Prior deaths in the family, though sad, had never quite moved me. All of a sudden I realised how transient human life can be, and what it meant to lose a whole generation of the family (she was my last surviving grandparent). From an academic point of view, the idea that an entire generation of thoughts, memories and experiences were lost forever was hugely significant: their stories, their histories would only now be known through intermediary sources such as texts, pictures and people who had known them. My grandmother's death took the wind out of my sails for a full week, made me realise how grief manifested in my behaviour, and reframed my understanding of history, legacy and the Past.

In 2009? Well,I was practically a loner in class for the first 2 months in the new sec 3 class..but thank God for Sophia and Li En..I befriended them and I've been good friends with them ever since :) At first I was more relieved than grateful for them,but they're great. Great listeners,great jokers,great fun to be with,in and outside of school :D Through them,I've made more friends outside of school,and after spending a year with them, I've come to really appreciate their existence in my life,the two of them complete and perfect the memories I will have of my 4 years in pl.

I had a revelation this past Saturday night at Slichot services. I realized that I've been passing up this major opportunity to repent and reflect each year around the HHD times. Why haven't I been able to recognize that this is the perfect opportunity to really sit back and reflect on where I've been, to plan where I'm going, and to figure out where I am? I'm totally relieved and inspired by this sudden revelation. The service itself was eye-opening and I look forward to true reflection in the coming weeks as a result of it.

While coping with a bunch of family illnesses etc, I took part in the Duke Of Edinburgh award in which we had to walk 21km and camp over night in the wilderness. It was so refreshing and i felt like i really connected with the universe just being out there with no technology...About halfway through the trek, we stopped for a moment as the temperature was rising so much it was hard to keep going. To our surprise,a lady popped out of her house with 3 bottles of icy cold coke...and if you know me, you know i love a nice glass of good old coca cola. This gesture of random kindness made me appreciate my life more and from then on ive tried to be a better person every day. Also while on the walk i had a chance to make better friends with Maya...who i am no very close to. We're making cupcakes on friday together (:

I got back with my ex-boyfriend after 5 years apart, it made me believe that you have to take a chance on something you want no matter the consequences.

College, most definitly. I don't know how I feel about it just yet. I'm grateful to have come this far and to have the ability to continue studying but at the same time I resent college because I feel like I have to keep learning and learning and learning and I'm never going to reach the point that I can do what I want to do and I wonder if all this time, effort, and money will ever pay off. Other than that I love college. It feels liberating to not be controlled by bells or teachers and never having to ask if i can go to the bathroom. I finally feel human for once and not like a caged animal let out for feeding time for 30 minutes. Overall I think college will help me grow through the good and bad because, if it didn't, why would people still go right?

My aunt was rushed into hospital with a suspected stroke on the day I found out I had got into University, my mood went from elated to worried in the time it took to take a phonecall. The doctors told us that she wouldnt wake up from being unconcious. I went to visit her on friday and although you can clearly see that she is not the same and never will be she was sitting up and responding to us. The look on her face will stay with me forever, it was then that I realised that even though she can't talk or move the right side of her body she is still my aunt trapped inside her. The way she looked at her hunsband, my uncle Ian and my mum, her big sister made me realsise she was still there and fighting. My Gran summed it up when she said she is just like my granddad, strong and stubborn, never willing to give up. Yesterday, I found out that they are testing my uncle John for suspected liver cancer, my aunt is worried sick and doesnt know wether to call my cousin home from Australia. This morning my Mum, who has had very poor health in the past had to go to A&E because of severe pain in her stomach. They say that things come in 3, I am going to University in less than two weeks but all I can think of is my family and how quickly things can be taken away from you.

This question makes me laugh. Just one? I fell in love with my employee and ended up leaving my job and my partner. It has been amazing and scary. I've always been perfect and had this upward career path that was the defining part of me. Leaving my job has made me realize that it has been too much of me and that I have not been reflecting on what I actually what I want to do with my professional life or life in general. I feel free and scared. I feel daunted and inspired by the challenge of having true uncertainty. I feel supported by the people who have stepped up and saddened by friendships I have lost. My lover has been amazing and challenging and smart. I have no idea what I will write next year and this gives me happy butterflies.

As corny as it sounds I found the love of my life. I found a man that challenges me, my perspectives and my lifestyle and has really made me love life. He is handsome and funny and a complete surprize. Moving in together, learning to share and cooperate in ways that I've never thought to before has really opened me up. I am happy and relaxed in this amazing relationship and he really is helping me to set goals to get out of my unsatisfying job.

I found out that my boyfriend cheated one me. It was hard dealing with it. Not knowing why it happened or what I may have done to contribute to it. I tried hard to move past it and grow with him, but I kept the anger inside everyday and I used it against him whenever I could. I finally came to the realization that it was either time to move past it, or to move past him.

My stepmother passed away last year at a very young age. I was shocked by how sudden it was but I was also surprised by how much I thought of her as another mother to me. I saw deeply how much my father loved her and cared for her. It inspired me to commit fully to my wife and my family that I am building with her. Love is unconditional.

I found a job without having any connections in the area and it pays far more than expected. Now I'm buying all the things we wished we had when we were poor instead of paying off my credit cards. I know the interest is keeping me from building any savings, but I always find a way to rationalize the purchases. I never expected such a significant event to leave me feeling as though I'm just treading water.

The most significant experience that has happened to me this past year is pregnancy and the birth of my daughter. This time last year, I was full of hope and fear and expectation, and prayers that she would be born healthy. Now, she sits in front of me, asleep, snoring slightly. I am amazed at how amazing she is. I am grateful for the strength I have been given to be the best mom for her. I am inspired by her persistent curiosity, and the new ways she is growing every day. She is a significant experience that now makes every day significant.

I finally started therapy and trying to address my depression. It was actually hard to admit that I had an issue because it felt so ungrateful given everything that I have in my life. The therapist was not the right one but it did make it so I can't be in full denial any longer. I'm now researching other approaches.

I met my girlfriend and asked her to marry me. It has had a profound effect on me. For the first time in my life, I am willing to bend and reshape my life and thinking so that I can fully and meaningfully include her in it. Also, for the first time, I feel stress. Not from her or our relationship, but from the necessary reorganizing and re-prioritizing of my life to make sure she is always the most important. I feel inspired to work harder at my job and in achieving my goals and am so grateful to have such a strong supporter in her.

My life is a serious of significant events, or at least they would be to most people, so it is hard to pick just one. Maybe it is because I give them a lot of weight, but I think it is more than my life is on high speed out of no doing of my own, okay, maybe a little. I'd say the most significant experience would be seeing two people crash into a tree in front of my house and helping them out of their car that went up in flames. They were asleep it seems, and suddenly there they were bleeding, their truck on fire, and disoriented. Somehow they escaped death by a margin. I don't really know why they weren't more seriously injured than they were. From that point on I've been more careful of my own driving, what I do during my drive, and realizing that sometimes littles decisions can create a major impact on ones life and those of others who depend on us. When running toward the truck that was now on fire, I also had a moment of hesitation which has left me with a tinge of guilt. Both of my children were watching me and one of them really didn't want me to get near the truck. I was torn. Should I help someone close to death and risk my life? My children depend on me, I am a single mom. I hesitated in my head but I moved forward. I hoped nothing with explode and I approached the trapped men in the car. Once other older men showed up to help and we had one guy out, I began to help tend to the injured on the ground, as the other men put out the flames. I tried to find my place of helping people without putting my children's livelihood and future situation at risk. It was a tough situation, and one that left me feeling guilty, more than a hero, even though I did the right thing.

A close friend of my husband's died. He was only 35. he had cancer. He was full of passion, ideals and rigour. great company, challenging and caring all at the same time. it has left me reeling. that someone like that, his life cut short. I just expected him to recover. He was young, fit and healthy before this illness. It felt that someone had punched me in the stomach. emotionally I now see the world very different. Life is random. things happen. when it goes well - we call that meaning, a higher purpose, a path. but something like this happens realise that all that is constructed on air, on nothing. I am quite bleak.

I moved to Harrisburg, PA and started a new job. The process of establishing a home and getting to know a new place is always a wonderful learning experience, and empowering on many levels. At the same time, it calls to mind all of the places I have loved and had, for one reason or another, to leave behind. I have now lived in so many different places that I rest lightly on the surface rather than root.

I got a job in the field in which I have always wanted to work. I am immensely grateful.

In the past year my closest friend, whom I view as a sister, moved to California. It's a bittersweet situation; I'm extremely happy for her, but I miss her. When she left we both cried, we've been "sisters" since middle school all the way through college. She's the first one I would run to when something occurred and the person whom I shared all my secrets and thoughts with. She and I are two of a kind, we were inseperable. With her moving to California I learned something about our bond/friendship, it's not about being inseperable, but being seperated and nothing changing. She may be in California, but she's still the first one I go to with my crazy thoughts and ideas. She has been, is, and will continue to consistantly be a huge part of my life; nothing has changed, but her geographical location.

I started my first year at university and moved out. Meeting new people, running your own little household, it felt like a new chapter in my life and I'm extremely grateful towards my parents for believing in me and financing this whole adventure.

I traveled to Europe twice, in two entirely different circumstances. Years ago I would have been too anxious. In recent years I haven't felt the freedom to something so much for myself. I am very grateful I could do each trip, relieved at what a great time I had and inspired by what I saw, as well as inspired to travel more. While I have no resentment, I do feel that certain things got out of hand in my absence -- which may or may not be true. Am I giving myself too much importance in the situation? Is my way always the best way? Of course not, but I do have concerns about things that happened in my absence from observations on my return. So I have a little doubt about whether not being here for some crucial times was the right thing for all concerned.

My daughter got married to the guy she's dated since her junior year of college. She's happy, that's the important thing, but it feels very strange. Would have liked to have been included in the wedding, felt more like a guest than the mother of the bride. Feel a bit jealous that she spends so much more time with her "new" mother than with her "old" one, but she's only 26, has a long way to go. Super intelligent girl, GORGEOUS, and is getting her Masters in Childhood Development, so she'll have something for herself. So very proud of all 3 of my daughters! The youngest got her DREAM job as student activist coordinator with Jewish World Watch and moved out the house a month later! She's 24, fantastic and out into the world on her own at last! I got hired writing for a trade publication. Wish my books would get picked up by a major publisher, but at least NOW I have an agent! Happy 5771!

I went abroad to London for this last year. It was the most incredible experience of my life - it gave me a chance to really explore who I am, and who I want to be. I got to travel throughout all of Europe - something I've wanted to do my entire life and it was possibly even more amazing than I ever imagined. I wish I was still there instead of back in California.

Began working in the industry I love. Film. Everything has changed for the better since I quit my last job in the "Vending Industry" almost exactly a year ago. I am very grateful for everyday that I GET to go to work and be surrounded by creative people.

I experienced Reboot Summit in Utah with a group of inspiring Jew-ish people. We discussed issues relating to Jewish identity, history, culture, perception, understanding, concept, religion, god, death and more - we covered a lot of topics. I felt enriched, and am extremely grateful for the experience. I have been able to look at the world differently because of it.

I sailed around Croatia with people I hardly knew, who became good friends. Everytime I travel I realize more and more that my true calling is to see and experience the wonders that the world has to offer. While I am always grateful for these experiences, I am slightly stressed knowing that it will be difficult to make this happen, while still living the lifestyle that I am both used to and like to live.

I've had many significant experiences over the past year, but yet I have learned nothing from them. Maybe they'll repeat this year and I will change.

i went to africa and for the first time in my life i felt truly present on a daily basis. life is short. impediments to happiness are of our own creation. we should be with who we love. take care of those who matter and not judge the forms that love takes on.

My family broke in half and fell apart and then tried to fix itself again. The weeks before it had been tough anyway, my step-dad was crying depression and my mum was just crying in general. It was tough being part of a single-parent family, especially as I'm old enough to contribute, it felt like all the responsibilites were mine, I was making more money than her anyway. It hurt, everything hurt. I never wanted to go home, I worked so many shifts and only went home to sleep. I was ashamed of my pathetic mother, falling apart without a man. I'll never forgive her for the way she treated me for those months. The family fixing back together was something otherwise known as a 'huge fucking relief.' There was money to eat and even more. There were finally smiles on some faces, except now I never want to be their either, this time because I'm not part of the happy couple. I feel like the spare part.

In March, my husband and I visited Belize. Instead of lounging on a beach with drinks in our hands, we spent time getting to know some of the locals, staying in a small village and volunteering in a school. Getting to know some people from a very different culture helped me re-evaluate my own value system. I realized which things in my life were most important to me - things like my family, education, and opportunities; and which didn't really matter, like all of the "stuff" that we are surrounded with.

I got pregnant with our son! I'm overwhelmed, terrified, excited, the whole nine yards. It has thrown everything else up for question; particularly, my relationship with Penney, which is changing, big time -- and my desire for stronger boundaries with the women in my life, the surrogate moms. I'm about to become a mother, and I have to learn how to do it pretty damn fast, find deeper reserves within myself. By next year, he'll already be an integrated part of our lives, and we'll be learning who he is and taking care of him.

I had my work experience week this year. I went back to my primary school and worked as a teaching assistant. On the first day, I got attacked by a bunch of little kids who had no conscience. After that, it got better. A lot better. I have now decided that I would like to continue to pursue the job of teaching young children and I hope that I will be insistent and not give up on this half way through college or something, because then I would have to find another job I would like to do. I'm bad at decisions, but I've finally made mine... for now.

My wife and I had our first child. A daughter named "M". Her birth has changed my entire life. I feel a great joy, and a love for her that is overpowering. I am overpowered by and in awe of the whole thing--by my responsibility, my connection to her, my new relationship to the future, as well as the simple wonder of her. I am touched by her laugh, her smile, her sparkly eyes and her reach --out into the world, toward our cats or to take my glasses off my face. Her birth is bittersweet in some sense as well because it reminds me of the loss of my own mother and my geographic separation from my family as I wonder and struggle with the journey and the job of making Mira part of my clan as well as her mothers. Her birth has also brought incredible challenge to her mom, my dear wife. While childbirth came fairly easily, pregnancy and postpardum have come with great disequilbrium, stress, anxiety, depression and strife. It has brought us many appointments and therapists, many fights, many glimpses of the abyss and a great test of our fortitude as a couple. It turns out that my wife's thyroid has basically gone out. It has also made me so impressed with my wife's bravery in the face of physical mental and emotional suffering that she hates and often resents and absolutely did not want. I hope that when I open the vault next year, that this can this suffering can be a memory rather than still a reality and that we can be awash more simply and easily in the glow of our beautiful "M".

I passed my driving test. I wasn't as euphoric afterwards as I thought I'd be, as these things tend to go - change is so easy to adapt to and the past is so easily forgotten; I'm pretty used to driving now. I was devastated when I accidentally - truly, accidentally - missed the first (okay, fourth) one and it really felt like I did lots of things wrong the hour before - but finally, I did it, and I only had one minor fault that really shouldn't have happened, the test instructor was really nice and now... I have a car! Even if it is expensive and fairly scary, it's so convenient. It's a major goal that I have been working towards since I was 17 and my only regret is that my grandma (who bought me the lessons) and my dad aren't around to see me driving. I do sometimes feel a bit like I'm not meant to be driving - that it's all a bit grown up and I'm still a kid. I hope the feeling eventually goes, but I doubt it will. I feel the same way about having a job.

This past year I suffered from an episode of severe depression. I have never before in my life lived such dark moments and I am glad to be getting better. Unfortunately my depression was triggered by a psychotherapist. I had just gone to tidy up a few loose ends and she brought me to a deep dark hole and was unable to help me out. I am very resentful towards her and her lack of accountability. I think that the profession wants everything to be solved in the context of the relationship between patient and therapist, no mind paid to the fact that the person may have an actual life. I think that it is irresponsible for a therapist to bring certain emotions out in sessions and then be unable to guide the patient safely through them. Being so close to the edge has forever changed my life, it was the most traumatic thing I have ever experienced. I laugh at my answers from last year. One never knows what life will bring. My emphasis now is on recovery. I am hopeful, a feeling I have not felt in a very long time.

The most significant thing this year has been how challenging it has proven to get pregnant. It has broken me down in ways I've never experienced with huge hopelessness and despair as well as greater compassion for the sufferings of others. I feel that I am being made much more vulnerable and less false through this process. Good things to learn but it has been extremely painful to want something so much and not be able to have it.

My little sister moved away to college - actually, just a few weeks ago. This year I came to realize what an amazing person she is and how much I value her as a mature adult, friend, and confidant. Very grateful for this feeling.

Well my motorcycle accident was just over a month ago. Surprisingly it has stirred up a range of emotions which continue to shift and alternate. Putting aside the injuries, their pain, and inconveniences, it is interesting to visualize the other effects it has had. Obviously I am grateful to have survived and to have not been more seriously injured. I have to think ahead now. Thinking of watching my daughter and her little sister grow is so exciting. Oh and the present, to enjoy my time with her/them. I can't imagine giving any of it up. In terms of motorcycle riding... I miss having a motorcycle and do feel it subtracts form me in some way. I suppose it's ok though. I mean I don't have to worry about being cold or getting creamed by an SUV. I am a sad to give it up. It was one of the few things I really enjoyed that was only mine. I suppose I'll have to wait until the next thing comes my way, even though it's hard to imagine.

I was dating a man that is a conservative Jew. He decided he did not want to pursue our relationship to the next level secondary to the fact that I wasn't "Jewish" enough for him. While this profoundly affected me, it actually opened up a dialogue between my family that needed to happen. My sister and I actually were able to put into words our insecurities and "hidden hurts" regarding growing up Jewish, but with a strong, wonderful Irish-Catholic father. It also really opened up my mom's eyes to the prejudice that my sister and I faced in the Jewish community. While I wished this did not happen to me, I took a situation that could have "broken" my faith, my spirit and chose to deal with it like a "grown up." I finally came to terms what it meant for *me* to be a Jewish woman, not by the standards my community, my friends or even what my family dictates for me.

So many things happened to me in the last 6 months that I cannot begin to think... I changed jobs, after almost 10 years with the same employer and I feel it is the best thing I have done in a long time. I purchased my first apartment with the help of my mom. I went to my 20th year reunion in Duino, Italy, and for the first time I was an adult in my teens land. All of the above has affected me in different levels. I never thought I would leave my old job, yet here I am, happier than ever. Never thought I would be able to afford an appartment, yet I'll be moving in October. I made it again to Duino, and it was great, again. I am grateful for my life, the opportunities that came my way and how I took them. I believe only good things are coming my way and it is a tendency that is not going to change.

I could list plenty of things that happened to me in the past year, yet none of them seem significant. What does that mean? I guess I could say getting through a car wreck and going through the process of buying a car on my own. It felt good to be able to do that on my own, but at the same time I wondered if there was something I was missing. It's hard for me to make big decisions.

The brief three weeks in which both my husband and I were unemployed were pretty traumatic. Although, I had faith we would find something eventually, the prospect of being uprooted from out home and our life was daunting. Relieved is an understatement and underscored by a sense of sympathy for the millions who are still unemployed.

Started a theater company. I now worry about other people's projects.

In December I decided to try drinking alcohol again after nearly three years in AA calling myself an alcoholic. I decided that I didn't have to fall victim to our society's "all-or-nothing" disease model of habit formation, and that as long as I am true to myself I will be okay. It's been nine months and it's been very liberating. Because I changed my life and my habits while I wasn't drinking, drinking every day doesn't fit in my lifestyle anymore so I don't drink every day! I am grateful I had the strength to be true to myself.

My daughter asked to visit her biological dad and a few days before her return she had a melt down and I made her stay. Even though she feels 'abandoned' I know I made the right decision for her. It was a hard life lesson that I believe will make her a better person, even though it may take many many years for her to understand; if ever.

Out of the blue I was invited to travel to Beijing with a friend, and used that opportunity for an impromptu trip around the world. It changed everything I thought I knew about myself. It gave me all kinds of hope and motivation and confidence for making plans and envisioning a future. But it didn't change one thing. Bipolar disorder and depression. It's not just, oh my trip is over, back to normal life. It comes from nowhere, it is irrational and pointless. I thought with all my newly discovered strengths that I could drop the drugs, but no. Not realistic. Nevertheless, I will now not hesitate to do things I might have been afraid to try before. For the first time in forever, I have a life plan.

Though nothing amazingly significant has happened in the past year, I guess that I could say that my drunken behaviour and promiscuity in June has made me really think about what matters. Before, I just wanted to "have a good time", but sleeping with people that mean very little and drinking every day is demeaning and stupid. So after those events, I felt disgusted with myself and realised that I don't need all that to be happy. I also realised that I don't need to be tied down to someone.

Failure and Success. I experienced both in the past year, and I don't think I would have been able to fully appreciate the success without first having experienced that G-d-awful failure.

A significant experience that has happened in the past year... well there has been so many. But the one that stands out the most and is more current would have to be me getting my own place. I finally had the means to move out and live on my own with Michael. I know he was hoping we could move out soon and I am so glad to have been able to do that for him. It feels like we are finally able to breathe, and do things on our own as adults. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to do this. I think relief was felt on both sides; Relief that we were stepping into adulthood, and a little more financial relief on my parents. This made me inspired to also take on a car loan, and it constantly inspires me to make this place more comfortable to suit us.

I have just recently moved in with my boyfriend of just under 2 years. It amazes me how easy it has been. We have both compromised a lot to make it work, and there have, of course, been tense moments. That said, in general it is so exciting to be making a home with someone. I can't wait to see what's next. I was nervous going into it because I have always thought that I wouldn't live with someone prior to engagement. However I am so confident in my future with John that it made it an easy decision.

My brother, with whom I've always had a 'good' relationship, chose to deal with a situation over our aging mother by lashing out at me, accusing me of hurtful things going back 30 years ago. I am not unaware that life events such as these can bring on such things but after such a vicious outburst we must talk it out, not just'move on from this point forward'. I am trying to deal with this.

I took on more responsibility at work and feel like I have grown in my job. There is no room for advancement at my employer, but I think I have shown that I can rise to meet new challenges and thereby grow in confidence and be more comfortable in my role. I also had a much higher up the food chain coworker take a personal interest in me and pursue a friendship that took me a little by surprise. I like her but also am a little nervous about being friends with someone who could destroy me.

I moved! After six years in Northside, running my own household, my partner and I bought a house together. Boy howdy that was NOT easy! We had fights about all kinds of things. It was difficult to learn how to make tandem decisions and realize that he had to learn how to manage home repairs, etc., so I had to slow down. Most of these rooms are still painted colors I don't like b/c my partner and I can't come to an agreement, so I'd say we still have some work to do.

Being stalked. Terrifying, and tormenting experience, one that I really never thought could happen to a nobody small town girl, but thanks to the net, I have felt like someone quite important. I'd love to be without the experience which has leant me death threats followed by marriage proposals, as well as death threats to all of my friends and family, but it no doubt has changed and strengthened me as a person.

I left home for university. It was a huge shock, I was worried because I didn't think I was the sort of person who'd be able to fit in and be good at living away from home with people I'm not used to. But surprisingly I settled in really quickly and felt like I'd never been anywhere else in my life. Now I feel out of place and out of character when I'm at home -- not when I'm away. It's obviously difficult as I'm part of a really close-knit family and I miss them loads when I'm away but having re-created myself and become a version of a person I think I'd like to be all my life it's sometimes difficult to bring that new person home with me to people who aren't used to her. I feel I've learnt a lot about myself - and others - in this past year. I would not do anything differently.

I designed and built a pretty impressive software product that was a prerequisite for going ahead with a major ERP upgrade. I was proud of the design; using existing Oracle functionality in innovative, but not outré, ways. I was grateful for the assistance, insight, encouragement, and admiration of the colleague who helped. I was relieved (yet invigorated) that by working really hard and staying at the office until 10, 11, 12 P.M. I was able to deliver on time. I was hauled in to a disciplinary hearing with HR, without warning, to be reprimanded for coming in late on several days (true) and thereby failing to honour the contract implicit between myself and the employer to provide a certain number of hours of work for a specified pay. That I had, in fact, provided more hours than contracted for was not valid, since "any hours you worked after 6 PM were my own business - a donation, if you like." This was my first experience of being in an environment like Kafka's The Trial. It was also my first experience being treated in that particular way (like a naughty child, but that hardly expresses the humiliation) - my own parents had never treated me that way, and my wife and I could never even consider talking to our children that way. I experienced a major slump during which I was barely able to concentrate; several colleagues suggested I take a Short Term Disability leave lest my difficulties be perceived as inability or "bad attitude". The one positive outcome, so far... I guess a bit of nihilism helps ("It's so bad, nothing could make it worse"), but I decided to enter an appeal through the employee association. This was a major step for me; I usually just lie down and take it. I am far too conciliatory. Fighthing back instead of ignoring it is a step in the right direction - and could be applied to so many areas in my life.

On August 26th my families house was foreclosed on. It was a very embarassing, hurtful, and sad experience. My mom says it wasn't because she didn't pay the house payment, but it is hard to believe anything she says concerning money. We only had two days to get all of our stuff out of the house, and it was a very sad thing to decide what to take and what to leave. It had been our home for 5 years and we had a lot of good memories there. Granted, there were a lot of bad ones too. I have never seen my dad so sad and close to giving up. He felt like he had done wrong by his family, but nobody felt that way. It would be impossible for my dad to work any harder or any more than he already does. There aren't enough hours in the day. I am still pretty shooken up from this whole experience. I don't really know how I feel about it, I just know that it has affected me greatly.

Graduating from college has become a fairly common experience, but that doesn't mean it's not of huge importance. I graduated a semester early, meaning I took a step towards the real world even earlier than most of my friends. Leaving school was also a step away from all I've ever known, in a sense. I've been in school essentially my whole life, and now I've left it behind (at least for the time being). No longer is there a schedule in my life that is not of my own design, no longer are there any obligations or plans that I did not create for myself. No longer will anyone thrust meaning at me--I have to make it for myself. I have to make meaning out of the work I choose to devote my time and myself to. Even if I do go back to school, it will be of my own volition. Gradually throughout our lives we are granted more and more freedom, more choices, more responsibilities. Upon graduation the final door was flung open and out I stepped, into a frightening world of freedom and choice without the usual safety net. My life is now entirely what I choose it to be. To enjoy it or not, to make it meaningful or not--that is now my CHOICE.

I lost my job this year. I was relieved, it was time for a change and it was the kick in the backside I needed to update my skill set and move on to something better. Thank G-d it came with a great exit package that years before had been given to me. And I mean given to me since I hadn't negotiateed it, it just came from the company. I needed the time off, my mother had just passed away from cancer and my father was not well and I knew he would need my help. 4 months after I left my job, Dad passed away. But I consider losing my job an enormous blessing - it enabled me to be my father's side for the months he was in and out of rehab/hospital/icu and spend time with him and tend to him. G-d always has a plan, lots of times you can't see it but you need to know that He has a plan.

Ramped up my web design business and started taking on bigger projects from "real" clients. It has given me purpose and confidence, not to mention a huge sense of pride.

This year I broke every law of sense in what I "should" and could be. I crashed the annoying habid of giving a fuck about someone else thinking something of me, that is almost never true. I left school and went for a trip that involved stundying only in an un-formal way. I gave all of me to music, to God, to the things that I love the most in life. I left my choir, though I love it very much, I left all the people I love and care about (except my family) and just gave myself time to figure out what is it that I really want. I learned to play guitar and started to study music more seriously, I even started to play the piano again. All of these things gives me more freedom, brings me closer to my dream to be not only a singer but also a songwriter someday. I got tired of living the life I AM SUPOSED to live. Maybe it's because I became eighteen years old, I don't know, but I just took my life in my own hands. I won't let someone else live ME. I am totally amazed by how PATIENT God has been with me. This has actually been a rough year - my first depression, a car accident that is still on my mind, crazy thoughts, CONSTANT fighting with myself, questioning my own opinions and choices over and over again... yet through it all I am grateful everyday that I am a live and NOT A SLAVE to anyone, I am free! And I am ready to scream that out loud so the whole world would hear. Will You help me do that? Now it doesn't all make sense to me right now and it's not easy to live, when you don't just want to live... I want so much more than that! I know I am on the right track, I wouldn' be here otherwise. I believe that You got this.

I moved out of NYC and upstate to be closer to my parents as they get older and take responsibility for the family farm. It has been tremendous. Wonderful. Hard. Challenging. And joyful.

I graduated from high school this past May. It was bitter sweet. For the past 5 or so years of my life I have wanted to get away from that crappy town. I always thought when I moved away to college I would only want to come home during holidays, but now that I'm here, I've been going back every weekend. I even dread having to come back to school. I think its because I feel so alone while I'm in my dorm room. Even though I like it, I don't want to have to come home every weekend just so I can have some interaction with other people. I want to get out more, and make more friends.

I have discovered in myself a motivation for true spiritual growth. I am growing as a person after sometime of stagnation. It has been a period of great joy, and some sadness as I come to realize the importance of reevaluating personal choices and moving past them.

I questioned God and got answers! I learned that NO is a perfectly acceptable answer from God. I learned to listen to others opinions.

I went through the first major depression in my life after a grueling breakup, and started therapy - first time in my life I've ever undergone mental health stuff. It was a God crisis much more than a relationship crisis - I was feeling abandoned and/or that God was incapable of helping the situation, and it threw me for a major loop. My therapist has been tremendously helpful - I'm grateful, and relieved, and inspired. It's been a crazy journey but I've made major strides in dealing with some of my own long-standing issues - it's clarified a lot of my issues and helped me identify and zero in on them in a way I haven't ever done before, and I feel like I'm making good progress on them, even though the initial thing that caused my depression and started the whole process still affects me and weighs on my mind at times.

i lost touch with one of my dearest friends - she just stopped communicating with me, no explanation, and i'm not sure why. it affects me because i wonder if i am turning into my mother, who is bitter and negative about everything, and who has no close friends. i still have close friends and have made a new one in my new city of residence, but...she was someone who i considered my sister, and we seem to have just grown apart. i am heartbroken about it, and i'm not even sure what happened between us. but perhaps it is a wake-up call. it is not lost on me that today is Rosh Hashanah, and that perhaps i should steer myself back on the path to grace, and just accept that perhaps she is no longer in my life because of some way i behaved or something i did. but i do miss her and the loss of her presence in my life makes me very, very sad.

I am officially in menopause..no menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. Intellectually I am trying to accept all the changes, (weight gain, gum problems, hot flashes) , but emotionally I am distraught. It's hard to accept this is a natural progression but to me it seems like a regression. I hate it!

I found out that my Mom, who I helped nurse through lung cancer and colon cancer, has started smoking again. I'm frustrated that she refuses to stop and I feel helpless as she slowly, and almost inevitably, puts cancer back into her body.

I had back surgery in April and had carefully planned for time off and paying for all the co-pays/deductibles. I was just about healed up and I had to have an emergency appendectomy, which put me behind financially. I'm glad I was able to handle this, but it's put me in the hole for the forseeable future. It's also made me realize that I am aging and that this will likely occur again in the future.

On June 29th, 2010 i found out I was pregnant after more than 3 years of trying and thousands of dollars in fertility treatments. Hearing the news, blew me away, because in my heart of hearts, I wondered if I was ever going to be able to bear a child. I am incredibly grateful that my first IVF worked and relieved that I didn't have to spend any more money and go into debt paying for the treatments. I can't wait to finally be a mommy.

making a decision to leave the organization i started. the huge relief and only minimal regret i feel is a bit surprising.

This past June, my father, who is 62 years old, was shipped off to Afghanistan for the fourth time. To this day, I don't know what he does over there except for the fact that he isn't directly in combat zones. While people tell me that that fact is a good thing, it doesn't calm my worries that something will happen to him. That being said, him being sent over left me with so much anger and worry. Anger at the government and his department for believing that it's perfectly acceptable to send a 62 year old man with health issues over to Afghanistan for ANOTHER run. And worry that something terrible will happen to him. But he's come back before, and I know he will come back again.

I converted to Judaism in May after 18 months of study and preparation. Events surrounding my decision shook my family. It was difficult. I went public with an intensely private part of myself. I went deep and am more grateful, more in love, and more present than I have ever been in my life. I want to study more, pray more, and discover how I can help mend the earth while I am still alive and in this body.

I sent my son to Europe to study and he came 1st in his class. I was grateful, relieved, not resentful and he inspired me.

One day I met this one guy and was head over heels for him the moment he walked in. When I noticed he'd never see me, I found out he started dating my cousin. That very moment crushed me. But it thought me there's no thing such as love at first sight, And you won't get anywhere when you don't take chances.

I had my first child this year. It was the most eye-opening thing that has ever happened to me in that I had no idea that I could love someone as much as I love him and no idea how hard it is to raise a person. It is the most life changing thing that I have ever done.

Had a retinal detachment, almost lost vision in my left eye. Had eye surgery, and now my vision is off in that eye. I never needed glasses before, and I was looking forward to a life of sight. I'm grateful that I have sight, and inspired to look at things in different ways and remain mindful of what I am experiencing. I bear some resentment towards flying in a plane while stuffy, which is what I believe caused the detachment, as I felt severe eye pain on descent. The doctors would not confirm this diagnosis, but the first symptoms of the detachment occurred days after flying. I'm inspired to make something of the remaining life and sight I have left.

My wife became ill again, with a mysterious cerebral-spinal problem. Western doctors were stymied. A healer with a background in Chinese medicine, Shiatsu, and nutrition has been very helpful. Among other things, this healer has taught us to slow down, reduce stress, and increase our awareness of the mythic and spiritual essence of our lives. Our transformation has been slow but measurable. We have begun the 5 to 10 year process of disengaging from our high pressure business, and we are moving incrementally toward living a more balanced life .

Giving birth is the obvious answer here. The actual act of childbirth, and also the early weeks of motherhood. It made me profoundly respect all women who are mothers, especially those with multiple children. It was hard. Painful. Ungraceful. Embarrassing at times. None of the "empowering" type words came into play for me although you hear so much about that from all the hippies in the childbirth world. It was the opposite of that. It made me small, ordinary, animal. And that's cool. I don't need to re-experience it again in any way although I probably will. Of course I am grateful and awed by my child and would do it all over again every day for him.

Backpacking in Australia. It made me understand how Universe really gives you exactly what you need, always. As long as you believe. It taught me to never worry or be scared, because everything ends up in the best way possible. And I learned that it's very easy for me to get new friends, and that I am a very likable person, and that people are comfortable around me. I am very very grateful for that experience and what I learned from it. Thank you! It made me a more harmonic, relaxed and confident person. Thank you!

Death of both parents. Feeling a tad bit empty.

I moved back into my home after it was rebuilt from a terrible fire. I didn't think it would affect me that much since most of the year I live away at school. But I felt this great sense of stability mixed with uneasiness. It was nice to be home but coming home to a completely different home on the same site as my old home is very odd. It made me cherish everything in my life even it it isn't much. I had very little when we moved back in [a bed, a dresser, a tv and clothes]. My room was far from a room-it was four walls with furniture but no personality. In the time since then I have come to love my family and appreciate them even more than I ever did. I spent a lot of time hanging out with them, watching tv or even just sitting with them while they cooked dinner. It made me realize that all the little material items we obsess over every day don't mean very much at all.

I went out on a limb with someone and planned to go through with something I never thought I'd do. I wanted it to mean more than it did, and I got hurt very badly. It was one of the biggest slaps in the face I had ever experienced, and I felt as though my heart had been ripped out and spit on. It made me angry and resentful and made me question everything else in my life. But three months and 2 days later, I am a completely different person than I was. I'm still me, I'm still the same....but I am so much better than I was before. I have learned and grown so much through this it's almost overwhelming. I am so thankful this happened. And it has made me so strong. And I have learned that there will be an answer; let it be.

I moved to Los Angeles. It changed me in a lot of ways...I became more centered on my career and myself instead of others, including my girlfriend, which hurt our relationship. We are now healing from it, but it has raised all sorts of questions as to who I am and who I want to be -- things I am still dealing with. However, out of the mire I found myself in, I was given an increasingly heightened sense of love for God and love for others, which has not cultivated itself fully, but is developing, and for that I am grateful.

I graduated from high school and its affected me in the sense of new responsibilities, freedoms hope and dreams. I must say im quite grateful to be out of highschool and in a college. But all in all it just inspires me to have a good life and make it sumthing memorable!

I opened my b&b. I am a little anxiuos

I found out that a former friend of mine stole my identity by purchasing things with my credit. How it affected me by making me a little more careful about how I spend my money. Yes, I am grateful because it taught me to appreciate the friends I have right now all the more because I know that they would never do what my former friend would do. They're my miracles in life, and I thank God everyday for them.

My grandfather, father of my father, passed away with his nearly 87 y.o. after a hard working day on his farm. He died of tiredness that day, he liked to work on his farm and vineyard and I believe that was what made him live those 87 years. This happened as I am 16 y.o. and affected me in a way that made me think of how much time I did and did not spent with him, and its quality as well. I'm not truly grateful for the time I spent with him, but I think being young as I was, I couldn't consider what I was missing without having the lack of it.

We got our puppy Calamity Jane. I love her madly and she has made me miss my Carmen less, although they they have different personalities.

Nothing too significant happened this year. I've been working on several areas of personal growth. Is it working? Has it worked? I guess we'll have to wait and see.

I was broken up with. That sounds like a fairly benign experience considering we had only been dating three months, and tried to carry out our relationship in Chinese when both of our first language is English..... It was an odd relationship to say the least, but I really cared about him and was crushed when it was over. Thankfully, he had the balls to tell me honestly what had made it not work. My inability to own my own worth. I couldn't own how beautiful I am or what a fantastic person I am. I just couldn't see it unless someone told me. I relied on others for validation and happiness, and this, in an intimate setting, caused a very needy relationship. I lost him the same way I had lost every other boy I had been with, through smothering, making them my life. The breakup was almost three months ago and in that time I have been able to trust myself for my own happiness and learned to love the beautiful, smart, sweet woman I am becoming. The most inspiring part? I had what I would consider my mid-life crisis at 20. Looking forward to an amazing lifetime.

Had a grandson born with Downs Syndrome and heart defects. At 3 mos. he was hospitalized with Swine flu & pneumonia. He was on a ventilator for weeks and in the hospital 2 months. We almost lost him, but, miraculously, after open heart surgery, even though he was extremely compromised, he made a full recovery. I am grateful and inspired. Can't wait to see what God has in store for this precious baby.

Finding out a "old" friend had cancer... then being there for her and her husband when she died. Very hard to do, easy in other ways. Just how death appears to be like birth, once the process starts the body knows what to do, all you do is participate. As a watcher, all you can do is observe. Stay real, breath and let nature do it's job. Enjoy each hour, it may be the last. Love and laugh right to the end.

Something that happen in the last year was the horrible guest who would not leave. We unfortunately moved into an apartment with bed bugs. It has been the most stressful, nerve racking, almost breaking my bf and i up event. We are slowing at this point securely packing up all our belongings so we can move out soon. I currently have two bites on the backs of my arms that itch really bad. We would have moved sooner, but thought we kicked them out for sure, only to find out 4 months later that our neighbors have them and aren't trying to fix it. i would like to strangle someone. i can't wait for this to be over.

I got married. How did it affect me? All of the above. I am relieved that we are sealed, committed. I am grateful that I found this man who, despite his shortcomings, is more wonderful than not. But it still scares me too. I am still struggling to make sense of marriage, to figure out what it means, what I can expect from the relationship and the man who is now my husband.

This year was significant in that it didn't have any "significant" moments after the chaos of the past few years it is weird to think that nothing big happened this year, we didn't move, nobody died, I made a job change but it was pretty seamless without too much transition. Anthony still has the same job the kids are going to the same school- they have all remained relatively healthy and well. While not financially thriving we make enough to meet our basic needs and a bit more. It is strange the way my goals have shifted, to desiring this stability. In the past I would have been ready to hop on a plane for the next adventure- move the kids to Hawaii? Argentina? Sure but now I find my self reluctant to move too far from the people and places that I love. Not sure if this means I am growing up or growing old, but I have the desire to set down roots and be a part of something for awhile. Lets see what happens.

Events that I would consider 'significant' are just on the horizon this year for me. 20 year high school reunion, a trip overseas. I suppose so far most of my significant moments have been little - realizing how lucky I am and what kind of work I need to do on myself.

A new girl appeared in my circle of friends. At first, there were no problems with her - getting to know someone new is always exciting, I guess - but then one of my best friends started to act weird because of the new girl. It climaxed this summer, after I was feeling left out so badly I was asking myself if we were still friends at all. I invited the girls over and we talked. I thought we had gotten rid of the problem, but the new girl started to act aggressive against me, gossipped about me and started taking bets whether or not I'd come to school. In the end, I lost one of my best friends to her and stopped talking to the two of them alltogether. It was very hard to lose someone who had been dear to me for several years, but I think I learned that I shouldn't believe that people will always stay by my side. So, while I'm still regretting what happened, I am relieved that I learned this lesson.

I saw my family back home in Romania. My parents and I packed up and moved to Canada when I was two, and I've barely seen my family since then. Seeing the conditions that they live in made me eternally grateful to my parents that they took a risk and moved away; they got out of there for my happiness and benefit. It was completely eye-opening for me.

Graduated from law school. It definitely felt like I'd finished one of the biggest projects I would ever undertake in my whole life. Pride, but also, it's time to grow up, finally.

I was stuck in an elevator for 20 minutes. 20 minutes might not seem like a long time, but it didn't take me long to get frustrated and start to panic. It made me question who I am, how I interact with others, if I left things in a positive way with the people I love, and how alone I feel sometimes. It did inspire me to write a *hopefully* meaningful sermon of sorts to share with the students I work with. I was scared in the elevator. Sometimes I think I try to give off the appearance of being really brave, but I want the people I work with to know that I am human too. Scared, vulnerable, unsure....

I got raped four months ago. It's been a difficult and confusing time, but has shown me convictions and power I never knew I had. My friends' reactions to the story and conversations we've had since have shown how much they love me, which is a wonderful feeling

Well, lots of things have happened this year! Firstly, i recieved my GCSE results, 3a's, 5b's, 4c. My parents were really proud! And i think i got a few extra treats for my sixteenth birthday thanks to those! Secondly, My sister has just had a baby, Chloe Annabelle Rigby, Born 5th September 2010 at 00:45. My very own niece! I'm going to see her soon, she's healthy and beautiful and a wondeful contribution to my family! Lastly. I have joined college, which i think is going to affect my life greatly (obviously), the most important subject i'm going to take is Theatre Studies, Drama is a massive part of my life! Busy year! x

I moved back to my home town and returned to my old job. It has been a good transition for me. I have reconnected with old friends and have been able to manage my anxiety a little better.

There are several significant experiences the past year. The first I finally got out of the clutches of the local CPS office after one false accusation after another. It took 3 years before I was finally able to prove myself innocent. I discovered in the process that innocent until proven guilty is only true in criminal court. I am extremly relieved our family got out of the situation intact, not many families are that lucky. But unfortunatly, I now have a avid dislike and distrust for all forms of government and esp. beauacracys. I also got married in October and had my third child a month later. It has been a very busy year.

My family and I started attending a new church. Finally I feel an inner comfort and fullfillment after I've attended church services. In the past I've attended church regularly but more as an observer than a participant. I now feel the message from the service in my heart.

I took a business course offered by the Westchester Economic Initiative. It gave me new skills that I am using to help me build a business, and introduced me to a new group of friends. I am grateful for this stimulus-package free class and am inspired to start working on my entrepreneurial skills.

My sister was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. I am inspired by her resolve, strength, bravery, fortitude, acceptance.

I had two incidents at work, in a new management position where i was accused of things I didn't do. After investigation it was proven I was falsly accused, but it was very emotional and shocking to me. It made me not trust people, be resentful and even angry. I felt relief when it was over but I resented being put through it. I felt like it should have been investigated before it was brought to me and that MY management team failed me.

I think I may have met the person I'm falling in love with. In the spectrum of the "past year" this encounter is fairly recent, but it may be the most important thing happening to me right now. I feel like he brings out every positive attribute I possess and helps me work on my negatives, but he doesn't know that. He inspires me to be more generous and to not stress little things. Cliche ways to describe a relationship, I know, but I've never been so happy as I am with this man.

This year we moved from LA to Berkeley so Nady can go to law school. I kept my job at HCI and am now working from home. It's beautiful here, but I still miss LA. As for work, I'm very anxious about the whole thing. It's a steady paying gig with good benefits, but I feel like I'm missing the opportunity to work with other studios in a city that's has so many amazing designers. And my work keeps me so busy that I don't have the time to even look around for other opportunities. Despite the anxiety and homesickness, ultimately this experience has left me excited, looking towards the future.

I graduated from High School this year and started getting ready to go to College. I have been dreading the day that I wouldn't have the stability of a structured High School lifestyle, and knowing exactly what was going to happen in my future. Leaving that behind was a big challenge for me, but I don't think that I resent it or anything. I think that i felt inspired and relieved to be out of that environment, and I am excited for the challenges to come.

Beginning the process of building my house. Being able to imagine the place where my family will live for the rest of their life made me confront the reality of me moving on, and becoming my own person. Developing all the skills that I have learned thus far has been satisfying, and showed me a new direction in my life that I can pursue.

I began to work for myself after a long career as an employee. The work is hard and very satisfying although the reward is still low. Being paid for what I love to do is wonderful and I love seeing the positive impact on my clients. As a result of this new career I am connecting with and reconnecting with lots of people that I before only knew marginally. I am allowing my curiosity about them and their experiences to flow and as a result am building better relationships.

I fell in love for the first time. It has affected me profoundly- not only do I feel more strong and grounded as a person, but I have made great strides in learning how to be more diplomatic and pay attention to other people's needs above my own.

I almost killed myself because I hadn't slept for days and was pressured too much at work...and didn't protest or ask for help before things turned into crisis mode. Right now I'm sort of conflicted about what happened. I still want to just go to sleep and not wake up. I'm trying to find joy in the little things in life to make it worth my while to keep keeping on. It's not easy.

I don't have an answer to this question. I'm grateful/resentful/inspired by many things of the past year but do not feel that any of them where of a significant experience.

This past summer I went to a vocal program in California. This was my first program, my first flight alone, and the first time I've ever felt like I've accomplished something great as a musician. Now I'm back in school and ready to take the world by storm.

My son told me that he and his immature basket case of a girlfriend were going to have a baby. I was really angry for many many reasons. Mad at my son because he is having trouble with alcohol, the court system, and money- all related. He is in no osition to be a father. I'm angry at the girlfriend because she is playing the Catholic card. She wasn't so Catholic that she refused to sleep with him. She refused to use birth control which is just plain stupid when you are not mature enough to take care of a baby. Or when the father can't hold a job, so doesn't have money, or when she herself has never had a job, lives at home with her mother and all her other brothers and sisters and single mother. She doesn't attend church, has a rotten foul mouth, smokes and drinks while pregnant...but she is too religious to consider not having this baby. Her mother condones this as well. I'm mad that she can't see that my son has so many of his own problems that I don't know how he can be a father. Stupid children.

I've been having health issues for the past few years now, but only this year did I confront a Doctor about them. Turns out I have cysts on my cervix that are confirming abnormal cell growth. My Doctor is telling me they could be pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. I have a biopsy next month, and I'm sure all will work itself out. The only thing is I'm facing the possibility of never having children or complications with conceiving. My husband and I have been married just under a year, and we had wanted to start a family in the next year or two, but now I don't know if I can even give him that. It's heartbreaking. I feel as if God has taken away something precious from me. The worst is, all my friends are in the makings of being pregnant or getting pregnant. Even my 17 year old cousin just got pregnant. I feel it's like a slap in the face, like God is saying "I can knock up your 17 year old cousin, give her a baby and a chance at being a Mother, but you...a woman who has wanted her own family since before she could remember, who's married, and financially stable...well Im just not sure I want to give babies to you." I'm hurt, and confused, and angry. It's taking a toll on my marriage. It's also making me see things differently, if not a little coldly, when I look at the world.

I met Dan and fell in love with him. It's the first time I've ever been in love. That's pretty F'n significant, no? Without knowing what the future will bring, I know this is a significant relationship of my life because it has already changed me. I am surprised by the strength of my desire to have a family (with or without kids). I am surprised by the new road that has opened up now in my consciousness about what is possible for me in my personal life. So much of my life has been focused on work. Goals for work. Achievements. Successes. And I feel like this year has opened up this new path that has to do with creating deeper connections to people on this earth. Family. I keep quoting this to people – it’s been on my bulletin board (at work) since the beginning of the year: “…worldly success has shallow roots, while interpersonal bonds permeate through and through…” A theme of the year, I guess. I am grateful, yes. Surprised and very grateful. Most of all for what it has revealed to me about my own desires and capacity to love.

This summer I got engaged. I never thought I'd be that person to be so in love with someone and actually get married. I am so blessed and excited for this new chapter in my life. I've never been so committed to someone or something ever before so it has been very emotional for me. It also makes me reevaluate my life and help me realize that life is short. It has inspired me to start doing things that I have always been meaning to do. I promised myself I would not let the event of a wedding bring down this amazing revaluation of life that being engaged has brought on. I'm having a BIG wedding but really, it is a celebration of love. Cheesy - I never thought I'd be THIS person. I'm so in love.

I started a new, very challenging job. I have been a bit resentful about the circumstances under which I was hired (account falling apart, clients loathing us, everyone quitting, new boss within first month, etc.) and it has been a stressful time for the past nine months. However, the situation has been so unbelievably bad that it inspired me to question why I am doing it all. When the answer came up as "I don't know," I was suddenly inspired to take a big leap away from it all. The plan right now is for me to quit my job by the end of the year, pack up my stuff and take off on an around the world journey in 2011. I am both incredibly nervous and breath-takingly thrilled by what the next year has in store for me.

I turned 60. Now, many people may dread this, but I not only did not dread it, I loved it. First of all I love all my birthdays and all celebrations of them. But turning 60 means I have outlived Daddy, bittersweet of course. And I look forward to turning 61, when I will have outlived Mom as well. How did those older people, my parents, get to be so young, since I am, of course, so young. And how amazing, really, that they've been gone so long and died so young.

This past July a dear friend of mine passed away during the overnight hours of what was my wedding night. I spent what should have been my first night of wedded bliss in a hospital bawling my eyes out while holding his widow and their three month old daughter, as well as other friends. Since this happened at my wedding, all of my dearest friends and family were there, which was a very interesting situation. How often are you surrounded by ALL the people you love most? How often are you surrounded by the people you love most when you need them more than ever? Anyway, how did it effect me? It's tortured me. I've thought of that night over and over again, living it over and over in my mind. I've wondered if there was anything I could have done, anything I could have said, that could have changed the outcome of that evening. I've wondered what this all means for my marriage. I mean, what an omen, right? However, while the whole thing torments me and brings me to tears continuously, even two months later, I am able to think about what changed in me for the positive. I have embraced my friends as often as I can. I tell people I love them more often. I go out of my way to see friends who will be in the area, and I call them more frequently. I treasure my spouse and every moment we have together, because I have the constant reminder that I might not always have those moments, that they can be taken away at any time. I've seen how strong my friend's wife is, and how she is learning to live without him in her life, and it makes me believe that I can survive anything. I may not be happy, but I am optimistic for the future. When it all comes down to it, I'm so lucky to have what I have, and if it doesn't last that long, well, isn't it great that I got to have it at all?

I moved to England. That has been the most significant experience this past year. It has changed me in so many ways and proved to myself that I am capable of almost anything. I am grateful that I was in the financial position to move to another country and that I've had the love and support of so many people. I would not have been able to make this move without my family and friends. I have at times felt resentful that I moved and my partner's life stayed the same but overall I feel like it has made me a better and stronger person.

I won an important award in my profession. It inspired me to take risks. Yes, I am grateful and motivated to work harder and keep striving for excellence. It is as though I am incapable of accepting anything as it is and must always improve, expand, develop whatever I am working on. The possibility of being in a rut makes me very uncomfortable. I think by pushing myself, always learning new things, taking on more challenges I avoid facing the possibility that I am not the best at what I am doing.

I was facing a difficult exam in Ethnology at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich. I had a dream that was worked on in a class. I was supported and helped as the others worked with me to unfold the dream. I passed the exam with flying colors. I was inspired and am grateful for the support I received, and for the insight I gained from the different perspectives offered.

I was accepted to a different college. I wasn't happy at the first school I went to. People were getting hurt so I would stay inside until I had to go to class. At this new school I'm not afraid to be outside. Plus I am saving money in the long run by not having to live in a dorm.

My stepmother found out that my father has been having an affair for the past 3 years with a woman who is 20 years young than her and only 3 years older than me. It tore the family apart - my stepmom and little sister now have to find a new place to live and figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives. My dad has sunk into a deep, deep depression and the prospect of him taking his own life is not completely unimaginable. I still don't know how I feel about it all. On the one hand, he is my father and I do love him and want him to know all of that. But on the other, I resent him so much. For what he did to my stepmom and my little sister..... And I've been cheated on in every one of my past relationships and the sinking feeling that accompanies it is the worst feeling I've ever experienced. The fact that he did that to his wife makes me cringe...

I was contacted by yet more family members (sister and a niece) that I had actually not known growing up. We knew of each other but never met. I was raised by my mother - she was a single parent. My father had a whole other family while I was growing up - and I was his 'open secret'. When I was contacted by them they were critical of and blamed him for not letting me be a part of the larger family. What was surprising was how I responded. I told them they should forgive him as he and my mother were products of a different time. Now that he is dead and gone - it makes no sense having any resentment - what counts is what we do from here. I would have never thought I would have had that kind of attitude. It let me know *I* had moved on . What is wonderful is that I am getting to know them.

This year has been a rather uneventfull year. However, it wasn't a bad one. I'm grateful that everything is going well. Is the little things that change your life and you. And this year was full of little things. Friends who don't know you that well. Strangers who make you believe in something you thought you would never believe in again. New friends. Old friends. Vloggers who make you go away for a year just to help who needs it the most. It's being a good inspiring year.

I allowed myself to re-enter a relationship that had been hovering around me. I made the decision to make an emotional commitment to this man and to see him through school and into full time career oriented work. I decided I was worth a long term commitment and love him so it, on the surface, seemed natural, but the DECISION to stick with it and support him emotionally was a more generous and frightening gift than I had offered to any other man, yet. I'm 42.

I finally hit a depression low enough to convince me to seek help for my mental illness. The journey hasn't been easy, cheap, or particularly headed in a linear way towards balance and happiness, but it has given me hope that I don't have to be as miserable as I've been. From time to time I'm resentful of so many things -- the people and events that triggered my major breaks, the genes and brain I was born with that all but ensured I'd end up this way, loved ones who don't yet work as hard as I do to get healthy and loved ones who will never have to. But mostly I'm proud that I've made it this far, and grateful for all the privileges and friends who have helped me in doing so.

My late mother's dear friend died this past year. After my own mother passed away, she was like a second mother and we kept in touch and saw each other every time I returned to the area for a visit. Now that most of my mother's friends are gone, I've begun to feel my own age and realize that now I'm actually the "older generation." This gives me pause often to consider how I'm using my time and how I'm conducting my relationships with others.

Last year on Rosh Hashanah my boyfriend and I moved in to a tiny studio apartment together. As I reflect on the move, now that a whole year has gone by, I know that it was one of the best decisions of both of our lives. It has affected me in a hugely positive way.

I would have to say my back surgery in December. 3 weeks of pain, attended by loving family, then recovery! Which made possible a dream trip to Australia and New Zealand. I feel like I stepped back from the brink - rejuvenated and blessed! So grateful! and inspired to take advantage of the opportunities presented to me while I still can.

During this past April I had surgery on my neck. It was shortly after we defeneded our master's thesis. At the time there was a lot going on in my head. I was convinced that karma was gonna "pull my card" for my selfishness and boorish behavior. It didn't, and things have gotten better. I'm relieved to be living more or less pain free (physically) but have new challenges to face. At this moment I'm lovesick and heartbroken over unreciprocated love. At least I know that time heals all wounds.

My mother has begun to show signs of dementia. I'm scared about losing the mother I grew up with, and I want to spend more time with her.

I graduated from a master's program. I feel like I should feel excited and hopeful. But i really feel very scared, alone, threatened and kind of defeated. I didn't end up liking the program that much and didn't really take advantage of the options, and felt like i complained more than trying to make it better. Now I'm supposed to be looking for work, but I just don't know if I like my field and am scared I made a huge mistake.

I was laid off from my job of almost eight years. At first, I thought I was happy to be out of that place. Then anger and bitterness followed. I missed my fellow workers but eventually became happy to be retired. I have filled my days with volunteer activities and sleeping late, going to bed late, lots of movies, baking, social activities. I realize now I may still have a lot of time ahead of me, or very little, but I should use it wisely.

About 9 months ago, I woke up and I was not experiencing a panic attack. This was a first for me in all my memory. I have been meditating, and belong to a fellowship that encourages introspection and daily practice. These past three years 9 months have really been about growing my self up from the inside out. I am 65 years on this planet, and for the first time in this lifetime, I feel as if I belong here. What a gift I have given myself. I am so grateful I didn't give up on myself. I was worth waiting for.

My eyes were opened to the realities of going to college classes at a later point in my life. Now that I am over a decade older than my classmates, my appreciation for the intervening time in my life has made me grateful for each experience I was able to have, whether it seemed good or bad at the time. I am proud of this time I spent away from school, despite my loud insistences otherwise. I fully appreciate all that an education can and will give me. I was better able to bring goals into focus through this understanding.

Something that made me feel incredible was being in the Hairdressing program in school. Only a select number of people were chosen (seven) and I was one of them. It proved that I could do whatever I set my mind on doing. Several girls signed up, and I was chosen. I'm no longer afraid of interviews, or writing essays. I learned a lot about myself, and I'm grateful for that.

The most significant thing that happened was that I didn't pass my oral exams at Harvard. It was one of those stunning, "Did it really happen?" moments that I remember with incredible clarity and also fuzzy around the edges. It changed my entire direction, but only in its definitiveness. I probably would have left anyway, but that left no doubt. And I've never felt such a range of emotions: disbelief, anger, sadness, guilt. And now.... mostly relieved.

What is significant is that my life has been pretty ordinary. I passed up too many opportunities to challenge myself and become a more amazing, accomplished person. I spent a lot of time this year reflecting on who I am and what I am supposed to do with my life. It is time to take action now and stop "processing" my life. This is the year I will "live" my life. I am inspired to make many changes.

Being with my mother at a nursery care for 8 months. Being old, with Alzeimher's with a stroke is not easy. It served to redimed myself of bad turn I did in the past.

I got engaged. I am grateful, excited, relieved, anxious and most of all, lucky.

Ended a 3+ year relationship. Extremely hard, but for the better. I deserve a better man and one that will compliment me, rather than me always trying to 'lift' him up.

I got to see a baby being born. Being there for the birth of a new life was awe inspiring and I feel so lucky that I got to be a part of that experience. I have always longed for deep and close friendships, and having a friend who trusted me enough to share that amazing and precious moment in her life was such an honor. It was an experience that I will be forever grateful for.

The last semester of uni.It was the best semester I've had so far. It's a shame that it came at the end, but at least it's shown me what I enjoy learning and helped me to discover that continuing my education is what I would like to do. Also, one of my closest friends moved away for university and, ironically, has brought us closer together. Our friendship has changed and we just have an understanding. We can just joke around, and no matter what we say we just understand everything it is that we're really saying beneath the words. It's just brought us closer now that I know she's so far away, and makes me appreciate the time when we are together. If I were ever to turn gay, it would be for her.

I complete my CPE residency to become a chaplain. I am grateful and relieved and hopeful that I will find a channel (e.g. a job) through which to practice and thus really be making a contribution to healing this world.

I resigned from a volunteer organization for young adults with cancer. As a survivor myself, I felt too smothered in cancer everyday to continue volunteering. I felt I handled resigning the best way I could; but feel I was treated badly by the organization and specifically the founder. My reputation has been damaged and I have lost any chance for support or connection to the organization. I feel relieved that I don't have to be in my former roll, it was too much. I couldn't be the "cancer girl" anymore or be submersed in that everyday. I also feel betrayed and hurt. I gave a lot to this organization and personally to people who turned their back on me when I was the one in need.

I lost my mom to cancer this year. How did it affect me? Well, after being a caregiver for so long, I felt lost, lonely and worthless. On the other hand, it made me much more self-reliant, strong and able to see something positive every day. I was able to get back to work, which I suppose was a positive. Probably the most important thing was that I've learned not to put off saying things to people I care about. Life is just too short to not be honest with outhers.

Our cat was killed around the Fourth of July -- an event that was obviously sudden and unexpected. He simply went out the door one Sunday morning and never returned. By the time we were able to track down what happened to him, his body had long been disposed of by the city. Sudden, unexpected losses leave an emotional door open. No chance to say goodbye, no last chances to hold the cat, no chance to directly bring closure to the loss. The cat was alive and physically present one moment and gone the next with nothing left behind but silent memories. That's the kind of loss that hurts the most: Without warning, without a chance to try and change the outcome. And you're left with all the "what if's" of hindsight -- what if we didn't let the cat go out that morning; what if we called for the cat earlier on the evening of his death. Hindsight can be a useful and wonderful tool, but it can also be a cruel and torturous bully. What have I learned from this? Perhaps two things: First, life is fleeting, capricious and cares little about the individual, about the value we, ironically, place on life. It carries no guarantees for or obligations to us. Two, as a result of this, we should enjoy and celebrate the moments we have with those around us. Savor the moments you have with others, because moments, by definition, are brief and quick to fade into the past.

This past year I went for a hike on one of the mountains in my home town. Standing atop the cliff I looked out upon the beautiful lake and valley. For the first time in my life I realized just how amazing BC was and how much I loved living there. I am grateful to finally have come to this realization but it is tainted with sadness as a month or so later I moved across the country and now am missing the beauty of my home more than ever.

We reached our 59th wedding anniversary -- pretty good for these days and times. Looking forward to 60! I' both grateful and inspired.

I got married! Actually, most of my relationship with my husband has been in the past year, and I am incredibly grateful for it. He is sweet and kind and generous and supportive, and he thinks I am those things too! I've been especially grateful for his supportive presence in the past month or so, as my father has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and that really threw me for a loop-- I've been worried and afraid and depressed, but the daily pattern of my life hasn't taken nearly as big a hit from the emotional shock as I expected, mostly because David has been so steady and willing to make sure the important things get done.

I spent 8 months working in Montana, in a very small town, during the winter. I found the locals to be very friendly, very conservative and outspoken. The ranchers and farmers lead a very rugged life and are tough, practical people. It is definitely not a lifestyle I aspire to but I learned how some of my "fellow Americans" live, work and play. I believe I am richer for the experience. During my time in Montana the opportunity to visit Mount Rushmore presented itself and I am extremely grateful that I took it. The Black Hills are beautiful and the monument is very awe inspiring. We live in a fantastic country and we should all be very proud.

Funny how an evening out, that you really did not want to attend, can trigger an avalanche of emotion. More often than not I find this is the case with me, a push in a direction I wasn't expecting, a prod that changes my mind, and friend in need, all lead to events worthy of deeper thought. Tonight was one of those nights, and I can't let this moment, this feeling, this profound grace slip away without acknowledgement. I am grateful. I am grateful. I am so very, joyously grateful. Had I not gone to meet a friend in need of some cheer and companionship, this night may have had a tragic ending. The words from the officer's mouth still ring in my ear; words of an accident that took a life tonight, at the same time I normally would have been going home, at the light just before my turn, in a car similar to mine. Driving past the twisted wreck of angry metal, the scent of fluids both human and mechanical filled my head, brings tears to my eyes. The smear of dark wetness on the officer's otherwise spotless uniform begs the question Oil? Or human? The fuel which drives us or the fuel which gives life? The hollow shadow in the officer's eyes flickers with empathy as I tell him I just want to go home, just past this wreckage, my little home visible from where I sit in my car. A slight nod and I squeeze by the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and slip into the safety of home. My home. My place. Here and now. I cry as I fumble with keys and locks, breathe in ragged gulps of air and realize I'm smiling. Smiling. A beaming, goofy grin from ear to ear. I'm just so happy. So grateful. Filled with so much joy. laetabilis gratia.

I studied abroad in London for four months. It made me realize how lucky I am to be an American and how much I want to get out of this country for good.

I was repeatedly rejected by an ambivalent boyfriend as I tried to cling to a relationship that was nightmarish, to put it mildly. It finally ended a month ago. We'd actually moved in together- he had seemingly made up his mind, and was 100% committed- and two days into the cohabitation, he tells me he wants me gone. He "doesn't want the responsibility of a significant other...too many unexplored horizons." This has really been the defining theme of the past year- two years, really, maybe more- that of my chasing after things that weren't doing me any good. They sure seemed right at times, and I had hundreds of reasons, both intellectual and emotional, that this was so. Yet nothing ever came of any of it except heartache, stress, and illness. I'm still pretty angry. I'm trying to find some forgiveness and peace, but it seems a long way off. I feel crippled, emotionally and spiritually, and my conception of the word "faith" is at best shaky. I've pulled back to some sort of rock-bottom position in my entire life. I've quit smoking, given up gluten, and am living a life that is extremely simple and isolated, especially compared to my life one year ago. There's a healing process at work, I suppose, but I also feel guilty, as if I'm letting someone down. "If a horse throws you, get right back on!" and "When the going gets tough, the tough get going!" and all that...I don't feel tough. I feel crushed.

I finally took my emotions in hand, redefined my self worth and sought out happiness instead of waiting for it to come to me. I found another human being to whom I can actually connect, someone that seems to actually complete me. It's terrifying and every day is a challenge to remember that I'm not on the edge of doom, that I do deserve something good and that I can make it good too. The fear, in all its permutations, is worth it.

I helped my youngest daugher Noa learn how to ride a bike and it made me recollect the joy I felt when my own own father taught me almost 40 years ago. It is yet a reminder of how fleeting and precious is life, and how we must make time for the simple pleasures and be sure to share them with those we love.

