Q01

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

Henry and Grady were born! Ecstatic!!!

A significant experience in the past year was when my grandpa had a heart attack and needed surgery. It really put things into perspectives for me in terms of my relationship with him and the rest of my family. I am relieved and grateful that he is okay but scared that it will happen again. I'm also inspired to try to change my habits and to eat better and exercise more regularly so that I can be my healthiest. I can't wait to start making this more of a priority in my life!

In the last year I converted. Im very greatfull for the community I have and how they supported me through.

I decided to become a teacher. I graduated college, started a master's degree in education, and moved out to California to start teaching. I can't think of work that I could be doing that could hold more meaning for me, and I'm grateful every day to be doing this work. I am at turns inspired and exhausted.

Our son Matt experienced a 'near miss' accident. We were away with our other son in the USA. At first, I wanted to know that Matt was going to be ok given that he had sustained a concussion. I then wanted to ensure that this kind of accident would never happen again if at all possible. It is October 2nd and the situation is still not resolved. I am relieved that our son appears to be doing well and is getting on with his life and I am frustrated that the Boulevard Club does not have the decentcey to answer our questions and explain how they plan to manage the sailing school safety in the future.

I was laid off from my job of 12 years. I was surprised, resentful, and angry but now am relieved and inspired.

It all started with the minor lower back pain in March. My dad thought it was just a sign of old age slowly creeping up. He figured some chiropractic work would do the trick. By May, he was hoping intense physical therapy would be the trick to alleviating the pain. In June, he could not sit for extended periods of time. Finally, in July he knew he had to see a medical professional. He was not prepared for what the diagnosis would be. None of us were. The doctor showed the X-Rays and MRI's while informed my dad of the wide array of problems in his back. A compressed spinal cord and bulging discs were causing nerve damage rapidly. What at first seemed like a pesky ailment now required urgent surgery to remove vertebrae and put metal in his back. How did we get here? Seeing my father's strength, patience, and poise slowly dwindle over the course of a few months was difficult. It was exponentially more difficult to watch his recovery, however. This is the man who is my rock, the man who I thought was stronger than anything growing up. So, to have my entire family have to help up walk upstairs so he can go to bed was troubling. It was also painful to see the mental toll that this surgery has taken on him. He's a person that hates to be the center of attention. So, needless to say, he did not want all of us trying to help with his daily tasks. He would try to do it all by himself, which he simply didn't have the stamina for. By 7 pm, the exhaustion would catch up with him, and you can tell the pure frustration he feels because he is not at 100% yet. As much as this has hurt me, it has also helped me. It has forced my to count my blessings. We were blessed to live in such close proximity to world class hospitals. As difficult the surgery was, we were blessed it was not life threatening. I am very grateful to have my father out of pain. As bumpy of a road it has been for my family and I, this experience has taught me to love my family always, and not taken for granted the little things we usually ignore.

Every year is so significant, but this year a particularly monumental thing happened-- my stepmother sold my childhood house where I lived with my parents from age 11. I felt such an immense personal shift when that happened, as though some sort of energetic burden was finally lifted from me. Not only did I become physically more separated from my teenage self, I left behind the place that housed the most painful experiences of my life. It's sad, yes, to know that I will never step foot again in the last place where I saw either of my parents (not counting the hospital), but this process of letting go is exactly what I needed at this time in my life, and I feel closer than ever to being the person who I really want to be, like I needed to shed this weight in order to launch myself forward.

The most significant long-term experience has been getting married. I am now Mrs. Anna Solomon, wear a ring every day, and talk about my husband. It's still a little weird! I'm happy, though, and shifting from figuring my life out to figuring OURS out. Now we grow together and learn from each other with the understand that we're in this for the long haul so all the work we do will only make things better. It's a great shift. This is less significant, but I think being disciplined/talked to at Henricus for voicing up and including the director in a personnel issue finally pushed me over the line. I have been unhappy at work for a while, trying to make improvements in a system that does not want improvements. This was the moment that I gave up. I had been looking for jobs, but this was the point when I started applying. I'm set to begin tutoring almost full-time in November and now everything that happens at work rolls off me--not completely, of course, but I feel much better about letting it go. Because I won't be there. Hooray!

My dad died from alcoholism. Too many days I get sad. Too many days I get angry. The anxiety attacks come when I least expect them and cause me to have to leave a certain place or leave some business unfinished. I get frustrated a lot more easily than before. Time seems so stressful but life keeps moving on. From all of this, I've learned how truly loved I am by the people in my life. It's hard to ask for help in certain situations and you feel like you're overburdening others, but if they truly want you to try your best and be who you really are, they don't mind doing everything they can to be there for you.

I left my bad job and bad commute for a new job with new and creative people! It is also a 15 minute walk away, which cuts down on a lot of stress. I'm grateful and nervous. Sometimes job unhappiness is more of a reflection on oneself rather than the employer, so I am trying to analyze what I need from my new gig to make sure the mistakes of the past don't repeat. That being said, I am not alone in remembering my former employer's culture as being toxic and it's great to be out of there.

It's been a very significant year. Mom died. She probably died on Easter, but we didn't know until Tuesday. She'd been sick on top of sick, but so fiercely independent and protective, wanting still, despite her children's incipient middle age, to shield us from the true state of things. So she died - of cancer, or COPD, or a cold my kid brought home from school when she was visiting us - it doesn't matter. It happened because God willed it so, that moment, that germ, that rogue cell. It happened because she was ready, having visited us and spent Easter with my brother's family. I don't know if I will ever be able to answer fully the question of how it affected me. It had so many profound rippling effects through all my life, washing like a flood water to every corner of me and all that touches me. It freed me of worrying over her health, her isolation, her careful hoarding of information about her health and isolation, spooling it out in press release sized nuggets according to what she thought we could handle or what she thought she could handle in experiencing our reactions. It freed me from striving to be the perfect daughter, because whatever or however I was in that role, I was the person God made me to be, and she was the person God made her to be. God made her for me, and me for her. The irony is that only with her passing was I able to accept this simple, unadorned truth and all its implications, that there was no report card or accolade or phone call or card that was going to make me a perfect daughter. The most profound effect was to free me to examine everything about myself and my life, with God's help, and to accept, finally, that I, a human, need God's help. Secular humanism might help people get along without having to discuss religion, but it does not address human beings' spiritual needs. In the anguish of grief, I opened my heart in prayer, and in prayer, I heard God's call to me. I'm grateful for God's presence in my life and my heart, which I could not fully accept before losing Mom. I'm relieved that my prayer was answered and she did not suffer a grueling surgery (for the cancer) and recovery or be "saved" to be stuck on a respirator or go into a nursing home. I am, at times, resentful that my kid has no grandparents and the school seems to send something home for grandparents every month. I'm inspired to live out God's will for me and to serve God.

We lost our beloved golden retriever on October 22. After losing two close friends to cancer, this was a hard blow. Buddy was a therapy dog and only seven years old. What started as a torn miniscus and ACL didn't heal after surgery. Therapy wasn't working. I had two dreams about him during this stressful ordeal. The first was that he died and his blood was gold. The second one came true, which is that he began seizing. We rushed him to hospital. He had spinal and brain tumors and it could not be controlled with medicine. My children all came and our other golden came to say goodbye. The doctor was so loving and compassionate. I am still grieving. I have never loved an animal or maybe human as much as Buddy. He was kind and beautiful , and I will never get over this loss.

I fell in love for the first time in two years. Most certainly grateful and relieved to feel love in what I know to be a healthy and affirming relationship. No resentment. No anguish. Merely excitement, hope for the future, and a further renewed desire to pursue personal goals. #Euca

On June 11, 2016, I was able to go on a date that went well. It went really well! I'm in love. I am also in love with the first person to ever tell me he loved me first. We've gone to Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and are planning to go to Chicago at the end of the month. We've spent quiet nights in and good mornings out. We cook, we clean, we think together. Eric is an electrical engineer from Illinois who went to a massive college, grew up Roman Catholic, and knows little about my extensive interests, and so far, in these four months, I can honestly say it's just worked. He cares about those interests and differences to a point where he listens and learns. I'm grateful that when I was at a point of wanting to give up, life pointed me in a new direction. I'm relieved to know there's still good in the world. I'm happier and calmer these days. I'm sad because many close friends of mine are either single or in relationships and wondering and I want to share my level of happiness and contentment with others and either can't or feel guilty. I am worried that I'm investing too much energy too soon, but I feel healthy and right and wanted and loved. I think more than a Jewish partner or a partner who seems like my counterpart, this matters.

I traveled a lot. I also tried to buy a condo/house, and realized that I don't really have the money for that. It was an eye-opening experience. I need to save more money in general. I am grateful that I learned before getting into overbearing debt.

I would say a significant experience was working for a national campaign out of state. I'd worked on the campaign here, but I'd had no supervision, and no one really told me what to do (there's a long story behind this, but I'll refrain). In addition, I was home - I was around people I knew, and I could go home at the end of the day. So. Working a 9 hour drive from home was very different. At the office here, I was the only employee - up there I worked with 6 other staffers. And they had expectations, ... and I realized then how inept I'd really been when I was working for the campaign back home. It was weird. Honestly, I really, really sunk back into my old horrible personality disorder type behaviors. I had no boundaries, I was inappropriate, I was trying to be visibly upset so that I could get attention/sympathy. I was kind of creeping on a guy (who talked about his girlfriend regularly) because I thought the "goal" of making out with him on the couch was something good to focus on. Additionally, I realized how much I hated that job. It's one thing to deal with volunteers who came to help out, but cold calling is horrible. I didn't make 150 calls a day. I felt awkward around people who were mostly younger than me and really made myself unlikeable. It's hard to think how this experience affected me. One thing, I gained a lot of weight and I still haven't gotten it off. Also, that's when I started my horrible horrible habit of complaining through chats - I would talk to people from my past (or present) and complain about how unfair things in my day-to-day life were, and of course I'd paint it in a way that made it seem like I'd done no wrong, and since I'm good at writing (especially chatting, as ridiculous as that sounds) they'd reinforce the belief that I was the victim and everyone around me really was horrible. Enabling me. How do I feel about the event as a whole? I went out of town for a little more than 2 weeks for work. I was miserable, but I went every day. I did my job for the most part, and I only half assed the things everyone else half assed. So I'm proud of that. This is weird, but I'm also proud of the fact that I decided to quit. I hate acknowledging my limitations, but I decided that yeah, they're asking what state I want to work in after this, and the answer is no, I don't want to work in any other state. Even if I do want to, I can't handle it, and I need to go home. Proud because it was a hard thing that I did- maybe not successfully or well, but I completed it. Disappointed because I couldn't handle it as well as I thought I could. Relieved that it's over (god, that was probably the most stressful period in my entire life). A little bit crestfallen because I probably won't have an opportunity like this again in my life.

Impacted by daughter going through a series of tests, doctor visits to learn finally that she has cancer-in-situ and has gone through radiation Rx and now Timoxafen. This experience was a reality check and everyone was affected until we knew the eventual diagnosis and treatment regimen

I lost my job as a Contract Manager with a Community Health agency in Detroit. This resulted in me losing my condo, my health insurance and I was not able to manage my health. I lost a lot of income and all my savings. I was unemployed for an entire year. I had to live in a place that was unsafe; sewage gasses were leaking into the house, the windows were broken, and I had no ventilation in over 90 degree weather. This experience left me angry and afraid at first, but then I began to look at it differently. If I had not gone through what I went through, I would not have anything to thank Hashem for. Hashem blessed me in every area where there was lack and returned to me more than I could have ever asked Him for.

This year my girlfriend and I got our first jobs out of college. It was a big moment for each of us and one we won't soon forget. We got offers that we wanted at places that value us and the work that we do. I'm greatful to have her and my new job. It's a changing time in our lives. We will soon move out and start our own lives as young adults. It is new and different, we have the support of each other and our families. while I thought I'd be traveling or working abroad I'm glad I stayed close to home for now. It's safer and I know I can safely get my feet under me. I have time to plan my next steps and I am saving a lot of money. I look forward to my life in the future and I am grateful for where I am now.

I graduated from law school this year (Dec. 2015/5776) and I don't feel grateful. I should feel grateful because the school gave me a full ride, but I feel resentful because I didn't get to finish in May with the rest of my classmates. The tuition scholarship was only for 86 units, so I couldn't afford to take some of the classes I was most excited about. Also, I had about a month's notice and had to start looking for employment immediately or face my children being kicked out of their child care. I know I will someday see this resentment as petty and childish, but today I still feel bitter about the way my matriculation from the law school was handled. I also feel disenchanted with law school in general, and can't remember why I wanted to go in the first place. Now I have over $150K in student loans (used for childcare), limited job prospects, and an overwhelming sense of frustration at the system that brought me here.

My husband finally died from ALS. I was relieved because it was so inhuman and horrible, I am now bitter and depressed.

I was forced to move out of my apartment of 12.5 years. I am sad about losing my home and angry a a system that can let this happen. I feel like a failure for not being able to afford to stay in NYC and for not having enough work to justify being there. I am scared about what this means moving forward. I don't really miss NYC but I miss having a home.

I finished my MA degree this year, which kicked off my meditation practice. I am relieved that the degree is over, energized by the community and interests it sparked, anxious about what to do now that I'm not in school, regretful that I didn't seek out more mentorship while in school (whyyyyyy didn't I build relationships with my tutors for future letters of rec??!?!), happy that I got the chance to visit England and walk at the graduation ceremony, and curious about what will happen next.

My youngest daughter decided to study in Israel for a semester. Making the decision, trusting her, gathering the money, setting aside my anxiety, all of these things have tried me in different ways, but I am joyous in all of it.

My son is now one year and a half in remission which makes me very grateful. I know I will never feel completely relieved, but a year and a half from now & further on, I am hopeful remission will continue & I will feel more relief that leukemia is in our rear view mirror. I am resentful that my beautiful intelligent charitable compassionate son has this awful disease & the horrendous treatments he must go through. I am also resentful that the person I feel the deepest connection to, my child, my son, had the misfortune to get this disease. I am resentful & saddened that our relationship has changed, and he has become distant because of this disease. I am inspired by how quickly developments are happening to beat this disease. I also hope I made the right decision with his treatment.

I started officiating weddings! And it's going really well! I have been booked for 25 weddings and am already booking into 2017! I'm loving this experience, and finding that, not only do I have a knack for it, but it fits perfectly into who I am, and who I strive to be as a person. I meet lots of very interesting and wonderful people, and it's the happiest job ever. Plus, we're actually saving some money - which is amazing.

I decided to leave a big project/role that I had been on for almost two years. It didn't feel right. It had run its course. I could have stayed, done some interesting work and continued to get paid. But I didn't feel challenged. I was frustrated. Haven't quite found my rhythm since I dropped the project, but overall it feels like better things are ahead.

I had a sabbatical in the spring, and that enabled me to spend several days in New York City, looking at art. My focus was contemporary art, and I saw a lot, but most impressive to me were the Laura Poitras show on surveillance at the Whitney, and the retrospective of Fischli and Weiss at the Guggenheim. I went to a number of galleries in Chelsea, but found most of the work there to be singularly uninspired. The new space at the Whitney is astonishing. I also became chair of the art department, which caused some initial tension with my colleagues, since one, in particular, isn't thrilled about having a woman supervise him, but I have been doing a really good job already, so that makes me feel much better about the whole thing.

This year my mother has had a stroke, broke her leg and had a very difficult year. I thought for a while we might lose her. It was very difficult to be so far away when your family is struggling but I made myself available to listen to her.

The realization that I source everything. Even if somebody I care about very much is mistreating me, I can respond with firm loving kindness. I create my responses endogenous you from my values, not as a reaction to what is occurring exogenously. This has been limitlessly empowering.

The whole experience of moving my parents into the memory care center has been powerful, starting with the thoughtful, generous conversations with my siblings, through the week of working hard alongside my husband to sort, pack, and clear out Mom and Dad's stuff, to seeing them a few weeks ago, finally settled in a place that feels right for them. My anxiety about them has eased, but I also feel more tightly connected with my siblings and more at peace about aging and disease -- for my parents and in general.

Hashem granted me a son.

I was able to experience Israel again by going on the Birthright trip, and I am very grateful to have been accepted to the academic trip, which had a lot of meaning for me. That was the highlight of my year, and it really felt like a culmination of the work I had done to be in a better place than I previously was.

My kids, son and daughter had their B'nai mitzvah this past June. It brought out amazing togetherness between not only our children, but my relationship with my husband, who is not Jewish. He really opened up spiritually during the process as well as showed more expression of love and admiration towards my son for the accomplishment he witnessed. It was just gorgeous to watch our family transform in unexpected blessed ways.

A tragically and deadly car accident on our trip to Turkey made me realise how thin the line is between life and death. Therefore I got inspired to learn first aid and got involved in danish people's aid.

I quit my job in March, somewhat unexpectedly. I knew I was leaving but had planned on staying until June. But the job was starting to wear really heavily on my body and making me really depressed. On the one hand it was the first time I've made a difficult choice that was 100% for my mental and physical health, and I'm proud of myself for listening to my body and doing what was definitely the right choice. On the other hand, I had to confront some really deeply held, unhealthy beliefs about work ethic and staying in situations that are really, really bad for you. Overall, though, I felt like developing a willingness to leave a situation where I was being treated really poorly was completely positive.

Well I got pregnant in July!!! We are very happy and very excited for this new baby :) It's funny because we wanted to start "trying" in January for an October baby but that definitely didn't happen - there was a lot of travel for work, we've been exhausted juggling full time jobs and a toddler, and I was ready to just give up and go with the flow when it happened! We are very grateful and very happy :)

I met a great guy named John. I actually met him a year and a half ago. It affected me a great deal. I am grateful I love him dearly. I am relieved to a degree. We have had our ups and downs but I would not trade him for the world. Not sure about resentful and inspired.

I got married. I am so grateful to have found someone I love so much, and who loves me. That said, I am so glad the wedding is over. It was great, but I much prefer being married to getting ready for a wedding.

Making the difficult decision to leave my marriage...has left me feeling confident, lonely, resentful, relieved, and scared. It's the beginning of a long journey, emotionally and financially. It's not what I planned for my future but the emotional abuse no longer has a place in my life.

I had my 40th birthday, spent it travelling in South East Asia with my fabulous boyfriend. It was ana amazing (6 month) trip, we learnt a lot about each other and our relationship has strengthened. I'm very grateful to have this man in my life and inspired to see our future together.

I resigned from a place I had worked for 7 years and started a new job. I knew I was ready for a change, ready for new challenges. I'm so much happier now. I laugh more. It was definitely the right choice.

Sandra died. I'm sad and I realize how precious life is. and how I'm getting old.

My dad passed away unexpectedly and my mom went through chemo and radiation for stage 3 cancer. I am devastated and tired.

As usually a lot happens in 1 yr. I was in a long term -semi - stable relationship. It was mostly good and also ending it was good. I am both grateful it happened and relived its over. I hope he forgives me, but I'm also afraid contacting him to appoplogize would cause more harm than it would solve.

Dave died. I went through all the emotions that i have had about him since i met him 36 years ago. It was painful. I was alternately broken hearted, sad, angry and frustrated. It was like experiencing the relationship all over again. It was nice to remember all of the good. I especially wanted to remember that for our children, who never really knew that part of him. I put on the memorial and we all heard stories about the wonderful man, before the addictions and the mental health problems. I am grateful for the experience of him in my life. Where i was resentful for many years. I do have more peace. I am inspired not to waste my life and my time. I am inspired to love more and to make a happier life.

Going to a big convention to meet stars of my favourite show, and friends. It showed me how strong I am to organise this, and have the stamina to get through. I have made good friends through it. I'm grateful and inspired.

This year. We took a big road trip up to Seattle. We drove and camped for 4 nights on the way up, 3 nights on the way home, and then stayed in a basement apartment. The boys, despite their complaints and pitched in at camp every day, and trooped through all the forced family fun. We spent time with my brother, and seeing the cousins connect, feeling myself connect, with family that isn't "close" renewed me in a way. I believe that we will be there for each other. Me and the kids and my brother. I have faith in the bonds of family, especially the family we're raising. We enjoy each other. We laugh with each other. We challenge each other. We disagree with each other and we move on. I am committed to these people.

I got the opportunity to live and work in the Netherlands for 7 months. It led to me taking up serious yoga practice which I have continued. For that I am grateful.

At the end of April and for much of May, I was in and out of the hospital for a ruptured appendix. The love and support from family, friends and even acquaintances was incredible. I'm amazed at how many people care, especially with the difficulty I have in finding friends to hang out with.

My older daughter has been launched off to college. My spouse and I supported her as she explored her options, encouraged her to set her sights high, got her the support she needed and at the same time let her do her own thing. We waited together for the email decision then celebrated when she got into her first choice school. We'd saved money for years so we could afford to send her to school and we could write the first check feeling absolutely no pain. We did it -- the biggest thing we could "do" for our child. And she is wonderful this kid. Has it all going on. We have a great relationship with her and we are immensely proud. And I am so, so, sad. This key chunk of my life as a mom is nearly over and I am in intense pain, letting go. I have loved having a daughter who is so close to me, and such a gift to this world. And I fear that the test of my own life is downhill from here.

This past year I was fired from my job. I had only been there (roughly) ten months, but it was clear about six months in that things weren't going to work out. I work in the advertising / marketing industry, where lay-offs and firings are sadly quite common. Most of my exits had been lay-offs, and all of them (save one prior to this past year) hadn't been performance-related. I've known for about ten years that I need to get out of this industry. Getting fired, though, still really hurt. It hurt because I reported to a friend, who - though she said she tried to "save" my job - really didn't try that hard. The firing was nearly entirely politically motivated, though I will cop to some performance issues. I just didn't get what they wanted out of me; my friend / manager didn't help, as her management style was poor, her leadership skills were lacking, and her ability to communicate clearly wasn't there. If I had to parse out the fault, I'd put it 70% on the agency, and 30% on me. So how did I (and do I) feel about this event? Well, at first I was angry. And hurt. And on some level, relieved. I had grown miserable there, and really needed to move on. I had the impetus to find my next career, and started down that path with a career guidance counselor and a self-guided career change program. Now I know where I want to go, but am holding off on going because the work I want to do just doesn't pay what I need to put my baby through college. I'm freelancing in my "old" line of work, and frankly (other than cash flow issues) doing quite well. I learned that I'm good at the actual WORK, but suck at the politics associated with the agency world. Long story short - I feel relieved, resentful (that my friend threw me under the bus but managed to keep her own job), and ultimately grateful and inspired. One day at a time, I suppose.

Saving our Public Schools (SOS). When there is not enough funding from the government for the public education, the children suffers. Some schools are on the chopping block, closure. The government wants to sell the land to use the proceeds for school. A quick fix. I am one of many people that is angered by the situation. In order to divert this anger, I used it as a voice for the children and spoke on behalf of them. I went on rallies and wrote to the Ministry of Education and my employer, the board of education. Of course, the employers do not like me to be an activities but support their decisions for closures. Sorry, I am for the underdogs.

My business is expanding and I am getting the opportunity to do work I love, on my terms. I feel incredibly grateful. The more clear I get on my strengths and have the courage to put those out there, the more the universe is responding.

I threw my back out. I am scared to feel vulnerable but thankful so many of my friends and family helped.

The break up of my son and his soon to be ex-wife affected me enormously. I felt devastated, and I suppose it brought back feelings from my own marriage break up I hadn't really lived through. It was a rough time, and I found it hard to adjust. I wanted to be a support to my son and his little boy, and felt I had been dismissed by her family- they seemed resentful and angry even though it was her behaviour that resulted in the break up. My son had tolerated everything to try and keep things together. I suppose I was angry and felt taken advantage of- I was the one who lost the most financially, thanks to my own stupidity. I need good sound advice and being alone feel I tried too hard to be helpful. Sometimes it seems the more you help people the less they like you- at least if feels like that. It has exposed my weaknesses and inadequacy to myself and in a way it has made me stronger and more confident.

Exactly one year ago, I was returning from a disappointing trip to Europe. I had never been to Europe and had been very excited. However circumstances were such that the trip did not go as anticipated and the trip was cut short for several reasons but chiefly for health and well being. I am /was disappointed. I am relieved that nothing terrible happened and neither my father nor I were ever in danger or desperately in need.I am grateful for the little meaningful gestures that people did to help. I fully hope one day to go back and really experience London and Paris.

I hit a brick wall when it came to passing my exam. I also ran out of money so now I'm just working to pay necessities and figuring out ways to make extra so I can continue. All in Gods timing. I wait on Him. I'm disa]Pinter in myself and frustrated as to why it hasn't happened I have felt resentful because everyone else seems to pass me by But psalm 46:10

I had a miscarriage in January. Luckily it was at the very beginning of the pregnancy and somehow that makes me feel better. I was scared to have a second child, guilty that our son wouldn't be the center of our world anymore, then excited and feeling complete that we would have a family of four. I ran through the obvious emotions one who experiences such a thing is privy to. The months following brought my husband and I closer together. He was my rock, my confidant and my partner in every sense of the word. I regret that I didn't take enough time to ask him how he was doing and feeling. He lost something that day as much as I did. I still want another baby. I don't feel done yet. My husband however is still wary and not ready. So I will be patient. I will be present. I will be grateful. Maybe next year at this time I will be writing this entry pregnant. Maybe. Or maybe I won't. That's okay too. I feel much more able and at peace as a result of the awfulness of January. I feel strong and that is new.

My mother died. Simple and complex as that. I am now an orphan. Not a child. Actually, a nearly 50 year old orphan. I feel rootless and I am dreading the holidays. Just because I will be in a room where I will be reminded of her absence - I don't need reminding. I just want to hold her hand during services and hear her read "The Prayer for our Country" as her aliyah. I knew this was coming, but it doesn't make anything feel better.

I was skipped out of promotion in my office last year due to the fact I came from a minority tribe. I had to report to HR which took over a month for me to be promoted like others. I felt deeply hurt because it's like feeling racial and tribal abuse first hand. Anyway the situation exposed me to the spirit of never give up in an honest struggle

I am becoming more confident and more stronger

I volunteer for a companion program that does end of life vigils for those who otherwise would be alone(No One Dies Alone). This was my fifth year as a vigil companion and I had yet to be present at end of life. A few weeks ago I was with a gentleman who drew his last breath as I held his hand. Unlike the breath preceding his last, it was soft, without struggle. I felt a sense of peacefulness, and honored to be present to validate and honor his life. Life begins in the presence of someone to hear that first intake of air, someone should be present to hear the whoosh of the last expelled air.

Getting off of insulin. Food is not my enemy. Refection: nothing has to be scary when you have the tools necessary to cope

Kirsten and I got engaged! This summer, in Italy, I proposed. It's exciting to be deciding that this is the person I'm going to have as my partner for the rest of my life.

My sons have matured so much over the last year. The experience of watching them grow on so many different levels (emotionally, socially, academically) and be joyful, smart, talented, focussed, clever, funny, loving humans is so rewarding as a parent.

I went to Israel for the first time. This was a very inspiring experience for me. It made me more conscious of the way that Israel is talked about in the United States, the falsehoods that are perpetuated, the frustrating hypocrisy with which social progressives view the Israel-Palestine conflict. I guess it solidified for me that, though I identify as a social progressive on every single other issue I can think of, when it comes to Israel, I am a Zionist. I believe that Israel's existence is good for the world, that Israelis want to live in peace and contribute and create, and that the constant threat from their enemies absolutely necessitates military response. I still have not found the courage to share these views with liberal friends of mine who support the BDS movement and SJP. Especially since the Movement for Black Lives announced its solidarity with Palestinians, I feel very hesitant to express any pro-Israel opinion, for fear that such views would be conflated with racism against blacks in America. To me, the issues are completely and utterly incomparable. I do not harbor racist views against black Americans OR Palestinian Arabs. I do not support apartheid or genocide. I simply understand a vulnerable nation's need to defend itself against those who would wipe it from the earth. Anyway, I am hopeful and watchful as this history unfolds. I pray that this will be the year in which peace will be a permeating presence throughout the world, and that all peoples who suffer will be comforted, all hearts that harbor hate will be softened.

I made the decision to leave Pierce County and announced it to all present at the CIP meeting. This was an action which I feared for so long. I feared the reaction from my peers that I respect so much. I feared they would laugh and think me unreasonable. I surprised myself by giving such an empassioned speech about how I had been considering this and planning this out for a good while and that it was time for me to live my passion--which was being present for more of my 2 soon to be middle schooler's lives, to help my husband with his business, and to be my own boss. What was so amazing an powerful about it is that EVERYONE was so impressed and complimentary and so proud of me for taking the leap to live by my passion. I believe I was an inspiration to many! I was so relieved and pleased with myself. I was so happy that I had the means and the nerve to make that move and to leave a work situation that had become oppressive. I have always felt that one should not remain in a rut and that there are always more ways than one to "skin a cat" (where the heck did that saying come from?). I was proud that I could be a model for living by design and not by default. Later, I was only sorry that I had not done that sooner. After getting away from Pierce County, I realized how much oppression I truly had been dealing with and how it had been affecting my health and well being. This experience has made me so happy. I was able to take this risk because I had a Mary Kay business to lean upon.

Forming a new partnership, back in theatre. This partnership is with a man who is so smart it keeps me learning and on my toes. He is far younger and has much less experience than in theatre management, life, and the nonprofit world. I feel that I am a trusted advisor and that he listens to me. At the same time I do not feel that he thinks of me as old or that I haven't grown and changed with the times. This reenforses my own confidence in that. I am grateful for this turn around to the distressing way that 2014 ended, feeling devalued and abused. I am inspired to grow and learn more.

In early summer, an unexpected situation arose that gave me an opportunity to reach inside of myself for the best solution. Through the many hours of struggle and trying to find the right solution, all of a sudden the moment arose where I felt complete peace and I knew in my heart that the answer that came was the right way to go. And it was perfect. I am so thankful for the opportunity to grow into a better person by taking a step in a new direction, the way of being compassionate and honest when in a prior life I would have chosen to go in direction that would have been contentious and caused grief for me.

My husband had major back surgery, far more major than we had expected. We were ill prepared, having expected MUCH less recovery time & pain, & I didn't ask for the help I needed till very late, till I was overwhelmed. Then he had a cancer scare & I didn't want to tell people at all, for any number of reasons. So it was a VERY stressful 4 months. The good news he's fully recovered from the surgery & does not have aggressive cancer! I'm relieved but I feel warned, not just about what can happen, but that I need to learn to deal with this kind of stress better than I did. It took a few weeks after the no-cancer to stop worrying & then I had to apologize to a lot of people for being awful. Awful with worry is still awful.

My sister locked my mother in a dementia ward after tricking my mother into signing a total POA instead of a medical as she thought.

Both of our children moved out and into their own homes, meaning we are finally empty nesters. I was worried about our changing identities from "parents" back to "couple" but it has been surprisingly smooth. We have a new-found freedom to pursue our own path without having to take them into account, and it is bringing us even closer together.

I had 2: 1) I got a job. A steady, well paying job that I like. It's going to open a lot of doors for me. It's shown me how far I've come and that I can DO this. It's been a blessing. 2) My Dad passed away on June 14th. In some respects I was relieved. In others I was angry and sad. I feel like I processed my emotions about his illnesses long ago, so it wasn't as impactful as it might have been. However, I still carry guilt that it DIDN'T affect me more. In some ways I miss him, in many others... I don't. There's so much backstory to it but, that's the honest truth.

I packed up ten boxes of my favorite and most useful things and shipped myself out to New York. Ostensibly for grad school. But I was itching for a change, enough to move far from friends, family, and a man I could have loved. I am grateful, but also terrified. This experience has made me so exquisitely/excruciatingly aware of how tenuous life can be. Things can change on a dime. You make choices and have to live with them.

This past year I moved to a new state after having never lived more than 30 minutes from where I grew up. Being able to move has given me the most amazing life ever and I am so grateful I was able to make it happen. My life has completely changed because of it, improving my financial situation, career, and general happiness has been increased overall. Even in trying circumstances, I am happier than I have been in at least 5 years and probably more. I feel capable again to live life fully.

Wow! Surgery was necessary to keep myself vitalized to continue working at my favorite employment of teaching. Sitting crisscross applesauce to read books to my students on a cozy rug is not quite happening - yet!! It took an entire year to schedule the surgery and I knew that life would be so much better once I had the total knee replacement. I want to keep working to improve my students' lives. In return, I want to be revived in the spirit of giving back as much as I can for as long as I can.

I had to take a significant pay cut to keep my job. The impact although significant was more or a personal hit to my ego. I do resent that I'm not looked at in a more important position in the company. It hurts not bring appreciated.

Most of my past year was spent writing my dissertation, a text that ended up over 500 pages. I learned a lot about myself-- about my personal and emotional needs, about my work habits, about needing to be attentive to my own feelings, about looking and asking for help when I need it. When I finished, I was surprised at how many "endings" the process had (finishing writing, defense, approval by the registrar, degree conferral), and it's only now-- that I've begun the actual teaching of my teaching position-- that I really feel like a *doctor*, that I can take ownership over the knowledge, accomplishments, and authority that that entails.

I took in some work way below my experience level for the money. I resent the fact that I didn't follow my heart and not do it. I feel inspired now to stop this work when the projects are finished.

One year ago today, a 15 year old girl in my community committed suicide. As a new mother, as a dear friend to those whom she was closest to, and as a member of our community, it rocked my world. It changed my outlook on what it means to be there for each other, what pain our young people face and hide from us, and what it means to show up for one another and say YES to life.

I completed my first year of real architecture school and got an internship right away which I have been enjoying every minute of. I have also been able to seriously consider tye great opportunities and adventures ahead which are inspiring!

We had to put our kitty down. People who have loved an animal understand that this is significant. The effect was complicated. She was 16 and her kidneys were failing, but we could keep her comfortable and happy for twice as many months as the prognosis predicted. When her quality of life was clearly compromised and she had begun to suffer, we made the decision, grateful that we had this very humane option for her. We grieved and we were relieved. We mourn her absence and enjoy the freedom of it. And it reminded us that we fail our sick and dying human loves by withholding this graceful exit.

Wow, starting PA school has been significant. I feel so blessed to find my calling and have the opportunity to pursue it! It is exhausting, but the hope of a dream job/life is so close on the horizon. I am grateful, I am scared, and I am exhausted. It will be a crazy ride for the next 24 months, but each day is one day closer.

I was given a chance to either expand my business, or risk having to move it. (Or close it. Or whatever.) So I expanded. Spent a ton of money. (Still. Spending. Money.) And it'll be at least a year until it pays off. AT LEAST. And I am pissy and exhausted and really really scared that it will fail and I'll end up even further in debt and a big ole failure. I should be grateful for the nudge. Right now I'm just petrified.

I bought a condo! It was my first home my very first home purchase! I was, and still am, a bit terrified of making such an expensive commitment, but I do love the place, as do my cats. It truly feels like home. And it's mine! I am strapped for cash now, but I feel it's worth pinching pennies and forgoing some of the more frivolous things I used to spend my money on, in order to pay my mortgage. I am incredibly grateful to have found this place!

My brother, Ethan's death. It made me a lot more conscious of my own mortality and put me in a somber mood for months. It brought my family together. My wife and parents reconciled. I realized that I am really really blessed to have my health and be employed and to be eating and being able to sleep- the simple stuff. It also caused a new level of resentment about how I am not valued in my family and haven't been for a long time.

Significant experience was the death of my sister Caren. It shocked me at first. It tore my world apart. It rendered me without my sister. It rendered my family without their mother, daughter, grandmother, wife, sister. It rendered my wider family without their friend, confidant, leader, inspiration. Yes, I am grateful. That I have a foundation upon which to continue to stand, to go on. That even with this monumental loss, this life-long relationship that only sisters know, understand, rely on, and enjoy in a special and never to be replicated way ... that I am finding a way to be grateful ... for all that she had, all that we had, all that she was and did and gave in life. that I was the recipient of sisterly love and adoration and acceptance and support. That, hopefully, she had all of that from me. Relieved, you ask? Only that I feel I communicated by word and deed, that she was the greatest sister. That even with the pain we caused one another and the difficulties I had in getting out from under some of the obstacles we created for one another, that somehow I trust her life was made better by my being her sister in it. Resentful, you ask? No. Inspired? Yes. To open my heart and soul that she may resonate within ... that she might act through me and I might be motivated to be as good a friend to so many as she was, to bravely do new things, to live a creative life, to see the beauty she saw, as an artist, of form and color and light and shadow. to bake as beautifully and often as she did. to open my home to many and to welcome them with open an open heart and a plentiful table. To paint my life with vibrant travel and experiences. To dance. And to find my voice, which I am doing here with you as a new small insertion in the choir. Inspired, as well, to live knowing more fully that I too will pass. That all we have is now. That now is perfect as it is.

I became a parent. It was the hardest, but most rewarding experience I've ever had. It shook me how hard it was, but I wouldn't trade the little dragon for anything.

I made it through a full year in Los Angeles without quitting, and now I feel like I can really make it the last 3.

There is a list I considered...a second published poem, lots of open mic and Art of Poetry readings, my photo notecards in a venue, our two weeks in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. But the most significant, I think, was turning 70. I began a daily journal on my birthday in January this year, giving me lots to reflect on as I step into the eighth decade of my life. I find it helps me focus as I regard how I want the spend the next ten years.

A significant experience in my life in the past year was taking a group of teens to Costa Rica. It was my first time as director of a program, which was tough. It was significant though because I didn't do well. I didn't do particularly poorly in my position and the trip ran smoothly and everyone had a meaningful and fun experience (teen participants and my staff). The issue was that I didn't do particularly well either. Just okay. Which was a wake up call, because what I want to do is lead trips like this for a career and to realize that I wasn't as ready as I thought I was was startling. Looking back, it was obvious that I wouldn't hit it out of the park on my first time, but also looking back it was obvious I didn't prepare and think things through as thoroughly as I could have. I am relieved and humbled all in one. I'm working hard on learning what I can from the experience and looking hard at what I could have done better. I hope this experience leads me closer to working on projects and jobs that will help me grow in the ways I need to.

Had both knees replaced - it opened up so much. I am relieved and at the same time wonder why no one suggested I see an orthopedist earlier as so much damage had been done. Also Dave just remarried - sadness anger - how long I kept it going just to avoid abandonment

As a white woman, I for the first time, vocalized a need for my fellow white colleagues to change their insight and behavior for the benefit of the people of color in the room and outside of the room. It was scary because I have been listening about these ideas for so long but was scared to offend anyone or show my ignorance. However I overlooked my fear because it was so important for me to support my friends who might have been hurt by previous comments made. I was offended for them. After many came up to me and thanked me. I was very awkward in response trying new things each time and feeling wrong. I realized that I was awkward because I felt like it should be expected that we support each other not commended. I want to keep listening, but sometimes, I have to speak up too.

We went to Istanbul for Ayeish's first workshop. I have never felt so alive. That work fits me like nothing else does, the contours of my personality. Being so well used, my strategic and political and skills mind, but also the richness of the language and the utmost meaning of the work. To me there is no greater work. And met Reiad, which has pulled the curtain back on some change points in my life, re: "spirituality" i.e. what is the orientation(s) of my life, and a potential set of practices to support regular, and therefore deepened, self-connection.

I was removed from a job I loved. Well, mostly loved. It was hurtful and left me angry and sad, and cut off from relationships I treasured. I was also intensely relieved because the job had become overwhelming and unmanageable. I now have a job that fits my life much better. I still grieve what I have lost, and the idea of myself that seems to have been lost with it. I am now grateful, relieved, and inspired - and much better rested.

I ran for staff, that was cool. Didn't make it but it helped me better understand the Band. Now I'm kind of... desperate? to make staff this year since it'll be my last chance and well, I want this organization that I care so much about to see something worthwhile in me.

I moved from California to Massachusetts, leaving my family and friends and virtually everyone and thing I know and love behind. It's been an interesting adventure, exciting and fun and lonely and hard all at the same time. I still don't really feel like this is home, but I'm happy here all the same.

This year our son was diagnosed with ADHD. This was both relieving and saddening. I had feared worse (autism spectrum), but this has still been a lot of pain and difficulty as we took him to evaluations, appointments, and dealt with the IEP process at his school. Watching him struggle with the daily challenges he faces, as well as dealing with our own struggle, has been humbling. Meds are helping, but this too is a challenging experience. I'm certainly very thankful that we have treatment and therapy options.

The birth of Sylvie into our lives has been the most transformative of the year. Childbirth itself was an experience for which I don't have adequate words. We loved her immediately. We had a bit of a rocky start and spent a ew days at Children's following her birth, but overall the last 8 months have been a wonderful time. I especially enjoyed my 12 weeks at home with her. Being a mother is definitely more fulfilling than I would have imagined. Sylvie brightens every day for us. Especially in a year with so much family illness, she is a joy to all of us.

I am grateful for what might seem little/insignificant things in the everyday life that make my life so comfortable. Recently I visited a country were there is a shortage of toilet paper and it is not available everywhere. It wasn't until this time that I really felt grateful for toilet paper. It is not something that you usually think about until you don't have it available. Be thankful for all the little things that you might be taking for granted.

I finally got myself back to my goal weight after struggling for a while. I found a wonderful WW meeting and leader. I'm very pleased and work every day to be accountable and maintain. Our daughter got a great temporary job in NYC and moved there. She's living my old NYC life. Much better than I ever did. And loving it. Our son is engaged to a lovely young woman. We are very happy for them.

The obvious answer is that I had Ethan, my second and last baby. I have honestly been overwhelmed and shocked by how different the experience has been compared to the first time around with Alex. Ethan has been a much more difficult baby but the experience has been easier. Looking after him has been a joy, rather than something to be endured. I had postnatal depression after having Alex and I didn't cope very well at all. It took me a long time to bond with him, and I expected it to take a while to bond with Ethan as well, but instead, I loved him from the start. I feel both guilty and relieved by that.

I got a new job at work. Its high pressure and demanding, and when I first started I was terrified. I'm glad I went for it, some people thought I shouldn't, that it might be too much. Its stressful, way more stressful than my last job, but I'm so glad I went for it as I've gained invaluable experience. Its been a rollercoaster, some days its really stressful and I get overwhelmed, but I'm so glad I went for it as its really helped my professional development.

I GOT MARRIED. To my b'sheret. The absolute love of my life. The man who accepts me for who I am, loves me unconditionally, and has vowed to take care of me forever and to let me take care of him. It took me 42 years to find him and I had truly begun to give up hope of ever finding my partner. But I finally did and I am eternally grateful. We are learning about how to be married to each other and so far it is wonderful. Thank Gd for this gift!!

This past year I started school at Northwestern University. Over the year, I've watched myself blossom from an awkward teenager to a confident young adult. / significant experience that happened was my first time being rejected for an internship. I wanted nothing more than to work at a nonprofit called 826CHI, but alas they didn't want me as much as I wanted them. I'm grateful for the experience. It taught me that I can deal with things not going my way and still move on & be happy. Even though I was devastated, I'm not going to stop chasing my dreams for fear of being rejected.

Hit 20 years of marriage to Glenda. It's been an amazing 20 years and I'm ready for 20 more! Commemorated with 2 weeks in Alaska! OMG! What a beautiful place! From my first moose to the beautiful landscapes it was an amazing trip! It inspires me for what else is in store... can't wait for our next adventure together!

A significant event that happened to me in the past year is two-fold: finishing my Masters and being pushed to my mental limits of what I was willing to take at my then current position. Ironically enough, I was thinking at breakfast this morning of how I am grateful for this overly strenuous work culture because it has made me so appreciative of the "laissez faire" attitude at my new position, worts and all. This experience given me the realization that there are some things in life that each of us cannot compromise on. Unwaveringly poor treatment of individuals in a authoritative organization is my limit. Finishing my Masters allowed me to attain the perceived skill-set I needed to jump ship. I feel a huge sense of relief and am ready to live my best year yet!

I was finally put into the oldest classroom at the school I work at. I've been wanting to work in that room for 7 years. There were two teachers that left in 2 weeks. I am very grateful for this opportunity. Now I have to prove myself.

Death seems to be a recurring theme this year. My cousin Robbie, who was just a couple of years older than me, died suddenly from a heart attack. Seeing his wife and children and feeling their loss was overwhelming. My heart was screaming out to help his wife, who clung to him at the viewing the whole time, and yet I felt powerless to ease that suffering. Conversely, it felt so good to be surrounded by that side of my family, all people who knew and loved Robbie. I love my mom's siblings and don't get nearly enough time to spend with them. I also flew out to GG's funeral at Arlington. That one wasn't nearly so sad, because she had lived a full and happy life. Her death was not a shock. I went to honor her life, and to expose my children to the pomp and circumstance of a funeral at Arlington, to give them some understanding of the depth of patriotism they could feel in such a place. I'm not sure they got it, but I hope some of it rubbed off on them. We also lost some very important celebrities to me this year: David Bowie, Gene Wilder, Prince, to name just the top 3. I'm still mourning the loss of David Bowie. He shaped me. And after his death, I realized I never really knew him as a person, just his persona as an actor and musician. As I enter middle age, my relationship to death keeps changing. When I was younger, it was rare and sad, and mostly seemed like a tragedy when it happened. Now I realize that it is common and happens to all of us. Now I'm feeling the eventuality when I will be the oldest generation in my family, and feeling the weight of that responsibility, along with the incredibly heavy feeling of loss I will experience when I no longer have my mom. But I've also made a kind of peace with death. I know that each and every person on this earth will die one day, and it's almost as if I'd been fighting that concept, but now I've accepted it. Is it sad still? Yes, of course. But it's no longer a tragedy (in most cases.) Death is a natural part of life. Eventually, I will lose more people than I know alive. The sadness of each life passing will become a part of the quilt of emotions residing in my soul. But so will the memories of their lives, and that will make the quilt rich and beautiful. Deaths are the natural endcap of those experiences. And one day, my own death will come. That has never bothered me, though. I've never been afraid of death, and in some desperate times of my life, I've practically begged for it. Now I'm much happier, and glad to be alive, but I still don't fear death. I fear for my children if I'm gone, but I'm very comfortable with the idea of my own death. I've had a good life so far, and I wouldn't feel like I'd missed out on too much if I died now. It's the death of others, and going on without them, that I've struggled with in aging, but now I feel more at peace with that as well.

Over the course of the past (almost) year my fiancé and I made a goal of getting healthy. To that end, we took steps to get healthy including ramping up our workouts and changing our eating habits. I've lost about 35 pounds and he's lost about 55 pounds thus far and we aren't don't yet! I am very grateful and inspired and plan to continue on this healthy journey for my life, my fiancée, and our future family.

Bernie getting screwed - primarily by the DNC and the media. I know that politics is corrupt, and that this is nothing new, but I think the EXTENT and the blatant disregard for the law and truth is shocking. I can't adequately describe what that did to me. It brought up deep seeded feelings of powerlessness and hopelessness, and I was devastated. It probably sounds petty, but I actually had to deactivate my FB page because I just couldn't bear to read or see or hear anything more political including the sight of Hillary's face. I also can't believe that the HONEST person who truly cares for all people's interest (in the world, not just the U.S.) would not win people's votes (and hearts). I felt hopeful and inspired when Obama won, but then overall disappointed in the amount of obstruction he encountered. I think someone like Bernie Sanders comes around once in a lifetime, and I don't think I will ever have faith in our system again.

I took on a position at work I didn't have much support in learning let alone fulfilling but managed to find my way through and developed a process and visibility not available to my company for the past 7 years. It gave me a stronger sense of myself and in my ability to rise through and above anything I take on. It did also leave me feeling resentful since I was put in this position without choice.

I bought my first home in June. It's something I have really wanted for a couple years, but I had to save up to get myself to the right place. I did my research, and when I found the right one, I had no qualms. We're still settling in, and it's a big financial adjustment. I'm hoping that we'll get to a good place once we're more used to it and the big projects get completed. I'm a little apprehensive about the process, but I'm really proud of myself. It feels like I've finally entered adulthood. I felt really stuck in the last couple years that I wasn't making progress with my life. Also, I started a new position at work that was foisted upon me, and felt like a demotion, although it's the same money. I struggled with it, was certain that I wanted a new job and nearly took one, but made the decision that the plan to buy a house was more important than switching careers. Honestly, it's a bit of a relief now that I'm more settled in to it. It's easier work, and while I mostly know the day to day of what's expected of me - which was missing from the previous more exciting position and created a lot of stress, I still worry that I'm not delivering what my bosses want. And that they won't tell me until it's too late. Nine months in, I hope that next year I'm feeling better about it.

The most significant experience that has happened to me this year is definitely becoming a mother. It has completely changed me. In ways I did not ever think was possible. Although it wasn't our original plan to have a baby this year I wouldn't change a single thing about it. Sebastian is the greatest blessing in our lives. I didn't know how much you can love another person until I became a mother. We are so grateful for him. I look at him sometimes and I feel like my heart is going to explode because I love him so much. There is also a part of me that feels relieved. I was able to quit and job that I hated and leave a city that I also hated. I don't think that we would have ever had the courage to do those things if it wasn't for Sebastian. I also feel relieved in a sense that I feel like my life has a purpose now.

The most significant thing that happened in the past year is that my boyfriend and I moved from my small studio, which he moved into temporarily a year ago, into a larger one bedroom apartment that can actually fit the two of us properly. I learned a lot about his finances and also how he handles them, which I found needed improvement. It made me concerned with our future together financially but I hope he can turn around some of the negative issues that came up while apartment hunting. At the same time, I found myself taking care of a lot of financial matters and fronting a lot of the finances needed for our move. Up until now, I've never been in that position, so it felt nice to be able to do that and be the provider.

I had stomach surgery, again. This time I was angry that I had to go through it but grateful that they finally figured it what was wrong with me. I was also relieved that I wasn't just feeling sick in my head. It was hard to have 2 surgeries in 4 months and missing out on much of my family. But thank goodness we figured it out. As a by product I lost a significant amount of weight. Now just need to keep it off! It has give me a new appreciation of health. I hope my kids understand how lucky we are for having the right access to healthcare

I retired, at the age of 80, from a part-time job that I loved, because it was time to leave the working world. I am thrilled that I can now pursue more of my artistic interests. I am grateful that I had an opportunity to have the perfect second career as an adjunct college professor and a college administrator.

The most significant event this year has been getting our dog, Dandy. Sometimes he can be a little pain and I wonder why on earth we got him, but he brings so much joy to our lives most of the time and we can't imagine life without him now. He's a massive part of our family and the vet bills, the being kept up at night, the messy bathtimes... they're all worth it. Our lives have changed in the most wonderful way possible.

My husband and I wanted to try for another baby this year. The timing was awful. But that's always our life. Looking back, it was foolish. We still have debt. We still have so little to spare. But we have always wanted a family and more than one child. I decided that I would come off my anti-depressants to see if I could handle it. I wanted a med-free pregnancy if I could. It was a disaster. My depression swept over me fast and hard. At my worst, I had thoughts pf self-harm...something I haven't faced since I was 16. I wanted to cut my arms and legs, or put cigarettes out in my skin. I didn't. Not once. Not anything to lose the trust I needed to be home, love my husband and daughter, and live in peace. But it was hell. I got back on the right meds. I'm okay now. It's strange. Depression is horrible...but every time I come out of it I learned more about myself. Therapy is taking to me to new levels of self-discovery. I am relieved. I am ready. I am open to newness and transformation.

My promotion at my work place. I am very grateful to God

I have passed IB. Felt great relief. I have raveled to Amsterdam with a couple of my classmates and had great fun there. Started learning Hospitality and went to uni in Maastricht. Met great people here. Hanging out with this Estonian dude, he is chill.

We are moving! Not sure exactly where we're going at this time, but it will be great. The house sold quite easily and I'm happy for the folks who will be moving in here. The whole process was intriguing for me as I was calm and patient. I realized that I only felt sadness for leaving this place because a part of me believed I was supposed to. It has been great seeing my emotional response to the events

quitting my job with bravery, even though i felt tremendously nervous. I felt like i had to continue in a place i was miserable

The only significant experience that has happened with me in my otherwise totally stagnant life is that I got introduced to an angel card reader trained by Doreen Virtue who has changed my life completely. She introduced me to the world of angels and I have connected so well. She also introduced me to Buddhist chanting and the study of Buddhism. It's been a very enlightening experience. I am very grateful as I can now find my answers. I am inspired and totally motivated to make my life worth living!

I had a reversal of the ostomy which went well, but was compromised by a gall bladder problem which resulted in gall bladder surgery during the same hospital stay. Life was mainly working around the house and trying to stay non nauseous. Finished up with 9 hernias being repaired. I haven't been inspred too much, but I am grateful that I have the opportunity to let life lead me where I need to go.

This year I became a homeowner and took an international group trip, almost simultaneously. Both revealed to me how I function under stress, opened my eyes to new possibilities, showed me how I rely on family and friends, and made me feel like a "grownup". I am profoundly grateful for the funds and privileges that allowed me to have these experiences of growth.

We bought and moved into our own house in Leiden. It took time - we bought it in August but could not all move in until October and renovations continued for some time. But it felt, and still feels wonderful. Even a year later with all the renovations still to do, we love it.

The death of my dear friend, colleague and director. Loss, loss, loss. You never know when life is going to snatch away those who are so much a part of your life. and then another colleague died. Also an incredibly generous human being. You find out that if you don't have a certain kind of long term medical insurance, care in this country is absolutely horrific. Only through repetitive knocking on doors and being a squeaky hinge did I find a place for my first friend to die with dignity and comfort. Cancer sucks. End of life care is unpredictable. No getting around it. And so, live every day as best you can. Be kind to those you love and tell them how important they are to you every day.

I've had four surgeries this year: a brain surgery, an abortion (very sadly for health reasons-- there was a good chance neither the baby nor I would've survived.) During the abortion, they found a necrotic fibroid that caused excruciating pain and needed to be removed, so I had a surgery to remove that, but soon after, the pain got worse and I needed to have a hysterectomy. I just feel brutalized and empty, like my life is over. The person who got me pregnant was a total asshole and I'm watching everyone start their lives, fall in love, have families and I just feel like life is over for me. I feel young and beautiful and unloveable and dying.

I graduated. I got a job. Basically I moved on with my life, and it makes me feel so much better. I feel more like myself again, and I'm trying to pick up where I left off. I'm trying to find myself again, outside of trauma. And I'm getting better at it and I'll probably someday be normal again. There are downsides to my job too, sure, things I dislike about it, but I'm happy that I'll get to move forward. I'm still disappointed with some decisions and how few friends I've made, but maybe it was also good for me to learn and fall this early. I still had a safety net to catch me. I'm springing back.

Honestly, 2015-2016 has been a year of Presidential election. I cannot believe the hole our nation has falken into. The Republican primary and now the Presidential election itself has shown me how low our society has gone. I think USA is a joke to the world. And as a Jew and a woman I am mortified Trump could win. He has brought the ugly underbelly for us all to see. And it has brought to me so many memories of sexism that I and others have experienced. It has caused me to reflect on experiences I have seen and felt and now I can label it better. I wish I had understood it more throughout years. As I write this I see Julia Gullard from the U.K. saying same thing and talking about Hillary Clinton and the misogyny she has experienced.

A significant experience that happened earlier this year was while I was in Argentina, I was happy but essentially out of money. After 8 months of traveling, I was turning to my credit card to keep me afloat for 2 months until I figure out my next steps. Even though I had no clue how I would get money, where I would go, or what I would do, I had faith and trusted that God would work something out. I didn't expect that I would end up in California and be working for THE Google, but here I am doing the damn thing. It taught me to trust that things will always work out. It gives me peace knowing that my steps are ordered and things that I didn't even imagine would come to pass. It also taught me that long-term planning is kinda, well far-fetched, you just never know what will happen or where you'll end up. Once again, I do not know what will happen come December once my contract is up, but I trust that it will work out and 2017 will continue be a blessing way more than I can imagine.

My husband & I separated and he served me with divorce papers. I feel abandoned, hurt, attacked, and very unloved. Simultaneously I felt relieved, somewhat in control, and at a new beginning.

I became aware of level 3 lung and lymphnode cancer in my aunt Jo. She will be undergoing chemo and radiation in the coming months. This of course scares me because of the real possibility that she may not make it through, they may not be able to get it all, or it may come back. It inspires me to see her optimisim in the face of this diagnosis, but it still worries me that she has to go through this.

We have been trying to resolve the construction defects in our home we tried to build for over two years now. Under oath in our arbitration, the builder admitted he had never envisioned building our home the way it was designed. If only he had told the truth when we first discovered it, we could have avoided so much pain and heart ache! Always always always tell the truth, you can not fix a problem good or bad unless everyone knows the truth.

there are many significant experiences i've had this past year and i'd like not to focus on the negative, however, finding out something about someone after knowing them for a while was definitely enlightening-- was mad at the time but not bitter. However, it may have affected how my heart trusts now. i don't want to think that is true but my actions say otherwise.

There have been so many. I guess the most significant is my conversion to Judaism-- after practicing for about 8 or 9 years. I was raised Catholic, which was a terrible thing for me. I resisted official conversion for a while, because organized religion was so tough for me in my late-teens and young 20s. But I had/ have been fasting with other Jews, celebrating with the community, marking life cycle changes and deaths this way for about a quarter of my life-- and it has enriched my life. So I literally took the plunge into the mikvah this year-- three plunges to be exact. I have never felt as alive and as grateful for my life as I did during that ritual. Religion is not truth to me-- not what I was taught it was as a Catholic. But my Judaism is more precious than truth to me-- it is life and life-affirming. I hope everyone can find a spiritual or ethical (spirituality is not for everyone) path that gives them as much meaning and joy as mine gives me.

I left FALA and have returned to teaching. I am relieved, lightened, grateful, inspired, clear, focussed, directed. I quit on July 1, a Friday. I said my farewells. My car was packed to the gills and I motored onto Tucson for what was the first leg of my cross-America venture. I landed in Miami Beach and spent 6 weeks at the Mar. I renovated and painted it. Thrifted to find cool things for it. Hung out with Mom a lot. Hung with JP and DeeDee. Tooled around on a loaned bike from Miss So and So. Found a haven in a yoga studio, reconnected with longtime beloveds and began the healing and centering that has given me a soft return landing here in Blagoevgrad, where I write this. I sit now on a bed in the Ramada hotel near the train station. It's October 2 and I've spent the weekend wandering the streets of the city under an Indian summer sun. I have returned to live in Europe. I have returned to teaching and I am solidly onto my next life chapter. There was so much misery, dysfunction, despair, negativity, and poor health while I was at FALA. It created an opportunity for me to recommit to what I do best, to the circumstances where my spiritual, mental and physical health can align. It clarified for me how I work best, relate best, can be my best. And now I am here and I've chosen to fashion a life that will give me work that satisfies deeply, a long period of rest and play time, time with my mother and my MB community, time with my Flag peeps and time here in Eastern Europe to make the relationships with students that mean so much.

I got my master's this year! And I moved in with Justin. Both of these are good. I can't really believe I am out of school. I keep having stress dreams about being back, and I am so happy and relieved when I wake up. Like I've officially left a stage of my life. This summer with Justin has gone by like whirlwind. I don't know that I've ever felt this content, even though I have so many bills to pay and I still don't have a library job. (Not that I really thought I would, but...) The house does get messy, and things get stressful sometimes, but we can tackle it together. <3

This year I lost my older brother suddenly. It was unexpected and devastating for my family. It has made me look at my life and realize that I need to live life to its fullest. It has made me reevaluate many aspects of my life.

I've had many significant experiences this past year. So to start, this past year I graduated from college with my nursing degree. And that was a very significant experience for me because I had worked so hard in high school to get to college and to get into a great nursing school, and eventually to this point. It took a lot of hard work to get here and I am thankful for all the people in my life who helped me get there. But I wasn't done there. For a few days I was relieved, but then I had to start studying to take my boards, so that I could be a licensed nurse and actually be able to work. This part also didn't come easy. It took longer than I had initially planned to get to the point where I was ready to take my test. And in the process, I forgot to be thankful for all that I had accomplished so far. I had graduated college, something not many people are given the chance to do, and I forgot all about that. I got caught up in the stresses of my life. When I finally took my test, I was pretty much a nervous wreck. The hours I had to wait to unofficially find out if I was in fact a licensed nurse or not, were awful. And again, thankfully I had passed. And for a few days I was excited and proud. But then I was ungrateful again because I didn't have a job. And again, I forgot all about what I had accomplished. I graduated and was a licensed nurse. I should only be thankful. But I wasn't. I was stressed and I felt behind because many other classmates already had jobs and had been working for a while. So I threw myself into applying for jobs and going to many unsuccessful interviews. I was miserable and felt like I'd never get a job. All I had done seemed like a waste. But I finally was able to land a job at a great hospital, on a floor I can't wait to work on. And I've not realized that everything happens for a reason. I wasn't ready to take my test until I did, and although it was longer than I had anticipated, maybe it saved me from failure. And maybe none of those job interviews worked out because it wasn't the right place for me. And maybe this job is just right. That just goes to show that sometimes you have to wait for great things. And I know now that I am bound for great things. I've done a lot with my life so far and I'm excited for more to come. And I've had so much support from my family and my boyfriend. They really helped me through the past year. I am very lucky to have them. For now, I can only hope that looking forward, I will remember to be thankful for all that I have and for all that I have done.

My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I hosted the party because I am the daughter. Nothing is ever required of my brother. I found out so many things about my parents & their marriage that I wish I didn't know. I didn't realize how much I believed in their "story" or idealized them until other details emerged. I also found out a lot about my aunt & uncle that also celebrated their 50th as well. So much jealousy, resentment & anger between the 2 couples. It was overwhelming. I am grateful that I could give my parents such a nice party and I am so relieved it is all over. I am resentful that there is still such a difference made between what is expected of me & my brother even though we are middle aged (48 &45). It also hurts to know how unhappy my parents have been all of these years. My husband and I married later than most couples. I was 40 & he was 55. It is doubtful that we would make our 50th Anniversary but I believe we will be happy together for however long we do get to be married. I am the most grateful for that.

I was asked to teach in a new, experimental, NEH funded program at my college, on Border Culture. I get to collaborate with 6 other teachers, and as a writing teacher, I am co-teaching with an art teacher. It has allowed me to contribute my extensive knowledge of Tohono O'Odham culture to a primarily Mexico-Arizona border program, and it has allowed me to use my own experience as a Jew in non-Jewish mainstream America as background. I am grateful to have been asked and given this opportunity, grateful that my knowledge and talents have been recognized by colleagues, and grateful that at age 71 I am being asked to do something new and exciting! I am very excited about having this opportunity.

Our 18 year old son returned home after a stint at a friends house. Now he is a freshman in college, and we are empty nesters and adjusting to the change. I am finding that the extra time we now have is not spent longing for times past, but I do find some reminiscing on some happy memories with both of our sons. I also am finding that the extra time is committed to other activities and hobbies so quickly that the amount of spare time is not diminished significantly. I am grateful that each of our sons is on their way to independence in productive environments, and that my wife and I are spending some good quality time together and making a new future for ourselves.

I was looking forward to this for the past two months and now I feel entirely overwhelmed. I was reading my answers from last year and all of it didn't ring true. I'm worried that'll happen next year. But the answers felt insincere in a year of retrospect. Everything has changed since last year. I think this past June was the culmination of what I experienced. After a year of anxiety and back and forth Jane and I had split and had just begun talking in June and my piece about my dad's suicide was finally released. That week was the release of me starting a new chapter. Finished with privately grieving and attempting to start anew with Jane and myself. I wrote my HQ last year in September and by the end of October the unsteady ground between Jane and I revealed itself and the grief I hadn't processed surfaced. I got myself into therapy two days a week and cut back on trying to work. I wrote in HQ that I found myself re-grounded and it's distressing I tried to convince myself that was the case. I am worried I am doing that now but I do feel grounded now. I wasn't from October till June. It had ups and down. Joys and horrors but looking back now in this early October it certainly feels like a type of hell. But now, with the pieces release and with coming to terms that this mid twenties stage, this single me is a brand new chapter the year previous has started to feel like a part of my history. Not where I am or who I am. Yes. I am grateful. I am relieved. I am resentful. I'm inspired. I give a shit again, I can use my words again.