At the beginning of 2010, Haiti happened. That is how we say it at my workplace, which is a relief organization. And we all know what it means. Haiti turned us on our heads, for a good six months or so. It asked sacrifices of us we were not prepared to make. It brought out the worst in some, the best in others. Unfortunately, we bore the brunt of the "worst of some." I watched my coworkers get trampled and criticized. Our spirits have been crushed. None of us are the same for it. We are all weaker, sadder, and resigned. We did amazing work, but at the cost of our hearts. The effects continue to permeate our workplace, the tentacles reaching and maligning all we do. I am bitter. I am resentful. I also feel guilty, knowing that our suffering is nothing compared to those who survived (or didn't) the earthquake, and who will continue to live with its consequences for many, many years. Am I selfish? Am I grateful? I feel that I have lost the last year - it has flown by, and I am struggling to recover it.

I was told by a doctor there was a mass in my left breast. While it turned out to be nothing, I can not remember a weekend filled with more worry in my entire life. I'm 26 and was told I needed to have a mammogram. Words I had never imagined hearing ever, none the less before age 40. I was relieved, renewed and re-awakened to life and how truly blessed I am each and every single day.

The Biggest even that happened to me this year is the ending of a 5 year relationship. All tolled it was much longer than that. We had known each other for almost 13 years completely. Our relationshp where we were actually together was 5 years though. I've passed through a million different emotions and feeling since it happened, only months ago, July 13th or so. I started out pretty resentful and sad. She decided to end the relationship so there was a lot of resentment. There was some anger and confusion. There was a ton going on in my head. I decided to move home to get out of Campbell. Now that I've moved home I'm definitely relieved. I wasn't in a great mood towards the end of the relationshp. I was sad and depressed at the loss of my job and my unsureness of what I was going to do next. She was ready to move on without me I guess. With being home I've been able to focus on things I've neglected, music and art. I've been somewhat inspired being home. I've been able to see family and friends and relax. I'm still up in the air about a job right now but I've been enjoying the fact that I can think straight and not feel so stressed about bills and work and whether or not my girlfriend is mad at me or not. This has been a real experience. As time goes by though things hurt a little less. We've been able to talk now since the break up. Things were relatively amicable though. We never hated each other. We just lost our way with things. I was pretty sad at the fact that I lost a long term relationship. She was part of my life for so long and not being able to talk to her now is tough. We spent years talking to each other.

I sent my daughter off to Jr. High. My oldest. It is a marker for how far I've come in my life. I remember my middle school years - they were tough for me with a lot of fork in the road choices. I felt so grown up and independent during those years. Having a daughter this age brings back rushes of memories and the realization that she is her own being. I've raised a strong, independent thinker. She is capable of so much more than I thought. I'm proud and excited for her....also a little terrified. Watching her realize that the world is not perfect is more painful than I thought it would be. Altogether it's a mixed bag of emotions.

I signed up and started a coaching program. I feel like my life has been flat for the past year. I've had many opportunities and lots of goals. I just haven't been able to make what I want to happen happen. I'm very grateful to have been in a training program where I met the coaching program that I joined. I'm relieved that I have a structure for support and I'm inspired to take action. I'm grateful to have the resources to do this.

Sept 8th, 2010 On December 4th, 2009, my daughter Folasade was born, and life as i knew it was over and forever changed. This little human made me want to be the best that i could be, and today, i know that every last thing i do, i do to, for, with and regarding her. I thought, before she was born, that i was doing my best to better myself in my life in many areas. I was fooling myself. this little girl inspires me to want to be the best woman i know how to be, to be the best counselor in my professional life, to be the best girlfriend to her father, to be the best friend to her aunties and uncles who participate in our lives. This little girl inspires me to be the best daughter i can be. she inspires me to communicate better, love better, forgive more, share more, laugh more, pray more. I always knew that a child changes your life, but not your soul. My daughter is the greatest gift on this earth. she was wanted from before conception, she was prayed for for a year before I was blessed with her presence. Sade, if you read this one day...know this. you are the love of my life. you have given me more strength, love, happiness than any other individual could ever do for me, and I love you now and always.

I moved to Ecuador this year for two reasons. One, to be with my boyfriend who had, in equal measures, persuaded me to go and threatened me with a break up if I didn't. It was tough to leave my family and my friends. I spent so many days crying and feeling miserable and wishing that I weren't doing it, but six months later, I feel like the trip has started to make me re-evaluate what I was planning to do with my life. I have learned a lot myself and the things I like and dislike. This always surprises me. I feel like I should know what I like and don't like by now, but sometimes being in a terrible situation really helps you to realize those things. Unfortunately, it also makes me realize how many more situations I need to be in before I feel like I know enough about myself - if it's even possible to know "enough." So now, what I know for sure is that I am: a) inspired to continue traveling and to try to do things by myselft, for myself....placing the importance of not abandoning my mom before doing what I really wanted to do was causing me to feel resentful at her when it was not her fault. b) relieved that this school year is finally going well c) resentful...of nothing? If anything, of a city like Guayaquil where I feel like I am constantly at risk of becoming a victim because of my, quote/unquote, "stupid" actions. Things so stupid as: going outside alone, carrying money or a cell phone, taking a taxi, etc. I am so used to these things being basic rights. I wish I could be back in Norman at times, running at midnight through a college town of drunk dudes who might yell and whistle but would not be nearly as likely to rob or rape you.

My dad got arrested for possession of child pornography. He actually didn't have it - it was a pop-up that came up on his computer involuntarily, and the person that found it did so illegally. Since, the prosecution has lost the "evidence", but the judge insists on either a trial or plea bargan. Not wanting this to destroy his reputation, he's taking a plea bargan, even though he's innocent. He's spent a lot of money and time dealing with this, and it's impacted other areas of his (and our) lives. I'm saddened by this - saddened by the response of our judicial system (innocent until proven guilty does not apply in this case), saddened by how it makes my dad & the rest of the family feel, and saddened about the lies we've all had to make to people we care about to cover for my dad to save his reputation. I'm anxious for this whole thing to be put to rest so we can finally move forward.

Bought a new house, and was finally able to move my growing family out of the basement apartment into a new space we can call our own. Profoundly grateful for everything we have, despite all of the hard work that being a homeowner entails!

I am watching a mental health client of mine go rapidly downhill from multiple health problems, including end stage renal failure and diabetes, now congestive heart failure from all the stress of dialyisis. Over a year ago I got blood work readings that got my attention from blood work about blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels. I felt very concerned and showed it by embarking on a serious behavior change program. I was afraid to need meds, both from a money standpoint and from what it would mean about my own treatment of myself. Now watching and being with my client I feel many things, gratitude for my own relative health and my ability to do something about it. I am aware that my mobility -- I sometimes walk aerobically 120 minutes a day -- is a minor miracle at 65 and at my weight. I feel relief that I haven't been caught yet from bad behaviors of the past. I feel hugely sad about what is happening to her and how much control she is losing and has already lost about her own life -- I work to help her keep as much as she is capable of, but that is small compared to the vibrant in-charge life she is used to and doesn't know how to live without. I am zeroing in on my first goal, which was to change enough behaviors to sustain losing weight, and I am very close to the first milestone, which is losing ten percent of my overall weight, the amount research shows makes a huge difference to insulin resistance. So on top of all the other feelings, I feel proud of myself for sticking with this. And determined.

I fell in love. I felt really great because love is the most amazing feeling in the world and it makes life worth living. That loved one gives meaning to my life and even though she doesn't love me back, I still feel extremely grateful and happy that I have someone like her in my life as a friend.

This is a hard question to answer. There have been professional experiences this year that have affected me and personal experiences this year that have affected me. I am eternally grateful for all of the gifts that God has given me. I suppose if I was to highlight one thing, it would be a wonderful 10 day vacation to Vancouver - just me and my husband (no kids). Lots of hiking, kayaking, biking... Even a wonderful partnership can get bogged down in the realities of getting through the day. Taking the time to reconnect and remember what made you fall in love with each other in the first place is the best way to rejuvinate even a terrific marriage.

I developed a relationship with an amazing Jewish man which has helped me to connect to my jewish heritage. It has made me a different and better person. I am grateful, relieved, and inspired. Not only by what love has to offer but by what an amazing story and history that Jews have. I am only resentful of one thing- that I did not learn of my jewishness sooner. I resent that I have to struggle so hard to learn (find the time to learn) about something I feel so passionate about. As for falling in love, I highly recommend it :)

I suffer from menorrhagia but, after unsuccessful attempts to control through progesterone therapy, kept putting off surgery, hoping to reach menopause soon without having to resort to the often successful, but invasive, ablation procedure. For our anniversary this past June, my husband and I went hiking near Pagosa Springs, CO. Thinking I was over my heavy menstrual period, I wore a pad just in case. Sure enough, right in the middle of bear country, I felt an explosion after explosion of release as I hefted myself up through a mid-difficult terrain. Needless to say, we turned around and headed back to our car, but by the time we reached the park's outdoor public restroom, I had already soaked through the pad, underwear, and jeans. I cleaned up the best I could using a fresh backup pad which I fortunately kept in the car. My husband laid out a towel for me to sit on as we headed back to Pagosa Springs. As tourists unfamiliar with Pagosa Springs, we spent some time searching for a discount variety store. Armed with knowledge of my size (after much rehearsal), he went into the store to purchase a pair of gym shorts and underwear. We then went to a gas station restroom where I changed into the new clothes. This experience was the last straw. Though I am maybe just a few years from menopause, if not sooner, I announced to my gynecologist I am now ready to proceed with the last resort—the ablation. I can no longer tolerate my condition's imposition on my quality of life.

A number of things happened to me this year: I got my first real job with a desk, phone and everything. I entered my first long term relationship and lived with someone for the first time. My grandmother died and I wasn't able to fly out there fast enough to say goodbye. I had surgery that revealed Endometriosis and Fibroids. That brought back the dysfunction of my autonomic nervous system which was previously under control. I had a diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos, a rare genetic connective tissue disease, the true source of my chronic pain. I changed my major as a senior because I realized I wasn't physically able to work in that field long-term and may have to quit that first real job this week. I learned Restorative Yoga. I don't quite know what all this taught me. But I do know three things I didn't know before: 1. My health is number 1 and not a negotiation. 2. Nothing is permanent and the future is uncertain, love and appreciate everything you have now. 3. I never want to sleep without him next to me ever again.

In the past year, I had two significant experiences. I lost my job and I almost lost my marriage. The two events were linked because my marriage suffered once I lost my job. I realize now that I had been defining myself too much in terms of my career, and I did not have a proper focus on my wife and family life. This year has been about finding a new balance in my life, and for the most part, I have prioritized my relationships over career goals. This new priority has had a positive effect on all parts of my life. While I am still unemployed, I have a renewed relationship with my wife, and for that I am very thankful. And I am inspired and looking forward to what will come next in my life.

I turned 40. It was painless. As many people say, before reaching one of the milestone ages, you think," that is SO old." I was no different. But the day came and went and I felt only slightly different. I felt more grounded than I did when I turned 30. I felt like many of the questions I had in my 20's were answered. I felt like I was the person I thought I'd be as a child. I'm proud to be 40. I have back the in my life the church that I left so long ago. I have a beautiful, happy and healthy family. I have supportive, funny and caring friends. Honestly, what's missing? I'm looking forward to the next 40 years with my loving husband, my children and my children's children. Bring it on!

My boyfriend fell in love with me :)

I had a meaningful romantic relationship with a man for the first time in almost 10 years. It changed how I saw myself. I realized that despite the fact that I had been saying that I wanted to have a boyfriend, that I was terrified of actually putting my heart in a man's hands. I realized that a part of my heart still hadn't completely healed from my previous relationship which had been abusive and had resulted in my daughter being adopted. It's so easy to think and feel that I'm a pretty cool, hip girl. But being in this relationship and having someone who is close enough to potentially really hurt me taught me that I have a lot to grow and heal from. I'm really proud of myself though. I was willing to put myself out there and risk the hurt in order to love someone. My boyfriend and I are on a break right now which makes this question doubly difficult, bc I don't know how things will turn out, but I know that despite my shortcomings in this relationship, it took courage for me to venture out in this direction again. I'm grateful to have met and gotten to know my boyfriend, Rob. He's an amazing human being. Though e flawed like the rest of us, he is the kindest most generous person I've ever met. More than his words, it's the way he lives his life that inspires an challenges me to be a better person. He lives out his values with an integrity and honesty that is so beautiful. I've actually caught myself doing things differently because of I know his integrity.

I appeared in three plays in new groups, one a musical and one a Shakespeare, which came out well and met with a good degree of success. I felt uplifted and proud to deal in successful projects with talented personnel.

I started University in April, and I can't be happier. It's been a while now since I decided I wanted to study Literature at the Uni, actually, I knew it for most of my childhood and adolescence, but I didn't know, not even after some time into the studies, that it was going to be such a perfect career for me. The people I study with now have the same interests as me, and I get along with them a lot better than I did with my classmates at school, the atmosphere isnt's the same either, Arts and Human science colleges are way much relaxed than any other, and I feel just in my element. It was a good thing, being able to change the background and make new friends. The only bad thing is that I can't see my old friends as often as I did when I was in Highschool, but at the end of the day, is such an irrelevant thing, because my friends are always with me, even if I can't see them

I had a health scare and I'm feeling very vulnerable lately, and worried. Because of it I have gotten life insurance and put some things in place in the event of my death.

Angry, resentful, unappreciated. I worked hard at making others happy at my own expense. I suppose I was doomed to fail - no one will appreciate me the way I feel is satisfactory. Also, I am the square peg in a round world. I wasn't raised in a Japanese culture, therefore will never truly fit in.

I got my lisence, a car and a job working at the local Y- I am learning a lot more about responsibilty and how much work it takes to be an adult - I feel like there is so much more out there for me to do and to worry about but also so much more to be excited about

My 30 year old boyfriend had a brain aneurysm and suffered a stroke. He wasn't going to make it. To make the nightmare I was going through worse his family made it impossible for me to get information about his condition when he was in the ICU or see him for more than 5 minutes. He did get better, which I was incredibly grateful for, and was moved to a rehab hospital. I was then able to see him whenever I wanted because it was up to him. He finally came home after two months, it was a miracle. But less than a week after being home, he broke up with me. I am devastated, angry, hurt, destroyed.

I was made redundant from my job (which I didn't like). I was devastated due to the financial implications at the time. Three months later I found my dream job and couldn't be happier. Has inspired me to start considering other risks I can take to go after more dreams and happiness.

In this past year I lost my best friends because they didn't like who I was. This experience made me question the person I was and made me very very secluded and sad for a long time. Gratefully, I've now come to realize that I wasn't the problem and made me not take those who accept me for who I am for granted.

My grandmother had a cancerous lesion removed from her ear earlier this summer. This really made me think about what life might be like when she is not here. I have been trying to be better about calling her and spending time with her when I am home from school.

Husband moved out. Was relieved, surprisingly sad, grateful. Not scared. Felt like he fled a burning ship and left me with the trash and scraps to pick up. We knew it was coming, but I still think it's odd that he didn't seem at all bothered that after 17 years of living together and being married, he was never going to live under the same roof as I am again. I felt it deeply.

I moved back home to Cleveland to be with my girlfriend. It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am grateful every day that I can be with her. It also gave me the opportunity to reconnect with my family and some friends from high school.

Making major decisions about what I want to study after high school. Realizing that all my major interests lay in social sciences definitely helped me become more at ease about my future (at least a little bit).

My husband (then boyfriend) pressured me to have a threesome with a common female acquaintance. I didn't want to (not bisexual and not into that) but I reluctantly agreed because he fought me so hard on it, no matter how much I cried and pleaded. It didn't end up happening, thank God. I learned that next time I would rather walk away than get bulldozed. I am resentful against my husband and myself, but I learned that "I don't want to" is always a valid argument, especially when it comes to matters of the heart. That scar will be with me for a long time.

My daughter got married the day before my 30th wedding anniversary. The ceremony was meaningful is so many ways. Many of the guests were also at my wedding and some even at my parents' wedding 61 years ago. Grateful, yes. Inspired, yes. In awe of the strength of family and friends, absolutely.

not an experience but seeing how the media and paparrazzi treat celeberities makes me want to get out there and do something. has given me a greater appreciation for how to handful stressful situations and greater appreciation for the actors and musicians, they are people too

Last December I started an Ashtanga yoga mysore practice. It has completely transformed my body and probably my mind too. I am grateful for it.

I think the most significant thing that happened to me in the last year was to not give too much time to time. One of my Advisors helped me learn how to schedule my time and stick to while at the same time rewarding myself for the little things I got done. It wasn't much, but it was definitely something needed to be done and at the age of 19 I had no idea how to do it. But maybe that happens when we come from tiny towns in the middle of nowhere.

I spent a week at COP (the Capuchin Outreach Program) in the NY hudson valley. The religious week was powerful not only spiritually but physically ad well, because we were doing community service projects in and around the area. The work I did with Habitat for Humanity was really difficult but so rewarding. Thenmoat powerful and inspirational thing of all was, that as a group of 50+ teenagers, working about 10 different work sites, we were not the "typical" teenagers. No one was judgemental, stereotypical, or self-centered. It's a great feeling to be away from the influences of the outside world for a while. I'm so grateful for the opportunity, and reccomend a similar experience for others.

My partner/wife of 10 years, after many, many tumultuous months, asked for a divorce. I had been living on shaky ground for so long that finally hearing something definitive (after breaking me to my core) was liberating. I realized that I had been unhappy and wasn't living a life that I had wanted before this marriage. I am grateful for this roundabout way of finding myself again.

My Baby Cat, and yes that was her name, Baby Cat, died at 18 years and 4 months old, and I realized I had lived with her in an unbroken stretch longer than I had lived in an unbroken stretch with any human in my life, including my parents and my children. I had such a mix of emotions when she died, I was appalled: there was relief she was gone and no longer a reproach to me as she wasted away over months of illness; grief because she had been such a loving and demanding constant in my life, and sometimes the only reason I had been able to get up was because she needed attention and care even when my own illness had me almost unable to care for us both. Bless her, she would stretch out along my side in the bed and share her life-force with me. I felt shame to be relieved at the end of the real burden of costs for caring for her; more guilt because there were times I had not given her as much attention as she had given me when life was hard for me. There was fear because I am in the natural course of events going to be following her into death all too soon to suit me, as my own illness progresses. Her death re-awakened an almost violent renewal of the grief of losing my daughter to cancer and I mourned all over again; and finally there is a sad acknowledgement that I am very alone and am now most comfortable when I maintain contact with family only by phone and email. Even now, months after Baby Cat's death, I am wondering uneasily why I am so reluctant to see any of my family in person, to the extent I have asked them to stay away, as much as I love them.

I started two businesses... I'm grateful that I ended up in a situation that pushed me to do something I should have done a long time ago!

I was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis in March 2010. It has taken over my life completely since then. At first, I felt relieved to have a diagnosis and optimistic that treatment would fix it pronto. Nowadays I mostly feel resentful, with a touch of self-pity thrown in. But there is still hope there, and an understanding of taking care of my body.

We had a crisis at work which required a very fast response where we had to contact all of our customers and staff. We were afraid that the event would cause people to freak out and we'd lose a lot of customers and a lot of community confidence. To the contrary, just about everyone was very supportive, took the matter seriously, acted appropriately and we got through it (or we seem to have gotten through it). It was reassuring and inspiring to know that we could handle the problem and that we were so supported.

I was laid off from an executive position at a bank where I expected to work for the rest of my life. Initially, I was positive about my job loss, as I believed it would allow my wife and I to resolve some personal issues in our marriage. However, it hasn't really worked out that way. My initial reaction to my job loss wore off and I had some dark, depressing days. However, I have used the last month or two to refocus on my priorities, have begun working out and losing weight, and have a couple promising job opportunities. I will survive this, and be stronger for it.

I think my significant experiences this year came from re-establishing my independence. It first came when I decided to go Volunteer & Camp at the Coachella Valley Music festival, alone. And the second round hit me while on Lan Kwai Fong Street in Hong Kong, bar hopping on my own. I felt an amazing sense of empowerment that I'm constantly striving to carry with me, outside of these intensive experiences. I want to feel that feeling of self amazement all the time, but I find it difficult to do that in my daily life. I hope I can carry it through the coming year.

This year I participated in "Blog Everyday in August" to challenge myself write everyday. I was successful in that I missed 3 days because of school work and illness so I'm quite proud of myself. The things I blogged about the entire month were about a lot of things I was feelings. I had started the blog with every intention of expressing my feelings and talking about books, but as each day passed, it turned into less of a soap box and more of a way for me to vent and to find out if someone--anyone, was feeling the way I felt. I pleasantly surprised when I discovered that other people feel depressed for no reason, wished they could move away, or that they were so madly in love that they didn't know what to do with themselves. Doing BEDA helped me feel a little less lonely in this world.

I finally took measures to restore some libido to my body. I am relieved, but sad that we had 30 odd years of my having no interest in sex. Having sex be a pleasure rather than a chore is very exciting.

I was laid off, fired. Effect on me was that i felt angry, resentful, worthless, depressed, suicidal, relieved, sorry for myself, responsible for an income, etc. It gave me a chance and a reason to start my own business, which I did. But i'm still angry when I think of it. If my former boss crosses the road when i pass... I'd probably smile politely, and wave, 'cause that's me. I still feel depressed, but don't dare to talk about that feeling. I think not being anymore would be a grand solution.

In the past year, a strong and brave friend died after a long struggle with a very aggressive cancer. He had been fighting for more than five years with the usual recessive periods in between. As a result of his cancer, he became an advocate and worked hard in the community organizing events and raising money for research. Part of the fund-raising was a strenuous weekend bike rally over more than 250 miles. My friend trained hard every day, completed the rally, then shortly afterward his cancer blossomed and he died of complications within six months. I had moved out of the area and had lost touch with his fight. I was angry when I heard of his death and miss him and his spirit. I am resentful, that people who knew better, his doctor included, allowed him to risk his life.

Not a specific experience, but probably the most significant accomplishment in my life. I found God, and I'm still working on figuring out what it means for me to be a Christian. I never expected this to happen, and I need to figure out how to integrate my self with my religion. I don't want to lose who I am to this, because I know who I am now has a lot to offer God. I'm sure that this development will shape the way I grow and change in the following years more than anything else. I'm grateful beyond words for this, but also terrified about what it can mean.

I got to spend a lot of time with one of my best friends, whom I never see because she lives in another state. It was good being able to see her so much in one period of time.

I broke up with the one that has been my girlfriend during 3 years. I did it because someone else appeared in my life, Carlos. I was for months in between the love I felt for the two of them. who I loved the most? I didn't know quite well... I still don't know. But the thing is he became so important to me... I cheated on her... and for months I couldn't help feeling the way I feel for him. So I finally broke up with her, and began a relationship with Carlos... It's been a couple of weeks since we are together...and I've been so happy, and at the same time, I miss her and feel terrible about what she is going through now... Reading this I notice how simple and 'easy-going' it looks like. But let me tell you the truth: these have been the hardest months of my life. So hard they have been, that I'm going to write a book about it and it'll be a best seller... I'm not the same person I was when the year began, and even though all of this just has to do with love and relationships... it's maybe the experience from which I've learnt the more about people, and feelings, and cause-effect decisions.

I moved from NW Kansas to South central Kansas to be with my wife and follow my job... We have been married 23 years and I stayed behind for a month in NW Kansas to tie up a few loose ends. During that month, my wife had an affair and decided she didn't want to be married any more. I was mad, resentful, and felt like I was totally betrayed. God has a sense of humor, however... Since she moved out, I have had a re-awakening of my relationship with God... Not just one of those "foxhole prayer' things, but a true spiritual thing! I realize that I do not need her, and I find myself praying for God to open her eyes to Him... (she is a Buddhist) and help her. I found that most of the ill feeling have gone away and I look forward to continuing my life... happy! We will see what a year brings!

Started a new job at the beginning of the year and gained a partner in the process from said job. Such a big shift in my life, following on from some other big changes towards the end of 2009, both events have really felt like a fresh (and much needed) new start.

I realized 8 months ago that my 12-year marriage was going nowhere, just lonely nights spent "together" while we both surfed the internet from opposite ends of the sofa, so I found a new place to live, told my husband I was leaving, suffered through three horrid days of crying and recrimonations, then suddenly my husband realized the wisdom of separating and we were then very happy. We went to movies, we go out to dinner occasionally, and reconnected like we hadn't for years--only now, we both have significant others and just see each other as old friends. It's a good thing. :)

Having my youngest child move away to go to college. The typical "empty nest" syndrome. At first, it was so painful, the house seem to change and you look at your spouse like "now what?" It's all been so recent but the adjustment does have some positives but overall it makes me feel old. I feel...a little lost but also relieved that I have done my job as a parent.

I encouraged my husband and close girl friend to have an on going sexual relationship so it would relieve me of his constantly pestering me for sex. Instead of getting me out of sex, they want to include me in their relationship which I am NOT interested in. This is all still new so I don't know how it will ultimately play out but I have to say I am really proud of myself because I am a non conformist who doesn't define marriage as having to be one thing or another but my philosophy has never been tested like this. I am not jealous and feel like I have completely broken out of the private property concept of monogamous relationships. I feel like I am being consistent with how I see myself and that feels good. I know others will think I am crazy for instigating this, but it serves all of us.

I got a job teaching. I think I'm relieved because at least's its a direction. But is it for me? I don't know yet.

I lost my virginity. I'm relieved- didn't want to be a spinster. Regretful, because I didn't love him and he very clearly didn't love me. Scared, for a few weeks, because it's almost obligatory to be scared about the usual things you worry about when having sex. No matter how many people know, not having your virginity feels like a secret in a way.

The most remarkable person I have ever met has fallen in love with me, and I've spent most of the year realizing that, until now, I've never really known what it all meant.

Last year on December 12th my classmate Melanie Moretti was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. I was never very close to Melanie, but I always cherished the conversations we had. Then when she died, I realised how real this all is. How short and random all of this is. I used to be a shy, lazy cynical person but now I am trying to be happy and nice to everyone I meet. I am trying to accomplish things in my life. I am trying to make my dreams come true, because even though we weren't that close, and even though we shared few interests, I feel as though part of me is living my life for her. Every single one of my classmates is now living a little part of their life for her. It has made me realize how little time we have, and to make sure you are who you want to be, because thats who Melanie was. She was 100% herself. She was a happy-go-lucky girl with flaming red hair. She is part of me and every one of my classmates now.

I lost my job this summer, and was devastated. It was a job I found completely unfulfilling, and yet selfishly I wanted to end it on my own terms. The gifts I received were plentiful: a wonderful summer with my family and my love; an interesting journey with three very different potential new employers; three incredible job offers; and in the end, a position that made me feel instantly valued, energized, and at home.

I had a falling out with my father, though I don't think he's entirely sure why it happened. It has been a long time coming. Not for anything horrid that he's done. I didn't suffer abuse of any kind, other than absent parenting and emotional neglect. He's just not a nice person. And for some reason, over the years, our relationship has become increasingly confrontational and competitive. The final straw came on a day when he was talking about my uncle, who died when I was 14. "Boy, that was strange. One day he was here. The next, gone. Dead. Just wiped out." My sister and I laughed a bit at the telling since it seemed so harsh and strange. When I explained why, he snapped, "That's NOT what I meant at all! You always think the worst of me and I don't like it any more." On the bus ride home that night I realized that my gift to myself for my upcoming 40th birthday would be the gift of freedom from this dysfunctional relationship. No more grinning and bearing it, no more putting up with his visits, no more listening to criticisms from a person who barely knows me. I sent him a letter, asking for some space and time. Since then, to his credit, he has not tried to get in touch and it has given me time to reflect. I feel relieved, but of course guilty too. I love seeing the special relationship other people have with their fathers, but it is not to be for me. I used to wish for it but that makes it sound like I'm lamenting something I don't have. I have come to terms with not having that closeness. In a perfect world, I would be close with both parents and enjoy my relationships, not just tolerate them.

My husband of 39 years had his second mini-stroke -- in a doctor's office, with me kneeling by him as the EMS guys worked. We've always cherished each other. We've been very, very lucky. But now I savor each day we have together. Mortality has joined us as a third partner in the marriage.

My husband served me with divorce papers. I am not grateful right now, but hope I will be later. I will be relieved once the actual divorce is over to not have him in the house, but anxious about the outcome and how I will deal with it. I am hoping I will be thriving both financially and emotionally.

Visited the city my husband and I left 27 years ago. Surprised and delighted to remember how much we liked living there. And very grateful that the friends we left behind are only separated from us by distance and not connection. I am very, very grateful.

I worked for crooks. I learned how important it is to do work that I can take pride in, and I will never make the same mistake again.

Lost job, had to take early SS distribution. Resentful about job loss, especially in current economy; unable to find new job. Resigned to permanent "retirement" - feeling I have outlived my usefulness.

My bubbly, vibrant friend was in a car accident with her boyfriend. After the impact, Kev checked if she was OK, and couldn't find a pulse. Hearing about how she had to be pulled from the car and given CPR until the paramedics arrived was terrifying. She broke her back, and had to spend 3 nights in Intensive Care, and a further 2 weeks lying flat on her back in a hospital bed, not able to move anything more than wiggle her toes and her fingers. She's going to be OK- she's in a back cast, and will be for another few weeks, but she can walk around. It was just such a shock. She is the most active person I know, and always on the go- football, running, the gym, she's even studying to be a PE teacher in college. So when we eventually saw her, 4 days after the accident, lying so still nearly broke my heart. I had been fine until then, strong, optimistic. Then I got home, was eating dinner and watching TV when it all suddenly hit me. If their car had been coming just 2 seconds later, or if she hadn't been wearing a seatbelt, of if she'd broken a bone one vertebrae down, she could have been paralysed or even died. I realised how quickly her life, or my life could be ended. I know it sounds strange, but I'm so grateful for the experience. My life means so much more, and it's made me take stock. It's cliched, but don't sweat the small stuff. It's not worth it.

I passed my medical school Finals! I was over the moon... once I found out I'd passed... I wasn't on the pass list issued, and had to phone the office in floods of tears to ask. I also wasn't on the list in the newspaper, so I had the same thing on the morning of graduation, phoning in a mad panic to make sure I wasn't going to be humiliated in my cap and gown as everyone else was called up in the ceremony. Absolutely ecstatic when they called me up and gave me the degree on paper!!

I was engaged on July 9th. We have been dating for more than 7 years so it was wonderful that we will finally be getting married. We ate a wonderful dinner at La Voile on Newbury St in Boston and then walked to the Public Gardens. I suspected the whole thing, to the point that I did my nails the night before anticipating that I would be looking at my fingers a lot starting the following day! He diverted us to Starbucks even though we had eaten a big 3 course dinner! We had a frappucino back in the park while rats ran around the park. APPARENTLY rats take over the gorgeous public garden after nightfall! Who would have known. We were convinced it was a squirrel, no maybe a big chipmunk, then noticed the long tail and the scampering - and realized! Anyway we are going to be married and I am marrying someone better than I ever could have hoped for!

I finished high school and started college. I am terrified, lonely, scared. I don't know how I am going to look at my college in a year, but after the first day, I am even more terrified. I regret not living on campus. Knowing me it's going to be even harder making some good friends. I don't know what to do or what the future will bring. I am just hoping I will be able to survive the next 4 years and maybe hopefully feel good about my college one day.

I met someone that I sparked with for the first time in my life. For the first time in 28 years of life, I fell hard. It was exhilirating at first, and quickly shed light on how much weight I put in the opinions of people who have not yet earned them. And how much of my strength and power I was giving to people whose opinions at the end of the day didn't matter. In the end, if he is not "that man", then I am thankful for the potential of the depth of connection and strength that I am capable of in life, love and my art.

Earlier this year, I had surgery to repair an absurd amount of defects in my left hip. I'm immensely grateful for it--I can dance, I can sit comfortably, I can wear heels again...But even the simple fact that I can now walk across my home without the aid of a cane is something that continuously gives me cause to pause and reflect on how lucky I was to have gotten that surgery and be recovering from it so well. I feel freer than I have in years.

Israel was a great experience for me this year. I am so thankful for the people I met, the experiences I had, the opinions I heard and the opportunity for me to identify with my Judaism and what is means to me.

I went to the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida on June 18th with my best friends in the entire world and arrived at the park early enough (and ran fast enough) to get into the Wizarding World before the park opened with the students that won the Today Show contest. We got to see the actors from the movies! I talked indirectly with Warwick Davis! Then I spent the rest of the day surrounded by a community of massive Harry Potter fans dressed up in costumes in the sweltering heat and getting talking a much needed break in the Three Broomsticks and going inside Hogwarts. I feel like I was in the wizarding world. Best day of my life.

I was laid off. I've never been let go from a job. Never quit, never fired. Now I'm jobless, and it turns out the college degree that I worked so hard for doesn't even open the doors I was promised it would. I can't find a job although I am (hate to say it) a white male with a BA who speaks fluent english and is willing to do any job. This apparently is not what companies are looking for. I'm not mad that I got laid off. I understand the economy is terrible. I just wish that through my four years of college someone would have told me how to get a job. I am a little resentful of that. So now I'm (barely) living off of unemployment and picking up random jobs one or two days a month. I know I am a workaholic. This is killing me.

The passing of my grandmother. I have a renewed sense of the importance of family and of family stories and legacies that I would like to pass on to my children - even sharing the small things of family traditional responses to sneezes.

I spent three weeks in Sicily with my BFF. It was an exploration of food, culture, relaxation, and friendship. Travel always inspires me, as does my friend.

My partner of 8 yrs left me without a word. We had been planning for 6 yrs to move to Mexico to live our dream life on the beach while he did research at a university there, & it looked like we'd finally be able to achieve it in a few weeks when he left. Seven weeks after he left he married a woman he'd been having an affair with for 4 yrs. They're living in the place I found for us to live in Mexico. I'm broken-hearted & don't know how to recover. And confused about what happened & why. I thot we had a perfect relationship. My family & friends & therapist believe he's sociopathic. Maybe so, but maybe not....maybe there're things I need to work on in myself. I'm finding it hard to forgive either him or me. And, at 66, finding it harder still to face my future or to recover from my depression.

A good friend died. He approached death so consiously and invited his friends and family to to be part of it. It made me realize how many silly things I get hung up on.

Moved to California! The residency match process and subsequent transition brought out the worst in me at times, and I regret the way I took my anxiety out on Josh. But, things are going very well so far, and I feel satisfied about our current Fresno/SF situation and optimistic that it will work out for the best. I feel extremely relieved and lucky to have landed at Hogan, and although it's hard to be apart during the week, it's nice to spend time in both places.

I had one of the two toughest years of my life (next to the year of my parents' divorce). I had the worst teacher I have ever experienced (for two classes!)- I've never met a person, let alone a TEACHER who is less compassionate. My closest cousin was in a coma with a 50/50 chance of survival and my grandmother developed breast cancer. I guess I should be grateful for all experiences, because I firmly believe that they sculpt me into the person that I am. However, I am so glad that it is all over and I hope that I have a few good years before my next rut.

The most significant experience of the past year for me was last December, when Carla asked me why I didn't adopt a child. I talked to her about a child in the foster care system who was freed for adoption and who I wanted to adopt, but until Carla asked me that, it hadn't occurred to me that this was anything more than a desire. I never thought of actually doing anything about it. I'm still not quite finished with the adoption certification process because of a paperwork delay (but nearly there!), and that particular child is no longer available for adoption. However, I am hoping still to be able to provide a loving, permanent home to a child in the foster care system, thanks to Carla! I'm grateful Carla asked, and it inspired me to act.

An experience that affected me this year would have to be me becoming a senior. I have matured, grown over the years, but when it finally hit me that I would be on my own after this year, I learned to be an adult about most things. And I'm incredibly relieved that this happened.

I would say that my car breaking down a ton of times, transferring to a new school, and handling booking and paying for my trip to florida have all taught me to be more independent. It's easier to deal with the setbacks on my own now.

My little sister had a stroke. The left half of her body has been completely paralized for over a month. She's slowly recovering now. She can walk but she can't move her hand, she can only raise her arm. I learnt that life can turn upside down all of a sudden, that I'm still lucky to have my sister quite healthy by my side. This event just made my fears worse but I'm trying to overcome them. I hope I will. I hope my sister's life won't be affected too much by her present condition.

I didn't get in to global persepectives. I think that might be best. Everything happens for a reason i just have to figure out what this one is.

I was dumped by my first love. As a result I've grown as a person and I'm now more self confident than I ever was while we were together. I have also grown closer to my family and friends and have come to appreciate the freedom that comes with being single. I do not regret my time with my ex, in fact I am thankful that at the age of 20 I have a four year relationship under my belt and have experienced true heart break and come out of it a stronger person with a clearer vision of what I want from a relationship.

I spent a few days working on a tiny island off of Taiwan's coast where they live without many of the luxuries that we take for granted, such as refrigerators and cars. The people on this island are all very poor and many of the men are alcoholics who hit their children. Despite this, the children I met were all beautiful and so happy. They were so thrilled when we presented them with simple gifts and took them to the beach for a picnic.

I accompanied my son to his first college dorm in London. It was a corner stone for him and for me. I was wonderful and scary for both of us. I would have enjoyed being his age and starting my college there as he was doing it. I was grateful that he asked me to come with him.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer in February and died in July. I'm only 20 years old and I still need her. She wasn't there for a lot of my childhood and just as we started having a relationship again, she was taken away from me. I miss her so much. But it is comforting to know she's not in pain anymore.

I finally got a doctor who was able to find some treatment options for me. Just started the treatment today. Even if it doesn't work out I am grateful to have found someone who was willing to delve deep into my complicated situation rather than just writing it off.

Significance? Well, I did start college just under a year ago. That's pretty big. It was fun. I learned quite a bit. I guess it was a pretty good experience. I'm not going to drop out anytime soon. :) Going off to college has always been part of my plan of life, since i was like 3 or something, and to tell the truth, it wasn't as epic-ly awesome as I thought it might be. I didn't make any really close friends (though it usually takes me a few years to get to the really close friends stage with anybody, so that's not too surprising). So i guess i feel happy that I've gotten to the college stage of my life, I'm more stressed more of the time than I was in High School, and I do have times when i'm bummed out about the whole thing.

This past year, I broke up with a boy that I thought was the one. For a while, I wasn't sure I would because I didn't know if it was the distance that made me question our relationship or if I was finally seeing it as it really was. I believe now that I was beginning to see it and him as they really were. I wasn't making excuses for his forgettfulness or lack of affection or his asking me to change to please his family. I used to think that was as good as I was going to ever get. I saw so many relationships around me that seemed (still seem) like settling. I didn't want to settle, but I didn't see myself finding someone that would be better for me. Since then, I have found someone exponentially better for me. Someone that cares openly, lets me be silly, and loves me for who I am. I am very glad to have gotten through that point in my life, but at the same time I view it as a growing and understanding period. Without that time, I would not have learned who he was or who I am. It has opened me up to be and do whatever I want.

During Easter my wife and I spent a week in the Kruger wildlife park in South Africa.The animals and the country were wonderful and inspiring. I am very aware about how these wild places are under huge pressure everywhere and are disappearing fast. I feel very lucky to have experienced this and other wild places.

My grandfather died very suddenly and unexpectedly, within 3 days of being hospitalized for breathing problems. He could not breathe on his own and did not want life-prolonging measures. He died in peace, surrounded by his family and seemingly at peace with his life and everything going on. I was devastated because he and I did not always get along and when I heard about him passing away I felt like there were so many things I should have said to him, so many things I wanted to tell him. I don't think I ever told him I loved him, and though I often thought he was weird or did not want him getting too close I did love him and sort of admired him for making it through everything that happened in his life. I wish I could go back and change things, or I thought that for a while. I think that I'm a stronger person now and know that if I really have strong feelings about something I need to let the people around me know, no matter what. So many things could happen and I want my family and friends to know that I love them, or that I'm angry for certain reasons.

I decided that my first relationship of the year wasn't going anywhere, that we had no connection, and started to date the man I am now engaged to. It was a tough time and I was honestly torn between them, but I don't regret my choice. We're not perfect but he keeps me grounded and sane.

I lost my job and I started graduate school. I am grateful, I am resentful, I am scared, I am open to possibilities (or I am trying to be). I am learning to live on very little, which in my mind is a good thing to do. I am going to have a lot of people to repay for their kindness and I am so amazed at the friends I have. I am wanting to do new, amazing and interesting things- I am doing some already.

I had a big fight with one of my best friends. It made me remember how easy it is to lose the ones you love. It would be easier to just cut her out of my life, but we're working on making amends. I just hope the effort is worth the pain.

I shot my first wedding. I thought I would totally hate it and I was completely stressed, but I couldn't have possibly enjoyed myself more. That day totally changed the direction of my photography business and has put me on a path to working for myself within 12 months. I couldn't be happier about where I'm headed.

Several close friends had or are expecting babies this year. With my husband and I not planning on children, it raised mixed feelings for me. Am I making the right decision not to? What if I change my mind and it's too late? And more significant right now, how do I deal with the loneliness I feel at being "left out" of their conversations and experiences?

I revealed to my born-again Christian father that I'm an atheist. I'm quite relieved, actually. I consider my dad quite a hypocrite for not only acting the way he did before he "found Jesus" (e.g., cheating on my mom repeatedly, all but abandoning my sisters and me, then trying to control our lives and threatening disownment or actively trying to negatively impact our personal and professional lives if we didn't do as he said) but for continuing to act bigoted, racist and narrow-minded. It was a great thing to get off my chest.

Playing cards with my Dad this summer. He was very sick and when I was visiting with him for a week in August I thought that it was probably the last time that I would ever see him. He thought the same thing. So we wanted to spend as much time together as we could, but he was weak, and even talking was difficult for him. Somehow we started playing cards, which was something we had never done together before. We played hours of gin rummy and poker. We laughed and laughed when he tried to shuffle ( he couldn't - he was both too weak and his hands were too stiff ) and we were simultaneously competitive and silly. It was a wonderful and special time. He is getting better - so I can remember this memory not with the sadness I expected to, but as a wonderful moment when time stopped and we experienced fun, lightness, love, and joy.

I picked up and moved for the first time in 15 years. It has been both an unsettling and an exciting experience. I've had evenings when I've cried myself to sleep out of homesickness, and evenings when complete strangers were so kind to me that I couldn't believe it.

I was bullied at work. Picked on, undermined, made to question my own value and contribution. How did it make me feel? It made me question what I had to offer, question whether I was good at what I do - it lead to self doubt. It also made me feel angry and determinned to change things and move on.

My partner and I went to couples therapy after approaching the brink of splitting up. The situation felt hopeless but after 20 years and 2 kids seemed worth doing what we could to see if there was something to salvage. It is amazing what can happen when two people commit to honest communication and get some help in how to overcome the fear of honestly facing ourselves and each other. Our relationship is so much better and stronger for having faced our problems. More things are possible than I believed could be.

This year my brother, sister, and I have had to shoulder the responsibility for caring for our parents. This has forced us to work together as a team after mostly dealing only with our individual families for the past 25 years or so. It has been painful to see our parents age, and we haven't always seen eye-to-eye on how to proceed, but it has largely been a positive experience. It also helps to have someone who understands what you're going through.

I had a giant fear that I "accidentally" forced myself into confronting. All my life I thought I couldn't conquer this thing - I'd do anything to avoid this thing - I'd drop classes in college because they required this thing - and then, in the past few weeks, I faced my fear and did this thing and I killed it, dead. If I never face another fear it will be OK because this was my big one.

In May I talked to my biological father J about how I felt regarding him leaving my mom and my whole childhood and the daddy issues I am still hurting from. I told him I was mad because I see him now as this awesome person, but I didn't ever know him when he was a lame teenager and when he left me. I told him I was sad because my step-dad D never liked me and always treated my siblings better. It was really cathartic to open up to him and let it out. I feel much less pressure around him now and even just thinking about him I don't feel like I have to make him understand or that he is somehow going to morph into my daddy. We are closer now and in a good way, I am glad I opened up.

Met the man of my dreams. Made me realise that things happen for a reason. Our relationship has also taught me to not stress so much and to trust. I am very grateful to share my life with such a special person!

I was laid off after working for 14 years in the same company. It was a very unpleasant experience, but I decided to use it to change direction, so I'm grateful and inspired in a way.

My husband's Father whom we did not meet until 7 years ago bought us a $400,000 house and makes all the payments and pays all the taxes. Totally changed our financial life for which I am very grateful.

I'm in my first ever stable relationship. He's not like the others. Doesn't treat me like crap, doesn't abuse my feelings. I trust him, which is so rare for me. I'm learning to accept myself for things I couldn't accept before. I'm learning to love myself.

The easy answer is that my wife and I had a baby boy this year, but the more significant experience was DECIDING to have another baby (our 4th). We spent a lot of time debating, weighing the pros and cons, the impact on us and our older children. Ultimatly, we put faith in G-d to help guide us... and he did. I am so grateful to have this child and to have my wife to make life decisions with. I am proud of the way we worked together to make the decision that will change our life forever. Additionally, I am inspired by the feelings of love and faith in G-d that I felt when we found out she was pregnant.

I have kept and maintained a relationship with my lovely boyfriend. It has given me a happier life, and tons to look forward to. I am extremely grateful and happy.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 2 years. I finally listened to my gut and realized it wasn't right. It was the first time I ever listened to my gut and felt so great. It's been 9 months and I haven't looked back once.

This year I moved to University in Manchester. It clearly has to be the best year of my life to date, met loads of new people, 9 of which have all become my best friends in their own ways. I'll never forget them or that experience. It has taught me that it is so easy to get into debt! It has also had many other positive points, such as making me even more independent (if that was possible!) and reinforced my strong relationships with best friends at home.. We survived the separation! Some might say I've wasted a year of my life, and I suppose they're not far from the truth.. I've decided not to go back to uni this year whilst I re-evaluate what it is I want to do with my career, and take back control of my spiralling finances! But the negatives can't take away that it has been the most fun experience ever!

I spent several hours today with the man I love hidden in plain sight. He's married, we both have children. My ex texted 7 times and called once. My lovers wife called once. This makes our relationship sound so unlike it truly is: beautiful, honest, deeply loving. I got home to a crappy email from my ex. His attitude is so undeserved and frankly, he has no right to be so judgemental of me. He's done a poor job of parenting and a worse one of being a partner. I'm resentful that he should encroach on my time alone but so utterly grateful that I have my 'other man' to share the wonder of life with. Thank the universe for jets, rainbows and a poor man's DeLorean!

This year I got married to my husband. My wedding is perhaps one of the most significant experiences of my life, let alone this year. It affected me because I feel like I am no longer just a daughter and sister. I am a wife and my primary loyalty now is to my new family. I am so grateful. Every time I see my husband sleeping, or see him smile when I walk in in the evening, I can't believe it; that I could be this happy. In a way I am relieved that it happened. Now there is no more buildup or anticipation surrounding this event. I am resentful at my mom and brother because they did not really accept my decision to elope. I am inspired to be a better person for my new husband and I am really looking forward to what we will experience together on life's path.

I have become comfortable in my skin. After years of feeling "less" and enabling my mind to believe that my body just wasn't right, I have changed the mindset. I am feeling wonderful, complete, energized, empowered. Wore spandex and a sports bra to engage in the new, inner feeling. Since then, I bought a bathing suit (first time in 15 years), and wore it several times this summer. My body has begun to catch up with the feeling, as exercise became a key component of my life. I have felt more inner peace this year than ever before. It is freedom at its best.

I met someone and I thought we clicked but once again I'm single. Also because of my financial situation, I receive less and less invitations because my friends are tired of hearing "I'm sorry but I can't join in." So not only is it hard to meet new people because I can't afford to do a lot of things but I feel left out on the things I could join.

I had my first proper, proper boyfriend. Well, my first three, and I learnt something. I was upset after Sachin went out with another girl, so I grabbed up Dan. And Dan was very nice, and, surprisingly, Dan wanted me just the same. But I didn't want him that way, and I realized I was using him. I felt bad, and we broke up. And I went with Sachin. And then he dropped me. And then I went with Jack, and I dropped him for someone else. And I learnt that love will come. But you have to wait. And always be true to yourself. Beause otherwise you will regret it.

After 12 years working in financial services and just when I was doing a job that I loved I was told I faced redundancy. This was unsettling and unexpected. Rather than stay and do a job I didn't want to do I made the decision early on to take the generous redundancy package on offer and strated looking for a new job whilst serving my 6 months notice. I knew that I'd be going from a situation where I knew my stuff inside out and was well respected by others to a new job in a new company but embraced the challenge. After 12 years away from teaching - and having vowed never to return - I found myself applying for a lecturer job and I got it in the face of stiff competition. In the 10 months since my appointment new jargon has become clear, I have made a name for myself and secured promotion. I feel revitalised. Despite the stress and demands on my time of my new job I am delighted to be where I am and have absolutely no regrest about leaving my old company. Everyone I speak to who still works there reminds me it is getting worse every day. I face different pressures in my working life now but get to enjoy the success and devlopment of my students, be as creative as I wish, and am continually learning. I am also thankful for the extra time I have with my wife and son during the school holidays. Redundancy is not a pleasant experience but I never took it personally and kept the faith. Now the hard work begins - but I am looking forward to establishing myself in a new career.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and it has completely challenged my sense of self; my self as a man, as a father, my self as a provider. My own dad suffered terribly from it while I was growing up, and while there are certainly much better drugs now, every day I am reminded of how vulnerable I am, how my body no longer feels like I have control over it. I have has flare-ups that have brought me to tears. It has made me feel an immense amount of compassion for what it must have been like for my father, being so incapacitated in his early 40s while was trying to be a husband and raise four kids. I wish it did makee me inspired, but instead it makes me feel like I am no longer free in the same way as I used to be. What it has taught me, though, is that being a man and a father is not always about wrestling and tossing a ball around with my son, but about teaching him compassion, humor, and being joyful at the mere presence of our lives

I changed from teaching tenth grade back to teaching seventh graders. It has helped to renew my interest in teaching. The younger students are so much less jaded than the oder ones. They still have som enthusiasm and goofiness. I am quite happy with the move even though I often feel like I am a step or two behindi n my official paperwork duties. Once I catch on to the system here, I will be just fine.

Living with my father at age 38. It affected me deeply. At the very level of my soul and all of my body cells; living with this being (for one year), whom I call my father--has been a tremendous experience. Yes, I am grateful. I must have wanted this on a very deep level (unconsciously) or it wouldn't have come to be. However, it's one of the most intense things I've ever experienced and had I been presented a "crystal ball" to see what I'd go through in this last year, I doubt I'd have consciously chosen it. I don't think I'd say I'm relieved. I would say that I am thankful that this opportunity was presented and I am no longer having anxiety attacks...so that is the "relief" I have come to know. Yes, I am working through resentment, but, no I am not resentful. Part of it is deeply buried anger I never expressed toward my father and part of it is circumstancial. I resent the fact that I had a nice place to live and a decent income; but it changed--just as I had settled in from a previous upheaval 10 months earlier. Yes, I am inspired. I can see off in the distance--a very good thing for us all--and I am going to use this pivotal time/opportunity in my life to get it "right" and fully bloom into my souls purpose.

I got sick for the whole year. It made me see that life is ahead of me and settling is something im not going to do ever. Im to young to settle for nything and if i set my mond to it i can do it. Im happy i got sick because it let me take a step back and look at my life and what i liked and what i didnt it also made me grow up and into a better person with more compasion. It made me want to help others nad not just think of myself.

When we bought a new condo recently, I gave my decorator (a friend for 40 years) a check for $27,000. He cashed the check, but forgot to order any furniture. Now I'm learning how to file my own civil suit at the courthouse. Talk about a sign - this one was red neon. After the money was gone, my husband and I got out our paint brushes, drove to the the nearest IKEA, and shopped clearance sales for floor samples. Now we love our home. And so do our neighbors. It's really ours, not some fancy-schmancy decorator's with his stupid, beaded pillows.

I put my mind to make Aliyah, and I did. I have just arrived in Israel a few days ago, and feel terrified, anxious, nervous, nauseous, but above all OVERJOYED to be here and starting this chapter in my life.

The last year seems like we've been living in limbo. Just waiting for something to come along to set us on track. We're still living at Zane's parent's house. I only moved in here with the understanding that we'd only be here until we could save enough to move out on our own. I guess that's still true since we haven't saved anything. Zane recently got a job, and we're FINALLY talking about moving out. It wont be for a few months, since we'll have to save up the massive amounts they'll want upon move in. But I'm not backing down this time unless something major changes around this house. So, like I said, there hasn't been any significant experiences in the past year. Just a lot of plans that have fallen through the cracks.

My Grandad died quietly on Christmas day 2009. He was 81. He was a happy, energetic man with a kind heart and twinkly eyes, and a wicked sense of humour. When he died it wasn't really a shock, but it was incredibly sad. And I realised that, like when my Dad died, 6 years ago, I would never stop talking to him, and feeling a curious but delightful sense of sadness and joy at his memory. I'm glad I can still hear his voice in my head, and I still see them both in dreams occasionally. It felt, and still feels like a potent and important link to the past has gone and so the past suddenly seems less real and tangible. This isn't a feeling I experienced with the deaths of my Grandma or my Dad. Perhaps because, when Grandma died, Grandad was still around, and though Dad has gone, my Mum is still here as a link to the times she has lived through.

I fell in love with another man. Now I have to decide if I'm going to stay in the 20 year relationship I'm in or leave him and begin a new life. Right now I'm more concerned with what my decision will have on others lives than my own. I think I need to figure out what I want in order to move on.

If there was anything significant it was not one outstanding happening. Rather several smaller one. Unfortunately the number of funerals I attend are increasing. The effect has been to reinforce the knowledge that the road ahead is shorter than the road behind me. I am neither grateful, relieved resentful or inspired. Death is as much a part of life as anything else that occurs in life. Death, for most of us, is something we fear. It is the big unknown. Somewhere I once read that the rabbis of old claimed that each time one goes to sleep it is a preparation for what death will be like.

I defended my brother against my father and his wife, who disapprove of his relationship, because his girlfriend isn't Jewish and they think she just wants to be with him to have a baby. It was a small step towards telling my father what I really think about him, and it felt good to defend my brother, who takes a lot of crap from my father and other brother.

I had my first major homeowner's experience, and it taught me a lot about patience. After living without floors for more than four weeks, my fiancée and I plan to spend this weekend moving out of the PODS and onto our new hardwoods, thankful for insurance and looking forward to a de-cluttered life together.

I performed a scripted monologue solo in front of a live audience. I perform improv all the time, but never scripted material and never solo. It was nerve-wracking and left me feeling quite relieved. I was also grateful to my friend, who asked me to do it. It made me realize I need to get used to talking directly to an audience comfortably, so I have been toying with the idea of doing a little stand-up.

I got into grad school, at the program of my choice, and it has changed the trajectory of my life. I am grateful, relieved and inspired. Also a little in over my head.

I got homesick at university, in the same city as my parents, twenty minutes car journey away, surrounded by my friends. I'd been so keen to get away, to deny any need for my parents help and to prove I was grown up and independent. I've lived away from home for a year, surrounded by friends half way across the world and never felt homesick for a second, and yet I sat and cried in my room at university because I missed my mum. And I never told her the reason I went home that night. But I'll never take her for granted again.

I met the man I'm going to marry. I knew it by the fourth date. I realized how truly blessed my life is -- and how hard I've worked to become a full, complete person without having a man in my life. And now he's here, and I can be grateful and appreciative.

I guess one of the most significant events was one theatre performance we did in a jail. The inmates would tell personal stories and would enact them. The way they opened themselves to us deeply moved me and also made me proud, because it meant they felt understood by us. I always wonder what will become of them when they are released. We could see a lot wanted to change their lives but will they get the support they need to do it?

I changed jobs and I'm really happy I did so. I'm both grateful for the new job & relieved to be out of the old one.

My father was diagnosed with colon cancer and, just two weeks later, underwent a successful operation. Uncertainty about the severity of his condition and the treachery of surgery quelled all of my mind's typical chatter. At an instant, I was prepared to quit my job, leave town, and head home to care for my Dad. Even now I sob. So deeply shaken, I feel intense fear and emptiness when I think about that unnerving period. I realize now how effortless it was to determine my priorities in that moment. I met Heartache, a sensation I naively believed I had vanquished twice before. I always message Dad during treatment, visit more often, and forgive myself when, for a moment, he slips from my conscious thoughts.

Last year, actually a few months ago, I decided to take a brake on university and quit my job to accept my cousin's invitation to live with him and his family in Canada for 6 months. All that within a period of two months to decide. It was scary, spontaneous, out of the blue. But totally worth it! I'm having the best experience of my life in Toronto, meeting new people, living a new life. It got me to re-think my major, my previous life, my dreams and what I want of my life. Nothing is clear yet, but this definitely opened up my mind in a way that nothing else would do.

My significant experience was getting my first boyfriend. It was significant because it was something I had wanted for years and years. It made me feel very happy and complete at first. Even though I don't feel the same anymore and am slightly stuck with no idea how to end things, I am grateful that I got to experience something I had always seen others do. I don't regret starting the relationship I just want to end it now. It has in no way inspired me.

i broke up with my boyfriend (2 days ago), my dad died (2weeks &2 days ago) leaving my sisters and me with a difficult mom, i finally started working again and getting out of debt. i'm realizing more and more that I AM....and this IS. and i find myself not wanting to be here and then watching that thot...all a good experience to BE here NOW

I was one of the first people in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It sounds like a silly and somewhat trite thing to be a significant experience, but I was there with my mother, and my three children, and we walked together into Hogsmeade and stepped on the cobblestones and looked up at the castle together. My daughter is only five this year, and it wasn't very important to her, although she loves her Pygmy Puff - but my eldest son is a bookworm, and reads as much as I did at that age, and loves the Harry Potter series so much! To walk through the castle with him, to get a Butterbeer with him, to stand in Ollivanders with my family and see my daughter adore the experience of having a wand choose her - even though we didn't go on the ride itself that day (I went a few weeks later, ten minutes after briefly meeting JK Rowling) it was magical to enjoy that morning in an almost empty Hogsmeade with my family. Now, when I went there with over a thousand friends a month later....

My husband celebrated one year of sobriety. I am inspired by and so very grateful for the work he has put into himself. His willingness to change has meant we can grow as a couple and as individuals. I feel hopeful about the future.

I accepted a position for the summer at work that I wasn't sure that I could do. The faith that LCol had in me, helped me through a tough learning summer. It has changed my perspective on life, on people, and the military. It has forever changed and guided me, and I am gracious. It has inspired me to what I may want to do my Masters Project on and what I might like to do in life.

I have managed to pass a grading, that I thought I would definitely fail. It gave me confidence and a big boost which helped me with other stuff.

i have a group of school friends that i have known for 30 years and although we don't see each other as often as we should they remain my most treasured friends. on my birthday last year i found out that one had had a stroke. she was always the feisty, cocky one at school who had oodles of energy. it was heartbreaking to see her so broken, confused and hurt. over the next three months of rehabilitation she showed determination, frustration, anger and sometimes despair but that feisty, cocky girl that i looked up to in school was always there. i was in a bit of a slump at the time and watching her take that journey was not only inspiring and put some perspective on life, but it also made me feel connected again - to my childhood, my friends, where i'm from, to myself. she's doing incredibly well, her recovery has been remarkable. i haven't seen her for a few months but she left me a voicemail yesterday. i mustn't let so much time slip by without seeing my friends.

my dad had a heart attack. blew me out of the water. just something i didn't really know how to deal with. but he got better and you move on and that's sort of it. how much can you really process when it comes to this stuff? you do what you can in the moment, try and keep everyone calm and pray for the best. scary as hell, but a moment to reflect and appreciate the people you love.

Last year we surrendered our home and declared bankruptcy. I suffered a major depression and was briefly hospitalized. My daughter started Kindergarten. I know with time, I will be deepened by the experience..but for now I continue to recover.

I worked through hell. The kind of hell that you feel guilty about because you know that in the grand scheme of things you've got it easy, but the kind of hell that nonetheless makes you want to go home and scream, cry, or both, every night. My husband didn't have a regular job - bits of money flowing through here and there from consulting, but not enough to make you feel secure, not enough to KNOW every week you were going to be able to pay for things. And, at the same time, I was stuck in a small office with someone I hated more than anything in the world - devious, aggressive, nasty, two-faced and generally unpleasant to be around. The two combined sucked every inch of happy stuff from my world. Maybe I should have been able to handle it, but I didn't. I just went on feeling trapped - couldn't leave my job because we needed the money, couldn't do a good job at work because my days were so full of disharmony and general rage that I was hugely less effective than usual. In the background lurked photography, all the more attractive in concept if only one day I could manage to work for myself as full time photographer, yet simultaneously presenting a whole lot of (stressful) work and the promise of a similarly 'unsafe' income stream to what my husband had been working with. Now, I'm done with that, I've worked it through. My small-office companion is long since gone, my husband has a new job. Things are better. Things are not great, because I don't know where this leaves me. I've learnt lessons - and unfortunately they rather work against each other. #1 - working in the 'corporate' world means from time to time (all the time?) working with total idiots, complete douchebags, and/or both. #2 working in the 'corporate' world means a generally stable decent amount of income. Hmmmm.

My wonderful daughter announced her 3rd pregnancy to me and set me into some deep thought . I paused for a change and made a conscious decision to NOT allow MY old fears, regrets, guilt, or any negative thoughts to infect my being ! I wish to bring nothing but positive vibrations to this great new life and addition to our family ! " All You Need Is LOVE ! "

Becoming a member of my family in Student Council at my high school has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I'm so grateful to have every one of those 46 amazing people in my life, and our relationships get stronger every day.

I wen to England, Ireland, and Wales with two of my best friends for a school trip. it was amazing and i will never get it. everyone had an embarrassing incodent happen. one almost peed her pants on a bus and the other tripped at the changing of the guards in London.

My Uncle recently passed away (less than 24 hours ago). I feel sad and glad. I'm relieved that his suffering has ended and I recognize that mourning is a selfish process. I'm selfish, I wanted him to live forever.

I moved into the new apartment in the Sovereign on Saturday July 24th, one week after turning 28. I hired a moving company, which sent two Mexicans to do the heavy lifting (they were from the Yucatan- muy lejos). I talked with them in Spanish a little bit and tipped them each $10 when they were done. I was very excited to get the new place but the next month or so after that was surprisingly difficult. The move wasn't stressful per se but I just felt knocked out of my normal mental state. I also had to put about $2k on my credit card to buy a new bed and various other things to set the place up nice. An investment in my future no doubt, but after having gone 6 months without using the cc it did feel like backsliding. The best part of the new place is the roof of the building, where I go to smoke cigs and enjoy the view. It's so nice to be up there by myself, enjoying the beautiful view of downtown highrises and the west hills- everything is still and silent and I think it's been good for my mental health. I have actually felt a lot of my regrets and resentments melt away since I've lived there- it's just hard to be upset about anything when you live in such beautiful decadence. I had also been partying pretty hard in the few months leading up to the move, and I've mellowed a little since then. Spent several weekend nights at home playing guitar, watching Mad Men, etc. when before I would have been out at a show or a party. I intend to live here (finances permitting) probably until I get married and buy a house with the wife. And I've joked with a couple friends about the new bed- I hope to have lots of sex in it, impregnate my baby momma (or multiple), and if I'm really lucky I'll even die in it. So it's a major achievement for me, and one that promises to deliver ongoing dividends.

I was president of an organization when we made a controversial decision without considering all of the stakeholders. It was a major faux pas, and I owned up to the mistake immediately. There was a lot of damage control, but in the end I am convinced we made the right decision at the time. I have second guessed myself numerous times, but come to the same conclusion. There was no easy answer or decision we could have made.

Getting laid off from my job earlier this year made me realize how much i hated that job. i was always in pain and now i am not. i was only doing it for the money, but money is not worth that amount of grief.

A very significant event that I experienced this year was an argument with my father in which I was unable to continue my post secondary studies. There are moments like yesterday when I resented this because I know that all of my friends are going to be starting a new and exciting chapter in their lives but I wouldn't be able to have the same experience until next year. There are also times when I think that this was the right thing that had to happen because it will allow me to get a job and work for almost a year and save up some much needed money. So I guess I should be thankful even though it doesnt feel that great to be sitting at home right now when everyone I know it in school.

My daughter started kindergarten and my son 1st grade this year. It hit me that they were just babies the other day and in the blink of an eye they will be moving on to college and beyond. I am really taking a look at how I spend my time and have stopped spending so much of it on work and more with them and my wife. I don't want to one day regret missing out on the greatness of my kids and family.

I applied to one of the best universities in my country and I was accepted! Now, I'm studying what I want in one of the most important institutions here, so I'm quite proud of myself, and also is my family. What else can I ask for?

I moved back to my hometown in the Northwest US after spending four and a half years working, living and going to school in Canada. In a way, it's good to be here again but I'm also starting to feel like I'm back where I started without any meaningful achievements. I don't know where to go from here.

I was courageous enough put an end to a friendship that the girl did not treat me well (she was my best and oldiest friend) . And I cried with people that were tricky with me. I started to fights in court to receive my rights and I discuss e confront myself with people. Not much, but better than before. I am relieved that I did it.

Overcommitting my time over the summer and past year - pulling myself in a thousand directions. After a year of this, I took time off for a vacation and left the stress at home. I feel like a new person - and I have completely re-evaluated what is important in my life. Stress is definitely off the list. My fiance, my family, my sense of peace - all on the list. School and work are important, but I've realized I can't do them justice if I'm stressed out all the time.

A significant experience that has occurred this year was my wedding - specifically, some of the days leading up to finalizing details. As usual, my now husband's father's side of the family just created unnecessary tension that could have been dealt this a lot better. His father just couldn't have been any less helpful and it just made me want to spend as little time with them on the big day - which is exactly what occurred. I felt resentful, annoyed, frustrated - these folks have done very little to welcome me properly into the family and then have the nerve to expect me to let bygones be bygones. It's not how things are generally done, it's not how I do things. It just makes me say to myself that if I should have kids, I will learn to treat their friends and significant others with the courtesies I wasn't afforded by my father-in-law and his family.

Found a new girlfriend after many, many dates. I like her!

Many things have happened during my last year for which I am grateful and Inspired. Too much to put into words...