I was promoted to manager, a position I have applied for many times over the past 5 years or so. My two closest colleagues were also promoted with me which is fantastic! I am affected on a daily basis because it is a different job and I am now responsible to and for ten employees. I am grateful for the opportunity and for the faith and trust my boss has in me, both for selecting me and for mentoring me. I am relieved because I've been applying for this job for so long and felt like the former DD would never pick me. The new one appreciates me so much more. I have a very good connection with her and feel lucky that she is Jewish as there aren't many of us where I work. I am inspired because I have a new job where I am supposed to inspire others!

I turned 30 a few days ago. This was something that I dreaded in my late 20s because I thought that I was not who I thought I'd be at that age. Namely, I thought I'd be married by now. But in the last year, I've learned to let go of those admittedly Southern measures of success and learned that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm grateful, and I'm finally ready to finish this darn degree and stop being a student.

Gina died. It was a slap in the face to see a woman, a relative, die that young. She did everything right and still she died. Nothing about it is right, just, or fair.

Michael Nesmith being honored at my festival, then him turing around and completing me. It was so unexpected I am so grateful beyond words

I went to a wedding with my dad, and it was on a golf course. The wedding was really fun and when the night was coming to an end, we saw that there were golf carts that were not being used. We asked the man inside the golf store if we could ride it on the golf course, even though the golf course technically closed at sun down, the man said yes. We were so excited!!! We then drove in a golf cart together through the golf course. My dad told me all about golf and what we were passing. He also told me about the course. Then we stopped on the trail, and my dad took me by surprise and asked, "Do you want to drive it and give it a try?" I said, "YES!!!" This was my first time driving a golf cart, and I was pretty good at! This was a remarkable experience I will never forget, and better yet, it was with my dad. I am beyond grateful that I was able to do this and that the nice man allowed us to do this. After we came back with the golf cart, we gave the man a tip, because of how kind he was to us. I am inspired to be adventurous and try new things, even if there is a chance to say, "No."

k was given a clean bill of health in july. it's what we hoped for and i expected. still, i thought things would be different. that we would get back to 'normal'. normal doesn't exist. most of our lives are over. we aren't going back. will we be remembered. will our lives matter. will we disappear when those who know us pass on themselves. mom is dying. sometime in the next few weeks. that and k's health have made me a lot more aware of how much of my life is past and how little is in front of me. i now realize that some dreams will never happen. that possibilities were endless and now they are finite. and yet i don't want to live a long life and get to the parts that hurt and are lonely.

I learned to love myself. Sure, there are still things I wish could change here and there, but I've learned to recognize the strength of my compassion and my loyalty and their effects on my relationships, my creative mind in helping my organization think strategically, and just generally my overall bad assness that offers limitless opportunities to me in life.

Deciding the 3 things I'll do for the rest of my life. Overall, I'm happy that I have finally reached his understanding, which has allowed me access to a higher purpose in my actions. It has made everything clearer on the higher level and general direction, which has provided some respite in my day-to-day decision making, as well as a groundedness in my long term orientation. Because all of the 3 things are not easily attainable, I have come to believe on a deeper level that the process is the reward, nonetheless, I must admit that the lack of results (esp. monetary) do weigh on my mind and morale heavily.

I was diagnosed with a serious, life-threatening illness. Normally this wouldn't be cause for celebration but it's probably been making me sick for years. Surgery is the only cure but it is considered a cure. The idea that my symptoms are in fact being caused by a tumor in my neck and not mental illness in my head or some weird laziness is such a relief. I'm still waiting for surgery but feeling hopeful that the surgeon I meet in 10 days will be the right one and that he will get me scheduled soon keeps me feeling positive about things. I'm so relieved to have an answer even if it's a kind of sucky one. The people in my support group all laugh. Who would think hearing you have a tumor could possibly be good news or something to be celebrated? For us it is.

Certainly our trip to Poland had a great many significant experiences. It felt amazing to walk on the streets of Krakow- to feel the history that we have lost- so many synagogues in such a small area and to know that it was virtually wiped away. To go back to Saikai where my grandfather was born - a name of a place that had importance in my family history but knowing I was the first to venture back there--I brought stones back from Saikai to put at my father's headstone. The looming history of the holocaust permeated every corner. I felt free being there now- but couldn't escape how it must of been like - the terror- for those that got trapped there. The crowning moment had to be taking my mother in law back to Miazizol. Her first time seeing the house she grew up in since fleeing with her family when she was only 8 years old. Her shetel was Poland when she left but it is now Belarus so getting there took special visas and guides. The official town historian was expecting us. She quietly informed us that "our family" didn't survive because "their" history had a list of the Jews who were rounded up for a "meeting" and her father and brothers were on that list. We of course knew that they skipped that meeting-- something sounded fishy to them-- and they escaped into the forest instead. She took notes-- she changed the history recording right then and there-- amazing....

OMG, what a fucking year!!!! I guess the most impactful experience of this year has been realizing I'm a LOVE AND SEX ADDICT! Man, it has been rough...hitting rock bottom over the summer...coming to realize I was powerless over this dis-ease...and now working a plan to recover. It is so important, because I have seen that every choice I have made in my adult life has come about at the effect of this addiction. Where I live, what I do, how I dress, how I relate to people. It's quite amazing actually to have an answer to the direction my life has gone in so many instances. The pattern is so clear, but I never had a way to describe it, so I am grateful for that. It is hard to admit, but I know it is true and I know now there is a solution. My life will change forever if I surrender. I have spent the first half of my life getting here and now I want to spend the second half of my life LIVING! Clean, emotionally sober, and in partnership with G-d. Wow, never did I think I would say any of those words, or be in this place, but it is where I am supposed to be, and it should only get better. More than ever before, I can't wait to see what my answer to this is next year, as I begin this journey and have so much to learn in the next year. It should be quite challenging, wonderful, and liberating.

We got engaged. We got Oscar. I switched to 3 red grade. I'm grateful. I feel like my life is full. Christoph is gone for three months this and life is so empty.

Camp. I loved it so much. I feel like that is going to be an answer for a lot of these questions, but it is true. I felt like I could be myself, and the best version of myself at camp. I am so grateful for that experience. I think about it all the time. I miss it so much, and I'm so excited for the next time I go.

I received a teaching position and realized the meaning of some old advise... "if you truly want to learn, then teach." In many way, I care for others more than I care for myself. I'm grateful to know this.

This year has been all about Chris's cancer diagnosis and treatment, and then about our wedding and married life. It has been both a very hard year and a very happy year. I am very grateful. I am relieved the treatment is over. Mostly optimistic about what the scan will show and a tiny bit fearful that it will be bad news. After all the years of trying to protect his space, he no longer seems worried about any of that. He seems quite happy. For that, also, I am very grateful. I am also proud of myself for sticking with him through the ups and downs.

Working for an evangelical christian who believed only in the dictates of the bible. No matter what I said or did, it wasn't biblical and I got let go. It was exhausting, discouraging and sometimes downright angrifying. The experience has led me to healing my feelings, to solidifying my own relationship to MY divinity and to move forward. At times, I would still like to have a heart to heart with this woman, but know it wouldn't accomplish the broadening effect I wish for. I keep blessing her and moving forward.

I failed my first exam. First I was just mystified, I honestly thought it was a mistake; I usually have a pretty good idea of were I am on the grading scale, and I thought I was a very different place. Then I went to get feedback to prepare for a re-exam. She said my grammar was so bad that she couldn't let me pass. Then I did the re-exam and only barely passed. I had two people read through that, I obsessed over for the 48-hours the exam lasted. I haven't been able to get myself to seek her out for feedback again, I feel like such a failure. This was a stupid little 5 page exam, how am I going to be able to write a 70 page thesis, when I am so bad at grammar that I can't pass that small one? I hope everything works out, but it really took some of my confidence. 4 years of uni and this is the first time I have been told my grammar is that bad.

The most significant event in the past year was the birth of Lillie. The whole experience was a mix of emotions but in the end we have the most precious little girl. From the experience I realized that I let expectations get the best me. I thought I should have a natural childbirth and then we I got an epidural I felt bad. I have struggled with breastfeeding and it's been tough. The idea of quitting brings me guilt but not being fully present during her early weeks also brings me guilt. Luckily at the end of the day, each time I go to my daughter her face lights up. When she hears my voice, she turns her head. I know once her time on earth grows, each of these experiences will just be a part of our relationship. I also think I can change the way I look at them because in each of them, it just comes down to me and my little girl and the love I have for her.

In the last year I was in Israel. It's so easy to sign up for something like that or to say you want to go but when you step off the plane and are in a different country for an extended period of time it's fucking terrifying. It was confusing and expensive but I loved it. I'm so greatful for he experience because so many people don't get to experience something like that. I'm trying to get back because it was so wonderful and that's scary too. I hope I inspire others to do the same.

I began teaching ageless grace and chair yoga. I feel relieved that I can educate and inspire others. Frustrated that I still do not use the computer adequately to create my programs. I am inspired to teach more

Wow. There were many. I quit my toxic job, found the right treatment for my PTSD, and met the love of my life. It's been a busy year.

Well. Back in April, my father died. We knew it was coming, we had warning - six months to a year, his doctor said - and it was six months almost to the day. We knew that when it was time, there might not BE time to go there, so I wrote him a letter, told him all the things I thought I needed to say. As it happened, we did make it to Las Vegas in time to see him. He was unconscious, but I think he knew I was there. As to how it has affected me? I am numb. Still, almost six months later. I find no joy in the seasons, no joy in my gardens, my family, my cats. I exist, from one day to the next, because that's what I have to do.

I tried a new job. It was weird and awkward and uncomfortable but I made friends and people enjoyed working with me. I am grateful that it happened because its empowered me to be someone better. I just need to be strong and not scared.

My roommate told me via email that she was moving out... well, actually, our apartment manager responded to an email my roommate sent her and copied me on it, so my roommate didn't even actually tell me herself that she was moving. It stung. The trust in our friendship is gone, as is a lot of the foundations of our friendship as a whole. All of our grad school friends seem to be on her side, which doesn't make sense, because I should still be the one who's upset. I'm not going to rub this in her face or broadcast it to everyone, because we have enough to worry about with classes and internships anyway, but it still hurts to not be heard or understood.

Within a month, I lost my grandma and my cousin who had some developmental disabilities. My grandma was my best friend, and it hurts to know that she is not a phone call away anymore. It sucks to think that she was the glue that kept the family together and now we are all ripping at the seams. My cousin dying proved that people are liars. With my cousins disabilities, those in my family that unconditionally loved her were devastated by those who made fun of her. Only garbage makes fun of those who cannot change who they are. Everyday, I am more inspired to help people like her, who worked and lived as selflessly as they could. Not a day goes by where I do not think about either one of these women that graced my life. My their life be a blessing.

My wife's grandmother turned 100 and is in good health. It is a tremendous blessing. We are extremely grateful, fortunate and realize how lucky we are.

I got an artificial right hip! I am so grateful! Today, I walked just over two miles on our hilly neighborhood streets. In recovery from the surgery, my main motivation was to be able to do just that--walk the neighborhood. I'm there! I made it! I'm relieved a bit and I am inspired!

A friend, my age, almost 80, fell when we were walking in the street. She broke her hip -- a common problem -- and although that was repaired, she never regained her confidence. For a while I too was fearful. Would I fall? Would I too soon become unable to go about life in my usual way? After a lot of dithering, I took a balance class and learned how to protect myself from falls and fears. Her fall certainly inspired me.

Reconstruction of our residential apartments has begun. This has caused MUCH aggravation with noise, dirt and disappointment. I was moved into temporary housing for a month, came back to disarray, and shock with the appalling lack/disregard of usability in the new apartments. Being in the midst of the ongoing destruction has been very hard. On the bright side, due to financing this chaos, we became a HUD project and my rent was incredibly reduced! A high point this year was my participation in a study with School of Design engineering students from Stanford and Paris on Kitchen Design for elderly adults. It was exciting and fun. We made a meal together and had me do a "mock" grocery shopping. I was invited to their presentation this June to see the results of their study here and in France, + the video of a finished kitchen for a couple outside of Paris which I hope to visit some day.

The most significant thing was my long-term travel experience this summer. Including the months of preparing for the trip and the anxiety before leaving. It was the best experience I could imagine. Traveling turned out to be very easy. I managed everything very well. People were honest and most of the time helpful. Being on the road and in a different environment helped with being more in touch with myself. Being more self-reliant made me becoming more trusting my decisions. I am very grateful for being able to travel, both financially as mentally. And I am relieved that this strong wish of mine turned out to be feasible.

2016 has been a very difficult year. My husband lost his job under allegations of unethical and even potential illegal activity. The one thing I know for sure is that neither of these are true. Steve loves being a public servant and takes that responsibility very seriously. What I do know is that these untruths are politically motivated and that his career is potentially over. The most difficult part of this is seeing Steve question himself and come to terms with the fallout. How do I feel about all of this? Enraged by the allegations, resentful at the accusers, and disappointed by the industry that turned their collective backs on a good and honest man. On the flip side of this, there have been a few business associates that have called on a weekly basis. The lesson in what a genuine friendship looks like humbles me. I am grateful for that lesson.

I had minor surgery. I wasn't concerned about the surgery but about the blood pressure check for pre-op and the day of surgery. I have developed a phobia regarding BP checks - extreme white coat effect. That was only last month. I hope to transcend and overcome this struggle and get to the deeper part of any fear I face. I am wondering if denying the tests is actually making the fear grow.

I re-established contact with my Dad. Our losing contact had to do with my being unable reach him after receiving a cryptic message from him accusing me of having his car. It turns out that he has dementia and has moved into a facility where he can be watched & cared for. I try to visit him every week and I feel grateful & inspired to have this time with him. He is quite lucid, though there are also times where his train of thought is not based in reality. He has expressed regret for not having a better relationship with me, as have I, and apologized for his failings as a husband (to Mom) and father. I have forgiven him, and that conversation alone is powerful enough for the memory to last a lifetime. There is some resentment of my not getting to him sooner to re-establish a relationship "pre-dementia," but I truly cherish the time I now get to spend with him.

Marco died two days ago. By way of significant experiences, I can't think of much that trumps the impact of that event -- it is all encompassing. I imagine it will be for some time. This has impacted me in so many ways: I feel devastated that he's gone and so, so sad. I'm also deeply grateful for having 13.5 years with him -- many more than he was supposed to have. He truly was a miracle. And I'm also trying to have gratitude for how it ended, quickly without much suffering, with us holding him -- it was best for him, though we are still in shock and can't believe he's not here with us. I love you Marco so much and thank you for everything.

I had sex again for the first time in YEARS. It was a loooooooong dry spell and I came back into the game in a pretty delightful way. Not only was it great for obvious reasons, but it's also made me relax as far as sex and relationships are concerned. The arrangement my partner and I have is easy-going and fluid. There's no pressure, it's casual, grown-up fun. Regardless of what happens, I'm grateful to this man for helping me get back into the game.

I touched a man who was in terminal phase of pancreatic cancer. I am a body therapist and spent one hour with him gently massaging his hands, his feet and his head while talking to him almost the entire time. The experience was profound. Although i am no specialist in being a companion to the end of life, I knew exactly what to do and felt somehow comfortable to be present at that time. I found out weeks later that he had passed 10 days after i saw him. It was significant for me and inspired me to volunteer this year at a hospice and palliative care center. Looking retrospectively, this one experience last year and its ripple effects have transformed my perspective. I have deepened my practice of qualities like compassion, empathy, patience, listening..., and it has helped me greatly to stay more grounded, centered, present and grateful in other areas of my life. That's what touch really is.

My ex-husband died at the age of 71, after years of early-onset Alzheimer's. Though I had not seen him in about 25 years and we were divorced almost 28 years ago, it made me sad and caused me to meditate deeply on mortality-- mine and that of everyone born of woman. Just like that, one's hopes, dreams, goals, the things that make one laugh or cry or rage in anger... It's all over. I'd like to say I have drawn some significant conclusion about how then to live the rest of my life as a result of it, but the fact is that several people I was close to have died in recent years-- it's just that this was the one I knew the most intimately, and as far as I know, the only person I have slept with who is now dead. I guess it reinforces my sense of how precious and fleeting it all is.

I just found out my mom likely has only 6-12 months to live. It makes me very sad. I knew her 5 year prognosis was poor, but 6-12 months hit me like a ton of bricks. I treasure her every day and I look at every day that she is with us to be a blessing.

I got engaged in December. We're an interfaith couple and planning a wedding ceremony, celebration, and all the other details that go with it have been challenging and fulfilling. My rabbi will be co-officiating his first-ever interfaith wedding and my fiancee's minister will also be doing her first-ever interfaith ceremony. We've learned a ton and had just enough tension to keep it interesting. I'm inspired to be living a life with this woman, to have a rabbi who is wise, kind, and engaged in the future of our faith and congregation and to have family and friends - present and future - that share in our adventure.

I took a job and loved everything about it--the fact I could go take a walk if I wanted to, the tasks I was assigned, the level of intellect it required. It was pretty great, except that the person I worked for was---Well, I don't know what she was or is, really, but I know that she didn't treat people with the respect they deserved. Nor did her understanding of reality jive very well with anyone else's. How did it affect me? When I left the classroom, I was confident in my abilities, self-assured, and ready to move on to life's next challenge. After several months at this job, that confidence had started to dwindle. My commitment to my ideals started to be replaced by a desire to avoid conflict. The big questions, though--am I resentful? Maybe. Mostly not. Frustrated, yes. A little down, yes. Ready to make a change for the better--most definitely.

I entered my first year of college. I still can't really believe it, but I'm adapting to it faster than I thought I would, sometimes faster than I think I should. I've experienced so many extreme highs and extreme lows within this first month on my own, with many tears and many smiles, and I've learned much much more about myself. I feel stronger, in a way. Now that I'm in such an unfamiliar place, I only have myself to count on as a not-so-constant constant. It's very strange, but not something I think I could ever regret.

I finally found a new job. I'm so grateful to be working in an agency that values me as a human and not just a means to production. So relieved to not dread going to the office on Monday mornings!

I moved to a residential facility because I'm elderly and was living alone and my health was in danger. At first I was depressed and a little resentful. After time I began to participate in the activities and I found my enthusiasm for living returning. I realized that I had been missing companionship and inter-action with people and I now feel myself living a more integrated life.

I moved to a new city, to go to school. I’m madly in love with it here. It was intense and challenging and pushed me to my absolute limits and back again. The process deepened my appreciation for myself and what I’m able to do, and where I’m at now in my life that’s made it possible for me to do this. I feel so grateful to many people who have supported me in reaching this point, and relieved that the hardest part is over and now I’m in the fun part. I have some sadness and fear that are also present about various parts of the adventure, things I didn’t get to do, things that might not work out how I want them to, but overall I feel increasingly confident that I can handle whatever comes my way.

Last year (meaning 2015), before Rosh Hashanah I separated from my partner of over 10 years. It was/is perhaps one of the most difficult things I've ever experienced in my life. I knew though, that he and I both needed this to happen in order to grow into the next phase of our lives. We were stagnant both as a couple and as individuals and for us to grow and blossom we needed to no longer be romantically involved. It's taken me this whole year to come to forgive myself for leaving a relationship that my partner was happy with. I have learned how to be on my own, which I had never really achieved before. I've dated a few people over this past year and none of them have really stuck. That's been hard, because I'm very scared of being alone. I've been very scared that I left the one person who would "have me." But I've also been learning to let go of that fear. I recently dated someone who I really felt a strong connection with. I was beginning to think that maybe he was the love of my life. I began to think maybe he was the reason I left my ex. But things hit some rocks and as I was trying to surrender myself to the relationship, despite my own fears, he decided that being in a relationship with me was not something he wanted at this moment. That's been a painful and fear affirming experience for me. It's easy for this little voice in my head to say "See? Nobody will ever true love you again." Yet, I know it's just the fear and that while the fear will always be along for the ride with me in this life, it is not allowed to be the driver. I truly believe this new year is a time for letting go. Forgiving myself for what happened in the past, with my last relationship, and also affirming to myself that someone will come along who will feel as lucky to have me as I feel to have them. It may be sooner than I think. But until that point getting myself to where I want to be and bringing myself to a place of betterment and self love needs to be my central focus. Leaving my old life was a huge step in moving away from fear. I'm not 100% there. I want to live in love and not fear. But this last year I have been tremendous strides in getting closer and closer to doing that. I am grateful for where I have come to and for this new year I want to commit myself to truly living in a place of love and allowing myself to surrender and trust.

This year, after being retired for 2 years, both my college roommate and one of my work friends retired. They are my first retired friends. Being able to plan outtings, lunch dates, sign up to learn new skills and hobbies is so much fun now that I have friends to share these experiences. I am grateful that I am in this season of life, sharing it with friends for different seasons of my past, but helping to enrich this season. This new found joy in experiencung new things has inspred me to go out of my comfort zone and volunteer with a group that I know no one in the group. All of this has brought a renewed sense of gratitude for the service I can provide to my own children and grandchildren.

In the past year, I've traveled to a new land, Brazil, for the first time. I have made hundreds of new friends, learned a little Portuguese, and have broadened my sense of the world, history, and people. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to travel and meet these generous, friendly people. My own place in the world comes into focus as part of the greater diaspora of Europeans as we have immigrated, claiming parts of the planet and spreading our values, languages, and religions. I feel smaller and greater at the same time.

Haida Gwaii. Ian & I went there. I am grateful to have gone. The land and people have inspired me. I feel much more connected to the west coast. I have more insight into the art-making of the aboriginal peoples of the coast. This knowledge helps me in my teaching of art, my personal and social justice work. It has opened up my world. Haaw'a to Thomas and the Haid people!

Having Electro-Convulsive Therapy during April and May was definitely the most significant experience that I have had in 5776. I didn't want to have it but after telling Mommy and Daddy that I had a concrete plan to end my life they weren't giving me a choice about it. Mommy came to stay with me and every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday she and I went to Suburban Hospital to see Dr. George. It took its toll on me, and I still don't have all of my memory back, but I am on the other side. Besides some panic that I am having currently, the ECT was successful. I no longer want to kill myself. I want to take an active role in my life. And while I am FAR from perfect, I am trying to get my apartment and my life in my control.

The immediate answer that comes to mind is my spiritual quest in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This was my second experience, with my first being in 2012. I'd like to think I changed a great deal since then and definitely felt I was stuck... clogged... at a standstill the year building up to the quest this year. Because of it, I'd definitely say I'm feeling grateful and more inspired overall.

Been sidelined due to pain. Very frustrated and desperate to get back on track. I want to be active and healthy!!

My mother suffered a series of strokes. Friends lost children. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am, above all, grateful for this precious, unfathomable life and the people I share it with.

Our baby died. I'm angry at god, and I think most people are ungrateful for what they have. I am pissed off that this happened to us, my wife and I. But this experience has made me grateful for what I have, life - but maybe I'm just saying that and it's not true. I don't care. I'm angry, and sad. Clearly this has clouded a positive expectation of the future every being fun again. Maybe fun is not what it's suppose to be. But being human is a magical thing, and I want to appreciate the magic of life. I do resent that this happened. I do. And that's where I am no.

This might not seem significant to others; however, I got a waste management bill in the mail with my name on it. This last year I have gone through a difficult divorce following an extremely challenging 3+ year relationship. And at the same time I lost my twin brother a little over a year ago, and although that was also a challenging relationship, the grieving has been deep and has hit me in unexpected ways and at random times. So to get on my feet the last year has been monumentally difficult. In all fairness to Dex, I am grateful to pay him to stay here, and need to be able to qualify for a new mortgage in my name before March 2017. Working temp jobs and working hard to increase my income has been a priority. I am just now gaining some traction income-wise, and have almost everything changed over into my name. While I have been paying a lot of the bills there were a number of hold ups in getting the accounts in my name. Almost accomplished! Getting the waste management bill in my name felt very freeing, and quite right.

I turned 60 and realized that most of the males in my family died in their late 60's or 70's. It has put me on a bit of a fast track to retire so I can spend more time doing things that inspire me.

I haven't had a significant experience in the past year. Is that something about which to be grateful, relieved, resentful? I am not sure how it could be inspiring. The *lack* of significant experiences comes partly because I don't have children (not a choice), who for many people of my age are what gives life its most important meaning, and partly because my life is stagnated. If a relationship can simultaneously go nowhere and take you in different directions, that's where we are. My work schedule is frenetic, but because of where I live and the opportunities for the sort of work I do I'm earning less and in a more junior position than I was ten years ago, with a contract which ends next summer and no prospects for anything else. My parents are ageing and unhappy. I suppose this should be an inspiration to make a change. Or perhaps it's an object lesson that I need to be inspired to love what I have; that I need to welcome a minimum wage job which has nothing to do with my interests because many people are worse off, that at least I am in a relationship and many people would love even that, that my parents are still alive at an advanced age. I don't know. To try for more seems very selfish, especially as I'd effectively be taking it away from someone with prospects, children, family.

My first child was born this year, a daughter. Not surprisingly, this overshadowed pretty much every other event of the year. It's been both more difficult and more satisfying than I'd imagined.

I moved to Baltimore. I am very much grateful. My happiness has improved tremendously, and every day seems like the new best day of my life. I miss family and I miss friends, but I am better off in the long run. I love Sarah! hashbrownyoloswag

Dad died in July. I learned how boundless my mother is and was inspired by her care of him, especially in his final months. We formed an unbreakable united front. Our love for him and for each other has been foregrounded against all else. This is the year I discovered how far my heart could bend without breaking. Instead of my heart shattering completely, my soul has expanded. This is the year when I learned that magic and loss are inextricably bound. My finite conceptions of existence were challenged and forever changed. I have started to read the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, the work of the theosophists as condensed by Annie Besant (whose show I serendipitously saw at the Stony Island Arts Bank a few months before my dad was diagnosed and responded to, like, whoa), Etel Adnan (a poet who has dedicated herself to trying to write about the ineffable in really concrete terms), and Edmond Jabès's The Book of Questions, plus slim and fat volumes about birds and the stars and mythology. These books have all talked about existence in ways that resonate with me now. I have had to take myself back to school, so to speak. While I have never considered myself spiritual necessarily, I have begun to think about life much differently. Also, it's astounding to me how grief is a whole-body experience. It has physically hurt from the tips of my fingers to the tips of my toes. My heart has ached. And I haven't been able to sleep straight through the hours of 3-5 am in months.

This year, my relationship with my sister completely changed. To be frank, it has pretty much ended entirely. Our relationship had already started to disintegrate over the last few years, but the final straw came about seven months ago. It's a long story, so I'll give you the abridged version: when my parents downsized, they gave my sister a significant amount to put towards a deposit on a house. It was given on the understanding that she would then pay it back so that I could borrow the money for a deposit, and then pay it back to my parents. It was agreed and discussed many times, and my sister bought her house. Cut to four years later, and I'm finally in a position to buy a home. When I spoke to my sister about it, she avoided the issue for months before finally telling me she wouldn't be able to give me any of the money, and basically shrugged her shoulders when I asked if there was anything that could be done. She has not paid a single penny of it back to my parents, and it's likely she never well. This year, I finally saw my sister for who she really is. I am sad about it, but also free from a very negative and one-sided relationship with her.

I retired after 37 years of being a preschool teacher. It was bitter sweet. I loved my job every single day but worked with someone who was NOT a nice person. Checked my options and decided to move forward with retirement. I miss the children and parents so much but still get to seem them on Wednesdays as I help with a program WALK TO SCHOOL WEDNESDAYS. I have adjusted my time filling it with things I didn't have time for while working! Life is good. Resentful at first. Relieved secondly. Grateful every day now ❤️

A family member committed suicide, not a person that i was close to, simply because he was married to a niece, and much younger than myself, but... I asked myself the question, why did I not take time to get to know him better? Why had I never sat down and had a proper conversation with him? It once again made me realise how precious life is, and how we take each other for granted. We get so busy with our lives, that we neglect the people around us far too easily. This fact was revealed to me 15 years ago when our son died in an accident, and for a time I worked on building relationships, especially with our immediate family, but all to soon, life takes over and we let it all slide again. I hope that in this new year, I will be able to do better with those around me.

Well, this was the year when my life completely changed. I took the biggest leap in my life when I fell deeply in love with a good friend and got divorced to be with her. The past year was full of ups and downs and challenges and lots of learning. But while last year's 10Q was all about the pain of embarking on this journey, this year, I'm in a stable, wonderful, love-filled, safe-feeling place. I'm incredibly proud of how much I've grown and extremely grateful to have those hard times behind me. I imagine that this coming year is going to be amazing.

A relationship became more special and intimate. The relationship brings me great joy in so many ways. I am a very positive person, but each day now feels even more joyful and alive. I am intensely grateful. My husband changed jobs, which is wonderful for him as he'll enjoy what he is doing more than he has in a long time. I think it will be better for our marriage also.

Giving birth to Ora. I am a fucking legend.

I got a new job. I have a group of new friends all around the country and an opportunity to work in many states. I am grateful and it has helped me grow. perao ally for the friendships and opportunities it is amazing. I am just unsure of the company fit. Time will tell.

My partner and I decided we want to have a baby. Its Been harder than we expected to conceive. It's been a roller coaster of excitement, elation, disappointment and frustration as we move through fertility testing. I'm grateful for such a wonderful relationship but saddened by the idea that a baby might not be in the cards for us.

I had to go into hiding because my no-contact order against my second ex-fiancé had expired due to gross negligence from the county clerk of courts. It sucked; I couldn't go outside without a companion for 6 days. Finally, my court date arrived and I was granted a 2-year no-contact order against him.

We took my parents -- both in their 80's -- on an Alaskan cruise! My mom has said, multiple times to my sister & me, that she "never imagined that she would get to go to Alaska." I think they smiled the entire time we were traveling. Seeing the crystal blue of the glaciers, hearing the smack of a whale's tail hitting the water, listening to the stories about the Yukon explorers, feeling the chill in the air -- these experiences became even more magical as I watched my parents enjoy them too. I became even more grateful to have been born to two such amazing and wonderful people. I'm thankful that their health is still good enough for them to travel. The older I've gotten myself (I just turned 60), the more I value them and the home I was brought up in. I suppose we came pretty close to having that "ideal" family that everyone wants -- with a mom and dad who love each other and their children, who faced their problems together with strength, and modeled kindness, tolerance, and respect to all people.

I experienced actual depression, where I couldn't get out of bed or motivate myself to do anything more difficult than eating, and it made living hard.