A year ago, I moved from the midwest to Los Angeles for love and a career change. I quit my steady 8-5 job, moved across the country, and moved in with my girlfriend. We've also been trying to build a business together. This move has affected every aspect of my life! I'm overewhelmingly grateful for and inspired by the change -- I feel like a stronger, more independent person as a result. My body has changed, too. I've lost almost a third of my initial body weight (I was morbidly obese), gained a lot of muscle, and feel much more confident in my skin. It's not all sunshine and roses, though -- I do struggle with homesickness. I spent my entire life in one state, never more than 2 hours away from my immediate family, so it's hard to be SO far away from the people and places that are dear to my heart. I still feel like I'm in the right place but--it's hard. Every day I miss my friends and family back in the midwest. I love my partner dearly but I feel a little resentful that she is in such close contact with her family and I can't have that anymore. We're starting a business so we can't really afford the plane fare and we can't take a lot of time off. I love creating this business with her but I also feel a little resentful that she's got the final say in everything -- she's the lead in our business, she controls my access to money, she decides if I can travel or not... I am trying to create my own niche so I feel like I'm not so powerless.

Living with the threat of losing my job for nearly 10 months - 10 months of maybe we'll keep you? maybe we won't? Maybe we'll just get rid of everyone you work with? - made me re-evaluate my relationship to work and consider options I never would have thought of. I used to have pretty clear (naive) ideas about what sort of work was valuable, and what wasn't; and what I wanted to do, and what I couldn't make myself do. This past year, I've seen first-hand the damage that can be done by people in power. Instead of swearing that I would never be one of them, like I would have before, I'm now getting myself into a position where I can be the one with that sort of influence. So I've let go of a lot of old dreams this past year, and am taking tentative steps towards some new ones. And I'm doing it on my own timetable, not theirs.

I discovered yoga, and ayurvedic ways. I feel much better and wondered how I survived before without them.

I got into Lancaster University with AAB grades. We were gonna go to Keele, remember?! Thank God that didn't happen... right? I mean it's not shit their is it?

I traveled outside the United States for the first time. It was an exhilarating, exciting, and mind-opening experience. I traveled alone for nearly a week, and learned that I am able and ready to live in another country. I am eager to learn a new language and a new culture, and to take on a new lifestyle. I am grateful for the opportunity, and inspired to take steps in making the move abroad.

After having had the worst year of my life without work and other crises going on, I began life all over mentally and emotionally, and woke up to the real me beginning to be exposed and "worked"... and then, in walked the best thing that could ever happen to me. It has changed my life.

My 30th wedding anniversary. I am grateful and looking forward to the next 30 years!

God, I'm so pessimistic if the only significant things I can think of are the worst moments of my life. I had to transfer colleges because of money issues. There was nothing wrong with the new college, but the fact that I had spent 2 years at a school that I loved and missed and that I had a hard time making friends at this new school made me miserable. I became dead to the world. I never left my room if I didn't have to, slept the days away, and cried my heart out. I look at my journal entries from this time and realize that my thoughts were dark. Almost suicidal-dark, but not quite. (I don't think I'd have enough courage to end it.) I ended up going to another school that I could drive to from home. I'm better now, but I didn't realize how closed-in I was until I got away from the situation, and while I've never been that social a creature, if I'm ever in that situation again, I'll try my hardest to find people who care enough to get me out of my slump if it comes to it.

I moved out of my parents' house na donto my own. It definitely is not how I pictured it at all. My roommate is a slob who can never do what she says she's going to do. I feel like she judges me and can't understand that we are two very different personalities. However I've learned a lot about myself from this experience with the roommate from...well you know.

A significt experience this year has been my struggle with self-mutilation and my family finding out. Am I grateful that I got the help I needed because of a friend, but I am also resentful because I still think I could have handled it on my own. I'm also sad because it was my drug, and I was addicted, and now I don't know what to do...

The most significant experience that has happened to me within the last year would have been when I first came out to my friend. My decision to finally come out as affected me greatly because I no longer had to hide that side of myself: I no longer had to steal those glances at the "hot guy" working at Starbucks or working out at the gym, and I was able to actually able to become the person that I am today. After that night I have come out to my other friends, and eventually my family, meaning that everyone knows now, and I'm grateful and relieved. My family and friends were both supportive of who I am, and no one judges me based on that...I'm relieved because I no longer have to carry this burden of someone finding out and outing me somewhere I don't want to be outed. After coming out, I was inspired slightly, I have become more of an activist for gay rights, though I'm not that big of an activist, I strongly support everything that the community does, but I'm not strong enough myself to go out to a protest, but I am a full supporter of the cause.

I shouted at my son and verbally attacked him and within a minute or two I managed to take ownership of my feelings and admit to him and myself that my outburst had been fuelled more by my own fear than by anything he had done. It was a healing experience for us both - as I backed down and apologised he took down his walls and we could meet and share as men

after 45+ years of managing my financial life successfully and intelligently, I was forced to file bankruptcy - I had to weigh the options carefully and decided that first, at my age my credit score didn't really matter anymore, second, in this economy and being out of work for more than 3 years, I would NEVER catch up and third, the financial institutions that I spent years developing trusted relationships with, were no longer interested in retaining loyal customers/consumers - they were only interested in "getting theirs" from me and the stimulus, not passing it through to Main Street. Filing bankruptcy made me feel resentment, shame and a good measure of relief.

My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. My second son got married 4 weeks later. Both these events filled me with wonder and gratitude..and a feeling of humbleness in the face of so much blessing.

In the past year I've met someone that I care for deeply. It all started in a thread on an online forum and then spread to MSN messenger. Day by day our relationship would further evolve and grow deeper by every level up to the point that we're at now. Words cannot describe how much this has impacted my life. My friend's cat had kittens and she gave one of them to me. I was surprised my mom told me I could have one. Usually she would've just said we have enough animals. The cat is light and dark gray and has randomly placed black stripes. His name is Smokey. I've delved further into studying religion and philosophy, astrology and politics. These are some of the things I've been interested in for awhile now, just not as profoundly.

This past year I had to stand up for my beliefs even when it seemed like everyone I lived with was attacking me for having them. It changed my perception of myself and of them, but I'm relieved because it proves to me that I'm not going to back down on my beliefs because of any amount of peer pressure.

I rededicated my life to Christ because of church. Several factors contributed to this. The fact the one of my friends had passed away. Also, I achieved instructor rank at a Christian martial arts school. And just all around good preaching. Every day I've felt more relaxed and less tired. I'm happier and have less worries because being a Christian means being kind to other people. This means that don't really have any stressful relationships or social issues I have to deal with, which at 14 means there's a lot off my back.

This August (2010) I started an internship at an Elementary school. I'm working in second grade and it wasn't exactly what I expected. I wanted fourth-sixth grade. Luckily, I have come to love it. I love my kids and I love working with them. Is it still hard? Yes. Do I still struggle? Yes. But that isn't what it's about, it's about the kids and it's about me doing the best job I can possibly do.

The death of my grandmother had a very significant impact on my life. It taught me that life is short and dont take it for granted. I am sad she is gone but she wanted to go since all her friends have passed but releived she is somewhere better

in the past year I have lost my Grandmother who was very important to me. I also watched my niece be born 3 weeks later.

Well, I guess one of the most surprising things to happen in the last year is that I fell in love. Or at least I think I did. I mean, I thought I did. Another thing that happened in the last year is that I lost my love. Or gave up on my love, left my love. Still very recent so I have many mixed emotions. "Falling in love" is amazing. I say surprising because I don't generally tend to have boyfriends for some reason, though I think I always want one. I have a hard time with intimacy I suppose and am mostly just fine by myself. But I just went ahead and got involved with Ryan because he was there and wanted to be involved with me. That was the first reason. But then I learned that I found him agreeable, that he could be so sweet and loving, that maybe I had "missed the point" of "love" so many times before. I felt more tethered to the earth then I had in a long time. I felt more like I have a place in this world. And yes, simply I am grateful. I am grateful. It was an experience and I have to just accept it for that. But it ended up being painful. It ended up being not what I thought, which is how I guess stuff goes sometimes. I guess ultimately I am relieved that it is over though because it would have been a lifetime of difficulty. Ryan abuses alcohol, and has anger and jealousy issues. He claims to only be angry and jealous because I am "difficult." A vicious cycle. I have not wanted to let him go precisely because he has really been the first person that I was able to be that close with. The first person that I shared all the parts of my life with because for the longest time I would keep lovers separate from the rest of my life. And I was proud to have not done that this time. I guess I am still proud. I love him but I guess I just love me more. I know that is cliche but it's true. Whoever said sometimes love isn't enough was right. I just hope that I can remain open to the possibility of love.

I fell completely and utterly in love with my boyfriend, Richard. I was shocked at first, to fall in love so quickly after my first real heartbreak and at such a young age. I am of course grateful for such an amazing person in my life and not as cynical about the world and human beings in general as I was before. I think it's made me a better, happier person.

We had an exchange student at our house for 10 months last year, and it was an amazing experience! I don't have siblings my age, so having her here taught me many things, like how to share attention and my social skills really improved. I'm so glad my parents welcomed her into our home.

My wife and I became pregnant with out first child. It is something that is still affecting me, in a wonderful and positive way. Though the boy is not yet born, he teaches me something new everyday.

I defended myself against a teacher because she was being unfair to me. While that got me a bad grade, it gave me more self esteem and in the end, that's worth way more.

So many answers to this. My first non-freelancing day job, where I learned the limits of my own patience, responsibility, and attention span. My new close friend, who taught me about communication, friendship, men and women, and many other things. My graduation, when I learned how to write a thesis and was humbled by unexpected honours. My close friend's wedding -- a reminder that we are all inevitably growing up. My own fifth wedding anniversary, which filled me with gratitude for the wonderful husband I have and our love for each other. Our first apartment that we own together and decorated from scratch -- sharing this experience was very important, if sometimes trying. Our two new cats, who show us how much love we have inside...

My wife was in a car accident this week. Although she was not hurt, I was shocked and scared when I first learned about the wreck. I nearly broke down in tears when I arrived at the accident scene and saw my wife being strapped to a stretcher. Thankfully, it turned out that she was ok and was released from the hospital quickly This event definitely made me consider how fragile life is. My wife is the most important thing in the world to me. I don't know what I would do if I lost her.

My grandmother died of cancer this year. I was her primary caregiver through much of her illness. It taught me to better appreciate life, and all the little things, good and bad, that go along with it.

My mom got pregnant with second child. I am like don't care and in the same time jealous of this child cause he/she will have a mother and father, which i never had since my dad died when i was 2 and mom left me when i was 4 to my grandparents....

Moving into my own apartment. I had never lived alone, so it was definitely a new experience, but I love the freedom and the solitude. I love that the messes I clean up are MY messes and that everything in the apartment was put there by me. I am thankful for the roommates I have had over the past six years, but I love my new life.

I met a woman named Miranda while playing Team Fortress 2. She has inspired, catalysed and stimulated me into thinking harder and deeper about life and the world around me.

I started working from home and also babysitting my new grandson. It's been hard but I wouldnt have traded this time with him for anything. Sometimes I wish I was able to work a day or two a week on site, but the sacrifice has been worth it to me. He was 2 months old when I started and he's almost a year old now. It's been an amazing experience.

I got a mohawk and went to nationals. It made me happy to finally compete and I'm very grateful. Hopefully I can go back next year.

Nothing is coming to mind, and that's what troubles me about the past 12 months. I've spent so much time trying to claw my way out of debt, I think I've forgotten to live my life and be a real person. I have great plans for the future, but I'm worried I may never get there. I think I may devote some time and money to my own happiness, even if that slows me down temporarily.

After years of insanity: taking antidepressants, my mother dying and having to move back home, this year I finally started to feel like me again. With all the craziness and taking care of everyone else, I lost myself and really didn't think I would come out of it. Although, I am not the same person I was before, I feel like this is my second chance at life. Everything feels new again. It's almost like I get to reinvent myself. Everyday I marvel at what its like to feel again...happiness, anger, lust :) Although it really did suck, Im grateful for being able to experience the difference between such great sadness and melancholy and this happiness. It makes me look forward to the rest of my life and I'm making big plans!

Thoracic surgery. Just coming the realization that i was in need of major surgery which would require me to stay in the hospital for more than a week following the surgery was stressful. I am very grateful i decided to go to the doctor's to check out a thought to be shoulder injury then only finding out after an x-ray that something more serious was going on with my body. Receiving the news from my physican several days later that there was no cancer was great relief and a moment of gratefulness as well. From this experience , I am inspired to continue to enjoy each day i have and along my journey to be one that gives, shares or enlightens others.

I started the studies I was dreaming of my whole life. I was always afraid to take up something completely new and feeling like in a 1st grade again but I feel it very rewarding, though sometimes challenging and hard as hell. I learned to be at least a little bit more patient and do not ask from life everything in a second, not to look at others when you need to decide about your own life.

In the past year I have moved to Austin. I love it here, and am so glad I made the decision I did. It is a bit stressful financially, but I'm working hard and hoping it'll work out for the best.

Was asked to not hurt myself anymore, and for the first time I realised that people do care, I started to see the postitive side fo things and it has took me to great places, I'm not scared to be me anymore and I am so grateful that someone showed me that they care.

I had a baby. I am changed, re-prioritized and so extremely thankful. I love this new little person more than I have ever loved anything or anyone. I worry about her more than I knew I could worry. I'm not even exactly sure who I am anymore, because somehow she is a new part of me that I am getting to know more every minute.

I got given an opportunity to try my hand at a career that I'd only ever thought about in passing. After getting the chance to review my first film officially, I started a blog which lead to a job search in film journalism. I got my own website and multiple chances to review things - and to have my work appreciated. I never really thought I had a career after my interest in Fashion died out, but this year has seen me start to believe that there is a job out there I can actually do. Being ill for so long has shattered my self-confidence as well, so to feel a bit more powerful - more in control of my destiny - has really made a change in me. I doubt I would be like this if I was still with Tom, and I'm actually incredibly grateful to be free of that routine - and to feel more like myself again. I applied for my ideal job which I should hear back from soon - and even if I don't get it, the fact I applied in the first place is a BIG thing to me. I can't wait to see what happens to me and where I go from here.

My sons-in-law had a falling out over who was a better father. I am mediating this issue and hope tohave3it resolved before Yom Kippur.

Disability claim was approved. After not woking for over three years, this was very much a major weight taken off my shoulders.

I transferred to a different college. I felt like I was at the height of it all at my old school, had great friends, an exciting future there. But I didn't feel it was righ, somehow. So I chose to endure another year of getting to know new people, putting myself out there, learning the lay of the land, coming into myself all over again. Those are all things I'm terrible at. I have anxiety attacks every day, am constantly re-evaluating whether I'm satisfied with my life, trying to stay true to myself but also making friends.

Well Rob my boyfriend of years left to go to the navy at 28. We had just gotten back together after spending a couple of months apart. Well things were going well and it happened again. He stopped contacting me. And christmas was coming and I was being very hopeful that he would come see me, but since he made no effort to say anything to me after a month ; i was coming closer to break down. I TOOK control again and left him a voicemail "i am worthy of more, I don't want to be with you anymore". I felt so empowered but now realize how I ran like a coward and did not wait and see what was going to happen. Did not see what would happen... The reason was I was expecting the worst from the whole situation and did not want to be vulnerable during christmas or feel abandoned so I took myself out of waiting and made a decision. Yet what I learned was that it was not a mistake but it was a mistake. It was something I HAD to do for me. Yet it hurt someone else but it hurt me just as much. That it lead me to empower myself being I CHOOSE to be alone rather than accept being alone.... and as I type I realize thats something I also need to accept is when I am alone ACCEPT it. I have so many feeling about it but overall positive feelings that I did for ME. I choose for ME. I put myself first.

February imploded on me. The entire month was tragedy after another for my material possessions- condo flooded, car got wrecked, computer died.... all within two weeks. I kept thinking how grateful I was that nothing was permanent. I'll get a new car, redo the floor, back-up my stuff. I know how lucky I was that no one I loved was injured or hurt. At the same time, I was really unhappy, and it was hard to deal with. That was a bad month. I think it took me almost two months to recover, and then my long awaited plans to travel to Ireland were canceled by a volcano, that was just too much. I had to laugh at the whole thing. I was forced to take a step back and and just laugh at the absurdity of certainty. I think I've been more relaxed about plans and coming and goings since it happened.

It would be a lie if i said 2010 has been an average year, as to be honest it has been amazing. 2009 wasn't the best year I've had. It ended with me feeling depressed and doubted that the next few years would be any better, then it can to the last week of October and my best mate said to me that a girl he met at his sixth form was going to add me on Facebook and i should talk to her. He described her as being the Perfect Girl for me and going from past experiences i was reluctant to even give it a try. Turns out he was right. She has all the same interest's (geeky i might add) and she was possibly the most interesting girl ive ever spoken to. Things never got boring. I Spoke to her everyday and couldn't wait to get home to speak to her. I knew what all this meant and after inviting her to a party i decided to tell her how i felt. I was well i was overjoyed that she felt the same. But it was nearly a month later when i managed to pluck up the courage to actually ask her out, and from this day i don't regret it. She's changed my life in ways i cannot describe. She is perfect.. She accepts me for who i am. She doesn't try to change me. She's beautiful, kind, loving, selfless. I've found myself having more fun and being happier than i have all my life, and if i had the choice of choosing one of the words from the question then id say im inspired. For one person to have such an effect on me as she has.. I think Thats amazing, and for her to trust me after some of her bad experiences i think even more amazing.

my Marriage, it has been the most important and significant experience, because I feel grateful to meet someone like my wife that gives me plenty opportunities to know her and to enjoy with her the life. Really this experience changes my life day after day changes my life for good.

I decided not to finish my DPhil thesis on James Joyce at Oxford University. I felt regret and pain, but also relief. I was lucky to get a job at a web design and development company soon after - the first and only job I applied for. I've been much happier and more fulfilled since, although at times the pressure of work tips into stress. I have a busy life and don't find the time to keep on top of all my personal admin, as I was able to do during my graduate studies.

The birth of my third child. His arrival affected me in a way that totally surprised and amazed me. I thought I knew what to expect, that it was going to be difficult and at times depressing, but I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and joy that I didn't experience the first two times. It clarified for me that I was right in my belief that I had mild post natal depression with my first two children, and that this, *this*, was how it was supposed to be in the early months. He's now 8 months old, and with his big sister and brother, we have the happiest, most complete, most loving household. To say I feel completely blessed is an understatement.

Traveled to Nepal with my mom. I fell in love with the country, and the experience of such intense physicality as we hiked for ten days gave me insight into how tough, determined and strong my body could be. That said, I was disappointed that all of the old resentments and bad feelings between my mom and I emerged - stronger than ever. I think I was hoping it would be a transformative experience in our relationship. I do hope that this trip will be something that we can both share for years to come. But it was not easy, and the experience did not endear her to me more. I did not feel any older, wiser or more peaceful in our relationship.

My parents got divorced after 48 years of marriage. I wasn't surprised - they've had an unhappy marriage. But, it was still hard hear my parents speak badly of one another. But, it made me appreciate my husband and our relationship that much more. I am truly blessed to be married to my best friend!

On January 19, I found out both that I was pregnant and that my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was awed and overwhelmed. I had no idea how I would proceed. However, I could feel from the largeness of the experience that God was at work in my life -- all I had to do was let go and be led. With this new attitude, I was able to show up for my mother and help her through that hard time, which brought us so much closer. Meanwhile, I also learned to take better care of myself, in order to have a healthy pregnancy. Now, my mother is better! And I'm due to give birth to a little girl in just a couple of weeks. I have a beautiful partner whom I love. Never before have I felt so grateful and happy for my life. I've learned how to care better for others. And my faith has deepened, knowing that I don't have to have all the answers. I just get to stay open and be led by the God of my understanding.

I was fired from my job - I hated that job and should have tried to do better since I needed that job. Being fired was bittersweet, I wanted to get away but desperately needed the money. In this economy I was frightened, how would I find a new job before my severance (vacation pay) ran out? It took 8 weeks - 2 weeks before severance ran out - but I did find another job - a good job too. But finding a good job still doesn't remove the bad feelings I have about being fired...I wanted to leave on my own accord, not on some assholes decision that he didn't care for my work at that one moment in time.

Just last week, we moved from the house I inherited from my parents to another house in the same town. This is the first house I've ever lived in that my mother and stepfather will never enter, and one my ex-husband will never enter. Right now I'm just exhausted. It's making me aware of how much physical responsibility I bear in this marriage. My husband has limited mobility due to a severe knee injury, and he simply can't do a lot of the things that need to be done. I feel resentful of him, to be honest, and angry at myself for feeling that way--I know he would do more if he could. I love the house, and I love him, but I'm feeling the strain financially, emotionally and physically right now. I really, really hope that in a year this will be only a memory.

One of my best friends from high school died from Alcohol related organ failure. His passing made me appreciate old friends and the life I've built, however small. I am grateful for his life and friendship but more importantly for my family and friends who are still here. I am not so much inspired as I am relieved for him, the pain that seemingly caused him to drink so excessively has now passed and while we were waiting for him to return from his addiction, hew is now waiting for us.

That must be my trip to India. It was mind and life changing. To see the way people live there compared to the way we live here was hard en confronting to see. I made my appreciate live here. When I came home I started baking cookies, cakes and brownies, just because I was able to make them. The fact that so many people didn't even have a home to make them made me realise I had to take the opportunity and use my own house more, and appreciate it more. I never felt like donating money to change their way of life. Weirdly to say, but they almost seem happy to live their lives on the street. Though they probably don't know better. They have been living their lives like this for so long, a change to a more Western culture would not help them appreciate life more. Overall India has changed my life on more subjects. I enjoyed the scenery and the beautiful mountains. It was a tough journey with positive and negative sides to it. But it was all worth is.

I finally moved in with my boyfriend, it felt like ages after having talked about it in theory, discussing it, gradually spending more and more time together until we were itching to just be together all the time. It affected me in a good way, it's made me realise that I am happy with him, it's made me closer to my family and his as they have helped lots with the house. It does make me scared though, not in a bad way, but scared because I don't ever want things to go wrong. I don't think they will but it's the stupid part of my brain that worries about things when my life is going well.

I graduated with two masters degrees after three years of work. It still feels a bit unreal, after plugging away at it for so long, I am grateful to the help I have received along the way from my friends, family, and school, as well as relieved that it is finally done. Faced with a mountain of student loan debt and no job, I am also deeply apprehensive about how much it was actually worth.

My Veterinary council Exam, that was the great experience in the past year. Actually I wanted to give it a try but I passed my exam in first attempt. I felt so happy and relieved. I should thank my friend , it was his suggestion to do the exam in short period of preparation otherwise i would have wasted one yr studying for the exam.

I lost my job due to budget cuts at the university I worked at for almost 21 years. At first I felt extremely angry. But the experience of being at home has been wonderful. I'm happier here than anywhere on Earth. The stressful part is the financial burden on my family and the job hunting. Since I've been home I've been able to work on art and had my first feature show at a gallery in May with 17 pieces. I was very proud of myself for that accomplishment. But also very disappointed that more friends didn't come to the opening reception or while the show was up.

My first love and close friend of 13 years died in a car accident about 3 months. It affected me greatly. I pretty much lost the will to live. I am now just the empty shell of my former self. I keep moving but I'm really just waiting for my end.

I decided to go back to college at 35. I'd felt sort of defeated, like my ship had sailed, and my life just wasn't adding up to what I dreamed it would. Then, through a series of what seemed like misfortunes (lower income, nearly losing my home to forclosure) I decided to send in an application to college, sort of to see what would happen if I did. Because of my job loss, I was eligible for tons of financial aid and scholarships, enough to allow me to return to school full time. Now I'm doing things I never thought I could do, including passing Chemistry and Calculus.

This past year I have finally learned to let go. It was a long road but God put awesome people in my life to keep encouraging me! I am extremely grateful because my past situation was harmful and i couldnt stand it anymore, and though i would never regret all that pain i went through, im glad that this year i could finally let go and walk into the future

Met a girl who turned my life around and not in a good way. It made me miserable and sucked the life out of me, in short. I don't want to dwell on her though. Met a girl who changed my life in the best way possible. We've gotten so close, it's like we're sisters. Met a guy who matters a lot to me. What will become of us, I wonder? Found a website that's touched my world in a way unlike any other. Nearly failed chemistry. It almost killed me. Literally. My grandmother died. All of my friends dismissed it as "silly." Well, just one. It was a repeat of my grandad's death all over again. Had the best English teacher ever- at least to this point in time. Became an aunt.

This past summer I began to feel in a rut. It was the first time in my life where I felt this confused. I felt stuck, uninspired, helpless, unsure where to go next, and confused on why I was unhappy. I had everything - a job with the freedom to make my own hours and travel, good friends, a great apartment, nice neighbors, living in a great city, and I had just landed two great new room mates to fill our empty room. After hitting what I considered to be my lowest point - I decided to go home and visit Chicago. That's when I realized I needed to seek therapy. I spent four months trying to figure out all of the problems in my life that I wanted to work through. As I began to uncover the dark sides of myself that were bringing me down - I found it easier to let the dark side go. It is one thing to know you have a dark side, it is another to face it head on, and when you acknowledge it do everything in your power to let it go, so that it doesn't deter you from following your dreams. Easier said then done. With a better understanding of my dark side, and some helpful suggestions from my therapist, I have finally decided that it is time for me to move. In fact - last night I was crying tears of joy right before yoga class because I felt a liberation that I hadn't felt in months. The thought of my soul calling me to San Francisco was giving me an energy that I had needed all summer - but was struggling to find within. Although this dark time in my life was a very difficult period - I am grateful for it. I am relieved that I am ready to see the silver lining, and inspired to begin my new life in San Francisco. I feel like I know myself a lot more than I did four months ago. Getting through this dark period has helped me understand myself more than ever. I am now ready to begin a new chapter, and am okay with the uncertainty ahead. I know I can trust my dreams because they stayed with me through the dark period and now I am ready to accomplish them. I can not wait to take the next step forward in my life!

Right at the end of the year, I split up with my girlfriend for the last two years and nine months. I don't feel I've properly grieved for the relationship yet - but I expect to in the coming weeks and months. I also feel freer now to work on myself as I feel I need and put more of my energy into my friends, career and well-being.

I became a highschool-student - with music as my major. It's already had a positive effect on me, becoming a highschool-student - it seems everyone's become much more mature yet still retain the common silliness, which I see as a good thing.

It's my first year in university, I moved from bangka to yogyakarta to study in gadjah mada university. I got what I want, accepted in major communication. I felt grown up, ready to seek for another new pathway of life. 2009 also the last time I went to my hi school dormitory. It felt like I keep these memory like a treasure. Join english debating society, bulaksumur pos, kine club. Adopt some new surrounding, and share experience. Apply for exchange trough aiesec, but I cancel that due to the cost-benefit factor. It trigger me to seek another chance to go exchange, for free. I hop next year I will.

Breaking my wrist in December of 2009. It was a life changing event that I spoke into existence in September on 09. I wanted out of my job and God showed up in a BIG way. I view it as an answer to prayer but I would never have asked for it to go down the way it did...it cracked open my life and all my insecurities and incorrect thinking. My limiting beliefs have be brought to the surface and I've spent the past 8 months plowing threw them one by one as they appear. I knew the only way to get on with my life was to come from a place of gratitude but it often reflected thing like, today I'm grateful for pain killers. I've moved on from that but still find things challenging. It has slowed my life down, made me take a second and third look at my limiting beliefs. I am grateful and blessed to have this time to reflect upon my life and course correct my thinking so that the second half of my life can be amazing!

I went to Lady Gaga's Monster Ball. Lady Gaga set me free.

Moving to Colorado Springs, CO. While I love and miss Edmonton, or more specifically Canada, moving here was one of the best things that could have happened at that time. It got me out of a town I never would have left, it got me out of a harmful relationship and made me re-evaluate who I want to be. I am so grateful for this move.

I don't nkow has anything significant really happened. If anything I've become too reserved in myself to let anything significant happen to me. It seems the older I get the more I draw into myself, becoming shyer than ever and socially awkward, scared of what might happen so afraid to confront anything and reap any good. I've no sense of direction or sense of who I really am. I find my closest friend half way across the world and without my link the rest of my group of friends who I find I have little or nothing in common with any more. I feel lost more than anything with no idea of what to do next or where to go. I want to regain the brashness I had little under two years ago, the social ability I had, the friends I loved and now fear I have lost forever, the sense of needing to do something important or significant. I just hope I get some sort of a spark and stop being so lifeless and crap.

For 26 years of my life, I lived a planned, thought-out, calculated lifestyle. I lived a life based on a framework of "safe" ...a framework of "responsible" ...a framework that ultimately imposed limitations on the future. This lifestyle and the framework that it was based on were derived from years of following the status quo, adhering to the norms established by middle-class American society. It was also based on my perception of the ideal life, including a loving wife, 2.5 kids, the perfect home, a successful career, and -- at the end of it all -- a relaxing, worry-free retirement. Then, a few tumultuous years of a decade long relationship with my high school sweetheart culminated in our official separation and her pursuit of another man. At that time, I reevaluated everything about what I was doing with my personal life, or that lack of adventure therein. I made a conscious decision to stop cheating myself out of living. In short, I made a decision to embrace everything new, everything that was outside of my normal, often short-sighted, comfort bubble. And, as a result, I have expanded my appetite for travel, increased my enjoyment of food, rediscovered a love for photography, learned the true value of money, met dozens of new, interesting people, achieved more successes in my personal life, reached the highest levels of happiness in my life to-date, and built more character than any of the previous 26 years combined! In the 27th year of my life, I learned how to truly live. For that, I am forever grateful.

Lost my virginity. It was something that I felt didn't need be rushed but on the other hand I didn't feel that it had to be with someone that I deeply cared about. The morning after I felt on top of the world. I felt so relieved that I had done it and was quite proud of how it went.

I took some of the high school students I teach to the coalfields of West Virginia where we met an environmental activist whose long-time family property has become surrounded by mountain-top removal. I had no idea that over 500 mountains in Appalachia have basically been decapitated. I have become convinced that 1) these environmentally devastated moonscapes are happening because the area is so poor - they would not be tolerated in areas of greater prosperity, and 2) I need to consider that every time I turn on a light or leave something plugged in when I don't need it, I am choosing to support this devastation. I am inspired to greater action.

i got sick and stayed a week and a half in the hospital this year, it did not inspire me, it did not make me feel anything other than regret. it allwed me the time to really think about my life and how the one thing that i had talked about last year had just gotten worse rather than better. and how i wish i had ability to change it.

I took a much-need vacation - who knew that one of the secrets to feeling more appreciative of the blessings in my life would be to take the time away from the everyday for myself.

I can't say I can really narrow that down. 2010 gave me two of the most joyful events of my life. First came May 1, when I wed my wife, my Blackbird, Jenn. The way she looked in her wedding dress, walking down the aisle. She's was, and will forever will be, the most beautiful woman in the world. The next biggest event in my life happened only three weeks ago. My son, Syrus Voltaire, came into this world. He's perfect and though I know every parent says that, I can't help but to believe it. I love our little family.

I failed my photography module in university due to feeling i couldn't do well enough to compare to the rest of my class and had a total melt down over it. I'm not grateful but it's made me realise i have a problem with giving up too easily/needing to be perfect. I can't be perfect.

For over 30 years, this person was one of 11 individuals incarcerated in the 80s in the US for fighting for the independence of Puerto Rico. Being part of the campaign from the beginning to this summer when he was freed, made me take stock of my activism and renewed my faith that change is possible, if we work toward it.

I'd been ill with flu and post-viral fatigue for a while and was due to go for a weekend away, (to a hotel and theme park), with my son and 2 friends to celebrate my 40th birthday and my son's 13th. It had been planned for ages and I was gutted to think that I was not going to be able to take part, (especially after a few years of coming to terms with the breakdown of my marriage). I had been looking forward to it for 8 months and so I decided to go - even if it was just to relax whilst the others had fun. I didn't do much the first morning, but decided to go for it and try to do as much as I could for the rest of the weekend. I was very lucky - I think it was just the thing I needed and having some fun in the fresh air, with my son and my friends and a chance to chill out - made me feel so much better. It is something I am very grateful for!

Well..a significant experience? I'd love to say I have one that changed and I'm so happy it happened but in reality, it was really disappointing for me. I lost my best friend for a number of different reasons. One being that I didn't smoke or drink or party on the weekends the way she wanted to- if I had been given the chance, I may have, but- she was more of a follower and I wasn't going to lead her down that path. It's hard for me now, because I want to still be her friend, but I don't want to fit under her label, and be "one of them." I'm still changing and we may end up bestfriends again, but I'll never forget the betrayl I felt from her just leaving me to figure life out for myself. I've learned to be a stormier person, to not let anyone push me around, and to be myself. Because I don't want to be someone I'm not, and I definitely don't want to try to please someone while sacrificing my morals. I wish to find myself, and my voice agian.

I went to America for the 1st time and went to Florida. It did affect me - I learned that Americans are really different from the English

I moved from Canada to New Zealand to be with my fiance. It was a major move and I've found it really hard to settle in. It's been almost a year and I still miss Canada every day. I am a little resentful but I know this is not forever and we'll move to Melbourne next year to be with my family.

I had my first huge fight with my best friend. It was a very frustrating experience and made me view our friendship in a whole new light.

I gave birth to my first child this year. How could I describe how this has affected me? I am now a mother. I could not be more grateful for the sweetest gift.

I became comfortable in my own skin and have learned to show my personality. In turn I ate better and lost most of the extra weight! Now I am very happy, comfortable, and confidant!

Two months ago I ran my first fifty-mile trail race. It was amazing. I came to work the following Monday feeling invincible, almost daring anyone to just *try* to mess with me. It's had more of an impact on me than I'd expected. I feel strong, powerful, capable... a lot of things I have trouble with sometimes. Since the race I'm also feeling more willing to take on other challenges. Physical challenges, certainly (I'm going to run a 100-mile race now!) but also other challenges at work that I think I'd have hesitated to take on before.

With my husband being laid off this past year, things have been rough. We've had to cut back even more than we already had. It's really made me realize what's important in life and that some things you just can't change. It's better to deal with it and try to live your life than to stew over something and let it overshadow you. Not that I haven't cried this year....alot...but once the crying is done, it's time to move forward.

I wouldn't say it's an experience, but I'm currently falling for a married man. It's affecting me in both positive and negative ways. In one respect, I'm gaining more self confidence, and I'm learning to see myself as beautiful. In another, I know I can never have him and I will always be yearning for a love that can't be returned. I am both grateful and ungrateful, because while I am experiencing love for the first real time, I am digging myself into a hole that I'm not sure I will be able to climb out of. No, I am not relieved. No, I am not resentful, and I don't know if I am inspired yet.

I got accepted in to nursing school b/c i think i finally found what i want to do in life. it gave me focus and helps to keep my mind off of trivial things.

The past year was nutty with the Wardenship. Finally getting a new rector in place was such a relief but I have some regrets. I feel that I might have pushed the process a bit. I'm fearful that my pushing forced not a terrific choice. Not that pushing is necessarily bad but I wasn't comfortable with the final selection and wasn't willing to say "no" because I had pushed. I learned how to hold my vision and drive that vision to completion.

I turned 65 this year. My dad died at 65. I have now lived longer than my father. It reminded me how precious each day is and how special it is that I can see my children and grandchildren. My dad did not get to see any of his grandchildren, and now that I have my own, I know what he missed. Remembering him, I know how much he would have loved being a grandfather. It makes me sad to think about this, but personally grateful at the same time.

I started of the New Year well... Interesting. Most people know why but I guess yeah I am relieved it happened. I feel I am a much happier, confident person and it has inspired me to hurry up and get on with what is yet to be done and even though I said I was happy I will never be truly happy till I have completed this thing which will be another significant experience in my life.

My Father in Law died three weeks ago after suffering colon cancer for 14 months; he did tell anyone until six weeks before he died that he was so ill, He wanted to carry on life just as if it was just another year; I felt resentment & anger at lost opportunities things we could have done or said; He told me we didn’t need to do anything special just being loved & family doing everyday things are the best – what wisdom what counts is sharing with Family Love & Life

"Problems won't disappear." They lurk around the corner of a street, a smile, a smirk, a grimace. The debt of an apology is the weight left around my shoulders. You would think that I'm a lunatic, having the concept of learning to run with such a burden in my mind? Well if I don't learn how to run, how am I going to get to you, to give you the long awaited "I'm sorry" of mine? I will get to you. Rely on your faith in me.

I transfered colleges, switched my major and am currently reconsidering every choice that brought me here.

I started working at Apple this past year doing tech support. It made me realize how "great opportunities" may be great opportunities, but why does it matter if you aren't happy? I gained so many important skills, and stuck with it because I was working for a good, reputable company. But ultimately, realizing that I wasn't happy in the long run was what made me quit. I hope to never stay with something that doesn't make me happy.

My only child was involved in a very bad car accident that caused significant head and facial trauma. It affected me by making me realize (yet again) how fragile life is and how easy it can be taken away.

Just happened: I've been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Had surgery a week ago, and while my head is still a bit fuzzy, and I know I'll need to undergo both chemo and radiation, I'm confident there is a light at the end of the tunnel that I will end this healthy and living many, many more years. I am grateful for the fact that I go with the flow, don't "future trip". I am also grateful for all of my friends and family who have contacted me to let me know they're there for me. I am inspired to learn more about myself during this process...as that is what I'm looking at it as being...a process. I am confident that I will be fine, and will do whatever is necessary to get me there.

I choose to go to college close to home. It affected my G.P.A, my attitude and me as a person. Still I'm grateful for all the people I've met, all the friends I've made and the experiences I've gone through.

I finally moved out from the small town I'd been living in for the last decade and moved sown to the big city, something I had fought against for years and years. i still miss my small town, the job i had and the people around me, but economically, the big city has made life so much easier on me. I cannot help but wonder though, would it have been better if I had stayed behind?

I didn't get the conductorship I auditioned, nor was I elected president of a society I work very hard for. It made me extremely upset and forced me into really looking at my life at university and how I need to focus on my creative skills and my degree. From the rejection I realised that I didn't fit in with the people I was around. They are nice but they don't understand me and make me feel like a funny novelty human. I am grateful that the rejection has helped me focus on who I should be rather than what feels good now but stops me from being who I am supposed to be. I don't really feel that relieved. I feel scared because the life I'm about to lead might be lonely and unsuccessful but I must breakaway from last year's situation if I am going to achieve anything worth while. I still feel a bit of resentment for being rejected because it means that people don't like me the way I thought they did but not everyone is going to like me, besides, they don't matter in the long run. I feel inspired to break away and become who I am meant to be. I just hope that I can carry our my inspiration.

I'm not sure. From now since last September? Not much has actually happened. Last summer was THE summer for unfortunate events. Since then it's been alright. I think I can include when we were robbed on my mom's birthday. That's always something worth mentioning. I'm a senior. I guess that's significant. Oh! I know! I finally read Harry Potter. Hear me out, it's more important than it sounds. Harry Potter is amazing. All the themes and motifs. I love it so much. That series means SO much to me. All the stress on courage. I'm big on bravery. I'd like to believe that in the face of danger I'd be brave. It's something to aim to be. I don't know. Can't wait to read this in a year. I'll be at college then. Hey, sorry if you read this and think you were a complete dumbass. In reference to how I am in the future, it could be true. Happy readings! PS- Listen to Two Way Monologue if you haven't!

I've had a chance to become closer to my son N. and my daughter W. and to develop friends at work of many different religious beliefs. All in all it has been an incredible experience - both at work as well as being able to thoroughly enjoy my son and my dd and their joys as well as their not-joys. I feel grateful - and in many ways inspired to keep a positive attitude and to remain open and caring towards others.

Just this year, a boy named Jeff died from lukeimia in my school. He was only 17 when diagnosed, my age. I can't even imagine what he went through. I am so inspired and it has really made me appreciate my life. It has made me thankful for the health of myself and my family.

Last year, I tried cannabis for the first time. It was perhaps one of the most complicated and memorable experiences of my life. Trying it left me a bit scared, and hungry for more. I guess I have to say that I am ambivalent towards it. An illegal, some might say immoral, hobby could be my burden or my drive. Only time will tell.

I started questioning what I want to do with my life. After 10+ years in the same field, I decided that it's okay to want to do something more fun. I feel excited! And lost. I also ran a half marathon. I felt challenged, and grateful for the challenge. It was good to be doing something beyond what I'd ever done before. I became an aunt. It made me feel sad for the baby, and for my sister, who I think is unhappy, but also made me realise how responsible I feel for her happiness, which I'm not.

I've begun to realize that adults are not always the mature ones and that in many cases, it is the "adolescents" who act older. A friend of mine's father began to hold a grudge against me more than two years ago for keeping one of her empty duffel bags outside my door behind one of our potted plants when my family and I had to rush to pick up my older sister from the airport. He then forbade me from "interacting" with her in any circumstance for a "crime" that I didn't even know offended anyone! Note that this was when I was 14. This meant that if I went with a friend to the movies, she was not allowed to join, or,- and this really happened- three of us were going to sleepover at a mutual friend's house when I was told that her father was going to personally call the mutual friend's mom to see whether or not I was there. So now, he spread news to another family about how I was a "bad influence." If he had brought up the situation to ME after I had left the bag outside, I would have apologized for my lack of consideration in the frenzied time where I was about to see my older sister for the first time in a few months. This has continued to happen for over two years now and my friend has just recently gone to a... sort of professional for some help with family issues. All I will say is that her father has problems in their family too. I've suffered through all this as I am about to become 17, but I've realized that though I wish the friend's dad would be a bit more considerate to my feelings (ie- crying to sleep quite a few times), the experience has led me to become a stronger person and grow even closer to my friend. I also had my first peek into what the big, bad world is like and, hopefully, I will be able to handle similar confrontations, etc. in the future.

I sold some paintings in a silent auction. For the first time, I realized that people who weren't close friends or family would buy my art and I was inspired to keep painting.

I have fallen madly in love with a man in my class. He is gorgeous, with dark hair and eyes so soft and brown that I could lost staring into them. He does not want me. He never said it, but I know. He is way out of my league. And the worst thing is that i have to see him in class- and talk to him, he is my lab partner. At first I really thought that there could be something there. But, then as time passed and I saw that he was just nice to everyone- I realized that he wasn't throwing hints, he is just nice. Well, I pretend to be this very strong person, but really I am not. I am very, very fragile. I see this now, and I am able to acknowledge it. I have been pretending to be strong for so long that I even fooled myself. You see, we never had anything going on- never. So, why should I be so crushed? Why should I feel that my heart has been ripped from my chest and the muscles torn into a thousand pieces with his indifferent smile. A smile that I thought was a "for me" smile, but really it's everybody's smile. I feel terrible. I am resentful towards myself- I feel that I let myself down. I knew that this guy was out of my league, I knew this! Deep down I knew that there must be some odd misinterpretation- but still, I allowed my stupid conjectures to delude me. And here I am- once again rejected, alone, feeling like crap, and with no one to talk about it to. I am one unhappy, sad, woman. And I hide it beautifully.

One very close friend of mine was killed in a car accident. He was a young kid, only 19. This experience has impacted me in so many ways. I'm a new person, I have a stronger faith in the Lord now and I'm very careful of the decisions I made daily. I now can honestly say that I live for the moment and I seize opportunities.

My little family and I went back to my home country for 3 weeks over Christmas. It helped to re-evaluate our short-term and long-term plans, and has made me more confident that we ARE meant to move back there, asap.

I've spent the last year working in a low paid and tedious temporary job which has helped me realise that I don't need a lot of money to live on and the importance of having something meaningful and worthwhile to challenge and inspire you.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of a childhood friend's death, over this year I've also lost my papap, my uncle Carl and my dog. Also I became a member/leader of a teen volunteer group. It's been an emotional year and definitely a life changing one. Losing my papap was the worst experience of my life so far, I'd never lost anyone close to me (other then the childhood friend) and I had a very special relationship with papap. Family is extremely important to me, but I don't think I ever stopped to truly be grateful for my family and I love them even more now.

This year my grandfather died of multiple myeloma. It changed the way I think about life. I now look at it as it's a gift and not hassle. It made me take hold of my life and want to change it for the good. It's unfair that he died and he will be missed but it was a wake up call.

So many significant experiences this past year, but probably most important for this 10Q, was my holocaust reconciliation trip to Berlin, Germany. I stayed with a wonderful family, talked with incredible folks, heard many different voices, all important in terms of the reach of the holocaust. There was more, but the most important thing is that I came home with a happiness that I've never experienced before. It was like a burden was lifted from my heart that I didn't even know was there. I am everlastingly grateful. I know it's important for us to heal ourselves and each other from a victim and perpetrator scenario. And yes, I'm also inspired by that.

Made the HUGE decision to leave my 30 year marriage. Was "retired" from my job. Reconnected with a an old friend with who I am now involved with in a very passionate relationship with as well as an incredibly supportive friendship. Have learned a ton about myself and while at times I am a bit concerned about the future I have never once looked back.Sometimes I feel an exhilarating freedom but often it's "chop wood, carry water."' Have rediscovered the generosity of friends and how to receive. I am truly grateful.

I was laid off from my job as a teacher after 11 years of service at my school district. This was devastating for me. After all the time and energy, and college work I put in, to have it all taken away with little hope of getting my job back, let alone any job as a teacher is next to impossible. I found myself getting more and more depressed as time went on. Getting up each morning was hard. finally i realized that I needed to find strength every day to get up and do what things i do have control over. I get up, get dressed, brush my teeth. It is a daily effort to stay positive, and I work very, very hard at it. I am beyond resentment, or any other negative emotion, for that matter. I need to keep my chin up and live my life. i need to move forward.

I realized that life is to short to live secluded and that you must make mistakes and take chances.

This year, I stopped a cell tower from going into my neighborhood. For now. Much to my surprise, I became a local political activitist, appearing in the newspaper and even on TV. I received praise for fighting the good fight and scorn for being paranoid. Without going into the details, it was, as a local reporter called it, David vs. Goliath. We were the little guys fighting corporate America. And the laws were not on our side. But over the course of a year, with a lot of political ups and down, we actually won - kind of. Our city denied the tower, and we were thrilled. Until the law suit was filed. Now it's still up in the air. How did it affect me? Well, feelings include, in no particular order: 1) Resentment - why am I the leader of this, spending all the time? Doesn't anyone else living around here care? Is everyone ignorant? 2) Stubborness - I will not lose. 3) Pride - I want my kids to see their mom fight for what is worth fighting for. 4) Fear - I did the research and if that tower goes in, I'm truly afraid. 5) Triumph - during the actual denial of the tower, it was a rush like I had never felt. 6) Hopelessness - is our little city really going to spend the money to fight this lawsuit? I doubt it, which means the tower will eventually go in. Ultimately, I know in my heart this last point is true. And that is the most disheartening part of all ... that the guy with the money will ultimately triumph, that our government has passed laws to help large corporations, not protect residents, and that my community's health will suffer. So, in the end, I am disgruntled, sad, scared, bitter. But I wouldn't have done anything differently. Knowing how it will probably end, I still would have fought the tower. You just can't take this stuff lying down.

This past year I've learned that I don't need to impress anyone in high school. Once we graduate, whatever happened socially doesn't matter at all. I learned that I don't need such a big social network, as long as I got my own. It's good to have friends but in the end all you really have is yourself. I've learned that I need to be more independent and not worry all about who I'm friends with or what I wear. It doesn't matter.

I made a new best friend, Justine Evans. Within a month she had me completely figured out, knew my habits and mannorisms better than people I've known since 6th grade. But I lost her to her boyfriend, whom I introduced her to, and I miss her more than I could have ever imagined. But glad she was in my life, for however short a time.

I found Ganoderma and it saved me from going crazy. I was thinking of how to kill myself (I wouldn't) but I was so depressed because I was physically recovered but not emotionally/mentally. I was waking up sad, crying and so alone that it hurt. I still have much self development to do, I talk all the time and unless it's about Ganoderma, I'm just compulsively talking. This coffee/ganoderma made me have something to talk about and it has helped many ppl with their health. I want to make $$ from it but so far I'm struggling with it. If Luq/Yas stopped helping me, Id have to sew all the time. And even tho Im grateful for the work, I don't want to sew anymore. I want to be with ppl. Eid will be lonely this year (9/10/10) but i'm alive and I have work, food, a house, a good car and any problem that I have is because I have more work to do on myself. I still have my Islam in a very Christian town, keeping it a secret because ppl don't know what it is and I dont want to have to defend crazy ppl who blow ppl up and treat women the way they do. It's not Islam. I am having a hard time finding a goal that is truly ME, I want to do so much but after being ostracized for 10 years in my group, I just lost all hope of life and purpose. I want to have a life and I want someone to love me-someone to pray over my body and to think Im special. I want my kids to have success and that May have an easy time when she has the baby. Ali needs to make up with me, I wasn't a good mother but life was very strange living in a cult and he has to forgive me, hopefully, he'll find it in his heart sometime while Im still alive.

I bought a house with my partner of 9 years. The process was horrible but, today I can say, I've never been happier.

A few too many to count. Jared and I broke up this year, which I am grateful for. It took about a week to move on from it completely, but I am so glad it happened when it did. Meeting Tom has made me a better person. Grandma Julie dying has been a strange blessing, showing me who is there for me.

I'm moving to Seattle for grad school and it's really knocked me down a peg. I am so excited to live their but the job hunt has been so long and full of rejection that it's making me feel less valuable and makes me nervous about living.

I left my exboyfriend of two years, who is a filanderer and patently dishonest. The freedom I felt after was so empowering, and I reacted by throwing myself into my career in film, which I have always loved, but had felt insecure/blocked about. I am grateful and relieved, and I feel in control of my happiness, and as a direct result I very fearlessly pursue work and relationships and other interests with a lot of energy, so that I find it quite easy to get what I want from life. It has been a wholly wonderful experience.

I met a very important woman and realized that there is a second chance at love. I feel grateful for so many things in my life; but, meeting Anya has been such an extreme gift.

At fourteen, I found myself romantically involved with a twenty-one year old man this summer. Mutually we fell in a make-shift sort of love with one another, but it ended with the start of September as he found himself unable to accept the age difference. I guess as much as it hurt to have my chest cracked open and laid bare in a creative mess of pain and blood, it was, overall, a growing experience. I learned more about myself due to it than I could have ever fathomed and I'm thankful for it. I know a part of me will always adore him -- always long to be with him -- but I'm trying to accept the world for what it is. Trying to accept us, as what we are. And trying, more than anything, to accept that time and pain are both fundamental parts of our existence.

Last year was a lesson in humility and hard-earned self-esteem. I took what was probably the worst job of my 25 years of working life with psycho toxic bosses. I found it ironic it that, having moved to the US, I was in the land of the free but not allowed to answer my own email and written up for taking too long in the bathroom before being fired a week before Christmas, only a few months into the gig. My boss was previously a stay at home mom with less than 5 years of work experience who got the job by being friends with her boss. When I was gaining too much notice throughout the College for success on projects, she started sabotaging my efforts in petty, publicly humiliating ways. At home, my husband was characteristically endlessly critical, calling me the expletive-laden version of a screw up after I lost the job. It was death by a thousand cuts. I shut down. Then I walked away. I'd known I was overqualified for the job and the boss weird when I took it. I knew my husband was being abusive but held on because I didn't want to fail in my marriage. But it took the events of this past Christmas to realize no job or relationship is ever worth my dignity or self-esteem. I make no idle statement that I would rather eat out of dumpsters than put up with abuse again, in the home or workplace. Somewhere in me will always be a solution - not a perfect one, but one that I can live with as long as I can live with and love myself. I'm proud of myself because normally I would have been mortified to have done anything wrong or have been rejected. But it dawned on me: how's someone else's a-hole behavior my failure? I'm determined that I'll come out of this a stronger, more compassionate and smarter.

Becoming closer to lots of people and creating our crew, I don't know what I'd do without them I love them! I feel happy when I'm with them :)

My brother, the black sheep of the family, died at age 50 after a long battle with alcoholism. I am still going through changing emotions. I have been felt emotionally empty, devastated, depressed, determined, inspired, isolated, contemplative, and full of love. My eyes were opened to truths within my family. Differences were underscored. I have a whole new take on the fragility of human life.

I finished business school. I am relieved because it was a difficult experience. I didn't connect with the people or the material I studied in a personal/emotional way. I am also worried that I spent a lot of money on something that might not have been teh right decision. I also got a job and I am grateful for it.

Well I made friends with someone and that friendship has grown and grown until it became something much more. It has made me very happy.

Model UN and LEAD were both very significant experiences for me. At both, I met new people that opened me up to having conversations face to face with complete strangers and facing my fear of confrontation. I'm actually grateful for the stress fracture in my back that caused me to join these activities. I can't wait for MUN this year.

Realising that, no matter how much we want it to work, my husband and I will probably not grow old together. I wish I were relieved as that would make it much easier to be the one to say "STOP". Instead I feel deeply sad and as though I have failed. Am hoping that I can summon up the energy to keep on trying.

This past year I had my first legitimate boyfriend. It may sound shallow, but I was extremely happy and I felt like I could conquer anything. English paper? No issue. Need to memorize a sax part? That's a breeze. But then it ended and I was left feeling alone and not quite so empowered. I came to realize that happiness is a powerful motivator, but that I can also still do things without depending on someone else. It made me more centralized on what I can do to help others, rather than how others can help me.

I was a leader at a camp for incoming freshmen at my college. I grew in my faith a lot more, got to know tons of freshmen that still think I'm super cool, and made great friendships with my fellow leaders, friendships that I know will last a lifetime :)

Wrongly diagnosed with lung cancer but as I already have emphysema I saw this as a time to focus on what was important - so actually upset when diagnosis proved incorrect. Now I just gasp thru every day while trying to look after my dad with dementia - and not feel resentful as I have no life. But would I be any better off if I was on my own?

My mom died suddenly. I had to help with the funereal and services, because obviously dad wasn't able to do everything himself. It's affected me in too many ways to list, but one thing I do is try to be happy every day I'm here. You never know.

Realizing who my real friends are. I've realized some of my best friends are so competitive, that I constantly find myself having to think of some cool experience I had to tell them about, often made up, so they wouldn't think I was completely lame. Then there were the real friends, the ones I could be myself around, the ones I didn't feel the need to impress. They were all my best friends, but who were the ones I really cared about? It affected me because now I know that I don't have to be two different people around them, that I guess, I'm just me and sometimes there isn't much I can do to make my life more exciting to suit other people. I'm grateful because now I don't spend the nights thinking of experiences to tell my friends, because I'm making my own :)

For the first time in my life, I was forced to leave a job against my will. I am still confused and upset about it more than a year later. I am resentful and sadly nostalgic about the job. I am having a particularly hard time getting past an ugly confrontation with Bob D** (big boss axe man) during the whole transition period. I did validate my observation that it is often the best course of action to say as little as possible when you are being berated by someone who has power over you. I was wise in my limited response to his almighty stupidity, but I still feel hatred and resentment toward him. In time, I hope it will abate. Technically the event was more than a year ago (5/09) but it feels like it was in the past year. It certainly was the most significant recent event in my life. I am moving on now and doing fine, but I WANT to put all the ugliness behind me and make peace with that history. I'm still struggling with it.

My significant experience occurred when I expressed my frustration and confusion regarding my boyfriend's relationship with his daughter to his best friend. To hear his response and feelings made me feel silly and disheartened and now I wish I hadn't said anything.

The past year has been a wonderful cycle of love, redeemed and matured after the previous year's debacle of lies and manipulation. All of those things I wanted in romance that failed so abysmally before have succeeded beautifully this year. I had learned a great deal about trust and had it all broken. That year's lessons were about being brave enough to really commit to taking big scary steps. This past year has been about doing them wisely. The very worst happened, so I've been able to make choices knowing that I could survive (and survive well) if all of my hopes failed miserably. I think I've grown up a lot in that process. I've learned that seeking middle ground rather than extremes is best, if less intoxicating. I finally feel like an adult, like my parents are seeing me as one, mostly because they've seen me handle hard times with grace and self-sufficiency, they've seen me take the consequences of my actions on the chin and keep going. I've learned that their advice is good, but that I don't have to sacrifice what I want and believe to take it.

I guess a significant experience would be when I got to take my first real 'vacation' on my own. I spent that week with one of my best friends and visited Philly, NYC, and Atlantic City. It was a week of fun and exploring for me, I got to see parts of NYC I had only seen in pictures. I also got to dress up in a fancy dress and have the time of my life in AC. It was a great week.

I went to London a few months ago and I absolutely love it! I love everything about that city and I'm planning to move there once I finish college. That city inspired me completly and I'm motivated to finish college as fast as I can.

I was sitting in a management team meeting at work, discussing the purpose of the meeting and its membership only to find out that I'm no longer a member of the team. I had no problems with either being a member of the team or not. My issue was around how it was handled which was very badly. It showed me that people whom I thought respected me clearly didn't. I then looked at some of the other decisions that have been made and have seen that while 'they' talk about respecting each individual, their actions prove that they don't. I provided feedback on how the implementation of the decision impacted me. Overall, I'm grateful as it removed some of the scales from my eyes and has given me a new lens to view their actions by. It has also got me thinking about if I want to stay in the organization or not. No decision, a yet.

I began dating a girl that I've liked for three years -- after finding out that she's liked me the whole time, too. This showed me that you need to take more chances when there's a big payoff. Sure, making a move years ago could have make our friendship a bit awkward for a little while, but we would have been together for that much longer. All in all, though, I'm very relieved that Elise and I are now dating.

I applied and was accepted to a graduate program at the University of Washington. It hasn't started yet (29 Sept is the first day) but I'm very excited about it. I hit a point in my career as a graphic designer where I had a "this isn't exactly what I wanted to do when I started this" moment, and I think the Human Centered Design & Engineering program will help get me back into the kind of design I'm really interested in.

In May 2010 my dad was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. It affected me profoundly - I was suddenly face to face with my father's mortality, and it scared me to death. I fell into a depression for months, stressed and worried and on pins and needles 24 hours a day. Luckily his health is steadily improving. If anything this experience has taught me how important it is to live as happily as you can, because you never know what curve balls life will throw your way.

I got married in February. I am finally with a life partner who I love and loves me in return. This doesn't come without its many challenges. The kids are having a terrible time adjusting to the new living arrangement. I hope now that school us in session and routines are established that the routines will make the adjustment easier!

I got sciatica and was in a lot of pain and couldn't get around, it taught me how vulnerable I am and how important it is to remain healthy. I felt isolated and lonely and it made me realise I don't want to soldier on alone anymore... i need people around me to be happy, I need to be more open in every way...

My mother died a month ago. It left a big void in what I was doing & why I was doing it for. I realized that, while it was annoying at times, a person has a big impact on the life of others, no matter how little of steps they take to make those impacts. I am still in remorse in all that I have not done before my mother's passing but this gives me the chance to do things for myself instead of using others as an excuse to purse goals.

I got into college - heeeeeelllll yeeeeeeaaahh I'm sorry, did my response have to be longer?

March 25th, the day Matt and I started dating. I could not be more fortunate than I was that day. Now I have a support system, someone to talk to when I need it, someone who loves me unconditionally, someone who I can always count on to be there for me.

My kids passed their school grades. I love my wife more than the previous year. I'm playing better soccer than ever. I'm beginning a healthier life.

I started high school a year ago and now I feel so much more self worth. I have also learned that I love the feeling after running and sewing which both help with stress and make me happy, which is something we all need in life.

My great-grandmother passing away in July definitely affected me. I wanted to learn more about her heritage, her past. I was too late. It pains me to know I hardly knew someone so important in my life. Her death, and my lack of knowing my own family, has made me open my eyes to the rest of my family. I don't want to not know my own brother or sister. I am humbled, knowing that at any moment, they may pass. I want to learn as much as I can before I can't any longer.

XIV CONIAM Chihuahua 2010... fue una de las mejores experiencias, con mucho, de este año. Conocí a unos hermanitos muy lindos, y me di cuenta de cómo está la situación en todo el país... De verdad doy gracias a Dios por dejarme vivir esta experiencia como si fuera la última.

by this time last year i just went on a retreat with my jazz choir, got back together with my ex boyfriend, my hair was done, and i was "happy." i had the honeymoon phase still stuck in my mind, so i didn't care about school at all. it was all about my boyfriend, my singing, the potential. the effort i wanted to put in my work was never enough. months later, close to winter break, the person i "loved" the most broke it off with me after a huge dramatic fight. i fell into another depression and eating disorder like i had the summer before. it honestly crippled me so much. first because all i could concentrate on was how much i really cared about this boy, then how much i wanted him back. and now one year later i'm working my ass off to graduate from high school. i probably can't get into universities because of that shitty year of mine. really, it did inspire me in a lot of ways. i can't resent or regret what's happened because all of that was my fault. i'm becoming super independent, and i'll be shaping my own future. by myself. later on in life i'll consider bringing a man into my life. but, who knows what will happen. whatever does happen won't bring me down entirely.

After fifteen years, I left a job with authority and control. This past year I accepted a position as a cashier, clerk, stockman, and unloader of trucks. I live on less money. Yet, this past year has been so rewarding for me. Personal realizations, feelings towards friends and family, old grudges that were actually directed to me and not the person I daubed with black. I can only hope I continue to grow. I am inspired I have began to understand in only 63 years.

I grew closer to my now girlfriend by opening up in ways I hadn't before. We've developed a strong bond over the last half of the year that I haven't had in a relationship for a long time.

One day, after months of trying, I suddenly realized that building my consulting business is going to be much more painful and slow than I had expected, with no guarantee of success. Over the following weeks I had to confront strong feelings of depression and inadequacy, and fear, for the first time in my life. (I am 55.) This was made especially difficult because my wife is afraid that we will not have enough money to support us in retirement, so she was putting pressure on me to stop wasting time and "get a real job". But during the same period, I came to realize that working for myself is what I really want to do, even if it takes years to establish my business and even if I never recreate the income I had before. This feels so true to me that it is like bedrock, something I can rely on when everything else is scary and in flux.

Because of am injury I rediscovered Feldenkrais, a method of somatic education. It has helped me move back into my body, become more aware of old habits and find a different way of being.

I went to an introduction about Ayurveda and learned things about the constitution of my body and my health. I came away with some amazing insights of how to improve my life in simple but profound ways...

I volunteered two months at the Jama-Coaque Ecological reserve in Ecuador. I made new friendships, experienced an amazing new silence, learned a whole more about mushrooms, but above all, experienced the magnificence of a cloud forest and of its creatures. I am inspired and extremely grateful.

Our parents have moved out of our family home, ostensibly to go to assisted living, however, our mother's health declined so rapidly that she went immediately into nursing care. I find myself making decisions for my parents, with lots of sibling support, but this is harder than it looks.

I asked for and got a raise. i did my homework, compiled my documents, practiced my speech, made an appointment, and went to see the boss. I came right to the point, which he appreciated. he listened, and said yes. I didn't get as much as i asked for, which was ok, since i asked for more than i thought i would get, so it worked out to about what i wanted. I am renewed in my self confidence and my sense that others see me as worthwhile.

In March I was diagnosed with BPD because of one stupid night of smoking weed. Now everyday that goes by is full of turmoil and my inner struggle to get back to the person I was before that night. I'm not saying it's the worst, because I know it could be a hell of a lot difficult but it just really fucking sucks. Some say I can't have children and some say that I can live like a normal person. In my heart, I ruined my life that night.

My family had to declare bankruptcy. After living a 'luxurious' lifestyle for many years, the effects of overindulgence hit my family hard. I just started college and had always lived a comfortable life without having to worry about money or how I was going to pay for things, but going to an expensive college and having my family lose everything made me realize that our 'stable foundations' aren't that stable at all. I had to get a job and start working 25 hours a week on top of class. I resent the fact that my parents couldn't handle their money better, but will always be beyond grateful for the way it made me become more independent and strong than I ever thought I could be.

My Mom died on July 4 after suffering a stroke a year and 1/2 ago. She was severely handicapped by the stroke, mentally and physically, and unable to speak. I never knew life could be so cruel. She came to terms with it, and I am still working on it. I still have some residue of guilt, sadness, anger and bewilderment. Now she is gone. There is some relief in this, as she is no longer suffering. But I miss her terribly. She never lost her amazing spirit, her sly smile and her sense of humor. I love her.

No new illnesses diagnosed, no surgeries required and no hospitalizations. Same for husband.

I was ready to change jobs and, throug that, move on with my life. I was very motivated. Through this experience I learned I can achieve a lot when I am sufficiently motivated. I was relieved to find a new job I am comfortable sticking to for a while.

My employer, a smallish privately-held company, recently paid out on stock options that a fortunate group of us had been granted 5 years ago. I did not expect the payout to really happen, and it was a pleasant surprise. To receive a generous sum of money seemingly "out of the blue" (although I have worked very hard at this job for almost 11 years) made me feel grateful, quite lucky, and oddly humbled.

For the first time in my life, I actually allowed myself to open up and be honest with a guy that I wanted to date. The fact that I even wanted to date someone is a huge step for me. And the fact that I was actually honestly expressing myself to him, was monumental. But he changed his mind. And I realized that I was right to want to be alone for the rest of my life. Relationships suck. I'm going in alone.

Went out with friends for the first time. Big lie to my parents the first time. I felt rebellious, I figured that this is my life, and I can do whatever the fuck I want to. Also, I learned that alcohol is way overrated.

My 40th birthday party over a long weekend this past April in Stinson Beach was probably the most profound and joyful experience since my wedding and honeymoon. I'd never felt so grateful for my life and the loved ones that surround me. It literally brought me to tears. Not that I didn't know this already, but these rich experiences that you share with loved ones trump everything else—work, achievement, accolades, wealth, whatever. Paradoxically, I also felt the existential weight of having such limited time on this earth. It's not that I want to "accomplish" more, but that I want to simply enjoy the wonder that life is for as long and often as possible, especially when one has such great people in which to share it. In the immortal words of the Specials, "Enjoy yourself. It's later than you think."