Joe, my father-in-law, passed away this year in June. It did affect me greatly. It is still affecting me. I did not know him when he was younger, he was well into his 70's when I met and married his son. He did not seem to be a happy person and as never easy to be around. He could be generous with money, but it was never given without strings attached. He could be very verbally cruel, to everyone in his family--not just me. He was a very mean drunk, and he was often drunk--drinking heavily before dinner and then going to bed immediately after. My husband wanted so badly to have a close, loving relationship with his father, but his dad just wasn't that dad and it really tore up my honey. He and his wife often argued like the couple in Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf. Very uncomfortable to be around. There have been many a Yom Kippur where I struggled with forgiveness. You don't have to forgive someone, if they're not repentant and don't change their behavior... and Joe was never repentant and didn't change his behavior. Although I heart felt stated"let no one be punished on mt account." After a spectacularly cruel Thanksgiving, I left their house and flew home early the next morning. I did not travel to see them the entire time I was working on a Master's degree because too much psychic energy was lost, and I needed everything I had to get through my coursework. While I sent my husband and boys to visit frequently, I stayed home and spent many holidays alone. I did not invite my in-laws to my graduation as they had been unsupportive of my journey and hassled me frequently about wasting time and money on this education. I did lift my personal travel ban after graduation and started to visit again, but only stayed for 4 days maximum, leaving the rest of the family behind. The years have passed, with no resolution other than the occasional visit by me; the holiday phone calls and sending the family without me. Our parent's have aged. Joe declining into a frail man with severe arthritic pain and Alzheimer's Dementia, with multiple, serial health crises over the past couple of years. My own mother now lives with us and needs daily assistance, so I have sent my husband to visit his parents and encouraged him to stay through every health crisis. My mother-in-law finally allowed Joe to be place on hospice and with the multiple moving pieces to get help in place for my mom, I did not get to the in-laws before he passed. As I tossed the shovelful of dirt on his casket, I said the only thing I had wanted to say at the end; "I forgive you. I hope you can forgive me. I wish you nothing but peace." I am relieved that he is no longer suffering from pain and modified diets and thickened liquid and a life in a nursing home and stays in the ICU. But I am still struggling with forgiveness. I said over his grave that I forgive him and these three months I find that a difficult thing to do. I am also at a loss to figure out how to mourn someone you didn't like very much. Questioning myself if I protected myself too much in the last years, when he was failing. I am simply at a loss over the loss of Joe. I am hopeful that something in the liturgy or sermon or other writings will give me a key to processing this all, really achieving forgiveness for Joe, forgiveness for myself for withholding (as a protective strategy), to mourn the goodness that he often hid and set down my heavy burden of pain, guilt and unforgiveness.

The most significant experience I had in the past year was being present when my mom made her transition. The entire process of her illness and decline became a big part of my life while it was happening, and I bonded with my dad trying to get him through. She kept bouncing back and then being hospitalized again, and visiting her in the ICU became almost normal. When she passed, we were preparing to transfer her to hospice. It was just so sudden. I felt shocked, scared, relieved, and grateful. I was glad her suffering was over, and grateful that I was able to be there with her during her last moments. I am still processing how it affected me. I am still learning to feel my feelings.

I went to work full time for the first time since having children. I am grateful to work with a kind hardworking sped staff, but also a bit overwhelmed finding a new work life balance. I am relieved to have stable income with my preferred age group and population and also sad to be gone from my amazing kiddos so much. Honestly a bit resentful to be teaching a literacy class and to be full time instead of 3 days a week, but making the most of it!

I had a massive migraine and had to be taken to the hospital for medical intervention. I am grateful for that experience as I learned how important it is to just be in the presence of the one who is expereicing difficulties. The friend that was with me could do nothing to help me, but by her just being with me in the room was such calming and peaceful experience, Her presence there gave me much comfort and was so important.

My aunt passed away in May. I loved my aunt and felt close to her, but I am disappointed with myself for not having kept in closer touch with her. She died alone. I am sad that I didn't get there in time to say goodbye. I was not there for her when she needed someone. I know she loved me too, but she was reserved and waited for me to get in touch because I have a busier life. Which I do. But I lost her. If I had been more proactive, I could even have saved her life, possibly. There is a lot of regret and sadness that I let this person down who I dearly loved.

The most significant experience of the year happened two weeks ago with Nomi's arrival in our family. I am, on the one hand, so grateful and feel so blessed to have three beautiful, kind and healthy children. This is what I have wanted for so long. On the other hand, I am still overwhelmed and unsure with how we will handle having 3 kids, how we will make sure everyone (me included) gets what they need....it scares me. How our marriage will hold up, how my work might suffer, how to manage it all...

Over the past year I have become more housebound due to disability. I am somewhat relieved to have given up the struggle to get out of the house more, but also aware of the limitations this imposes on me and the responsibility I bear to make sure I stay connected to other people. I am grateful for my friends, who are all wonderful.

I became a member of a clique - really just a circle of friends who did almost everything together. Sometimes it felt a little oppressive since I can be a bit of a loner, but overall it was incredible. I loved having my people. Then I left that community to return home. It has been four months and I still feel far from recovering this loss. I wrote that the thing I want to let go of this year is despair in the face of my own loneliness. It is near impossible to imagine a different future for myself. I can't tell if it's me or where I live now. If it's me I'd like to face my problems but if it's this place, I would like to leave, next August please. Or sooner if the opportunity arises.

I finished the first draft of a musical I'm working on. It was a bit mind blowing for me because I've been working on it with my writing partner for over 4 years. Most of that time was spent thinking of ideas, brainstorming and anything but actually writing, A little over a year ago I began to write more seriously and was able to get the basic storyline down. With that information once I decided to sit down and write, the writing went very quickly, I was surprised at how easily it came. Part of me was afrais I would never write or finish it so having a first draft felt amazing. I was so happy when I finnished it and my writing parter was thrilled when she read it. That was a big deal for me, In fact it only just happened this last week :)

While living on the other side of world from my home, my partner broke up with me. I couldn't see a way through or imagine my future without him, and being so far from my family the support I had was limited. But I have surprised myself with how resourceful, strong and resilient I can be. I have asked for help without shame, found new friendships, dealt with the practicalities of moving on and am so proud of where I am only a few months on.

I travelled across Canada and back again to meet and film a documentary on Transgender Canadians. It has had positive and negative affects on my life, but I am moved and inspired by the resilience and positive attitude embodied by the community.

Last December, I lost my dad. The second had of the year both flew by and was in sow motion - his screams of pain, losing his leg, losing what was left of his mind, and finally seeing him let go. Last fall/winter, I was horrified and ashamed and selfconciously selfish (or self preserving). Everything I did was simultaneously what I needed to do and heart breaking. A year out, I wish I could give that girl some grace and a timeout. To be a mum and a worker and a fiancée and a daughter and a caretaker - I'm grateful to have survived it (and him) and to love him even with him being gone.

I took a new job at RingCentral. It's a mixed blessing. I wasn't challenges at mu last job, and pretty unengaged overall. But, it wasn't much work and I was fairly well paid. I am making more now (but with less options upside) and I'm being forced to develop a stronger work ethic, more like I used to be. So, I'm grateful for the challenge and hoping I can handle the extra workload, especially as it impacts my ability to take care of non-work activities to keep myself healthy and active, and stuff around the house/home.

I can't think of any one big thing... def more growth for me and getting Jason off to school was big though I really didn't want him to go fgcu I finally swallowed it...I am grateful that he is doing well emotionally and need to keep supporting from a distance... had fearful phone call on Wednesday and I don't like how I didn't feel right before the test I tried to convince myself it was anxiety let's see if it's a radiology problem or my body changing... I am grateful for two new job opportunities that finally came my way grateful for my neck better I did good job sending Marc to brown getting Val to cda n walker

This past year I applied, and successfully got into, Sheffield University. Now I live away from my parents and am free of their well-meaning but controlling nature. It amazes me to think that two months ago I was asking permission to stay up until half past ten to finish a cup of tea and now I can go to bed whenever I like. I'm allowed to make friends with whoever I want and I've finally got to see a doctor for depression, which I've had for years but which my parents do not believe in. I feel free at last. I feel like even if things go terribly wrong here, they will never be as bad for me as they were before.

Moved into my new "old"home on 1/5/2016. Very expensive reminder but home is far more me...simple, indudualistic, neighborhood more my style. Very happy I did it.

I can't think of a more significant experience this year than deciding to move to Rwanda. It's affecting me constantly in ways I could never have really envisioned or anticipated, and I believe that this lack of being able to foresee the difficulty is why we were able to decide to do it in the first place. If we had known how frustrating this experience would be - how very different and outside and other we feel from everything around us - I doubt we would have decided to come. If we had known that the MASS office was run by a narcissist and that the company was run by people who would endorse and support a narcissist, I doubt we would have come. If we had known... I wouldn't have quit my job, sold our furniture, and left our network of friends and family behind. I would probably be working on my freelance business in the comfort of our apartment in Toronto. We'll never be able to find an apartment like that, at that price, ever again. If we had known... I would not be sitting isolated in someone else's living room trying to combat constant power outages and swarming termites during the rainy season. Rather I'd be engaged with a community of designers in Toronto and would be surrounded by friends and family who could support and encourage me. Instead of confronting a city full of not-for-profits with no design budget, I'd have opportunities to network and build my business through the many art and design events in Toronto. I'd still be photographing for Airbnb; I'd be making contacts through that and potentially starting other types of photography work. Instead, I'm sitting in a house that's not my own. I am surrounded by bags that I can't unpack, full of things that are supposed to help me feel like 'home', things that will make our lives easier. We don't have a home, though. We can't find a suitable home because every agent in Rwanda sees us as an opportunity to make a buck on the clueless, rich mzungu. If we did have a home, I am not sure how differently I would feel right now. Would the constant power and water outages still bring tears of frustration to my eyes? Would hand washing and wringing out laundry for 5 hours become commonplace? Would I find energy to search at every supermarket for the basics of life, struggling to find simple ingredients? Would I ever feel settled enough to have the creative freedom to get out my paper and start painting? Would I be able to set up my computer and focus on honing my coding skills? Or would I still be sitting there, immobilized by homesickness, loneliness and self-doubt? Would my husband and I stop arguing or would we become more and more distant as his work situation slowly wears away his self-worth and he brings all those negative emotions home with him? Will his boss ever stop harassing him and isolating him from the rest of his colleagues? And will anyone ever understand or care? So how do I feel about this significant experience? Frustrated. Resentful. Angry. Indignant. Hopeless. Moving to Rwanda was certainly one of the worst decisions I've ever made.

A very dear long time friend went through a heroic bout with cancer and died.

We got married this year and are still humbled, overjoyed, and thankful for such an enriching experience. Friendships were made, family members were reconnected, and "love" was celebrated in every way possible. It was the best weekend ever.

My little sister Cheyenne and I have finally come in contact after 13 years. I feel incredibly relieved, grateful, excited and fulfilled. So many questions on if she was okay, what she looks like, if she would remember me. Praying for my little brother to come around and reach out but I am just grateful to know they are joyful and healthy, deeply loved and alive. I hope to be holding them in my arms by next year!

I found Jesus. I'm an learning that I am unconditionally loved and it's through His grace, not my own.

This year I got into all of the graduate programs that I applied to. It was incredibly motivating and affirming for me.

Lot's of experience this year! 1) Ella and I finally moved forward with the divorce. I filed on November 23'rd of last year. We moved forward at the pace we could move forward at, and Ella found us a great mediator last week. I can only hope that when I read this a year from now, I'll be a gratified 2) I had my first year teaching at an all girl's school. It was an amazing experience, and I'm starting to realize that I'm learning what it means to be a feminist and an ally. I'm trying not to be terrible at it. 3) I've started dating again. I've had some struggles with emotions, crushes, my own dishonesty, not finding an ideal, but it has been wonderful 4) I'm reconnecting with my music once again and it has been amazing. 5) I got a car in July and being able to go out of the city has been absolutely amazing.

My (younger) sister and her husband both fully retired this year, and began traveling a lot, which is how they want to spend their retirement. (They hope to sell their primary home, and become "nomads".) They have invited my husband and me to join them on many of their trips, but as we are both still working, we have only been able to accompany them a couple of times. We spent time with them in Belize and Playa del Carmen, and had a great vacation with them in New Orleans. How does this affect me? I'm happy for them, jealous of their freedom (and financial situation), and delighted with the trips we have been able to share with them. I'm also inspired, certainly. My husband and I also hope to do a lot of traveling once we retire, although we may not have the financial ability to do quite as much of it as they are.

Bryan told me he loved me. He tells me that I am beautiful. If this relationship goes tits-up tomorrow, it was worth it to hear that. I love him very much.

I made a trip out to Ohio to close up some unfinished business and reconnect with people/places that saved my life. Though I had been making this decision for a long time, on that trip I formalized my choice to withdraw from my Ph.D. program rather than finish the dissertation and get my degree. I was surprised at how emotional it was - there were many tears shed, often accompanied by emotion that I couldn't identify and/or couldn't describe. Yet, it felt very right, even with that. And as I got together with friends still in academia on that trip, it solidified for me that life in the "Ivory Tower" is not what I want for myself and is not congruent with my values. There is much relief that accompanies having committed to this decision. While in Ohio, I also got to see Sonja and visit The Center for Balanced Living in their new building. While I knew it would be difficult to see her and be in CBL again, I was taken aback at just how much grief I experienced when it was time to say goodbye. The grief felt just as strong and profound as when we moved away three years ago; I cried for hours, and it was many, many weeks before I could think about Sonja or CBL without crying. I miss that place so much. I miss the deep love and acceptance of it. I miss being loved because of my struggles, not in spite of them. And I miss having an entire place that understands people with eating disorders and isn't even a little bit afraid to talk openly about them. And I miss Sonja. I saw Jen while I was out there too and, while it was wonderful to catch up and show her how well I'm doing, I do not miss her in the same way. What WAS different about this visit and departure from CBL is the place that I'm in. When I go there, I got to see CBL from more of a colleague perspective than a client perspective - Sonja showed me a lot of the workings and areas that clients wouldn't normally see, and it was very cool to be in that position. (I even had to sign a visitor confidentiality agreement!) The other amazing thing that happened was that when she was showing me around, we ran into one of the dietitians who started working at CBL since I moved. Sonja introduced me to her by saying, "This is Sarah. She used to be a client here. She got better and moved away from us, so she's just back for a visit to see the new space." She was absolutely BEAMING with pride when she said this. I cannot express how powerful and motivating it was to hear Sonja say the words, "She got better." This visit to CBL also reminded me of how very connected I still am to that place and those people, even though I now live far away. Visiting with Sonja and seeing CBL made me acutely aware of all of the skills and ways of thinking that I draw on *all the time* and don't notice anymore because they're so automatic. Finally, this departure from CBL was different because I *knew* that I would be okay. I left secure in the knowledge that, though I may *want* CBL, I do not *need* it. I know that, because I carry it with me all the time, I will not relapse without CBL. Because of them, I do not need them. Reconnecting with CBL made me even more inspired, committed, and connected to my recovery.

My life has opened immensely this year. I've spent so much time saying that I identified as polyamorus that I finally met someone and am actively living the lifestyle. It's been wonderful, filled with beautiful complications. It's also been painful....I've been challenged in ways that I never knew that I could be....been challenged to be emotional in ways that feel incredibly vulnerable. I'm glad for the openness....even if it frightens me at times.

I went to the ER with chest pains .My blood pressure went way up and stayed there ,even medicine did not bring it down .It was scary ,they gave me all kinds of tests which were hard to bear as well . As it turned out , my heart is alright , it was most likely an extreme reaction to my blood pressure medicine .The hospital sent me home with four kinds of blood pressure medicine which keep me pretty much asleep if I took them all .Finally my primary care Dr sent me to a cardiologist . He was so nice and smart too . He took me off all the pills except one which I take at night so now I feel human and can function again .Also I am trying to relax and not take life so seriously in spite of this election coming up .I am grateful to God and the Dr for helping me through this .

I lost my home of 23 years, but "forced downsizing" has actually made me much more grateful for what l do have.He

My stepson Lucas was shot and killed at the age of 34. This loss is complicated by the fact he is not my biological child and came into my life as the estranged son of his father. At the time he was a junior in high school, living with his mother and struggling to find himself. He liked fast cars, drag racing, wanted to find a quick path to wealth and was self-medicating with opiate pain killers, originally prescribed for a surgical procedure to remedy a sunken chest plate. He was handsome, sensitive, intelligent, empathic, and lost. At that time we did not know about his addiction. Communication between Lukes' mother and my husband had always been difficult at best. When they separated Luke "decided" to stay living with his mother and his sister "decided" to live with her dad. As we became aware of just how much trouble Luke was in, we tried to help. When his life was in danger due to a drug deal gone bad, we helped him move out of state quickly with his commitment to live with his maternal grandparents and begin a recovery program. His grandfather had stayed in contact with my husband around increasing concern for Luke through the years since high school. Together they had a plan to help him get clean and sober. A big part of this plan was to help Luke "emancipate" from living with his mother. At one time Luke stated he could not move out on his own because if he did, who would take care of her? We began piecing together the facts and they showed how Luke's income was depended on by his mom in order to pay rent, bills and put food on the table. We believed helping him separate from her, work a recovery program and focus on his personal needs and addiction would free him to create his own life. Luke was able, finally, to commit to a methadone program and get free of heroin. He had about five years of sobriety during this time. He was not happy, however, and increasingly seemed depressed. Shortly after his move to be closer to his grandparents, his grandfather died. His mother then moved out of state and once again in with her son. My heart sank when I got this news. I knew deep down there would not be a good outcome and that Luke would not emancipate and create his own life. Luke's father made regular trips to see his son, spend time, encourage him and provide support. Collectively we were concerned about how he worked long hours and seemed to be taken advantage of by his employers in fast food establishments. We urged him to think about college--he was smart, he worked his way to management quickly--to at least take his management skill and apply for a better job where he would be treated better and make a better living wage. Luke became less and less communicative, did not return phone calls, emails. Several times he called us to say he was going to take a vacation and come see us. I told him please to come, it had been too long and we missed him. He never came. The last time his dad saw him, it was clear he was involved in drug trafficking, actively using, and in love with a woman who was also addicted. He had not been "working'' for a year. Luke had very little time for his dad on this trip. His dad confronted him and Luke said he knew he was in trouble and needed to get back into a program. His dad drove him to the clinic to see what it would take to get back in. It was Luke's idea, his father told me, not wanting to take any credit for Luke's decision to get back into recovery. This was about six weeks before his death and in that period of time his mother made rare phone contact with us to say she may have to ask Luke to move out as he had "scary" people hanging out at the house. When the phone call came, it was Luke's mother calling to say Luke was dead. He had been shot at point blank range in the chest; right there in the backyard of the house he shared with her. There were no witnesses and the shooter had fled. His dad's reaction after hanging up was a haunting sense of relief. He had been waiting for this phone call for a long time and finally it had come. His waiting for the worst possible news was over. My reaction was no, not Luke! Tell me my brother Gregory has died--my brother who continues to live his life of addiction and mental illness now sixty-nine and alone. Tell me Greg has died--not Luke, not Luke. It has been only three months since Luke's death. His birthday approaches. All Souls Day. I feel flat and know I have all kinds of feelings churning beneath my skin. I am angry and sad and feel helpless to change anything especially people I love. We go about our day viscerally experiencing the pain we see our loved ones in and all we can do is witness it, love them even when they inflict pain on themselves and pray for some kind of divine intervention. There is no help I can provide. In this I feel helpless. At this time Luke's sister has decided she needs to join her mother in anger at her father. Luke's mother wrote a long email severing all ties with him, (not that they had much contact prior). His sin is not having expressed and shown more interest in the legal proceedings involving the young man who was responsible for Luke's death. She is invested in Luke having been murdered in cold blood, yet there were no witnesses, only evidence to support that this man and Luke were "friends" and that the shooting was an accident. Luke needed a gun. His friend had found one for him. When the gun was passed between them it accidentally discharged killing him. I am not sure what my sin is. Contact with me has also been severed by my step-daughter. I have lived through the wake that death creates in its passage. The old wounds that open in families. The polarization that defies all reason and reality. There is no blame here--just sins of the fathers and mothers trying to the best of their ability to overcome the sins of their mothers and fathers. The tragedy is as old as age itself.

My wife and I celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary. I am very grateful. We had a very nice time, especially at dinner. I also was very touched that we gave each other rather similar gifts--big framed collages of photographs. I gave her one of our wedding photos and she gave me one of our trip across the country when we moved to Seattle from Washington DC. Our marriage has not always been easy, indeed it has been characterized by more arguing than I would ever have imagined or hoped, and more times and ways that I have come up short in my ability to listen and be compassionate... but still I believe our connection and love is very strong. I feel so incredibly lucky to be married to my wife, and I feel a sense of accomplishment, joy and pride to have been married to her for ten years. She is the best part of my life.

I went to rehab (and didn't finish my stint). I have a lot of papers left over and it gave me a weird new perspective on life. I can't say I know anyone from there any more.

My first grandchild, Cary To Breen was born. How can I express the joy? The most memorable moments of my life, the ones that brought pure, untainted pleasure were my interactions with the children in my family. When I was 12 years old, my sister gave birth to my nephew Mark and I fell in love for the first time. He was such a joy to behold and hold. I loved caring for him and eventually his sister Saga throughout my teenage years and into my twenties. Then I had my own son Alec at 29 and my life became a whirlwind at which he was the center. Again I was in love and as happy as I have ever been. When his brother Liam was born 12 years later, a middle aged miracle that his father and I had given up on, again I was blessed with the Joy. Fast forward 20 years in which my sister has had 3 grandchildren born, I have waited to feel the intense love of an infant again. 2016 is the year! Alec and his beautiful Ashley have brought Cary into my life. Ron and I care for him 4 days a week while they are working and its like being young all over again. Those smiles! Those chubby toes! I have had many successes in life, career, romantic love, academic, spiritual and intellectual but there is nothing, nothing like new life!!!!!

I started back at work after having my second child. While Molly was an incredibly easy baby, but I had a really challenging post-natal period, battling depression and bitter moods that made for a difficult end of 2015. I started back at work in January 2016 and Mark stayed at home with Molly for a few months. The combination of a return to "normality" and more equitable sharing of the parental burden really helped to start to lift the black cloud. It was hard to balance the beginnings of happiness about going back to work with the cultural expectation that I would be completely sad to go back to work and/or that I was bonkers for going back that early. I love Molly to bits, but my identity as an individual is deeply tied to my work persona, and I have a hard time being happy and feeling whole when I am only fulfilling one role (as a mother).

This past year has been a series of significant experiences. I turned 50, I watched my children turn 18 and 21, I saw my youngest child graduate from high school and left him at college 6 weeks ago, which put us into a new phase of life as empty nesters. I would say it affected me in ways that simply made me more reflective: reflective of where I am, who I am, what I want. There were times when I felt sad and others where I felt confused. I suppose I could say I'm relieved that the sadness I was anticipating over the big changes never really hit in the way I thought they would. But I would also add that these significant changes aren't anything that any other adult doesn't experience around the same time and keeping the perspective that these are just circle of life type events to be celebrated rather than moments of true sadness helped quite a bit.

International travel!! Russia via China and Korea, Israel via Russia (other side) and France. And that is all so far, there is more to come! Super inspiring. Makes me feel like I can do anything, makes me feel like anything is possible, makes me so aware of all the work I've done to move forward with my life and how far that work has brought me. If this is what it's going to look like moving forward... bring it on! If this is the payoff for my hard work... I'll keep going!

I had surgery on my trachea after having difficulty breathing for quite some time now. I am relieved that it wasn't a cancerous growth and that I can now breathe easier. I am grateful to have found a doctor who believed me and helped me.

I finished my conversion statement a few weeks ago. I was relieved and anxious at the same time. After 6+ months and 50 pages of thoughts and ideas, I condensed it down to a concise 5 pages. That part was a relief. I had spent so long thinking about what I believed in and what drove me to Judaism, having it down on paper he seemed quite a relief. In a lot of ways my procrastination, was in itself, a way of buying more time. I think I put off officially starting the conversion process because I was worried about the outcome. I know my family, particularly my mother, will be unwelcoming of my decision. I was surprised and not surprised of my father's reaction. On one hand, I think my conversion to Judaism is something foreign to my father. Yet on the other hand, I think it's quite familiar to him. I remember him talking about that all paths, all religious traditions, lead to the divine. It means a lot to me to have his, along with Elaine's, support. The part after I handed in my paper to the Rabbi was anxiety filled—as he is yet to give me feedback. According to the Rabbi, the delay in response is due to an email server problem. I really have no idea what his reaction will be. Nor do I know whether or not he will except my conversion application of sorts. He's one those people that are hard to read. I find it interesting that I finished my conversion essay and handed into the Rabbi so close to the high holy days. In a lot of ways it is a new beginning of sorts, starting anew.

The Trump scare. It's all we talk about. What a disaster that he is even a candidate!

I continue to have very significant experiences in my post-divorce life. But one that comes to mind readily is making myself go to a party in Manhattan with younger, hipper people than myself, where I only knew the host and guest of honor. I had all the reasons not to go -- my car was in the shop, it was raining. I missed the Summit train. But I made a decision in an instant that caused me to get dressed, get an Uber, and get to Secaucus to male it to Manhattan on time. I was uncomfortable and nervous, but I talked to people and stayed for a while before meeting my friend Bill, who lives in NYC. The guest of honor was genuinely touched that I made the trip out for her birthday. In our closing conversation, it turned out her friend manages the health club that I want to work at.. This to me was the universe conspiring to get me where I needed to be. I am inspired and working hard to pay attention to all the signs the universe provides.

I found out that I was a finalist in the Actors Theatre Ten Minute Play Competition. When I got the letter, I assumed it was yet another failure on my part and haphazardly tore open the envelope only to find unexpected good news. I haven't told many people about this. It has given me confidence and a secret joy about being good at something.

I got a job over the summer as a camp councilor and lifeguard and I honestly don't think I could have asked for a better job. Working with those kids and watching them have fun and seeing the pure joy on their faces every day made all the difference in the world for me.

I went on a 3 week car trip with my husband of 12 years. We have never done that before. It was fun, scary (rainstorm on a 2 lane highway with no shoulder and no place to pull over in South Dakota) and enjoyable. We traveled well together, with Bob as the driver and I as the navigator and keeper of maps, cell phone and Trip-Tik. In the middle, we enjoyed a week with my family at our family reunion. And on the way home, got to visit with children and grandchildren in OKC. A wonderful vacation and just long enough! We also saw some amazing sites: Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse (in construction), The Grand Tetons, Yellowstone (got to see a geyser spout), Joshua Tree National Forest, the Grand Canyon and Lincoln's Home in Springfield, IL.

So last year in response to this question, I wrote that I'd gotten a part-time job as a kitchen assistant at Sur La Table. I started in late May/early June. In mid-April of this year, after any number of changes that negatively impacted the staff, I resigned. It was enormously disappointing to me that I wasn't even able to last for a year there, but at the same time it was a huge relief to leave a bad situation. The culinary manager was a nasty person who ran very hot and cold and played favorites and it was more than I could stand. Soon after I left, the manager was fired and a number of other kitchen assistants left. The assistant manager was promoted and then several weeks later, for no apparent reason, she was also fired and that prompted several more kitchen assistants to leave. I came to realize as I watched things fall apart, that I'd done a very good thing for myself in quitting. I felt less like a weenie who couldn't handle "the real world" and more proud that I'd looked out for number one. Drawing on that experience, I was able to advocate for myself with excellent, positive results in other situations that arose later in the year. I feel stronger and happier for having put my foot down. It's been a powerful message to me that I can increase my blessings and be more if I put *my* health and happiness first.

My partner and I moved to Lewes Delaware, a move with a little consternation and stress. However, we are so happy to be here among many old and some new friends. We have enjoyed many activities and I am inspired to join in many new activities. I have enrolled in a life long learning school, assisted with a friend's political campaign, started cooking again with a new perspective towards healthy eating. I am very happy. There is a lingering thought that I wish I would have done this at a younger age so I could enjoy this longer. However, I am happy and content with the present.

I broke my shoulder in a bike accident caused by my bike tires getting caught in the train tracks. My daughter was on the back of the bike and was unharmed. I was grateful that my daughter was unharmed and it was amazing how I kept calm and made certain choices eg not to call an ambulance in order not to have her be traumatized by the experience. It's been a long recovery and a lot of work. I also found a silver lining in this experience in that it took me off the hustle and bustle of my usual schedule and I had more time to relax. We also asked our school community for playdates and through this became closer to other families in our daughters class. The road to recovery is a long one. I was in decent shape before this and now have to start all over again and build my body up again. This takes concerted effort.

Dad died. I am bereft. I miss him all the time. I feel purposeless. The one thing I know for sure I did really well and absolutely right was take care of him this year since mom died. I'm sad. So, so sad. I am grateful I got to be with him so much. I am grateful I got to bear witness - even to his decline. I was with him on his journey. I held his hand. This is what we call heartbreak, according to Alan Lew. I did everything I could, and it wasn't enough. Oh, Dad. I wish your last years could have been easier for you. I'm so sorry. I love you, and I know you knew that. You loved me, and I for sure knew that.

Molly got into college and left for school. As with all parenting moments, it is bittersweet. I am grateful she got into the school she wanted, and it is a WONDERFUL place. I miss her terribly and worry about her finding her happiness there and making the time to enjoy being happy! I also worry what this means about the change in our relationship and in our family dynamic. While all is as it's supposed to be, it is now different. This year more than most, I am longing for moments in years past.

I recently separated from my husband. Everything I thought should be wasn't. Everything I thought would happen for me, didn't. Yet, it is the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm working on existence without expectation or anticipation. I'm letting each moment just be whatever it is and trying not to hope for more.

I just moved to san diego. This is a bit different than the course I had set out to accomplish last year but I believe I've made the right move. I'm insanely inspired to be productive and stay active. I'm fortunate to be able to live with some family and stoked that we all get along. I feel healthier than ever before. Mind, body and spirit. I don't want to forget this sense of awareness and self control. I feel indomitable.

I finished my rmb. I am all but dissertation. I am so grateful and relieved. I am also frightened bc I have no idea what the next step is...

This year, actually only a few weeks ago, I completed my Master's degree in Preston, England. This year has been one of the most intensive and most fun years in my life so far. I came to the UK expecting to learn, but ended up with so much more. I studied a lot and completed a Masters dissertation of which I am truly proud. I met great people and made fantastic friends (you know who you are). I discovered that I am not ready to live this far away from my family, but I am definitely ready to start becoming more self-sufficient and autonomous. I travelled to the Czech Republic, Israel, Poland, France, Italy, and three of the four countries in the UK (sorry Northern Ireland, I'll catch you next time), not to mention layovers in Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. It has been a crazy year and I've grown a lot, but now I'm ready to go home and begin the next journey.

We had a difficult and interesting year. We started a whole house remodel in Jamey while we were still living in Costs Riva do that involved slot of traveling bsck snd forth to the US and hotel stays while here, we packed up,our belongings in Costa Rica late last year and it all arrived in Fevruary. We had no place to put all our firnitur so it was stood In the garage. The contractors were also using the garage for storing things, in May we went to New Orleans for the weekend and turned to find our house was burglarized, all our valuables were stolen from a locked cabinet in the garage, also,mother night we returned, the burglars er in the house while we wer there. We think it was some of the workers. Also , my dad turned 99 and was in the hospital with confusion issues, he decided to redo his and my mom's wills. She is 96.he decided to give me s d my sister inequitable shares with me getting a much smaller share, mother led to big issues w my sister that have not yet been resolved, Difficult and stressful year, husband's Parkinsons is also professing,

The most significant thing that happened in the past year was that one of my dearest friend's son died of a drug overdose. He was 26. I had known that he was using heroin and was seeking help for his addiction. As far as I knew, he was in recovery and had been clean for over 60 days. But I also know it was a struggle. Meanwhile, my own daughter was caught in her web of addiction again, and I had not been aware of it. After he died, my daughter struggled to begin her recovery again. She has been clean now for several months, and he died six months ago. His death left his mother and father and sister forever changed. But it also impacted our entire community in a profound way. For me, I had been fairly secure in my daughters seven years of recovery. And so I learned on several levels that addiction is a destructive, devilish beast. And it is never more than one day away for so many people. I have learned that praying for my own strength and the strength of others is often the best I can do. I am learning to be OK with that.

A moment of pure joy, at the wedding of my first son. I was dancing with my second son, who has had a long history of addiction, in recovery for past 2.5 years. We just couldn't stop smiling at each other. I felt, for the first time in 30 years, that we were, in that moment, a healthy, whole and healed family. My gratitude in that moment and for that moment was transcendent.