I took the first vacation that I have had in 8 years. I enjoyed myself and hated to return to my "life" of being a business owner. It made me realize that after 20 years I truly hate my job and have lost myself. I don't mind the physical work but dealing with customers, chasing down money, running estimates, etc. I am basically working 2 full time jobs and slipping farther behind every month. Seeing my 14 yr olds with my 4 year old made me realize how much I am missing out on what really matters and that I am a prisoner of my lifestyle. I have decided to sell my house and start looking for a job where I actually get time off that I can spend on myself or my family.

My seven-month 'walkabout' in Western Europe is still echoing in my being and reminding me that the world is big and beautiful and awaiting further exploration. Home is wonderful, but wanderlust is an ache that must be quelled.

In the spring, I worked with the homeless population, and it gave me a new perspective on need and compassion. Sometimes, it's enough just to have someone that cares, and other times, it's not. It's necessary to be compassionate and cheerful, even on your worst days, and that your goal for a person might be completely different from their goal. You need to respect that and work at their level to help them do what they want to do.

It's cliche, I'm sure, but the biggest experience this year has been raising my almost 10 month old son. I haven't stopped to properly reflect on it. Mainly because there has been no time, and I've been too sleep deprived to form coherent thoughts. Here are my thoughts on the experience: I feel like I'm doing something big ; I don't see anything the same way. That dystopian literature/film I used to love makes me feel sick ; I miss my mother more than ever before, and I wish she could've met this boy ; I don't have much time to explore my own interests. This is hard, but now makes me more discerning in regards to how I spend my free time. This is good. ; I have never loved anyone more. This is terrifying. Every day I am in awe of this child and what he could be. I appreciate the opportunity to guide him through the world.

My uncle passed away in May. He was very dear to me and it hurt that I didn't really get a chance to say a proper goodbye. Traveling for his funeral really brought the power of family home to me. Not only was I able to reconnect with relatives I haven't seen in years, but I also got a lot of positive encouragement about my career choice.

I realized that the amount of time I spend angry is too much fro someone this young, so I cried in the woods near my home, took a deep breath and haven't looked back. I'm less angry now, but I have to keep trying.

I got laid off from my job -- after nearly 11 years working there. In many ways, it was a huge relief and not altogether a surprise. I had wanted a change and boy, this forces you toward that. The entire experience played with my sense of identity and worth -- and it was at times challenging, but also surprisingly uplifting and exciting. It forced me to have new experiences and explore new things -- and it tested my strength. Ultimately, I knew I was going to be okay (financially, emotionally) and knowing that -- I actually loved having the time off. It was so nice to quiet down and do things like yoga in the middle of the day, or read a book all afternoon. After seven months I landed a very good job and now miss my free time!

Our son asked for help getting out of losing situation and was willing to try to leave friends, college, drugs and alcohol behind. He's achieved most of his goals, and while we're very proud that he did... I'm also very afraid that these are lifetime struggles that he will be working with for a long time. I have tried to learn to tell the difference between his work and my work, and between useless worrying and constructive support.

I can't think of much at the present moment, but my summer internship was definitely an interesting experience. I learned more about myself this past summer than I have in the majority of my life. I knew a lot of these things about myself already, but I uncovered the extent to which these traits go. I learned that I have a very hard time writing in a planner and keeping organized. I learned how easily it is for me to lie to a superior when there are no real consequences. I learned that I have a very good understanding of how to manipulate my words and get people to trust me (even if they shouldn't). I remember just how much I love driving my car with no destination in mind. I learned that people generally care about cost more than they do quality. I learned that being away from home for more than 7 months is a hard thing to do. I learned how amazing my parents are (e.g., my dad driving 2000 miles to deliver me a car). I learned that I have a very difficult time finishing things that I have started. I learned that my dad was right when he says that the most successful businessman return phone calls, e-mails, etc. no later than 24 hours after they have been received. I learned that depression can sink in very quickly when you are completely alone for two weeks. I learned that if you feel something shady is going on or you are uncomfortable with a business practice you should voice your concern and stick to your morals. I learned that going door to door for my business is something I will never EVER do again. Most of all, I learned that I can do amazing things that change the lives of others just by putting in some effort. I'm grateful for the experience and grateful that, while mostly unsuccessful in the internship, I took away a lot of life lessons that will certainly help me in my future business ventures.

We became pregnant with our first baby. We couldn't be more thankful, happy, or inspired. Our sweetie is on his way and will be here soon. We can't wait! :)

In the past year the year I started a new job. I am so thankful that I found it and was able to leave my previous job which I really couldn't stand. I was at that job for 8 months, but started looking for a new job after the first two. I had mixed emotions during that process because I felt guilty about not sticking it out at my old job. But now that I'm doing something I love I know that what I did was okay and the right decision for me. I'm often still worried that my new "path" and my big pay cut to take it will lead to a difficult life for me, but I don't think I have the stomach to do something that doesn't feel satisfying. I hope I can find a way to make this path work and earn a living that allows me to live the life I want.

A significant experience was having my first 'real' relationship with my then-boyfriend. We were together for 1 year and 7 months before we broke it off, fell apart, moved away, etc. In some regards, I can't help but compare every relationship now and, I know that in the future, I will still be comparing all my relationships to my very first. Of course, it was my "first love". Was it love? I'm not really sure. For a long time I thought I was, yno, I'm not that selfless but I really honestly truly wanted to help him get out of his depressive slump (which is ironic because I couldn't even help myself). I digress. For the large part, I am grateful for having that relationship. It "changed me". Well more to the point, it made me realise who I was and what I wanted. And more importantly, I didn't need to adapt my social-behavior just to fit in with the "norm". I'm not resentful and I'm not really inspired. I'm neither positive or really negative about it. I just feel 'renewed' about myself. I guess if anything, sometimes I feel a little nostalgic and sad. What could have been if he was different. But it's silly to think about things like that. Deep down I know we weren't meant to be. I know that.

The most significant experience of my year was realizing that one of my random guy friends turned into my best friend. As a girl, I had always felt that my best friend had to be another girl. But having a male best friend is one of the best things that's ever happened to me. We don't have drama, we don't fight over romantic interests, and we don't ever steal each other's clothes. For once, I felt like I had someone that I could trust with anything, someone I could always count on, even if it was 2am and I just needed someone to cry to. We fight, but we realize that we need each other and always manage to work it out. Despite the fact that for most of the last year we lived 3 minutes away from each other and now we live more than an hour apart, we still manage to stay close. He's the kind of person I see myself being friends with forever. We constantly joke about how someday, he's going to be my kids' "uncle". Without him, this past year would have been entirely less manageable.

Husband perpetually deployed & stationed overseas with the military. It has made me distrust that politicians/military "management" has our best interests in mind. But I've had the opportunity to spend significant time with my magical sisters, brilliant son, & continue the intense love-filled bond I have with my phenomenal husband. I have the BEST family that can endure anything!

I won a contest organized by a prestigious school here in our country. I guess I'm grateful because when it happened, I gained a new confidence and became content with what I have. I started to be friendly and to reach out to other people.

I held a Bible study in my college dorm room. Not only did I get to see people engage with Jesus through His Word, but I saw God's love change people's lives, and in turn, I fell even more in love with Him and His call for us to love one another.

My child was born on April 10th. My life has changed. Everyday is like waking up on Christmas morning. Coming home from work is such a joy because that sweet little smiling face will be there to greet me. I'm grateful, inspired, in awe, in love...on and on.

Being abroad for 6 months in Tokyo for a research internship and Paris for studying abroad. It changed my life and the way I see the world. I learned and grew a lot, and I'm definitely grateful and inspired.

I married my best friend and we had a beautiful HinJew wedding with most of the important people in our lives. I was amazed at how many similarities there were between our traditions and how well they complimented each other. It was an incredible amount of work, but people tell us it was one of the most beautiful and fun weddings they've ever been to; as a social enthusiast, that makes me pretty happy. I am affected, grateful, relieved, inspired...and a little resentful that I only get to do that once.

One of the most significant things to happen to me this year was a newfound dedication to my health. By tracking everything I ate, joining two boot camps, biking a bit, and running from 0 to 5 k (!), oh! and doing 50 pushups!!! I've accomplished things I've never thought possible. While my weight is down, though not as much as I initially had hoped, I look and FEEL so much better. I no longer get sick after eating, and I just feel so good! Other people notice, and it feels great. I'm happy in my own skin, and, even though I may not be as strong as I've been in the past few months - I'm proud of myself, and being able to do things I've never thought possible, and, taking care of myself, putting myself first (and not just physically) is what matters. I'm inspired and really excited and proud about what I've done, and what's to come.

NOTHING! I haven't done anything and things got worse, money got tighter and I am too depressed to do something about it. I literally have been hungry, yet I cannot make myself do anything about it. Clean for J., lost P. D., B.l M. died and so did the easy money for that place - life sucks, utterly sucks. I doubt I get to read this next year. Na... won't be here...

A significant experience, I suppose, would be me finally going to school. I am extremely grateful for it, and grateful for the friends I made, and inspired to make a difference in the career I've chosen.

Many significant experiences occurred to me since September 2009. This first semester I was asked to teach deaf students for the first time. I had mixed feelings about it. I was excited by the opportunity to be forced to learn a new language [sign] in order to deal with differently-abled people. But I was also resentful that I was simply assigned without adequate preparation. Last May my youngest brother with Down syndrome passed away. I was relieved somewhat that he did not have to suffer life long and that my mother no longer needed to worry about what would happen to him if he outlived her. But at the same time I am bothered by the fact that my mother now has to live on her own without any companions -- especially since my brother and his bitch of a wife have moved out. I am relieved that my mother does not have to put up with the stress of having to live with my deranged sister-in-law. Early this year I became infatuated with a visiting South Korean volunteer who helped facilitate the 2010 Asian meeting of the Taize Pilgrimage of Trust in Manila. I was glad to realize that I could still feel that way despite my age. Too bad, though -- she didn't reciprocate. [There was a similar incident when I enrolled in the RFP course; again, there was no opportunity to pursue the relationship.] Nonetheless, I am nurturing a supporting Platonic [?] relationship with a former student, which could lead to a more intimate relationship. I also went through a trilogy of expensive self-development seminars. They were uplifting. But I have chosen to backslide and regress to my less-than-best self again. I am disappointed. I guess right now the sense is that I have gone through a bittersweet past year.

Giving birth to my secong child. The birth of my first child was a traumatic experience that left me physicaly and emotionally shattered. I didn't know if I could ever do it again so facing down a second birth experience was frightening. It forced me to face what I went through the first time and mentally prepare for to do it again. Although the same problems arose, the experience of my second child's birth was completely different and I came away feeling incredibly relieved but also like I had conquered something.

My wife and I bought a home in Indianapolis about one year ago after moving here from Texas, where we had lived for five years. I don't like living here as much as I liked living in Texas and I'm not happy with my job, but it's been very good to be near to our families again. I feel that I made a mistake in accepting this job and moving here.

I recently started visiting Ronald McDonald house and it has been a tough experience to see those sick kids and how the parents looked at them. Listening to the stories has been life changing on what I want to become when I grow up basically. I am grateful to have had that experience to know how hard their lives are. I am not really relieved or resentful. I am inspired to help these children and their families out because after losing my cousin at such a young age has let me be able to connect with these stories and lives.

My husband finished his PhD program at long last, and found a part-time job, which he is ambivalent about but at least he found something and seems happier and less stressed. Meaning I can be less stressed too. So I am quite grateful and happy and relieved he is on to a new adventure...

I lost my virginity this year. It shook my world and turned my life around. I lost it to someone that didn't care for me like I thought he did. He just wanted to "get in my pants" so to speak. Two weeks after the event, he broke up with me. I've become SUCH a stronger person because of it. I've learned to rely on me and not depend on anyone else. I'm rather independent and self sufficient now. I'm not resentful to the fact that it happened. In fact, I'm somewhat thankful. It's shaped me so much more than I could have imagined. Thank you ---- for doing what you did to me.

Bill was transferred to Charleston, SC, and it completely altered our lives. I had to quit school just before being able to enter the nursing program (if I had qualified to enter it, that is), Alex had to live in the house alone for 7 months and now we have to have J. B. come and take care of it, etc. We've had to split our lives between SC and GA, and it has been very trying. On the plus side, it has given us an opportunity to live in another state (one more backwards than GA!), have time to ourselves, remove us from family drama (and responsibility, aka Daddy's Alzheimer's), and let us live in a tourist town. It is not all bad, but I really, REALLY want to go home. Considering the plight of the unemployed during this time (2010) it really IS a blessing, though.

I decided to venture off to college for sixth form, instead of staying at the school I had studied at for the past 5 years. It affected me in such a way that I became a new person. I was forced out of my comfort zone and was greeted by many challenges: suddenly I had to become sociable and make new friends; I had to learn to be independent as I didn't have as much support from my teachers, friends and family and; I had to maintain my motivation to steer me towards inevitable success, no matter what I chose to do in the future. I am confident. I have a clearer state of mind. I am my own person. I am brand new.

My boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment together. It was a big step for us and brought us so much closer together. I've learned a lot about fitting my life in with someone else's and creating something together, and I've loved every minute. But I'm trying to remain aware of losing my independence at the same time. I think it used to be more important to me to be independent and self-sufficient. Although I love sharing the everyday things with someone else, I admire my old single self and am striving to maintain what makes me me.

My Mom just passed away a few weeks ago. It was, of course, sad to say a final goodbye but yet it was also peaceful. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease about 5 years ago and it was painful to watch her slip away as the disease marched on. She was sometimes aware of her situation and that was the hardest time for us because she wanted to be OK but just couldn't be the person she wanted to be anymore. So, my Mom, the one person in the world who understood me and loved me unconditionally, was taken from me long before her death. Yes, it seems cold hearted but I was relieved when Mom died. Relieved for her so that she could be free, and truthfully relieved for myself to not have to worry about having to visit the person who was now just a shell of the Mom I knew. I never stopped loving her, it was just so hard to see her be so unhappy. I am grateful that her death was easy for her and that our family could be there with her as she took her last breath. I am grateful to have such a wonderful family. I am grateful to have had my Mom in my life for almost 50 years.

I received a job offer to move back to Michigan and within four months of the offer, was back, living in East Lansing, from Champaign, Illinois. After living out of the state for the first time, I had realized how much I wanted to be back in Michigan, and although this job came out of the blue, so far its been the best decision I've made in awhile! I am inspired by the work I do and the students I work with and my colleagues. I am consistently challenged by my job and I finally work in a supportive environment. I am also now within an hour from my family and friends, which gives me an opportunity to be home for holidays (for the first time in 3 years!) and be around just for the day-to-day stuff too!

I finally came to peace with myself, allowing myself to fully accept who I am. It was extremely relieving; I ended the war that's been going on in my head for the past three years, and I couldn't be happier. I shared my happiness with Alex, bless her soul, and know that I made the right decision in telling her. It's great to know that I can believe in myself despite what comes my way; knowing that any of my characteristics that I previously thought as faults are really not faults, only hurdles to overcome. I can't wait for the future.

My mother has had 2 cancer scares this past year. Only one had us scared to death. The first was quickly disproven as cancer. But the second scare took months. She had been smoking since she was 14 (she's 33 now) and in the beginnning of the year she got Pneumonia. It took us 2 weeks to convince her to see a doctor about it, where she found out it was Pneumonia. They did an xray on her lungs and found a giant mass in her lungs. The doctors first thought it was cancer. Thank goodness it wasn't! After a lot of surgeories, hospital sleepovers and horrible hospitol food the mass was finally removed. She now has 10% of her lung missing. Over 6 months later and she's still in pain because of the nerves. Because of how scared i was for my mom it got me thinking about what might happen if i ever picked up a cigarette and got cancer or even a cancer scare. I will never, ever smoke!

I graduated from university. The subsequent job search is making me unsure about my future. I'm uncertain about what I want to do with my life and that makes me nervous about the future. I just want to choose the right thing, but I don't know what that is.

I adopted a dog from the Humane Society, and it only proved to show me how unprepared I am for anything that requires my time and for me to plan my life around it. Also, I will probably never adopt from a shelter, unless I know the entire history of the dog, because the aggravation and semi-fear I had of the dog disobeying and being aggressive wasn't fun. I learned I need patience before trying again, and to live on the bottom floor, preferably with my own yard to let the dog out without a leash and needed supervision. I'm thinking of Patches and Macy, who were/are well trained and perfect-ish. I wish our dogs lived forever. At least I got to have Patches for 17 years. I'm not guilty over taking the dog back, he needed a different lifestyle, and when I get my own home, I can get a puppy and train it just as I want. Someday. After I get this wanderlust out of my system.

This year I think I found independence. Following a drawn out break up with someone I love (and loved) I finally woke up one morning to realize more than being with him right now, I love being alone and I value my true independence almost more than anything. I think this has been possible because I am positively surrounded by people I love, in a city I love and most importantly I love who I am.

I got married to a wonderful man and we are almost to our first anniversary! It has been such an exciting year growing as individuals and as a couple and creating our unique marriage bond. I love him more every day and I am so thankful to have him in my life. He challenges me to be the best person I can be. We are so excited to go through the challenges and adventures life has in store for us.

My family cat of 16 years died. It amazed me that something like an animal could bring a family together, but lo and behold, I stood side-by-side my siblings as we buried Whiskers in our backyard without our parents. As mundane as that may seem to some, or as silly as it may sound, it really made me appreciate the bond we all have. Even though my family's been to Hell and back (and liked it so much we thought we'd return a few times), we all love each other.

Went camping with my friends and we drank together for the first time. I was surprised how quickly it seemed to be a normal thing for us to be doing and really enjoyed it at the same time. As usual it rained after we finally went to sleep but everyone still had fun.

I have had more reaction to stigma of my mental illness in the last year than I have had in the previous 27 years. It makes me more aware of how others are being treated in our support group because they are my friends. I hope that this experience will work out for good for those who have mental illness, even though right now I can't see how it would help.

This past year I am undergoing a quest to become healthy in mind,body, and spirit. I'm reprogramming my brain . Deleting limiting beliefs one by one with the help of Emotional Freedom Technique. It has totally changed my way of thinking. I am finally focused,and my purpose in this world is becoming clearer every single day. My life is not perfect,but I am at Iam peace.I feel im finally on the path to success. I am so grateful for this life I have been given.

I feel in and out of love with a girl in the span of almost exactly a years time. This relationship of sorts started almost a year ago exactly. I'm definitely grateful for the relationship. It cleared up lingering baggage and major insecurities from a previous relationship and taught me further lessons about love and women (of which you can never have too few).

My best friend moved across the country. It was very difficult for me, being she was my only friend. School is most definitely not the same. My boyfriend is at college now, so he isn't there to walk me to class. We are still close: we text, Skype and talk on Facebook. I think moving makes us closer, but at the same time, I won't be able to create memories like Friday Night Football Games or Prom with her. I'll never have these memories, only the ones we made in the past year. This was an experience I had never been through before, and might I say it was one of the most difficult situations to deal with. She is going to visit during the summer and hopefully Christmas. I strongly believe that absense makes the heart grow fonder, especially with a best friend like mine. We hope to reunite after high school, so I guess we'll see how that goes. I miss her a lot. C'est la vie, that's life.

Relocated to the Pacific Northwest: This shift from the seemingly stagnant Midwest allowed me to put some distance between me and the past seven years. I feel that I can truly appreciate where I've been, and allow my experiences to influence where I am going. It's something for which I am very grateful, as it's been a long time since I can consider the accomplishments and relationships I've had since high school with no regrets. Hopefully, the next seven years will pan out to be just as fruitful and twice as sweet.

I married a wonderful man. At a housewarming party where everyone was married and babying, i told a friend I knew I could be a happy single person, knew all the blessings I had. She agreed and said, calmly and surely, that I would find someone if I wanted, that it would happen. Despite mistakes and doubts and immaturities the first time around, a week later at another party, I (re) met the man who would become my husband. It was easy. And got better with each date. Just when I thought it wouldn't happen for me, just when I thought I didn't deserve it because of past mistakes, just when I needed it most....

My daughter became a Bat Mitzvah a couple of weeks ago. I am very proud of how well she did, relieved that the event went as well as it did, and sad that I didn't plan better and left so much for the last minute.

I ended up not transferring schools, when I thought I would have to due to tuition costs. I'm grateful, relieved and inspired. I get to continue living in NYC and attend a great school and keep learning and heading towards a goal I have been setting for myself for years instead of settling for something else. I think a part of me wanted to go somewhere else, somewhere closer to home and comfort, but sometimes you just have to suck it up.

Discovering that my feelings of depression were actually due to adrenal fatigue (staying under stress too long) was huge. Now I know that if I keep pushing myself too hard it will backfire on me...so more time off, sleeping, and doing things I enjoy (i.e. LIVING!) is good for me. Imagine that...

I had a rocky friendship with a boy who was best friends with all of my friends. We were working on a project together with all of our other friends and words were passed between us that ruined our relationship. I tried in every form of communication to talk to him but he ignored me and instead started talking behind my back to everyone about me and making me feel terrible inside. I am generally a nice person and his friendship taught me that not everyone is going to like me. I regret the words I spoke to him, but I feel more powerful knowing that I don't need someone who always brings me down in my life.

I had major surgery and had a tumor removed from my liver. Thankfully, it was benign but had to be removed for fear it would rupture. I went into the surgery scared of the unknown mostly. I never had a surgery before and had no way to know what to expect. The surgery went exceptionally well. I recovered relatively quickly but with a few bumps. I ended up having the drainage tube in longer than doctors expected. That seemed to be one of the hurdles in recovery. Having a tube hanging from your stomach really puts a crimp in everything you do from sitting, sleeping, showering and just plain moving around. My family was incredibly supportive. My mother was truly an angel and went above and beyond her mother responsibilities to nurse me back to health. I think the biggest thing I learned from the experience was that life is precious. I have changed my perspective on what is truly important and where the priorities in my life lie. I have a scar across my stomach that reminds me every day what I went through and what is important. I just have to look at it or rub my hand across it and have the tingly sensation of part numbness to be reminded.

I can't recall anything significant that happened to me in the past year. I knew that I needed to take charge of my life, but this realization confirms that I've been coasting. I want to shape my life, not just let it happen. I'm disappointed in myself that I haven't been using my time more wisely, but I'm inspired and eager to make changes.

I volunteered at a youth homeless shelter. It was harder than I anticipated. I expected it to be hard emotionally, but I did not expect to come out questioning the impact one person can have on a whole establishment. I am grateful for the experience, I am also inspired to do something to help better the world.

When me, my mom and, my sister moved out of our house, into an apartment, to get away from my Dad. I'm very grateful and relieved to be away from there. We're more into the city so everything is ten times closer and we're just happier. I'm so grateful to be where we are now and everyone can see it.

Being in Europe for 10 days with my friends was an experience that taught me a lot. I am so grateful I went and for the lessons it taught me about life and what to expect in the years ahead. I am grateful my friends stuck with me through the ups and downs.

My mother-in-law passed away this morning. She was a big influence in my husband's life and I have no idea how her absence is going to affect him, and thus our marriage. I am hopeful but a little nervous.

Graduated high school, which didn't feel like a big deal until I realized I was going to college after summer. That didn't fell like a big deal either....until I moved here. It's still changing my life. I'm happy I'm here, but it's hard to get used to. Sometimes (like right now) I want to just sleep or go home. It's weird to think this is a long term thing, it still feels like camp. On the other hand, I feel like I'm really growing into my skin here. I am becoming more and more the person I'm supposed to be. Which is me.

i turned 50 this year. it didn't really affect me much at all. i feel the same, i look the same. it was just no big deal!!

A good friend of many years, a few years younger than I, was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer. Don't know what his life expectancy is, but certainly much shorter than it should be. Naturally, I feel terrible and wish it was different. Although it may sound cold, I have realized that fretting does no good and is totally unproductive. Whatever the situation, if there's no way we can affect the outcome, we have to just learn to DEAL WITH IT. Fretting changes nothing, but drags us down. My friend's diagnosis has caused me to think a lot about mortality and how I will face death when the time comes. I think a lot of good, brave thoughts, but I don't think anyone really knows how he'll face death, but I don't think it does any harm to ponder the questions and maybe even plan a little for the eventuality.

The oil release in the Gulf of Mexico and our government's inability (again) to seem to do anything to help was really depressing to me. It seemed to me like nothing worked and there was no way to make anything any better. It seems like every time we find out about a cause for it there is another person popping up and saying that is not the cause and citing another one, pointing the finger, passing the blame. I am confused, resentful, and sad about the whole matter and all the other events of incapability we seem to have as a people and a country right now.

I left my job as a pastor to be a full time mom. It was not a hard decision at the time, and I very much enjoy being home with my daughter. I am incredibly grateful that I have this opportunity and she inspires me everyday. However, I am a little overwhelmed with the energy that it takes and I am very sad that we do not have family and/or more close friend near-by to help out. It has been a great experince in re-thinking how I see and depend on community.

My daughter got married, and while that was significant she and her husband moved to Texas to start their new life together. My daughter and I have always been very close but as she got older our relationship matured into a very nurturing and sustaining one for both of us. Her leaving left me feeling like a big chunk of my heart was ripped out. It just does not seem right for people who are so close to be separated by such distance. I still have not totally come to realize that she is not an hour away as she has been since she left us to go to college. I miss her more than I can feel anything... I cry at the drop of a hat....I am thinking that things will just resume something of a normal routine....I can't imagine that this can ever get better...Time will tell..

My sister was found to have an advanced cancer. Both melanoma cells in her lymph nodes and lung cancer. She is now undergoing chemo and is having money problems. It affected me several ways. I've always dreaded finding out that one of the family had cancer that's likely. Now that's done and, while sad, somehow relieving. It was also stressful that we, as a family, had to decide how to help her (or not) with poorly managed finances. It all really made me aware of mortality and what I will be facing in years to come.

We had our second child. Our precious little girl was born 4 weeks early and had to spend a few days in the NICU. Even though she was a perfect healthy baby, my whole world was upside down when she was in there. As soon as she was able to come back to my room everything was right again. It made me realize how delicate life is and how special each moment we have with our family is.

My mother's retirement was significant for her, our family, and the community. She had significant guilt about leaving the practice she had worked for for 20 years, but the stress was destroying her. I was never so proud when she told me that she was leaving that job. I am also very proud of my father for supporting her and trying hard not to show the inevitable jealousy that happens when he still has 10 more years of work. I am proud to not be a financial burden on them. and I am very impressed with how she has embraced life in retirement!

I traveled around the UK for a semester studying literature with a group of students from my university. I have never experienced community like I did on this trip. I developed friendships, gained confidence in myself, experienced art like I never had before, and continued in my never-ending search for God. Also, the temporary nature of travel forced me to accept that life comes in phases; the fact that certain things -- travel culture, relationships, encounters with local people, the touch sight and smell of places -- cannot be held onto does not detract from their value.

This year I have fallen in love. I was terrified at first. I never had a relationship with such intensity like this one. I have been so happy with Pat, but I also learned that loving someone and letting them love you back can take a lot of work and patience. I have never cared for anyone so deeply or shared so much of myself with anyone. It was like I was hiding from everyone before, but I was able to let my guard down with Pat. It took a long time, but I finally let him love me. It was scary how fast and intense it was. I thought I was getting my hopes up, and I was waiting for it to all crash down around me. He was there when no one else was. He made me laugh and giggle and blush like I never had before. I experienced many big firsts with him and he was understanding and sweet and caring about everything. I will never forget when I was so upset, and he pulled me into his arms immediately like that. It makes me want to cry tears of joy just thinking about it. We are going through a difficult transition now as we start school again. We've been fighting a lot, but I think its because we love each other so fiercely and we expect more from each other. I wouldn't give up this experience for anything whether it turns out bad or good. I can't imagine myself with anyone else, but if things don't change soon then I'll have to do something about it. I wonder where I will be in a year. It will be interesting to see.

In the past year, my boyfriend came back from Iraq. It was one of the scariest moments for me, because I feared if I had changed for worse, and vice versa. I was so relieved when I saw him in person, whole and in my arms. I couldn't believe it it felt so surreal. We're still working on our growing personalities but, still going strong!

Two very different experiences. 1) I just found out earlier this week that a friend of mine from college, Brian, just died in a very tragic car accident. His wife was 6 months pregnant with their first child. A car was in the wrong lane, coming straight at them, and Brian swerved at the last minute in the hopes of saving his wife and unborn child. He died; they lived. I have a picture with Brian and some other friends at graduation. Looking at all of us smiling and enjoying our newfound freedom, who ever would have thought that one of us wouldn't be here 10 years later? How would I have lived the last 10 years differently if I'd have known they would be my last? This thought brings me to my significant experience #2) The birth of my daughter, Elena, at home. Aside from having an amazing and empowering birth experience with my husband, midwife, and two best friends -- being a mother has brought more joy to my life than I can ever have imagined. Given both #1 and #2, I feel a renewed commitment to giving priority to nurturing the important relationships in my life, especially with my loving husband.

I was able to successfully walk (and run) on the beach UNASSISTED for the first time since my car accident 6.5 years ago. I am grateful & very inspired by this accomplishment.

Taking on every road race that I did...starting off in Hawaii with jumping on a bike in spandex bike shorts in March 2010, my first duathlon in May 2010, my first half marathon in June 2010, my 2nd half and 1st tri in July 2010, two more tris in August 2010, and a 10 mile and half in Ocotober...to train and to come... all have proved me wrong in saying that I "can't" do that... I love the challenge. I love the accomplishment. I love the pride I have in this sport and the community I have met... Life has gotten better because of taking a risk, being vulnerable, setting goals and seeking out to overcome all obstacles in front of me.

I learned that i am a good partner and am capable of deep love.

My son and eldest child was married this summer and while he has been with his partner for many years and they are raising two children, he and his partner chose to make vows of commitment to each other. Initially, it seemed like a lot of fuss and bother, not to mention expense but by the end of their wedding day, I was seeing it very differently. A community of people gathered to witness and participate in the support of this couple's best intentions for each other and their family. This experience has expanded and deepened my understanding of Community.

I lost my job due to institutional malfeasance and jealousy. I'm still unemployed but slowly recovering from the depression. My insight, to pursue a different type of work, may well save both my sanity and my life.

I finished my third year of university, and realized that this will be my last year here. I went to postsecondary straight out of high school, carrying the stigma that university was my only real option. Now, going into my graduating year and still having no idea what I want to do, I've realized also that I haven't got just one straight path laid out in front of me. And it's not a race. I'm going to take a year off from school and from trying to work towards a career I can't even visualize yet. I'm taking this year off not necessarily to soul search or to think about what I want to do with the rest of my life, but to experience the real world. I'm twenty and I still haven't stepped out into it yet.

I'm sure many people are answering this in a global scale. But I don't care about that. I can't fix the world. And I haven't experienced anything of significance on that level, honestly. There have been many significant events, and many trivial events. Probably more trivial, though they often feel significant at the time. One significant experience was learning to shoot a gun. Before that, I'd always sort of laughed them off as this pathetic weapon, one that shows no courage to use. Point and pull the trigger, simple, right? Distant and impersonal. But having held a loaded gun, having used it (on targets in a range, of course) now I understand. I never expected that. I'm glad to still be evolving, changing, and improving. Glad I learn.

I have separated from James after 8 years. I am sad, but it is giving me a chance to be single, which I have never been as an adult. It is giving me a chance to clean up lose ends and debts and then try to use this year to start my life over. I plan to get a new job, and meet new people. I hope I follow through.

My daughter had her bat mitzvah. It affected me greatly: first stress, anxiety. Then, panic! Then joy and pride and bittersweetness at the whole thing being over. Yes, I am grateful. I have many gifts in my wonderful family. I'm also relieved to be finished with the whole planning process, the decisions, the worrying, preparing. I am not at all resentful. Yes, I'm inspired t learn more about my Jewish faith.

In the past year my Grown children have not agreed on anything.Causing me more Heartache..I try to hold my Family together, through the loss of Their Father and my Eldest son.I am now almost72,and find it hard to recover,but think i am needed. I was born 1939 when War broke out.I have watched as the World has battled on.I pity all Mothers who Lose a child...Wether through War or at Home. Life is hard enough without,not Loving each member of your Family.Caring for others out there who need help! Look around you, and give just even ONE smile.Has everyone forgotten how to SMILE.Its not an offense to SMILEe at someone. Ladies why is it that you look so Grim?..Could you Muster a smile..It is so little to give to others. 'A SMILE LIGHTS UP A FACE WETHER YOUNG OR OLD.'IT ALSO MAKE LIFE LESS LONELY OUT THERE. Thankyou to all the KIND we,ll mannered YOUNG PEOPLE on Trams that do GIVE up a seat for the Elderely.We may not get the chance to tell you how wonderfull ,we think you are.Thankyou, also on behalf of those who do not say it. Trains,School children.I grew up giving my seat to anyone in need.How come you sit,when you see Elderely people struggling to stand? I do see grown men also who sit,and dont budge even for a Pregnant Lady.Of course if you really need the seat ,then we WILL stand..Our thoughts cannot be read.... Our schools told us to be Polite and give up a seat if needed.What are your schools doing that they do not tell you the same? Prefects would report you, if they saw you being ill mannered in Public.Or if you sat while weaker people on th e Train stand. (Teachers )Please help the children to be understand others, who maybe stand-( In Pain.) (YOUTH) Stop being AGGRESSIVE !-You dont HAVE TO BEHAVE THAT WAY.DONT RUIN FAMILYS FOREVER.LEAVING SUFFERING AND HEARTACHE ? IF THERE WAS A WAR IN THIS COUNTRY,YOU WOULD I HOPE, FIGHT TOGETHER TO YOUR PEOPLE..ALL WHO SHARE YOUR WORLD. HAVE A LOOK AROUND YOU.WHAT IS NOT GOOD,IS SAD....BUT WHAT (IS GOOD),BE HAPPY ABOUT." Be happy you walk in freedom." NOTHING IS PROMISED..BUT THE FUTURE COULD BE SO MUCH NICER IF ONLY WE ALL START ---TO CARE ONCE MORE.RESPECT IS A HUMAN RIGHT-SO IS COMPASSION-

Moved to Boston without knowing anyone. Seriously questioning my decision based on lack of social opportunities. Trying to focus on work and study in the short term

Nothing of significance has happened this past year. I need to make something happen! I am not bored or tired of my work and large circle of family, friends and activities. Perhaps it's just a fallow period, a respite.

I finally learned to appreciate myself and the way I am. I guess it is in part thanks to Gaga and a podcast I listen to, that made me realize not all things I am told are correct, not even my parents. I am finally calm and secure with who I am.

My office closed. I had a worked there a long time and felt devastated that I was losing my job. Then I was blessed with a new job, that was so much less stressful and allowed me to work from home. Now I can be home for my son and still have a successful rewarding career. To top it all off, my boss is awesome. I absolutely love working for her. I feel blessed.

I was a leader at a local Christian church camp for a week. While I was there the people around me helped me learn to appreciate myself and realize my self-worth. I am so grateful to them.

2009 was the year i got the job at bagnare, not much fot the job it self but i think it was the best experience...i got a good friend, learned a lot of things not only at the job, but things that made me a better person and more centered girl.

Losing my job. I'm still processing what that means to me, both good and bad. I fell grateful, relieved, resentful, AND inspired. Just like Scarlet, I'm determined to "never be hungry again!"

Getting a new job I am awed and worried all at the same time about it.

This past year I adopted my amazingly beautiful, sweet, funny, delicious son. And my life will never, ever be the same. Thank goodness. Being a mother has taught me patience, prioritizing, and given me a profound sense of purpose and pride. Being an older mother, it would be natural to wonder: "Should I have done this when I was younger?" But now I know that if I had, my son would not be my son. And I cannot fathom that. My child is full of joy and wonder. He laughs heartily, doubles over with giggles and lights up when he sees me walk in the room. He is endlessly curious and interested in everything he sees. He embodies life as it should be lived -- no judgment, no criticism, no self-loathing, no doubt, no negativity, no voice in his head... Ah, that voice....I know I will screw up, I know I will make mistakes. I already see things I could have/should have done differently. But all I can do is make the corrections and keep loving him. I feel blessed, grateful, fulfilled and so very lucky to get to be his mother for the rest of my life.

My Daughter and me losing weight. It has helped her be more outgoing and me healthier. Relieved that it helped us and was not a waste of money. Inspired to lose more weight and exercise what to get to 160lbs

I finally got a chance to see what D was like. For the longest time I was in denial and in love with someone I've idealized and he was so much better in my head than in person. He saw me as someone 'disposable' and I am so much better than that, I deserve someone so much better. But I could not let go of our long history. I'm glad I finally saw the light. Getting over 7 years of my life has finally given me a proper opportunity to meet someone else and be happy.

I got rejected by 3 girls. One experience I'm grateful for, one resentful of, and one relieved by. Now I feel like I'm meandering aimlessly through the feilds of love, a searcher without a purpose. I don't know what I'm seaching for anymore.

My boyfriend and I lost everything last year due to a job change where we took a $75,000 a year pay cut. We lost our home. The loan company sent people out to our home and they were like bullies. They were just the meanest people I had the misfortune to ever meet. They treated us like pond scum. It just left me full of anger. I have a lust for revenge. I just want to let go of the anger, but I don't know how.

I recently started becoming more aware of my sexuality. I started questioning myself and how I was feeling. I was really stressing out over what I thought about myself and what others would think about me. I told my best friend and all of a sudden my head quieted down. Now I realize that it doesn't matter what I label myself. As long as I'm happy with someone, whether they be male or female, the people I care about should not have a problem.

My wife and I moved to a new town and bought a new house. We both love the house and the new area we live in. Waking up in and coming home to a beautiful house makes me feel so very grateful to be in the position I am in in life.

my step-dad killed himself. it has been quite a confusing time, to say the least. i wasn't sure how to feel about the whole ordeal, since, when he was alive, he wasn't very nice to me. he was a truly heartbreaking, silly man. may he rest in peace. i feel a bit of closure, having gone to see him at the morgue. the last time i saw him when he was alive wasn't a very good time. it was a bit strange seeing how small he was... as a kid i grew up thinking of him as a big, scary man.

I had a baby, and I'm mesmerized by her as well as myself. Everything that never really mattered is clear now. I am so thankful for her presence. She fills my soul with the love that was somehow lost long ago.

My partner with whom I have a young child has been cheating on me, lying, confessing, only to return to cheating and lying several more times, and eventually left me. I have known for a long time that I am a grown-up, and can face lifes challenges while remaining grounded, thoughtful, generous, and compassionate. This year, I have had to face that some of my grounded, forgiving response may have some pathology in it; that it may be an attempt to compensate for real or imagined injuries I have inflicted on my partner, or maybe even on my parents; that I am compulsively trying to repair or otherwize make up for those injuries; or that my kindness may simply be an attempt to repair my own damaged self who would have wanted to be loved with such generousity. If that wasnt bad enough, my giving, reasoned response got me more taken advantaged of than had to happen, and has left me feeling quite humiliated in front of people in community who probably knew better. Still, what I hope to learn from this, is that it doesnt matter. That I want to be generous, that I believe in mistakes and forgiveness, that I would rather see someone in the best light I can offer them and hope that is the truth, even if it means I get a little more burned alittle more often. Certainly, I dont want to be naive, as some perhaps have judged me this year, nor to I want the love I give to be saturated with pathology, but I most certainly do not want to be bitter, withholding or untrusting. I also know now that I can trust in my own resiliance. Nothing has ever rocked me to the core as much as having to face that my son will grow up in two homes, both in my sadness for him and in my own losses as a parent. But I found out that I can completely trust myself to rise to any occation.

That one significant experience that happened this year that comes to mind isn't really a postive experience but it did affect me. This year I was in a musical and I ended up getting into a verbal fight with one of the other actors mother, who was also our costume director. I was trying to apologize for something I did and she wouldn't have it, it got really out of hand. I almost left the show but ended up sticking it out. This affected me in a number of ways. I learned to watch what a put on the internet and watch what I say. I also learned that some people are just never happy and sometimes you can't do anything to change that. I feel almost grateful for this experiance in a way because I think it also taught me the difference between being stubborn and standing up for yourself. There's a little regret that comes with it too, of course I wish it never happened, and I never said those things, but you can't turn back time.

The cheese stands alone... I survived corporate layoffs and was stunned to find myself as the last of six woman in my department left standing. It is every bit as stressful to be the sole survivor. Don't get me wrong! I am grateful to have my job, but I've had to adjust my thinking— about myself and what I can and can't do—and I am re-evaluating the job itself. I don't have the emotional attachment to the work that I did just a few short months ago. I guess the word I'm looking for is "numb."

I've been living and working on a community farm, as I've dreamed about for more than a year, and I feel so happy about it. I'm really inspired to design the rest of my life so that it more closely approaches my experiences here. It's changed everything about my life, from the way I understand my financial goals for my future to the way I relate to my food. It's also helped me renew my commitment to my relationships and my desire for deep community.

I reunited with a friend whom I hadn't spoken to in 3 years due to certain events that forced us apart. Gradually I came to realize feelings that I've had for him. He's become the love of my life and I am so grateful to have been given this other chance with him.

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It has been very distressing and sad. I miss having a partner and someone I could talk to about everything. It has been difficult to watch a brilliant, charming, independent and witty man slowly become dependent and confused about most things in life he once could understand and speak about. I hate this disease, it is the worst. I have tried to figure out what I am supposed to learn from this experience and what I have come up with at this time is patience. I need to learn patience. Much later, after this disease has come to the end, I know I will eventually look back on this time and I will know about other things that I can be grateful for and some things I have learned, but this is much further down the road.

THE BIGGEST experience from this last year has been a recent event. Our court case for primary custody of my oldest daughter, was granted. From 4 days a month to 27. First time in 15 years, we get to share her experiences, 24/7.

My parents got divorced this past year and I realized how much things like divorce could effect people. I always thought divorce was just another person's problem that they took too seriously, but when it happened to me I felt like my world was ending. I learned that this is a serious problem and it is very traumatic for the people who are in the middle of it.

I was offered a new job. So far, its been great. I'm moving to LA and I'm very excited about that, plus I'm making a lot more money. Its an amazing opportunity and it meant a lot to have been offered the position.

I took a friend's child snow boarding and he got hurt. I am grateful for the eventual results, and to be able to use this event as a "head up" as to safety on the slopes. Certainly I am not not resentful, but rather relieved that it ended alright, because during the experience I was not sure how things would turn out and I felt responsible. I remember that at the time I actually wished in fact that the accident had happened to my own child instead of a friend's, so that I could better diagnose the situation and perhaps fix it...assuming that I would understand my own child's expressions of pain, relief and hope better thana friend's.

A great experience was being up at my Papa's house.

My mom finally sent Jay packing. She still looks sad and tired, but she's so much better for it. I just hope she realizes it, too. I miss her.

Having to have surgery was one of the most terrifying and enlightening experiences of my life. It made me realize that things like this happen to people, especially when you last expect it. Yes people get diagnosed with cancer, yes people like me have life threatening cysts in their bodies. It actually happens. Never once in my life did I think I would have to have surgery until I did. It opened my eyes to reality. Be thankful you're alive and healthy, because so many do not have the same luxury.

I became a mom. I am excited and profoundly exhausted. I am in awe of how it affects my life now and somewhat fearful of how it will affect my life in the year ahead.

At the beginning of grade 11 last year, I started the International Baccalaureate program. I knew it was going to be difficult and I knew there was the chance that I would have to drop out - and as it turns out, I did end up dropping a few of the courses for my grade 12 year. I do not regret the choice to do the program and I do not regret the choice to drop part of it. My grade 11 year was pretty close to hell as far as school goes: I hardly slept and I was under a constant flow immense pressure from expectations and a never-ending stream of deadlines. But during this experience, I feel like I learned where I want to go with my life; what my true passions are; what I want to improve about myself; and I became close friends with people that had been mere classmates previously.

This year was the first time I went to a formal dance. Prom was really fun and I learned that I can really grind ;) But I'm neither grateful, relieved, resentful, or inspired... I'm kind of indifferent really.

My dog attacked me and I had to get rid of him. I flet like I in some way failed him. I haven't been able to run so I've had to find other ways to process. I'm sad that it happened but so many people were so sweet to me that it restored my faith in humanity. I can't say I'm exactly relieved, but I know he is in a better place now and the weight of pet ownership, especially that of one with issues is gone now. I'm open to learning and discovering what the lesson is here, like when something goes out, something has to come in to fill the space, just wondering what that will be.

filed for divorce after finally putting a stop to the punishment and penance...now believe i am worthy of forgiveness and love...hopeful after heartbreak...passion, wanting, hunger awakened...i am free and i am very grateful...

The most significant experience that I have had in the past year was getting my first fulltime job after college. It was not exactly what I dreamed of or desired, but it came with a lot of potential for growth and a hearty paycheck. While I am extremely grateful for my career and all of the opportunities it has afforded me (moving to a beautiful location, growing as a leader, etc), I continue to wonder what would have happened if I had waited. What job would I have landed had I not been hired by Target? Would I have a tech job in SF and live the life I wanted? Or would I still be jobless like millions of others in this country? In the end, I think it's safe to say that no matter where my company takes me it will have been a great stepping stone for my future as a businessman.

I was unemployed for almost the entire year. I realize just how much people define themselves and others by their careers. I also realize just how much gets ignored or re-prioritized for the sake of a paycheck. Now that I'm back to work, I feel humble and empowered to fight for a balance between working for "the man" and working for my life. I don't need to stay late without pay or take on extra projects to prove I'm worth my check.

had to move. challenge to move unexpectedly. pleased with our better home.

Well, I got invited by my bestfriend to attend Christmas with her family in Cebu, Philippines. I am very grateful to her, I mean it's not every Christmas you get to go other than your own home, but then a little sad that I didn't get to spend it with my family. Being with her family though made it worth it, everyday we'd go out and have fun.

10 months ago, I purchased my first apartment, which has given me the first sense of stability - and home- since my mom passed away three years ago. It is also the largest and sunniest place I've lived in, and it makes me extremely happy to realize that I live here.

I had knee replacement surgery and was disabled for many weeks. While my situation was temporary, it gave me great insight into those for whom disability is not temporary and moving around the city on a daily basis is filled with never-ending hurdles. And I was so grateful to the many friends who provided care and friendship during my convalescence.

One significant experience that happened to me when my husband left for 90 days and seemed nonchalant about the whole thing. The experience left me resentful that he has the freedom to leave for prolonged periods of time without feeling anything. Myself I would be troubled about the welfare of my children and plagued with feelings of guilt as a mother. I was also inspired that I was able to keep things together without him it gave me the confidence I would need if I ever decided to leave him, I know I can make it on my own.

My brother left the country to work on another one. He's also my best friend. I miss him everyday. Never take anyone for granted. You never know if you'll end up on diferent paths.

I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis during my last semester of college at age 50, having been unable to walk. I still maintained my 4.0 GPA and graduated summa cum laude. I started grad school soon after. I feel like I can do anything now.

I can't put my finger on one things that happened this last year. I've changed a lot and learned a lot about myself. I've have become a super strong believer in christ and i think this has been the biggest change in my life. I am ispired my my new stronger faith and i feel like i know exactly what i want/need to do with my live. I have changed a lot on the inside because of this but i cant seem to project that change to the outside.

I got fired... twice. The first time I turned around quickly, got a new job and held my head up high. The second time was only a week ago, so I'm not sure how things will turn out? I have yet to be grateful. I am anything but relieved. I am resentful and I am struggling with whether or not I'm inspired. It varies day to day.

I finally got over my last love... Only took 10 years... I'm very grateful, and relieved... And we've managed to stay friends since...

I had an experience that renewed my commitment to my chosen profession but also increased my frustration and sense of futility. There was a student I worked with a number of years ago who had tremendous potential and a good set of leadership skills but lacked in self-confidence and I believe had had some significant challenges while she was growing up. I did everything I could to support her and help her work through her experiences. It was wonderful to see her after a long period of time and see how she had "grown up" and developed her life. It reminded me of why I do what I do - but also made me feel more of a sense of urgency to get out of the current situation where I feel I am spinning my wheels and get back to a place where I could truly make a difference. I hate wasting time as we never know how long we really have. I also finally settled the case over my grandfather's trust. I am very upset that all of the money has gone to attorneys and experts and I know my grandfather never wanted it to go there. I also resent the fact that that money could have set me up for the rest of my life and Greg wasted it all. I am relieved though that it's over and I don't need to deal with it anymore - although I do have to complete the taxes . . . .

A significant experience? I graduated from college...I'd call that significant. I'm still figuring out how I feel, how it's affected me, how I'm going to deal with this monumental transition. One of my graduation speakers said that people don't acknowledge enough the trauma of graduating and moving on. Every day I'm realizing more and more how traumatic it really is. To leave behind your friends that have become your family; your professors that have molded you into the thinker and doer that you've become; the dining hall where you had every meal, inevitably ran into that one person you wanted to avoid, made eye contact across the room with your crush, and developed elaborate concoctions; the quad that turned the most magnificent buildings in the fall and housed aggressive snowball fights in the winter; and the academic buildings where we slaved away day and night, pouring over books and articles. It was such a nurturing environment, a place where you could do anything you wanted, be anyone you dreamed of being. Having graduated, I realize now what a wonderful phase college is; when else do you lead that kind of life? When else are you so intellectually challenged and inspired? When else can you do all those crazy things you did in college? My biggest regret is that I worked too much: my senior year was taken over by my thesis, which I now realize doesn't even mean anything. It's the year from which I have the fewest pictures, the fewest crazy memories (except for senior week). The biggest lesson I learned is to work hard, do the best that you can, but treasure the moments you have with the people you care about. That's all that matters in the end.

I landed my first full-time teaching job. Initially, I felt relieved and happy. After a while, I just became anxious. I had this pit in my stomach, gnawing away at me. No matter what I did I felt I would never be prepared or ready. Now that I've been in it for a bit, I like it and realize that I needed to learn how to fly by the seat of my pants. It was also important for me to realize that at 23, the best of life is ahead of me not behind.

I joined a 12 step group through the help of a family member. It is giving me the tools to understand how to trust G-d. I am grateful because my life is beginning to open up and change in so many wonderful ways. There are people from all different walks of life that attend. It's amazing. I am beginning to understand things through the help and kindness of others and G-d that I never would have been able to do on my own. I am beginning to feel sane.

Establishing a partnership with the M@#$ Corporation after some initial hang-ups. I was worried about so many things that never even materialized. Our partner is a terrific company, one of the top two at what they do in the nation. This gave us immediate validation and credibility and hopefully soon the money to do our creative work. Grateful, relieved, excited, happy. I love this opportunity and am only sorry I had to wait so long for it. I can bring everything I know to do it. We've really experienced the favor of God. Free office space with my partner's brother in law. Friends, former students, have come on board. We're able to employ a diverse group of folks. Empowering. Love the creative piece even the technology.

Well, I come back to the divorce. It was quick and painful. Now I find myself struggling with the drudgery of everyday life as a single mom. There's nothing glamorous about it, but when I reflect on where I was a year ago, or two years ago, or five years ago - I am in such a better place. I'm relieved; I'm resentful that my ex-husband is more of a child than a parent, and so I do most of the heavy lifting. It's okay, though - at least I know my daughter is taken care of. And the fact that I was brave enough to want to be where I am now is really inspiring to me.

I started working out at the gym consistently in the morning with a coworker. I am very grateful for the experience. Looking back on the development of our workouts and our friendship, it wasn't easy or without bumps, and it's quite surprising. However, the decision to start was spontaneous and mutually exciting. I'm very happy to have that habit and certain other doors in my mind open to trying new things and worrying about the details later.

I planned and executed a two-week solo trip to Europe. The planning was important because the take-away was: I can do this, and want to do more of it.

I found out my bestfriend in the world was dating the man of my dreams, three months after the fact. I felt so hurt that someone I consider family could just keep something like that from me and expect me not to be upset. It was the first really heart break in my life not because I could never go after the guy but because she lied to me. She went behind my back and blatenly hurt me. Though I grin and bare it deep down inside I still hold resentment for her and sometimes I find myself wondering why I'm still her friend a if I personally get anything out of it. But as it is I'm the nice girl, the forgiving walking mat, but I also believe in karma and I know when day I'll be looking down on her as her life falls apart and mine is perfectly stitched together.

I found out my dad has been dealing with depression since I left for college last fall. It's taken a giant tole on my home life, something I cherish a lot more now that I'm constantly away from "home". If anything I'm angry, angry he won't help himself, angry my brother does nothing to help, angry my mom keeps things from me because she thinks I have too much on my plate already. I fear that this is going to be the year that my home no longer is my home, it just becomes a memory. I'm afraid this is the doorway to the rest of my life, and my hometown is now quickly becoming a childhood memory. I want to live my life with no regrets, but I don't want to leave my family in the dust filled with such resentment.

I made some new friends that made me question my relationship with the ones I considered closest to me.

Well, I think it's yoga's practice. I've never thought this is so grate. It makes me peacefull, calm, strong and healthy. It helps you to realize potential of your soul and your body.

First Bless you and thanks for the question as it has given me an opportunity to reflect. This year has been full of significant experiences. It has been a year of blessings and of challenges. But what has been most significant this year is my embracing my full spiritual self--the sacred feminine, Gnostic, Hindu, first people, Judaism--it is all in me and manifest Itself in some way, everyday. My faith looks nothing like what I grew up having foisted upon me. I feel an always present internal power that always says says to me no matter what happens, what challenges each day brings, no matter how low or how dark the circumstances may be, I have within me a spirit and a light that I can call upon and it will never fail me. I can't tell you how or why I was set down on this path but here I am. So this year has been about finding my authentic spiritual center and allowing myself to remain open to things seen & unseen. I believe that somethings have to be believed to be seen. I am grateful beyond measure. I would not have wanted to continue to sleep walk though my life, not giving any thought to how real spiritual power can elevate and illuminate.

A significant experience that has happened to me in the past year would be learning to truly love. I owe a great deal of this revelation to the three beautiful little girls my sister nannies. Because of them I am inspired to be happy no matter what and I've learned that it's okay to give sloppy kisses and frequent hugs. Also, I've gained confidence in myself by working more with kids through mentoring and babysitting. I feel that now I truly understand what it feels like to love someone unconditionally and completely.

As I grew up in the past year, I realized that everything is not easy as it looks. Applying to colleges, getting better grades, and getting a job really made me realize that I was soon going to be out in this world making my own choices and not someone else giving me options and doing it for me. I had to step up. Growing up would be my significant experience because honestly, If I didn't grow up and gain some courage, I would never be in the situation I am today. I wouldn't be in the relationship I am in now, nor be in the college that I made a ballsy move on. I am grateful that I did grow up, but sad that I just can't be a kid anymore and let other's make my decisions. Sure people can influence me to make my choices, but I have to do them on my own now because the choices I make are the ones I have to live with for the rest of my life.

I have lost family members. My grandmother passed away when I was in the first grade, but I was too young and insensitive back then. In February, a distant cousin was murdered. In July, my cousin, oldest of our generation, was rear-ended by a tow truck. The feeling of losing these people is difficult. I can't imagine what the immediate family members of them are feeling. Both could have been prevented, but why did it have to happen at all? Why did it have to happen to them?

I made the decision to step out on faith, applied for and was accepted to a new job after being with the same organization for 11 years. Like so many at my former job, I was unhappy. Unlike so many others at my former job, I decided to do something about it instead of spending another 11 years complaining about it. It was a huge leap to go from someplace where I knew a lot of people to a place where I new not one person. It was exciting and very freeing. I had also gotten divorced in 2009 and moved in September 09 from the apartment where my ex-husband was encamped (refused to move after the divorce was final in March 09) to a lovely new apartment with my daughter. My home is now a place of peace and my workplace (although hectic and rife with its own cast of characters) is a place of great satisfaction. These experiences have indeed left me with tremendous gratitude, very much relieved and inspired to protect my priceless peace of mind and spirit.

My hours at work got cut from 40 to 30 and I needed to look for other sources of income. A career in makeup artistry kept crossing my path. Makeup and skincare were something that I have been interested in since I was a young child, but because of the way I was raised, it never occurred to me to pursue this as a career. Now I realize how much I love it and I'm moving full steam ahead. I am so grateful that this happened to me because I feel it's part of the real me . It's fulfilling and it makes me happy. The world now looks like a great big coloring book to me!!!

I became a vegetarian in early April. I still haven't regretted this decision; I look and feel healthier than ever and I have been able to introduce my senses to a whole new variety of flavours. Since my family are meat eaters, I have had to cook for myself, which is fantastic. I was never in the kitchen much before, and now I love cooking. I can definitely say that this was a great decision.

Declared bankruptcy and surrendered to my deepest fears of (lack of) self-worth and inadequacy. Guess what? I made it through to the other side. That in and of itself, was a revelation.

My deceased grandfather came to me in a dream and said that he is coming back to life as my child's soul - and then he showed me an apparition of this beautiful child growing up. My wife is 3 months pregnant, and this week we saw the ultrasound. Saw the child for the first time, and it was so wonderful and touching to see this little person growing. It's 1/2 me! Too bad there is no ultrasound for the soul.

I was installed as President of a 500 member women's service organization which I was instrumental in founding. It is both a challenge and a privilege to head this group, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and to enjoy an active and productive retirement.

I moved to New York City. I am definitely inspired- something I've wanted to do since I was young. I may be poor the entire time I live here while I'm paying this rent- but I know I won't regret it. This city is vivid, awe-inspring, and full of possibility.

A significant thing that happened was dating a guy from a different school who I had basically went from acquaintance to girlfriend to in a matter of weeks. I learned that your best bet when it comes to significant others is to look around your friends group, who knows you better and is already someone who's company you enjoy? It just makes sense, I mean look at Monica and Chandler ♥

I started a new career path, in the social services area. I never in my life thought I would be doing this kind of work, but it turns out that, eventhough I am making less money than I did over 10 years ago, it is the most satisfactory job I ever had. I don't know if I will continue on this exact job a year from now, but I like the path I'm on. It has opened so many doors for me. I know my new found trust in God has a lot to do with it.

I gained a best friend. It has made me much happier and has helped me make numerous memories and inside jokes. she has helped me to regain trust and make new friendships. i am increddibly greatful. she has allowed me to let me open up more often she has given me someone to rely on and trust. i am some what relieved. she has given me hope that i will have a future relationship. she inspires me everyday with her honesty and smile. she trusts me therefore i trust her.

I both lost my father this year and was diagnosed with cancer about six months later. As bizarre as this sounds though professionally I have never been more successful, my children are growing up beautifully and make me so happy and my wife has been great and determined in her own career path. I have gone from dazed and overwhelmed to focused and appreciating the little moments a lot more.

I have decided to leave my husband and get my life back on track. I have allowed him to control me and suck the life right out of me to the point I find I am no longer breathing. My bank account has been depleted since marrying him so I don't know how I will do it. I just know I have to even though I am up there in years and have not worked for several years. I now choose to surround myself with positive people. I am terrified as well as excited about reclaiming my life.

I think the most significant experience was the birth of my granddaughter. She arrived December2/09 and has been the highlight of my life ever since. I love spending time with her, watching her grow and develop into a person. I look forward to having loads of fun with her over the years.

I finally let go of the most negative person in my life. This has had a profound effect on me. It was like a huge negative energy weight has left me. I look younger, feel better, laugh more. I am an incredibly happier person. And because of this I have made a career change. I am no longer an artist for a living, I am doing clerical work and create art for myself.

My family and I live abroad and this past summer we had our usual visit to my parents in the U.S. When usually, we can only get along for 2-3 days, we all managed much longer this year. My parents were so nice, and did so much for both us, and our child (their grandchild). They were more relaxed than in the past. I was grateful for this visit and regret that I haven't expressed it well to them. Instead, my husband, their son-in-law expressed our appreciation. This makes me feel guilty.

At age 52, I became homeless for the first time in my life. With no job and little money, I was forced to sleep in my car for 4 nights until I could arrange to stay with friends. The problem is that I don't understand why I don't feel more desperate than I do, why I don't try harder to find work to get myself out of this situation.

I graduated from high school. I have never been one who loved school, I just liked reading. Going to several schools never helped, either, and I was always the bigger girl in class. Body image has been something that is/and was always on my mind, so school was grueling. (Forgetting the fact that growing up is awkward anyways.) I am the 5th of 6 kids, and my oldest brother is the only one with a high school diploma. My second oldest brother and my older sister have gotten their GED's, but I didn't quit, I actually fucking did it. I thought graduating would open answers to my future, like once the principal handed over that sucker, I was in a club where the initiation was that diploma. The club where former seniors knew exactly what they were doing; no fears, just facts and a definite plan. I don't. There wasn't a club, just a handshake and a handful of congratulations. The future is up to me and I am so excited to explore it and begin my real education on nothing curricular but life.

I learned that despite what we are accustomed to thinking, it is rare and precious to find someone who actually listens when you talk. It is a blessing to oneself to forgive others when you are disappointed in them. It is a greater blessing to release all expectations and to be able to love what is rather than what we wish were there.

Two co-workers surprised me for my birthday by decorating my birthday and with a cake

My brother decided to join the Marines this year. I was shocked that he would want to do this when there is a war, at his age (26) and with the job he has. He couldn't really give a reason why this is what he decided. I don't support the war, but I support my brother. I told him, because I was his brother, I couldn't force him to change his mind but I could support him in any decision he made. My brother and I have a very close relationship so having him away at boot camp right now is very tough. Right now he is a big inspiration because he is doing something very noble and has more balls than I do!

I married my boyfriend of 2 years. Well, everything-but-married. Washington State remains committed to heterosexual marriage only, but has generously consented to dole out rights equal to marriage, but without the name 'marriage'. I guess it's good, because all we needed was $50, a form I downloaded online, and a notary public and boom, we were everything-but-married on Christmas Eve, 2009! So very romantic, eh? I'm grateful for the state rights granted by the passage of Ref 71, but can't help but still feel like a second class citizen. We will continue to fight for full equality under the law.

Last year I flew to San Francisco, California to attend a Harry Potter con. At twenty years of age, I traveled for the first time by myself, across the country. I formed friendships with so many wonderful people. I explored the beautiful sights of the city. Overall, it was an incredible experience I will never forget.

Chiranjeev's mental breakdown. It broke me. I am now grateful that he is working and productive again. I am now relieved that he has moved out and I am no longer subjected to his abusive behaviour.

My son recently left for college on the other side of the country. Even though I miss him dearly, I know that he is ready to leave home and begin the adventure of being a young man. I am so grateful that I am his mother. He is a thoughtful, creative, charming, wonderful, adventurous person. He brightens my life, and I believe he brightens the lives of those with whom he comes into contact. I think he will find his way, his calling, and bring some good to this world.

At around this time last year, I was leaving for my semester abroad in Madrid. It was the first time that I would truly be on my own, albeit with a small group of American students, but on my own nonetheless. Returning home from my time in Madrid, I felt like a completely different person. Feeling that I had changed so much, and really just learned about myself. But I was returning to a home where none of my friends had spent time abroad, or away at college. At school, no one really understood the kind of homesickness that I felt for the city that was my home for three and a half months. Despite the initial feelings of awkwardness of returning home, I am so grateful and happy that I was able to experience such an amazing trip.

It was a combination of recent health issues all at once. Diabetes, TIA event, high cholesterol, enlarged spleen, and passing three kidney stones during the same month that all the preceding issues came to light. All this served as a wake up call that I need to start paying more attention to my overall health. My most immediate reactions are to pay closer attention to my diet, monitor my blood sugar levals, and returning to regular exercise. I suppose I'm kind of upset with the current state of affairs but not especially surprised by it all. Just kind of a downer month taking all of the health issues all at once, but I'll get through it all and am already seeing positive results and improvement.

A little over a year ago, I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just over a year ago... I have learned so much about my body, my health. I have learned so much about responsibility, and have taken on so much more than anyone should ever have to. I am in charge, every day, of weather or not I live or die. Despite it all, I have a cause, I have never been more passionate about anything, never felt more empowered or able to help others. I will, without a doubt in my mind, spend the rest of my life helping other people like me...

My son (age 22) went to the Dr. and got a diagnosis for his medical condition. Even though I don't know what it was for sure, (I am 99% sure he is bi-polar) I am relieved to know he has a diagnosis and can manage his condition. I still feel anxious about him, he's basically homeless, has no job, no girlfriend, no money and self-medicated. I give him food but refuse to support him financially. But I am very hopeful he can get the help he needs to move forward from here. I love him so much but I cannot enable him anymore.

My 30 yr old stepson came to live with us. He has a history of drug use and we were trying to help him get his life back together. He ended up betraying and using us - hiding his drug using girlfriend in the basement and lying about it. Also stole some of his father's tools and pawned them to support their drug habit. Almost ended my marriage. Lots more to the story, it would take too long to relate here! We kicked him out - his mother put him up in a cheap motel. He is now in prison on drug related charges. I feel relief we no longer have to deal with him and plan to never have anything to do with him again. I feel angry and resentful that he would betray us after we tried to help. I hope he gets help while in prison, but will never trust him again.

The formal has really shown me who my friends are. And has given me a large appreciation for people who I like and has only further reinstilled my passionate hate for some others. I'm glad I ruined the dancing for some people, as they've ruined my life.

I have found myself resentful this year. I was diagnosed and treated for Hepatitis C as a result of Addiction issues many years ago. As a result I eventually laid off my job for "economic" reasons. Insurance gone, and health-care and support from the government became necessary. I have spent the year fighting for what has been promised to me all my working career, to no avail. The stress and uncertainty has made medical conditions and response to treatment worse, and homelessness is a complete possibility now. I am glad to be alive. I am glad to be in America, but at what cost?

I traveled to Indonesia with my parents to see the country, cities, neighbourhoods and houses where they grew up. It was an eye-opening experience that made me really appreciate the life I have today.

I learned Spanish or rather, I'm working on learning spanish. This experience, this continued experience has brought more to my life than I could have ever imagined. It's difficult. It's draining. But it is also inspiring. It's engaging. It's teaching me about myself and about other people. It has given me more confidence in myself than anything I've done in a very long time.

The most significant experience that I had this past year was the birth of my daughter. I can't imagine what my life would be like w/o out her even though she's only 4.5 months old. She has put everything in perspective.

I met someone seeking meaning in the sense that I mean it. It caused me to read and think many things and to again be grateful that there are other souls in this world, separate and distant as stars, but present and shining, lighting the world.

I unexpectedly fell in love with somebody I was reconnected with after 16 years. I knew him back when I was in middle school, didn't really stay in touch, and then he found me on Facebook. We went to dinner a couple of times, and then our third date consisted of him flying me out to Seattle where he was living. That is when I fell in love with him. It was whirlwind of a romance for about three months when one night altered our course of what I thought was going to be a long-term love. We went out with some friends, got excessively drunk, got into a fight over my jealousy of his gal pals and his son's mom. I pushed him down on the ground, almost got arrested, and he lost his favorite jacket and Blackberry. He also lost his love and respect for me that night. My resentment toward him began. We tried to patch things up over the next couple of months, but that night was the chasm between our romance and our demise. My hopes and beliefs in us working out for a long-term commitment were put through the grinder with nothing left to spit out. The last time I saw him was for my 30th birthday. In a last ditch effort to try to salvage whatever love I believed to be between us, I flew out to San Francisco and had an amazing first day with him. On my birthday he muttered the classic line I will never forget, "So, if you ever come back to San Francisco, now you'll know where to go." If I ever come back? Um, you live here. I knew that was the end. The next day I flew back to Denver and cried over the next few weeks knowing we were over. It's been three months and I still think about him daily. I've gone on many dates with different men since then, but none seem to fill the empty space I have that he occupied for a brief moment in time. Last night I text him, "I miss you." It was a reminder that my dignity and pride had hit a new low. I ponder why it is we have the feelings for people that we do. Is this something that we can control? If I don't want to care, then why do I? Out of all of this, I wish I had closure. I wish he had been honest enough to say, "I'm just not that into you."... or whatever it is that truly happened - and not just our one night of drama. I hope by this time next year I've completely moved on and my dating life won't be in such turmoil.

An event that really shaped this past year was hooking up with my best friend. It happened early in the year. I'm not grateful, relieved or inspired. It was basically un pedazo de mierda. My view of it is already skewed and I've referred to her an ex when we really never dated. But it felt so much like we did. And it felt so good. And to hook up with her was such a wonderful unbelievable high. But to just, de golpe, lose her almost completely, horrible. I'm still not over it. And still fighting with it a lot. I'll go weeks without talking to her and almost feel that I'm over it, over her, just done. But then, out of nowhere she'll im me or I'll have a night in which I terribly need to talk to someone and she is literally the only person online. She was the first person in a long while that I actually had real feelings for and to lose the chance of a relationship at the same time as my best friend is something that I'm hoping to be able to put behind me with this new year.

A friend introduced me to a local M.D. who wanted to improve his English. We have developed a close and honest friendship. I am learning as much as he is! No money is involved. He takes care of my health; I help him speak more fluently.

Travelling with a friend across Europe. Travelling with a friend and without family was quite an experience. It made me appreciate my life and be thankful for what I have. Made me learn a lot of things about myself and I guess a part of me fellin in love with travelling and left a piece of me in a small town in Italy. Maybe one day i'll get to return back and feel the happiness,relaxation and easy going culture that I experienced when i was there.

I spent time with my grandmother who is dying. I think it has changed a lot about the way I view life and death. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be so close to her all of my life and near her when she is so old and beginning to leave this world. It was so hard to say goodbye when I had to leave her side, a forced time limit on time. Which in a way, is the truth about how things are. Things are limited, possibilities are not endless. and everything does have an end.

This past year, I learned what it was like being The Other Woman in a relationship and having that discovered. Looking back on it, I have definitely grown from that because I learned how to take other people's feelings into consideration and that I am not the infallible friend that I thought I was, but I make up for it when it comes down to it. My relations with guys last year taught me that while I do like and love to have fun, I love to have someone serious to be with too. Before I was only pooh-pooh on the idea of dating someone seriously and made no secret of this either. This both deterred and made people lust for me in secret which either ended up in an over-sexualized quasi-relationship (in my relations with A or M), in calamity as they decided that their feelings for me were stronger than their feelings with the one they were with (S), or, as I don't like to remember, with force to make me fulfill a promise they think I made in the dark. Those events shaped me into something new and showed me that sometimes people let their urges get the better of themselves, and if I don't protect me, then someone will not hesitate to treat me any way they desire.

The single most significant experience I have had this year is that I am finally grateful for each and every day...no matter what it brings.

Six months ago, I left my Husband of 7 years, and became a single parent. I am relieved through this experience as, I was living in a mentally abusive household. As were both my children. I now feel a lot less stressed, and it has enhanced my health. It has made me question what I want to get out of my life and whether I am going to 'waste' the next 7 years.

I finally made friends that I think will last forever, or at least longer then any that I've had in the past.

i met a liar and a cheat whom i didn't think was a liar and a cheat, but he was. i am grateful he showed his true colors. relieved to not have to believe now he is/was something he really isn't/wasn't, holding onto some allusion that he was a decent person. not resentful, sad for him, knowing that karma will rear her head and inspired to be oh-so-different.

I fell in love with an amazing man. It's affected me in many ways but perhaps what's most remarkable to me is the fact that it was one my predictions and hopes in answering questions on this site last year. I had no idea that I was so close to it, mainly because for years I felt as though I were slipping further and further away from the possibility of love. I continue to be utterly grateful for having him in life (some days it takes more effort to remind myself of that, but that's all part of it...) One aspect I'm particularly grateful for is that it's not always easy and I'm learning a tremendous amount about myself--and him--because of it.

My boyfriend proposed me. I was very pleased with it, dispite of the fact that it didn't changed my life at all, besouse we lived together since 1 and a half year. Anyway it was a vonderful celebration of our love, and we made a big step towards marriage. Our love is relay on the perfection of the ordenary days!

Eddie broke up with me. :-) Sounds so bald, but he did! I mean, it happened gradually, with care and conversation and lots of gentleness. "If you feel like you can do this, then you should," I counseled. "I want someone who will fight for me, who will do all he can not to lose me. If you don't want to be with me, if it isn't feeling right, then thanks for letting me know. Then I will find someone who feels, when he finds me, like he won the fucking lottery -- because he did. And you'll be released from this ambivalence. And that is what we both deserve." I was right. And so was he. But I cried a lot. Still do sometimes. Even though I realized, when we saw each other again for the first time in a year, that I am over him. Didn't feel the zing. Just felt... comfortable. I told him that getting over him was the most significant obstacle I overcame in this past year. It was. And so I feel... relieved, yes. Proud. Still a little incredulous -- How could he NOT have fallen in love with me? Ridiculous! ;-) And yeah, still a little sad. Do you ever TRULY get over a love who never done you wrong? Or do you just bury deep the love seed, down into your soul's tundra, thus triggering its hibernation, but still shivering each time a poignant memory rouses it from its icy slumber and flips its frozen weight? (Leave it to a chick to overthink it. ;-) )

After a night in NICU, Rivka was returned to us healthy and well. I was relieved and grateful, and reminded how lucky we are to have two healthy children.

Its barely taking place, Im moving at the end of the month to Mexico City... The change was inspired by the lack of good corporate opportunities here in Mty, plus Im a little bored here, I think this town might be a tad too smal for me... So... here we go! Im a lil nerv'z but I guess what they say might be right: all change is good!

A family reunion of sorts where two of my three sisters and my parents saw each other for the first time in years. Crystalised the low priority we have for each other, particularly amongst the sisters. We all live on different continents and have done so for 20 or more years. My father is 87 and struggled with the barely concealed indifference of my eldest sister and her daughter who made little to no effort to spend time with him or my mother.

I got my first real job, working in a restaurant. It's really made me appreciate what I have, because so many of my co-workers are working this job as well as another, or trying to raise a kid on their own, or are trying to save up money so they can go back to school. They work so much harder than me, and I have nothing to complain about in comparison. Despite the fact that I would rather not have to work while I'm at school, I'm grateful for the perspective and the friendships that this job has given me. It may just be a college job, but I have a feeling it will affect the rest of my life.

I started college at ORU. I'm so blessed to be on my hall, 4 North, with an awesome roommate! I'd never met her before but it worked out perfectly. I'm relieved that I made it past high school, and excited to see how God moves in the next 4 years.

this past year was a very eventfull one. i started out my junior year with mono and missed 2 1/2 weeks of school then i found out i got chlamydia again. then i tore my acl and meniscus playing soccer. then my moms back went out which resulted in me stepping up into the mother role til she recoverd. then our house flooded. this was a very stressful year. i have been on and off about how i deal with it all. sometimes ill be helpful and understanding, other times ill have to go to my room because ill be so stressed that im very unpleasant to be around. but i have also learned that in a time of touble the best thing a person can do is stay close to their family and do everything in their power to not worsen the already problematic situation. i am a little bit of everything; relieved, resentful and inspired. relieved that we have almost overcome every misfortunate thing that has happend. resentful because karmas a bitch! and inspired to be a better sister and daughter.

My mother passed away last June. I feel lost sometimes because things come up that I'd like to ask or tell her, but I'm also feeling more independent.

My father died this past year. It left me feeling abandoned since my mom had already passed on several years ago. It also made me value my relationships with my brothers and sisters whom I hadnt had much to do with prior to his death. Life is a precious and fleeting thing and I now feel the need to enjoy it more and to spend more time with the people I love so very much. I also felt a renewed urgency to take better care of my own health since I am getting on in years... I want to be around for as long as possible for my kids who mean the world to me!!

Job hours seriously reduced, as such am now treated like a pariah by those I considered friends. One of my closest work friends can barely talk to me and another keeps eavesdropping and spreading what she hears.

I hit the road on my own. It made me wiser and I learned alot about my own reactions.

Unwanted roommate (exwife) moved out of my house. I am grateful she is making it on her own and I have just myself and the two kids to take care of.

The feeling of unimaginable/unexpected loss was the most significant experience of the past year. Two men so very distant from each other... and different!...yet so very close to me, and through very unreal circumstances, were taken in the most abrupt and unfathomable fashions. Through two very different events, this one unfamiliar sensation was the most significant thing to shape my personal landscape. I still do not know how I feel about it. It killed me, tired me, and inspired me all at once and it is too often I find the mixing of these three responses is almost too much to handle.

I left my job at group home for boys abruptly because I went into treatment for an eating disorder. For a long time I was very regretful of going. I missed the job I had and could no longer return because I didn't give them notice of my departure. And treatment was tough. I struggled with restrictive eating, orthorexia, and a bineging/fasting/restricting cycle when I got into treatment, but by the time I had gotten out, I was a bulimic (from vomiting) which continues to be a struggle for me. I gained a lot of weight during treatment and have felt very bad about myself this year, but I also felt a lot more emotions. I have felt more in touch with my body and my emotions than ever before. I feel like I can love again and get broken, even if it may be painful.

I lifted my head after months of mourning the end of a long term relationship. I realized that I just wanted to be happy, and to laugh, and that I was capable of doing so, on my own.

One thing that was significant was almost pressing charges for sexual assault. I've never felt more disoriented than I did that week, and it made me realize everything that keeps my world "rightside-up" instead of "upside-down." I had never felt so on the brink of changing my own idea of who I was so dramatically- it was jarring in a broader sense, that this is what TRAUMA is like. This is how people are completely changed by events that happen to them and this is why rape/assault victims don't prosecute. I guess I'm relieved and lucky that my own assault wasn't itself the trauma that turned my world inside-out and shook it completely. It was the legal process. And I decided not to press charges, and I'm confident about my choice and happy that I was able to preserve all of the things about my life that I love so much. It made me realize how lucky I am to love my life as it is enough to be completely adamant about holding on to it.

I have gone through a rough patch this year, both emotionally and professionally. Then my wife had a miscarriage and she was really looking forward to having another addition to our family of three. Despite this traumatic event, she was my backbone of support emotionally and mentally . She helped me realise who I really am in terms of my abilities and basic personality. She is my rock. It is easy to lose yourself in some circumstances and situations, but she helped me though it all. I have realised that the best thing that I have done till now is marry the person that I did. She sees all that I can be and that beacon can carry me forward even in the most testing of times.

2 colleagues went to open a new shop and left me at the shop We opened together for our company 3 years ago - I felt at the time: resentful. With time, and now, I feel grateful. It made me stronger. And it has all worked out for the best. In hindsight I had to go through the pain of that situation to end up where I am now.

I became Jewish! I am grateful and inspired. How did it affect me? I discovered a new world, and I am still discovering it. I think I also became a stronger me. I am less afraid of standing up for what I believe and saying what I feel and believe, rather than what others would expect of me. I am more sure of myself.

I suppose the most significant experience that has happened in the past year was getting married at Sequoia National Park. As I type this, there are sample answers scrolling by about rage, resentment and infidelity in a marriage. I hope that is not a sign. I have taken a huge leap of faith by getting married because all I see around me, and all I have ever seen, is how destructive marriages are. I am, though, extremely grateful for my husband, relieved to be married, yes, because I feel safe, secure and like a complete person. I know he is the father of my children, and I know he will take care of me. I can only hope that we will remain happy.

I got engaged. I was happy and excited about the purpose and intention of the event, but the complications that arose from it were not easy to deal with. Being in love with someone and watching them not fully understand their being loved is difficult. Watching the one you love be influenced by people that are not truly capable of separating their own ideas and experiences from that of the person they believe they care about is a daunting task. As of the day I write this, I have yet to see my fiancee truly, genuinely, and fiercely commit to our intended marriage in a way that is incontrovertible to myself and those in her life that should support her most fully. I have the fullest of faith and confidence she will come to understand the situation itself, like situations running concurrently in her life, and the importance of cultivating her "swagger". Balancing the act of patience with the expected actions of what constitutes a good relationship is difficult.

This time last year I finished a solo canoe trip in the Boundary Waters. I came out having listened deeply to myself. I gave myself permission to be fully happy, and take the next steps in my career as well as moving to an environment that I could thrive in. I am so grateful for the nature, the inspiration, the forward motion and the ability to hear/search and love myself.

I was kicked out of college for grades. It was devastating. My parents and I fought like hell. I got a tattoo without their knowledge. I'm on a new path now.

I worked at a Girl Scout Camp this summer for two months. I lived in the woods, worked outside, slept in tents and under the stars...cohabited with lesbians and finger-painted with adolescent girls who wanted nothing more than to not be bitten by mosquitoes. I resented this experience greatly when I was going through it, but looking back on it I honestly think it built character. I want to find a way to take the experience of camp and have it change my life for the better. I am trying in my mind everyday to figure out how it can change my life, instead of simply making me resentful towards children and the world.

This is too deep for my liking. So instead i'm going to talk to my future self. Hello Georgia of 2011 :). Hope lifes awesome. Bye then.

My family reunited for a summer holiday week for the first time in 19 years. It was the first time we had all gathered in one place since the death of my brother, 11 years ago. It was a novelty to see each other without a death attached; yet death and its trappings intervened. We finally put to rest questions of "inheritance" - small possessions and photographs which had been left undistributed. The energy and life force of my little niece counterbalanced the negative. Her hero worship of me re-ignited my desire to make someone proud.

I moved back home to live with my mother, after leaving when I was 18. I think the longest i'd ever stayed before was maybe a month? 6 weeks? I've been here since December, and now its September. And, for the most part, its amazingly good. Sure, living in LA/working in a nursing home/applying for graduate school/trying to make friends has been enough crazy to drive me into therapy, but my mom has been amazingly great. There is no one else in the world who loves a good bubbes be crazy story like my mom. and sure, while sometimes i worry we talk so much because she has not enough other friends to vent to, i am happy to be there and have those chats and be such a good friend. In a related, but not quite as intense way, being around for what my Dad recently phrased as "face time" has been a blessing. To just hop over to his house for dessert or a car exchange or whatever? It's pretty nice. I will miss it terribly when I move back to the MidWest.

College happened to me. I'd had a very romantic view of college. I was greatly disappointed when it turned out to be so completely different from high school, where I got decent grades without putting forth much effort. I got through my first semester horribly. I felt anxious all the time and never got enough sleep. Plus, I only passed one of my four classes. That lost me my scholarship and had to quickly and messily transfer to the community college. Things started to look up. I made some more friends and classes were more enjoyable. Then I took a nosedive during spring semester when I failed a required class for the second time. I reverted back to my anxious state and never told my parents. I spent the summer brooding over my first year at college and asking myself "What do you REALLY want to do with your life?" I realized that my degree would lead me straight to a desk job most likely in southern California. Being a lover of fall and snow, and a hater of sitting under florescent lights 9-5 and dressing up, I scrapped that degree idea. When fall registration rolled around, I went to see an advisor and signed up for classes in my new area of study : Small Business Management. I had discovered that I would love nothing more than to open a used book shop somewhere in the Midwest or New England region. I just started classes again, and have never felt so relaxed and relieved. I get tingles of excitement every time I think about having my very own book shop. Maybe I'll have an apartment over top. And a cat.

I spent my summer interning in Washington DC at Americans for Peace Now. It taught me so much in only six short weeks. I learned more about Politics, the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and of course, myself. I am grateful and inspired that I had this experience because it taught me a lot about myself that I wouldn't have been able to learn otherwise. Although some parts of the experience were difficult, it made me appreciate the positive and exciting experiences even more.

I spent October - December 2009 on an overseas work assignment. The assignment was challenging work, but ultimately rewarding. During my time overseas, someone close to me was very ill, and it made me reflect on what my ultimate priorities are with regard to living life, friends, and family, particularly after I returned to where I currently live (Alaska) and experienced a very rough patch emotionally--I craved the company of friends who were on the east coast, and it wasn't readily available. My Alaska family stepped up, though. Ultimately, the two experiences showed me the power of friendship across time zones--while they were very difficult times, I'm grateful for the lessons that I gleaned from them.

I met David. He is the most wonderful person I've known. Kind and loving. Apart from my kids I'm certain I've never loved another human being quite so much. I can't picture life without him and it's not even been ten months yet.

In March of 2009 I was laid off at my job at a travel agency. While I knew there were going to be lay-offs, I had no idea it was going to happen to me (I was the manager at the time). It took me 3 months to find another job. Not long, I know, and I was happy with the one I got, when I got it. But not for long. I know that in times like these I should have been happy that I had a job. And I was. I was extremely grateful that I had found a job that paid more than minimum wage. But I had to drive an hour and a half each way, and I worked 4:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. I never saw my family. So that's the background to my actual answer. In January of 2010 I was hired back to my previous job. I was ecstatic! I'm no longer the manager, but I am so thankful, and so happy to be where I am again. I get to work from home, and, even if I am working, I can have dinner with my family or see them whenever I want.

I got married this past year. Yes I am grateful for marrying my wife. I am grateful for the love my wife has for me. i feel nervous, happy and relieved that it is over with. i was nervous about if i was making the right decision. i believe i did make the right decision.

A: This year I ended up being set for life. I'm retired now, And I'm living life on my own terms. I'm so happy, So grateful, So relieved. I'll never be forced to take anyone's shit ever again...

the realization that my novel is 'another project.'. This novel that has felt for years like the work I've been preparing half a lifetime to do, that has often seemed too daunting and complex to finish, began to feel like this novel that has often seemed too daunting and complex to finish felt this year for the first time like just another of my writing projects, like a job of the kind I do. I need to take the steps, follow the instructions I've given myself, revise it chapter by chapter and reach out to the agents that have been suggested to me and in time an editor to help me forward. I can see it getting done, step by step. I've broken the revision work into chapter-size pieces. Where does that leave me? Inspired but also needing to make it my deepest commitment, my "most important client," as a writer friend says. Need to think in terms of how to maintain my focus to get through the many steps of the work and what kind of reward and break I can give myself when I do. Need to find the time in the calendar when it can be the project getting the extra push. Need to find that courage to live as I would advise my most promising student or friend to live.

I discovered I had breast cancer and started chemotherapy in February 2010, surgery in July 2010, and currently undergoing radiation, since August 2010. I thought the worse was over, but recently found out that one of my closest friend, who is married with a small child, was having an affair with a guy I was interested in and getting to know. I was devastated with the news. It hurt me to the core, and that pain still remains even now. I felt a range of emotions, all weighing heavily on my chest. Breathing became hard, and I felt suffocated by the deceit and lies from this long drawn out affair. The man was the first person to tell me about this affair. He confessed to me in early August, and asked for my forgiveness. I forgave him. My close friend avoided me until she arranged to meet up with me. In the end, I forgave her, too. Don't get me wrong, I don't want anyone to think forgiving them was easy. It's not. It wasn't. The pain is still there. For myself, the emotional hurt surpassed the hardship of chemo. But I want go towards reconciliation, I forgive because there's healing there.

Getting into university has been very inspiring. It feels good to be challenged and know that I still have much to achieve.

I am answering this question on day2 having procrastinated yesterday...nothing came to mind immediately so I thought I'd wait and see. Procrastination is a significant recurrent event in my life which I suspect contributes to my stress levels.

A couple actually. I quit my job and my girlfriend moved in with me. By quitting my job I was relieved of many stressful situations, but also to a whole new world of VERY tight budgeting. With my girlfriend moving in with me you get to learn much more about each other. This is a very good learing process that prepares us for the married life.

I read a book that inspired me a lot. Now I only want to make a complete change to my life, but first of all I need to set some bases.

After years of public school and a horrible middle school experience, we decided to send our daughter to a private high school. To help pay, I started a food cart business in addition to my full-time job as a professional writer. Money has been a huge struggle and it's hard working too jobs--but it's also been a fascinating adventure. I've met interesting people along the way, including someone who's opening a restaurant and wants to sell my food there. And I've learned a lot about baking. I've also learned that cooking is a lot different than writing. When I cook, someone eats it, I get good and immediate feedback, and I get paid instantly. When I write at work I get twelve opinions, countless suggestions for revisions, and no praise, ever--and I haven't had anything but a tiny raise for several years. So struggling to pay the bills has been hard, but it's also opened new doors. At 55, I appreciate that.

I was unemployed for much of the past year. Finally gave up on full-time employment & took contract work. Still struggling financially. Luckily I was born to parents who are able & willing to help. I'm grateful for this accident of birth, but resentful that with 3 advanced degrees and 25+ years of experience I can't make a decent living.

I suppose this entire year has been a significant experience. I moved away from home to go to university, and to study something that I thought I loved more than anything in the world. But the more time I spent away from home, and away from the people that loved me, the more I realised that not everything is clear cut. I'm relieved that I had this experience though, even though it's been harder than I ever though it would be. Not being around my family helped me realise how important they are to me, and how much I am willing to do for them. I'm proud of myself for that.

I auditioned for a philharmonic orchestra and got in. I've learned so much in there and I'm just grateful for my violin teacher who put such an effort to make me get there. Playing in there is very inspiring and rewarding.

I got depressed because I didn't what career or what to do after I finished that year. I ended up slicing open my left arm and going to the shrink when my parents found out. Everyday for over a year I took pills to be happy because my brain didn't produce all that I needed to be it. I'm relieved it happened then and not now when I'm going to start university but also because I know that people who have been heavly depressed is like an illness it always come back... I know what to deal with and how I felt then and now. But still I'm frightened that I aybe won't stop next time I do something harmful to myself. Sometimes I just wished that could go away for all the pain it caused my family because we already have cases of suicide and I don't want them to worry if I would do it and then tey'll just find me there, cold. Deeply it scares me to get to that point of feeling useless and I don't want to go back to that so I try to stay focused on good things in life.

My mom & I adopted an animal for the first time, to help fill the void of having lost our beloved cat, Magi. Instead of going to the cat show like we were going to, I went on the petfinder website, and saw a picture of "Sophia". She supposedly is a Russian blue cat which is what we wanted, and was abandoned at a very young age. We didn't know if we could keep her, at first, because of behavior issues, but we got past everything and we love her and her little coos. Looking at her, it's opened my eyes as to how great it is to give abandoned animals a good home, because it seems she loves us too!

Dont really need to go into details but the night i became a slut affected me massively... ruined friendships, made others, destroyed reputations. it did however help me realize that its ok to do things if thats what i want - doesnt matter what others think. sure this wasnt one of those times but it was a good learning curve none the less.

2010's really been a pivotal year for me. It's the year I've officially "grown up" - I got engaged, bought my very first property, launched the biggest campaign I've ever worked on - for my country no less - and got promoted off the back of it. So there isn't just one experience that's stood out, the whole year's been pretty spectacular. I'm feeling surprisingly normal about it all, I think the excitement's taking a while to set in! But next year when I look back on this, I'm sure the magnitude of everything I've achieved will set in.

My partner of 5 years left me for another woman. He moved to Australia and he had wanted me to come with him, but I couldn't because of commitments I had here in NZ and I knew it wasn't the best thing for me. Everything was fine, until he met this woman in Brisbane. I suspect that he cheated on me with her at this time but I have no verification. Then he moved to Sydney and while we kept trying for a little while, we eventually broke up and I found out later that he was with her. (She's German so it was long distance with her too) This was huge for me. Suddenly the last 5 years of my life seemed a waste, but now I guess I'm grateful. He was a good guy, he taught me a lot and he was my first love. Really we probably wouldn't have worked and I think we would have grown to hate each other if we'd stayed together. However I'm also still very resentful, after such a long relationship, it's hard to move on. I also believe I was a great girlfriend and I really did love him so even though in retrospect, our relationship could have been better, I sometimes don't understand how he could give that all up. My heart is still broken and even though I feel so much hate I also still feel a lot of love and this is probably the worst part, I get angry with myself for still feeling these feelings and still thinking of him. Hopefully in a year I'll have well and truly moved on.

A significant experience? Shit, there were many. But what seems to spring to mind immediately was that awful job at Blonde. What a kak job! Grateful in a way that i had it. every experience has its value. i realized through it though that my life, our lives, seem to have a path they must follow. and no matter how we try, we just can't take them down the wrong path. we must allow, and follow.

I did my 100th caesarean section as the main operator. I felt privileged to have delivered so many babies and been part of so many family's births. I also felt proud I have the determination and dedication to have got this far in my career - it has been really hardwork, and it's only just the start!

I lost my friend of 15 years. I am deeply saddened and miss him every day. He knew me so well and was a fabulous companion. He is irreplaceable.

Was laid off immediately following the High Holy Days last year, and have been unable to secure another job or regular income during this entire time. I focused only on the up-side in the beginning – I had long dreamed of developing a private nutritionist practice as a ‘retirement career’ and this would just push me towards that professional goal sooner than expected. But things did not unfold as anticipated. An underlying influence of self-doubt, embarrassment, worry and grief blocked my progress, and I ended up contributing the bulk of my time and assets to benefit another’s nutritional counseling business instead of searching out ways to build my own. My income has been spotty, and never more than a small fraction of my previous pay. The result, a year later: approximately $20,000 in savings gone, increased debt, lowered self-image, ever deepening self-doubt, and ultimately a paralyzing depression. I can acknowledge that I’ve learned much through this process. However, being jobless at almost 59 years of age, without reasonably-priced insurance, is a tough price to pay for that knowledge. All our plans for retirement are shot. I’m not sure how we will ever be able climb out from under our debt load, and am overwhelmed with guilt for the burden this places on Jeff. It is almost impossible NOT to feel stupid, in spite of my advanced education and impressive resume -- how could there not be a job for me through all this time? But at least I’ve quit hiding my true condition from friends and family – am finally admitting to myself and others how desperate the situation has become for me. Ironically, doing seems to be providing new hope and much-needed emotional support, at least in small doses.

I went bicycle touring for the first time with my partner and then a second time with a friend. It was good to get away from the day to day hassles and have life simplified to basics. I also found that my endurance, strength, and mettle were tested. In may ways it was both a physical and spiritual experience. I felt good about my accomplishment of going 570 miles over two trips (a total of ten days). I also am inspired to do more of trips in the future.

I got engaged. That was the most significant. I've loved everything about it, with the exception of having to use the word 'fiancée'. It has made me feel more committed to my partner, and set us both thinking about the future in more concrete terms -- as a partnership, rather than as two professionals who hope to make it work. We face everything together from here on out, as partners as well as best friends.

This year my daughter turned 5, and it has hit me that I have to strive harder to be able to provide for her needs.

In some ways I don't want the death of my father to be the defining feature of the year, but it can't not be the most significant. It's been nine months. Emotions shift, mostly around the 'sad' end of the spectrum. Lots of regret about the things not to come. Focused primarily around my son, who was less than two months old when Dad died. So sad that he won't get to know the man I loved, and that Dad will never know the little boy developing before me day by day.

My most significant experience this year has been studying for and taking my GCSEs. The lead up to them was so filled with worry and anticipation and I do wish I had worked a little harder for maths and physics so I regret that but overall I'm so proud of myself. All my results - bar one - were so good that my hardwork really did appear to have paid off. Hopefully my A levels will prove easier now that I have that exam experience. I am so relieved that they're over and so grateful to my teachers who inspired me to carry subjects on for the next two years.

My closest ever friend announcing he is leaving the country. Nothing has affected my life more in such a short preiod of time. I was sad (still am) but happy for him. I now have a goal in my life for the first time ever and it feels good.

In the past year (well, 9 months), I have lost 100 lbs. Losing the weight has re-ignited my internal journey also. I am learning about myself again and being more vocal about needing to find balance. While I realize that this may not happen for another year, at least I am getting it out there so that the powers that be can help.

I reached my highest weight. More than I weighed 2 years ago at 9 months pregnant. I realized that even with all the work I've done to be mentally healthy; I was using food as a drug. I resent that I don't look beautiful right now because I have almost 100 pounds to lose; and I'm mad at myself for this. I'm inspired by the fact I am aware of this; and am on the road to being healthy: body, mind, and soul.

I went on a youth seminar with an organisation that I was practically running until last year. It made me realise how much I miss working with students and how boring and stale my "serious" job is in comparison, although the paycheck is definitely sweeter now.

I have an wood deck/patio in my backyard. The wood was greying and in bad need for a new finish coat of sorts for the last couple cycles. I stare out unto the deck every morning and evening as I have a cup of coffee or meal from the kitchen, so it was becoming quite the eyesore. I spent a couple days refinishing the wood deck to our house this summer. At the crack of dawn, I awokw and enlisted my oldest son (9-yr old) to assist me with his "first" serious painting job. As i needed to be on the ladder on the outside paining the rail, he was inside, painting on his own. Soon his two younger brothers (5-yr and 7-yr old) came along and insisted on helping. And before long, there were four paint brushes quickly covering old wood with a bright redwood finish. We finished the deck by lunchtime much to my surprise. And even squeezed in a visit to the local amusement park. So now I stand out on the deck every morning and am reminded of rising strength and vitality of my boys.

I had been out of work for nearly two years when my husband was downsized from his job of 20+ years. The fortunate thing is he did receive severance. My son graduated from college and I did accept a job (although with a significant pay cut). I am not relieved, life is very, very stressful. I am working at my job, freelancing, teaching, trying to run a small business, helping my husband launch his business and helping my son find the job of his dreams. All this is pushing me toward a much simpler life that may be around the corner. It just depends on if I have the courage to make it happen.

The wedding of my 2nd daughter. Normally, a daughter's wedding is a time of family harmony, shared love, unity.... However, my daughter chose to leave me out of all of the planning & preparation. She's been unhappy with me for a variety of reasons, stemming back to before I left her dad. A favorite aunt was chosen to help her with planning, preparation, getting ready. While I was invited to attend the wedding, much of it was a public display of disrespect toward me, and I was deeply hurt. For several weeks, I was an emotional wreck. I felt useless, unloved, unwanted, even despised. Then I just sort of pulled myself up out of the funk -- with the help of my husband and my dad & mom. I've been able to move on past it. The hurt is a scar that lingers on. I still wonder how one earth I raised such cruel and mean-spirited daughters. I pray that one day she may be able to see things through a different lens.

I started studying music at college, and majoring in guitar. It's awesome, i am very relieved and excited that i've found my real calling, something that i'll always been driven to haul ass in. I see people doing the "I'm settling for less but maybe i'll make more money when i'm older?!" dance a lot around here at school and that's a dance i never wanted or want to do. Thanks, destiny!

I got accepted into law school. At first I was excited, there was a big part of me that thought I could not get in. Then I was nervous wondering if this was truly what I wanted to do because it was going to be a huge change. Now that I have started, I feel that this is where I am meant to be and am looking forward to the next 3-4 years.

A 15 year old family member who was living in an unhealthy home environment was sent to therapy camp and then therapy boarding school. I'm intensely grateful that he was able to get out of a bad situation and I wish there was more I could have done to help him.

My beautiful daughter was born. After much heartache and loss trying to have a baby, she came into the world healthy and perfect. My life has changed immensely. I learned that I can love another second child as much as my first. I'm beyond grateful to have both of my children. Raising two is definitely much more work. I'm still trying to master it and some days are better then others. Ultimately though, I couldn't imagine life any different.

I finally found a good guy. I finally changed the type of man I am attracted to. No more macho, pushy, abusive men who don't give in a relationship and only take. I am relieved that it is possible to have someone understanding and caring of what I have been through in my life. I am a little scared of being dependent on this relationship to be there in the future...however I feel pretty sure we are headed in the right direction.

I fell in love and then it fell apart. While I've had long relationships in the past, I hadn't been seriously dating anyone for about 4 years. I had done lots of work on myself in the meantime--therapy, self-assessment, etc. I thought I was ready for a relationship but I was scared I didn't know how to do it anymore--or that I would make the same mistakes again. But I didn't. I loved completely, imperfectly, but completely. In the end, he wasn't in the right place for the commitment, but our 8 months together proved to me that I'm ready for the real thing.

Returning to graduate school for Philosophy. I had thought that part of my life was closed forever and had moved on. However, a discussion with my therapist led me to consider peaking behind that door again, and I realized how much I missed it. My first class back felt like putting on an old coat - it just fit perfectly. Getting back on the the academic path has made my life so much more fulfilling (but also made my day job so much more annoying - ah well, someday I'll be able to quit for something better).

My ex-husband secretly filed for change of custody a month prior to agreed upon "mediation" It has cost me over $40,000 and a year so far to have his case dismissed and he has said things to our son particularly last spring that were hurtful and stressful for him We were displaced following hurricane Katrina and I strongly believe New Orleans is our home and it's time to get home ...trying to get home - I felt betrayed and was surprised that he pursued this path as we had a fairly decent co-parenting relationship up until last year ... but I'm not completely surprised - sad for our son ...

Going to do a course at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) super excited, super nervous, but mostly excited. Thankful I got the opportunity to even do such a course. This is where Nicole Kidman went.

My parents announced that they are getting divorced; I am 27. This has made my world just fall apart. It's been nearly six months now since I was told, and I feel like at times I am still in an emotional free-fall. It's impossible for me to build new trust with people, and I am pushing people who were close before away.

I flew to Houston with my daughter and we stayed in my mother's condo. Mom had died a year before. I'm sad that she is gone, but I learned that I am ready to let go of her home and her things and I feel a freedom that I had not expected. Being with my daughter in my mother's home helped me feel close to both of them and I feel more peaceful than I have in a long time.

I have opened my heart up to receive so much abundance and support from the Universe. Feels like this past year has been the perfect training ground for letting go of fear, upset, anger, resentment...all because I was willing to take a deeper look at myself and the subconscious processes that wanted to 'seem' like me. There's just this clearing within making room for beauty and light! And it just keeps going! Can't wait to see what THIS year has in store for me.

Last year I participated in AVODAH, the Jewish Service Corps, a truly life-changing experience. We were immersed in the often-chilling systems that further the cycle of oppression and in the process learned to see injustices around us, seek out the warmth and hope of the thousands of people working for a better world, and imagine new paths to justice. I only hope that I can bring the strength of these lessons, and the strength I found in my religious observance, to new places and new contexts.

I dealt with the loss of an ex-boyfriend from a sudden illness. This death affected me because he was so young, it caused me to look differently at my own health as well as my relationships with those around me. I realized that everyday has to be fully appreciated.

I have realised what a good friend is. I'm glad that I found people who like me for who I am. It's a really great feeling

I reduced my work commitment from full-time (often 60-70 hour work weeks) to a part-time limit of 32 hours. This allowed me to have one of the best summers of my life and has shifted my mentality about how much importance to give my work. I enjoy both my work and my life more now that I have better boundaries, but I also feel a responsibility to make the most of my time and very, very lucky to be able to afford this.

I visited Hawaii for the first time, with Habitat for Humanity. The trip affected me deeply, and I decided 6 months later to uproot and start a new life there. I'm still in limbo... and feel grateful, and confident that I am taking the right course.

I transferred universities. It was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made, but it was a really tough choice. A lot of people at my old school (unsurprisingly) didn't want me to transfer, and it was irritating that they wouldn't support my decision. I'm really glad I transferred; my new university is a much better fit for me. I'm so, so much happier here. The people are nicer, my major is more specific, and I actually feel excited about school!

I knocked up my wife. We had been talking about it for a while--years and years--and then when we finally decided to go for it it happened pretty quickly. So I was both surprised and freaked out and excited. Mainly, I'm nervous right now, and trying to focus on the excitement over the fear.

I got married! It was an exhausting, exhilarating event, and planning it with my husband strengthened our relationship and our commitment to each other in ways I hadn't foreseen. It helped me to reevaluate our priorities and made me appreciate even more the amazing support of our family and friends. It also made me realize how precious life is, and how I need to work on expressing my love and gratitude as often and as honestly as I can.

Although this isn't a single experience per se, but over the last several years I have come to terms and embraced who I am based upon my sexual orientation (although I think it's a process that continues on for life). Along with that process though has come many emotions, some overwhelmingly positive, but some tragically painful. At some point the pain, resentment, and anxiety has overwhelmed the positive and inspirational. I now suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks. Each month I am scared that I am going to run out of medication and have a panic attack and no one will be there to help me. As I get older I care less about what people think of me, and crave simply to think positively of myself. There are moments when I achieve this without the aid of something outside me, but most of the time I just numb myself with things so that I don’t have to think about it or deal with it at all. I am dependent on my partner, my family, on drugs, and on my career to feel safe…. safe from my own debilitating fear of not having control of myself. This year, as with the last few, it has swallowed me whole and I resent it, but mostly I just feel numb.

Went to Seattle for a month... it left me feeling motivated for a change... ready to put my past behind me and to embrace a new future.

I spent the last year not working. Doing nothing. Spent a lot of time sleeping. On the couch. It was exactly what it sounds like: not inspiring but exactly what I wanted to be doing in a way. I was grateful that I was able to do it at the time--but looking back I feel like, what the hell was I doing?

In May I got pregnant after believing that it would be a very hard journey for me. The doctors had told me that I'd have to treat getting pregnant as a medical condition and I really just wanted it to be a natural process. In the end I was very lucky and got pregnant with no medical aids the very first month after this news. I feel like it's a huge blessing because I don't know how long I would have been able to follow an infertility program. I feel like the child I'm carrying is a gift from G-d and that I've been trusted to taking care of this child and that it's a huge responsibility and blessing. It has renewed my faith in spirituality and reminded me that good or bad, most things are not in our control. SO far the experience has reminded me of how beautiful life is and what a miracle we all are. I still have 4.5 months to go and I still pray every day that the pregnancy will continue well. I'm so happy to be having this experience.

Landing a job and asking the girl I liked out (successfully) within the span of two weeks. Kicked me out of a depression that had haunted me for the months I was unemployed.

My brother finally decided to take his life back. He is 29 years old and has fought with alcoholism since he was a young teen. He really had to hit rock bottom before this happened. I fought for years to get him the help he needed but he just wasn't ready. He now attends several AA meetings a week. He has become somewhat of a counselor himself. His life is finally falling into place. A few weeks ago I told him that I use to play a scenario in my head where I'd get the phone call letting me know that he had died or had been killed. I thought it would make things easier for when that time inevitably came. He told me that I wouldn't ever have to worry about him in that way again. This time I believe him.

My "best friend" decided that he didn't want to be friends anymore. While under any normal circumstances it would be no big deal to grow out of a friendship, this was the person I shared my deepest darkest secrets with. Someone I thought I would know for the rest of my life, who my kids would think of as family. Without any reason he just decided he was done. He has not even told me why. It all happened when I was planning a trip out to visit him, and when I called him to tell him my plans, he told me that I couldn't stay with him and he could maybe find a few hours to spend with me (after I would have traveled nearly 13 hours just to see him). All of this happened after I had been planning this trip for months. Any time since then if I have contacted him he hasn't returned the calls or emails. I'm ANGRY! Angry, because he couldn't act like a man and tell me what was wrong. Angry because I don't know what of our 10 year friendship was real and what was fake. Angry because I had wasted so much time, money, and energy over the years to preserve a friendship that didn't mean as much to him. Angry because when he told me he was gay I didn't bat an eye, and stood by his side when things were tough for him. I have never felt so angry with someone in my whole entire life. I can't even put it into words. I have thrown away memories of our friendship because they make me angry to see what we once had. How had we so quickly gone from being BEST friends to not being friends at all.

I broke off my engagement three months before my wedding. I am incredibly relieved that I found the courage and strength to take the infinitely most difficult and scary option, and do what I knew in my heart was right despite the fear of the horrible consequences. Life since then has been a million times better and I'm now in the happiest and healthiest relationship I have ever been in as a result. I can see now how wrong that relationship was, and can't quite figure out why I thought I wanted to be in it for the rest of my life! Scary. It has given me the strength to follow my heart and go after what I know is right no matter how daunting the process might be, and also to just take the plunge and worry about dealing with the fallout once it's done, rather than trying to figure out exactly how it might go beforehand.

My marriage fell apart. There were a lot of things that we both did to let the marriage slip through our fingers. I feel guilty, sad, happy all at the same time. It is hard to move from something you thought would last to knowing in heart that you and he would always just be friends. I went into a downward spiral and am not starting to claw my way out of the hole.

At 22 years old, I finally had my first kiss... technically. The man kissing me was gay and was doing it because I told him I had never been kissed, so it didn't really mean anything.

My 2nd child, a daughter, was born. I'm grateful for her health and kind, joyous spirit. I want to break the 3 generations of poor mother-daughter relationships in my family.

My son being diagnosed with a disorder. It has changed me forever, and confirmed many of my worse fears about what things I could have and should have done differently with my son.

Finally, finally got the divorce I have wanted and needed for at least 4 years. As a result, I feel free - free to focus on my financial future with confidence (knowing I won't have someone thwarting my efforts at every turn), free to be happy and embrace the rest of my life and all it's opportunities. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the feeling of relief - in a very good way.

My Son is growing into a little genius, smart as a whip, getting tall too. Loves his daddy and that's the best event experience or event that has happened in the last year and forever. Also say Eminem in Concert... Awesome!

Made friends with a young Baha'i who indirectly encouraged me to question my faith. This has been a sort of spiritual awakening. I see the world differently now. I am very grateful for our encounter. And everyday I feel more inspired to do better, go further.

I was going to say the birth of my daughter, but she's 14 months old now so it wasn't in the last year. It feels like yesterday and a million years ago at the same time. Everything about her has made me grateful and inspired and profoundly changed my perspective on life. It's near impossible to describe without evoking cliché after cliché, which makes perfect sense when describing our collective oldest memory. There's no easy way to summarize the experience of becoming a parent. It is, at times, the most wonderfully terrifying roller coaster of emotions, from manic to blissful moment to moment. I have found a new respect and understanding for my own parents and the wonderful torment I put them through.

I was up for a major job in a field in which I had worked for 30 years, and was gratified to be considered, and excited by the prospect of once again running a large arts institution. But at the end of the day, I was passed over for a younger more conservative candidate. Though at first I was upset, when I thought it through I was glad to finally understand that the field in which I had worked had changed, and that in fact, I was no longer the right fit --in other words, I would likely have been miserable in the job had I been selected. I was thus able to return to teaching and writing without the feeling that I needed to re-do what I had already done quite successfully for 30 years, and that looking backwards longingly is no way to move forward.

Changing jobs and going back to work for my previous employer. I'll be honest. I found it much harder than I thought I would. It didn't help that the job itself is a completely new role for the company, and they had no idea of how it would unfold. I saw this as a challenge, but it proved to be stressful and negative on my self-esteem and confidence. The people however were a big part of the reason I returned to this new role, and in their own ways, they helped me through it, even if they're not aware of it. They are an inspirational bunch, which makes me want to be better. I was and still am grateful for this opportunity. If I could take the same path again though with this choice, without sounding ungrateful, I wouldn't. This experience however has opened me up to myself though - how I deal with problems, stress, emotion and how I can relax. For that, I am extremely thankful and can't wait to learn more about myself and my journey.

The most significant event in my life this past year has been the emptying of my nest. After 22 years of daily parenting, I am adjusting to intermittent, long-distance parenting, more like coaching really. I take care to not let my hurt feelings show when my younger son says he just can't really think of any reason he needs to talk to me. I know what he means, and I know that his strength is the result of my 18 years of daily parenting. I circle back and begin more active parenting of my 21 year old as he looks ahead to college graduation and the next big life decision. His openness to my input and advice is the reward for my years of building our relationship, and of giving him roots and wings. So, looking ahead to this year of change I am tentative, hopeful, grateful, proud, excited and a bit wary. I will have the opportunity to live the motto I espouse: Embrace change, for there is no way but change.

Experiencing the injustice of being fired for something that was entirely blown out of proportion and without appropriate and reasonable opportunities to address the decision has been the most beautiful experience of my life. To recognize that it is not me, nor my talents that make my life, but rather that I am being made by the maker or reality and to be helped to decide to follow these indications has opened up my life to a greater awareness of the Mystery of God and his tenderness for my fragile humanity. I am more in front of Christ, I recognize his presence more clearly. I have also been given a great place to belong in my new employment, and an amazing opportunity to verify that life is simply better when lived for Christ.

In the past year, I suppose the most significant experience was finishing Year 12 and beginning university. It affected me in different ways: for one, I am certainly glad to leave high school behind, as I love uni life. However, I'm far less motivated than I used to be, which can't be good. But I'm making lots of new friends who are actually nice and not bitches, which is good. I don't like the fact that I've lost one particular friend, but hopefully I'll get over it. Overall, the transition from Year 12 to university was a good one, I suppose.

I received a letter from my employer that states I will be terminated in 18 months because I do not fit his plans for the department. After 12 years of dedicated service without any negative supervisory feedback, I feel betrayed and resentful.

After 6 and half years, and many significant milestones later, I am really happy I finally got engaged! It has been a beautiful experience to share with family and friends, but also with my partner. It gave me a little closure on past relationships and past baggage as well as inspired me to look toward the future and creating my own family.

My husband bought me the most beautiful bicycle for our 32nd wedding anniversary. It is a sturdy and lovely "girl bike" that I can ride even while wearing skirts. Getting this bike was significant because it showed me how well he knows me and loves me; it gave me a new freedom to get around, that same feeling I remember having when I rode a bike as a little girl; I am enjoying seeing how far I can go in town doing errands; people that I do not know will stop me on the street to tell me what a great bike I have, and honk their horns to smile and wave. It has changed the pace of my life in a wonderful way.

There are a lot of significant experiences that happened the past year. I got married, I gave birth to a handsome, healthy baby boy, and I experienced what it feels to be a work-at-home mom/wife. I am grateful for all the wonderful blessings that I have been given, and inspired at the same time to be at my best all the time for my family and for myself.

I am pregnant, and my husband and I cannot wait to meet our first child. We do not know the gender so we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of this little one and are looking forward to getting to know him or her.

Last December, my father passed away. To be honest, it was a relief. He'd had Lou Gehrig's for the past few years, and watching his essentially fall apart in front of me was horrible. He also had some other issues, and he pretty much was in denial about his disease and the lifestyle changes he had to make. We hadn't had the best relationship in a while, but I am very grateful that I got to spend the last few months of his life with him. I'm sorry it took him dying to bring us closer together, but I'm glad it did.

I havent really had any significant events in the past year. Wether or not that is common for someone that spent most of their time at school, I'm not sure. Maybe I should try and make more things out of life?

While I was shopping at a local Department Store, I was trying to purchase some sale items with the coupons I received in the mail. Waiting in line, this family wanted to leave their great savings items behind as they did not get the coupons. I went to the cashier and gave her mine, then walked away. I was grateful I helped out these strangers, but upset I never got my items. Several weeks passed and another sale at the same store, with better buys. But this time, I got the goods! It was worth the gamble!

My soul mate, my life partner...whatever I can call him...and I had our last (with the help of G-d) explosive fight. We are in the most precarious situation right now, a situation that neither of us can change at this point, but we stopped letting it destroy US in February. I didn't realize this until sitting back and reflecting on it now, but we are healthier and more in love than we have ever been. It is such a beautiful, uplifting feeling to realize how well we work together now. I love him - I love him so much. And I am so proud of how we've grown.

Losing Papa was by far the most significant experience of the year. I’m happy he’s no longer in pain, but I miss him more then I thought it was possible to miss someone. I miss his laugh, I miss his long skinny fingers, with his wedding ring he could never get off, I miss him dancing in the kitchen with me running off to tattle, and Kristin standing by his side snapping his gloves and in turn destroying them. I miss talking to him on the phone, I miss hearing him say “Hi Sweetie” to Kristin. I miss his khaki pants and collared shirts, with a sweater over it. He always dressed like a gentlemen. I miss him sneaking me Stella Dora cookies, and I miss him holding my hands when he sat next to me. Being by his side during his Last Rites was hard, but I know for a fact he was there, and he was trying to talk to us. I’m glad I had the dream where he came to visit me. I truly believe he did, it was way too real feeling. I only hope it happens again. So that was the most significant thing that happened this year, and I’m none of the above feelings, except sad, and still hurting.

Actually I am all of those things all wrapped into one experience. Having a relationship with M. I am Grateful because being with her has shown me that I am a lesbian, and I'm happy to be living my life as I should have been living it all along. I am Relieved because it's so freeing to be able to be who I really am. I am Resentful because she left me for X, broke my heart, shattered my kids, and threw away our friendship in the process. I am inspired by my family. They took my coming out so well, and have been so supportive of me. This year has been so up and down. Completely on cloud 9 in love, then in the pit of despair and depression due to heartbreak. I will overcome this and be happy again someday.

I found out that my husband had cheated on me with an old friend from high school that he reconnected with on Facebook. I'm angry that he did it, proud that I brought it up to despite my non-confrontational personality, mad that I told him to get a Facebook page despite his initial disinterest. I'm also mad that the woman is also married and I should have threatened to tell her husband. I saw pictures of him and he has a trashy mustache, which probably means he'd be a ball-busting prick. Sweet.

When I discovered an explicit Yahoo chat with another man, I left my wife of 15 years back in May right before mothers day. Over the course of a the next few days we talked more then we had in years. I went back home and we decided to go to marriage counseling and get help to put us back together as a couple. Then in June I found out my she was having an affair with yet another man. I got into an email account she had hidden from me and there was an email titled "Our Pictures." My life ever since has not been the same since seeing the pictures and hearing her say "because I still love him" when I asked why she was still talking to him when we were in therapy. We have talked and talked and talked about the affair and I continue to uncover new details on my own. A few weeks ago I discovered a half written love letter to him telling him she sometimes regrets having the abortion and wishes she could have given him the son or daughter he does not have. Marriage counseling seems like a waste of time because for a majority of the time we were going she was still sleeping with him. I believe the only reason they ceased contact is because I wrote him and basically threatened his job as he is a US Marshal and I have photographic proof of their love sent from a US Government issue Blackberry. I know she is not in a good place mentally because when she was seeing him she slept with a neighbor across the street and the man she was cheating with at the time. She contracted an STD and gave it to me. I love her and hate her at the same time and even though we have two small children I have no idea why I am still here.

My first child - a daughter - was born 11 months ago. Really, this needs little elaboration. I am so excited to get to know her, to see what kind of a person she becomes - and to be a part of that becoming.

My husband and I added a puppy to the household (the two of us and two cats). It has affected how we spend our days, and I am satisfied that it is for the better. We enjoy our nurturing of this young creature, and take her introduction to the world very seriously. In turn, she is responsible for our greater appreciation of our daily world -- taking walks by the river in all seasons, sharing ecstatic discoveries of trails in the mountains. Raising a dog is not without its difficulties and requires a large commitment of energy and time, as did children, but we won't have to send her to college!

I got into Medical School in Israel. I sold/gave away almost all of my possessions, got on a plane, and came to Haifa. I am grateful that I found the courage to actually do it. It was something I wanted so badly that it's hard for me to believe it's actually happened. I am scared to death of failure - but I really believe tat this is where I'm supposed to be. I have to live up to this opportunity and not let me fear and self-doubt sabotage my work.

The house project I had was going to be lost. The construction loan was partially funded and then the bank dropped us in the mortgage crisis so we had just been paying interest to keep the build alive, hoping we could revive it and hang on to the land. I stopped paying the mortgage and the bank was gonna foreclose. I felt that this was wrong on every level of my being. I fought to keep it and asked my family for money to help me bring it back. The only way I could do this was to stop paying rent and live on the land. I'm about to go live on the land in an RV. This is going to affect me in many ways but how it has already affected me is that it has made me become very responsible. I absolutely have to get a job now to make sure I have enough money to pay my family back and not fall behind again. Because my business has been slowing it has forced me to work less on my business with my (perhaps) soon to be ex-husband. He is not going to like this but I don't have a choice. This build is important to me. I am excited, inspired, hopeful and learning to think positively about everything in my life. I wish I would have learned how to do this sooner in life. Thinking and believing about what you want in a positive way is the key to making sure things in life turn out the way you want them to. I still battle with fear but I usually win.

In April, I started my journey into manifesting my life and dreams. It was born out of heartbreak but it was a blessing and has changed my life forever. Everything in my life is perfect because I choose to live in abundance.

Every day is a significant experience as I get older. But i guess the most significant was re-discovering how much I love to dance. It helped bring joy back into my life. I missed that kind of joy. It so shook me out of my depression, and shocked me that it did. I am deeply grateful to God, the universe or pure chance for allowing me to step back into my love of dance. I'm not as young as I was, can't do what I used to do, but... to move my body helps me love myself. I know. Sounds weird. But it does. For that hour I am happy. Except when I can't breathe cause I'm working so hard.

I got married. Then my wife got pregnant. After 22 weeks we found out that the baby was to ill to survive. So we had to have an abortion even though a baby was what we wanted more than anything I learnt a lot about how crap life could be. For the first time ever I realised what true sadness was. I also realised how precious life was and how much I loved my wife

A significant experience was travelling for a vacation for the 1st time in my life. I learned a lot from the proximity people share during travels and how that can bring them closer or tear them apart. I got my 1st serious relationship out of that trip but I also lost a very old, long and tumultuous friendship. I learned to appreciate what I have and to never take myself for granted. School has also affected me in ways I never imagined and thought me a few things along the way. I'm grateful I'm still able to do some of the things I love and inspired because I know I'm capable of a lot more and cannot wait to unleash my creativity and capabilities. Also not to dwell on stuff because shit happens. OH, and I was able to buy a brand new car.

I finished graduate school. I am thrilled I finished and it feels like quite an accomplishment, but I will miss the summers in New York, my classmates and my advisor. I also feel like now I need to fulfill the promise of the program and actually now go out and be a leader in my field.

I left my old job. I'm grateful for being given the opportunity to put my expertise into action in a new company I've been inspired by the leadership at my new company

I started grad school and realized that no one is going to provide any structure or safety net anymore. It's up to me what I make of this opportunity, and I can succeed wildly or fail miserably. It's terrifying and stressful, but I know the potential is here to do something really great with my life.

My best friend of seven years dumped me. Our relationship had been strained ever since she started seriously dating a new guy. I tried to accommodate this shift in our relationship, but it seemed as if our connection had broken. When I finally asked her if we could talk about what had happened, she sent me an e-mail that declared our relationship was over and asked me to mail back my spare copy of her car keys. She said our relationship had been on the decline for years. I had no idea. She didn't want to discuss it either. I managed to get her on the phone a few days later and I felt that many of things she accused me of were not true. But it didn't matter how much I tried to defend myself--she was already over the relationship. It sounded like she was dead inside. It took me months to move past this. It's nearly a year later, and it still stings. I can't say I'm glad it happened or that my life is better without her. When I reflect on how she apparently viewed the relationship and some of the turmoil we had gone through as friends, it does seem like a toxic influence in my life is gone. However, it makes me sad when I think of what used to be cherished memories. I'll recall a moment of utter joy and happiness that we experienced together, and those thoughts are tarnished when I realize how the relationship ended and what she accused me of. Had she thought those things all along? We used to communicate almost every single day. I haven't heard from her in a year and nobody I know has either. Looking back, I am impressed with how I dealt with the situation and grateful for the support and structure I have in my life. I don't miss her. I have so many amazing friends and family members that quickly filled the void she left. I also have a very full life of activity. The way I got through the loss and hurt inspires me. Although I hope I don't have another relationship that ends like that, it may happen. I feel I could get through it. The things she said about me filled me with self doubt and insecurity. Many of my friends assured me the things she said about me were not true. I was definitely inspired to take a look at myself and try to become a better listener, better friend and express my gratitude to those who care for me. I hope in the next year I'm able to get rid of some anger towards her. I wish her ill will every time I think of her. I would like to feel neutral towards her.

I moved to NYC! The best city in the world. I've seen my first cockroach and freaked out, witnessed break dancing on the subway, walked further than I thought I could, enjoyed school. It's weird to be somewhere and just know that this is where I'm going to find myself.

My dog was put down over Christmas. It was the first real family decision I was an active part of. It was also the clear ending of a part of my childhood, perhaps the entirety of my childhood.

I started my own web design "business." I feel infinitely inspired. It's something that I'm good at, that I can feel good about doing, make some extra money and one step closer to living the life I imagined. Working from home, working for myself, living a happy, calm, content and balanced life. I hope to be able to spend more time with my husband and kids.

I want to do this shit, but whenever I come across this kind of questions I want to be spontaneous, like the first thing I remember on top of my head. But I also want it to be well thought, since I'm gonna share it with myself in the future. But I can't seem to think of anything that effect me so profoundly the past year that I could describe in detail. I remember the feelings, being inspired. being affected so deeply that my heart felt like bursting with energy as if God himself put in a light after a long period of darkness. do you know this feeling. you would shake, you felt a terrible sense of humiliation, that He still looks at you with a smile even though youre not worthy and have done many things youre not proud of, and won you awards to hell. and most often the feeling of drowning in the shadows of immense despair. I'm terrible at this arent i lol

I moved from New York City to the southwest coast of Portugal to a little town called Lagos, which required leaving family, friends and a steady job behind. I opened a boutique/art gallery and set up an entire new life in a country with a language I don't yet speak very well. I am very grateful now to be in this unique and quirky place where I am my own boss, can enjoy the ocean and nature whenever I want (surfing, swimming, hiking) and have the ability to experience something new and beautiful every day. There have been difficulties and "paradise" is not always perfect, but I don't regret a thing.

I was married. I am grateful. I have a wonderful wife whom I love deeply and enjoy my life very much. I also lost my job, and fought hard to find a new one. I'm in a much better place now, though it was a lot of change at once.

My wonderful boyfriend and I got a dog--his first dog--last year. It's been such an experience for us to learn how to raise it together and I've had a blast seeing how much my boyfriend loves him. I fell so lucky for getting to introduce him to such a special experience!

I bought my first apartment. It's long overdue, and I'm excited, but at the same time a little sad - it's not in the country of my birth, so it's another thing that will tie me to the country I now live in.

I have had some debilitating and difficult to diagnose physical problems. They are very worrisome - have had me in and out of er, have worsened steadily, have prevented me from many activities, and only recently have dramatically lightened. In the middle of it all, I was very overwhelmed and fearful of my mortality, the loss of my family, and so much I can't describe. The last 2 months have shown me that nothing is determined. The future is completely unpredictable - a wonderful reminder for me to be in the present, present, present!

I removed myself from a negative, unproductive, harmful relationship. Over the winter and spring, I slowly began to realize that this relationship was not healthy and I tried to talk to him about it, but he was unwilling to change. When I found out that he was still lying to me after more than two years together, I decided that I had had enough. I packed up his things and moved him out and I felt immediately relieved and once in control of my life. Telling my friends and family revealed that they all disapproved of him and thought I could do better. In addition to removing him from my place, I repainted the apartment and bought a new rug for the living room. These little acts helped to remake the space as my own.

the most significant experience was the birth of my daughter. We were looking forward to it for a months, read everything there was to read, and though all the cliches about babies are true, I was overwhelmed.

Started working with a life coach. This has inspired me to examine my life and work toward wholeness in my personal life and in my work/life balance. I've taken steps toward improving my personal health, including improving my diet, exercising more regularly, and finally getting some long-postponed dental care. The biggest change has been that I'm putting my own needs into the equation much more as I decide how to portion my time.

I met my birth mother and her (my) family for the first time. It was an emotional experience. For the first time, I was interacting with people who were genetically related to me. In several ways, my birth mother reminded me of myself. It made me consider some of my personality traits and mannerisms and think about how they weren't just things about me; they were things that connected me to the people I came from. This experience also caused me to reflect and appreciate my adoptive family for everything they've given me throughout my life. I am grateful that this experience came when it did in my life. I was ready for it in a way that I wouldn't have been if she had found me when I was younger.

When I was homeless in Olympia, Emily and Amando invited me into their home and made me welcome. Their kindness made my last days in Olympia comfortable and restorative and made a huge difference in my physical and emotional state as I made the trip back to PA. I will always be grateful to them for their kindness.

Nine days after my 30th birthday I found out that my first pregnancy had ended in miscarriage. A week later I had a D & C at what should have been the beginning of my second trimester. I have gone through many emotions surrounding the grief. The most profound was feeling like an empty vessel. While I still feel sad, frustrated and a bit numb, I am hopeful. I am thankful that my husband and I are healthy. I am grateful that we will try again soon. I am excited to have a healthy pregnancy. I also found out that I am more patient than I thought and the love my husband and I have is so so strong.

I formally became Jewish. While I had been practicing Judaism for several years, it felt good to have that public confirmation of my identity. I finally am home.

I took up a martial art - Tang Soo Do. I have for the longest time been wanting to take up a more offensive martial art rather than the mainly defensive one that is Juo. For three main reasons. 1. Get my fitness back 2. Achieve my black belt before I'm 50 3. To aid my children with their confidence as they started with me.

My book was published. It has been a lot of hard work, but I have learned a lot. I have met so many great people, and found I have so much support among friends and family. I am inspired to challenge myself to do more and better work. I see that when you do good work, and put it out in public, even more good things come from it that you never could have envisioned.

I got my first job as a pre-school teacher. It gave me a purpose and a reason to get up in the morning, take a shower and get dressed! I felt inspired every day as I got the privilege to be with these adorable children every day. I felt like I made a difference and it felt incredible. I love my job and going to work every day. It also showed my daughters that it's never too late to do what you love. I am 46 years old and started a new career!

Finally officially getting into the college that I wanted to be in. It meant that I would soon be getting away from everything here from my mom who asks too many questions to my "friends" who no longer like me. I was so grateful for the opportunity to start over somewhere else - away from all the misconceptions and grudges being held.

While we were included as guests at the wedding of my boyfriend's son, the manner in which we were invited and treated while there contained very hurtful behavior and omissions. I found the grace to rise above the intended insults to be fully present as a blessing to the kids, andeven have fun!!!

I have resigned from my current job, will be picking up and moving to Chicago and starting a new life. I'm angry but thankful to have had this job and grateful to have had many options.

In July, I realized I no longer love the work I've spent the past 6 1/2 years doing. As terrifying and unsettling as this revelation has been (especially as doing that work is my sole source of income right now), it's also been exciting and liberating, as it has led me to an idea for a new company, about which I'm amazingly passionate. For many years, I imagined that I would be doing the kind of work I've been doing for a long time to come, and would be happy with it. Realizing after almost 7 years that that's not the case has also made me realize that to be truly happy, I need new professional challenges on a regular basis.

My boyfriend of two years broke up with me. It really changed me, or at least I hope it did. He shattered my heart, and I had to put it back together again myself. It made me stronger, and made me realize that I don't really want to be in a committed relationship right now. I'm just starting college! I'd rather better myself so I have more to offer whoever I choose in years to come. At first I was heartbroken--that lasted until pretty much 6 months later. Then I was angry. Remember the movie theater incident? Yeah. That was the most real fight or flight experience I've ever had. Now I have made it to the relieved stage--seriously, do you realize how much of an idiot he is? You never REALLY wanted to marry him. You were just afraid to be alone. You wanted to be prepared, to have a game plan. Something to fall back on. That's all he ever was to you: second best. I'm not resentful. I've moved past that. I can now see him for who he truly is...and I don't like it. This has inspired me to open up. I'm not as uptight with relationships as I was before. Now I'm not afraid to flirt a little or maybe even kiss someone I'm not dating. Who knows? I just know that I want to thank him for breaking up with me. It has opened up a part of me that might have taken me years to discover by myself. Because if it wasn't for him breaking up with me, I might still be with him. And that is not something that I would ever want for myself again.

Taking the bar exam for the 3rd time. The studying experience was the usual drain on emotions and finances, but in the last few days before the exam and on exam day, I felt for the first time that I can pass the exam. It was a great feeling.

Quite possibly the most significant experience was a holiday in December in South africa. Such a beautiful country, really lovely people and as for the weather...'nuff said! Has really invigorated me, and given me a focal point to consider as a place to retire to. I would really like to open a school there someday.

I fell in love. This after a marriage with someone who had numerous affairs, got divorced, years alone, finally ventured out into dating. I'm so surprised and grateful to fall in love again, since I had just about resigned myself to being single the rest of my life. Significant to feel such love and trust, comfort and excitement, after going through some truly dark days.

A little over a year ago my two future fathers in law nearly passed away. My mother was misdignosed with cancer, and I had to post-pone a wedding 2 weeks before the day, due to these events. Months later I was relieved as we found out my mother didn't have cancer, my two fathers in laws are alive and well and I'm married. I've come to realize the importance of family and those relationships. What each person means to me, what it would mean if they were no longer here. It's humbled me. Given me perspective on life, loss and love. I am grateful for what I have. Getting married, having all family members present, and taking that step with my wife was the most incredible day of my life. It has inspired me to be not just a good man, but a great man. To love, to be true, genuine and trusting.