I left my wife of 30 years and came out. It was a terrifying task but at age 60 I realized I was no longer bi and was just gay and it was the best for everyone. I am sorry for the hurt I caused her , my kids and my family but for the first time in my life I have to do what is right for me and stop putting everyone else first. I am very relieved and very happy

My mother-in-law had two strokes. She fell twice at home. We took her in but she decided to live at home with a care giver during the week and live with us each weekend. It has been very stressful because she doesn't like me. After 33 years I am still not good enough for her "boy." She doesn't want me to help her in any way. So my husband has to do all the work. He has not said much to her and has given in to her wants/demands. I was resentful, but I realize it is his choice. We used to have dates every Sunday now we don't have that time. I spend time doing other things on my day off and he stays with his mother. I have learned that I hope to never do that to my children. I love my son-in-law and hope he knows it. I tell him that and try to show it. When life doesn't seem fair, do your best to be your best.

I spent a week in a workshop in Cornwall building my own wooden surfboard. How did it affect me? As someone who has never done anything meaningful with their hands, spending time immersed in an activity so different was so amazing it changed what I thought was possible for me. Feeling: inspired.

I had a baby. After 40 years of living for myself and believing I would never have a child, I gave birth to a beautiful bundle of energy- Mateo Tomás. My life has changed a lot but changed for the better. Some days are challenging and other days are bliss. I can't think of what life would be like without him. Well, I can but it would be less meaningful. I'm grateful that he's in my life and want to be the best mom I can be for him. And want him to grow up knowing that I'll always be there for him and let him know it's never too late for anything in life. I want to show him everything that the world has to offer and to live life to the fullest and to take advantage of this life he has and not waste it away on doubt or fear as I did. He really has made me take on a different view of life and what I want to do with my own life looking forward for his sake and mine.

I am grateful for the Rabbi of my synagogue, and his devotion to the needs of the other, and grateful for him having introduced me to the practice of Mussar.

My 15 year old moved home after extended stays in a psych ward, temporary foster homes, and a group home. I am grateful but also much more stressed. I love him dearly but his behaviors are not easy to deal with.

We had a baby. He lived five weeks. It was the greatest and most difficult thing I've ever experienced. I am all of the above: grateful, inspired, resentful, relieved and a million other feelings I can't begin to put together yet. I love him and miss him. A lot of great things came from the experience as well. We learned to accept help and live. It brought so many people together and touched hundreds of lives. I personally am changed for the better I feel some purpose is just starting out and I look forward to seeing where this journey goes.

This year, I moved into an apartment for the first time. I had spent every previous year in college living in a dorm, where I could rely on a dining plan for all of my food. Now that I'm on my own, I have to manage a rent, utilities, and often make my own food. Overall, I'm grateful that I was able to have this experience before graduating. It's like a small step into the bigger world, and it gives me a small taste of adulting before I have to take on the real thing. I feel like every time I have to go a bit further in becoming independent, the more confident I am that I can take care of myself once I'm living away from home for good. Scary, but reassuring.

This year, among the last few, was significantly with without drama. Upon reflection, it was a year of continuity. Of trying to maintain the forward momentum of the.significant changes that had come in the years immediately prior.

relieved that my 92-y-o mother is finally a resident of the chosen nursing home (the application had been filled out for over a year). although it was a huge disappointment that she did not qualify for the assisted living section and instead had to go into memory care, also a 50% increase in price for all of the various services that come with it. but it's a major burden off of me, as i was becoming her full-time caregiver as well as taking over all of the finances. it has also been a big lesson in how to prepare for my own elderly shortcomings, and when.

I did not ride my bike to work one time this past summer. This was not a conscious decision made ahead of time, but an indirect effect of various exercise/health issues that are impeding on my sense of vitality. I wrote last year about my visits to various doctors. This year I had a stress test and two sleep tests. While my heart seems to be fine, I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. I have yet to see the doctor about an action plan, but it probably includes using a CPAP machine. I don't really have the conditions that signal sleep apnea, snoring and being overweight. The cardiologist found a problem when he had me hold my breath while connected to the electrocardiogram machine. My exercise has been yoga and walks, with less cardio exercise. I think this is not good, and it is mostly psychological. I need to turn that around.

My youngest son went off to college. I am happy for him--but I miss my kids and my role as mom. I am curious about the life I will now be creating. I am grateful for happiness and health I feel and for that of my children.

So so many. My life has been like that for a long time now. But the two that stand out the most strongly are: My Mother left us in February... I had not seen her in nearly 20 years, and only saw her in hospice - she never awoke, but it didn't matter. There was love on top of love in that room, and when she went, she was surrounded and sung away by people from Ananda Ashram who had become her family. Blessed. The other is that in July, at the ripe old age of 54, I agreed to try and become a father again. I never thought I'd even entertain the idea, but with my partner, who is 15 years my junior - anything and everything seems possible now. SO much love. <3

My girlfriend adopted a little boy this year and our relationship didn't survive. We broke up nine months after the adoption. We knew it would be very hard but we thought we were well prepared and that with love we could overcome anything. How did it affect me? I'm shaken and sad but I also learned a lot of positive things in the process, and hopefully it has made me grow.

I took a teaching-training course and moved to Russia to teach English. I've finally decided to move out of San Francisco. I was born, raised, and originally from there. The city has changed so much and has gotten too expensive for me to afford. It's really unfortunate. I feel that it's no longer my home. For the first time, I've decided to live out on my own and begin a new life somewhere else. This experience has given me a step forward towards adulthood. It's challenging, but I know that I have to make life decisions on my own. No one can make decisions for me anymore. There are moments when I do feel resentful, but I know that I am where I want and need to be. There's nothing left for me back in SF. I've always yearned to travel, and now I have the opportunity to do so. I'm grateful for the present moment and inspired to learn many new things through future life experiences. I've definitely learned more about myself, where I want to be, and what I want to do with my life. This experience without a doubt has helped me grow in ways that I could have never imagined.

Cancelled wedding Relieved

Being the head of an organisation. It made me feel both worthwhile and useless all at the same time. It was an incredible honour. I did what I could, but no in another time or place I could have done so much more. I'm both relieved and sad it has ended. Inspired by the incredible members all the time and a bit resentful of the lack of commitment of some that held us back from reaching the heights we could have.

I started my own business. I am both energized and terrified, at the same time! I am inspired, grateful, proud of myself....and terrified that I do not have what it takes to push beyond my comfort zone to build a successful business.

My old cat Frank died this year. I will miss him more than words can say.

Well I just found out that my stepfather likely has lung cancer with metastases to the liver. I'm trying to remain hopeful despite the terrible odds.

I had an up close and personal experience with the American judicial and jury system and I was very disappointed and discouraged from it all. From the attorneys to the judges, the jurors to the laws: all crap, and not in favor of actual justice for the plaintiff, ever, as far as I could tell. I was severely injured (and still recovering) in a trip-and-fall in a restaurant that was clearly liable and negligent, causing there to be obstacles in the path of a patron which a patron could not easily see. The jury actually agreed on that. However, due to archaic laws, lobbying by the insurance greedies and other mistakes in jurisprudence (which disallowed anyone from actually informing the jury how the "awards" they intended to go to me would be apportioned or the fact the restaurant owner would not pay a dime due to his having insurance), I got nothing, my lawyer was out $30K, and I owe many thousands of dollars to family and friends. I am grateful to all who have helped and continue to help me, but resentful and angry at the unfair outcome of my two+ years of misery. I am an educated, white, older woman with intelligent and supportive friends and family. I can only shudder to imagine how this "justice" system grinds up those without support or resources and other people who are already on the short end of every stick. USA justice isn't.

I completed a Masters in the past year. When I filled this in last year I was blissfully unaware of how much work it would be! It was awful for the first term, I'm not going to lie about that - I was stressed out by everything, both work and life related and I cried a lot. But I recovered, I spoke to people and I took the time to make sure I was ok. And my second term (dissertation aside) was great. And I head into my first year of a PhD, no doubt blissfully unaware of how much work it will be!

Ha! This is an easy one. A significant experience: It's a mixture of the decision to move to Korea and the act of moving to Korea. Perhaps it's reminding myself why I'm here, during the depths of loneliness and frustration. I felt a sense of relief and excitement when I decided to move to Korea AND took steps to make it happen. How did it affect me? I was extremely nervous in the beginning. Was I making the right decision? How would I adjust? Should I really go through with this? That was the biggie. I wanted an adventure. I wanted to travel. I wanted to have One Year of Selfishness. I wanted to do it because I was agitated. I needed something new and this move was it. No more shelter, no more Phoenix. Am I...? I am, more than anything, happy I am here. I feel it most in the quiet moments. While I'm still. Days when I'm observing, reflecting or writing. The sound of rainfall. The sights of the countryside. The feeling of being utterly lone and still apart of the backdrop. I've said to myself, "I'm happy I'm here." I don't know how much I've grown-or better yet, I've not measured such growth back in the US. Here, I'm redefining everything I thought I knew about silence, lonesome and kindness. I definitely feel myself embracing certain qualities of being Black, more here. My hair, my color and body. I look different and it is immediately noticeable. I look so different, I am more liable to wear clothing I may have avoided in the US. I definitely put more effort into my looks. I wore a bold red matte lip today. Well, last night. It was great. I felt pretty. I felt unique. I felt eyes on me. Not on certain aspects of me: ass, hair, lips.... I felt them on me as whole. What does a bold red matte lip matter when I'm already exhibiting a bold black body that tans extremely ? Haha. An added bonus is my...exploration with Dexter. I met him before left, but after I had made the decision to leave. The distance is proving beneficial. We have to talk. We have to learn each other. I've got another ten months before I return. That'll be plenty of time to figure each other out. Finally, my one true regret is leaving my cats. I couldn't bring them anyway, but still. I am quickly reminded that the things that are important to me are only important to me. I am reminded that people do not repay kindness with a reciprocal act of kindness. I am reminded that I cannot expect people to treat me as I have treated them. Chelsea has said she's putting them in a shelter becuse she does not want to be miserable. Here's where being a big sister kicks in: I had so much to say, but I held back. My words cut deep and true. I wanted to tell her how disgusted I was with her selfishness. I wanted to remind her that her misery stems not from my cats, but from herself. She wants life to just happen. She wants love and friendship to just plop down in her lap. She refuses to cultivate herself or her interests. I said none of it. I cried a couple of times. Not so much that my cats will be thrown out ( I found a solution), but that she is so quick to turn her back on me. She won't even meet me half way. I'm on the other side of the world! She won't meet me half way in a solution. She only speaks in I, Me and My. I don't understand and it hurts. I've always been in her corner. I've supported her, cheered her. None of that matters. That was a very long overview of my only real regret. Those fur balls are important to me. Others want the things that are important to them, to also mean something to me. No one seems to care about what's important to me. Not like they ever did anyway. All in all, I am very happy I am here in Korea. I am happy I took an idea and made it into a reality. I know I will be a different person from when I arrived. For sure!

An extremely significant experience this past year was my conversation with Dad right before I left for Brown in which we talked about the past. I wanted him to understand that he had hurt me (regardless of who was right in various past situations). I wanted him to see me and my pain instead of focusing on defending himself. And he did. It was perhaps the single most healing moment of my life. Even thinking about it now makes me feel quiet, heavy-limbed, centered, and whole. Though there will surely be complications ahead, I think and hope that the repercussions of this moment will stretch throughout the rest of my life.

I turned 60 years old last August and decided to have a big birthday bash in October of last year. I was grateful to be acknowledged through the presence of so many people who have been a part of the past 6 decades. I am relieved to have chronologically outlived my husband, sister and some loved ones. I am inspired to re-write a new chapter in my life. Off to a slower start than I might like, but inspired none the less

Last winter, I had surgery for stage 3 colon cancer. I had a heart attack after the 4th chemotherapy treatment that followed. Once the pain was manageable, I was grateful for the time to rest and I was relieved that neither the cancer or heart trouble had been worse. However, I've also been resentful that I've had to endure both. I've been inspired to make healthy changes in my life, but so far I've done almost nothing.

Resentful! The college where I have taught for the last decade has lost so many students that all of my classes have been removed from the offerings. Laid off in the most inglorious way. There simply are no students. And no one seem to want to correct that (we need free education, of course). No more classes at college even offered for me. No more classes being cancelled last minute (as was common recently). No more waking up early to go teach. No more work. But I also seem not to make as much progress with my book. And of course it is not just me, but all over the country. It is very discouraging and enraging. So much wasted talent and potential. It is not just that many educated people are not busy making new knowledge, we are also not passing along knowledge. The humanities are collapsing and that is disaster for society -- no wisdom without the humanities. No democracy without wisdom.

We bought a house! Our first house! It's a great feeling to be homeowners finally after years of renting, and the house is absolutely perfect for where we are in life right now. I am so incredibly thankful that we found it and that we could afford it. However, it is a bit daunting at times to know that we're responsible for everything with it. That point was driven home two weeks after we moved in when we discovered the septic drain field had to be redone (and there went out kitchen renovation). It's also a bit strange to be so tied to a place. I got used to the idea that if I found the right job somewhere, we could just up and move. Now, moving is far more complicated (the goats don't help with that either). But I love our house and our community. I hope that in the coming year, we'll become more a part of local (ish) Jewish community, because having a RL Jewish community to connect with is something I really miss about living in NYC.

So much has been significant in this last year! The biggest one I guess is with my job. My workplace declared that it was relocating and I lived with not knowing when I would be laid off, then I got promoted to full-time. Now I know my end date but am on the job hunt anyway. I'm glad I got my first full-time job, but I wish it didn't have to come about in the way it did. I wish I could just settle down at ANTS and have that be that, even with the obnoxious commute. I'm grateful for the security I have now, but I'm also exasperated with that fact that I can't get off this job hunt.

trip to Sweden and Denmark with my family to visit Hannah who is studying in Sweden and visit Copenhagen where Tom was born. Showed me that there is a more benign and civilized way to conduct one's life, where workers' leisure time is respected, where alternate forms of transportation, in the form of wide spread use of bicycles and bicycle lanes, are repected, and city living doesn't have to be so fierce. Inspired me to change jobs, cities, and at times my life---made me resent even more the disparity of wealth and opportunity that I witness every day---that I need to consider whether I can afford health insurance if I want to quit my stressful job, and how big a role stress plays in my life, and how it doesn't have to

I am a very lucky woman in the grand child department, as well as the parent department. I have three children, each with wonderful partners, and six grand children, one of whom is very new and completely dear. Not only am I grateful, I feel blessed, happy, and inspired to do what I can, in my best way as an activist, to do what I can to contribute to making this world and country a place in which my children, theirs, and even more future generations will have a fertile planet to raise their own children with clean air to breathe an abundance of food that is healthy, affordable, and humanely gotten.

Last year my husband fought depression, a morphine addiction, and just before Thanksgiving he attempted suicide. Luckily he survived without serious brain or organ damage (he spent the night in his truck when it had snowed and he took a morphine/alcohol overdose, the cold probably helped). He's different now. So am I. So is our marriage. His lifelong attempt to block out his feelings about his childhood trauma by converting everything to anger has taken a toll on his brain and body. He's working through things, learning, trying to survive. I'm also trying to survive. I'm so grateful to have another day with him, every day. I try to be patient because his suffering is so much more visible to me and harder for him to mask. He tries to act okay, but it doesn't always work. The bad days bring us both down, inevitably. But they are fewer. The love is still there. I tell him we're on a tandem bike, he's on the back and his only job is to hang on. If he feels up to it, pedal sometimes. But I steer, I balance, I pedal wherever he needs to go. I wait, I pick him up and we go home and try again tomorrow.

I got MARRIED!!!!!! I am grateful, relieved and I still can't believe we did it!!!

Every year I seem to have something disheartening occur at work -- exponentially worse each time. This past year, I interviewed for probably close to 20 different jobs. The one I got an offer for, I accepted. It was so wholly awful. My boss was probably one of the worst people I ever met; I quit within 2 weeks. Here I had what would have been an opportunity of a lifetime -- not even 33 and a global director of a publicly traded company -- but I left due to a wicked culture. The girl who replaced me landed up being sexually harassed by the same man and is now suing. After that, I took a job with a startup where I wasn't paid. The co-founders were pretty inept to lead people. The CTO was sexist and the CEO, for as nice as he was, was entirely too ignorant of business to get anything funded. The social and financial stresses within that position lead me to crack and I left in a pretty fiery fashion. It makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. Wether I'm paid or not, I seem to find my employers inadequate for my needs. I feel hopeless. I feel like I will never get a break. I feel like I won't be alive a year from now to take this quiz again, because it is best I am just not a part of this world. I am a burden to everyone in it now without the ability to make a living. I know many of us my age go through this, but it still feels like I'm the only one. Nobody with my education and upbringing is this incapable. Except for the two weeks I worked earlier this year, I have now been unemployed for 2 years. Would you want to live knowing you had nothing to offer the world?

I finally left a job that I had placed on a pedestal for far too long. My non profit agency became focused on cash over clients. I was so depressed afterwards that I didn't get out of bed for 11 months. I had to get better & learn to believe in the social work profession again. Now I have a new job that is a much better fit. The emphasis is on service to the clients. There's even much less paperwork. Lesson learned : when my heart says it's time to move on, listen. Best change I've made.

I got a new job. After 13 years, I got to leave a place that treated me horribly and made me feel like I wasn't worth anything. I know I contributed to it in that I spoke up and shared my opinion but to me, those are not flaws but strengths. I was never disrespectful so I can hold my head high. Being at this new job shows me how different things can be when everyone is treated fairly and when opinions can be shared freely. My skills are recognized and valued. I can't believe I waited as long as I did to leave. It was one of the best decisions of my life so far.

In January of 2016, I signed up to do the Salinas Valley Half Marathon in August. The race ended up being cancelled, due to the smoke from the Soberanes Fire blowing towards the Salinas Valley on race day. But since January, I have been more in touch with my health and my physical ability than I have been in a long, long time. I've lost some weight and I'm finding that I'm panting and exhausted a lot less when my husband and I go hiking. Not all my runs are magical experiences (some just suck). But I am feeling a lot better about my body and running longer and longer distances (with fewer and fewer walking breaks) is inspiring. It gives me weekly practice in discipline, setting a goal, and achieving it. I remember it wasn't that long ago that 5 miles seemed like a scary, insurmountable distance. I just ran 5.5 miles yesterday, mostly on a whim.

My sister, Melody, was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer that has spread to her cranium and bones. I am deeply saddened. I visited her and was happy to be with her, but I couldn't shake the horrible feeling of sadness. I did not let her know how I was feeling, because she is dealing with it in her own way, and seems fine. She even talked a little about death. So in a way, I did feel better for her, but I'm still very devestated that one day soon, she will be gone forever. I can't quite believe that, and I"m having a very difficult time with it. No other family death has brought this much emotion and sense of loss.

I moved from Olympia back to Auburn, which I suppose was a pretty big event. Quit my job, moved location, found a new job, lots of new shit. In some ways I'm relieved, because I knew it was coming for a year, and finally getting it over with took a lot of pressure off about it happening sometime in the future. Plus no longer working graveyard with assholes is super nice. But this new apartment is pretty bad. The new landlord is the absolute worst. The location is a bummer, and I'm trapped back in Auburn. So in some ways I'm resentful. I'm also hoping to take a bit more control of my future to make sure this shit doesn't happen again. I need to make writing bring in some money, so I can point that money at my living situation.

We got married. We did it. And we did it with guests, part of family, a reception, everything. And it worked out. And I was not nervous. And I did not panicked. And we were/are a super good team.

Major surgery. I am grateful to be able to restart my life without this physical impediment.

One of my best friends since childhood got married. It was exciting, beautiful, joyful, and overall amazing. However, there was some part of me that mourned an epoch ending. Now that we've both made room in our lives for our spouses, there's less time to invest in our friendship. It's a good thing, but also kind of sad. Yet, knowing how I feel loss at that level of connection reminds me to celebrate what we've had and the new angle our relationship can take from here on out.

A and I took a very long cruise to many countries. We started in the far east and went to Hong Kong, Vietnam, Singapore, Myanmar, Oman, Egypt... and many others. It was amazing. As a reasonably fearful person I am grateful and relieved that nothing worse than a little stomach upset happened, but mainly I'm feeling awed by our giant world, all the differences and similarities between its peoples, and the beauty of its art and landscape. And sea-scape too, of course. I'm too superstitious to declare my appreciation for the experience in terms of luck but I am so appreciative to have been able to see the world in such luxury, comfort, friendship and bounty.

I went through the job search this year! All summer my plans just went out the window. I wanted to be hired by early August but everything just turned into a waiting game for Shadle HS to post their opening. At the end of August, I had interviewed 9 times, been offered two jobs (one in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE and one elementary job in Bellevue) and was waiting to hear back from Shadle. It was interesting because so many jobs had said I was their second choice candidate and it just came down to experience. And here I was, the perfect job at Shadle, just waiting for me with the clock running down and basically all of August was painful. I'm surprised I didn't have gray hair. They finally called me 6 days before school started. I feel very thankful because I turned down so many opportunities just waiting for this job. And I feel lucky- not many first year teachers get this chance to start at a high school. It puts me miles above other applicants in the future. The whole process was a big learning curve. I thought I would go anywhere in Washington but it turned out I either wanted West Side or Spokane. Those only! It's funny how some people are fine looking all over the place but for me, I narrowed it down more than I thought I would.

I worked really hard to get myself and my younger son, across the country by plane, then onto an aircraft carrier for 5 days. I'm definitely inspired by understanding I have the power to overcome any obstacle or perceived obstacle, especially my anxiety. I relied on people closest to me, to help talk it through, visualize my success, and learn new skills like meditation and mindfulness. Helping myself stay in the moment, more often than not, made it possible for me to step aside and not get in my own way. I'm grateful to all the people I've met in my life who help me to be a better me. Bringing my son's together for a once in a lifetime opportunity, is one of the greatest gifts I've received.

I got to spend a month travelling Europe after I completed my international law program in England. It was an amazing experience and I got to see so many places. I have always wanted to see these places. There are still a bunch of places I want to see, but this was definitely an amazing start. I feel so lucky and grateful to have gotten the opportunity of a lifetime.

It has to do with the film I'm making and the realization that the delay in it getting made is meant to be. This film is not about me, it's about the message and is in the capable hands of the universe.

I've begun exploring Stoic philosophy. In some ways, it's helped me get calmer and think more about the fact that I can't worry about things that are out of my control.

Taking care of my mother when she was hospitalized in June. Thinking that my father couldn't take care of her. She was dirty. Dressed inappropriately. Malnourished. He wouldn't let anyone help. Fighting with him in the hospital. Recording him so I'd have proof he was incompetent. Then moving her to rehab. First room was a double and terrifying. Single room was great but he wouldn't put the a/c on and it was stifling. He smelled bad, wouldn't shower. Eventually they released her and he took her home. It's better. He is good at taking care of her as long as someone else bathes her once a week. This is horrible to watch. I wish they would die. Knowing someone was helping them would be so much better. He leaves her home alone. God knows what she might do. What if he's out and he dies? This phase of life is so terrible.

My daughter and I went to the Republican National Convention to protest. We hatched this plan when Donald Trump was invited to speak at AIPAC. We thought about going to Washington but couldn't make it work, but we both felt compelled to *do something*, so we planned to go to Cleveland in July. In all, I went to three marches and Eve went to two. I'm not sure how I expected to feel about this experience, but however that was, I was wrong. First, I wound up being in the media a ton, which I was not expecting. I was proud of that, and I think that might actually be the most important part of this. I was really disappointed with how few people showed up and how many of those who did were "the usual suspects." "Regular folks" did not turn out for this in droves, and given that I was coming from the "regular folks" place, that was disappointing. So many of my fellow protesters were against everything -- the whole system, every candidate. They aren't voting at all, or they're voting for 3rd or 4th or 5th party candidates. My singular focus on Trump was unusual. And I was really concerned with how angry I felt when met with counterprotesters. I was mad and I was ineffectual and I didn't like how I acted. So, all things considered, how did it affect me? It made me look at myself in relation to a broader world, one more radical on one side and more hateful on the other, and ask where I want to be. It made me look at what buttons get pressed when people so completely don't get me. It made me think about what my obligations are to engage on the side of justice and right. I don't know that I'd do this again -- I don't know that I wouldn't. But I'm glad I did. It deepened my understanding of me in this world, and I think that's a good thing.

I became an aunt this past year. It has been a joyous experience, I love my niece dearly. I have traveled home to see her regularly and enjoy watching my sister as a mother. It has made me wonder about my own desire to be a mom overall and especially whether I want to be a single parent. She has brought such life to our already lovely family and I can't wait to watch her continue to grow and develop.

Was offered, and agreed to take on a very challenging role in an original play - performed at a well-known theater venue - very grateful!

Knee surgery. It seemed to open up the box of arthritis that was lurking behind it. It's affected my running and my persona. So yes, it's been important. Perhaps it's time for me to move on from my ultra running persona and look for other quests. Perhaps I need to be more patient, work harder on my knee exercises and weight loss. I've very happy to just be back to running again, even if maybe it might never be an ultra again. If I can run a little, and be able to hike, I will be grateful. I'm not the person I was one year ago. Sometimes we need to move on from the labels we give ourselves.

The One Year Anniversary of my mom's death at age 96 came in July. It made me realize that I will never get over her leaving, even at this late age. I still cry daily at some point, usually the mornings when we both occupied the kitchen and Saturday mornings when we had breakfast together outside. I miss her so; more than I ever dreamed I would. I wish I had been more attentive and present with her. I'm extremely grateful for spending a lifetime under her tutelage, unknowingly. I am learning her lessons even more with her gone. I'm most grateful that I am becoming her in many ways. The only relieved part is that she may have had cancer and would have suffered even more. I'm resentful about the city being negligent about that traffic light that robbed her of more days on earth. I'm inspired by every day she lived, by everything she was, by how she showed us how to live. I'm extremely inspired by that moment just before she died when she sat straight up, strong, staring at something intensely, eyes wide open, ready to go! I'll never forget that beautiful picture of her. I cherish it and live toward it.

I began to think of my writing career as failed, in the hopes of opening up space for something else to happen, or happen again. It's a pretty superficial observation at this point.

I think there were two things that were equally significant, so I can't write about one and not the other. 1. The 'fallout' with Shelly. I still don't fully understand it (why it happened; why she doesn't think it has; why it's affecting me so much; why it seems to be a karmic pattern that keeps happening to me and what I'm supposed to learn from it). I'm still angry and depressed over it. I'm already learning some things from it: that I have a hard time facing the prospect of losing "my one true friend," over and over; that I'm having difficulty saying my piece and standing up for myself, probably because doing so will end the friendship -- and that's terrifying to me. I've learned that it's really hard, but I still aspire to (and need help in) keeping my heart open, practicing courage, and breathing into the pain/feelings and feeling them. That's a lot to have learned from something that I don't fully understand. But there's clearly more for me to learn: Losing a friendship is terrifying because it reminds me of my childhood loneliness. I need to remember that I largely overcame that and have thrived in my life. And it reminds me that I need to learn compassion for those who seem lonely, awkward, etc. Instead, I shun them as I was shunned. 2. I attended the writing/meditation retreat at Shambhala, which was the beginning of a lot of amazing things. For one thing, I started a story that I had no idea where it would lead. I got amazing feedback on my writing. I got fantastic instruction and practice in meditating, and I have meditated more this year than ever before. I have been in the Dalai Lama's presence. I have joined writing groups, including one comprising several of the people who attended "Buddha Camp" ;) at Shambhala. Some of those people I didn't initially like, but now have bonded with in ways I wouldn't have imagined. I have taken more writing classes and gotten more feedback, most of which has been extremely positive and encouraging. It's become possible for me to actually consider it as the next direction my career takes. Which is simultaneously terrifying and exciting.

My boyfriend of four years ended our relationship. This has affected me in a lot of ways--it meant I started graduate school alone, rather than with a partner. It meant much of our happy relationship was colored in retrospect with sadness and grief. But most importantly, it forced me to reconsider my own self-esteem and the ways that I have allowed others to treat me. I am confused about what I want the legacy of that relationship to be, but relieved to be putting it behind me. I am committed to treating myself better in the future.

I learned that my Manager had lied to me for 2 yrs about the staff review process-not only @ the process but also that they hadn't marked fairly in the team. It really shook me-I wondered what else they lied about. I felt so betrayed, after being incredibly supportive of them. I wondered how we could get past it. It caused a major rift in the team. What came out of it was a feeling that I handled the whole issue ethically, and stood up for myself in a professional way. I'm sad about the fallout, but glad I learned the truth.

Moving across the country is definitely the most significant change that has occurred for me. The affects are still occurring. My life is still morphing into what it will be. I've only been here for a month so far. Eric was promoted and transferred here. I agreed to move with him. It has been everything you can imagine a move across the country would be. We've laughed, cried (mostly me), yelled and had our moments of silences. I sent all our close friends and family post cards when we arrived. I feel inspired to be in such a big city. It's slightly overwhelming. comFree is here so I can continue working for the same company. I'll be getting my Ontario license and will be actually making more money than I was in Edmonton. More money than I ever thought I would make. The kind of money I always fantasizes about making. #crushingit lol. I miss my friends and family though. But I can't wait for them to visit.

We moved from Bedford to Harbor Point, Stamford - I am so so grateful that we moved out of choice - before we HAD to. Best decision we ever made - Both Jerry & I are beyond grateful for all of it - we are so happy living here - it totally exceeded our expectations.

I was able to travel to Maui to study LomiLomi massage with an indigenous healer, It opened my eyes, my heart and mind. Month later, I still feel a deeply moving energetic current within me that is one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. I was able to permanently release resentments and judgments that had been partially blocking the path in my life. It's a little bit like receiving a magical power, and one that doesn't need explanation. It simply reveals itself in my work. I must be one of the luckiest people alive.

In this past year (in the past month, to be exact) I broke up with my partner of the last five years. This brought forth a host of emotions - sadness, resentment, anger, relief - and gratitude. I have gone through the spectrum of grief in the last 30 days, and on the eve of rosh hashana, I can honestly say - I am ready for the next stage.

I left my secure job in Los Angeles and moved to a relatively remote place. I have to learn how to exist in an area that doesn't need what I learned in Graduate school, and doesn't need what I can offer. I am a bit intimidated, but somehow confident that as soon as I will pass the wall or enter the cave that calling my name - I will be better off, professionally and economically - I just need a constant courage reminder and positive reassurance. I am grateful to be free. I am inspired by how people inspired by me ; )

It's really difficult to pick just one significant experience from this past year. 2016 has been a year of change for me. In the span of 2 months I lost my gramma, received my Master's degree, and was diagnosed with diabetes. I am grateful for the time I was permitted to spend with my gramma and for the privilege, support, and opportunities that have allowed me to achieve higher education. After getting over the initial shock about the change in my health status, I still struggle with resentment and thoughts about how "unfair" it feels. But I am also hopeful that this new part of my life will make me a more insightful and compassionate person.

I had a traffic accident almost 4 monhs ago. Though I was not too seriously hurt, a chain of events followed, I lost my job where I had been for almost 5 years. I woke up with my boyfriend with whom I thought would have a life together. Now, I am re- starting my life .... And can only hope all these sudden changed lead me to a much better place!!!! I am hopeful!!!

My youngest child Joe went to live with my sister in California. I had not realized how crazy he had made life and how much his brothers had suffered for it. I am grateful that he could find somewhere to go; I am relieved that I did not lose my two other sons; I am resentful that I could not "fix" him and I am inspired by the fact that things do NOT always work out for the best and that life is filled with sloppy things.