I moved to a new city, and despite my doubts about it, I've been able to make a life for myself here. I found jobs that I really like and have met people I connect with. I felt like it happened much more quickly than I expected, which makes me inspired.

This year I made a decision to drastically change jobs. While I'm still in my field, it's an entirely new location and political structure. I feel overwhelmed, challenged and somewhat nervous, but also I think it was the right move for my professional growth and development, as well as for my financial future. I'm hoping this change is the beginning of a new style of personal and professional organization in my life that I've been searching for.

It's been just over a year since my Sheltie, Luke, died. He was almost 16 years old -- 7 years older than the average life span of his breed. Being only 19 years old at the time, I literally cannot remember a time before we had him. The process of watching him decline in health and spirits and finally making the decision as a family to put him down was one of the most difficult experiences I've ever had. I'm relieved that he is no longer suffering, but I still miss him and think of him every day. We have since gotten two new dogs, and I feel disloyal to Luke for loving my new dogs just as much.

I started a business with my daughter and it has made us closer. I am so grateful for this time with her

My daughter Mira was born on January 9, 2010!!! I am so grateful for her and so in awe of the happiness and energy that she greets the world with every day.

Nearly a year ago, my family left home on a 35-day cross country road trip. We drove nearly 9000 miles on our way from Oregon to Washington, DC, and back. It was an amazing and wonderful experience. What I remember with the most gratitude isn't any of the beautiful or breathtaking things we saw, or even the visits — some of them tremendous — with friends and family, although I am grateful for all of those things. What I remember with the most gratitude is how much the four of us enjoyed each other. Six to eight hours a day in our minivan, sharing motel rooms night after night (the kids usually had to share a bed), and we never really got sick of each other. It told me we're doing something right.

This past year, I was working for an organization that was particularly unhealthy for me. I had been with the organization for a few years and ultimately found myself in a very bad situation and it appeared that there was no where to go. It continued to get worse and it was effecting me in ways I could not have imagined; health, emotion and physical. Then one day, during a meeting, I got up and went home. I never returned! This was quite scary and liberating at the same time; I did not know what would be next but I knew that this needed to be done. I did go though a bit of a dark spell for the first week or so but then I came out of it and felt more empowered than I had felt in a long time. I spent the next 6 months re-evaluating what I wanted out of my career and spending time with my daughter, who was just over a year when this happened. I am so grateful for the time that I had to redirect myself and to build a relationship with my little one. I have more faith now then ever in taking a chance and believing in myself.

I've learned not to judge a book by its cover, people I thought were bad people have proven me wrong, so now I've decided to give everyone I get to know a chance to meet them and afterwards, decide if I want to continue a friendship or if we didn't hit it off. This has made me a more outgoing person, happy, relaxed person with a positive attitude towards life.

I was fired. At 32, to not have a job, to have to admit it was my doing really made me ashamed and angry. But, I think it was the best thing for everyone and made me confront my actions and the reasons for my actions.

I started raising backyard chickens. I thought I was doing it for their eggs, but i ended up doing it for their companionship! I love their personalities, I love how people think of me when I tell them I have chickens, and I love thinking of how to best provide for them. Since our house is being worked on with jack hammers and other noisy equipment, I spend a lot of time out in the back yard with the Littles. I am comforted by their gentle bock-bocking and their curiosity inspires me to think of new tings for them to explore.

My son acknlowedged an eating disorder. His phobias to germs, food pickiness, stomach issues, all contributed to his decision. He entered Rosewood and immediately wanted to leave; after multiple conversations, he agreed to stay until our family week. The blessings we received by attending that week, with 6 other families affected by a family member w/ an eating disorder, are endless....our son was able to see our family in a deeper light; we gained insight to his, our own and generational issues. We are now all working on healthy, mindful choices, from selections of what we eat to physical activity to life choices that benefit us and others. I feel grateful and inspired by my wonderful family.

I've been diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. I had one surgery that was deemed successful, but because of a medical protocol that was not followed, I've been told by two doctors that I need to have another, more invasive and painful surgery that will require two days of hospitalization and two weeks or more of recovery. I have no basis on which to decide that I should NOT have this surgery, but my gut feeling is that I shouldn't. However, two of the world's foremost specialists tell me I should. How do I feel? Confused and utterly lacking in control. Which I'm interpreting as the natural human condition. I'll probably go ahead with the surgery, though I have two months to think, brood, and lose sleep over the decision.

1. My sister-in-law, Lorie, suffered a massive right-side stroke; she could not move or speak, and she recovered completely! 2. A man pulled a handgun, pointed it at my chest and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. He checked the gun, pointed and pulled the trigger, and again, nothing happened. Both Lorie and I look essentially the same, today, as we did prior to this year, but both of these experiences have increased my gratitude for the beautiful gift of 'one more regular day.' I have an increased desire to: let others know I love them, increase the joy in others lives each day, and maintain a mindful appreciation for the good in my lfe each day.

Went on a 6 month trip in SE Asia mostly alone. It was amazing in ways I wouldn't have imagined such as: I fell more in love with my husband who completely supported me and was at home. I learned to think more and talk less. I learned that there are wonderful, kind people all over the world who helped me whenever I needed them. Thank you world! I learned yoga and meditation, which has been amazing. I met god, or a higher presence through yoga and meditation, which I didn't know was there. I realized how much I love my family, city and friends. I'm so happy to have gone and so happy to be home.

Hmmm, just thinking that around this time last year i hosted a party on my wedding night and it was still a big part of my identity and consciousness. Starting to go back to therapy has been significant. Some particular awakening moments in therapy - understanding my relationship to dad and how it has affected me. Realizing how I objectify men and seek to have them objectify me. Feeling comfortable with me - deeply - and letting go of hang-ups about my looks (wearing glasses on dates, not micro-managing hair). WWOOFing in KY and then going on the Hazon Ride were both significant. KY kicked me off on my search to be more present. The Ride had lots of awake moments - realizing I can overcome physical challenge (and excel!) if I believe I can, soft gaze, droping in.... Also connecting with Neeli and Chris, authentically, for the first time.

A significant experience that has happened was when my best friend moved 1200 miles away. It tore me up in the weeks leading to his departure, but in the few months he has been gone, it doesnt seem so bad. I am sad that a great emotional distance was created, but i think its for the best. i am more active, have a wider core of friends and am in better physical shape. there are times I wish he was still around, but in the end, i think it has been a positive.

I left my day job to pursue my photography and started my own business. It's probably one of the most terrifying things I've done recently, simply because it's something I've wanted to do since I was 12. Feeling the fear and doing it anyway has been liberating in countless ways. I feel like I'm finally being true to who I am as an artist and fulfilling a dream that has been brewing for decades. I still don't answer the question, "So, what do you do?" easily, but I'm getting there. I feel liberated, excited and grateful that everything seems to be clicking into place.

I realized that the source of all is within me, my connection to universal spirit.

I've been waiting for this for a quite long time, and i finally in a relationship with my best friend. He was all the best a girl like me could've asked for. I made mistakes, we made mistakes, but we're not giving up. not yet. It's an LDR, and it's hard, but you have no idea how he is worth it all.

My nana died about four months ago. She was the last thing that held me from being scared for my parents deaths. Now there isn't a block there, and it could happen anytime. It could have before, but now...my parents parents are dead. Its scary. At the same time, I don't worry for my nana, because she was not afraid of death. In the end, she knew she would be with Jesus, and that's whats important.

Learned to lean on friends more. I'm very grateful to have such wonderful people in my life.

One significant experience has been my 98 year old grandmother moving in with us at the beginning of August last year. I'm affected positively, as is my family, since my grandmother is taking care of our rent which relieves us of that stress for now so that's a relief. Negatively, and selfishly, she now sits where I used to sit at the dinner table, sleeps on our couch since that's the most convenient place for her to sleep, and the easiest for her to manage. I used to sit on the couch to relax for the night, which I no longer do. I am most certainly grateful for her help, while at the same time resentful since I have not been able to cover that expense as hard as I've tried. My husband has been a stay-at-home dad for four years and used to cover the rent.

I have reconnected with a few past friends who are a positive life force and rid myself of one negative one. At first I was sad to have dropped the one, but in retrospect... I was relieved to rid myself of the negativity and more positive energy and positive events seem to be occuring.

I was rejected more than once by a girl that I like by her friend. At that time, it mattered a lot to me because that girl supposedly described my whole world. But now, I am relieved that she did what she did. It made me more sensitive to other people's beliefs and capable of controlling my emotions in a larger scale.

After a year of unemployment I started a new job last September. This was largely an incredibly good and fortunate experience. It helped re-establish my sense of self-worth, brought much needed income into the household and gave me a societal sense of purpose and importance. But with the job also comes stress, and more importantly an agenda that's mostly not my own. Fantasies I may have had about starting my own business or venture were shelved. A focused exploration into my personal passions (temporarily?) subjugated as I poured most of my energy into the challenges of my work. Of course I am ultimately in control of my own time, and will continue to strive for balance and hopefully always confront my fears about following a path that's truly my own.

The last part of my professional training to be a dietitian involved a 10 month "internship" at various health establishments including 4 intensive months at a hospital. Not only was my brain overloaded with new medical jargon and knowledge but I wasn't used to the early and long hours and additionally being around sick people day after day had a emotional effect on me. It was tough! I am grateful to have even had the internship challenge because getting into a program was the first step of the hurdle. I am also very grateful for my husband who made me dinner every night and was a terrific cheerleader. I am so relieved it is over and proud of myself for completing the program- the end part of a four year career change journey. Another testimony that I was able to set a course for change and fueled with passion and determination (and very little sleep) I have created a new profession for myself that is meaningful to me and helps people find optimal health.

My mother's husband went to jail. Despite the fact that we must now be on food stamps and barely survive paycheck to paycheck, it's been the best time of my life. Because he's been gone I got to move out of a city I despised and into a rural neighborhood, albeit a bit too rural; I finally got dogs and more cats and I even have horses now. I had a friend who was thirty years older than me; he was like a brother and I told him everything. I trusted him with all I had, from my fears and tears to my self injury. I loved him: but only like a brother. He wanted more; he wanted sex. Since he asked me to 'sext' him, I told him he was a pervert and we haven't spoken since. I'm proud of myself for standing up for me and what I believe in and for valuing my body and holding on to my self-worth though I truly wish I had a higher capacity for forgiveness and trust. He was one of only 3 people I truly trust and love, though the word love holds no value for me. He broke my trust and I will never trust so easily again; I'm afraid all the lies and broken trust I've experienced throughout my life has cause me to be a broken person. I adopted two horses in December and in June my mare had a second colt. I named him Apocalypse; not because I always wanted to name a horse that, but because once he was born, or fell from the sky as I say, my happy little horsey world came falling down and the horse people I once admired became demons in my eyes. I'm glad I've been able to see their true selves and I'm glad my mom has fought so hard to keep them, even when I was willing to give up. Thanks Mommy; I'd say I love you but that doesn't mean very much. You're the best thing in my life above all else and you're the only person who has ever broken my trust that I have been able to forgive.

Both my daughters became pregnant with their second children this year. Having had a very deep and active relationship with the first two, I really want to leave memories of myself and their grandparents as a whole. It requires a lot of time and energy (plus living long enough, of course)--I had to admit that I harbor concerns about getting older and being less able to service these relationships. My son-in-law's mother passed away. Her grandson who was 4 or 5 was very close to her and loved her dearly. About 18 months after she died, he did not remember much about her any more. Somehow I found that so sad, because that is what we leave behind when we die--some call it the essence of yourself, I believe it is the memory of your essence, of who you were, in the hearts of the people who loved you. To be actively remembered--at least one generation beyond your own children-- would be wonderful.

Getting involved in kirtan..we were able to hear Deva Premal and Miten, Krishna Das, Girish, David Newman and Dave Stringer all in one year..Snatam Kaur is tomorrow. It has changed my consciousness, my emotional complexity and has brought so much peace and spirituality to my inner being. Listening to New World Kirtan has truly been integrated into my consciousness and whether actively listening or not, it is a constant companion that I am so grateful for. My husband accompanied me to Kripalu and being able to share all this has strengthened and deepened our bond on a whole new level.

My husband and I were sued by contractors who had taken advantage of a hectic time when we failed to demand the sort of contract that would have protected us. They had lingered in our house for weeks, aggressively overcharged us, and completed work that ended up damaging our home(pipes that leaked in the walls). Being sued and placed in a position of blame and mistrust in the court system was extremely uncomfortable for us, but I was proud of the way we worked with our attorney to build a case. We ended up losing the case- the contractor's company(ies) are a real shell game created so he can sidestep blame, but I was so proud of the way we stood together in an intimidating, frustrating situation and defended ourselves with dignity. We also learned to always, always demand a contract from the main principles of a company (they had the foreman sign, then claimed no responsibility for him).

A recurrence of breast cancer involving surgery, chemo and rads. Took me to as sick as I have ever felt. The Family Effort was brilliant and I felt that all I had tried to build in terms of family dynamic was tested and passed with flying colours I am relieved it's over and would not say I felt inspired or anything "positive" - it was a really hard grind the whole time and I felt like a donkey in an old-style olive press going round and round with my head down and just plugging on.

I directed my first film for submission into a film festival. We were published. My name and picture were in the papers identifying me as a Director. People listened to me, followed my direction without argument, believed in my abilities and liked what I did. It was a real confidence booster. I realized that I could really do something like this. Then we won the Audience Choice award for best picture. That helped me accept that it really was a good effort. Now, I want to create new films all the time. This is what I went to school for. I had spent so much time making corporate videos that I forgot what it was like to be creative. I do have a fear that this is as good as it gets, however. I don't want everything else to go downhill from here.

My Mom told me something she had never told anyone. After my parents had my older brother, she wanted to wait longer than my dad did to have another child. After lots of pressure from him, she resentfully decided to get off of birth control. She became pregnant with me much sooner than she thought it would take. My Dad and family were all excited and she tired to be happy with them, but secretly resented, and was bitter about having there next baby. After I was born, she didn't bond with me like she had with my brother. I wasn't nursing and therefore growing as much and the doctor pronounced me with "failure to thrive." They put me on formula and I started to grow more. About a year after I was born I had to have a planned surgery and my Mom stayed with me in the hospital a few nights while I recovered. She could not pick me up because I lay with my arms and legs tied down (so I would disturb my healing body parts.) My mom stayed with me, with her heart braking for her little tied down baby. After about the 3rd day they untied me and she was finally able to pick me up. When she did she said "a miracle happened," God took all that bitterness and resentment away, and she was able to bond with me like never before. I just turned 30 a week ago, and my Mom had never told anyone this story until she told me it this summer. When she told me, we wept and prayed and held each other. Throughout my life, my Mom and I have been really close, even closer than her and my older brother. This story is especially significant because I have experienced terrible rejections around my birthday throughout my life (ex-fiance leaving me on my birthday, "good" friends abandoning me, deepest rejection and hurt from my wife, etc.) I had no idea that it had started with this event happening when I was an infant. I am now hopeful for restoration. Even though I experienced a bitter rejection from a "friend" even this year, right before my birthday, I now had hope for miracles to happen. Instead of being down and depressed about it, I believe God will bring good out of my painful experiences.

Due to the downturn in the economy, my income is about a third of what it was. I am barely paying my bills, savings contributions are nonexistent, but I am still contributing to my retirement plan at work. I feel uncertain about the future, I worry. My resentment is toward the business and political leaders I feel have caused this, none of them willing to admit it and I resent those trying to keep President Obama from being successful in getting us out of this predicament.

I lost my virginity to entirely the wrong guy... I resent him for assuming so much without asking, and I'm ashamed of myself that I was so naive and foolish. My sexual life has completely changed, it's affected my whole self, and I'm still trying to navigate what it all means to me. I can't decide if I feel guilty for the choices I've made, or not. I don't really know what's important anymore...

Tragic, unexpected death of a student (31 years old). Gave me the opportunity to do what I do best -- hold the space for others. And to see a tragic event in light of it's transformative powers for others, in real-time.

WLC was pretty cool. It really got me excited about being a Soldier again. Traveling as often as I did, as much as I protested, provided much needed lessons in independence and level-headedness.

I made petty mistakes at work and paid big consequences, which made me reevaluate how I perform at work and why these mistakes happened. Now I am more mindful of the smaller details that should be easily accounted for before anything 'detrimental' happens. It affected me in various ways, mostly good in that I learned from my mistakes, but in the beginning I was lost and confused as to why I was performing so unlike myself.

I got married. It has been an eye-opening experience because while I am now part of a two-person unit, I've somehow managed to become more independent and reliant on myself.

I gave birth to our second baby girl in Mexico. The experience had its highs and lows; natural birth would be a high; language barrier, unrequested episiotomy, lack of family and friends would be a low. I initially resented my husband for his choice to want to live there because being a new mom again is challenging without a support network. We struggled a lot last year, still struggling to understand each other and try to regain lost love through bitter words.

A friend from school died. All the kids from my graduating class went back to the high school and mourned together for several days.

I found out that someone close to me, a family member, was an alcoholic. It made me feel very sad that she had kept this secret for so long. It made me very angry that she had endangered her children. It was profoundly disturbing watching the shock waves reberberate through our family, to see how precarious and tenuous relationships are.

the serious illness of my brother in law..how it has affected him and his relatives and friends and makes u want to share as much time with him as possible ..this makes me more cognizant of how precious my wife and family r..

I had a falling out with a longtime friend who I recently was doing business with. I was accused of scheming and betrayal. And was called toxic. At first I was shocked, upset, blamed myself for not communicating clearly and felt a deep sense of loss. On assessing the situation I realized that I had not done anything to deserve the spewing of ill will. I moved on.

My husband and I purchased our first house. It was a big step for us a step that I did not think that we would have been able to do so early in our lives with real estate prices in California. It was not an easy process and had many ups and downs. In the end we found a beautiful house and hosted our families for Thanksgiving it was wonderful. While I am so grateful and relieved that we were able to afford a nice home it did force us to move into a different area leaving our friends and our shul and good grocery stores. I wish we could have afforded to live in the same area, but maybe next time.

DEath. DEath. Death. It is the recurring experience of last year. Death hovered around our family, taking two unexpected hostages as well as the one it seems to whom we'd come accustomed to saying goodbye. In our culture, I've come to realize that death and dying and grief and loss are events that even in my most intimate circle want to be glossed over and interred along with the deceased. Our culture has become so attached to feeling good that even events and circumstances that feel bad and require pause are treated as unwelcome reminders that no matter how many positive thoughts you think, how many affirmations of personal perfection you affirm, life has moments of profound and deep saddness. And, more than that, those events are profound and beautiful. By stepping into the truth of a moment, the oneness I feel is excrutiaingly beautiful, it matters not if it is an expression of joy or grief. In the moment expressing the truth results in me stepping into my authenticity, my strength, my love for the those who no longer walk the Earth with me and my appreciation for those faces of love in my life. I am looking out the window of loss and grief right now and thankful that I am actually feeling it and learning from it and growing from it. I am thankful that I have the courage and wisdom to feel my grief so I don't become it. It always washes me clean and grounds me and is much sweeter than spending all my energy trying to make people feel comfortable around me. I leave other people's comfort to them and am happily walking the path less travelled. I feel more alive than ever before because when Death came over and over and over again, I made a place for Death at our table and spoke to death about my pain and fears and then Death did what Death does, took away my Beloved Beloveds and left me behind to reshape, rethink, and relive my life. Death is an excruciatingly beautiful Teacher and the Dying are too. I am so thankful that I opened myself fully to the joy and pain, wisdom and grace, humor and despair, loving and longing and wanting and missing and wishing and hoping and surrendering and standing in the truth of who I am and how I am as my life became death for a year.

I'm in the process of adopting a second daughter, and that really overwhelms all other experiences of the past year. Right now I am still stressed out about it, as we are not done yet. But I hope that it will prove to be the act that completes our family.

I quit drinking a week ago. I'll let you know how it goes. So far, it's been easier than I thought.

I truly fell in love and had my heart broken for the first time. He used me in many ways that I wish had never ever happened and I hope one day that I won't feel the weight of it on my shoulders everyday. It hurt me,and still hurts, but at the same time I feel satisfied and gratified and thankful that he is gone.

I don't think that any one experience has been especially significant this year, but I do see some trends that are significant. I have been a bit more independent this year. I took a vacation to a ski resort by myself in March, which really felt like a treat. I was able to do exactly what I wanted, and didn't have to defer to others' wishes. I have also started riding a bicycle this year, and have recently begun commuting to school via bike. I'm doing it to get in better shape, be an example to my kids and students, enjoy the outdoors more, and just for the fun of it. I also began a Masters' in Education program, which feels very significant. As I began and completed the first two classes, it didn't feel like a big deal, but now that I am actually carrying through on the plan, signing up for two more classes, it feels good. I think these experiences, taken together, show that I have taken better control of my life this year, seeing to my own health and happiness. That feels like a tremendous step! I am inspired that I have begun change, and look forward to seeing where it may lead me in the coming year.

One of my closest friends died after a long battle with cancer that she seemed to be bravely winning until the very, very end. We met about 15 years ago, after we kept spotting each other at various spiritual happenings like yoga class and High Holiday services. About a dozen years older than me, Gail was at once friend, big sister, and sometimes mother to me. And she welcomed me into her family so that her children, some 30 years younger than me, feel in many ways like my own. I am, of course, deeply saddened by her passing, but also inspired to find more friends like her (though I recognize that they are few and far between). I've let myself become a bit too isolated -- both in my social life and my professional lfie, which is not good for either. Building more friendships should be part of my t'shuvah this year.

We drove 2100 miles round trip to get a puppy... I have felt all of the emotions offered in this question and more. The bottom-line is that we both love her dearly and find ways to repair and mend the areas that are challenging, i.e. her chewing, barking and jumping on those who walk in the door... pretty much your average puppy behavior. It is watching my own anger, impatience and frustration that has captured my attention while I wish that my love, gentle caring and wonder was what really got high lighted. I am hurting from my own impatience with myself... I transfer this pain to either the innocent dog or my innocent partner (although I don't act like there is innocence there when I am angry). Of course, it is gratitude that I want from this experience and yet today I am so sad and angry.

The not-for-profit organization I was working for had its funding cancelled and my colleagues and I decided to launch our own business to keep the work going. It hurt profoundly at the time, mostly because of how it was handled and because of the justifications that were given. But I now feel inspired--if sometimes scared--and ultimately grateful for the opportunity before me.

The best thing that happened last year was me realizing I've been to school for a whole of five days. I've had many many difficulties going to school because of my mental illness and everyday I spent there was like a nightmare. You probably couldn't believe my happiness when I realized I managed to be there for five days without backing out. It made me realize how much I can actually achieve and how much I've grown and matured. It made me realize that I'm actually on my way to get a normal life back which i's probably the best thing that could ever happen to me after such a dreadful time.

This year, an old family friend was married in a fundamentalist Christian wedding ceremony. At the same time, the fate of marriage equality in CA was still up in the air. That night, I danced with my dad on the dance floor for the first time since I was a little girl. That night he also said he wished that my partner and I could have taken the dance floor when they asked for all of the married couples to join. That night was the first time since I was fourteen that I truly felt accepted by my dad for just being who I am.

I passed my GCSEs last month, which I was quite proud of. I expect far too much of myself and I always thought I would be disappointed with my results, which I am in some ways, but generally they were good and I am pleased.

I gave birth. I am grateful, relieved, and amazed. It was truly the hardest thing I have ever done, and it gave me new insight into myself. I thought I would be more stubborn about having a natural birth, but when it came down to it I did what needed to get done for me and the baby to be safe and healthy. I surprised myself a little bit, by being more flexible than I thought when the plan had to change. I am so proud of myself for that.

I went off birth control in January only to have a whole bunch of fertility problems. This has characterized my entire life this year, as my hormones have been going crazy both naturally, and with the various meds I've been taking to try to correct them. Right now I'm thinking the fertility problems will all work themselves out over time, so that's actually not the stressful part for me. Instead what's surprised me about this process is the realization that I no longer feel self-conscious about my body. Due to growing up with family members who had/have eating disorders, I never had a positive body image. I've been very fit and healthy these past few years, which made me feel great about my body and about life in general, but the hormonal swings and general stress/boredom at work over the past year made me gain some weight. I've really surprised myself by finding that I just don't really care. I'm still within a healthy weight range so this shouldn't be a big deal anyway, but at any other point in my life it would have really stressed me out. Now I'm just shrugging it off though. I like body through a much wider range of weights. As long as I can still do all the things I like to do, and am healthy overall, I don't care if I'm at the bottom or top end of a healthy weight range. I think I have this attitude now because I fully trust that my husband loves me regardless of whether I'm super skinny or not. In some ways that really helps give me the luxury of not caring at all what my family thinks of my weight or that they'll love me less for not looking the way they want me to look. Screw that, I no longer feel like love is worth it when it has to be bought on such a shallow basis. I'm glad I've had the presence of mind to surround myself with a husband and community of friends who have better values than that. I decided many years ago (10+?) that certain aspects of my upbringing that were really abusive and had been passed down through the generations, would end with me. I didn't know if that was possible because I could see in myself the tendency to continue them. I decided that I would just be patient with myself and continually try to overcome those bad habits and mindsets. I feel good about the progress I've made. I listen to my family complain about how their lives and mindsets are, how they wish these were different, and how they each blame the previous generation for their problems. Maybe I'm hard-nosed about this, but I want to tell them that they're responsible for their own lives and if they're unhappy with who they are, they should do something about that. I did, and it worked. I'm proud of that, but I also think that part of the reason I've been able to succeed is that whatever else they did, my parents at least always told me I could do anything. I'm grateful to them for that and wish that they'd take their own advice to heart.

I got married on May 22. I am exultant to have finally be with my life partner at age 43. The wedding was the finest gathering of family and friends one could imagine, with a beautiful setting and weather. I can solidly say it was the best day of my life, which is what weddings should be, no?

I took a trip to Ohio in April that has changed my life. I think overall it's been a year of changes and that makes me happy and anxious.

I just lost my job. I knew it was coming but somehow I thought I could prevent it. The signs were there that this job was not for me and never would be but as I moved out on my own last year a mortgage was the reason I was staying. The job let me go and I was stuck. Home and searching. All the time alone forced me to realize I have a chance to do what I want to do and not just make a paycheck. I have had to search through half realized dreams and ideas and create a sketch of what I really want to be. I pay end up taking a job just to get by but I know that I have a new goal and I can do something fulfilling with my life.

Don't know if there has been anything significant....sometimes I feel that dealing with the day-to-day is "signficant enough."

My aunt and my adopted grandmother passed away. I was relieved, which makes me a terrible person. They were both very sick, and suffering, and had been for some years now. But I was relieved because I felt awkward interacting with them. I hadn't visited my adopted grandmother in years, and had only recently seen my aunt after about five years at Thanksgiving. In the wee hours of New Year's day 2004, I told myself I wasn't going to pray to God anymore. I didn't need God. None of my friends seemed committed to God in the way I was committed to God, and the ways in which I was committed didn't seem to be helping me any more than they were being helped. I had prayed for signs and not seen any. I told myself that I was going to start doing what I wanted, and was going to start living for me. Seven years later I know I was wrong. I know that I was approaching God in ways that weren't meaningful; I know that there are many ways to approach God now, many ways to worship, to connect, to pray, to meditate. I know that I was judgmental. I lost sight of the person I had striven to be, and I let my head be filled with vanity. I was left disappointed when things didn't turn out the way I wanted/expected them to. I am still trying to figure out who I am seven years later, how I want to approach my life and my religion. Living for myself led me to neglect those I should have been caring for, communicating with. I didn't send out Christmas cards this year, thinking I would always have next year. These two dear women will not be able to see them next year. I feel guilty for the way I have lived wrapped in myself. My mother and other family members excuse me saying, we know you're busy. But I am not. I am just selfish. I want now more than ever to make more of an effort to live for others. This is not something I am very good at. I love talking about myself too much.

The most significant experience of this last year was summer. I finally realized I'm a teenager, that I can do what I want, that I have freedoms and responsibilities. Almkst everday of summer I woke up when I wanted to, biked downtown or to the beach with friends and only got home in time for dinner. I also had more responsibilities. I mowed the lawn, helped with meals, etc. The second half of the summer I went to camp. Everyone there thought i was a great guy, the next true sangaman. This summer will be forever remembered.

A significant experience was my first trip abroad. I went to Milano and Roma, Italy. I was very grateful for the opportunity. However, it made me realize all that I have been missing out on in the world. I need to find a way to travel more!

Honestly the trip to new york did show me how much potential there is for us to do good in the world. Birrakim, reboot etc

I broke up and used it as an excuse to not get anything done. I don't regret the relationship or the breakup, I just wish I'd handled it better.

Moving to Minneapolis was definitely significant. It was important because Brad and I listened to our own desires over those of the people we love. We knew we were uninspired in our current location and not reaching our full potential. So we packed up all our stuff. Said our goodbyes. Upset our parents. And now we have new jobs and new friends out in Minneapolis. We miss our families a lot but are excited about this new stage in our lives.

My wife and I bought a house. It represents attainment of a long-time goal for both of us. It also means accepting that I am putting down roots in this area, which I moved to almost seven years ago, something about which I am still ambivalent.

The man I was involved with for the last seven years ended our relationship and married someone else 6 months later. The mix of emotions has been epic . . . I've experienced a grief I didn't imagine I could live through, and a gratefulness that has astonished me. It has been both the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

I went to Bridge Builders this past summer. It impacted my life so much because I became friends with people I never would have met otherwise. I am now more culturally diverse and open-minded

I moved into my own flat and lived alone for the first time. I found myself working so much as I didn't really like being alone. I enjoy my parents company and didn't realise how much I valued them. They do so much for me and I never really realised. I thought I was very self-reliant but I've found moving out just how much I did depend on others. I hate living alone.

I have had some difficult reviews at work and have had trouble adjusting to my new-ish surroundings. The feedback I have received has been a blow in part, but have also helped me to realize that I really need to focus on how I communicate, interact with and am perceived by others. Over all I think I have grown emotionally quite a bit this year, but only in so doing have realized that I have a LONG way to go.

One big significant event was my graduation from high school. People say it is a day you will remember and never forget. My graduation seemed to be just the opposite. Waiting in line, trying not to pop my neck with so many people looking. Hoping I did not slouch when I walked across the stage, Hoping they did not get an ugly picture of me as I walked across the stage. They also say that your friends that you had in High School, will be your best friends in life. Well I'm still looking forward to hearing from some of them. It seems as if High School went by two fast. Now I am in college on my own and in the Army. Wow, I could have sworn, I had just started High School.

I took on a new role at work this year - as the president of the non-profit where I have worked running my own program pretty autonomously. Up until three years ago my father had been the president. When he left things went downhill precipitously - in part because of his departure and in part because of the economic downturn. This past spring it looked like the organization might go under so I stepped up and volunteered to take the lead. It's been really, really hard. I have been both grateful and proud to follow in my father's footsteps. I've also felt the intense pressure of trying to preserve his legacy and live up to the standards that he set. I know he is proud of me and appreciative of what I've done - but it hasn't been easy and we've both often been on the defensive. I've tried to carve out a place for myself and do things the way I see best - using my own talents. And while he applauds that he has a hard time acknowledging that I have value added. It must seem like an implied criticism every time I say I've accomplished something. I knew this would be a next to impossible role when I took it and that upon finishing it I might have to be like Shane and simply move on - my days as a gunfighter being numbered. If that's the case then I hope I can be like Shane and have the sense to recognize that they are, saddle up, ride out.

My Mother health had fallen the during the new year last September. Well for one I had to make a desicion which i found to be easy between walling in self pitty or stepping up taking responsibility for myself in school and at home. No more being driven around, or asking to get things. If i wanted something i had to work hard or fight for it. I wanted to learn more in school and had a very rewarding Junior Year. Well as far i glad i finaly took another step in meturity but sad to know my mothers health was the "first domino." In any case I'm relived to know that despite the decline of my mother's health i know something good came out of it.

We became one of the many thousands of people affected by bed bugs a month or so ago. It has been absolutely terrible. It's like a natural disaster, but without the actual devastation. Our home is in total chaos, but nothing is actually destroyed. We lose sleep, but our health otherwise unaffected. We know that many of neighbors in the city share our turmoil, but everyone else handles it in secret. On the plus side, it has prompted us to simplify our lives, reduce the junk we have gathered, and enjoy the good things like friends, family, and food much more fully.

My boyfriend of 2.5 years gave me a promise ring - an Irish Claddaugh ring. Before him, I faced several years of trauma. When I was 14, my boyfriend at the time was very abusive and because I had little self-worth, I stayed with him... Until he forced me to have sex with him. When I was 16, I met someone online named Gabe. I fell in love with him despite all the drama he pulled on me. He was gay, for one, so I began to question my gender -- could I transition to male so Gabe would want me? Also, he spent much of our relationship intentionally trying to hurt me. He was constantly critical of me, and several times he ended our friendship for months at a time off of a whim. Our relationship ended altogether during one of those "vacations" -- I discovered that Gabe was not Gabe at all. He was a girl named Brielle who simply wanted to fuck with my head. My family life wasn't horrible usually but more recently my dad has gone off his rocker. In the summer of 2009, I moved to New York to be with my boyfriend -- the one who gave me my ring -- leaving Ohio behind for perhaps the rest of my life. During New Year's, I took my boyfriend with me and my family to Florida on vacation. My dad got sloshed and had slipped several extra shots into my mom's drinks. I seriously thought my mom was going to die that night. My boyfriend stood up for my mom, and my dad threatened to beat him up. My boyfriend had to lock himself in a room to call his parents and have them fly us out of Florida. Four months later, he gave me this Claddaugh ring, which I'm wearing on my right ring finger as I type this. After all the shit we've been through, he has stayed with me... And although I've constantly doubted his commitment to me, this ring shows me he's serious. After way too many years of abuse and distrust, I can trust again, and I have my confidence again. Who knows, maybe I will finally make new friends in this place.

Over this past year I have been blessed with the births of my first grandchildren, a boy and a girl. Both of my daughters live in the Twin Cities so I am able to spend a good amount of time with 'the babies'. Even though the birth experiences for both of my daughters wasn't easy, the pure joy associated with being a grandparent is difficult to describe. It is awesome!

I met someone beyond amazing. They epitomise everything good in a person. It was quite startling actually. Because such people, do they exist? Was it too good to be true? or is life supposed to be too good to be true? We will see..

My mother-in-law's dementia worsened significantly. It leads to a complex stew of emotions. Pity, sadness, frustration, fear, annoyance, guilt, anger. You can't help but feel sorry for her, and at the same time infuriated by her behaviors. And afraid that it may be your future. And then realize that dementia doesn't run in my family, but both my parents died within 12 years of my current age.

Deciding to be more frugal, whether the money is there or not, as a lifestyle. Eating at home, considering each purchase. It's strangely liberating instead of oppressive.

I recently got a new job in a field I love, after thinking my career in that field was probably over. Even though it pays very well, it is a of a lower 'status' than my previous jobs. That said, the level of appreciation by my supervisor for my hard work in this new job, already, is staggering in comparison to the total lack of appreciation expressed when I was in a higher 'status' position. Not only that, but I find that things in my job that used to set me off RIGHT NOW, don't have the same effect on my anymore. It's amazing what a bit of appreciation for hard work will do to one's morale. I am grateful, relieved AND inspired!

Finishing my senior thesis was one of the hardest things I've ever accomplished in my life. In MANY ways, I made things much harder for myself than they should have been, but was it really wrong for me to expect more guidance than was granted? I am grateful to be done with the experience and even though I am grateful to have learned important lessons from it (as I head into grad school), I a regretful that I had the experience because hindsight dictates that it didn't have to be that difficult.

The most significant experience of the past year was the birth of my son. I am so grateful for him, so in love with this little person, so happy to be his mommy. He is so different from his big sister, and accordingly my love for him is of a completely different quality and nature. No less, no more, just reflective of the radically different objects of my affection.

My wife's uncle died and it has impacted her and her family quite significantly. For me, this was the first opportunity that my wife and I shared the experience of death. It wasn't easy, to say the least. It was hard to see her and her family go through the strief, and now the grief. It is definitely a lasting effect. It has affected me in being grateful for my family, but also stressed (there's a better word) that I'm distant, geographically, from my own family.

Working at a crisis center hotline, I realized a person I was speaking with on the phone was actually someone I had worked with 20 years ago. He was bitter and suicidal and certain that no one who had ever known him had liked him. But before I realized who he was, he hung up the phone. A week later, he called back and I was there to get his call again. Again, he said he was unlikeable, unlovable, unwanted. Again, I tried to tell him that wasn't true. But this time, I had proof. I told him that I had worked with him 20 years ago, sharing the place of employment and my identity. He remembered me. And that changed everything. He went from being certain that his life had never made a difference to anyone to realizing that even just working with him a few months had made an impression on someone. He realized, I think, that his life has value and meaning. It's amazing to think that over a distance of 20 years, 100 miles, through a mask of anonymity, we were able to reconnect. It was a sacred moment.

My daughter got engaged, it was a little traumatic. She is my only child, and I am a single parent, so life is going to change dramatically for me. I don't think any of those words are applicable, I would say it is more of an apprehensive/curious feeling.

Just a few days ago, my youngest son left our house to go off to college. It's bittersweet moment having a newly empty nest. I loved seeing my son so excited and just jazzed to start this next chapter in his life. He knew he was on the brink of something good. But I felt a bit empty no longer having his energy fill our home. I feel inspired to start rebuilding my own life, now that I have the time to take on new (hopefully satisfying) activities. I hope to re-connect more with my husband.

I got married. It was an amazing moment that is still resonating. And a hell of a party! It feels special and it feels like it will last forever. I want to throw the same party with the same friends in 10 years (plus some new friends)

This year has been a torrential downpour of significant experiences. Most notable is the separation and potential dissolution of my marriage. The seeds of discontent had been growing into a full blown weed garden for several year, but it wasn't until 3 weeks of vacation-separation that I realized I was genuinely happier alone (and with my son). My marriage has been lonely, isolating and confusing. All this time I believed that if I changed enough or did the right things, my husband would love me in the way that I needed. This summer it occurred to me that somewhere in the quest to be a good wife, I had lost myself. And that all the things that made me happy, I had pushed aside for the greater good of our marriage. In that knowledge, came the courage to reclaim myself. Leaving my husband has been extremely painful, but learning to love myself again makes it worthwhile.

I turned 65! Leading up to the day, I felt anxious and worried, plus I had to take care of lots of paperwork (applying for Medicare, getting a half fare Metrocard, etc.). But since I'm in good health, it's now only a number and I'm glad to be alive and well, as I know some people my age or younger who are very ill/dying and/or aren't in as good a place emotionally and financially as I am. I feel free!

My 85-year-old mother was diagnosed with kidney disease. She is satisfied that she has lived a long and good life and is not interested in making lifestyle changes at this point to improve her medical condition. This is a source of frustration for me, but I am beginning to realize that she is in charge of her own life. I need to remind myself of that, and use it as an inspiration for living my own life.

This year i had my GCSE's. The run up to the exams was probably one of the most nerve wracking experiences in my life. So many adults just pressuring me to do well...in the end i didn't know if i could. Thankfully i got 2 As and 5 Bs and got into the school of my choice. I know now that the work i did pulled off and im grateful for my parents believing in me. I couldn't be happier

My Niece was born, it's amazing when this little person gets put in your arms and you feel this overwhelming love for them. She amazes me everyday. I understand slightly when my Mum says she wouldnt even question giving up her life for her kids. I feel so strongly for her, I can imagine how much more amplified it will be when I have kids of my own.

One of my most significant experiences was participating for the first time in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60 mile walk in DC. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer (inflammatory -- no lump) when I was 7 and the doctors later told her she would have had 6 months to live. That was 27 years ago!!! I have run the Komen 5K for about 5 years now and last year decided to take it to the next level and camped, crewed, pushed myself out of my comfort zone, laughed, cried and bonded with women who understoond where I was coming from, and whom I understood too. Some were survivors, some had lost their mothers, sisters, aunts, grandmothers... it was 4 days of 4:30am wake-ups and 10pm sleep times... with a million hours of activity in between. But no matter how hard it was, I just kept telling myself "This is *still* better than cancer!!!" And 2500 people were connected in true unity... and in pink!!! I found a new passion I could act on and articulated emotions to others that I've held largely inside since I was old enough to understand how horribly things could have turned out otherwise. We are now coming up on one year later, and I am knee-deep in planning for my 2nd year, mostly with these same ladies that I met and worked with last year. We have all kept in touch this year and I have a new side of my "family" whom I never would've had reason to know otherwise. Because of my Komen experience, I am a better me this year than last, I really feel that sincerely.

I took some dramatic actions to improve my health. I had cateract surgery in both eys and am glad I did as I see better and only need reading glasses now, whereas before the surgery I had glasses for distance and another set for reading. Who knew I had cateracts but the difference and improvement in vision is amazing. I also took a leap of faith and had all my upper teeth removed. I wear a temporary denture, which I hate,while implants take root. Then a more permanent denture will be affixed. I did not realize how long this whole process will take and how miserable I am with the denture. However, since I cannot eat, I have lost weight, which is a good thing. I hope I made the right decision but will not know until the final work is done. And none of this is paid by insurance so I have spent alot of retirement money.

The death of a close family friends daughter was a complete shocker. She was a sweet loving person who in turn was loved by many. She was a State Trooper and it was Truly inspiring to see the large contingent of troopers from all over the US and Canada attend the funeral.

My great aunt died. Naturally I was incredibly sad when it happened but I also learned lessons that strengthened me. I rose to the challenge of reading a poem at her funeral and that is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I learnt that I had an inner strength that pulled me through it and I am also so thankful that I had the strength to do it because she deserved that tribute. She had a joyful, although rather hectic, life and I think that I will always remember her joy.

I was in a couple of gatherings where I got to explore my sexuality in ways I've dreamed of since adolescence. It was fun. I was grateful for the experience regardless, but I was still relieved that, being middle-aged, it was as much fun as I hoped. I want to it again!!

The most significant thing that has happened to me this past year, is meeting Jason and growing our relationship. He has taught me so much about myself, both the bad and the good. I got to experience a whole new way of life just by having him in mine and I know that no matter what happens in the future he is someone that I will never forget and always love.

I joined the High School swim team for my Freshmen year. I loved it and can't wait to start again this year. The actual swimming portion of it wasn't the most fun, but out of the pool, the team really bonded and had some good laughs.

My husband and I had a pregnancy scare. I say scare because we have been on the fence about having kids for some time and the timing was awful. The experience has helped us face the decision more realistically. We could do it, we would be great parents, it was not the right time but I think there may be a right time in the future.

I moved across the country. Changed my life entirely. Yes.No.No. Yes

I studied at only Ivy League Schools, but failed the New York bar several times. I had never failed an exam in my life, and I ended up loosing my job and having to move countries over it. Just before I retook the exam a second time, my boyfriend of 5 years had a nervous breakdown and moved back to Australia. I had to move back in with my mother and felt like that the entire life I had built for myself fell apart over this one exam. I always wanted to be a lawyer, had gotten this far, and now I wasn't gonna be able to practice. My mother managed to convince me to take a time out, study for it again, and I passed. I have never been so grateful for anything in my life. I am grateful, relieved and so happy about it because I managed to fight my inner demons who kept telling me I couldn't do it. Also I became much closer with my mother as a result.

This was the year that all three boys lived with me and all the boys moved out-Aaron to college. I am grateful, relieved and inspired to find a new way of living my own life ,less as a mother and more as an adult. I am going to have to find a new way of being so that my life can be fulfilling and worthwhile and not the automaton that ran the marriage and the children.

My daughter, then 10, played a violin solo during communion on Christmas Eve. With my head bowed, hands folded and eyes clothes, listening to her play, I was totally overwelmed by God's love and his miracle and grace that brought us together.

Had Thanksgiving with husband, children and sister's family for the first time in many years. I became hopeful that if I hold for family to show up as loving and wanting to be together, it might happen over time.

This year I had to put my dad in a home for people with Alzheimer's. I didn't realize it, but he was past the point where he should still be living alone. I am very relieved that it happened quickly the way it did so I didn't have time to worry if it was the right thing to do. I love my dad very much and he has had a huge influence on me. I want whats best for him.

I met a new partner and after 50 finally feel like I have the kind of intimate relationship I always thought was possible but never experienced before.

When I thought my mother was seriously ill with cancer. I suddenly had to face issues and questions I thought I wouldn't face for years. I realized I am not ready to be in this world without my mom. I don't talk to her every day, but I depend on her guidance and good listening. The whole experience also brought my own mortality too close. The thought of dying and leaving my children to grow up without me was awful. I am a good mother and want to guide my kids into adulthood, just as my mother did for me.

A significant experience was when I finally stood up to my mother-in-law in a stupid way. I sat, in angry silence, in response to the 22 years of being badmouthed to my back. It effected me in a positive manner because I now have a new theory... I can only judge myself. I'm relieved to let her know that this behavior is unacceptable and that we will not listen to rumors. I would have like for her to own up to the gossips but can only judge myself.

I was fired for an unprofessional decision. It made me wonder if I should stay in my field or look for work elsewhere. I loved my work, but now I doubt that I can do it. I'm resentful that I wasn't given another chance. The decision I had made had been approved in the past in another department, but was considered "practicing without a license" in the new one, even though the Dr signed off on it afterwards.

My baby graduated college..The 3rd of three..I began to realize that I am getting older as well and better start doing the things I want when I am still able..travel, learn to play the flute etc...

I lost my virginity. I flew to another part of the country to see a man I'd only known for a week but there was something strong between us. I vowed that I'd be at least 18 before I made such a serious decision but I went and saw him two months before my 18th birthday. It affected me in a positive way. I feel like I was totally in control of myself, the situation. It wasn't romantic and it wasn't with my true love but it was perfect. I've been to see him once again since then and there is a very strong bond between us. He amazes me. And he thinks I'm amazing too which just blows my mind because I don't hold myself in very high regard. I think this experience was something I will never forget, with a person I will never forget and for that I'm very happy and very glad.

Travelling abroad by myself the first time to Nice. It was an oasis of peace and happiness in a hellacious year, and I was really proud to have been brave enough to travel by myself. It inspired me to keep everything in perspective when I got back to school, as well as live a more "European" attitude. (My job is not my life, my LIFE is my life!)

Buying our house was a significant event. I am happy we did so, as Nadine was at the end of her rope with the old house. The old house just didn't work for us. Of course, with new financial responsibilities, I will have some doubts going forward about our ability to manage all the expenses and still keep our lifestyle. We're not materialistic, but at this time in my life, after working for 40 years, I would like to enjoy some of life's pleasures.

This past year, I learned about myself when I was rudely responded to online. I was reminded not to be pretentious but also not to care what people think. The only real thing that matters is what I think of myself. It was a wake up call that I let the opinions of others get to me. I also talked to a girl about religion and other world matters. We had different opinions and it was great to explore ways we believed the same things and discuss the world. I felt inspired to continue learning about the world around me so I can actively partake in debates and discussions.

Going to the Court of Protection in England to do something that noone had done before and that all lawyers told me wasn't possible and getting it done. It was a huge amount of work, and emotionally very taxing but the help that having the money gave to Aunty Dolly's cousins after we won was amazing. I think that the reality is that noone could have blamed me for not attempting to do it. But for myself, it had to be done. And I am so happy it was.

After one year of long-distance dating, I moved in June from New York City to San Francisco to join my girlfriend there. The cross-country move had been a likely eventuality for a year and a half, from the time we learned that she would move to the west coast for her medical schooling. Although driving a freight truck across the United States (especially navigating the heavy vehicle down steep mountain passes) proved something of an adventure, the preparation for the move was more psyching than the move itself! I was anxious about relocating to a region where I have no existing pool of friends, no day job, and few professional art contacts. This practical anxiety was further compounded by the emotional significance (and stress) of uprooting an established life for love. Still, I never wavered after I'd made up my mind to commit, and this, perhaps, is why the move was relatively painless. When the dust settled, I was thrilled to be living in a beautiful new city and region, and I stumbled very quickly into part-time employment and an artist studio residency program. While the stress associated with the move was acute, I'm grateful for my girlfriend, my principal motivation in making the move, and for the opportunity to live in so exceptional and inspiring a place. My only regret is that my parents and many dear friends remain so far away, on the east coast. The move's made me appreciate platonic intimacy as never before.

My big sister got pregnant, and then they found HPV cells in her cervix. It was a terrifying experience. It made me realize how happy I am that going to college where she lived was one of the best choices in my life (though there were other factors in that choice as well). It let me finally get to know my sister, who is twelve year older than I am. She is my best friend, and I am so happy that her surgery went well, and she is now healthy, and in her second trimester.

This was my first year of retirement. I was very fearful of retiring, but have found that I really enjoy it. I am very grateful for the experiences that I had during my carreer and how much joy my job broght me.

I was laid off from my job after 35 years. I was afraid that I would not be able to find another job as this was the only thing I had ever done. I feared we would not be able to pay our bills. But I felt very strongly God was leading me in another direction. I pursued something I had always wanted to do in my life. I began by volunteering at an organization near and dear to my heart. It has now worked into a full time position for which I am grateful each day. I'm making a difference in the lives of the homeless. I make far less money than I did before but learned to live more simply and I've learned what is really important in life. Everyday I am grateful for things that previously I took for granted. I am blessed.

Even though it's not a experience that a lot of people would consider relevant, reading The Dove Keeper had a major impact on my life. Yes, it is a fanfiction, but it's not just that. The way it represents life itself and all its aspects (such as how to find your passion and how to gain the wanted freedom), made me realize that there's so much more to this world than it seems. I don't think there's a way to actually describe the experience I had while reading it, so I'll just say I'm really really thankful I did it. It was a big step in my life an it helped me become the person I am now. Everyone should a have a chance to question life and I can't think of a better way of doing it. There's also the art aspect, that, damn, has so much to it. It's all deep meanings and connections, feelings, situations, sensations. Definitely made me a better person.

I met and fell in love with a man who has a very different backround and upbringing from mine. Creating our new family has been very challenging but I think will be very worth it in the long run

It wasn't just one event, and they're all significant! the most in my life so far...I quit my job, lost a friend, got divorced, moved to a different state, made a career change. My views of life have almost completely changed, I've felt everything but resentful. It all happened for a reason, and I've only become stronger.

Not long after starting a new job, there was a political upheaval at work that resulted in the CEO that hired me leaving and a new CEO coming in.. Disappointed I started to reflect on my career in advertising and whilst I enjoy working with incredibly creative people, the more senior I become the more ruthless this business is starting to feel. I realised that I was putting my career and happiness in the hands of people who at the end of the day didn't care about either of those things - it was time for me to take responsibility for my own happiness! So right now I am on the brink of completely changing my career and hopefully life in the process. I will be part of building something amazing and also starting my own business. I am scared to death but couldn't be more excited. I feel quietly proud that I have found the strength within to choose what I want and really looking forward to the ride!

My therapist told me that she had met a lot of people over the years, and that she admired my emotional awareness, my ability to do personal reflection and the subsequent growth I have made since she has known me. She went on to say that as we discussed some people are and some are not, but that she sees me as is an "evolving person" and I should be proud of the person I have chosen to be. It was a gift, and it told me that I am on the journey that I want, bumps, bruises, joys and jubilation, all of it.

I went through another break up. It led me to really reflect on myself, my issues and what I want out of my life. I think (am hoping) it's opened my eyes, so that I can see what is really in front of me, rather than what I'm hoping I see. I'm relieved the bulk of the pain from that relationship is over and the searching for my happiness has led me to several things. I did a Vipassana retreat where I lived as a Buddhist Nun for 12 days, realized my misery is under my control and decided that I want to be 100% debt free within a year. Just taking control of my life, finally really putting it into my hands and dealing with it.

Sold our folks home of 60+ years, it was very stressful and heart wrenching thing to do. Everything inside had to be disposed of either by giving it to other family members or by selling or donating them. Everything we touched brought back memories and made it so difficult to dispose, but it had to be done and we did it. I still cannot pass by the house. Since it had to be done regardless, I feel relieved and sad at the same time.

I got a new job - it has made me value myself more and focus on my goals more. I have had really good feedback on my work here as well which helps me focus and want to do better every day. I also got into uni, which made me overjoyed because it got me one step closer to my life goal.

I was thrilled to be hired last year as an public school English teacher after a 12 year hiatus from the high school classroom. Almost immediately, I became disenchanted by the school's obsessive focus on teaching students to take standardized tests. Literature and writing were deemed a waste of time by my department chair. Clearly, the school's philosophy did not mesh with my personal convictions about teaching, learning and the value of relationships. My students were bored beyond belief. I knew that if I remained on staff, I would be compromising my values as an educator. Every day felt like a tug of war between what I was "required" to do, and what I felt my students needed most. Although I was asked to return as a faculty member again this fall, instead I took a chance and applied for a position at a new high school in the same district. They were only hiring two English teachers and I was not tenured; I threw all caution to the wind, applied, and was chosen. Every day, now, it's a pleasure to drive to school knowing that I am back in my element, teaching literature and writing in a school that seeks to educate the whole child, and not just produce an army of standardized test takers. I feel thoroughly renewed, and am profoundly grateful for having been hired at BOTH schools-- without last year's experience, I'm not certain that I would comprehend just how lucky I am now.

I was finally diagnosed with a sexual pain disorder after years of pain, and started to get treatment from competent doctors. Relieved, resentful, grateful.

1. I began a new job as Property Manager of The Waterford Apartment Homes & Bowman Heights Apartment Homes. 2. I was confirmed as an Episcopalian. 1. It has affected me in that I don't have to work with negative forces. I'm incredibly grateful and relieved. I'm inspired that my choice to change jobs was the right one and I feel blessed. 2. After the passing of Mr. Kinney, I began to realize that I hadn't been listening to my call to convert for quite some time. I love my new Church home, Trinity Episcopal. I'm very grateful and inspired to try to be a better Christian and person.

On October 20, 2009, I gave birth to twin boys. This was the most transformative and empowering experience in my life. The weeks following their birth were totally other-worldly. I spent those days totally immersed in joy and gratitude. I remember thinking that I was "euphoric and exhausted" because of the constant feeding. I felt so close to G-d and the experience made me realize that I can have the greatest adventure and behold the most incredible blessings without ever leaving home!

A very significant experience that has happened in the past year is a state-of-being I have been experiencing recently, but my work on improving my well being and mental health has made this experience possible. My quality of life has significantly improved because of a drastic reduction of my perfectionism and social anxiety. This is a new lease on life for me, and an opportunity to continue to grow and to live life to the fullest.

I did a special 10 day dietary and spiritual cleanse with my kundilini yoga group adn it elevated me. I saw that I can really accomplish something for myself if I put my heart into it. I continue to practice as much as I can and it always is uplifting.

I had lunch with my brother. I had only seen him once at a lunch a few years ago since I've been put into foster care. People pushed us into talking about things that happened between us and with our parents which was really sucky of them, it ended up really getting to my brother. And I'm the type of person, even if I don't like you much, I still will help you more than most of the closest people to you. Good karma and all that jazz. So even after my brother was being a douche, I offered him all that I could give him. It made me realize that I could be more fucked up, and that I was really a grown up now. Which scares me more than anything cause I don't feel like I have my shit together.

I was estranged from my brother and his wife for 11 years and we reconciled in November 2008. In the past year I was able to celebrate the full cycle of family events - birthdays and holidays - with them and their 4 children, whom I met when we reconciled. We were also lucky enough to have been able to take a family vacation together - all 7 of us. I am profoundly grateful and filled with joy and peace and happiness to have them all in my life. It has changed everything for me.

My sister got married and I had the privilege of performing the ceremony. I was inspired, grateful, honored, humbled... It was such a joy to be able to contribute to making her wedding everything she wanted it to be. I think it gives us an incredibly bond moving forward, as well as an incredible bond with my brother-n-law. At the same time, my wife sang one of their first songs, Alicia Keys "No One," and I was so emotional that I was on the dance floor, sobbing tears of happiness onto my mom, whom I was supposed to be dancing with. It reaffirmed the importance of family to me- how I wanted to try and recenter my life around family in spite of the geographical distance that separates all of us.

My Partner's 18 year old son went off to college. It was a joyous and liberating event for all. He is learning so many of life lessons he never could have learned as an only child of divorced parents. It's a hard time for his Mother to adjust to her role as long distance confidant. Our home life has improved and we couldn't be happier. We can talk and act openly and freely with one another. We are more intimate and grateful. Am I relieved? YES!

Deferred from my first-choice college, then accepted five months later. Perplexed & proud.

The most significant experience is my mom's passing a few months ago. I feel so many emotions, I'm not able to get into it now. But a significant experience was shepherding my most challenging student through the long process of completing requirements for a high school diploma. I had to wear many hats: social worker, teacher, mentor, adviser ; it was my best work (in the midst of grieving for my mom) and I am grateful that I had the strength to maintain and help my student succeed.

I started as a co-op student at the community television studio in my town. I have had many jobs but they were all tedious and boring and I knew I never wanted to continue them. Working at TVCogeco, with the equipment and the people feels like home. I was nervous at first but I was easily accepted and joking with everyone in no time. My co-op teacher was amazed how well I fit and so was I! It made me realize how it feels to love what you do and be passionate about your work. Now it feels like I'll know wether future jobs, if any ;), are the right fit for me because I've already experienced it.

MY COUSIN BROTHER PASSED AWAY BY A MASSIVE HEART ATTACH. HE WAS MUCH YOUNGER TO ME, AND SUPPOSED TO BE IN GOOD HEALTH AND VERY CONSCIOUS ABOUT HIS HABITS. AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER, MY NEPHEW TOO PASSED AWAY THRO MASSIVE CHARDIA ARREST. HE WAS MUCH YOUNGER TO ME. THIS HAS SET ME THINKING THAT I TOO HAVE GROWN OLD AND NEARING THE END OF THE ROAD. I TRY TO BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT MY HEALTH, NOT ONLY FOR MY SAKE, BUT ALSO FOR THE EFFECT ON MY DEPENDENTS.

I got diagnosed with asymptomatic HPV, that I had most likely been exposed to years before, that caused a potentially precancerous lesion on my cervix that had to be removed. I sobbed off and on for days, probably weeks, felt ashamed, dirty, and afraid of how my boyfriend (now fiance—he proposed a month after all this, so he's a keeper, obviously) would react and afraid that his perception of me would change. I'm an obsessive medical Googler, which didn't help the situation. But after learning more about HPV and discovering how common it is—most women will get it at some point in their lives—I felt whole again. It also made me take stock of my own stereotypes, because I immediately tried to think of which guy I'd been with that would be the most likely culprit, and realized that I couldn't judge so easily since I wouldn't fit generalized image I had of a person diagnosed with an STD. Once I accepted the situation, I felt relieved that it had been caught—it had been on a whim with strange chain of events that ended with a just-because random biopsy.

i met my now best friends and i am very gratful because i can finally be myself around these people and they havesaved me from losing myself

I traveled abroad for the first time ever and by myself. It was amazing, because I met a bunch of wonderful people, had a lot of fun and found one of the, if not THE, most important man in my life to this day. He showed me a new side of life and relationships and made me realize loads of things about myself, both good and bad, but that later only turned me into a much greater person. It has helped me establish and distinguish wants and needs in my life. So I am grateful for every second we spent together, every minute of my trip and my parents who paid for it all.

I gave birth to our first child, an experience which was very physically painful -- I was able to achieve a completely drug-free unmedicated birth with virtually no medical intervention -- but undoubtedly the best experience of my life because of it. My amazing husband coached me through 16 hours of labor, and the sense of accomplishment and pride I felt in giving our daughter the healthiest, best start in life made all the pain completely worth it. I was so inspired by the experience I am training to become a natural childbirth instructor.

I was rejected. Doors were closed, slammed, locked. The college process ended and I ended up in a school I never expected. I was hurt and confused and deeply resentful. But now I am here and realize that this college is my perfect fit, the only place I should have ever wanted to be. The ordeal forced me to reevaluate how I see my self worth. I was seeking approval, justification, identity, recognition, and validation from institutions that could never understand or truly value who I was and what I had to say. Now I understand, the approval comes from within. I write my path and my worth. I will seek and select environments that support my individuality and my voice. I will open the doors. I will live the life I want to live regardless of the name on the diploma or the misguided opinions of society's gate keepers. I will thrive.

I failed out of college. It was so hard, and I thought it was honestly the end of the world for me. I was at an all time low with my self-esteem, and my parents and I really had a rough time with it. Since then I started at a new school, and I'm doing great now. It's helped me realize that sometimes everything doesn't work out, and that you need to roll with the punches and not put yourself down when things seem tough.

A close friendship got shaken up, turned sideways, and flipped upside down in a very short period of time. It made me reevalutate what I believe in and what I want out of life. Unfortunately, what had the potential to become something incredible and beautiful ended up becoming painful to think about, but that doesn't mean I don't miss it. A lot.

It is, and I will repeat this, since this was significant for me this past year, my depression that was significant. It was blinding and it put a stop to all my doings and goings. I am grateful its over. I worked hard to get it gone, and I will strive to never get to that place again. I feel stronger than I ever have, and if that means having to have gone through this, then so be it, I don't regret it if it was a stepping stone to this place.

In the past year ? God, there's so many. The most influential would be with Gabriel Adrian Lubo. Gabe, when I need him the most. Gabby. My best friend. December 9, 2009 will always be the day that will hit me the hardest. I'm doing this question a day late, so today, September 9, would've been our nine month. I love him still. I love him a lot. We're not together anymore. It's been almost two months. I see him everyday. We're still best friends. I still trust him with my life, and every single one of my deepest secrets. He's my support system. My shoulder to lean on. My inspiration. It's tough right now. I feel like he's drifting away from me. Maybe I'm just imagining things. Thinking and analyzing them too much. I do that frequently, causing myself pain and heartbreak in the end. We've been through a lot together; even now although we're not "together." He's been encouraging (or blackmailing me with our relationship, depending on how you look at it) to become closer with God. It's a work in progress. I'll let you know what it's like when I get there. I'm not doing too good at answering this question, am I ? He made me happy. He still does, when I feel like he's not replacing me with someone else. Now all there's left to do is deal with this heartbreak and pain. The secret resentment I'm harboring. The insecurities. All the problems that are being brought up. But I'll get through this. Don't we all ?

My closest friends moved to another city. It's pretty far. I know now for sure that distance doesn't matter to friendship but still you can't talk to them whenever you want and just drop in passing by. That made me think about moving to bigger city and friendship.

My oldest son went off to college and and I learned the true meaning of "letting go." It has been hard, but I have had to rely on the hope that we have given him a solid foundation. The other thing I learned is that "we are NOT our mistakes." It's what we learn from them that makes us who we are, not the actual mistake itself.

I was experiencing all the indications of Lymphoma; classic textbook symptoms. I did not want to go to a doctor and have a diagnosis carved in granite; the possibility that I didn't have the disease was a more workable reality. A portion of my mind was saying "this isn't real, the pain and inability to breath is only my body communicating to me that it needs attention". Another part of my mind was whispering the words to an old song ..."Is that all there is, is that all there is? Then let's go dancing..." I would also hear "thank goodness this is over...no more maintenance...it's too hard." With all my knowledge of alternative healing and years of experience, nothing seemed to be working and I found myself sinking into acceptance of the disease. After weeks of wavering between depression and hope a moment of clarity came. One of those unique moments where emotion is set aside and you are free to see the experience as an observer without attachment to the outcome. I realized that the two separate voices or chains of thought were indicators that I had reached a fork in the road on my life's path. At 62 years old I was being given a chance to chart a new course. I could surrender to the path that would put an end to being the outsider of my own family, being ignored and unwanted by my husband, clawing to financially make ends meet and the daily defending of my desires and beliefs. Or I could choose to brush off the attitudes and opinions or others, take back the reins and recognize that I am the master of my own fate. I am so thankful for the entire process; for each frightening discovery and every question I was forced to answer to myself. What did I really want? I chose to live.

I had a brief but intense relationship with Scott, whom I called the first person I could fall in love with. In retrospect, that was about my fantasy of who he could be, based on how he made me feel, not based on him. Now, I'm even more careful and, to be honest, distrustful. Still, I am grateful for the growth opportunity (AFGO! Yippee!).

I'm sure the year that has just passed had many significant moments, but all were overshadowed by two. In the closing days of June, my wife and I discovered that we were expecting our first child. We were overjoyed and surprised because for several months we've been doing tests that told us that our chances of conceiving naturally were low and that we were being referred to a fertility clinic for some kind of advanced treatment which sounded terribly complicated and would involve harvesting, injections, monitoring and implanting. A few days later, my wife's cousin, her cousin's husband and her husbands mother died in a head on collision half way around the world on the Canadian prairies. Our cousin was beloved, our favourite. Full of life, love, joy. Her baby, only 4 months old survived the collision which crushed the car beyond recognition. The children in my wife's family are close. Cousins are like brothers and sisters. The loss cleaved deep. It was a shock. The joy of our pregnancy faded. I flew to Canada to assist with the funeral arrangements and the transport of the remains back to their home country. My wife stayed with her mother who was inconsolable. I am still stunned. Quietly. Inside. Life and death exist so closely together. God's wisdom is sometimes hard to decipher. I accept that wisdom followed God's every act. I pray for understanding. I am not angry at God, but I ask for certainty and a deeper faith. I worry about the fragility of life and sometimes feel a rising paralysis and confusion that I quell. I have been seeking inspiration in my life-work for sometime. My prayer is that these twin experiences will - impending fatherhood and the certainty inevitable loss (we all have to die) - will give me the spiritual opening I seek.

This past year I was broken up with. It happened in February. The relationship was only 6 months long, yet it was significant as being the most healthy relationship I've been in. The grieving process has been pretty long and pretty intense. He is the first ex that I am friends with and truly like and respect. It's been hard to make the transition to being friends, since he was the one who wanted to end it, but it's totally worth it. And just this past month I am starting to feel grateful for the whole thing. I also go through periods of being resentful. I am inspired by how mature and cool we are both being about it all. It makes me less afraid to enter relationship again.

I began work at a funeral home as a designer. I create DVD,s and printed material for funerals. The DVD,s consist of 30 images set to music - usually by The Beatles or Bette Mildler. It is amazing seeing someones life summed up in 30 images. I usually hate getting my photo taken - but now I realize that documenting life is really important.... Especially while you are Young.... Because people get really really old. And things like family and marriage and having kids are the most important milestones in peoples lives.

Went on a back to work 4-week course that had me really hopeful I would find a job, having been out of the workplace for twenty years. It didn't help. Feeling resigned to perhaps never working again. And sad.

We got pregnant, first time first child - the day we found out was the best day of my life. Exciting, filled with possibilities. On a fluke, we discovered early that the fetus had a condition that is 100% fatal at birth and it was recommended that we terminate the pregnancy. At 12 weeks, we terminated. It is the most difficult thing I have had to go through to date - I am still feeling the effects almost a year later - in subtle insidious ways. The grief is so real and tangible.

I don't think that there was a major milestone to me this year, mainly reeling from last year and all that happened then, losing a boyfriend, moving back to Perth, finding Jyle again and all that came with that. I think the biggest thing that happened would have to be finally putting in motion all my plans to make it to New York. I know that it is something that will truly make me happy and it feels like the right step forward for me. I felt last year like it was the end of the world and I would never bounce back from it, that I would always feel like I had really compromised what I wanted from life. But now I feel very happy in the place that I'm in, even if work is a drag because home life is just lovely.

I travelled to Europe with my 86 year old mother. I love her dearly but she is also the one person in my life who can drive me wild with frustration. I prepared myself for the trip by reminding myself that this trip was all about her desires and needs and as a result we had a wonderful time. She probably won't be with me for many more years, and I am very grateful that we were able to have this experience. We are much closer as a result.

I spent significant periods of time visiting a Catholic monastery. It helped me learn to honor my interiority and greatly deepened my appreciation for silence and solitude. It also set me on the path of spending quality time with Tehillim.

Our son, who two years ago had been diagnosed w non-Hodgkins lymphoma, graduated law school, passed two bar exams and was hired (after six months of brutal disappointment) in a job he had been gearing towards since 3d grade. And has been cancer-free for 18 months. Grateful, relieved and ebulliant.

I changed jobs after 12 years. One day after a long vacation I found myself dragging myself back to a job that I thought I would stay in forever. I realized that if I didn't want to go back THAT much, I needed a change. So, I promised myself that I would apply for any interesting job that I saw and be open to a change. And, I ended up in a great place--interesting work, great office team and an office with a beautiful view. I feel very lucky to have this opportunity, full of enthusiasm and rejuvenated. I am very grateful.

My 5-yr old nephew died of an inoperable brain tumor one year after his diagnosis. His death is always in the back of my mind. When "bad" things happen now, I ask myself, "Just how bad is this in the bigger scheme of things?" And my answer is usually, "Not very."

I went to Israel for the first time. It has helped me come closer to myself as too who I am and where my ancestors come from . Gave me a sense of belonging to group which I have never really have felt or have accepted until then.And I am so grateful for it.It has inspired me by becoming more active toward Judaism.

I have moved out of my dad's house and in with James. I hope to built up on the relationship with my dad but have only met up once after moving out. We went to glow then to his house so that I could see Bingo. I am relieved that i'm out but rent will be a fear. I will miss bingo and having to give Biro away was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I hope to visit him in the next yr.

I got married. Marriage to this man required that I move far away from everyone and everything I had known. Marriage required, therefore, in this case, adjusting to a new location and local culture. Marriage ought to be transformational. However, this has certainly added stress to my life over the past year. I miss friends back home. I miss certain foods. That said, I am happy in my marriage grateful to Ha Shem for my joy with this wonderful man.

My neighbor, a German war bride and widow with no living relatives on the entire planet, passed away in February after a 6-month struggle with liver disease. I was her health care and financial power of attorney, and now my husband and I are executors of her estate. In answer to this question: yes. I am grateful to have known her, relieved that her pain died with her, resentful that my husband and I agreed to take on this enormous legal burden for no financial reward, and inspired by her words and attitude during the loneliest parts of her life. In spite of her extreme privacy and isolation in her home situation, she had great connections within her church. Her funeral was full of stories of her humor, her generosity, her willingness to volunteer. Her caregivers enjoyed and mourned her. I'm happy to have known her for 20 years, and honored to help with the final tasks associated with the end of a life.

A significant experience? Hmm, there were a few. A good one was quitting my job and going traveling with C for 2 months. That was a lot of fun. Relieved - yes to leave my old job. Resentful? Not at all. Grateful? I think we deserved it! Inspired? To take things easy when we need to.

The Provost of my University left-he was my boss, we had a great working relationship, and now I feel as though my work life is up in the air. These next five or so years were more or less "planned out" and now they aren't. I'm confused, conflicted and in general feeling ungrounded; at the same time I feel great confidence that whatever happens will be for the best.

Last year I wrote about a painful rift with my daughter. I worked hard in therapy and I know she did as well. I am on a much different level with her today and I am enjoying her daily calls and video chats with her and her son so much. I love her so very much and I feel my heart is healing.

We walked away from our mortgage. I am grateful that the burden is lifted. The home was too old to qualify for refinancing and needed more repairs than we could afford on top of the payments. There were so many problems with the house that it did not feel safe anymore. We are much happier in our smaller but safer apartment. I am a little resentful that we had to get caught between a rock and a hard place like that, but overall am thankful, because we are better off, at least physically if not fiscally.

I finally got decided to attempt a serious relationship. It failed pretty badly but I did learn more about how I react in such a circumstance. Though my intentions were for the best I know that next time I'll pay attention to my gut and comprises much less, at least in the beginning. Looking back I am grateful for the lesson I learned about valuing who I am as well as where I am in my development and remembering to only align myself with people that can appreciate both. I also met Chino, the singer to my all time favorite band the Deftones. Meeting a childhood hero was quite electric to see how now that I am almost 27, I can still be star struck when finally realizing a fantasy of mine.

I had a positive pregnancy test and lost it. I am unable to get pregnant on my own. I was so sad. Isolated myself. Still I do not share or discuss the shame and guilt for not being able to do this on my own. Now, I am resolved and I forgive myself. This is life.

I had a "real" conversation with my family of origin--my mother, father and sister--for the first time in many years. We were able to say things we hadn't been saying for over 20 years. I did feel relieved and hopeful, but it seems not to have lasted. I am back to barely speaking to my father and having uncomfortable conversations with my mother. My sister and I are hot and cold. I want to have hope for us, but I'm not feeling optimistic today.

Took 2 months off work to travel round India alone. Spent 10days in silent mediation. Realised that in life I'm always seeking, searching out, wanting more, more more. I feel proud to have done it. Disappointed that now I'm out in the real world I don't always appreciate all the great things I have in my life.

I had the opportunity to travel to Italy and Greece this summer with Eddie. It was an amazing experience seeing so many cities and experiencing such different cultures. It also made me realize how fortunate we are in the United States. In Europe, air conditioning and medical care are definitely not as prevalent as they are here! But we had wonderful food, went on fantastic tours, and met fascinating people. I am extremely grateful that we were able to go on this trip and I am sure we will remember everything for the rest of our lives!

I was cast in my first feature film. After years of struggling to find paid acting work in NY, it was so liberating to do something I love, and it made me grateful of every moment that we had, telling this story and creating something special. It also came a week after a very upsetting break up, so the timing and distraction of it could not have been better. It makes you realize that life keeps moving and you never know where it will take you.

I've been going through the recovery from a toxic relationship. A little over a year ago, she had a breakdown and I had to call the cops. Things haven't been the same since. The last year has been a continual processing of trying to grow past the relationship, not being afraid anymore and trying to not be resentful of how much she hurt me. Its meant I realized that I was drawn to screwed up women, because I figured I was screwed up. Its meant that I have realized that at the base of my eating disorder is anxiety about acceptance; not about my appearance or weight. Its meant that I've been able to tackle both issues as I move forward.

I made the decision to go to nursing school, and started pre-requisite classes. I am really excited about the new possibilities and feel that I've found a good direction for myself. I can't wait till I have a skillset that I can use to make more of a difference in the world. Meanwhile, I just LOVE learning about the body and how it works.

The significant event happened to me this year was quitting a government job. I was unhappy due to the hypocrisy my superior showed through his leadership. His background was one of human resources management and I had worked with him at another capacity. He has always felt that he was superior to all of us even at the old place and more so in his position as Executive Director. He would be condescending and even when wrong he said he was correct. I think the most disturbing fact was his discussion and description of his teenage daughter's friends. He would speak about them in terms such as "hot, oh my god, gorgeous". He could be their father. It was in many ways perverse as he was obviously old enough to be each one of their fathers. I felt uncomfortable about it but of course in many ways one can't say too much to the boss. This experience made me believe that I had to watch my behavior even more carefully in whatever leadership position that I have in the future.

I took up swimming to heal my sore rotator cuff I had from a road bike crash last summer. Introduced me to a whole new underwater world as well as fixing my shoulder. Very relieved to have movement again and to be able to keep up with my kids.

I led a group to a National Youth Gathering. I had low expectations of both the event and the students, but was humbled to see God work in powerful ways in the lives of both students and adults! It was powerful to realize that God used me to make that happen. It made me realize that my job (youth minister) is mainly to put kids into situations where God can touch and move them.

A significant experience which happened to my the past year was my trip to London with my mum, my friend Marte and her mum, Mary. We had a blast, and I loved every second of it! Especially, I liked talking to the guy we bought tickets to The Lion King from, he was a true Englisman, and so awesome! TLK was great as well, I can't decribe it, i was in pure awe the entire time. Secondly, I got to visit Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross!!!!! That was so amazing I don't even have words. On the metro home, I couldn't stop smiling, and I wanted to jump and scream in joy. Afterwards, I spent to nights in Oslo with my dearest friends, and we had so much fun. It was the perfect trip, and I love hanging out with them. We have so much fun together, and i feel utterly and completely safe when I'm around them. And, oh, I called a cab to come and get us after we had been at Akershus festning to the premiere of Eclipse, and I was so proud, big moment for a little girl!

My father's death. It is just slowly becoming a reality. Mostly it does nto affect me on a conscious level, though there are moments that I think about his suffering at the and that makes me feel sad and perturbed. On a subconscious level, maybe I have become less outgoing, less talking to anyone on the street. I guess after time, this last aspect will revert back to a baseline and after all my father was himself always very social. That is certainly an aspect about him I would like to emulate. What the episode did give me is more maturity, understanding better what it means to support others in need of support and how to provide it.

I got cheated on, and it stung like mad. But now I have a better sense of what I'm worth, and have developed a better judgement of characters. I'm better than what happened to me.

I recently had to have an abortion. I didn't think it would be this hard. It has put strain on me and my relationship. I hope we can make it thru this, but I guess if it doesn't work out then it wasn't mean to be. I keep having dreams about it. Like last night, I had a dream that I was still pregnant and I had a little girl that could walk and talk at birth. I am still pro-choice, but I wish that something could be done so that no one would ever have to go through what I went through. The impersonal treatment, the traumatizing pain of feeling metal probes and a vacuum inside of you sucking this tiny life from your body. But worst of all is the feeling after when you can't stop thinking "what if." I'll never be able to forget it. And I'm sure I would never do it again.

I lost a best friend of mine. (Or maybe she lost me. I don’t know, but I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore.) The fact that she cut me out of her life for other people hurt so much that I spent most nights crying myself to sleep. Gradually, I realized that holding onto her - or rather, my memories of her - only made me hurt more. So I let go.

moved in with allie. felt excited, and like i missed home.

Three agents requested portions of my YA novel. So far, one has declined representing me, but gave me some great advice on how to fix it. I was ecstatic when he asked for the manuscript, and then crestfallen when he rejected me, but grateful he took the time to help. Then when someone else asked for the first fifty pages I was able to give them a better version (thanks to the advice given by first rejector.) Now I'm cautiously hopeful.

i got pregnant unexpectedly we had to decide as a freshly married couple what to do we had a baby she's a wonderous miracle and everything has been changed i am grateful, amazed, overwhelmed, and surprised

I told my boyfriend that I love him. We started dating last fall, he told me he loved on Christmas. I said it back to him in January. I am extremely grateful to have a man like him in my life, and maybe I should be a bit more inspired. I keep saying "It's a miracle!" that I have someone special in my life after years of losing out, so shouldn't I now believe that Anything is possible? Like making a living at what I love? Next step....

You never know who is in your life for a long period or for a season. I am grateful for knowing the woman that is now out of my life and the gift of knowledge and experience that I gained in knowing her. The termination of our relationship wasn't a planned departure, but it now makes clear sense as I recall past conversations and interactions that it was coming. While in my mind the end came abruptly, I believe that it was pre-ordained or in the stars and a message to me that it was time to go another direction. I am inspired to know that I am able to understand why a relationship ends and recognize that it is for the best and my future. I believe that we are best when we surround ourselves with encouraging, supportive, loving friends that want our success as much as we do.

My favorite first cousin was diagnosed with metastasized bone/lung cancer. I was shocked, saddened, guilty. She is 15 years younger than I, non-smoker, in good shape. Four children. Why should this happen to her? And I, overweight and a bit out of shape, spared? I have been as much use as possible, accompanying her to chemo, making meals (they lived 4 hrs away.) then they moved farther away for her husband's new job. I feel the loss of contact. She has been rallying, but recently has experienced fainting and weakness. She is now in the hospital having experienced a seizure. If you can, share my prayers for healing for Leah bat Linda.

I left my family and friends to spend the year in France. This experience has been both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding. I am so glad I was able to have this opportunity! While being continuing to be inspired to travel to new countries, I am excited to rediscover my own, which I think I will now appreceiate much more.

I ended a three-year relationship with my partner. We owned a consulting business together, so I had to get a new place to live, a new job, and new friends. I was very worried at first about what the future might hold, but 10 months later, I'm very happy with the life I've created. I've learned a lot about my ability to get through difficult situations. I'm grateful for my new home, friends, and job. I'm relieved that I'm no longer in a relationship that wasn't working.

My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I am feeling a large number of different emotions. I am angry, scared, upset, and also inspired. I am inspired to be a better person for her, for my family and for myself. I am inspired to do what I can, however small a contribution it might be to support the research to find a cure. I feel that it will and has already changed my life in a profound way. I has made me consider things that I previously might not have, and also to re-evaluate what is important to me.

travel to Mexico

I had two interviews with the same company up in the Bay Area, so it was an investment on a few levels because I am native to and live in Los Angeles. After two years of hit 'n miss interview experiences here in SoCal and in NorCal, this prospect was distinctly promising. I worked my network for a place to live, began emotionally preparing to leave my family and remained in limbo for three to four weeks. I had just begun seeing a woman whom I connected with in that unique and beautiful way; first person in yeeeears. The pressure of uncertainty created increasing tension in the young relationship and she eventually ended it. I was relieved that the daily tension was over, yet sad to not at least be working towards understanding and peppering it all with patience. It's bizarre how two people can speak the same language and have extensive vocabularies, but still not understand each other. I was reminded of how the interview process is like getting to know someone exceptional. I sometimes catch myself feeling sad, resentful, self-loathing, but I cycle back to feeling grateful to even *have* these insightful life opportunities.

I have been brought face to face with losing a loved one. It caused deep reflection about what was important in life. I am still hurting from the loss but grateful that I was able to take something positive away from the experience.

My son started high school and I have watched him "unfold" into a confident powerful young man. Its been scary at times to see him change and hope that change didn't alienate him from me and our family. I struggle with letting him take the lead and I know I need to let him go. But I know I need to let go if I want him to become a man.

My wife Nicki and I have mutually decided to join the US Army. I would say i have a variety of emotions on this, but inspired is at the top!

Had our baby boy Miles. He has totally changed our lives. Very rough at the start, but now, at three months, he is a real joy. His smiles make me cry. I wonder why we aren't co-sleeping with him, though I sometimes sneak him into bed for a cuddle here and there. Still value time with T so much. After the rough time with the mc in Q109, Miles' arrival has been so wonderful. Feeling a little listless and bored while he naps. Putting in for an additional 2 months of unpaid LOA from work. Wondering what I am going to do in this time. Wondering what next for the baby. Looking forward to getting back into the pool more regularly. Back to Miles, he rocks. He really is a sweet, wonderful baby. I wonder if he will ever know how much we do for him. I suppose I can only hope that we raise him to be as wonderful and loyal and dedicated and as loving as son as my husband is to his mom/parents.

I left my job. I wasn't getting paid for work I had done, and my boss was being non-communicative. But he had given me a job and an opportunity when nobody else would, and it made me stronger and better, so I decided to leave - and work to start my own company, on my own terms.

For me the year has been defined by Mods term and the mental carnage that ensued. Possibly I'll mark the moment as kicking the suicidal feelings, possibly the 'realisation' that I am worthless, perhaps the steep hill to learn that I'm not. I'm grateful for everyone in my life, ashamed at my inability to accept the love they held out to me, surprised at their faith in me- not just in my ability to 'perform' but faith and hope in me as a person.

My son told me he was gay. Glad that he felt comfortable telling us as soon as he did. Worried about how this affects his life and my life. Oddly, makes me realize that for so many of life's curve-balls the best response is love.

I broke someone's heart. I was relieved to exit the relationship, but I never felt worse. She broke up with me for the record, but it was because I didn't care. I mean, you can't make yourself love a girl right? Anyways, I got hurt by a rebound girl and I figured karma was just.

I looked at myself in the mirror--really looked at myself--which is something I avoid doing. I was struck by my resemblance to my late mother. Though it has been many years since she died, I still miss her. "Seeing" her in my own face is a reminder that she is with me, and that I should still aim to emulate her many wonderful qualities.

After working over 2900 hours last year, and 1300 hours in the first 8.5 months of this year on a straight salary, no over time pay, I had my position reduced to part time, with no benefits, and at a reduced hourly rate. I am now being harassed to accomplish 40 hours of work while being paid 20 hours. The engineering manager has been pointed out to me there is a 3" thick stack of resumes on his desk. I feel very resentful.

One year ago, I was coming back from Buenos Aires. I'll never know what it was, but I remember being absolutely elated to be back in the United States. I remember this magic feeling sustained through the second to last semester of college. Suddenly, everything was fascinating again. Everything was grand. I found that I could do things. I started dating a girl I thought would never take me. I started a job I thought I'd never be capable of. I got great grades. One day, the magic receeded and I've been looking for answers, justification, explanations, anything since.

My youngest son and his wife had a beautiful baby boy. I was/am so happy that he's a healthy happy baby. I am grateful that he has a great disposition and it inspires me to see how happy they all are.

A very close family friend and Priest past away suddenly due to Stomach Cancer. IT was very hard on my family and me since he had done so much for us and been so close for years. I was crushed thinking about the things that he had promised to do for me when I got older and I hadn't gotten there yet. It made me acknowledge my mortality, getting older, and how life can't be put until later cause it might be too far away to do those things with the ones you promised. Live to the fullest surrounded by those you love and love you cause sacrificing that and delaying will hurt too much in the end.

Having an accident and struggling to allow myself to experience the repercussions honestly. Now, three months later, I am finally dealing with it with treatment and asking for help. I am scared that the pain won't go away, relieved that the depression went away, and excited that the upcoming treatment may solve my problems.

I watched a friend suffer from and eventually die of brain cancer. It affected me deeply. I was truly awe inspired by her grace and dignity in confronting this horrible tragedy that literally dropped from the sky and landed on her. I learned to appreciate my loved ones and live as though each day might be my last. I was amazed at the extent to which my friendship and attention mattered to her and her family, how important it is to tell people what they mean to you, and how much you can change someone's entire day with a small act of kindness.

Got transfered to the university that I allways wanted to go to, but after the first week I just want to go back to my friends at my old university. But im sure that it will change over time. But if it does not, I still got my parents and other friends to be grateful for

In the last year I gave up the best job I had ever had. Not because I wanted to, but because I had to. The organization was going out of business and I did not want to find my family out on the street. I made a pre-emptive strike. I landed on my feet, but I am increasingly unhappy with my new job. I am resentful and miss the experiences the job afforded me - such as working at the United Nations. I miss being connected with so many beautiful people, passionately striving to change the world, one breath at a time.

March 5, 2010 marked the one year anniversary of my brain injury. Leading up to the day, I became obsessed with it. I battled with depression and anxiety and ultimately decided to see a therapist. However, when the day actually rolled around, I was covered with love and admiration. It was a relief to see that I was appreciated. Later that summer, I realized it was easier to tell the truth of how painful my injury was.

Started to get into a great personal, spiritual and work groove as my sobriety has extended to 15 months. I'm immensely grateful to have been able to spend my 25th anniversary sober.

In one of my university courses I didn't get the required mark to continue in the program. I'm grateful and relieved because I found a new field of study that I enjoy more.

this year my best friend of 7 years and i decided we were no longer best friends. not because of a big argument, but simply because we had grown apart, changed, and were no longer the matching puzzle pieces we once were. in all honesty it didn't really affect me much as by the end of our friendship we were only a part of each others lives when we wanted to be, we had our own separate friend groups and went for days without having a proper conversation. sometimes i miss the memories that we had together because they were truely awesome times, and i find it sad that things like this happen. but i am glad it happened at the same time as i feel i have made stronger friendships with the ones i already had, and have one of the most amazing circle of friends i could wish for.

I started a grocery delivery business at my college. The whole summer after freshman year was a mess of stress, upset, relief, success, joy, hopelessness, and proudness. After this summer, I know I can do just about any fucking thing.

My father died. Sad...

My daughter, Tracy, passed away unexpectedly. It was devastating to me and my family. To have a young child, on the cusp of becoming an adult, taken away. The old saying about saving a life - saves the world has much more meaning to me after losing someone so young with so much potential. She was loved by all, and had accomplished so much in her short life. I am thankful for the wonderful 19 years we had together, and thankful that we were able to be so close - even during the troubling teen years. I do not blame G-d for taking her away, nor do I question the why of her death. I just walk around wondering where my beautiful daughter is...

My brother passed away at the age of 49. It clearly depressed me... had me wondering about my life and what I was doing... pretty much sucked the life outta me for a while. I'm still dealing with it... but I'm grasping that each day I'm losing time... time with friends, time with family, time with my kids... IF I don't start planning and making conscious decisions about my time & how I spend it.

This past year I started talking to an old best friend named V. We just stopped talking and it lasted a year of no communication. I believe it was because of another friend's, A, lack of communication with her. A kind of influenced me to stop talking to V, too because she wasn't. Now after reconnecting with V, I hardly been speaking to A. I hope next year will be a much better year.

I staged a workshop production of my thesis play. After a year of worrying about whether it would really happen, I was able to pull it off with the help of friends, mentors and wonderful actors. It gave me a lot of confidence and made me realize that asking for help is really the best way to get anything done. It's definitely inspiring. Though of course, it wasn't a monumental moment for civilization, I am mostly happy that everyone involved had fun themselves.

I left everything in New York City to move to Israel for 5 months. Whoa. It was inspiring, overwhelming, frustrating, enlightening, educational, eye-opening, and nourishing. I am so grateful for that time and everything that went along with it! I'm so glad I made the decision to go and I'm wish I could go back.

It was significant to me when my department was taken over by another department. It made me feel insecure and scared that I would lose my job. I was resentful and unaccepting, but have come to feel that it could be a good opportunity for me whatever happens.

I cheated on my girlfriend with my best female friend. It ruined relationships with so many people and imnonlu starting to rekindle them now.

Lost my job under ridiculous circumstances. Was planning to relocate to co incide with my girlfriend's studying, and had a major stressful pressure on to find a job, to find somewhere for us to live in time for the start of term. Don't worry. Got there in the end, which a few weeks to spare, but the stress and pressure was intense, but now I have my new job, I enjoy work more, and the stress of finding work is off, I can get back to enjoying life.

I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. As trivial as it sounds while we were dating I did grow in my relationship with God but after we broke up I was shown several things to prove to me that he was not the right guy. I have now moved on and am ever grateful for it. God took my chains away.

My grandmother passed away this past February. She was basically a second mother to me, and it was tough on the whole family, myself included. But the thing is, terrible as this may sound, I was relieved: for about a week before her life ended she was just suffering, unable to do anything really, and I'm glad she's in a better place now. And I say this because her death helped me find my faith in religion all over again: I do believe in the Afterlife, and I do believe that she is in heaven. Her death changed me. I'm a better person now that I know that my loved ones could be gone any moment, and I cherish every second spent with them.

It's not so much an experience rather than sort of a revelation. I've always known that I have the best friends anyone could ever ask for, but the length that they would go for me was proven. For example, when my boyfriend left me, my two best friends didn't leave my side for a week, and if they had to leave to go to work, they'd come right back over afterward. Then on Halloween, one of those two friends drove me 4 hours away, to another state, just to see my favorite band. No one has ever done anything that nice for me in my life, and I realized just how lucky I am to have the few friends that I've got.

I tried to get prime custody for my mom. I didn't succeed. I am upset, especially because I still have to spend time with him, and I wish it hadn't worked out the way it did. Plus now whenever I am with my dad I feel like I have to act or he will try to make me talk to him, so it's easier to just pretend I've forgotten about the whole thing, but I haven't.

This year, I graduated. And chose not to go to university. It made me alter my life plans to return to high school. I feel lonely and excluded, but I know in the long term it is the right choice.

I bought a house. We didn't think it would ever happen, and the process was hard as hell, but we made it happen. It's been a double-edged sword -- we're deliriously happy in our new house -- we've had great times with family and friends. At the same time, there's so much responsibility, and not just with paying the mortgage. Still, I feel like this is going to be the start of positive changes in my life.

I returned to work after being out on medical leave for three years. It was a difficult transition to be responsible for others after spending three years taking care of only myself & my family. It was equally difficult not to be able to take care of my family's financial needs, which had me excited to return to work for that reason. The difficult part is that my time & energy is ultimately for the financial gain of another - the owners. And that is exactly the reason I am so inspired to put all my energy into InsightCoaching.Us. Being a life coach is definitely my life's purpose.

We move to a new home which was a family home. The house has a lot of significance to me. I am extremely grateful that we were able purchase this house but also a little stressed. OK. Very stressed because after taking on a bigger mortgage, money was tight and there was a lot of work to do. 2 months in, I have learned to relax a little.

There are quite a few things that I could consider significant that have happened in the past year. There are two that stand out the most, however. The first would be the death of a very dear friend. He took me in when I had no where to go and no one to turn to. He didn't know anything about me, except that I needed help. I miss him greatly but I know that he is in a better place now. The other is my sister leaving her husband. It might not sound like a good thing, but I couldn't be prouder of her. She had been in an abusive marriage for 9 years. She finally had enough and decided to stand up for herself and her 2 children. Everyday she makes me even more proud of her.

I'm going to write about Lulu going off to college. So you raise this person and dote on them and love them and give them every advantage and leg up in life that you believe they will benefit from... Then from one day to the next, they are gone. And they take a bit of your heart with them. It's where every bit of track you laid led to, but now that she's gone, it seems insane to let someone you love go far away. I feel kind of rubbery because I'm giving stock answers, because I'm not letting myself live in these feelings. I'm not letting myself feel or even really think about it. Because when I do, I miss her too much. I cry. And sometimes I don't. Because my own life just got more room in it. But somedays... I really feel the hole. Like today.

A friend was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Brought home how fragile life is.

I left NYC--my apartment, my friends, my family--and moved to Israel. I went from feeling stagnant, hopeless and bored to feeling like I'd been given a second chance at life--free, adventurous, present, desired. After 3 months I'd fallen in love, had my heart broken, and the "glow" had started to wear off. It's too soon to tell how it will play out, but I believe that I have a better shot of fulfilling my deepest dream there: meeting my life partner. So even though it's tough and unsettling, I'm pretty sure I made the right decision.

My father told me he has cancer. It made me realize how much I love him and need him.

This past year, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. It seemed like the most unconquerable struggle imaginable; however, here she is, months of chemotherapy later, healthy and laughing. I watched her fight each battle with strength and dignity, and I learned the true meaning of family. I will adopt her positive attitude for any tragedy I encounter in the future. She is truly a role model.

I fell in love. I was not expecting it or looking for it. Being in a serious and committed relationship has been freeing to help me let go of some of my unhealthy habits and I actually I am much more comfortable slowing down and don't miss the drinnking, smoking, partying like I thought I would. Tom is constantly reafirming and having someone love you no matter what you do or say sometimes makes me feel like I am not pushing myself enough now (especially since JOI ended) to work on myself. And finally I do not think about Dan at all and actually don't think I would revert back to doing so should Tom and I break up.

Visit to Cooperstown Dreams Park. Finally got to see the fourth brother and number one son, no doubt eased by the royal imprimatur of my mother and having previously met at laser tag. California trips this year allowed me to begin to forge my own relationships. Finally sent an e-mail to my sister. The teshuvah project, a process that is never really finished continues to move forward. Hopefully I'll resist the opportunities to make the same mistakes again. Birthright, the pictures, the girl and the IDF sticker on the Subaru windshield. Thankfully little to no residual of the fire remains.

My best friend of seven years dropped me when I went on a date with her ex. Not only did I lose her, I lost the people around us that I considered my family. The worst part is, the girl wasn't even worth it. Not at all. But it made me realize that if someone is willing to cut me out for one wrongdoing, they don't really care, and don't really love. In the end its a good thing, but I miss her everyday. Its kind of like mourning a dead loved one that pops up and reminds you of how alone you are every so often.

Letting go seems to be (b'H!) the theme: of anger and hurt at various "betrayals" by close friends. It was like poof! suddenly the angst/anger/hurt is gone. Grace? Being 61? Whatever it is, I am thankful and hope I'm on a roll of letting go!

2009 was the first year I had been single the entire year for a very long time. I realized I hadn't taken the time to appreciate how supportive my family is until then. I'm honestly grateful. And I'm closer to them than ever.

Nothing really signifigant has happened, to be honest. :/

I returned to live in the United States after three years living in Southeast Asia. At first I thought I wasn't feeling much in the way of reverse culture shock, but recently I realized that I've been hiding a lot of anger since I got back. I'm not sure how exactly the experience and the emotion are related, but I think they are.

I'm learning to drive. That's an experience for me considering my fear of driving. I'm both relieved and nervous!

I was fired from my dream job which started as nightmare but forced me into therapy, got me onto anti-anxiety medication ( which I've probably needed all my life ); got me to rethink my life, marriage and my role as a mother. Now I have a new job which is fulfilling; with sane people; doing important work and I am a better mother and wife. All because I got fired!

I developed degenerative arthritis in my lower vertebrae and the pain has been difficult to live with. I have had physical therapy prescribed for me and I have been really bad about going. I cannot function with pain pills because they make me feel out of it and I cannot drive when I take them. I am realizing that in order for me to have a decent quality of life, I must not continue to regard the physical therapy as an unwelcome intrusion, but be grateful that it is available to me for relief.

This entire year has been filled with significant experiences: one uncle was diagnosed as being in the final stages of Alzheimer's, another uncle caught the flu and died within 3 weeks (he hadn't been in a hospital since 1931), my aunt required heart bypass surgery, and my mother, on our way to be with my aunt for her surgery, had to be rushed to the ER and now she needs heart valve replacement surgery. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel. I am saddened terribly by the loss of two uncles whom I was very close to, overjoyed that my aunt's surgery has gone well, terrified of my mom's impending surgery, and grateful for all the support that I've received from family and friends. Also, I'm a tad overwhelmed. JUST A TAD.

We moved into our house. I'm grateful, relieved, and contented, and also lucky to have the resources and good health to enjoy where we are. The best part of the experience was finding out about the creek in the woods behind us and the secluded path that runs along it. This makes me feel like the secret master of a beautiful natural domain.

I had my first official "relationship" this past year (who am I kidding, first relationship of any kind). I'm grateful that I had it, but... really, I could have had such a better time had we broken up after about a few weeks, when we had our first "fight," because we weren't "meant to be" or anything like that, it was obvious, we knew it, everyone knew it, who were we kidding? I could have been meeting people and doing things I liked, instead of sitting in a dingy apartment making relationships that would be severed after we ended that one. Kind of a mistake. It'll have to be a year (at least) until I really can know how I feel about it.

I found out my sister was sexually abused when she was five years old. It has tested my family physically, emotionally and spiritually. It will be the turning point of this family for the rest of our lives. Despite its dark parts, it has brought me closer to loving my family.

My boyfriend broke up with me the day I moved into school. I was devastated at first, we had dated four years on and off and at one point in the relationship I had thought he was the one. It turns out that I deserve a lot more than what he had to give, and I just need something different. I am now grateful that he took the step I was not strong enough or even really wanted to take, it has made me a better person and has made me more aware of what I need in a relationship.

I am not sure how significant this is, but I reconnected with a good friend after not talking to her for 12 years following a HUGE HUGE falling out. She unexpectedly Facebooked me and even more unexpectedly apologized for all the hurt that lead up to the falling out. It was amazing how quickly 12 years of bitterness could melt away and we could pick up where we left off. Of course, This might be more significant, but I a took a year off from graduate school to spend it learning in, living in and exploring Israel. It has been a huge adjustment, and while I am having a tremendous time, I am still waiting for it to be that incredible, amazing, life changing experience that everyone always tells you it is.

Last year around this time I was a strong willed youth leader at my church. About three and a half months ago I got discouraged and now its hard for me to attend church. Now I'm just a little baffled over many things. Time changes everything!

My parents splitting up. My mum kicked my dad out and he moved in with me...his new girlfriend soon followed. My sister was making harrasing phone calls (and wouldn't own up to it, i found out by calling the number) her boyfriend was making death threats as was my brother who was also posting some horrible things on my facebook til I blocked him. It was a horrible time when I couldn't leave my house without having to keep looking over my shoulder to look out for them all. I support my dad for leaving my mum, they have been fighting for years and I haven't got a single memory of them being happy however hated my mum when she suddenly stopped talking to me and took my brother and sisters sides when I confronted them. I no longer speak to my mum, brother or sister who has recently had a baby, a boy, who I do not see. I should be sad that my family is now so broken but I honestly feel happier than I can ever remember feeling

There is probably not one significant experience. I went to Canada, which was quite inspiring. Toronto is full of culture, good food, amazing creative people and initiatives, and it makes me realise more that I am a "big city" person. And the national parks were beautiful and tranquil. I think the trip to Canada made me stronger in taking own initiatives and that I can make stuff happen. I want to do creative stuff, perhaps part-time, maybe as full-time freelancer. It all depends on my graduation project, which I hope to finish in October. Oh, and this will probably the real significant event this year :)

My twins got in to a pre-k program in the public school system. No more $1200 a-a-month daycare bill! Takes a lot of pressure off.

Last year one of our sons came to us to tell us that he was addicted to oxycodone and wanted help getting clean. He went through a rehab program, became a part of an NA group, got a sponsor and was clean for nine months. This spring he relapsed. I realized that I had in a way been just waiting for this, although I no doubts in his sincerity in wanting to be clean. I was surprised by the acceptance I felt with the situation and almost a relief that our worst worries were realized and that we were still able to cope with faith as our support.

I closed the largest sale in my career. In many ways, it was great in that it gives me breathing room with my company, so I am likely to keep my job. It provides me with recognition with executives so they start to know who I am and it makes waves in the company pecking order. On the down side, I sometimes wonder if it was a golf shot and do I really have what it takes to be that successful as a matter of course and not exception. I have never been this successful (quota / ytd) in any job ever before and I want to know that it was not a fluke.

The surprising unexpected death of my healthy 19 year old daughter would have to be the most significant experience. Of course there is grief and sadness, shock and disbelief, but our relationship was so full and so complete, and she was so happy and fulfilled that all I could ask for is more time with her. But I found so amazing was the love and support from our community. I felt lifted and carried by the Jewish rituals of mourning. I think I am "stronger" because of it. 2009 kind of sucked, and I miss my little girl terribly, but she would want me to continue to live and love joyfully, so here I am at the start of another year.

I quit a miserable job last October and moved back home to Austin. I didn't care if I ended up driving a school bus--I just wanted to be back in the place where I am happiest. Lucky me: I landed the best job at the best place I've ever worked and have never been happier.

Took the decision to go to university, at the other end of the country. I'm excited and I know it was the right thing to do. I'm leaving my old life behind and making a fresh start for myself and I couldn't be happier!

My brother divorced his wife this year because he was very unhappy. He has 3 kids. I had mixed feelings about his leaving her but he seems to have it figured out and for that I am grateful. I hope he has made the right decision and am behind him all the way.

My mom passed away on September 7th, 2009. As I had just begun my training as chaplain, I got to put on that hat, and she got to be my first patient. I am grateful for all that my mother has given me. I appreciate her gifts, and although I miss her greatly, I am relieved that she is no longer suffering and is in a better place. I know she is happy, and she is with me and I feel her presence surrounding me.

My mother moved into an assisted living facility this year due to her Alzheimer's and our inability to adequately keep up with home care. It was incredibly sad to move all of her things from her 40 year home and into a little apartment she will share with an aide most days. The day I supervised the movers delivering her things, I sat and cried afterward. The other side of the coin was my taking ownership of my childhood home and moving in with my husband and our pets. It has been such a blessing to be able to take over this house and fill it with hard work and love, especially when we felt so far from the reality of a backyard and a driveway just a year ago, but I certainly wish the circumstances of this blessing could have been different.

I went on Kallah this past summer, and I can honestly say I have never felt more in-tune with myself. Part of it is a newfound belief in some kind of G-d or universal higher power, and part of it is just a general elevated respect for the world around me, and all living beings.

within a span of 3 months I was laid off, worked temporarily for the US Census, sprained my ankle and got a fantastic new job. I believe that all things happen for a reason.

The most significant experience in the past year was entering the Yolo County Fair and winning the Best in Show ribbon. It's the first prize I've won for my artistic ability, which has been languishing for years. This experience is inspiring me to delve more deeply into my photography, but also believe in myself. More than that, it allows me to release many, many wrong and limiting beliefs about myself left over from childhood and marriage. I feel it's the first step towards an unlimited future.

I talked to mom for the first time in 3 years with my therapist Penni. In the end the event made me feel both disappointed and at peace. I had gotten my hopes up before the meeting that she might have changed her attitude towards the amount of pain her drinking has caused, but she hadn't. However, I now feel that I have done everything I can on my end. This separation is not just my decision, it is also hers.

My daughter was injured by her gynecologist during a questionable biopsy procedure. It happened 4 months ago. And, she has still not fully recovered. It has brought great hardship to her and those who love her. Her 11 year old daughter has suffered a great deal also. My daughter's peace of mind and sense of herself has been shattered. Her vitality and physical ability has been depleted. She returned to her job after 3 months. But, she really isn't really able to work. But, she needs her income. This has placed a great burden on her. We still don't know how to best help her recover. And it appears that this doctor in whom she placed her trust and who refused to give her adequate care after the incident will not be held accountable. I am worried for her, very worried.

My father passed away this year. Though 90, he was a "young" 90. As an only child, it's tough to lose your only parent - your only immediate family. And though I never admitted it at the time, I do think he was my anchor. I addressed the death of my dear friend last year in question #1. My resolve is the same. Keep improving - mentally, physically. And live every day to the fullest.

A significant experiance that has inpacted me this year was my graduation from 8th grade.I was going to a catholic school,so i pushed myself to believe in God.The day or so before,i realized i didnt have to conform to any belief system.Im confused about my religion,but at least Im not lying to myself anymore

Two of my children graduated from hs. I'm grateful to be able to witness it. my son graduated and it is siginificant because he is developmentally disabled.thinking back, there was not much hope, he started walking at 10 and he walked down the aisle to get his diploma..major. my daughter graduated too. to be able to see her begin her journey as a young woman on her way to independence is heart warming. my mother said i 'hovered' and i guess i did. her personality is such that i wanted to do for her and protect her. when she figured out a problem the other day while at college i was pleased when she resolved the issue herself. i'm grateful, relieved and inspired and looking forward to what will unfold in the future for my children

i decided to say fuck it all and applied to culinary school. ive got burns up my forearms but my dishes go out on time. i have to butcher and throw around 100lb stock pots but im the the best shape of my life (actual abs and gunshow!). i work crazy hrs and get home at 2 in the morning but ive got coworkers and friends who laugh with me and pour me wine while i plate a beautiful tasty meal for us all. im making myself happy.

My mother died on July 5th. She was 89. I still can't believe she's really gone. I think about our phone calls when she was full of zest. We could talk about so many things. And we would laugh. She was special. I hope I made her feel special. I say kaddish for her every week. I cry. I miss her.

In August I spent a glorious two days on a tiny island in New Hampshire with six other members of an online knitting group that has deeply affected my life in the last year. During those two days, even though my son was with me--my loving wonderful son who can sometimes push every button I have--I was at peace for those two days. That feeling--what I now identify as a "Birch Island State of Mind"--faded palpably as I drove away from that wonderful retreat, but I can still find it if I look hard enough.

Eviction. Death of mother. Relocating from big city to a small town to help my dad and get him out of the nursing home. Big stuff. Though shaken to the core by these events I realize that I am strong and can handle things and I am not alone. I can ask for help.

My daughter got married. I was surprised at her choice, but even more surprised at how right it seems to be for her. I supposed I shouldn't have been surprised about how right she was for herself: she's always had great instincts about choices. He just was not what I or anyone else expected. She is a remarkably bright woman, energetic, beautiful and strong-minded, but with a strength of character that's daunted many would-be suitors in the past. This man is quiet, diffident, not beautiful, and many wondered what was going on between them. It turns out that he holds the key to many of her interior spaces, and they are curiously happy together. I just realized that I think I'm supposed to be talking about my own reaction, but I think, in this case, my satisfaction to her new life situation IS my reaction. As a young-ish widow, and the mother of an only child, much of interest in life is still taken up with her happiness. It's good to watch her crafting a life of healthy happiness for herself.

At seventeen, I was in a relationship with someone who ended up getting his ex-girlfriend pregnant. We had been close friends for six years, and it made it clear to me that we, as humans, really can never completely trust anyone. It taught me a lot about how strong I am at such a young age - I handled the whole situation really well. But it hurt me a lot, because I had liked him the whole time we'd been friends. I guess there's some cosmic irony in the whole thing.

I am in a medical field of work where our primary patients are children. A few months ago one of our patients died. This is not something that happens in my clinic. In fact we have never had a fatality in the entire history of our facility. And in the events immediately proceeding the child's removal to the hospital I made a mistake. A major one. And I am supposed to be the lead supporting staff. The events are having a major impact that will be felt for maybe years to come. My heart breaks that a child has died. I will always remember his name and what it was like to watch and hear the hysterical cries of his mother. "You said he would be okay!" This has added a weight to me. I know that one day it will be an easier memory to bear but I know that it was changed me. I am more cautious. I have to choose my words more carefully now. I will never again say, "Your child will be fine."

It was really challenged when someone who I've known for years took a very unfair action towards me...it not only challenged me but called into question the great distance that had formed between us and our values. In trying to decide how to address it. I first took it as an opportunity to take a stand for myself and found that I needed to teach her how wrong she was -- until I realized that this was an opportunity for me to learn from this challenge...I didn't need to teach her anything. Ahh ... self discovery... 2nd -- I opened myself and my home to someone -- a big 6 month commitment. I felt abandoned and very sad when she only stayed a couple days because plans changed. Still not sure what I should have learned from that.

This was a particularly eventful year on every level, and I find myself especially thankful for the opportunity to reflect - and to start anew. Perhaps the most significant experience of the year was being married to my best friend almost exactly ten years after we first met. The wedding was surrounded by countless professional and familial stresses/complications but the whole experience was even more meaningful, magical, and nourishing than I ever imagined. 'Real life' has taken over more quickly than I expected and I am working hard to hold on to the sense of wholeness, groundedness, love, and inspiration I felt during the wedding weekend in hopes that it will help me be resilient through the rocky and unpredictable times which seem to have come all at once.

I was honest with myself and finally took the plunge and quit my job. I'm grateful, relieved, and inspired. I thought I'd have a quicker turn around than I have thus far, but I've also learned, or been trying to learn to be a bit more patient and let things happen semi-organically. I'm a bit stressed financially, but it's nothing I can't handle. Every time I'm stressed I stop and think: "I'm no longer in a nasty, unfair, mean, and negative environment - unless I choose to make it that way. I no longer have gossipy, uncaring people in my work environment." And it makes it all totally worth it.

It was the first time Mike lost his personal history. He couldn't remember why someone told him he might bleed to death. He always remembered this part of his medical history because it dealt with his first heart attack and the fact that his pulse was so slow due to his medications. I was in shock that he had lost parts of his recent memory, overwhelmed that his dementia was real and saddened at what he was becoming. Part of me still wants to believe that the changes aren't real. Unfortunately I see little signs on a regular basis that jolt me back into reality. It scares me to get him diagnosed. I'm afraid that he will go down hill faster.

This is ridiculous but my experience is going to a concert with my daughter. It was inspiring. I found out quite by chance that Adam Lambert was going to be at Foxwoods, which is nearly across the street from me. The concert was sold out but I gave in and paid to get two tickets from an agency. I figured I'd not get another shot like this and my daughter would love it too...He was amazing. I haven't been to a concert in probably 18 years or so. My little one never has. She was mesmerized. He put on a spectacle with dancing and costumes...it was awesome. I've been suffering from severe depression since I retired, although working at the library has really helped. This concert was somehow a sparkplug...I felt younger and energized. (And definately now a huge fan-I only liked him a bit before.) Odd that something so small could do so much.

This year was the first year i got drunk so drunk that i needed help to get home and just made abit of a fool of myself. it sounds bad but it affected me in a good way. i am grateful i regret some parts of it but it means my friends have seen me at my worst and i told them my real feelings about them. it made me not care about how people saw me because after they saw me at my worst they still wanted to talk to me. in a way it made me much more convident and less nervouse around people.

Coninuing to be unemployed has rocked me to my very soul. My self worth has hit a low and the lack of money is very hard to deal with. However I do have a wonderful job teaching which helps me feel not only worthwhile but a real contributor to our temple.

I have developed a good friendship with woman who is Greek Orthodox. We have spoke with eachother regulary about our experiences this year with our significant others and how it has reminded each of us about the importance of our relationship both with God and our individual religious communities. We have both chosen to return to our individual places of worship and to reconnect with our spirital home after having left for personal reasons. We have individually had events or concersations that have reminded us of the importance of connection to and with individuals who share our spiritual connectedness to Elohim. I am grateful for this new friendship with Irini and I am hoping to continue to supportand grow from our mutual spiritual growth on our parallel yet joint paths.

Hum. I guess the issues with TJ. Realizing that it will be hard to ever really get over him and move on if he's still in my life. Wondering if that's what I really want. Wondering if having him in my life creates a feeling that I'm not good enough or lovable enough because he didn't love me enough to sacrifice or to ask me to make a sacrifice for him... or if I'm just using it as an excuse because I don't love myself enough right now.

Realizing that I am truly strong enough to cope with the things that life has thrown at me gave me back the confidence I had lost over the past few years. The uninteresting person I felt I had become is gone, and in her place is a creative, spontaneous girl who feels confident that she can hold a conversation with someone.

I graduated university and was left feeling lost and confused with what to do next. I went from being busy all the time to suddenly having free time (aside from working full time). I'm grateful that it gave me the motivation and time to go back to painting and try some new hobbies.

In May my little niece turned 5. The whole family spent a week at Disney World. It is so amazing to see the sparkle in the eyes of child. I will never forget that experience and so thrilled that I could spend a week with her.

Mother died. Her death shook my foundation to the core.

I discovered I hate what I do. I'm in my last year. For 4 years I have been killing myself to pass all my classes, go to university, thinking of places I would like to work... and I discovered that I didn't like my classes, the future jobs, my teachers... all my future just crashed. I don't know what I'm going to do now... but I'm desperate to find something in what I'm studing that I like just a little at least. I haven't find anything yet. I just hate what is coming for me in the future.

Lost my childhood home in a fire. Growing up on a hill in an affluent suburb, I felt protected and sheltered from the elements. Sure, an earthquake could level my home, but after 40 years of wondering whether an earthquake would hit within my lifetime, I had become somewhat certain that the house would always be there for my family. Full of memories. A place for us to return to together, and where we gather for major life events. Because it was a freakish event, the news covered the fire in a major way. People could watch from video tape captured in a helicopter, online, the 100+ firefighters extinguishing the flames. Of course, we thought about the proximity of the high holidays to the event. This was shortly after Yom Kippur last year. We had no idea we would be the ones grieving the loss of this home. We had no idea that we would come so close to losing my mom and cousin in that fire. The media coverage meant that people gathered together around us and showered us with attention. This is perhaps not always the case when tragedies strike. Sometimes that attention may make matters worse for people. In our case, it was a comfort. Ultimately, I was relieved by the finality of it. I would no longer question whether I would choose to live there again, should Mom need extra care as she ages, or should she leave the house and offer it to me. I never have to be the one to move her out of that house. My brother helped take care of insurance matters, and I was simply a photographer on hand to help make sense of what the loss means on an emotional basis. But we each comes to terms with the spiritual meaning in our own unique ways. As I say the words during Yom Kippur about fire this year, I will feel a renewed poignancy and deeper respect for the insurmountable power of the elements. The bonds of my family were strengthened through the loss. The bonds of love were relied upon and subsequently more thoroughly trusted. We told the truth to each other, for better of for worse. We heard each other's pain. God became more tangible.

Three major things happened: I lost a job I couldn't stand, became an apartment manager and found the woman of my dreams. I'd been so mistreated by life for so long, I kept expecting my good fortune to be ripped away suddenly. Now I'm starting to allow myself the sensation of great relief.

I failed out of Rabbinical school. I was resentful and devastated when it happened. In fact, I bordered on suicidal for the next month. I have since come to be extremely grateful that, no matter how much I struggled with my depression and eating disorder, and how much I begged my teachers and prayed to God, and how much help and leeway I was given by the school, God was determined that I was going to stop, no matter how painful it would be, and reexamine my priorities. I needed to take a step back and take care of my own soul before proceeding on a path of caring for the souls of others.

I tried to break up with my boyfriend of 4+ years. He talked me out of it. I am very grateful to still have him in my life.

My new boss told me he thought I was fake. What surprised me the most was that I wasn't completely devastated by that - I would have been a couple of years ago, or even last year, but I wasn't now. Then I reflected on what he might have meant - I even talked to friends about it to hear their point of view. In the end I came to the conclusion that my boss was reflecting his insecurities on me. But also that I still have a hard time showing myself when I'm vulnerable. I know that I've come a long way, but my boss is at least partially right: I still hide myself when the going gets really tough. And I've been working on that ever since the conversation I had with him. I am very grateful for the feedback my boss gave me - and continues to give me. And for the honesty of my friends.

My sister's breast cancer worsened. I always knew how much I loved her, but now every moment with her is such a gift. I relize how lucky I am to have such a beautiful person in my life. I want to make every minute I have count - time with sister and brother, my parents, my three beautiful children and my dear friends.

A significant experience that I have had happen this year is finally learning about myself, who I am and how to care for myself. It is affecting me in enormous ways every second of every day still. It has made me cry, feel shame, become more confident, it has shown me who I was, and to learn who I want to be, who I deserve to be, and who I don't have to be if I don't want to. I have smiled, become frustrated, relieved, inspired, and so much more!

My house was not a sanctuary for me this year. There was fighting, crowding, and an highly toxic mix of work and home life. As I approach 5771, I feel that it will be again, soon, but it needs tending to. My home being a source of stress created stress in other areas of my life - with my husband, with my co-workers, with my relationship to my work. I will not be able to pretend these stresses never happened, but I can try to learn from the solution.

The Steiner school my children attends was threatened with closure because of financial issues. We had ten weeks to raise 1.65 million dollars. It started with 8 of us in a room and ended with 2 million in the bank. I learnt that I can use my business knowledge every day. I use story as a communications and knowledge management tool and we used my tricks to great effect in the campaign. Now the school is using story right through to improve the (traditionally very poor!) communications. I am so grateful to have been able to volunteer so much and get so much in return. Very happy and inspiring experience.

I got engaged! It made me happier than I ever imagined. It made my family relieved. It made me grateful for all of the wonderful people who love us and were so incredibly happy for us. And the proposal in Ireland just made me feel at peace. As if no matter what happens from here on out, we will be safe and loved.

my godson was born with down syndrome, and I was resentful and then relieved because his health is quite good and now he brings us such unremitting joy all of the time

Volunteered to donate my liver and, even though it did not come through, in the interview process I was forced to come face to face with the prospect of my own mortality. It made me appreciate more every day of life that I have.

My relationship with J. Brought out the absolute best and absolute worst in me. It affected me greatly. I'm resentful but inspired. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and how relationships work. It affected me greatly as I suddenly became insanely anxious and depressed. I couldn't focus, think or behave right. Running didn't help (I lost ~30lbs after I met her) and couldn't function. It was sad but the way it ended - badly - showed I have a lot to work on.

The celebration of my Bat Mitzvah and my subsequent help with leading the congregation over the summer while the rabbi was on sabbatical. These two related events helped me to take ownership of my Jewish life and my part in the local Jewish community. They also gave the opportunity to see my congregation from a different perspective, one that sees our diversity not as a liability, but rather as an asset.

Our daughter graduated from college and moved home. Our son and new daughter-in-law moved home until law school started in September, so the entire summer we were 5 under one roof. It was a challenge at times, but only for me, I think. It brought my children closer together. It was a dream come true to have 5 at the dinner table once again. I knew that this would be short lived, so I thanked G-d every day for such a special gift.

I have experienced a great deal of loss this year. The most significant loss was that of my cat. He was my "buddy" and I miss him more than I can describe. I can't believe he is gone and his loss prompted me to make some significant changes in my life including ending some friendships and getting myself into therapy to deal with my sadness and grief.

For the first time in 26 years, I met a man and then began dating him. Dating was so new, and so unusual, that my neighbors of the last 15 years (the amount of time I've lived in/owned my house) would approach me and comment on the fact that they had never seen me ever go on a date. (I was then glad they only knew about the last 15 of those 26 years.) I was giddy and self-conscious; at the age of 57 I felt like I did at 18, trying on the dating life of a single woman. The summer was wild and busy and subtly dangerous - motorcycle rides at midnight, trips to the beach for the weekend, watching movies, and being a couple. the emotional nakedness, the newness of relating to an adult of a different gender was definitely something I was no longer familiar with. i felt light and happy. i was grateful for the experience, without regret.

My wife is pregnant, due at Thanksgiving time. I'm overjoyed at the thought of being a father. I'm going to have a son. I have an enormous, goofy grin on my face as I type this, thinking about holding my son, looking into his eyes, feeling the love, pride, fear, amazement, hope. The thought of being a father makes me want to be a better man, to live to my maximum potential and abilities.

fulton leaving the school. it woke me up to the sadness of the school system. how poor children are being crafted to fail, that the politics are greater than the care for the students. it gave me reason to walk away from a crumbling school system. i appreciate the wisdom it taught me and the gateway it gave me to leave a job that did not serve me anymore

The day that I publicly announced my resignation from my job. I had been sitting with it so long, I was surprised at how emotional I became. I choked up when talking to the group. And then 100+ people gave me a standing ovation. I thought that somewhere deep inside, there would be an "oh shit, what have I done?" moment as I announced leaving a job after ten years. Instead, there was nothing but relief and happiness and gratitude and warmth. And excitement looking at what was coming ahead.

The event that significantly changed my life was when we were robbed inside our house. We were tied down with our heads down, fearing for our son and our lives, for an hour. We basically were innocent enough to believe that things like that don't happen to people like us. And the fear we still cope with is what fills me with rage. I don't care for our possessions but our peace? Its gone. I'm relieved that they didn't harm us physically. That they only took stuff and didn't wake up the kid. I'm grateful that I see the world and my loved ones and my relationship with God grew further. Cause he was there! I was praying the whole time and if it wasn't because of Him I would have lost it. I'm inspired because of this. So many feelings and thoughts.

I was almost sued at work and that was incredibly painful for me as I just looked at a kindergarten child in order to help him stay in his classroom. I felt grateful to be supported by my principal, relieved when the case was dropped, and resentful of the stress and pain it caused me and other people. I also learned to really appreciate my daughter-in-law...who is so supportive of my son.

I went to London alone. It was the 1st vacation ever I went on alone. I met up with a friendand we had soooo much fun. Best summer ever.

In the last year I realised I wanted to be a photographer. This was particularly significant as throughout my life I have wanted to do many different careers and have never been settled on one career path. Even after gaining a first class honours degree in Business Studies I felt quite lost as still didn't know what I wanted to do. This affected me in a positive way as my life suddenly had direction and purpose and something to aim for. It allows me to be creative, and hopefully will one day be something I can make a career from.

School was ending and teachers across the country were faced with the possibility of layoff. I counted myself among those numbers. The job hunt ensued and I was meeting resistance internally or externally at every turn. An opportunity to teach in the UAE presented itself and I felt really good about it. I was also notified that I would be able to keep my position at my school. When faced with this choice I realized how I had trapped myself into a job that was not life-giving and decided to go for the change. I am grateful for the opportunities and realizations that present themselves when faced with something as difficult as a layoff.

Chiara and I rescued a puppy and decided to get married and start a family. It has had a two fold effect of bringing my life more meaning and also more stress - I worry about my capacity to provide for my family. I am confident that things will work out and I'm positive they won't work out the way I think they will.

Standing inside my childhood house for the first time in 25 or 26 years. It was a strange moment of clarity for me. I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect and rediscover what my childhood was about. Funny, the view from 39 years old makes it look so much better.

It was significant to finally get to a point where my marriage is over...really over. There is no longer any gray. There is no hope. The metal pipe wielding towards me confirmed that. I am a mixed bag of emotions. I mourn the lose of a dream, I fear the unknown, and I am greatful for a chance to live a life I have never known....a free one.

i have had quite a few, Got my Masters, volunteered in Mexico and Haiti, traveled allot but maybe getting back in to a relationship with MTC may be having the biggest affect on my. At first i was grateful and ecstatic, but now he seems to be having a change of heart again so i am not doing so well

Incident after Pesach when I fainted/had a seizure. it changed my perspective, making me SLOW down; unfortunately, I lost some of that impetus and have to keep reminding myself to keep on that track. Unfortunately, occasional dizzy spells remind me. I'm grateful that the repercussions weren't worse, that I got a 'gentle" reminder to slow down, and that I'm taking a look at other things as a result.

I moved to England for an MBA program. It's been quite a roller coaster - confidence down, then up, then down, then up. Learning a new culture, a new language that sounds a lot like American English. Discovering that I already know a lot, and yet, so little.

I took a new job and moved my family to a new community. I am grateful to be in our new community and am currently very excited about my new job and new possibilities.

The birth of my third son - Tal Meir. I am so very greatful for, and inspired by, him every day!

This past year I had the opportunity to go to Israel for the first time. I was finally able to connect with my Jewish roots. By far, it has been the best experience of my life. I loved every city I went to and I loved that I could be Jewish without having to explain myself. Visiting the Old City, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and the Kinneret was amazing. This experience has affected me so much because it makes Israel so much closer to my heart. It is not just a story, it is a promise that G-d has fulfilled to us by allowing our generation to return. I am definitely grateful for it. Only five months ago, I found out I got into medical school and am currently attending an amazing university in North Carolina. I knew G-d would come through for me, but to think that I am actually here is completely surreal. Each day I am inspired to become the best physician I can be, and still remember the struggle it took to get to this point. I am absolutely grateful for this opportunity, relieved that it has begun, and entirely inspired every day.

The economy has been tough for me because I lost my job over a year ago. Financially we are ok, but emotionally that is another story. I have worked since high school and never thought not working would take such a toll on me. I knew I enjoyed being with people at work and that I would miss that, but it has been much more than that. I am isolated. I live far from family and friends I grew up with. I have a few friends here, but no one very close that I can call at a moments notice. Someone I thought was a great friend has deserted me for reasons unknown. It might be my wonderful emotional mood, or it may be her own emotions, but either way, I am left without someone I very much enjoyed speaking with. I wonder if this is a bigger problem than anyone speaks about. Sure we are all with a little less money, but belts can be tightened hopefully without too much damage, but it's the emotional toll that is in my opinion more difficult.

I have a new career and a full time job that I really enjoy. It allows me to use my skills and I am more confident in expressing my ideas and putting them to work. I am grateful and inspired. It took a long time to get here and a lot of work, but it's all worthwhile. I am happier that I have ever been.

I became a Jew through the process of conversion. This has simultaneously "brought me home" while also opening a new world to me. I feel profoundly fortunate to have taken this step.

I have come to the realization I cannot have the man I love and it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. I lack nothing. He lacks therefore he must have more than one woman. He lies because he does not know how to tell the truth. I know in my heart, there is nothing wrong with me. I am beautiful and he no longer hurts me and makes me feel less than because I alone cannot satisfy him. I am whole. I am grateful for the growing experience, I love myself and as painful as thejourney has been, the light at the end is so bright it is blinding.

Walking along the beach, early morning in February, William Randolf Hearst State Beach in California. Being the only human on the beach and only 15 feet away from an elephant seal as it enjoyed the beginning of the day. He was situated perfectly so that the ripple of water from the incoming waves met the slow stream emptying into the beach from the hills behind ---right beneath him! A perfect water massage. We looked at each other for quite awhile. It was a "God's in his heaven and all is right with the world" moment.

I got engaged. It has affected me in solid and positive ways and I am grateful. It seems right and like the start of a whole new phase of life, filled with promise. It feels like a great opportunity to create, to build, a life, together, and a family.

My coworker and a very close friend was let go over me. Her husband had also been out of work and fell very ill in the 7+ months she was unemployed. It made me-- mad. Sure, I understand the reasoning and sure, I can see where I was extremely lucky, but I sincerely wished that it had been me instead.

Going to Brora for holidays - realised how much I valued it and appreciated going with the whole family. Really began to appreciate my family more. Beginning to see the children more as their own people, instead of kids I am caring for. Doing an energy workshop - staking my space and owning my ability as a healer.

I slipped and fell during a business transaction and was later evaluated at my local ER. After x-rays it was found to be severe contusion, rather than a break. Though still very painful and swollen, I was so grateful for the minor injury, having broken that knee years before. I had courteous treatment at the ER with the exception of one tech who was abrupt and rude - I volunteer there and see her from time to time. I'm still trying to let go of that resentment.

For one horrible afternoon I thought I might have rectal cancer. It was a false alarm but I though that I was going to die, soon. I felt worried that I hadn't fulfilled my potential. But I wasnt depressed or even scared just resigned

My 30 year old baby sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is the "favorite" - favorite sister, daughter, friend- the hub of every spoke she belongs to. It was devastating and confusing and uncomfortable at first. But as a family we came together and just took it day by day, week by week. I tell people that its the best thing that ever happened to me- because after four long years of an uphill battle to make my new company successful in a fiercely unforgiving economic environment- by neglecting my friends and family- I suddenly let go. I am no longer afraid to fail in my career or financially-- which is incredibly liberating. I'm not sure I've dealt with the emotional aspects of what happens if my sister's cancer comes back and claims her- but I've certainly addressed the practical ones. I got off the train I was- which was moving much faster than the one I am on now. The scenery on this train is much prettier and the other passengers are a lot more interesting to me now.

I got engaged. It made me feel loved, appreciated, valued and anxious all at the same time. I am inspired as I am soon to become a new step-mom, watch the death of my new mother-in-law and learn to adjust at the age of 42 to being married after a life time of being single.

The girl I dated in college and my first romantic interest phoned out of the blue two months ago. She opened a window of time as we spoke and then reconnected by email as if the silence was that of a day rather than that of nearly half a century. Why did she seek me? It turns out she always kept me on a pedestal (her words) and had hoped to find me still alive. She was also driven by her own unanswerable question as to why I had disconnected from her those long years ago. No obligations, nothing more, just seeking the warmth of possibility for our renewed connection. It's awesome to realize that even in my youth I actually had a profound effect on someone else, someone not in my family, someone with whom I shared values and interests and that our relationship to one another was actually much more important to her than I would have ever suspected. And in her sharing, I discovered our relationship had been and now is, even more important to me than I could otherwise have ever realized. Our conversations are enabling me to explore and to express and to document who I have been, who I am, and who I sought to be for myself and others, I am grateful to look into my own values through the lens of another's eyes. I am also relieved that my legacy is not that of a lasting wound on this wonderful lady and that she has now learned at long last, the true reason for our parting. We are friends as we had always been and had always meant to be, and I thank her for this very real gift and blessing. Lives are touched at every age. I can blissfully now thank the youth I once was and credit his good sense for not being careless or callous with those he touched. Reflecting back, I am so thankful to have lived and be living a cautious and gentle and caring life, for the rewards of a life well intended and well lived are greater than we can ever imagine.

My sister Elizabeth was diagnosed with breast cancer. Since my father's heart attack in 1987, this was the first significantly huge health scare in my family (aside from James' diabetes, Paul's epilepsy and my own stupidity). I never got to the profound stages of imagining life without my sister -- especially life for Sophie, Christian, Alanna and Chris without her -- because Liz was so incredibly pragmatic about the whole thing. Even in her phone call to me, she seemed so focused on the facts and how she was going to go about taking care of the matter that it just left me feeling that everything would be fine. It's amazing how focused she was. Of course, she said, this was after a very difficult recognition period that she'd gotten past. But still, to see Liz operate without an ounce of self-pity (even with all the unfairness she's encountered in her life) left me feeling completely certain that she'd overcome this latest tragic event and leave it as a mere speed bump in retrospect. Liz went through dramatic surgery, recovery and reconstruction in a matter of weeks. She's pretty damn tough and as always, one of the people in my life who I wish I was more like. Grateful. Relieved. Inspired.

Yes I get introduced to Munna who take me into lifes real truth.get introduced to Dr Deepak Chopra and thus to Dr Wayn Dyer. I am really thankful, GOD

I had my one year anniversary of being married this year. It's significant to me because I feel that our marriage has mellowed into something richer, more sustaining, like great chicken stock-a simple recipe that is more than the sum of its parts, where all the ingredients give up their essences to enhance the whole, creating something that can comfort and heal. Gone are the petty disagreements and occasional passive aggressive swipes. I get choked up thinking about how lucky I am.