I knew I was going to get a college education from a young age. Both my parents, a lawyer and former engineer, achieved the highest degrees in their fields from elite universities. To top that off, I’m from a wealthy, predominantly white suburb outside of Washington DC. Over 95% of my high school classmates pursued college. I’ve had every opportunity to advance my interests and education due to my parents’ hard work and fortune- race, religion, geographic and all the above. I pursued an Ivy League education in a pre-professional field, and even joined the band (my parent’s college past time). Four years later, I’m graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. But what’s so special about an upper middle class white girl graduating college? So many people graduate college and pursue higher education in this country. So many others less fortunate than me have overwhelming barriers. Some students are the first to graduate in their families. Others travel from far away and leave behind their homes. Many pay for college independent of their parents. I had a hard time recognizing my accomplishment that seemed ordinary in comparison. During college, I was fortunate to meet my best friend, Marietta. She’s from a similar suburb of Washington DC, and a comparable family background out there. We often revisit the common tie that we have been given so much, and feel a burden to fulfill our opportunities. We fear that we’re not as good as our peers, don’t work as hard, and fall short of what we thought we could achieve. I’ve equated it to getting a silver at the Olympics. People who have come that far and dedicated themselves only to fall short. The few months leading up to graduation I experienced a lot of second guessing. Was nursing really right for me? Did I spend too much time caring for friends that would never reciprocate in a mutually respectful manner? Just about everything seemed like a mistake. Everyone seemed happier and more excited than I was. I convinced myself I was getting a silver medal- I’d done well, but not good enough. I wasn’t surrounded my friends at the senior bar crawl. I didn’t take scenic graduation pictures on campus in designer dresses and perfectly done hair. Stupid things, but the comparisons seemed endless and disappointing. The weekend before graduation I spent my final days in the best way I could imagine. I saw a longtime friend, Kylie, had returned from SF to come to her first alumni weekend and be there for my graduation. My new boyfriend, her, and I went to the Philadelphia Zoo as my farewell to Philly. That afternoon, Marietta arrived, and her Kylie and I attended a young alumni party in Houston Hall which reminded of how much I missed them and how fun they made my time at Penn. That Saturday, I spent my campuses alumni day playing with my college band, my favorite past time. For one last time as an undergrad, I experienced the joy of bringing together a campus through music and song. That night, my band friends Jeanette and Ben surprised me with a new stethoscope for my new nursing job. The next day, my family came, and while they stressed me out, I’m thankful they were there in their demanding and temperamental state, as they should be. Graduation day, I walked with my nursing friends that I’ve known since freshman year, and it was satisfying to know we survived and perhaps thrived at times. My friends, my family, and my communities at Penn came together for me, and it didn’t seem worthy of any comparison. This was my experience, and it was shared with others. It’s natural to compare oneself to others, but dangers arise when you can’t take the time to separate comparisons from your personal desires. My college graduation, regardless of my background and how I spent my time, was worthy and an occasion to celebrate. I will continue to cherish those final days in this new year.

My son joined the IDF, which made our link to Israel that much stronger. I am so inspired by son and am so very proud of him.

One year ago I was suffering with a pinched nerve. I am extremely grateful to have recovered. Having that horrible ailment forced me to think about how Blessed I am to have health insurance, sick time, an ailment that isn't terminal or chronic (at this point anyway) and wonderful family and friends. Big wake up call that health can change in an instant!

Cancer has spread and my husband had to go through chemotherapy only to get intubated months later for airway obstruction secondary to mucositis from Lenvima and decreased vocal cord excursion. Probably one of the scariest experiences. Trying to figure out how much medication to take to keep the cancer at bay and not cause significant side effects has been hard and puts him through painful and scary tests. I try to keep the faith that we will get through this and be able to have many more years together in a better place for the entire family.

This year I became pregnant with my first child. It has been the most miraculous, awe inspiring, humbling, and inspiring experiences I have ever had. She is at the moment four days past her due date and we can't wait to meet her, see her, feel and touch her. And love her. We know that we have no idea yet how our lives are about to change forever and are simply cherishing each moment.

I was hired by an organization where I had volunteered for more than two years. I was thrilled to be wanted and accepted in this world and in a professional capacity. However, once working there, I quickly realized how dysfunctional things were. I did not feel confident that my recommendations and efforts would result in success since I doubted the leadership ability of the executive director and disagreed with her approach on most issues. By the end of the 90-day trial period, I knew that I did not wish to stay. Rather than stick it out and do everything in my power to make it work, I honored my gut feeling that she would never honor agreements or credit me for my work. I surprised her by submitting my resignation. The decision put me in pretty dire financial straits as I really needed a job. But as I look back on my decision, I am so pleased I respected myself enough to honor boundaries around being used (never fulfilling promises) and abused (blurring of roles).

Dad was unexpectedly back in the hospital. I was angry at first that is was taking so long to ID what was wrong but grateful my new boss agreed that going to help was "infinitely" more important. Mom needed me and I was thankful I could go.

My daughter's assigned dorm room made her sick within a few hours of move-in due to chemical contaminationl. It took a lot of effort to get her reassigned and re-moved in, but I was able to draw on my resources and get the situation worked out. I'm grateful and proud that I was able to handle it as well as I did, but it also took a considerable toll on my physical and mental health. It also created some stress for my daughter, although that seems to be resolving. Between the dorm thing and being physically overworked at home, I finally realized that I had to put my foot down as far as what I should and shouldn't be handling physically (e.g, mowing the lawn), albeit a bit too late to prevent what I fear is permanent damage to my body. I can't always control my work load, but I'm going to make more of an effort to try.

Nannie died this year, two months after uncle Bob,-'d one month after Grandpa Nat. It was devastating. I still miss her a lot and cry in the car about once a week. It's hard to lost someone who felt like such a huge piece of my childhood and definition of myself. I love being connected to her and knowing someone so glamorous and generous and funny. I miss our phone calls. And how she would always say I love you more. She always remembered what was going on and even my friends names. Even when I talked to her the last time she asked me about teaching and wanted me to come visit. I still feel really heartbroken but I know she's there somewhere.

I was asked by a friend of mine to be a best man at his wedding. Not only am I deeply moved by invitation to play such a role at such a momentum occasion, but what he said next touched me in a way I hadn't experienced in some time. Quite simply yet with profound meaning, he said that as one of his best friends, his wedding wouldn't feel complete without me there. In that moment, amidst my overwhelming sense of gratitude, I was reminded me of how fortunate I am.

I attended the birth of my grandchild, Asher Jonah. I feel deeply honored that my daughter and son-in-law invited me to be with them in the hospital during labor and delivery. My daughter's courage, her husband's calm attention, the kindness and care of the nursing staff and competent midwife, we're all deeply inspiring. I am grateful for the love in our family, our access to excellent medical care, and the arrival of another healthy baby into our family. Even though this is the 4th family birth I attended in 6 years, I am full of awe for the power of the human body in creating new life.

significant experience. Being bullied. I am 61 years old and was bullied by two "friends", women I had invited into my home. Both used the guise of religion and acknowledged that they knew that the particular day on which they sent the nasty emails was a bad one for me, but...... They were "concerned" about something that might happen 11 months hence. I was exhausted and truly hurt and I reacted, probably over reacted. My friends were trying to be helpful, but what I got was "poor Kunni" which made me feel that I was wrong and pathetic. What I needed was "Micki Smith Palmer and her henchwoman Lynn Stieber are bitches, what nasty things to do". That would have made me feel like my friends had my back. It has made me rethink most of the people in my life. I am not comfortable with them and am keeping them at arms length. Most of them didn't understand what I needed and didn't help, even hurt the situation. I thought I had a community, but now I think that I have 2 people that truly understand me and a bunch of aquaintances. (I have no freaking clue how to spell that word, I have tried at least 4 ways, all appear to be wrong). So it goes.

Got passed over for the opportunity to become the manager of the team I've been on for the past three years. Pretty resentful, in large part because the person they picked doesn't seem to have the desire to understand the working of the team to a degree I think is necessary for this specific team. I don't particularly want to manage, but I really wanted that position on my resume. In the large scheme of things, it will probably prove uneventful as my current title is arguably more enticing to other employers.

Depression and anxiety have been part of my life since childhood, my earliest memory centers around depression. In May of this year I reached my emotional breaking point. In crisis I went to a local hospital and was admitted to the psychiatric ward. I've attempted suicide twice, and meant to carry out a third. If it were not for my loving wife I'm confident I would have succeeded this time. She intervened, reaching out to family for help; getting someone with me until she could get me to a safe place. The 7 days I spent in hospital was both terrible and wonderful. Terrible acknowledging my deepest fears and insecurities to strangers and friends and family alike. I hated being away from my wife and kids that long. Wonderful because I needed the time away from the stress and anxiety of life to get my mind reset. I needed the professional help I received. I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder and major anxiety disorder 25 years ago, but being in the hospital was the first time I really accepted it, and was willing to work to control it. To date my hospitalization is the most powerful, life changing event in my life. Until that time I had spent most of my life living for , and trying to please other people (my parents, my wife, my religious community). Breaking down so completely allowed me to get very vulnerable and very honest, complete honesty. As a result of my hospitalization I have broken away from a religion that I have not believed in for years, and couldn't bring myself to walk away from (I live in a community that is almost completely of my former religion, and requires very strict obedience). Hospitalization has been a powerful experienc resulting in feelling hopeful, truely hopeful for the first time in more than a decade.

I got married. It has been the most grounding experience of my life. I have never felt more connected to the earth, to the ground beneath my feet, to history, to culture, and to tradition--all while creating our own versions of these. It is a creative process in a way I didn't expect. I am grateful and inspired and energized by it, even as it has also brought a calming and deeply moored energy to my life over the past few months.

I don't even want to answer these questions this year and I'm the one who signed up to answer them. That's dumb. I'm mad at myself? The most significant things that happened this past year, happened in the last month or so. Sammy started 2nd grade, Dena began preschool because I began teaching at the JCC preschool again, and the car accident and David's pneumonia. It's also the five-year anniversary of my sister's death, so that feels significant as well. Am I grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Yes... all of the above. But mostly just tired.

The deaths of Shimon Peres and Elie Wiesel have deeply affected me. In a world gone mad, who will be the voices of peace and humanity with these giants gone? I am grateful to have had these heroes to look up to throughout my life. I will forever be inspired by them and hope other great women and men arise to take their place.

This year, 5776, it's hard to pin down just one event...let's go with an event cascade: I got my first driver's license in October at 45, then in July, I bought a car and drove it all the way up to Maine for our annual vacation, in ONE DAY!! It has been freeing and liberating to travel under my own steam, making my own timetable--challenging to plan ahead!--nice to be able to give the GIF of passengership to my sweetheart, and fun to be able to give back "car-ma" for all the car favors I've received over the years! I've also had to deal with some baggage in my mind-trunk and not conflate my now boyfriend's critiques or advice or "aaah!" moments with all the past husbands and boyfriends' negative comments about driving! Every time a learning opportunity!

In November of 2016 I finally got an accounting internship. I got the internship at Robert W. Baird in their finance department. I started in January 2016 and am still working there to this day. This time last year I wrote a post about how disappointed I was that I didn't have an internship, but I remember the phone call I received when I was told that I landed the internship. I was so relived and happy. It has been a great learning experience and I have been working with some great people. I will be leaving in December/early January to start an internship in assurance with Deloitte and am so excited that my internship with Baird has helped me get this awesome opportunity at Deloitte. I am so excited.

This year I experienced blatant racism for the first time and it wasn't from a white person, it was from a Latino woman the same complexion as myself. I was livid, and unfortunately still am. And to add insult to injury my professor did the "privilege walk" exercise with my cohorts and it didn't go over too well at all. So 2 strikes for racism, 0 strikes for me. Although angry about both situations they have inspired me to propose a symposium to my school and possibly other universities.

I married the love of my life and my best friend. It was the most amazing day, I couldn't stop smiling! Although it hasn't changed day to day life, it does feel fantastic to introduce people to my husband!

Last October, I went to Thailand for two and a half weeks to visit my sister, who had been teaching English there for a year. It affected me in a very positive way. First, the trip was a much-needed break from the growing stress of grad school and an escape from the drama associated with my ex boyfriend, who had dumped me earlier that fall. Second, it was the first time in over a year that I got to spend more than a couple days with my sister. We were very close when we were younger, so it was nice to be able to experience that closeness again. Lastly, it reminded me that I need to take the time to enjoy life, that there is more to life than just work. It's easy to forget that in grad school, where you are surrounded by a toxic work environment that expects you to completely sacrifice your life for science, where you feel guilty for taking part of the weekend off. For me, grad school is temporary. Once I get out of here, I plan to find a job that lets me enjoy life more. I want weekends off, I want to be able to take vacations guilt-free. You only live once, and I don't want to reach an old age having a huge list of things I wish I could've done when I was younger.

Discovering that the pain & stiffness in my dominant right hand wasn't just the advance of time, but an extreme osteoarthritis that required radical joint replacement or bone fusion Surgery. I have reacted with (typically) stubborn defiance & continued my high impact life as a stage builder/rigger. I am to some extent shamed that my Pride & (neurotic?) need to feel independent of "mundane" employment could have placed my family in financial difficulty. Having made an appointment to schedule Surgery, I am grindingly anxious about the outcome of treatment . Will I be "fit for purpose"or will I have to compromise myself even further?

Our chamber choir at church went through some major changes. Our director was going deaf, and it was causing problems. We had a couple people leave over the past several years because they didn't like how he ran rehearsals and conducted performances. We were planning an intervention with a few of us and him, but he resigned. Now the group is trying to function without a music director per se. (Our founder runs the group, choosing music and negotiating with the church's music director) This is closer to the original vision when the group was formed. I am excited about not having a separate conductor, but learning how to 'feel' the tempo and communicate with each other, nonverbally. One of our altos will run rehearsals and play the piano when necessary. Unfortunately, she has family problems and isn't always in attendance. Which leads me to one thing--I've conducted a couple of rehearsals. I'm not a professional, but I did a creditable job. The other members gave me some very positive feedback. I hope we continue to develop. I am wondering how things will look this time next year, after a full season without a director. I am very glad of the changes. From the beginning, I had wanted us not to have a director so much as a coach--an objective ear to advise us and polish our renditions. I have long wanted us to be closer and more responsive to each other.

Multiple people dropped me. I lost all communication with certain people I thought were close. I was affected harshly at first, questioning and hollow. I am reflective as I needed that to reassess myself and how my self-concept flushes out to a more positive me. I felt a cleanse in interpersonal relationships.

Exactly a year ago today, Grandma Liz died. Grief washed over me in the days after her death. She had passed unexpectedly, but thankfully peacefully and quickly just as she'd wanted. The surprise of her death left me mourning the vivacious, intellectually discerning, giving, and tasteful person she'd been and left me in disbelief that I would never get to spend time with her again. After the gloomy days and weeks of shocked sadness faded into a duller ache of loss, I found a clarity about my own life I can only attribute to the loss of Liz's. Especially after returning from the celebration of her life with family and her life long friends in Ithaca, it became easier for me to admit that I wasn't happy with many aspects of my own life. I was lonely living in a town where I knew no one other than my parents and new co-workers. I longed for the friends I'd left behind in D.C. and made at Whitman. I also missed volunteering for local political causes as I had in D.C. I longed for a Jewish community that included more than 2 other people in their 20's. I missed having a job in which I felt useful and respected. One night, a few days before flying back east for Grandma Liz's service, I got in a bit of a fight with mom. I wasn't really fighting with her as much as with my own sadness about all that I felt was now missing from my life, Grandma Liz topping that list. Sobbing in bed, one of the family cats, Boots, snuggled up next to me as I cried big tears and stammered for breath, my nose full of snot. That night I knew that I needed to leave Ashland and return to a place where I had friends and a Jewish community I could connect to. It took me months to admit that decision, but now after 8 months of being back home in Seattle, I am glad I did. Losing Liz helped me clarify that relationships, community involvement, and faith are aspects of my life I wasn't willing to live without.

Became a Zaydie

With all the murders of unarmed black people and other violence, viewing parents struggle with children with serious disabilities, and seeing poverty around and on the news, I am grateful for my healthy, happy family, children who are doing well, and a home over our heads.

A significant experience this year was that I entered the Navy as an active duty officer in the Nurse Corps. I knew that I didn't really know what it was going to be like, but now that I've been in for nine months, it's kind of amazing how much I didn't know. I never thought of myself as someone who would join the military and it was something of a sudden decision (as much as something requiring a months-long application process can be a sudden decision). It's only been nine months, but I can already see how I'm an entirely different person than I was before I joined the military. Training involved some intense psychological manipulation that made me both feel immediate camaraderie with my fellow officers-in-training and fierce loyalty to and desire to impress my superiors. I've never felt anything like it. In the day-to-day I don't feel like I've changed at all, until I have a conversation with a civilian about something military, and they have no conception of what I'm talking about. It's actually a lot like starting nursing school in that, all of sudden, I am part of a culture that outsiders cannot understand. I wasn't even sure if I would like it until I was in the midst of it. I don't know if I know what I feel about this. Bemused? The past nine months have passed in a blur, and I don't know what to make of it.

A significant event in the past year was the day that I decided that I had enough of what my body looked like. Since senior year of high school (I'm a junior in college now) I had put on around 50 pounds, some muscle but mostly fat as I haven't been the most active and I ate like shit. I had stretch marks on my stomach and I was embarrassed to take my shirt off when I went to the pool or just walked around the house. This made me feel depressed and took away my motivation to do school work or anything actually. However, mid February I decided to take my life and my body back. I started going to the shitty gym in my apartment building because I know I wouldn't have stuck with it if I had to travel to the real gym across campus. It was in those three months before summer that has really turned my life around. I decided to stop smoking so that I wouldn't eat as much garbage when I had the munchies, I drink less alcohol in fear of getting a hangover and missing a workout, and I decided to meal prep so that I don't go out as often. All in all I've lost 20 lbs in the 8 months since I started, I know that doesn't seem like a lot, but Ive put on a ton of muscle in the time being and and getting happier and happier about my body and my life as a whole everyday.

Six people we love have passed over in the last two months. At the same time my father is at the end of life and gets close to death then turns around and is well for short periods of time. This has happened many times. The first death was a tremendous shock ,a friend my age, seemingly healthy and strong had a massive stroke no interventions were possible ,he came home with hospice and died two weeks later surrounded by his family. Other friends died different ways. We thought we were good with life and the flow of life/death til this time. We've had a strong ever present spiritual life for forty years inspite of this our hearts are broken ,we feel bruised and are reviewing our lives,I cry every day ,my husband felt lost and disoriented and is better now. I am still heavy hearted and tearful many times a day and looking at at the times I have hurt others or felt hurt and not yet forgiven and let go. we are gratefull for every moment ,staying closer at home and cherishing each moment with family and a few friends.

I declined to be re-elected to chair my professional organization. I had great trepidation, but, thankfully, I have been treated with great respect. I miss being "in charge," but am relieved not to feel the constant responsibility. I also feel it is another important step towards retirement.

After over two years of classes and studying, I became an adult bat mitzvah and chanted Torah along with my classmates. I felt exhilarated, grateful, and humbled by the whole experience. The clergy were extremely supportive, and it made me feel even more like a part of the community.

I ended an unsatisfying relationship and then I opened myself up to a relationship with a different kind of man from the kind I have chosen in the past. I am immensely grateful to be having the experiences I am having with this man - in addition to what is pleasurable etc, I am grateful that I am able to stay present and try to be authentic without judging myself or him prematurely. I am so relieved to have ended the unsatisfying relationship, rather than staying with it out of inertia or fear. I still have some resentment to the prior man, but I am trying to let it go.

I had a series of short relationships for the first time since my divorce. Although none of these lasted more than a month, it gave me hope that there is still the possibility of a romantic relationship in my future. It also taught me that you never know what is going to happen in any situation.

I struggle to think of one significant experience. I've had many small ones: moving my horse (twice) a jerk ex-boyfriend exiting my life in an unkind way, traveling with my sister, a childhood friend ripped into me for not being a close enough friend. Some of these brought me joy (sister time, being back with friends at barn) some hurt (dumb boy) and some made me angry. I also felt frustration at my best friend and have started to try to disengage my self responsibility from her. A big step for me is accepting my single self, allowing solitude to be a comfort, and not beating myself up for being alone.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer. Each time we got news it just kept getting worse and worse. Until finally, we were told it is stage 4 metastatic. Devastation is what I feel he is 61. I'm 44 this year and I'm not ready to be with out him. My Mom whom I haven't spoken to in 4 years resurfaced. It's weird. I don't know how I feel about it yet. We were like best friends and then boom, we weren't. Now I feel like occasional conversations are enough.

I got sick, really sick, probably for the first time n my life. It wasn't fun, and it made me realize I'm mortal and finite, and that I might not achieve all my goals. It also made me see that not achieving everything I want is different from failing.

I had stage 3 Breast Cancer. It changed my life. I believe I went through it with courage, a positive attitude and hopefully my story has helped encourage other women to notice any changes in the appearance of their breasts as something to question. I am grateful that I am alive, that I have a closer relationship than ever with my children, and that I am finally in a good place in my life where I am accepting of my journey and living life each day to its fullest. I feel good about my life and I am inspired at the opportunity to share my positive experience through teaching yoga, especially this month for Breast Cancer Awareness month.

New additions to our home which made it more comfortable, cozy and livable. Relief because it made me realize how much I had lived in cold, dark isolation physically and spiritually. Practicing mindfulness, trying to bring greater calm and centeredness to my life has helped as has the four agreements. I am inspired to do more and figure out how to go deeper and take time for myself - and breath.

This past year, just as I predicted, Sandeep and I ended our relationship. I am still struggling to understand what kind of a relationship it truly was. It was almost exactly one year ago, during our weekend in Amritsar, when we decided that it wasn't working out, under the high stress of a trip that Sandeep never wanted to be on. It was so fast, but we really broke up twice during that one dinner, eating the Punjabi fried fish and drinking such cold beer. I remember being surrounded by tables of loud, old men smoking Indian cigarettes and drinking whiskey. They may have seen the tears welling up in our eyes, but couldn't have realized what we were discussing, divulging, dismantling. He was breaking up with me for the rest of my time in Asia -- I was breaking up with him for the following two years. I might have felt relieved in that moment, and thankful that we could remain friendly, even close. We sobbed and sobbed once we got back to Delhi, and couldn't let go. When I saw him the next time, in January, it already wasn't the same. We still chat, of course, and he remains a big part of my life. Just last week we Skyped, and I felt so angry that the connection was awful. I am angry that I can't call him, send him letters, or chat more frequently, but as he reminded me, if it all still carries such meaning to me, why did we break up at all? Did we break up at all? The end of the relationship was the beginning of something new, and every step of the way has affected me since then, since I moved back to the US, since he's started planning his sister's wedding, since his plans to visit me fell through, since mine to visit him have started and ended. How can you end a relationship when you've only started loving the person even more? How can you find closure when just the thought of that person send the warmest shivers up your spine? How can you trust your own memory of the person who lives on a continent far, far away? My mind sentimentalizes our time together, making it paradisiacal, when surely it wasn't. Yet no new relationships, even dates, even photographs, have made my heart flutter like the thought of Sandeep does. Will he ever come to the US? If he does, will it be the end of something wonderful, or the start of something new? Will it fall somewhere in between? Our breakup was sad, quick, but inevitable. This last year has been a great one for me, one to remind me of how privileged I am, but one that has also planted a seed of doubt in my mind, an inkling of fear, a grain of despair: what if I let go of the greatest love of my life? What if...

I moved to New York. It took months for me to declare that this was what I most wanted, and there was quite a bit of turmoil with my parents because I wasn't open with them about it. But on July 19 I drove a UHaul from Pittsburgh to Brooklyn with a friend in the passenger seat. Sometimes I still dream about it, and in my dreams I'm driving or packing or otherwise haven't gotten here yet. But I did get here. Every morning I wake up in this city where I live, where I brought myself, and it feels exactly as right as I'd hoped all those many days.

There was a change in my job title. Due to the departure of a staff member, the work load she had carried was divided between myself and another colleague. The division of labor was relatively equal; however, my colleague was accorded a higher spot in the organizational pyramid than I, in spite of my seniority. Also, while receiving more work, my salary remained the same. I am still dealing with feelings of being marginalized, made more irritating because of the enormous additional work load. Regardless of how well I am carrying out my new duties, the recognition has not been forthcoming.

This is the year I finally landed the tenure-track job of my hopes and dreams. We moved to Pennsylvania for it. Bought a house. A big house, to fill with friends and ideally a growing family of our own in the year ahead, G-d willing. The year involved the sadness of losing my step-father in law Chuck as well. Friends had babies (Meg, Laura, Ben & Yona), though, and my mother-in-law, for her part, is coming more and more into her own, which I feel relieved about. I made some more new friends, for which I am very grateful. I am sharing in the joy of my siblings' successes and stable lives, and for the health of my own parents. I also feel anxious about our country, as this is the election season and I fear the prospect of a Trump presidency. I am thankful that the year brought me such a positive transition and that my marriage and own family life continue to be fulfilling, as I feel love and connection to those around me.

What could be more significant than the death of my mother. It has cast a shadow over much of the year. I am learning how to find some joy again though much is dotted with pangs of grief. I have come to realize how fragile life is and how important it is to savor life's moments. Also cherishing my fathers presence more than ever.

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease recently. Although it wasn't a complete shock or unexpected it had a profound effect on me. Mum has has a lifetime history of depression and her memory has been getting worse over the last 5 years. We actually had her memory tested about 5 years ago but the geriatrician she was very sharp for her age. Instead the geriatrician said that her memory problems were to do with her mood disorders. My Dad died three years ago and during the funeral preparations mum did some unexpected things that led to a lot of money being wasted and many horrible things being said. One result of that time was the final breakdown of my sister and mother's relationship. They haven't spoken since that time. My relationship with my mother was also changed. It was a very confusing and extremely disappointing time. I couldn't believe the disregard she seemed to have for all of us. The very frustrating thing for me was that she claims that it didn't happen and doesn't remember anything. So when she was diagnosed with Dementia for me it was a great relief. I was able to finally let go of the resentful feelings that were stopping me from empathizing with her. Although mum has always been erratic and difficult I just couldn't understand that she could be so difficult when we were trying to organize Dad's funeral. Now that I know a bit about Alzheimer's it makes more sense. She may remember bit of what happened but I think she is confused and probably doesn't remember all of it. The diagnosis has allowed me to see mum in a completely different light. I now accept that she is not responsible for her actions and I can care for her in that capacity. I feel responsible for her in the same way that I always have but now I no longer feel anger towards her because I can see that she isn't aware of everything. Another good outcome is that her mood has changed with the loss of her memory. She no longer feels angry and sad all the time. So although it's sad there is a really positive side to it too.

My husband, age 77, had a pace maker put in. Lo and behold, it raised his spirits and seems to have given him a little more energy. Not mountain-climbing energy, but an improvement. We're very grateful.

The significant experience for me was experiencing the illness and subsequentthe passing of my oldest son. I am devastated, brokenhearted, and wonder how I will ever be truly happy again.

This year I went skydiving with my best friend from college. It was something I always thought I wanted to do but didn't know whether or not it would happen. I was so calm the day of and during the fall down. It was magical and one of the most amazing experiences in my life. I am grateful to have had the chance to do this!

I just had 1 friend discover an advanced case of cancer, another with Parkinson's just go into a hospice program. They re another 'kick in the head' to remind me to live each day fully, not speak unkindly, and tell people that I love how I feel - OFTEN

In January I was ordained as a Cantor. It was an extraordinarily beautiful service. I find it hard to remember -- so much else that is hard is going on. But I am so very grateful that I had that lovely, peaceful, emotional, meaningful time with friends and colleagues from Hebrew College. I need to keep remembering it in these hard times!

I took the next step in my relationship with my love Daniella and moved in to an apartment of our own. It has been a stabilizing and comforting act in my life. My psychiatrist asked me if I was feeling the same nihilism that he has seen throughout his knowing me. I said I do not, I feel purpose, meaning and fulfillment in my relationship and the direction it is headed.

Wow! This has been one of the best years of my life, if not THE best. The love that began 17 months ago has grown deeper every day. We began as friends (a first for me) of 7 years, and one day, we found each other to be more than friends. After only a few months, Annie and 6-year-old daughter, Katherine, moved into my home and began to make it a warm and loving place. Over the winter and spring of last year, we shared so much with each other, including my role as stepfather of Katherine- something Katherine needed very much as her father is distant and self-absorbed with his own demons. We have grown stronger as a loving family with Katherine and I first bonding and then feeling a powerful love for each other. Of course, this has made Annie very happy and has helped lighten her load just a bit. This summer, Annie and I designed a tattoo (with our names on them!) representing eternal love for each other and had them inscribed on our forearms. But it was not until this very day, October 2nd, 2016, that I asked Annie, in the middle of the church service, if she would marry me, and she said yes! My heart is deeply touched, not only by Annie's love, but even more by the chance to be a loving parent for Katherine since I was too sick to be a father to my children, now fully grown. My daughter was Catherine with a C and now with a K. I feel grateful, blessed, happy and inspired by all of this, and by the church service last Sunday, when I was baptized as an adult and became a member of the church.

Getting married! Grateful and inspired. The most amazing thing I have done in my life -Fernando Inspired to live together and do amazing things together together. The people in our community are impressive- they were present and happy.

Moving to Iowa has been the biggest event of the past year and possibly life. More so than getting married, even. I'm grateful for all the assistance of Daniel's parents in helping us get settled, but I'm also so anxious and frustrated most days. I try to remember to be patient, to know that creating the life we want and that we moved here to build takes longer than the month we've been here. It's terrifying to be here with very little support system, and I feel lonely a lot. But I used to feel lonely at home too, and maybe more so because I was isolating myself instead of being over a thousand miles away from my loved ones. There's something good in every day here, for which I am grateful. Every day there is something small that allows me to keep hopeful for the future and find joy in the small comforts we have amidst the chaos.

I moved to a new town. I am grateful and inspired and received and happy.

Redemption Retreat! and the ability to put into perspective the past and move onto a brighter future!! i'm feeling relieved, grateful!!, inspired and energized!! i'm prepared to leave past hurts behind and embrace my role as an emuna leader .....

My parents moved to an assisted living facility; Mom went kicking and screaming. It was excruciating. Nine months later, things are better, but I still feel guilty for taking them away from their home of 67 years. I wish we had anticipated their needs earlier and started making accommodations around their house -- maybe then they could have stayed there with help. I guess it is just like what happens when we raise our kids; we do the best we can when we are in the midst of the issue because we can't predict the future. I just wanted them to be happy in their final years, and I'm not sure we've done this.

I participated in a dance performance about sexual violence against women and girls. It was so frightening and exciting because (a) I was sharing my personal story and (b) I am not a dancer! The choreographer was and is an amazing person. When I shared my story with her (over email) her reaction was so great -- she did the email equivalent of look me straight in the eye to say, "Thank you for sharing your story and I'm sorry this happened to you. Now, let's get working." The impact the work had on the audience was huge, I think ... everyone was kind of quiet, thoughtful, stunned even.

Being robbed at gunpoint by two teenagers. I feel renewed, refocused, and ready to make positive change in my own life and in my community.

Hmm. I think I will talk about my car accident in England last March. Because it made me realize how fleeting life is. Everyone was OK, and I was grateful for that. But it could have so easily gone the other way in the blink of an eye. Still, except for the continuing pain in my shoulder, I always tell folks if you are going to have an accident, that was the best way to have it. Everyone was so nice and the overall experience of being overseas was not marred by totaling the rental car. Very grateful. Also felt more at home there than I do here in America, the whole time I was there. So that's significant as well.

I met my new girlfriend in August at the Intro ride to Dulwich Paragon CC. I've never been happier and I feel incredibly lucky to have gone on the same day - awesome

I gave birth to Ari on June 13th. Although, to be honest, describing how things went as "gave birth" seems a bit disingenuous. The whole experience was immensely traumatic, and he spent 69 days in the NICU after being born at 29w5d gestation. Currently, he's 5.5 weeks adjusted. How did it affect me? Well, that's hard to say. Right now, I have a lot of guilt and a lot of resentment. Guilt for how he came into the world... what if something I did caused this? What if there are long term effects of being premature? What if I cause problems now? Resentment? Yes. I resent him for being here. I resent him for changing my life and making it so hard to do what I want to do. I also resent myself for not understanding and mentally preparing myself for the changes of motherhood. I'll probably read this next year and laugh because he's a wonderful, babbling little toddler. We'll see.

Over the past 6 weeks I had a couple of health scares - pre-diabetic and a anomaly in my annual mammogram. Both issues absolutely terrified me but especially the issue with my right breast. After going through a 2nd mammo, an ultrasound and a biopsy, I got the good news on Friday that the spot was just a cyst - BEST NEWS EVER!!! I am extremely grateful for the extraordinary reprieve I've been given. I know others are not as fortunate and I am thankful that the specter has passed my house. However, I realized that I got horribly lost in my fear forest. There were trees everywhere that were saplings for years but overnight seemed to grow to the size of redwoods. It made the woods that Dorothy went through look like toothpicks. I have found my way to a nice, restful and restorative meadow but I don't believe that I have made it through. Perhaps I'm always traveling through the forest (my metaphor for life, I guess) but have never wandered willingly or been forced in to the fearful parts. While in the midst, I sobbed uncontrollably several times a day over several days - afraid of having cancer, afraid of going in to the hospital, afraid of the pain. Before this, I'd never spent a night in the hoapital, had a broken limb or stitches. I'm reminded of the passage in Dune - fear is the little death. My fear shut me down - mentally, emotionally. The good news is that it has definitely refocused me on my health.

Work has sucked to the point where I have to find a new job to even survive. I have resumed my friendship with Martin. It was rocky at first, but I am really glad we are friends. I call him my non-sexy life partner. It's been nice and I feel like we are picking up right where we left off. We should definitely watch the drinking and smoking weed though, I feel like we enable each other. I have been getting the house in order. It has been hard work but I am really proud of the progress I am making. I really hope Trump doesn't win. Watching the debates is unbelievable and it makes me feel like I don't understand the people around me.

I think it was more a series of significant events; I lost that tooth I have been nursing for 20 years, I fainted while running and nearly hurt myself, I have knee issues (possible torn meniscus), age-related macular degeneration. I also have these bouts of high blood pressure. All this is a reminder that I am not 35 anymore. I am 51 and I need to take good care of myself. These coming years will not be as easy as the previous. Need to push myself to stay in shape and not hurt myself.

I became re-acquainted with an old friend that I hadn't seen or spoken to in forty years. He has been through a lot but is doing well now. I speak with him on a pretty regular basis now and our friendship is a great blessing to me!

I declared Bankruptcy. I am relieved

In August, I had a miscarriage. And I was really angry and sad and hurt. I wasn't sure how to process it. It made me more and more grateful for every moment I spend with Tucker and it made me unsure of how to proceed when it comes to having more children.

In April, Mom got very sick. This is not the first time, but she had been stable for a couple of years, since before brother and s-i-l moved in, and I suppose we all thought that things would continue like that forever. But this time, we really thought she was dying. Everyone converged on her hospital room, where we kept her in ready company throughout the days...until it was clear she was NOT dying, and we all went home, eventually. She remembers none of it, but that doesn't matter. We all talked a lot during those days, which was a good thing. Whatever else we could say about ourselves, everyone seems to want what's best for Mom and we are all more-or-less in agreement. No (or few) arguments, at least not about Mom and her estate; I think we trust each other. So, some good things to be grateful for: my siblings who have risen to the occasion. Some things to be relieved about: Mom not dying. Some low level anxiety for me that nothing is settled; Mom could die tomorrow or in 2026. I think the anxiety is wearing me down, but I know it's nothing like what brother/s-i-l are feeling and dealing with every day. I wonder if I resent Mom for hanging on but not getting very much better physically? Perhaps. My months are bounded by just having come back for a visit to her and planning my next visit to see her; and wondering if she'll die while I'm away from home. But when I think of her not being here, I feel panic. Then I'll be an orphan. And while that will probably happen eventually, I'm not sure how I'll feel about it.

My husband had a serious ski accident--was unconscious (though had his helmet on), broke a clavicle, ribs, and had various other injuries. He has recovered fully. He is an expert skier who does not take chances--his fall was a fluke. I am so grateful that he is alive.

I started my first writing class at Moorpark College. I am now in my second class. To say I am excited is an under statement. I am on my way towards my goal and vision of becoming a writer as well as teaching writing when I retire in 8 years. I can honestly say I am inspired. Though it has put a crimp on my fitness level it is worth the way it has made me feel mentally. like I'm doing it. Also, after reading one of the assigned books Esquire's Journey I have become more compassionate and feel a great deal of empathy for the illegal immigrant. Thus growing as a person which is always a good thing.

This is the year that I learned about embodied emotions, learned how to feel my feelings in my body, allow them to come on strong and to pass. This is the year that I learned that I can feel big, scary things and that I will live on. This knowledge came from many sources: meditation; prayer work with Joti; therapy; literature; and of course experience - trying it over and over and finding it the most effective way to face emotion. Usually I start by laying alone and letting it wash over me. I will write a line or two in my journal expressing the most poignant piece (usually the worst way to put it). Then I lay still and relax around it and let my mind go. As different tender spots emerge I write them down, follow them, feel them, write more. Sometimes I draw. Sometimes I yell. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I curl up in a ball. I always soothe myself, comfort myself like a mother. Then the next step is to tell a friend about it, see them face to face and them them what's going on and how I'm feeling. Being witnessed and supported will usually alleviate it, but not always. Sometimes I just have to keep sitting with it. This skill set is life changing. Thank god I have encountered it. Building it up, making it my most important and valued muscle, is the journey I am on now.

I changed jobs, going from my old job as a technical writer to working as a fully fledged developer for a telecoms company. It came (funnily enough) around Rosh Hashanah last year, as my old company decided that it needed to make cuts and lay me off. As it so happens, this was exactly the kick I needed to go towards my preferred career. There are a few downsides; it's further away from home and pays less, however it is exactly what I want to do for a career, and I view it as a springboard to get into a better paid job at a later date. I was resentful of my previous employer for making me redundant, however right now in quite a few ways I think I am better off, so it was overall for the best.

Struggled with post-natal depression. Got support from GP and my family. Struggled with how my partner doesn't seem at all interested in it - like I keep it my secret, and I just get on with it. Not saying he isn't loving and supportive, but hasn't really engaged with this side of me. I love being a mum, and our son is just amazing. It's been really hard though, and being back at work has also been really hard. I suppose on reflection, I am very strong, as I keep coping, keep doing it all. I want to get past how I feel at the moment though

I was able to drive again! It doesn't sound significant, but when you have spent the last two years struggling with a PTSD-induced panic disorder (that has limited your driving to a 2.5 mile radius), it's a huge triumph! I am grateful to G-d, to whom I have prayed daily, to please give me the strength to regain that part of my independence. And, finally, I have grabbed that brass ring.

Many deaths: friends Stephen Herz and Anita Schorr. The death in a way of my son whose hospitalizations I always saw as a "reset;" he needed to be stabilized and he could go back to his regular life. Not anymore. His schizophrenia is in full control and he has found his "tribe," on the street with the homeless. I am so so sorry that he suffers so much and I must learn to simply be a witness and not force my desires and expectations for him on him. I must come to see him as an autonomous person whose disease does not define him, even if it means he will be lost to us.

My year was fantastic! A friend of mine asked if i wanted to come on vacation with her i said yes. And it turned out to be the best decision of my life. I have the bestest of friends right now and couldn't be any happier. This proves to me that a random and impulsive decision can be the best thing ever.

I asked the question, "What kind of third world nation do you have to come from to think this place is acceptable" after seeing the iniquities in Australia on my way to work one day. The question was answered when I was moved from the outlet I was rostered to work in to another outlet that were people from a nation that has worse labor laws and no minimum wage. It made me resentful because it showed me that Australian's were blinded to their own iniquity by being forced to cater to those whose iniquities were far worse than ours. Iniquity will still be a problem regardless of the level of it. Only when any form of iniquity is removed from the world shall I feel grateful or relieved.

This past year I woke up, after five years of personal growth work and an additional six years of therapy.i'm amazed and overjoyed at having a new perspective where and I can be happier than I ever imagined. It is inspiring, however at this point I still often tend towards my old habits of negativity. The most important lesson I've learned is relentless positivity. The New Year's a great time to refocus my energy.

Significant experience was the fact my youngest son went off to college 2 months ago.I became an empty nester & for months leading up to it I cried daily. Once we dropped him off about 2 days later I realized like everything else in life i can get used it & once he told me he is happy ,I was happy . The other significant change is that we moved to a new place for a year & that was very stressful. From a big place to smaller. Adjustment was hard but agin we got used to it.Realizing always go with the flow. Material goods come & go but family stays .

A studnet that I didnt really know that well commited suicide. I had a lot of mixed emotions. The community I had just moved to rallyed around it's self. Even though this studnet was not well known to me I did have daily interactions with him, but I just didnt feel connected. I did watch my collegues and studnets crumble and for weeks they struggled. It put everything into perspective. The teachers are much closer to their studnets maybe crossing boundries that in a larger district would discourage. At our district the superintendent holds relations and conections above test scores. For this I am greatful.

I have a new job. Thank heaven! Getting a stable salary has been a main goal of mine; for past few years I've worked on straight commission based sales which has been incredibly stressful. Now I have a salary and grey cubicle which has given me peace of mind. Exactly what I hoped for: project management, CAD detailing and umpteen customer service issues that I handle each day. The variety is what I enjoy and excel at. My last position was supposedly the "dream" job... But after living the reality, I realized it wasn't what I wanted nor needed.

My mom died and as much as that would only affect many people emotionally it did a fairly big upheaval to me. I was happy cause my mom had been wanting to die for years. I was sad because that was our mom. I also felt bad and continue to feel bad for the all the people she meant so much too and our cats that don't get to spend time with her. For me, I feel my time is just more limited as I have taken over most of her work, which is in addition to all of mine that I already had. I was drained for my sports teams. And I feel my siblings are looking at things in a hasty way. My brother got married and just wants to be bought out of everything but isn't thinking about his finances. My sister continues to act like her husband will work one day knowing he wont and allows him to continue making decisions even though he does not contribute to the family greatly. So I'm grateful my mom is now at peace. I'm relieved she is not in pain anymore. I am resentful that I continue to do most of the work and my mom made a road block to me taking care of things. I am also resentful of the amount of work I continue to accrue because I am a sucker. I am also resentful of all the people who offered to help me in this time yet did nothing when asked. I was happy to see my siblings and I work as a unit even though we want different things and are attempting to approach them differently, as well as the fact that I have been doing decent at keeping my head afloat. I am inspired to see what happens next as I continue to go through the motions of living.

I lost my job a little over a year ago. I feel like I am now at my lowest point in my life right now. Struggling to keep myself going every single day and feel like even though I know where I want to go in life that I have no fight left in me to get there. I find myself daily asking myself what is the point.

A most significant experience of the year was our trip to Korea. It was so far away and so completely foreign. It helped me to understand Kyuho and Clare better. I am glad that I never have to do that again. And I am grateful that we returned home safely. I was inspired by the bold urban planning, the parks and the safe night light. I am aware that there is an undercurrent of heavy handed government and corporate cooperation, which is too bad.

My father died after a long illness. I was grateful that his suffering was over and yet filled with dread because of having to try to bring my mother back to the world of the living after she focused only on him for a very long time. In fact, I would say that the caring for my mom has have a powerful effect on my grieving process, in that I only grieve in little morsels from time to time when it hits me unexpectedly.

I met my boyfriend. My life is more fulfilled to share experiences with a partner. I am grateful.

So many things happen in a year that's it difficult to distill it all into a five minute write up while lying on my bed 30 beofre r"h! Anyway something significant that happened this year was my father in law showing his true colors and in general my in laws being so money oriented. Iyh we're going to be more than fine but the silver lining in my shvers stance towards us is the knowledge and hence strength we glean that he is not to be relied upon andelivery g-d is our only constant and light

I was diagnosed with Leukemia. Since it has only been three weeks since the diagnosis, I'm scared.

I am old, so there are fewer surprises that can be had, and less excitement over them. That said, the most substantive significant experience this year was the realization that the person I work for wasn't just an alcoholic narcissist (with occasional control issues) but also a psychopathic sadist. As such, the employment situation is primarily an abusive one; not at all business-like. With that went a realization that it was having a depressive effect on me, making more anhedonic. Affect: Makes even more wish I could die ASAP.

I became ill. I changed. I am different. My thoughts, my reactions, my confidence, my joy. I have changed. Monday,7/25/2016 I saw the PA he said I was just dehydrated. " You will feel better in 24 hours. Increase your fluids, stay in a cool temperature, take it easy". 48 hours later, not better. Wednesday - Help. Give me a UA, you could have at least done that on Monday. He sent me away with Bactrim DS. He never saw me. I took it for 3 1/2 days. I became jaundiced. I called the Dr. that Sunday. " You can't be jaundiced after 3 days. Stop the medicine". Come see me in 2 days if you are not any better. Started new job, sat through orientation feeling sick. Day 2 went through orientation, feeling worse. Day 3 - went in to see the Dr. I was sent to the hospital. I am angry. I take medicine now. My liver is injured. I take prednisone, my face is swollen and so fat. I feel as though my eyes are slowly sealing shut as my face grows puffier. I tire, I feel jittery, I cry. I never even got situated in a new job with the new degree I worked so hard at. I am disappointed, disgusted with the medical care I never received. I am distressed.

My ex-wife died. It didn't affect me much at first. More like a wistfulness in past joys and past pains. However, it affected our daughter profoundly, and that in turn made me realize that although the relationship was terminated, it didn't remove the ability to affect my mood, my feelings, and my daily life. I am more aware of how important her life was to my daughter, and look forward to making this a chance to grow closer to her and her family.

I got divorced after 39 years of marriage. It's hard to believe it's done. All things considered, the process went fairly smoothly. I feel pretty good about my life and my future. Financially, I think I will be okay. I don't really miss living with someone else, though so far I have only had 6 months of living alone ever in my life. I feel safe and secure in my home. I feel freer to express and explore my religious identity, without fear of criticism. I am grateful to my friends, my family and my faith for the support I experience.

LOL! Wow. How many characters can I use here? I spent 5 months in and out of the hospital and rehab. From August 1 - Jan 9 2016, I was home for only 7 days in September. I had had a stroke, diagnosed with congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, kidney failure, vocal chord paralysis, chronic infections, severe lymphedema....... God knows there could be more. I just don't remember. I was given drugs, some of which had terrible side-effects. Many drugs I refused to take, opting for more natural solutions. I know this saved me much pain, even if the effects of the natural solutions take time to manifest. I am a patient person and became even more patient through all of this. I knew my body had to process everything and I could not push farther than my body was able to go. Why did I have so many health issues? Why did it all come to a head? Before the hospital I did not understand my own value. I did not want to spend the money to get proper care. I was afraid of going into debt. This experience taught me that I am priceless (as are we all). My health and well-being is worth any amount of money. I will do what it takes to get well. And so I am. Even if I'm in a lot of debt. Money is a tool. It's energy. It's there to be used for our benefit. I didn't (don't) have enough of my own energy to heal, so I am borrowing it from others. Once I am well, I can share my extra energy with other people. Our world if full of energy that's constantly in motion. I have known for a long time, that we choose the lives we live. We choose the basic course of our lives before we are born. We decide who will be in our lives and how we will interact. Life is a classroom. There are goals we set, achievements, things to be learned in each life. But we don't come here knowing exactly what it is we are to learn. Our guidepost is our intuition, our heart, our link to our higher self. When listening and paying attention to how we feel about something, we get very clear guidance as to which is the right choice. Learning to pay heed to this message is one of the goals we always set. Once you understand this, making the right choice is easier. I knew that everything I did (and continue to do) is the right choice for me. So there is no way I could regret anything. This including not getting care prior to the crisis. The crisis was necessary for me to get to a certain level of awareness. I am grateful for every experience I've had over the last year, no matter how bad it may appear to be. I know that everything happens for my highest good.

Our son, Spencer, became a bar mitzvah on 6/4/16. What I remember feeling most of all was the overwhelming sight of our closest family/friends at the Friday night service, moreso than anything that happened on Saturday. We attend services more regularly on Fridays than Saturdays, so the comparisons between most other Fridays and that one really demonstrated visually how significant a life event that was. Even though the majority of our guests only came on Saturday, the sight of our family in our synagogue during our regular service was overwhelming.

My husband filed for divorce. I was surprised and shocked, and then in denial, and then eventually embracing that he gave me freedom after 15 years of making me wrong about everything. It's been excrutiating. I'm learning to heal, to love myself, that I'm not inherently wrong as a human, and I've much to contribute and be grateful for.

This year I got a vasectomy. Deciding not to have a baby is as big of a commitment as deciding to have a baby. I wasn't hoping to, or planning on having children. In that respect, the vasectomy was an easy decision to make. Nady and I always said that the vasectomy was the plan. But it's something we talked about in our 20s, pushing it off until we were in our 30s. Now in our 30s it was time to act on that plan. I would not have chosen to be sterile had I been single, or with another partner. I don't have strong feelings about kids one way or the other, and I hate to make choices that limit opportunities. However, in our relationship, kids were never going to be an option. For me, this significant choice was about making a big commitment to our relationship, not about the convenience of permanent birth control nor my own drive to not have children.

I went on my first meditation retreat and made meditation and weekly sanga a consistent part of my life, The year has had a lot of challenges and I have a lot of work in front of me, but knowing that I have that to come "home" to is a really great thing.

I slipped on the stairs and broke my back. I was in bed for two weeks and in a brace for two months. It made me appreciate all the loving kind people that I have in my life. Especially my 15 and 19 year old daughters that helped me sooo much. As I'm healing I'm extremely grateful to my body. It also could've been so much worse.

WE LOST OUR NEPHEW DJ OVER THE SUMMER. IT WAS HEART BREAKING TO LOSE SUCH A YOUNG LIFE, I REMEMBER THE DAY HE DIED I WOKE UP FEELING SO HEAVY IN MY HEAR AND SOUL. THERE HAD BEEN A JOGGER MURDERED IN HOWARD BEACH AT THE BEGIINING OF THE WEEK, TWO MUSLIM MINISTERS WERE MURDERED THAT WEEKEND. DJS PASSING, SHOOK ME AND I FELT SO VULNERABLE. BUT WHAT TOUCHED ME WAS THAT THE SAME FACES I SAW AT WEDDINGS, GRADUATIONS, HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS-WERE THE SAME FACES THERE TO MOURN WITH US AND SUPPORT. IT FELT GREAT TO KNOW WE ARE PART OF A VILLAGE.

October 2015-2016. I got my driver's permit. There have been setbacks along the way- I tried traditional driving courses back in January/February and the instructor was very short with me. My mom helped me call to see what it takes to get into an assisted drivers program with an OT. I am 30 years old and still need help talking sometimes. This is ok. I qualify but need a doctor's refferal. I immediately set up an appointment to speak to my doctor. I got the refferal this past tuesday. The next step is to set an appointment for an intake exam. I haven't had to do one of those in a long time. I am excited. Driving has never been an interest but this will give me more freedom. Getting a FT job will be easier if i don't have to worry about transportation. Auditioning for shows will be easier. Taking a break will be hella easier. I am learning to let go of the guilt I have for being disabled. The person i most have to apologize to is myself. I am sorry for treating myself as useless because i need a little more help. I am sorry for setting up arbitrary deadlines for myself based on the arbitrary deadlines typically developed people have. I want to be greatful towards all the people giving me help. Their continued help reflects their beleif that I can succeed. I don't want to apologize to them for needing so much, I want to thank them for never giving up on me. I am taking this guilt of existence and throwing it into the river. I want to learn to love myself as I am, not as I "should " be. I will look toward my support system for guidance.

I turned 50 this year. I never thought I would make it to this age. Not because I am sickly or reckless, but simply because I couldn't imagine myself this old. I don't feel young anymore. It reminds me that life is short and I should be doing all those things you imagine doing 'one day'. However, I've been unemployed off and on over the last few years. So, doing those things are hard right now. Another aspect is, I had to give up some things in order to pay the bills. The gym membership was one of those things. I think the lack of exercise adds to my feeling of being old.

I went back to work with a prior employer. I am thankful that we can work together again and I can remain an independent contractor. I love my work but hate the idea of working for a big firm.

I got married!!!! It has left me (and us) with a glow that I hope we can hold onto. I can't describe how loved and supported I felt having so many people from so many different parts of our life be there to celebrate with us. And I love that my friends from different areas of my life are now friends. I am also a bit relieved not to be planning a big event any more!

In the past year, i have finally been able to grow a beard, and this has changed my outlook on life because it has freed up my physical presentation to include more that is traditionally deemed feminine. This has meant that rather than being restricted to only wearing dark colours, t-shirts, collared shirts, and shorts/trousers, i am able to again wear bright colours, jewelry, nail polish, and flowy skirts. i hadn't realised how much i really missed having access to that broader range of expression, and i'm glad to be able to reclaim it.

We ended up not buying Antimite and N&B actually divorced. Both made me feel relieved.

Hmmm...I guess I would say the trip I took to Japan with my sisters and stepfather. Travel is always eye opening and expanding, so simply experiencing another culture was exciting. Getting to share that experience with my family made it more special. I've done overseas trips on my own and I treasure those memories, but one thing I've realized is that sharing an experience with someone you love creates deeper, richer, more lasting memories. Because now I don't just have stories to share with people, but stories that have those people as part of them. I'm grateful that I have the resources to do that kind of travel, grateful that I have close and loving family to share travel with, and grateful that I can consider future trips.

My brother unexpectedly "divorced" me. He did not respond to phone calls, texts, emails, or acknowledge presents sent to him and his family. It affected me horribly. Sleep problems, anxiety, ruminating over why? what can I do? etc. Feeling worthless. However, I realized that our relationship has never been close, that I created an illusion that we were closer than we were really were because he's my big brother and I looked up to him. Even before this rift, our relationship had been virtually one-sided since childhood, with little attempts on his part to connect or stay in touch. I just hadn't seen that. I am still struggling with the situation.

My home was recently broken into and the person(s) took only my jewelry box and a handgun. The jewelry was very special and each piece is unique, nothing like each one on this continent. Jewelery that belonged or was handcrafted by people who are no longer alive and each has an incredibly emotional story attached to it. I am saddenned, I am grieving the loss not because of the material loss but what each piece meant to me. My mother's pearls, I remember the day my father drove 3 hours to give them to me and how he cried and I sat on the floor in front of the chair he was sitting in and had my face in his hands. My mother's ring, it had to be cut off her finger as she lay in a coma at Bellvue and I had the band repaired. I cry as I type this answer. I now have an ADT security system but my sense of calm and safety is changed forever.

After eighteen months of marriage counselling my husband was asked to not return. The therapist was upset by the way he talked to and treated me. She said that more significant change should have happened within the eighteen months, and that she couldn't help him/us. Not only did that end our counselling, but it was the start of the end of our marriage. It has affected my entire family. I feel so much relief and excitement to start the new chapter of my life. I feel profound sadness when I see what it is doing to my children. In the end, I believe that ending an emotionally abusive marriage is better for the kids than staying and teaching them horrible relationship habits.

Volunteering for No Barriers. it was amazing to see disabled people participating in activities that able-bodied people take for granite. I am thankful that I do not have a disability but I was inspired by those that overcome some challenges. I realize I can try to attempt challenges in my life. I felt blessed to have volunteered for this group.

I started working as a Practice Facilitator for Pain Management. The job has gotten busier and busier. At first it wasn't. I am grateful but starting to feel overwhelmed. Lots of travel. The other significant thing was that my daughter in law Kim, is working on conversion to Judaism. I went with her to classes and Hebrew. I have learned a lot!! And going to services more. Feeling more connected with the Temple family. I have learned our religion is beautiful and deep. It makes me more resentful to non Jewish people who are obviously uninformed and biased toward their own beliefs. I am not ashamed of being Jewish. I was at one time. I hope I will continue to learn more and grow more this year intolerance and wisdom.

It's difficult to land on ONE significant experience that has happened in the past year, but then I ask myself, "what qualifies as a significant experience?" I believe that's more personal than anything. It's not just a significant experience, but a mere reflection on myself and HOW I ended up there. Date back to the beginning of April 2016, as I knew my first trip outside of the United States was going to happen in just 3 short weeks. We (my girlfriend and I) had planned our trip to Europe since the beginning of the year after receiving air credit vouchers for giving up our seats on a flight to Palm Springs to a family of 6 who could not not fit 2 of their own on the plane. The flight was fully packed (it was the day after Christmas). As the next few months went by, the flame on our candle began to fade. Back to the 3 short weeks prior to our trip. It was dinner time, and as we sat there eating in silence, I knew the time was right to say something to her. "I'm not happy, we've hit a decline over the past 4-5 months. I've been staying at work later to avoid coming home because I don't want to sit here in silence on our phones as we act like there's nothing wrong going on here." She begins to cry. I think the part about not rushing home to be with her affects her greatly. We talk some more and come to a mutual agreement that we will go on our trip and discuss the future of our relationship once back. The point of the story isn't that of the future break-up I know is imminent, but of the fact we were still going to take this vacation we planned 4 months ago together. We both knew this would not fix our relationship. I think inside I knew I was numb to it at this point. I was ready for it to be over. This is when I knew I had become a fulfilled person inside and out all by myself. If I had not said anything, would I still be in this unhappy state? I was more unhappy being in the relationship than being alone myself..in our apartment, with our dog we got together. I am grateful for everyday. I am relieved in feeling that I no longer need to be dependent on someone to be happy. I am inspired by all that I've learned over the past 3.5 years and the people I have connected with who inspire me. I am content in knowing that I am good enough for myself to be happy.

My husband and I hiked the GR20 on Corsica. It helped me know that I can do whatever I put my mind to, despite being 60 years old. Grateful I was able to do it, relieved it is over, not resentful in the least, and inspired to share our experience with others.

I have 3 significant events this year: 1. I had my first opportunity to teach a class - Intro Psych at Southwestern - and I am so grateful because I found my true calling. Being in front of that classroom was undoubtedly the best part of my week, every week. 2. We spent the summer in California - something I've always wanted to do. We saw so much and did so much and created incredible memories. We also grew as a couple, especially after I crashed his car during our roadtrip. 3. Lastly, on September 21, I was diagnosed with a cavernous hemangioma - I had a stroke and the entire left side of my body (expect most of my leg) is numb. I'm grateful that I'm not dying. This diagnosis has allowed me to get closer to friends and see another side of those who love me. Travis has been an incredible care giver and supporter and I couldn't ask for a better partner.

I started a new state level job which came with a nice increase, an office and a level of professionalism I haven't had in several years. I was recommended for the job by not one, but two people independent of each other. I am grateful for this opportunity to work in an environment that still provides a pension for its employees. I am both grateful and inspired that my prayers were answered and my hope is restored.

This year I went to Disney to help with the care of my grandchildren. I enjoyed the trip I pushed my comfort level, I wasn't sure if I was physical able to assist or would end up another burden. I was relived that we did every thing we planned, solving issues as they arouse. I was grateful and gratified that trip ran smoothly and we had fun in-spite of several monkey wrenches. Hurricanes, illness, etc. I am inspired to stretch my goals You can't plan for everything but you can respond and handle what comes up. Don't vegetate be adventuresome but be aware you can compensate and alter activities to meet conditions.

The day after Yom Kippur last year I received a very special message on OkCupid. He asked me if I wanted to meet up. I said yes, knowing that this person might be a good catch. We went on our first date at a cafe in the West Village. I thought it went pretty well but wasn't sure what his reaction would be. At the end of the date I took the bold step of asking for a second one. He said yes! We have been together ever since and now we're together this Rosh HaShanah. I am so grateful for this person's presence in my life. He both challenges and comforts me, enables my best qualities and helps me improve on my worst. We've each grown so much together over the last year. I love him so much.

I ended a long relationship with an old friend. I realize it is best for everybody else even though I am not sure it is best for me. I know it was a situation that could not work at this point in my life and that ultimately things are better now for everyone. I am grateful and resentful at the same time. Grateful that I am no longer the source of pain to some and resentful that I missed yet another opportunity to share intimacy with someone I care for.

I was in a car accident about one month ago. I've had dreams/nightmares about being in a car accident for year and it did finally happen. The moment itself was surreal. Everything happened SO FAST. There was zero time to react and I sat there in a daze for about 5 minutes before doing anything. I felt the impact, the car spun, the airbag went off and I saw the engine block hit the front of the car. My first reaction was to call 911, then my neighbor and then my coworker to say I wasn't going to be in the next day. It's strange to think that my biggest concern was less about safety and more about my responsibilities to work. -- I felt very matter-of-fact about the whole situation. And talking to friends, who all had stories about their own car accidents, made this feel like par for the course. -- The car did exactly what it was supposed to do and I walked away with just a few minor bumps and bruises. -- I'm lucky. Things could have been much worse.

This year I changed my major from Biology to English and Creative Writing. It was the single most relieving thing I could have done; I was less depressed almost immediately and having dropped organic chemistry was amazing for my free time and my self-esteem. I was surprised by how ok I was with my own decision and how I didn't want to go back on it, and also how ok I was with telling people that I had and why I had dropped my major and switched, or that I had dropped orgo (1st semester). I was able to lose weight and focus on being happy, which was something pretty new, I think, in the academic world for me.

This year has been somewhat uneventful and I am not complaining. I am trying to enjoy the peace and calm in my life. It has been an adjustment having my son 10 hours away but we have learned to navigate it. My daughter lives with me and I really enjoy having her. It's like we are catching up on the time we missed when she was a teenager and lived with her Dad. She fell in love this year for the first time and also had her heart broken. I heard one time that one reason we have suffering in our life is so we can empathize with others and help others through hard times. I've certainly navigated some tough breakups and hopefully have helped her.

This year I enrolled at IIN which jump started my passion to be in the health and wellness industry and hopefully leave my corporate job at SSCG. I have been miserable for a long time at the company and it is only getting worse. Since enrolling at IIN many doors have been opened to me and I have met some really amazing people and attended some great events. The most significant thing though was reaching out to Kayla Kleinman on instagram for a workout buddy and it turning into a friendship and now a business. I took a leap of faith and emailed her to workout together and she proposed a business plan combining her yoga teaching skills and my health coaching skills. To date we have successfully held 3 events and have our 4th coming up in a month. It is a very exciting time in both of our lives and I can't believe how happy I am.

This past year has been a whirlwind of significant experiences. I learned a lot about myself and I learned how to stand up for myself especially to people of power, like my boss. I got a job doing something I loved and I met a guy that I'm crazy about. I don't think I can pick only one experience this year that really is significant since so much happened. Everything that happened this past year has changed me. I'm 21 and I was starting to think I would never find someone who liked me. We've only been dating for 7 months so I can't say that he is someone who is the one for me, but I'm definitely happy. I started a job directly related to my major where I met some of the most amazing people ever. I'm just relieved that I have been able to have these experiences and have so much to be grateful and thankful for in my life.

Starting a private practice and starting to teach at UIowa. I'm inspired, grateful, somewhat overwhelmed, gratified, tired etc.. Oh yea, and we are moving this coming Thursday - sold the house!

I had a partial hysterectomy, which in my case means that I still have my ovaries. I'm 47, and there was a time I struggled with the question of whether to have kids; when my husband & I were still dating, I had a few uterine fibroids removed. They were positioned so that there was no damage to the uterus, which the doctor suggested we spare, just in case we wanted to get pregnant. As much as I wanted to want children, I didn't actually yearn for them. My husband has a daughter from a previous marriage whom I've known since she was a teenager, and I am happy and grateful to have her in my life. I'm happy to have my nieces, and a goddaughter, and to know other friends' kids. There are many children I enjoy being around. But I couldn't conjure an authentic feeling of wanting to have one of my own, or confidence about raising a child, that lasted more than a few minutes. I didn't think I could handle all the stress and responsibility. Then last year, when I realized I had several new fibroids that were causing lots of physical discomfort, I found a great doctor. My husband came with me to a consultation and we decided to get rid of the whole issue, along with any thoughts of middle-aged pregnancy, once and for all. I don't regret it. I'm so grateful to have my body back and be able to swim or have sex any time I want. Recovering from the surgery was rough and physically painful, but my mom was with me and my sister-in-law came to our house to take care of me, too. Psychologically, I feel very, very free.