The death of Dolly who was like a sister to my late darling Wife. Dolly and David, her husband now suffering fromadvanced altzeimers were more like family than friends. Dolly's death had an enormous impact on me becoming conscious of the dropping of the leaves from the tree of life. It emphasized the lessening number of contacts of my generation and wondering who would be next. However, it made me more appreciative of my luck with my lovely daughters, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

my parent's split up. it affected me a lot and it hurt. i was partly relieved and partly in disbelief that it was actually happening.

Over the years I have maintained a loving friendship with my first husband. He lives out of state and we communicate by phone several times a year. We also email and send messages on facebook. Our divorce, more than 30 years ago, a result of the Viet Nam War, was amicable. We have one daughter together. Last year he was diagnosed with colon cancer which also spread slightly into his liver. He had surgery and chemo and entered remission. This year 5 tumors were found in his liver and an invasive surgery was planned. When my daughter told me she planned to be there for support, I decided to accompany her. It had been more than 30 years since I had been back to the area, although I'd kept in touch with many friends living there. I dreaded this trip. I didn't want to see my once young hero ravaged by the years and disease. Still, I felt compelled to be there for my daughter and for him. We made it a road trip. The whole thing changed from being a trip and became, instead, a journey. I had hours and hours alone with my daughter, a rare occurance because of our busy lives and schedules. We really talked. She learned things about her father when he was young. We shared our favorite music on cd's and enjoyed road trip snacks foreign to our usual healthy diet. I returned to a place I'd lived when I was young and single, and also a young wife and mother. Much had grown and changed, but much was still familiar. We drove down streets where once I'd demonstrated for peace. Most of the visit was confined to doctors, hospital, and a few hours at the hotel too tired to do more than sleep. I was able to connect with a few friends from my past and remembered why they were so special to me. I'm glad for these small reunions. The medical results were not, however, favorable., The surgery was a matter of opening him up and then closing. The tumors were each in a place too risky for removal. And the cancer, it was discovered, had moved into the lymphatic system. I held my former husband's hand as the oncologist reaffirmed that this is not a curable cancer. More chemo might or might not buy more time. But it would be uncomfortable time. My lifelong friend squeezed my hand and said that he'd already come to terms with it and would work hard to get well enough to go home and work on a short "bucket list" And so, I let him go. I am at peace. I am forever changed. I saw the progression of 30 plus years and the closure of a particular time in my life. I won't be there when he dies. But, I'm nearly finished with a quilt for him to wrap up in when it gets tough. My daughter and I are closer than ever before.

Where to begin. The significant experience was A of course. I am deeply grateful for it, even if it didn't turn out the way I had hoped. Through A I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of. I know that even if A wasn't the one, I am ready for 'the one' in a way I never have been before. I am proud of myself too. Proud of how I handled things (for the most part), how mature and self aware I was. I will always be grateful to A for what he taught me about me.

I met someone special, it turned my life upside down. I am very gratefull for meeting him, exept for the fact that it will probably ruin my marriage. This experience made me feel special, respected and loved. It also made me realize that I have to be nicer to myself and my kids. And i will do so!

I gathered with family members at Yosemite for a reunion. I appreciate the unique qualities of the many generations - brothers, sister, nephews and their children. It is a blessing to share an experience in nature with many generations of loved ones.

I have had an eye opening experience which changed the way I think about myself, my family and human nature. My youngest daughter age 17 fell in love for the first time and we in turn fell in love with her boyfriend as well. Eventually we learned he was a compulsive liar and he believes he had no excuse for telling us a long string of lies, some terrible about his family. We learned of his fear of success and inability to cope with stress and his weak ego despite what seemed like an exterior of confidence. Our family has been rocked to its very core because we have never had to deal with such an event. We feel unsure of whom we can really trust. Is anyone who they say they are? The mirror into ourselves that this has opened is significant. Our weaknesses and strengths have been magnified; the strength of our family and our love for each other has been reinforced. I am still in shock and do not feel inspired. I feel helpless to make a difference and scared of all the work ahead.

The most significant experience has to be this recent trip to Italy in which I both realized that a 12 year relationship had finally come to an end, that I could finally let go, and that I am forever and even more beautifully connected to his whole family and our group of friends... that while being able to let go, we can transform the past into something new and vital...and abundant. I learned that my life in Italy is alive and well and that I want to move there, at least part-time. I am inspired... grateful... and a little frustrated because I wish I had some way to be there now!

I got married for the 2nd time!!!!!!!!!!! it was such a blessing to find happiness after all thet I've been through earlier.

Attemped a "No Impact Month" - April. It made me question the importance of daily choices and understand what kind of person I want to become. I am very grateful, and only feel slightly odd that this has come so late in life - i am already 25 years old. I feel inspired to lead a strong life, and strive for happiness and good.

Discovered Zero Balancing. It was profound! So I decided to study it and get certified.

I had been without a really good girlfriend for a couple of years. I knew when I left Suze in Hawaii that I didn't have someone like her to come back to when I moved back home to Minnesota 3 years ago but I was fortunate enough to meet the love of my life but after two years with him I was really craving a girlfriend to confide in and to hang out with...I mean Erik is the best but there is only so much I can ask of him as far as shopping, gossiping etc. This year I became close to a woman named April and her son Miguel. I think that they both are very special and I really treasure the friendship I have found in her. I think this year I am the most grateful for her because I know that I can truly rely on her and it feels good that she can rely on me as well. We talk daily and she is always such a great source of support and laughter much like Suze was for me. In some ways it just makes me miss Suze more sometimes but it's nice to know there are some really fantastic woman out there that I can befriend.

This year I have been challenged in my professional life, more so it seems, than I have been in the past. I have been very lucky in my life thus far, in having the support from my supervisors and peers. This is not currently the case. I constantly ask myself, what lessons am I supposed to be learning before I can move on to the next... I try to be grateful that I have a job, especially in this economy, but it is increasingly difficult given the stressors I face during my daily work week. I feel resentful towards the people who act like "frenemies" all the while looking for the next time they can get their way at the expense of mine...

I left Hong Kong. I'm still not okay with it - I spent the best three years of my life there, and now it seems like my life here doesn't quite measure up. I'm supposed to be having an amazing college experience, but instead I keep seeing the ways it doesn't live up to my time in HK. I hope that changes, because it's crushing my optimism.

I was laid off from my graphic design job. It was a stressful job, but it paid well and I needed it. I've been riding the roller coaster of grief ever since, and looking for a new job or career ever since. I've gone through disbelief, hope, depression, anger and sadness, many times over.

BP oil spill. fucking bullshit. Ruining the coast

I got promoted to assistant manager at Half Price Books, which comes with the opportunity to move back to San Antonio to be near my friends and family. I'm incredibly grateful for the promotion and the pay raise and the being near my family, although moving and leaving the life I've made for myself in OKC kind of sucks.

I was transferred to a new location doing a somewhat different job. At first, I was relieved. It was time for me to move on. Now, I am resentful. How can someone who does so little get paid? Cleaning up after her is driving me crazy. I am grateful to learn new things, but doing someone else's job is unbelievable.

I got married in June to the man I have been with for 5 years this september. We had been engaged almost three years and we were so ready to finally be a married couple. It was a wonderful, happy event. We are so grateful to our friends and family that came to celebrate with us, and to those who helped make it financially possible for us to have a nice wedding.

This year I started going to therapy as a result of several anxiety attacks. Finally admitting to myself and to others that I needed outside help in order to move forward brought me a lot of peace. The only frustration that I have had is the inability of my mother to see why this is such a necessity in my life, and to see her part of some of the issues that I have been facing. Therapy is an ongoing struggle for me, in terms of regaining my ability to function on my own and to move forward in this life.

I got a new job. Happy to have it, frightened of losing it. Feel I'm on my way to middle-aged slugdom. Ruminate on the organizations I might have been working in. Life is good, acceptance very hard.

This past year I had many repeated significant moments: sitting with Safta Rutie and talking to her, listening to her and sharing time. I am so grateful for the time I set aside to spend with her even though I often did it more for her than because I waned to. Each time I left her I felt happy, refreshed and glad that I spent the time with her. In some ways I always felt lighter and warm knowing that she loved me and that I had been able to make her and myself happy through simple confrontation.

My son got a new job which brought back his health benefits and his normal salary level after being retrenched twice.

I went to Arizona and Utah on a road trip to see a part of the west. The landscape was breathtaking and the culture was unique (seeing old ruins and how the Navajo live today). Because of this trip I was inspired to look for places in that area (New Mexico and Arizona, not Utah) for collages to go to in the future.

I am in girlfriend territory! This has completely changed my life since suddenly, now there is someone else to consider in my day to day choices, as well as my long-term choices. It has affected me greatly since it has tought me how to approach life constantly with the consideration of another person, rather than just following the beat of my own drum. I am grateful to be in the situation, because it has taught me a lot about growing up, but at the same time I am finding the adjustment very difficult, and I can't help looking after myself too. Another significant experience that happened this year was grans' passing. It has affected me in a positive way as I always remember her fondly, and take her lead as inspiration to live life to the absolute fullest. She was a truly inspirational person.

I was diagnosed with cancer for the 2nd time in five years. It brought my life into perspective once again and I cherish each moment of each day.

I moved because of an unpleasant financial turnaround. Realizing that my flat was simply too pricey & moving was the right thing to do was a great relief and I am still grateful to the friend who pointed me in the direction of a lovely place that I could afford.

I broke up with my bf Ian. This is significant because I thought he was a decent human being, but discovered that he wasn't. He hit me twice over something so trivial it's barely worth mentioning! I've now got a new bf called Lenny and he's really making me realise just how much of a control freak Ian was. When I was with Ian I was anxious all of the time, I worried that I would act wrongly around him and that he would get angry at me. So really? I'm very very glad that I broke up with him and that I don't have to be nice to him or see him ever again if I don't want to.

I discovered and connected with my Jewish roots. I am energized by this and oh-so grateful. When I am surrounded by Jewish friends, I experience an inner peace and rightness about the world.

The sequence of circumstances (changing to another house, finding another ways to create and get myself to work on my dream projects, standing up to some old fears..) that have happened this year was not what I would´ve expected a couple of years ago and they tripled whatever expectation I had. I felt grateful back then and never thought that I could get even more and more grateful, inspired to keep on building the path of life, this life I´m living moment by moment. Uncertain and yet fully excited.

Gramma got her kitten, Midnight. He's quite feisty. He just got fixed, so I'm not sure how his temperament is now. I'm very happy that he's a part of the family.

Started on Social Security after my 66th birthday, and am still wondering how I could be of retirement age. I feel much younger, yet much wiser than I used to be, even last year. I am very grateful and even more inspired to be a force for good, and to make a significant difference in the world before my life is over. I'm really glad to have the financial freedom to do so whether or not I ever get a paying job again or not.

Our moving from one large city (it had plenty of opportunities for all of us, mainly for my sons), to an small village, due to economical and job circumstances. I was forced to change my job duties and responsabilities and professional position within the firm too. Of course, I think that personally, is one of the most important decisions that have affected me in my life. I'm talking about two or three important decisions, no more than this... It was very, very hard for all of us in my family. Sometimes I blame to this global and systemic crisis and not to my decisions...Thanks.

I was on a ride that feel apart and was nearly crushed. It really helped me put my life in perspective after attempting suicide twice the year before. When attempting to take my life on purpose, it left me bitter. When almost losing my life in a freak accident. It made me realize how truly lucky I am to still be here.

I was offered and subsequently accepted a new job that is well paid, interesting and challenging. It also allows me to be in charge of my own diary and set my own pace. I am very grateful for my new job and it has positively affected my health and wellbeing. All is going well in my world.

I visited the former concentration camp at Auschwitz. It is somewhere I always felt I should go, but I've never been sure why, I think as some kind of mark of respect to the people who died there, but I always put the idea to the back of my mind because I also dreaded the thought of the going there. So I felt proud of myself in a way that I finally went, but then that made me feel a bit guilty because it felt like a very egotistical achievement when compared with the suffering in the camp. The experience didn't help answer any questions about the Holocaust - seeing it doesn't make it any more comprehensible - but it has made me appreciate what I have much more, and how quickly and easily everything could be taken away.

There are two things, really. The first was my trip to Suriname. It was such an amazing trip, and such a growing experience for me. I hope I get to go back and work with the community there. Also, I fell in love this year, with a man who I would never have expected to fall for. He's in the process of getting divorced and he has a child and in so many ways it seems like we don't make sense for each other--but we're in love, he makes me happy, and even the complications don't really seem that complicated when we're together. I am grateful, and very very scared.

I got married! Grateful, hopeful, excited, scared. I found out what and who really matters to me, and who really cares about me. Two months in, I'm just as happy as on my wedding day, even though dealing with a major life change and depression is tough.

I completed changed how I saw myself as a person. I took a voluntary separation package from my job and became a stay-at-home mother. It has completely challenged me in ways I couldn't imagine. It's taken many months for me to become comfortable with not working outside the home, but now I can't imagine going back into the work world right now.

Last year I have introduced my husband to the aquatic physics and together we have entered a whole new world of discoveries and new faith. Our lives became much bigger, our world had expanded immensely, our love has grown twice as much as it should have grown. I feel inspired to follow this path, which includes developing skills on yoga, meditation, hinduism, budhism, and other subjects which will lead us to a bigger universe!

Both of my daughters are struggling with the burden of college and graduate school tuition. My husband and I can't afford to help them. It is painful to watch them struggle, yet encourage them to continue on with this burden. My lack of a college degree has had a negative impact on my career and my income, so it is very important to me that my daughters gain these professionial credentials for themselves.

I'm answering this question past midnight meaning that I will regret my wording even moreso, but this year I have grown so much and managed to make something of my life. I've discovered sex, drugs, and how to really live, and I would never take it back.

My fiance and I got engaged. It has changed my outlook considerably. I feel supported and safe. I have recently started feeling a little cynical and scared that Im too happy. Im worried that something is going to happen...as it always has. But what if it doesn't? That would be great!

I had the bravery to be open and truthful with both myself and those I love about who I am. Through listening to the wisdom I have been blessed to be exposed to I have seen that living in congruence with my truths is the only way to find the meaning of my life. I am inspired!

Of most significance was learning I'm to be a grandfather.

Ive got drunk twice in nthe same week, in both times got in troubles, almost lost my wife.Decided to quit drinking, all seems more clear, some people that i thought were friends left, some friends came back, see everything in a new way.

We had a living healthy baby this past year. We are immensely grateful as well as relieved given that we lost our first baby at 38 weeks. It's true what they say, there is no job harder than parenting and nothing more rewarding. Being a father is way better than I ever imagined and continuously inspires me to experience life through new eyes.

I graduated from college this past year. This is a significant experience, but I think what was more significant was the fact that college was ending, which meant that I was leaving lots of good friends behind as we moved to different parts of the country. It has caused me to take stock of how important it is to be close to good friends and family. Technology is great, but no substitute for being with people. This experience has made me think about where I want to end up living and how I will be able to make my life into something that I want it to be.

A romantic encounter that both destroyed my belief system and am still piecing together the many lessons it brought into my life. It continues to hurt and pain but I am also observing the aspects of ego and soul in the experience. Its effects are many: I feel very empathetic towards the pain of others, I also have a certain alienation towards men in general, like what planet do they come from. My effervescent joy is much lesser. My faith in God is a bit shaky... There is also gratitude for what i have... something that i did not focus on before.

I let a man in and had the best time of my life. I learnt that I could chill and give my heart away. I was grateful to know that I was capable of loving at that level - I even entertained the idea of getting married and settling down with this guy. Though my heart was broken when we broke up, I still am grateful for the experience and am happy to have known such a gr8 human being.

My wife divorced me this past year. I was devestated. I thought I would commit suicide. I felt alone and unloved. I felt like my world was unraveling. I found out that she had been unhappy for a few years and that my absence I guess gave her the courage to pull the plug and try "life" on her own. I was angry, but not for long. I was bitter, but not for long. I am still in shock that she would throw away a 29 year marriage where I provided everything for her; everything she asked for. I gave her the life she wanted and that seems to not have been food enough.

I moved out and filed for divorce. I am relieved and sad and scared. I was fired from my job. Also feel relieved and a little angry. I learned I am stronger than I thought.......that makes me feel grateful andinspired.

I Began to learn music theory and the fundamentals of learning the piano. At age 36 it is a challenge but i am very inspired to have the opportunity to learn something i have always wanted to. It is now that the doors are opening to fully expressing my innate musical side. I look forward to what the next year holds.

I have changed my job. Now i'm a co-owner of a business. I'm standing at the origin of appearing a new service in Russia - we learn business to be responsible for information about company and we learn each day we live. We've bought a flat, it's our property I'm grateful for God to give me chances and signs. i'm inspired i'm able to do my best. I'm happy for i'm living. My son is a first-former. I'm always in progress.

I think I fell in love for the first time, but I don't know because I have only been able to enjoy it for a few fleeting moments. A few moments so fleeting and so wonderful only love could produce them and only love could make their absence so horrible. I feel half inspired and half destroyed.

I took my family to Israel. It was a challenge but also made us closer as a family. I know that no other trip will ever be so hard. It gave me the opportunity to connect with my past and so many wonderful friends and introduce these people to my family.

I started a new job and a new career. This has challenged me in so many amazing and difficult ways - my sense of who I am and what I am capable of has shifted, and not only in positive ways. I have learned more about myself during this time and been more engaged with my working life than I have for a long, long time.

I was given the opportunity to work as a security supervisor at some of the biggest festivals over the summer (Glastonbury, Latitude, Big Chill, Leeds), which as an event management student who wants to enter the music festival side of the industry has been an amazing experience and I cannot wait to do it all again next year. I haven't even graduated from university yet and I am already working in my dream job!

The most significant experience was our trip to SE Asia. Not only the experiences we had while traveling (new places, new food, new way of life) - but the travelling lifestyle itself. Both of us came closer to the people we want to be than we've ever been before. Free, adventurous, different. I'm trying to hold on to that feeling as we move into a new phase of life. Remembering what is important isn't career, or money, or social status - but that you are living your life the way you want. You are becoming the person you want to be.

I had a new friendship with a wonderful guy to whom I fell in love with. But it turned out to be one sided love relationship. I am sad with the outcome but grateful so I know now what I really want in the relationship. What I have been held back all this time explaining why I have not got a relationship until now. I stop contacting him right now in order to reconnect with my self and my God. I let my self to be completely addicted to him. What a big lesson to me.

John got a job! That makes me feel happy, but at the same time nervous- what if he loses his job? That would kill him. However, it mostly makes me feel excited for our future together. I'm so incredibly grateful.

We decided to move half way across the country. I am grateful I stepped outside my comfort zone, relieved we are settling in, sad to have left so much behind. Sometimes I wish I would have been selfish and stayed there...kept us from moving here because it would have been easier.

I met the woman I've always knew was out there for me and fell head over heels in love. This is life-changing, magical & wonderful, and she inspires me to work and play and love being a better person.

I realised that I don't have to stay trapped in the same boring job. It inspired me to put a 3 year plan of escape in place.

I got into a ambiguous romantic relationship with someone i considered a friend while i was ill with mono and heartbroken over someone else. it got confusing and mean and i ended it thinking we could still be friends but that did not end up being the case. it left me sad and resentful of the whole thing and really triggered my emotional core although i still do not know why. sometimes i still cry about it, and it has been 6 months since i have talked to them.

I went back to Jamaica to run a marathon.I havent been back since my grandma passed away in 1992. To visit her house and see it run down broke my heart. The people I grew up with are still there - albeit older. Some months later I got news that one of them died suddenly it made me grateful that I has seen him before he passed away. My dad came with me and I was glad I was able to share my holiday with him, he has got terminal cancer.

I was diagnosed with leukemia and finally got to look mortality in the eye. How did it affect me? I'm still trying to figure that out...

My roommate and friend, whom I've known since high school, tried to commit suicide in our apartment. This led to a very ugly situation due to poor judgement on many peoples parts and me losing a friend. I went through many emotions throughout the ordeal including grief, resentfulness, anger and depression. The situation and the way I handled it made people see me in different ways, some good and some bad and it definitely affected my well being for a while.

I discovered that my husband had relapsed into his crack addiction for the third time. It made me seriously evaluate what I want from life for myself and my children. Ultimately, I decided to stay in the relationship. I have resentment and anger towards him, but I hope that I'll be able to move beyond it with help.

A little over 11 months ago, I had a life changing experience. At that time I was an emotional mess. I hated people, distanced myself from my family, and could not even stand to be touched by my kids or my wife. I had gone away on a week's vacation to attend a convention and visit/stay with a long distance friend. On the day of the trip, I literally had a panic attack and thought that there was no way I could go. However, I forced myself to. Over the next six days, I confronted my fears, got affirmation from my friend, and finally confessed some long term issues I'd had from many years ago. My friend's total acceptance of me, even after I'd shared what I thought might cause me to lose our friendship, only deepened it. Now, I still have an amazing sense of peace and no fear. Everyone has noticed the change in me, and I am once again able to be myself and love others.

In the past year I have acquired a new position and will soon be leaving the community that has been my home for the past 32 years. Am I grateful -absolutely - this is a tremendous opportunity that I am honored to have. Am I sad - absolutely - this has been my home and letting go is hard. I am excited, stressed, overwhelmed, scared, and both ready and not for the change that 5771 will bring.

I had a baby! My life has changed immensely, but at the same time I feel quite myself. She is an incredible gift and I am so in love. I am no longer #1 and I don't miss it a bit. I would do anything for her. It has put my priorities in perspective and the things that seemed so important before are just no longer as relevant. I am deeply grateful and inspired to be the best parent I can be. I want to instil in her the values and principles that I cherish so deeply.

The pivotal events of this year have included a year of living apart from my husband of 21 years selling our family home and taking my son to begin college in Arizona. Any one could be construed as a loss of incredible magnitude, but I have not experienced them entirely as losses. So much of my own autonomy and self-image has been defined in relation to the men in my family. I feel grateful, relieved and inspired to move into a new way of being. The loss of my house of 18 years is another matter. This is something that has touched me to the core and I don't know if I will ever recover from it. I imagined myself getting old there, and now, my garden will be tended by another.

I dated a girl a few years ago and she had a kid who I knew and nurtured for 5 out of her initial 7 years in her life lessening as time went on due to geographical circumstances. I thought being 3000 miles away and not having contact it would be easy to let go, but the kid pops up in dreams, with me always asking how are you, it is tough letting go!

This past summer I had a pointless argument with my best-friend that ended are relationship. I was way out of line, I resent everything I did that day and I miss her so much. And I hope by this time next year I will be reading this to her.

After becoming totally dismayed w/the backbiting & disrespect in my local professional organization, my biz partner & I formed a new group. It was a little scary, would people come, would it meet their needs, would it be sustainable? Working out well so far, I am grateful & relieved. But in all honest, I am still holding resentment in my heart toward the other group's members. I feel betrayed & judged and damn that is hard to get beyond.

I got married! Excited, thrilled, calmed, hopeful, relieved, a little scared, all these things and more. I think in the first year of marriage (well at least the first 9 months) a lot of my husbands and my fears surfaced about our own hopes, dreams and desires and with that came a lot of 'crashes'. I am really thankful and hopeful because I am starting to have deep faith that we have weathered this well and that we can weather much more!

Learning that our dog had inoperable bone cancer. Two months after her diagnosis, she's still going strong, but the cancer is right there every time we look into her face. I feel like I haven't handled it well -- angry, despairing, grief-stricken, or just plain stressed out while Lizzie, at every turn, has shown me what acceptance and optimism really look like. In spite of everything I've achieved spiritually, in spite of how far I've come, I'm still her fumbling apprentice.

I first discovered TED. I have seen with my eyes great people who have something to fight for, and I have seen how they go for it, however resistant the world is. I am greatly inspired by this.

I began teaching in the Living Routes program. I am very happy. I feel like I am able to acheive my goal of working for peace by teaching the class.

I started volunteering through a non-profit org that focuses on aiding the elderly--whether it's visiting them in their homes, escorting them to a movie or the park, spending their birthday with them. I met Sylvia, a 90 year old retired teacher & photographer who never married or had children. Our friendship has blossomed and I try to visit her at least once a month. We share a common interest & love for photography and we enjoy sharing our photos with one another. I am helping her put together an exhibit, something she hopes to accomplish within the last few years of her life and it is something that I really want to work out for her. I wish I had more time to spend with her and help her through it. She is very independent and is extremely grateful for my presence..and in many ways I see myself in her. I'm so happy that I went out on my own to volunteer, I wouldn't have met Sylvia and she has truly touched me, I won't ever forget the experiences I have with her.

Started working a full-time job after being a stay at home mom.Initially really scary and at the best of times ultra challenging,yet helped me regaing my self-confidence and realise my true worth.

Was confronted with a situation where I had to decide whether I should accept an immediate assignment that would lead to a fairly comfortable economic situation for me or to forgo it and follow my heart's desire even if it meant some economic adversity. I chose the latter and I'm glad I did...because it shows me that if I stick to my dreams, I can achieve them.

Hmm...Something significante experience that has happened in the past year would be losing another friend....but I was stronger the second time around....so what doesn't kill you does make you stronger. And a recent one would be moving away from home...I'm less homesick now than I was last week.....But I do miss my family and my high school friends alot. Living in a dorm home is loads of fun but you get bored and have limited of walking space in your room. Oh how I miss living in a house.

My best friend/sister moving back. It affected me in a good way because I missed her extremely. So I relieved she is back but resentful that she will leave again.

I am grateful for the opportunity to explore the next chapter in my life as I begin my search for a new community to serve. On Rosh Hashanah I shared with my congregation both the happy moments that have sustained me as well as my hopes and desires for them as a product of my legacy, the values that I hope I have left for them as a guide. Even though at times this has been a painful process for them and for me, what I feel now is a sense of relief and an ability to inspire myself in new ways as I look at what lies ahead.

Both my grandfather and my mother died in the last year, my grandfather while I was in Thailand and my mother suddenly in a car accident. It has completely changed my life, I feel overwhelmed and sad.

Hmmmm.....experience that has happened recently, I met someone that swept me of my feet within 2 days of meeting, then I have to let him go because he's married, because of my principle and belief... 1 month has past, and I am still infatuated by him...the feeling of what could have been... because I could not get something I wanted so bad, I cut off my beautiful long hair, join an online dating agency, immersing myself in shopping and work....felt like drowning. He posed me a question which makes me ponder, he said "it's a natural thing for a human being to be sexually attracted to another person, and if he feels like it, why couldn't he have it? Why must restrained yourself when obviously you know that 1 is not enough?" I know that there's truth in it but couldn't bring myself to do such a thing. Other than this, I was appointed asst. manager for my dept. to get to this position wasn't easy. I have to fight for it and be strong to go against what my manager wants, which is to make me stay put as a PA with low pay. I find this very unfair. and because or that I have been avoiding any friendly relationship with them because I don't want to be used. I set a rule for myself that everything that I do for them must be justified, must benefit me and also the company. It cannot be a one way relationship. I confirmed that it is true that people look down on me. Is it because I done look like I have any accomplishment? No ties and no money? Surely I must be good in something, right?

Moving to Miami. Oh hell yeh I was resentful. I loved NYC. I never wanted to leave. I love the culture, the music, the dance, the energy. And here I am. In sunny, vapid Miami. NOT of my own choosing. And here I am. At a job that I could have never imagined. Doing work that I want to be doing. Living a block from water and beautiful sunsets that I can see from my balcony and my kitchen counter as I prepare dinner. It still affects me. Daily. But now it is my life. And I kind of like it.

I got back in touch with an old Army buddy, who helped me land a fantastic job with Wyndham

One of my closest friends married someone I don't approve of. It has strained our friendship and taught me that people are always going to do what they want and that I can only have control over myself.

I dealt with some stomach issues this past year---it lasted for about 4 months and really sent me into a depression I've never experienced before. I started to question a lot of things in my life: career, love, self-worth. But, as I have come out of it--I feel myself arriving on a new plane---a deeper one that understands anxiety and fear. I am now grateful when sleep and appetite come without obstacles. The joy in my life is pretty large right now and there is no part of me that is taking it for granted. On a regular basis I am able to assess the number of people and things that I am lucky to hold in my life.

I moved to the DC area for work, moving in with complete strangers and leaving the majority of what I had grown comfortable with in my college life. The move itself has been good, and I am fortunate and grateful for the opportunities and experiences that have grown out of this initial change. However, it has also precipitated other changes that I was not prepared for yet, and learning to readjust my scope apart from someone I love has yet to fully play out.

I can't say anything significant has happened. My life is just ticking on by and I feel like a bystander.

The horrible nervous breakdown I suffered in March from the stress of student-teaching strikes me as a threshold I needed to cross. There was a light at the end, and I eventually found it.

I guess one of the most significant experience that I had in the past year was when my 4 year boyfriend and I broke up, reconciled, and got dumped 4 days after reconciling with him. It honestly tore me apart. I underwent depression and even had attempts of suicide. The whole experience was really something I do not want to happen again. In a way I was resentful because everything I dreamt of, everything I planned, all of those were shattered and even up to now, I still feel lost. But even so, somehow I am still grateful of what happened. At least I don't end up marrying a jerk, who not only disrespects me and my family but who also physically hurts me as well.

My 19-year-old stepdaughter has come to live with us since the end of May, when she decided to leave a school program in Canada after one semester. Her mother is in another US city and since their relationship is volatile, I'm glad to have her with us. But it is challenging. I don't have biological kids, and jumping into teenager-dom requires a great amount of learning on my feet--especially in setting boundaries she never had and that I never had to establish before, to give real encouragement when she's frustrated , and to help her become independent, which means saying no on a regular basis. When I feel she's being disrespectful or taking advantage of us I'm resentful, but overall I'm grateful for the learning opportunities she's given me to parent, and she's a totally amazing, creative, funny, smart person whose company I really enjoy.

i developed a friendship that feels intimate and healthy and trusting. it has buoyed me through all kinds of turbulence. it has given me strength and confidence in self, and also confidence in others, the ability to trust myself and others in a relationship in a way that i've never quite had before. i feel grateful

in the past year i fell out of love with my husband. i discovered he had a year-long mostly emotional affair with his co-worker. i went through stages of being angry, hurt and resentful and even vengeful. i questioned my relationship with God. but the most disturbing periods were the ones when i was emotionally disconnected and numb. although this was/is so painful i am actually relieved to know that the problems and distance weren't only in my imagination. i am grateful to be re-connected to my authentic self through this hardship. i am inspired by truth telling and honesty. i am reestablishing my relationship with God and spirituality.

I always lived in poverty but last year it became even more hard. I lost all of my customers and at last I had not a single Euro to buy something to eat. I nearly lost my flat. But then I detected the blessings of nature around me: I learned how to use plants, herbs and fruits which I found and picked on long walks. And there were a lot of meals I with ingredients I used because of dearth of other food but in the end I enjoyed a kind of gourmet kitchen. And by this I got more happy and self confident again. This had some effects on my work. I am earning again - not much but enough to pay for a living. Anyway, I did not come back to buy much of supermarket food up to now. My existential crisis has turned into a chance for me. I do not feel shame because I had to collect my food from nature - I feel blessed and saved and provided by Mother Nature - and enriched - now.

My husband passed away. Very sad and find the emptiness sometimes overwhelming.

I completed my conversion to Judaism. A better way to say this might be I started my life as a Jew who is "on the books", really, as it feels both completely natural and like a start, rather than a completion. I feel comforted and energized, but also occasionally really frightening. Walking around the sanctuary with the Torah in my arms, being greeted as family by the congregation, feeling "seen" in a way I haven't felt before, this was transformative. I continue to be shocked at how deeply I'm affected, particularly during these 10 days. At services on Erev Rosh Hashanah I really lost it, for a whole bunch of reasons. This has been a difficult, painful year, and I really want to let it go and trust that next year will be better. The idea that G-d could and might inscribe me for a blessing? More than I could hope for, and in the moment, feeling like more than I deserve. Awesome, in the true meaning of the word. My conversion and my participation in Jewish life is providing me access to such a range of experiences - I am grateful and relieved to have a spiritual plane on which to work stuff out.

My boyfriend of 6 years and I have decided to take a 4 month break from work and travel to New Zealand and SE Asia. We're really excited about the trip, but I'm nervous about finding a job again after we return (he was able to take a sabbatical, whereas I'll have to quit).

I was informed that my employment contract would not be renewed when it expires in summer of 2011. I am a little relived as I was strongly leaning toward not renewing it anyway, but I am upset that I was fired before I had a chance to quit. I am also disappointed in the events that led up to it, while I made mistakes, certain individuals exaggerated them and created a general lie about me to end up with this result.

Andy proposed on 2nd September and I said yes - we got engaged in Tuscany n while floating above Siena in a hot air balloon! I am ecstatic, over the moon, overjoyed, thrilled, and filled with so much love and excitement, I could burst! I love him so much and can't wait for him to officially be my Hubby Hubster! xxxx

ArtPrize rolled in to Grand Rapids in September of 2009. I noticed that I had no desire to give myself enough credit to enter myself so attached myself to two friends who were working diligently on their installations. It was during this time that I realized that I was still too non-confident about my work as an artist, no matter artists I trust telling me I need to let up on my self-crit because I'm better than I think I am. I can't find this in myself--better than my thought pattern is right now. This, strangely enough has led me to begin writing again, as well as reading better quality page turners instead of ONLY on this screen. I think I AM grateful for this realization--that writing is my first art and maybe I should hone that craft. It also leaves me anxious about the several thousand dollar makeover in the basement for an art room that is in disarray and rarely used. In summary, the realization has affected me in so far as I'm enjoying writing again and uncomfortable about an expense that is not being recovered.

Kids moved More Space Less Happy

In the last year my husband of 25 years has told me he does not love me, he has become verbally and, on one occasion, physically abusive. Yet, I chose to stay. I am grateful for the reminder that what does not kill you makes you stronger. Relieved, no. Resentful, was, but got over that. Inspired, yes, to live my own life on my terms.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer. I was terrified, but thankful I could be around for him after living abroad for so many years. This put so many things in perspective for me about what is important.

I retired from helping to direct high school musicals after over 40 years! I feel a little relieved to be honest, but am sadder to not be with the dear people I worked with for all those years. I will definitely miss the students who kept me young!

I broke off an engagement with someone I loved, but who would have made me very unhappy as the years went on. After I made the decision, I never doubted it and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. I haven't dated much in the past year, but do hope to someday find the right fit for me.

I emigrated from Manchester, U.K. to Karmiel, Galilee,Northern Israel. I feel a bundle of all the emotions listed. It will take much more than a mere six months to explain how I've been affected.

I received a breast cancer diagnosis in January. It was the wake-up call I needed to take myself and my health seriously. I am relieved that it wasn't more serious. I've been inspired to write. I am profoundly grateful for my friends, family, medical teammates and all that I have, including some beautiful new scars.

I met a lot of people and I became less naive, I grew up in the end. And yes, I'm grateful for what happened. I learned from my mistakes, simple.

I was diagnosed with a rare chronic blood malignancy. It has made me more reflective, become more true to myself, and has made me try to enjoy every day. In many ways, it was the best thing that's ever happened to me.

I got engaged. It is the biggest and most exciting thing that has happened to me in my life so far. I'm so grateful to have found my soul mate. Even by just making the decision to be married, deepens your relationship

Working at camp this summer completely changed me. It made me realize just how much I had missed having something to truly believe in. While my outlook on Christianity at this point is not exactly traditional, it is something that helps me. Having gotten the opportunity to work with such amazing people and hearing where they have come from was awe inspiring. So many people there had so much in common with me and yet so much different that I was able to learn from. I truly consider those people to be my family now. I still have my biological family , and I love them dearly. But now I have my Lutherlyn family. I love them too. more than they truly know. I can't thank them enough for all they've done for me. Now that we're apart, I miss them quite terribly. But I know that one day we will meet again, and the reunion will be so much sweeter than anything I could ever imagine.

The significant thing that has happened in this last year is that I began to make money in Real Estate. I think this might end out being one of my top money making years ever. I am not sure why. The market is supposedly bad, but I think the public is used to what is true about prices. I have certainly been in the office and have put in more hours. I am not sure I have worked harder, but I am around more. I did some goal setting at the beginning of the year and save the goal to lose weight, I may accomplish all of them. I am grateful, but also somewhat unsettled, afraid I cannot keep it up?

I had difficulty passing the FAA medical exam, as some parameters have tightened. I feel very healthy, but the paperwork is such a burden! I have my ticket again, but I am fearful I will be grounded and have to sell our airplane.

My best friend moved far away and I felt sad without her proximity but elated to discover how little effect distance had on our relationship.

I've had some serious issues at work. Though these issues have been stressful, they've been a motivation for me to do something else with my live--those things I always thought I'd have time for. Had things stayed easy at work, I may have stayed there the rest of my life. Now, at least, I'm exploring my options. I also had a student die while serving the country. While I never really thought much about the armed forces, seeing his family cry around our Memorial Day dedication and knowing that I had an effect on a student and helped him so much. He was younger than I am, but accomplished the one thing he wanted to in life.

I was honest with my partner about all of my past indiscretions in our relationship. I never would have told me if he had not confronted me with some information he found. I am resentful about the way he found this information (reading my email) but was also relieved to no longer be hiding anything from him. I am grateful that this bad point in our relationship inspired us to have a better relationship and we are making things worth.

For my 16th birthday my friend from Rhode Island came up and met my best friend in my new town. We all went to Cirque Du Soliel together and got front row seats. My boyfriend also asked me out on my birthday and now I've grown as a person and my two lives are connected.

My daughter was diagnosed and began treatment for autism. It changed every aspect of our lives . I was relieved to get the diagnosis for her and begin treatment so we could uncover her hidden personality and intelligence.

A relative was dying, and I allowed unconditional love to flow, in my care for her. I learned what it was to love like that. I know I have a new way to live. I am inspired.

My father had major abdominal surgery and is doing better. I am very grateful for the doctors.

At age 62 I started a private practice, and am back taking post graduate classes. I'm not sure it's the right thing for me, I'm thrilled to be doing this, but the commute is long and I miss my full time salary. I look at this as a starting point...but wonder if 62 is the time to be "starting."

I transferred to a new school, Drexel University. It didnt really affect me in a good way - the having to transfer rather than commiting to drexel. I didnt want to have to attempt to make friends again and be awkward. Im relieved that i got in but im still nervous about the first day because if you dont act the way you want to on the first day, chances are you wont be able to act taht way for the rest of your time at that establishment.

My cat of 18 years, 3 months, with whom I've had a longer relationship than with anyone else except my family, had to be euthanized. He went quickly, and, I hope, without much suffering beforehand, and all my friends and family are quick to say that I gave him lots of love and a wonderful life. It's been difficult for both me and my husband, who has also become attached to the kitty over the last seven years, to adjust to coming home to an empty house and not having to do the usual "cat chores" that had become a part of our daily lives. I know it seems silly to list this as my "significant experience" of the past year, but, for good or bad, the loss of our kitty has been the most emotionally jarring event of the year.

I was "let go." Not fired, but my job ended. I don't feel resentful, but I am a little sad. I knew it was going to happen, and I've been really looking forward to finally changing my life in significant ways. Changed my location. Changed my focus. I am not sure yet where this is going to lead, but I think I can manage with limited work until about March. Then I'm going to be on shaky ground. But maybe that's a good thing -- maybe it's good to learn to live with and struggle with a little uncertainty.

This past year I was given an opportunity to participate in an international competition. It was a huge load of work on top of my normal school work. I took this opportunity and i put the effort required and a lot extra. I ended up winning the competition in first place! i was so excited and it inspired me to put that extra effort in everything i do and hope for the best

My father died on New Year's Day. It has been an extremely sad time that has brought about huge change in my life, and much pain. Now, eight and half months on, I think I am finally seeing the light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease, the third disease in nine months. None of them are life threatening, but all are life altering. I'm... annoyed above all else. I've taken my health for granted and now, here I am before the age of 40, facing things I hadn't counted on. It's made me value my health more, and steadily work to make myself stronger. I will not succumb.

Passing the vision tests in February that allowed me to keep my drivers' license (albeit with daylight restrictions} marked for me a significant victory in my battle with glaucoma. However, when I realized just a few months later that my vision was seriously impaired again, it really scared me because the loss of vision crept in slowly and was major by the time I noticed it. Fortunately, it was just hazing of the membrane under my new lens that was easily fixed with laser surgery. The whole process reminded me that , despite the excellent care I receive, my ability to see is a gift that comes with no guarantees. I'm grateful for each day's vision even as I'm frustarted by the need to fight to save it.

Mike had to do an extra year at school. I feel frustrated about it.

I received a best friend, a miracle,my boyfriend. He is someone I can go to when I'm down and I know he truly means what he says. I am so lucky to have him in my life.

A relationship with a hurtful coworker ended--she left our school. I'm relieved, but also scarred. I have a hard time trusting myself and my motives--I have let her cruelty make me question my intentions and make me fearful of new partnerships. Luckily, my new teaching partner is fantastic--a slice of heaven, really. And a friend has moved to my grade level, so I'm beginning to remember what fun it can be to work on a real team, a team that is supportive rather than degrading and derogatory.

going to Cannes Lions

I met a young woman , who recently spent time in Uganda as a mid-wife.She spoke at my home to a group of my friends about her experiences with the women and conditions she encountered in a camp of displaced people in Northern Uganda. She educated them about their bodies and healthy birthing methods, so they could help each other, and continue with life saving skills. We were all inspired by their stories and struggles.

I don't know what snapped into place for me, but I've been getting to work early or on time for the last two months. I've never been this consistent about it and I'm afraid I might jinx myself by writing about it here, but it's a pretty significant experience. I'm happy about it, and I think it's making me feel more productive and more positive overall.

Been a witness in a horrendous court case that impacted my personal life and my work life. There was no area in my life in which this didn't permeate to some degree. In some ways, I really hate what it's made me become-- I don't trust people anymore, and I'm so angry all the time. I've always had a hair trigger temper and this hasn't helped. On the other hand I'm glad that I now know exactly who I can trust and who love me unconditionally.

I have completed my first year of teaching in Special Education. It started out very difficult but as the year concluded, I was very inspired and full of love after having worked with my specific group of students. The most significant moment was when I received a letter written by a student that said I had made the class feel like a family and he knew that we were all there for him. I have never felt so proud of anything I had done at that moment.

A dear friend has dementia which is becoming worse each day. I have been trying to help her and keep her grounded. Some days it is very trying, and I need lots of patience. It is so hard to watch her disappearing before my eyes. It makes me feel very sad. When she realizes her memory is going she gets sad, that is the hardest thing to watch. We try to have fun every day. I lover very much, she reminds me of my mother, a very kind and wonderful woman! I hope I am helping her to cope.

I broke my arm. It taught me a better understanding of those with real handicaps & to be more thoughtful & considerate. I also started acting again. It showed me that no matter how hard it is to go back that you can. No matter how scary it maybe.

My parents altogether stopped talking. This puts me in the position of mediator, messenger, and guardian for m younger sister. My father is set to get married next summer, to a women who my sister despises. Despite my legal ability to nix visiting my father, I refuse to send my sister into the war-zone that is his home all alone. My feelings on the subject are unimportant.

My brother died last month. It's not just the most significant experience of the past year, it's the most significant experience of my life. It affected me in ways that I haven't yet begun to unearth. It affected who I am at my core and who I will be in the future. Sadness and anger don't even begin to cover it.

My son Archie is born. A difficult birth into intensive care for 8 days. Tired and stressful, not how I imagined.

I finally made the decsision to have Lap Band surgery. I'm scared, but I know that it is for the best. I worry about who I will be once I have had the surgery - the body I am in now is the body I have lived with for 26 years. I hope I don't change who I am, but I hope I will live the next 26 feeling happy with myself and my body.

My daughter had her Bat Mitzvah. It was incredibly moving and I have never felt such pride as a parent.

I started dating a friend of mine. He inspired me to take more care of myself, exercising, eating fruits and veggies and all...

Started a romantic relationship with one of my good friends. I feel like I've grown more in a year of having been with him than in the entire four years I spent in college. I never thought I could mean so much to one person. That feeling is what keeps me going every day.

I was installed as rabbi of my own synagogue. The outpouring of love from the congregation was incredibly intense and energizing. This inspired me as a leader and wonder what it means to make a home here. I am grateful that I have ended up in the place where I am meant to be.

My mother passed away. Her loss was very sad for me and leaves a big gap in our family. However, it did come after a long and miserable illness so there was some feeling of finality and mercy that was positive.

I don't think a year is a long enough span to examine. In the past 4 years, I've had a baby, ended up in the emergency room twice (once for the kid, once for me), unexpectedly lost a dear friend, lost a close relative to cancer, been diagnosed with and treated for cancer myself, held 4 different jobs and started a side business that has me working literally day and night. Not much good has happened, and frankly, I'm exhausted. All I want to do is stay home with my kid this year before she starts kindergarten.

I was married this year to the man who is not only my best friend but my soul mate. He gives new meaning to my life and redefines the term "better half". This has inspired me in more ways than I can define. Without him I was lost in a vast space that was my own self-destruction. I am more blessed than I can even explain.

I BECAME A CERTIFIED LIFE AND TEAM COACH, THIS AS GIVEN ME A NEW WAY TO LIFE MY LIVE, TO CREATE MY REALITY, TO BE A WIZARD AND MANIFEST THE UNMANIFESTED. I FOUND MY MISSION AND MY PURPOSE, SCOUTING FOR A BETTER WORLD.

I went on a family vacation earlier in the year and it was eye opening. I’ve always felt like the black sheep of the family but this vacation solidified how extremely different I am from my parents and sister. I had never realized how very narrow-minded they are and how hesitant they are towards anything that requires the slightest bit of adventure. I got so frustrated with all of the critical judgments that were flying around and how slight inconveniences were turned into drama-filled rants and raves that I vowed to never vacation with them again. The experience taught me two things: (1) though I love my family, I need to realize that I am very different from them in views and personality and should choose my words and pick my battles wisely, (2) I need to control my anger and frustration as I let it get the better of me. Though I do not agree with how they behaved on the trip, my own reactions shamed me as I could not control the anger that boiled from within.

I received my 25-year service award at my place of work. That event caused me to reflect on the choices I've made in my life. Although I have many days when I am ready to quit, my job does actually bring me a great deal of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

I think my whole relationship with Josh was a significant experience. Still is. It was a constant stressor and also source of a lot of passion and joy. In the end, I feel so rewarded that my waiting and my love and my dedication paid off. Sometimes you know something and are sure of a thing deep in a place that no one else can touch. That is where my love for Josh lives.

I lost my job in January and then discovered I was pregnant in April unexpectedly. Those two things have snowballed into an experience of becoming a mom and moving across the country to find a new job and start a new life. I feel hollow and flooded and still haven't recuperated from any of it. I can only hope the baby at the end of this ride will make everything worth it.

I got a job that pays 60k a year. for about five minutes it was a relief and sometimes it's stimulating. the subject matter is interesting and the interviewees absorbing. But it has been problematic since day one. I am not any more used to traveling for work than I ever was, I am kept in a consultant state of limbo by my disorganized bosses and I have no time to write my novel, though I beat myself up because I should have. I resent the job and I resent my husband because he knows more about me than I do. He knows that I don't want this job and that I want to make no money at all and write my novel, but also that time is increasingly difficult for me, and given the time to write the novel, I still might not get much done. It highlights for me the fuzziness of my goals. I try not to think about it because when I do, I very clearly (for a moment) think fuck it who needs it and then I second-guess myself.

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the end of January. It has affected me by putting all of my decisions and priorities in a state of paralysis. This isn't the best reaction and I'm trying to find another way of being, but it's difficult because I feel less compassionate if I prioritize for myself.

****'s return to addiction was fierce, and then we found Dr. Lyles. **** tried to kill himself (how stark that is to write) but now seems healthier, seems much happier. He has been on leave for almost 9 months, and is due back at work in 2 weeks. His dad had a series of health crisis, and moved out of our house into assisted living. I found a women's group that is loving and wonderful. I borrowed a significant amount of money to cover bills just when I thought the money thing was getting better. I changed therapists. Wow. I feel: grateful for so much of it. I feel resentful and angry...and I feel that the "work I'm doing" around this is helping me not live out of resentment and anger. **** has started and nearly finished (?) weekly ECT. How is it that I feel more grateful? Maybe it's today, maybe the weather, maybe because I finally feel that we, or perhaps I, am on the right road. There is much to be concerned about. I am ever vigilant. Dana-of-the-next-year, how are you? Are you taking care of yourself? Right now I'm trying to get us there intact.

my last child went off to college. I'm ready for a new life-chapter!

My father got engaged. I had no idea I would feel so strongly about it, but the reversal of all of my expectations and assumptions about his character was troubling. Also, I hadn't realized how much I assumed my siblings and I came first in my parents' lives -- to see him prioritize someone else, someone who feels like a stranger to me, was disconcerting, as was the fact that I cared so much.

Walking in on Tom cheating on me has been the biggest moment in the past year. It snuffed out the light in me for about 7 months and caused me to be a less than great girlfriend to my next boyfriend. I am grateful it happened now because it got me out of the bad relationship and it taught me lessons. Lesson 1- Don't stay in a bad relationship and think it will get better. If it isn't this wonderful amazing relationship when you are dating, marriage will only be worse. Lesson 2- There are bad people in the world. Not everyone is a good person with the same morals as me. Lesson 3- The only people you have to suffer through emotional instability is your family. If a friend or boyfriend is crazy, get away from it. You don't want to breed with a crazy person.

I'm very grateful. I met my girlfriend :D

This summer I went on a three and a half week cross country road trip with a cousin and a good friend. Having lived in a small mid-west town my entire life it really made me realize how vast and diverse the world is. I saw so much in the little time that I was out and about in the country, and this was only the United States. There is an entire world of new and strange things to see and experience and in our lives we are barely able to witness a fraction of them. This trip opened my eyes and made me realize that there is too much in the world to take for granted.

The birth of my son. This has changed my relationship with my wife and brought a deep sweetness to our relationship and lives.

My cousin who I had not seen in 14 years until just a few days ago, was diagnosed with leukemia. Then a month later, my aunt, his mother, died of complications of pneumonia. I was saddened deeply for his loss, for my loss and for the injustice of the two occurrences. If there is one good thing that has come out of this series of unfortunate events, is that my cousin and I are closer than we've ever been and has given me a renewed reminder of how wonderful life is and how each day is a gift.

The best thing that happened to me this year is actually a couple of things but the first was that I was invited to an Art of Life Mastery Seminar where there were some incredible speakers and attendees that I was able to learn from and interact with. I came away from that experience with many new friends and a new understanding of myself and my Spirit. The other thing that happened is that Amega Global came into my life with their energizing wand that has absolutely turned my life around....not only health wise but financially. I am so grateful that the world is ready to experience the new paradigm these products are going to create. I love my life because of the Amega products and the kind of company it is. A business with high integrity and consciousness.

a significant experience has been starting my current job. it has been a real lesson in the value of the people you surround yourself with. i have learned that people come first, the job comes second. always. you can and will enjoy almost anything with the right team.

I went to New York to discover a different type of Judaism; a new and exciting version. I feel so grateful that I was exposed to this completely distinct world far from my own and inspired to find my own Judaism, a Judaism that really fits me. The trip came at a perfect time and is helping me make some of the big decisions facing me on finishing university this year.

This year felt simultaneously like the year I should be following my dreams and like the year where all my dreams got deferred. In reality, it was both. I was clearing away some of the obstacles that made it difficult for me to advance, and building up the infrastructure (friends, guides, mentors, side jobs), that allowed me to launch. I also lost a lot and gained a lot. I am relieved and grateful and inspired, and I also wish I could have done this all quicker.

I moved from a "perfect" schedule of nursing in the Rehab Unit to weekend option in ICU. I thought of but did not seriously consider the ramifications of this change on my church or dog sanctuary life. I hope to change this come January 2011 but stay in the ICU.

I passed through really hard moments in a relationship last year. That experience showme my weaknes and strongers I am grateful for that, grateful to the life and God for give to me that. I'm better now working on me.

My brother nearly died during a car accident. I've never lost a family member that I'm close to, so it came as a real shock and made me realize how precious my time with my loved ones really is, and how much I have undervalued it thanks to my busy lifestyle these last couple of years. I want to change this.

My Father past away and one part of me died, but I still continued to excist.

I fell in love with my dear friend Joe. We have known each other for 20 years. He moved in with me 2 weeks after my mother became ill. He was getting divorced, going through a bankruptsy, and has a daughter with diabetes. We built a music studio together along with many other big dream ideas, and everything fell apart!!. His ex-wife freaked me out!! He didn't know how to create boundaries with her. My request for boundaries pushed him away, and then my mother died. 3 weeks later, I got a DUI. Am I grateful? not at the moment, but trying to be. Relieved? Only that my mother is probably better off. Resentful towards him and his ex-wife. Inspired to find true forgiveness for all of us. Praying to re-open myself to deep love with someone who truly wants it.

Last year, I started my freshman year of college. It was an interesting experience. I definitely learned that I need to try a lot harder when it comes to my education and caring. It's a lot of work. I'm grateful that I did it and that I had a lot of friends and family to support me when things became difficult.

I miscarried. After needing medicine to even make me have a period and then another medicine to get me to ovulate. I wasn't that devastated but now 2 months later and 2 cycles of meds later and still not pregnant i am starting to get, well, resentful. I wish things were different

My interactions with the Dean from feeling relieved when we lunched in January, to his anger at my raising the need to again thank the faculty to his reaction to my pushing him on professionalism to his decision on my salary to his decision on committee chairs, and they were, except for the first, all very disappointing. Resentful, hurt, disappointed, angry that he seems so disconnected, and maybe that is the heart of the problem, the same disappointment that led me to hidden anger at my father, who would give the WS tickets to his brothers and disappear into the busyness of the store when mother turned dead. Sjhe was not the only one who abandoned me.

I started dating again, it's already over. It's like eating again after a fast I want more!

The birth of my son. He is truly a blessing. Through him I have grown so much. He was born prematurely and was given little chance of survival. But through prayer and the support of family and friends we both made it. I thank God for that expereince and have no regrest. It made me stronger spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Kairo is my joy, a true testament to the grace, love and mercy of God.

Deciding to start therapy (long overdue). and concluding, after a few months of attending, that it was actually helping. Growing apart from some of my best friends in this city. It's been a lonely and tough and bewildering adjustment, but once I accepted the fact that the relationships had changed, it's been pretty liberating. I was letting those friendships dominate and define me. Signing a lease on my first New York apartment!

I got my dream job and selected to go to Vietnam for my art and designs. I couldn't have felt more relieved and grateful for both and having the opportunity to experience something so amazing

The loss of all my friends impacted me a fair bit. It was brought upon by one awful, bitchy act by someone whom I wasn't exactly close with, and deeply hurt my best friend. This resulted in me taking it out on someone, and ultimately losing everyone. I regret doing what I did and creating the gaping hole in our friendship, but I know that in the long run, it'll be okay.

Last year, me and my girlfriend start to live together. That's the first time i live with someone. All is okay and now we even have a cat.

I tasted sushi. they r great

I am completely inspired by my father and the care he provides for my mother. He is, as he always has been, my hero.

I got married this year, which I believe is one of the biggest experiences one can go through, ever. For me, personally, not only was it a time of joy and happiness it was also a period of learning (becoming a unit of one certainly is a learning experience!) but it also had its ups and downs. Specifically buying and completely renovating our new marital home, a first for both parties. The struggles, disagreements, compromises made our big day even more significant and taught us about the importance of being each others confidant, spouse and partner through it all. At the end of the day, we are so grateful and truly blessed to have the other to lean on at the end of it all.

Being laid off after HHD in 5770, Ocotber 2009. On good days, I know that it has been a year of healing and deepening and reflection. On a bad day, however, I am scared about money and feel that I have been foolish and indulgent. It really has been the right thing, but now I need to get back to life...

I met Lucas and we fell in love with each other. This was sooo great! And we had so wonderful moments together, we did things, which were sooo awesome (just you now the normal things and the bed things...) It affects me in the way that I am more lovely and more happy. I am rly grateful that god makes me meet Lucas. I repent to give Luc my virginity so early.

I was in charge of a non for profit organization getting into serious trouble. Financially and in managerial terms. I was able to steer the ship through the tough times and garner enough support (financially and otherwise) to keep the organization alive. It made me aware of the blessings I have in life. My personal relationships, my health and my wealth. I quit smoking after this process and started working on my health ( fitness). I am in the process of changing my life in a positive way.

I went to Israel for the first time. It changed my life. For the first time in my life I was in the majority. The quiet confidence and yes, power that I felt from being on the 'right' side of the majority for once was exhilarating and deeply moving. At the same time I saw and heard things that disturbed me. I felt a need to assert my Jewish identity that much more strongly, I felt convinced of the need to marry a Jew and raise Jews. I felt a deep pride and love for the State of Israel. And I realised that in finding my faith, I had finally found something I would die defending.

I lost several friends due to one person taking it upn themselves to "destroy me." I am resentful, but I also feel, if they were willing to listen to rumours without speaking to m first, then they would have drifted away of their own accord eventually. It hurt a lot at the time, as my social circle was always small, but I'm moving on, meeting new people, doing new things.

My dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. A lot of people always think "she's 14 years old, she barely knows what that is" which isn't true. I do read papers. I do watch films. I also watch the news. I know what cancer is and I have helped my dad through this experience. I'm grateful that he told me as soon as he found out. I'm relieved that most of the lump has been removed by chemo. Resentful that I didn't know he was having a panic attack and let myself believe him when he got one and kept telling me and himself he was going to die. I'm inspired to help others aswell and help him more now that he has started another 12 weeks of chemo.

Breast cancer: It caught me totally unaware, except for my age (61/62) I didn't fall into any of the peramaters. Have breast caner made me "aware" & "feel" my mortality. Until this, I had always been a healthy & active person. My daughter accompanied me to the apt. & when the Dr. told me, I was shocked, but my daughter began crying. Until then I didn't really think she cared about me that much. Her crying & my "need" to take care of her helped me maintain being strong & positive, adopting a rock hard resolution to "beat this thing". I also desperately want to be around to retire with my husband & enjoy our 6 absolutely wonderful grandchildren. I am grateful that the type of cancer I had was less invastive & a slow spreading one; I didn't have to have a total mastectomy or chemo; recovery time was 3 - 4 months, with little scaring. And its made me a kinder, gentler, more accepting, loving person. I now tell my kids, grandkids, sister & cousin, hubby, etc. how much I love & appreciate them. I have also relinquished some of my obessiveness 7 having to be "control". Also I realize my husband & kids will stick by me, thick or thin.

I've confronted a friend that our relationship was imbalanced and unhealthy, that she was pouring out what was going on in her life without giving me space to share what was going on in mine. I also confessed to her that out of frustration I talked to other people about our relationship, not to gossip but to seek counsel. She's responded honestly that this hurt her, but that she's glad that I shared. Ever since then, however, I felt us growing further and further apart, and was confused and hurt that maybe I had done something wrong - that maybe I shouldn't have said anything at all. But after several months have passed, I realized that our relationship wasn't healthy to begin with anyway - sure there were a lot of good things, praise God - I put more emphasis in my relationship with her than I did in my walk with Jesus. So now I find that God was trying to center my life back on him, because this relationship was eating me alive. It was a painful way to do it, but now I think it was necessary. It's not a new thing for me - it's happened several times in the past, but with different people. But I think God was trying to teach me again and again what it means to have healthy relationships. I'm still learning, I'm still making mistakes - but I think, all in all, I'm much more balanced and centered around Jesus than I have ever been. So I'm thankful for all of that, even though I underwent a lot of pain. "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." --The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis

Nearly a year ago, I got offered the job that I am currently in. I was very lucky, that I graduated last July and then started this job at the end of September. Even though I was only without a job for a few months, I really did get desperate and not know what I was going to do. I thought I'd just have to get any job to make ends meet. I was so relieved to get the job. I am extrememly lucky to have a job that makes a difference to people's lives, and that I can see I'm helping my clients every day. It is also a very humbling experience, no matter how bad I think my life is, I look at my clients who have had a brain injury, and it really puts things in perspective. I am passionate about my job and it makes me think that it might be a possible career path for me in the future. That is a really powerful thing.

My boyfriend cheated on me, which was something I never expected such a kind, caring, respectful person could do. I also forgave him, which is something I said I would never do if someone cheated on me. I forgave him for many reasons, but I truly do know that he was sorry, and we both know it will never, ever happen again. I was deeply hurt when he first told me, but I have learned to forgive and trust him again. We have moved past it, because we love each other deeply.

I spent a year living with family but felt very alone. I was pregnant. I wasn't able to find a job. I felt very healthy and very capable, freshly graduated from college, but a move to new state with no friends, no work, and only my husband's family near made me feel like my pregnancy was to blame for all the other stresses I was experiencing. I felt so full of life but with nothing to do but wait- until the birth, until the economy changes, until I find a job, until I make friends, etc. It was a hard lesson in patience and endurance.

I had a really raw and open conversation with a friend of mine that i have been close to for almost a decade. that conversation brought us closer than we ever had been and solidified to me that we really are best friends. this was a significant revelation because i've had a really hard time accepting that i'm really going to build a life where i've been living for over a decade. i've held off forming really close relationships because i haven't been ready to make this my home. i'm still not ready but having a friend...a real, friend makes it easier. that moment made me realize that she's been there this entire time and that we'll be friends for a really long time to come.

My husband did not get a job that he was wanting - one that we thought would be a perfect fit. Immediately after finding out this news, he had to go on a weeklong business trip for his current job. He took our girls and me with him, and we turned it into a family vacation. We got to see parts of the country we wouldn't have visited otherwise and we learned a lot about the geography and history of the region we visited. We wouldn't have done that if he had gotten the new job.

I went to a Jonas Brothers concert. I know that sounds lame, but it opened my eyes. Obviously their music i had heard before, but just hearing and seeing the pain and or joy in their eyes as they performed made it connect so much more and it made for such an amazing night. Im grateful to them for opening their hearts to their fans and write music about their past troubles or past joys or even current joys or troubles.

Moving to New Orleans after nine wonderful years in the San Francisco Bay Area was a painful, yet necessary exercise. I took it surprisingly hard, even though it was my idea! Leaving my hometown for California in 2001 was sad in the goodbye moments, but so exciting and overdue. This time, we were making a decision to leave a life that was pretty perfect... even so, we knew it was time to shake things up. Nonetheless, bouncing back from the loss of a very good thing was traumatic. And I am so very grateful. For the world we built and left behind, and for the courage to walk away to begin a new adventure. And grateful, too, that I had the time and space to feel sad -- to wallow in it for a bit. That was a gift. I can't believe we're equidistant from starting and ending our (first) NOLA stint. We're crazy... like a fox, I hope. :)

My dad was diagnosed with a brain condition that affects his memory. A few months later his best friend died. A week later he sold the family business and retired. This experience with my dad has made me sad because he will never be the same dad I knew for 23 years. I'm ashamed of myself for acknowledging that with his condition, he will no longer make my life easier like he did all my life. Now, it will be me helping him live his life.

I've been granted (and repeatedly) opportunities to learn and grow. I've been at turns inspired, overwhelmed, even ungrateful. It has helped me to see how fear can sour a good thing!

I changed organizations at work, and it's like I work in a totally different place. The folks in my new org are generally better educated and have been trained in logically thinking through issues, and I have totally enjoyed working in this space! For the first time in years, I'm really being challenged and inspired, even though there was way too much work.

Whoah. It took me this long to begin to try to think of myself. I had never realized how much I try to make other people happy. I hope I have the strength and intuition to follow my path.

I got to go the Millay Arts Colony, which was a real gift and a real challenge. The best part was learning to make peace with the night sky, and myself. And I liked watching a lilac burst, blossom and die.

Andaman Islands. I've never been more happy in my whole life, and I will continue to think about that day, every day, for the rest of my life.

I lost the tip of my left ring finger, and I realized that I am not actually as vain as I joke about being. I miss it, in an abstract sort of way. I grieved for a hot minute. But ultimately it doesn't bother me. It's ephemera, like any other piece of physical being, and in five hundred years, no one will remember it, so why should I care?

I have started to see direction in my work world. And had closure in an old world. I am very grateful and humbled. Humble is a word I have learned the meaning of n the last year. Inspired to move on. One foot in front of the other. Everyday.

I made a public reading of one of my short stories and it was well received, which made me realise that maybe my writing actually is good. I needed this to boost my self confidence. I doubt myself too much.

I left my job, voluntarily, without another in the wings, no one but me to support myself and not a lot of money in the bank. I am relieved, renewed and inspired to work on starting my own business and finish my masters degree, with a little less stress. Faith in God and in myself are my best tools.

Our RV trip out west was a significant experience. I think it added many memories, and taught me that the best experiences don't come easy. It was a lot of hard work, but a very special trip, and well worth it.

I lived in Europe for an entire summer because of Aaron's job. I feel so lucky to have done this. I learned about other cultures and also learned about myself through this experience. Even though it has taken Aaron away from me for a while, I think it has made us stronger.

My wife and i split up. Found a new love.

I was not given an opportunity to apply for a job that I dearly wanted. I felt resentful and betrayed because the head of the organization had praised me in my current position and I felt sure he would consider me for the job he knew I really wanted. However, he interviewed, negotiated with and hired someone else all behind closed doors. Also a close colleague (and my best friend) knew that he was going to fill the position, was aware of the negotiations with another (and the only) applicant, and did not think there was anything wrong with not giving me the opportunity to apply for the job.

My mom died of cancer last November, and I was by her bedside holding her hand when she took her last breath. This experience changed my life on every level. Of course I'm so sad that I no longer have her in my life, but when she died a whole spiritual world that I didn't know I was looking for opened up to me and I've made profound changes to my day-to-day life and outlook as a result. So for this I'm grateful.

My grandfather passed away. It was the first grandparent who died when I was old enough to really grasp the situation and the emotions. I even felt very strongly compelled to write a speech, so much so that it shocked me. It took me out o