Thinking about a significant experience this year, I organized a blood drive and donated blood at the drive. I was inspired by the Orlando Shooting and feeling so sad and helpless I wanted to do something proactive to help people. I have not donated blood in many years. I was happy to help make the blood drive happen and I was glad to donate. We collected more than our original goal. I was inspired to organize a second blood drive. Hope to help make a difference and be a part of the change that heals the world.

My only daughter got out of rehab the first week in Jan. 2016. She is still clean and sober, and celebrated one year, as of 9/10/2016! Immensely grateful. My strongest angst is how unmanageable she is living her life. She seems to be so uncomfortable and not very happy. This lifestyle can not bring a solid foundation for growth and personal development. Her greatest stride of positive growth, have always been in a strict structured environment. I can only hope she will figure stuff out without to much long term damage. My biggest personal development has been, "LETTING GO". Mostly my daughter, but also my X. He is losing his place and I will not come to his rescue any more. I am clear of our financial deal finally. The time I have paid his way to live there, has allowed for the equity to grow far more than any balance due. Now it is uo to him to find a way to keep the home without losing it. I pray for right action.

A candidate for president who I despise may well win, and I fear for our country and the world.

I think that a significant experience that has happened in the past year was the aftermath of a friend's separation and divorce. Two good friends separated and are now divorcing. My own marriage/domestic partnership was in trouble. Their marriage was in trouble but I didn't really understand how bad. When it all went down, it was an ugly wake up call to how my own life could look if it turned out the same way. While I would never wish divorce upon anyone, I was seeing firsthand, up close, how the implications of bad choices affect children, friends and family. I think that this was the turning point that I needed to make my own life better. It's unfortunate how it turned out but it was a valuable lesson for me. I wouldn't say that I was inspired, resentful, grateful....just sad, but at the same time relieved that I saw the sadness of divorce up close before it happened to me.

So many things happened, it truly was a pivotal year for me. One specifically was getting my drivers license. It has made me grateful for all the driving my parents had to do for me. Now I am able to have an after school job and make my own money instead of relying on my parents.

I made the choice to decide to move to Maine. I had been thinking about it for a while and along with my youngest we made the definitive choice to do it! I am excited, scared, excited, little overwhelmed but mostly can't wait for the change!! I need a job and most importantly a place to live that I can afford, that will except a Llama, cats, dogs, ducks, ferrets.....🤗

Three come to mind: 1) Fred & I took a trip to Prague and Madrid, first time out of the country since Paris a decade ago. I am very grateful we were able to do this, on a shoestring, and yet it felt quite indulgent and great. we needed this. Travel, art, immersing in different cultures and their food and people, it's something i want more of in life in the future. 2) Ellie's short docu film got into a real legit film festival. it was a good kind of shock to watch her be an adult professional at this. she works so hard. she deserves success. also felt this way visiting her at her internship in boston. 3) Madeline got a f/t job at Dakin, animal care coordinator. It's only week 2 but she seems to love it, got up everyday of a 6-day week even for 8am arrival w/o issue. the animals are calling her. she deserves success too.

The two experiences that define the year have to do with a book, and a boat. The book is one that I wrote, my very first, that will be published next year. The book owned me, exhausted me, wrung me out. But opening the proof file to see my words, my photos, cover to cover, and knowing/hoping someone would read and be inspired... I cried, of course. And then the boat, or more specifically, the whales who I was immensely privileged to spend two days with. Waking before dawn to the sun rising out of sight of land, with the only sounds the thrum of the engine and the quick, percussive breaths of the whales, watching them feed and breach and do their own real, wild whale things from dawn to dusk for two whole days... I don't know. I left a different person from the woman who boarded that boat, and I will forever be grateful.

My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He is almost at the end of his journey with treatment options and he only has weeks to live. I am devastated and I am angry at the doctors who saw him last January and April who completely missed that he might have cancer. The burden I feel will not be lessened when he dies because it will be up to me to see to his legacy. The anguish of not being able to fix this is overwhelming.

Our daughter Kathleen's wedding in Costa Rica. It was on the beach on the Caribbean coast at a place called Punta Uva. It was amazingly lovely there. The best part was being all together in this magical place with many friends and close relatives. To see our beautiful daughter so radiantly happy and to know she was marrying a most excellent young man warmed our hearts. It was one of those great "Academy Award" moments of our lives. It was a time we will always be grateful for.

The decision to renovate/expand our house to plan for our decrepitude. It's a big step, with plenty of work that needed to be done to prepare for it. And with the hope that, if everything comes out the way we want it, it will be worth it.

So many things, how can I pick one? Firstly, we got married! Five months after we got engaged. We went on road trips, we traveled to Cuba, we took the girl to Burning Man for the first time... But we got married!! It was hectic planning it all. A DIY, family come together, everyone pitch in, I let go of my control needs, kind of wedding. People keeps asking if being married feels different from how things were. On the one hand, not really. But on the other, completely. There's something to be said for participating in such a socially significant ritual. To bring together your family and friends, and stand at the top of a mountain to declare your love and devotion for this person is very powerful. It feels very validating. We knew what we meant to each other, and others understood we really love each other, but there is such powerful meaning attached to this particular bonding ritual; meaning that the entire world understands. Everywhere we go, the world knows this man means everything to me. And I didn't get it. But I do now. I am so lucky. I am chomping at the bit to experience as much of life as we can possibly pack into however much time we'll have in our journey together.

I had an incredible dissertation epiphany at 7:05 am on August 29th that changed my entire sense of self, not just my academic future. It changed everything.

I've had two grandchildren and lost 55 pounds - what a year - to say I am grateful sounds like an understatement. I've been realizing that I am happier than I have ever been in my life. My marriage is satisfying, I feel good about myself, I am doing good work through ESC, and I am so proud of my kids . . . and I am head over heels in love with Max and Elon. Life is good.

This past year I cannot really thinking of any relevant experience. This whole year has been a continuation of the major events of the previous two years. It was my second year as a single mom, after leaving my husband. It was my second year back to college. It was my fourth year of being alone in a foreign country. My life has been incredibly hard for the past three years really, and I feel it is still hard, but at least I have a purpose - finishing my degree, being independent, settling a healthy, positive model for my daughter. Maybe the single one most relevant experience was traveling back to my country for a short time, and realizing that I wasn't going to see my mother. That she didn't care to see me or her granddaughter. It took me a very wrong marriage to understand that my mother is a bad mother and a bad person. It took me to marry a man that treated me with the same utter disrespect my mother had always treated me. Then I finally divorced them both. And brought some enlightenment to my siblings, by sharing what I had finally understood about our lives. So, I don't know. I'm not the super positive kind of person. But as I said in the beginning, at least I feel I'm now going somewhere. And I have my gorgeous daughter to live for.

Lydia set her wedding date - happy happy happy! Emily was commissioned as LT Hu; waiting to see where she is stationed and see her get her PhD. Wonderful!

A significant experience that happened to me this past year was being let go from my teaching position. I was hurt and sad on behalf of the student who were losing a fine arts opportunity. I was disgusted with the administration and board members who thought more of money than student learning. I am ever so grateful that this particular door closes as it was a work place full of negativity and stress. Turmoil has abounded Thai year for them and I am so relieved to not be a part of it. I am also very pleased with the opportunity that opened to me. I am now sharing my skills in another area within a positive environment where the fine arts are celebrated and my efforts are appreciated. I am ever so amazed at the life that can be loved when stress is released from life.

The most significant experience that has happened to me this year was probably, besides getting pregnant, was my surprise 30th bday party that Brandon's family threw for me just last night. I have never had a surprise party where a bunch of people show up just for me. The entire day I was upset about turning 30. I was freaking out and thought my dinner and a movie date with Brandon was going to be it, but little did I know everyone was setting up and showing up for my party. It was the most special thing that has ever happened. And Brandon's sister Kasey suggested that I write a note to my mom on one of my balloons and release it into their air to her. I did and it was wonderful. I'm extremely grateful and am so happy to have so many people who love and care about me even though my mom can't be here to be that person who was always that to me.

Baby Hugo was born. He's been such a joyful addition to our lives. He's such a smiley, happy baby. It's lovely to see Theo and Hugo play together...they smile and giggle the cutest laughs. It hasn't all been easy,but our family feels complete. Scheduling is very difficult with two totally different sleep schedules and energy levels, but now that Hugo is 1 it's getting much easier. We felt very relieved that we got pregnant and Hugo was healthy throughout the pregnancy. I was very proud that we were able to have a vbac. It's been harder healing from this pregnancy, but I'm back to working out and I'm hopeful my bladder will heal completely.

My family and I returned from living abroad in Paris for two years. I'm discombobulated because I no longer feel at home here nor there. This jumble of self identity is disconcerting but I know that it is also enriching. Things I hated about being there... everything was a negotiation and you had to insist to get what you wanted. On the upside I got better at insisting.

As I read over the email with my answers from last year, I was struck by the fissure between that time and now. I am the same person, living a nearly identical life, but the difference between that time and this is huge. On the very last day of May, they found cancer inside me. My extraordinary doctor had performed surgery to remove a "mass," that turned out to be three masses, one of the them the size of a tennis ball. But it was the smallest of these three that turned out to be the most dangerous. The larger tumors were borderline -- not yet cancerous. But the small one was aggressively dangerous. Had it not been for those larger tumors, for my doctor's tenacity, for the pain in my hip that I had long attributed to aging (I shouldn't have considered myself old enough to think that), we wouldn't have discovered this "silent killer." And so I live in the same house, drive to the same places, work at the same job, but everything is slightly different, as if I have skipped to an alternate universe, a parallel world. I am lucky. I am so lucky. And so grateful. And for a little while this summer, I experienced the world as if without filter. I was relieved of my usual self directed criticism and judgment, and it was like breathing in rarified air: incredible and unsustainable. I have looked into the soft belly of the universe, I have touched its pure center, and though the banalities of life have dragged me back to their quotidian experiences, and back, even, to the heavy emotions that have dogged me all my life, I am changed. I feel a clarity of being. Simply being. I am, therefore I am. And that is more powerful than I ever knew before.

I chose to cut off contact with my mom. This was so difficult, but it was an important step for me and for my family. I am grieving the loss of that relationship. Part of me hopes that we will reconnect again in the future, but really I think there has been too much hurt to make it happen. I wish her the best, but being in each others lives is not the best for either of us.

I went away to Jewish summer camp as a 63-year-old artist-in-residence. I taught the Art of Jewish Cooking to 15-year-old kids as part of the Hagigah session at Camp Newman. I was grateful to the camp administration for giving me the opportunity. The kids were amazing. And I was able to relax enough to enjoy it all.

I did the Grit Collective Potential course. It has provided me with a renewed connection with myself, my spirituality and community. I'm setting goals, I feel I have purpose and am meditating, feeling gratitude and setting intentions everyday. I'm feeling inspired and content :)

My grandaughter was born 6 weeks ago, so this year was all about pregnancy! Juniper is amazing and I'm so happy I have gotten to meet her. I look forward to watching her grow and being a part of her life.

I injured myself playing soccer, and soccer is one of my most favorite things to do. I'm almost 48, but I still have the energy and stamina of a healthy 30-something. My joints and bones are almost 48, so this was a very humbling experience. I'm actually very grateful that it happened, because as a result, I started doing Bikram yoga on a regular basis. Even after only a few sessions I noticed positive changes in my body and in my overall well-being. I had been thinking about joining a yoga studio for several months,but I always had some excuse as to why I shouldn't go - time, a long drive, tiredness, etc. As an even better benefit, my soccer playing has improved. So, you can say I am both grateful and inspired.

Our son's allergy diagnosis is a very significant event from the past year that has affected so many parts of our family life. From the food we buy, our former main form of family entertainment which was eating out, to travel decisions, spontaneous meals with friends, potlucks, hosting gatherings, carrying epipens, etc. We're falling into the swing of it more now but it was a major adjustment that came with lots of anxiety. It's still exhausting worrying about it, and having to be prepared by packing him meals if there's a chance we may choose to eat out, dealing with his disappointment now that he's noticing if we're eating something different, and monitoring him closely anywhere we find ourselves where others may be eating food that could kill him. I'm grateful his condition is manageable and that our vigilance has meant he has mostly avoided serious reactions, but I am tired of having to be 'on' all the time, never being able to just take a night off and eat pizza, or let someone else take care of the cooking without lots of checking of ingredients.

My father passed away, we just got a puppy, and my child's health has improved to him being a normal child and I found out I have a half sibling. Extending a family that has rapidly shrunk over the last few years has been amazing. Opening our family up and inviting in strangers who share our blood is amazing new stories to learn. Having a healthy active toddler is amazing and exhausting. I wish my family was still here to watch him grow, but it all happens for reasons and we are willing to go with the flow.

Graduating college seems like the most appropriate answer to this question, though it felt like more of a culmination of experiences rather than a significant experience in its own right. That being said, the act of graduating came with a welcomed sense of relief and renewed gratitude. So much of my time at Harvard was spent inside libraries and thinking about the future; I am so happy to be separated from that. At the same time, I think Senior Week was a beautiful culmination of all the good I actively worked to create while in school. I felt like there were so many people around me with whom I felt connected and whose company I genuinely loved. I also like to think that some of the decisions I made that week reflect a sense of growth on my part...becoming a bit more bold and spontaneous. Ultimately, graduating from Harvard really did feel as momentous as I had hoped it would. Though certainly not without their challenges, I'm so grateful for the collection of experiences that made up my time at Harvard, and which carried me forward to Commencement.

I moved across the country from my partner to attend Ada Developers Academy. It's been an amazing and stressful experience that has changed me profoundly on pretty much every level. I am a vastly different person from the one I was a year ago. I wish I had more confidence and security in this new self, but I think maybe that can only come after an extended period of time as myself. My new self.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer in December - one day after my grandmother's funeral, one month after I moved back to the USA from Scotland, and 5 weeks after my cat died. December was a horrible horrible month. My family doesn't always talk about scary things. Everyone jokes and tries to stay upbeat. As a teenager my dad couldn't stand to be around me if I cried. I tried hiding my fear and stress but ultimately had to confess to him how worried I was. That phone call involved a lot of crying on my part, but a lot of honesty on his. He told me that he accepts his terminal illness and that while he is in no hurry to die he has accepted it. We had a long conversation about beliefs, the afterlife, and how he wants to spend his remaining time. He wants to spend it laughing as much as possible. So we watch comedy, we joke around, and we talk honestly about his illness. It's brought us a lot closer as a family. I have come to accept that when it's his time, that's ok. I'm grieving but also enjoying the time we have now. I don't know if he will still be alive this time next year, but I hope so. I'm so glad to have moved home from abroad so that I can make the most of every minute.

I gave my grandmother the house she was renting from me...she paid $200 a month in rent and was insistent upon it. But at $200 a month, I can't even afford to pay the monthly insurance and save for the property taxes. I looked for all sorts of solutions, like selling it and her renting from someone else - but there would be no guarantee they wouldn't evict her. She has cats and she really has allowed them to...well, I just couldn't even deal with it. Finally, after much soul-searching, I just decided to give it to her. Things between us had been so contentious up to that moment, and I was just so relieved when she agreed to own the home. But now, 90 days after I signed it over to her, she won't return my calls. So I think about writing her a letter, because she's old school like that. I had a friend give me some good advice, "If you gave it to her, then there's no reason to ever bring it up. What's done is done and it should never be the topic of conversation." I fear that maybe she may think that I will somehow hold it against her - guess I should start writing that letter!

A significant experience was my grandma passing and Joe and I breaking up. My grandma passing was such a hard time, and still is to this day. My family will never be the same without her. It's hard to imagine everyday without her. The issue is Joe. Joe and I are fixing things. But I don't want to jump into something I don't know I can handle. I love him and hope it works out, but life goes on either way...I know things will change. I can just hope for the best.

I converted to Judaism this year. I am so proud and grateful to be part of this community and going through the conversion process was transformational. I never knew this was something I wanted but over the course of many years with my now husband I was introduced to this wonderful religion and fell in love with the rituals, the culture and most of all the community. To be honest I thought going into the process that I would only focus on the history and the traditions - the spiritual side of Judaism was something that scared me. I'm a very spiritual person and I was concerned I would be compromising something very private and precious for something that was not inherently my own. I couldn't have been more wrong and was so taken by how spiritual and personal the conversion experience and the religion has been for me. I am so thankful for that experience and while I am very much still figuring out my path as a Jew, who isn't? I can't wait to celebrate and reflect on this Rosh Hashanah.

It has it up and downs Asia aint here but I found a lovely girl named morgan

I separated from my husband of 14 years. I think it has overall helped me in a positive way but at times feel overwhelmed by the changes that have taken place since moving on from my marriage. I'm still anticipating a divorce soon.

Being surprised by my daughter's Tandy and Michelle (and Barak) gift to me with a weekend trip to NYC to see the final performance of Les Miserables and spending one INCREDIBLE weekend with my family, walking all over NYC, going to the 9-11 memorial and remembering all those wonderful times when they were kids and I would be the one to take THEM places and that they wanted to share it all with me was the BEST experience ever! That my fantastic daughters (2 at least) and son-in-law would want to do this for me as a "going away" present with my "baby and her hubby" moving to New Jersey was the most amazing present anyone could ask for. (Flying home first class wasn't that bad, either!) There were others, but I'd much rather only answer these questions with a positive response... the way I want to remember 5776!

I had a pretty serious medical issue come up that required immediate attention. I was needless to say quite surprised by it. I was scared in the beginning, but I knew I could learn something from it. In the end it taught me to trust the process, and that things do work out for the best. It taught me to be real, to live in my reality and to tend to "liitle" issues before they become bigger ones. It taught me that I'm not alone, and made me very grateful to have my husband by my side to support me through this ordeal.

I am all or so it feels. This past year has been filled with any ups and downs. In May I found out my husband of 6 years (my significant other for a total of 10.5 years) had another cheating incident. We separated and during our separation my husband then decided to persue another woman and find me an apartment. I filed for divorce end of May and was kicked out of my home on my 29tj birthday. I was filed with such rage that I found he was telling this woman he was already divorced for me and he proposed. During all this I learned a lot about me... I am lot stronger than I think. I had a support system and that it made me a better mother. I realized that I didn't need a man to be complete. That karma is real and God does pay those back who cause harm to people. My ex husband let me know after our divorce how sorry he was... that he had so many regrets. That this woman was a had destroyed him and left him alone..and while he was alone he could let it sink in on how much harm he caused. She ended up pregnant and because he was trying to work it out with me she aborted. He had guilt and I have guilt but he was able to see how cruel this woman was and realized that the grass isn't always greener. As of now my ex husband and I are trying to work it out. I do feel as if I jumped into divorce and should have fought harder for my family but I did discover just how tough I am and that divorce isn't the end of the world. I hope we can make it work and become a stronger couple and better parents to our son. We deserve a happy life and so does our baby. I hope to see us to become more open, honest and supportive... to take each other's feelings into consideration. To fall in love again. If all else fails I hope we can make our baby happy and proud.

Mark received his PhD & invited me to attend & spend the weekend hanging out with him. I was very thankful for the opportunity to spend time with him in his environment.

The past year does not have one significant experience, but more like a continuous experience of dealing with my husband's death. I've gone through some very deep dark valleys on this journey. I have done a ton of self care, which can be exhausting and time consuming. I've felt my feelings, I've let go of some of my husband's possessions. I've had more family time in the last year than in what seems like forever. I've forged some new friendships. I've survived. I haven't thrived. I am grateful for the support I've received. I'm grateful for the spiritual awakening that has occurred because of my husband's death. I resent like hell that I have to do this. Every so often I am inspired, but mostly I am just tired of the grueling process and I want it over.

I feel like this was a quiet year, personally. Settling into being a mom of two. Feeling relieved by that--it has given me a sense that this is what I'm supposed to do--taken the pressure off of figuring out who I'm supposed to be when I grow up. Having number two has changed our marriage significantly. It pushed us to examine some issues we were avoiding. It has also made life more precious. There's a new fear of loss, though. I keep thinking if something happens to one of them, we could "replace" him, but really, we couldn't. Really, we couldn't. It's made things scarier for that reason. That fear sits with me often. It wasn't here when we had one child.

Moving to New Orleans has constituted a creative revolution in my life. In many intellectual circles, less is more, aesthetically. Down here, more is always more. This feels like a great place to invent or reinvent, the way I imagine the Village must have felt in the 1950s and 60s.i believe I am led here to change things, starting with my own way of perceiving things.

Meeting the love of my life. It affected me in all the greatest ways possible. I am so grateful for this amazing man to have come into my life.

A year ago, I had a serious medical issued that brought home how near to the end of my life I actually am. Life is precious, time is precious. I need to make the most of the time I have left. I need to grasp what meaning I can gleen from this time on earth.

My sister had a baby in May, and Ernie is basically the best thing ever. He smiles when he sees me, even on FaceTime, and it makes me feel like I matter (other things make me feel that, too, but there's just something about a baby's smile). Watching my sister go through pregnancy, birth, and the beginning stages of motherhood has been amazing, also. Some things are just so her - she did and continues to do a ton of research about fetal and infant development, and her determination is out in full force. some things, though, are new: she's more accepting of the fact that she can't and shouldn't do everything alone. She's more willing to have tough conversations with her partner. She's able to have more confidence in her decisions and her abilities. And she's more willing to not be ok, to admit that things are shitty sometimes, and to speak up for her own needs. I've always looked up to her, but watching her kind of get distilled into the most fundamental parts of herself - because she does't have enough time or sleep to be anything else - has been really encouraging for me. I've spent most of the last three years dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and it's been hard to me to admit that sometimes I feel like I can't handle it. The fact that we are both having to be vulnerable at the same time has forced us to lean on each other and to show up for each other, and I am thankful beyond belief that I have such an incredible role model/best friend/sister. (And the most adorable nephew ever.)

I started a new job. It has changed so many things for me and created a bit of ripple effect. My anxiety has gone down considerably. I don't really understand how I dealt with that stress for so long and I'm so thankful that I was forced to make a change. Because of this job, I moved back to Boulder. That has definitely been bittersweet. I loved where I was living, I loved my roommate, I loved Howard. It was great for so many reasons and my home for three years. I love Boulder but my friends are gone. My commute is SO SHORT but I don't love where I'm living. This job change has also prompted me to quit my retail position and that is really exciting. I'm looking forward to having weekends again.

My daughter got married and I finally went into semi-retirement. It made me recognize my age and how much water has gone under the bridge. I realize there is more time in my past than my future. I also feel like I have earned the right to take things easier, not to have to push so much. To relax a bit. To not always have to be right or #1 or what ever has driven me the past 35 years. I'm relieved and apprehensive at the same time.

I became pregnant unexpectedly with my second child. My daughter was only 9 months old, and my marriage was on the rocks - had been really since shortly before my daughter was born. Issues had already been there, but the stress of having a baby really brought them to the forefront. A week before I found out that I was pregnant this second time, my husband and I were on the brink of divorce. We'd both talked to lawyers and were talking about going to mediation to work out a separation agreement. I found out that I was pregnant on a Monday after my husband convinced me on Sunday to keep working on the marriage. It has been overwhelming. Having a child is never a good way to "save" a marriage, though in our case I think it has brought us closer together. Elizabeth has (for the most part) been a bonding experience and our unborn son has the potential to be as well. However, it has also added stress, pressure, and at times resentment - I do wonder how much we've glossed over issues in the name of creating a particular home environment for our children. I do wonder how sustainable our marriage is - how much of it is transactional vs relational, and how long the transactional model will really serve us. Only time will tell. Ultimately, all children are blessings, and I personally am happy to allow any unborn child in my womb to have a fair chance at a decent, loving, productive existence. Those are my choices and my values. What the marriage will look like by this time next year - only time will tell.

It became clear that my 7/8 year old son has a serious mood disorder and sensory issues. We found medication that helps and he is now receiving special education services to help him cope with school. We have also moved to a new school that seems to be an excellent fit. He is doing well now but the whole situation has been very difficult. I am grateful and relieved that he is stable right now, and it has caused me to both grow and age.

A significant experience from the past year was our family trip to Australia and New Zealand this past summer. I am so grateful that we have this month together every summer to reconnect and share great adventures..like jet boat riding, small airplane rides and lots of delicious meals together. I am inspired to keep this travel experience going as long as possible and as long as the girls can join us. It opens the world and brings our family closer together. I am grateful to have the resources and the time to be able to do this.

My mom had a stroke early November 2015, and it completely changed our family. I am beyond grateful and relieved and feel so lucky that from a physical standpoint, she had almost a complete recovery in a very short time. I feel very badly that on an emotional level, she has continued to struggle. Although I've seen lots of progress and find her more and more like her old self, I know she does not feel like her old self. It has changed the roles in our family. I think it has been hard for her to not be the rock and the caretaker. It has brought my dad and I closer together. At times it feels like a lot to be this source of support but more often I feel like I'm not doing enough to support my dad. She has been an inspiration to us all in terms of how she has not accepted this new state of being and continues to explore all options and fight to regain who she once was. I am confident that she will.

I moved to New Zealand. Well for 12 months. I saw an opportunity and I took it, but it hasn't been the learning experience that I thought it would be. I'm enjoying my time here, but are essentially working weekend to weekend for the travelling opportunities and seeing as much of this beautiful country as I possibly can. It took some organising to make it happen and I'm glad that I did it, I'm just now looking forward to heading home. It has renewed my desire to see more of Australia as I've taken my own country for granted for too long, but it's also made me think about settling down and buying a house. I'm now more nervous about the future than I've ever been, probably because I'm thinking about the future for the first time in my life.

I think I actually, finally, may be content to leave work at work. I have been attempting to savor life. When I looked at my answers for the previous year, I was surprised to see that two of my major goals were achieved. The first was to savor life and leave work at work. To enjoy the good moments, in the moment. This was a good year, despite some crazy things happening at work. I learned how to conduct a financial analysis and played a major role in helping to track the finances of my institution. I had little previous experience with financial analysis, but I learned it. I found some serious anomalies and "executive dean "aka" the $doctor was finally removed. Even though I really disliked his management, I managed so much better than the previous year. I didn't let it poison me or my perception of my job. I also wrote and published my first article. It has taken me so long but rather than "If only" I have been saying "I have today" (Rabbi Berger. 5 Minutes). Finally, I traveled. I was afraid but I went to California, Topsail (for two weeks), Atlanta, and D.C. I had a lot of fear and anxiety, but I really felt like I lived more robustly, more fully then in years past. I am so grateful for this.

The most significant experience for me was moving to France and living their for four months, and traveling for a month after that. This really pushed myself outside of my comfort zone, but I was proud of my ability to survive and grateful for the opportunity. It has greatly changed my perspective on travel and international lifestyles. I'm inspired to try and incorporate more travel into my future life.

About a year ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It turned my world upside down. It was terrifying and anxiety provoking and at times I wasn't sure how to move forward. I took on day, sometimes on hour at a time. I leaned on my friends and family for support. Some were incredible and were by my side every step of the way. Others were a disappointment and I felt they let me down. I went through surgery, chemo and radiation. I danced through it all (as part of a non professional dance company) and continued to work. I lost my hair. It's growing back now. My diagnosis and prognosis was good in that it was caught early. So I feel lucky and grateful. But I also feel resentful and angry. Why did I have to go through it. Why do some people have charmed lives and others have to go through challenges and suffering. Everyone who watched me go through this say I was an inspiration in that my attitude was positive and I was brave- facing it head on and not letting it stop me from doing things that I love. But I don't feel brave or inspirational at all. I just did what felt right for me. And I never want to look back.

In the last year and a half, I had a catastrophic stroke that robbed all of my language, including Hebrew, English, French, Spanish, and Greek. I had also learned Sign Language which was the only way I communicate with my spouse. It was a very challenging year. I have felt every emotional response imaginable. I have been thankful for all of the mitzvahs shown to be and the blessings through the year. I'm thankful for the learning opportunities to grow. I'm grateful for the hope of a sweet new year.

I just got a new job that is full time employment. I'm grateful for this chance. I'm relieved that I can make it on my own again. Resentful sure cuz its not as good as other s job. But I can only control that which I'm responsible for.

I was able to go on a Service Immersion Trip with my school in which we spent a week going around different parts of Dorchester, Massachusetts. At the beginning of this trip I did not expect too much and thought that it would be boring, but that same day I was proven wrong. Specifically, I can remember the moment when we entered our first homeless shelter that was home to hundreds. Some where covered in coats as they tried to survive the crazy New England weather. The expressions on their face as they saw us come in and ready to help out was unforgettable. They seemed to be happy as they saw 15 kids enter the shelter. Later that day, the staff told us we were going to be cutting vegetables for the food they are distributing to other shelters. I put on my gloves and was intimated by the huge boxes of onions. Although they caused many tears to roll down my eyes, I knew that this would be for a great cause. The clock ticked and ticked as the class continued to cut the vegetables in a section of the kitchen. The box of cut vegetables kept growing as minutes passed until we finally were able to finish all the vegetables. I had many thoughts running in my mind and some sadness as I saw the reality of what the homeless go through everyday to survive. This experience has made me very grateful. I didn't notice the amount of poverty and suffering that has been occurring in Boston. I thought of Boston as an area of opportunity and hope, but that all changed once I did this full week of service. The experience of cutting the vegetable was one of the many moments that helped me realize this reality. The end of this trip made me really grateful for the roof over my head and the things my family is able have. I am also urged to help out the homeless after dong this experience because not many are aware of what homeless people experience everyday, especially in the winter. The days I walk past a homeless person in Boston I am fully aware of their struggles and always try to help them out whatever way I can. The fact that I saw how they sleep in shelters and the amount of work some volunteers do in order to feed hundreds of homeless looking to survive is incredible. There is nothing more special than being able to help feed the homeless and it is something I am very grateful for being able to experience. The day before the trip when I thought the trip would be boring has made me resentful and laugh at how I was completely wrong. The reason is because the experience of interacting with homeless people and hearing some of their stories will carry on with me for the rest of my life. This Local Immersion Trip has helped me grow as a person and notice the reality that many are blind too.

I was enjoying a Sunday afternoon on my front porch last October when I began having abdominal pains, and told my wife that I probably wouldn't be having dinner with her...thinking it was food poisoning or 24 hour flu. The pain increased over time, and I googled the address of local urgent care centers. Amazingly they all closed at 6pm. So my wife drove me to our local hospital ER. The pain continued to increase, they gave me pain meds, and took an MRI of my abdomen. It turns out my small intestine had gotten tangled up in some scar tissue from 60 years ago when my appendix was removed. The medical term is "Intestinal strangulation." I spent the night in the hospital and was operated on about 11am the next day. The surgeon later told me that I was just a few hours away from having to have a section of my intestine removed, and maybe a few more hours away from having my intestine burst and spreading all sorts of toxic material into my abdominal cavity...usually a fatal event. I'm grateful I live near a top notch hospital, and am once again reminded of the fragility of life. Had I been in an airplane flying to Europe, the outcome might have been quite different. Carpe Diem!

It was not so much a single experience, but a growing realization that my Asperger-related point of view was not the be-all and end-all of my relationship to the world, but that with a little thought I need not fall into the same old traps of reacting emotionally first.

I suppose the biggest event of the past year would be the dissolution of my firedance troupe. When half the leaders moved away, we considered having one of the remaining leaders take over, with myself being the strongest contender, but I declined. A friend took over with a lot of promising plans, but her version fell apart quite quickly as well. It's just hella hard gathering, organizing, motivating and keeping the kind of people we always had and needed. The long slow process of sputtering out and falling apart was painful, but in hindsight I guess I can just take pride in how long we were able to do as much as we did. Things come together and they come apart, and commitment is a precious commodity in part because it's so rare. And it's not like I miss spending so much time driving to the events, but I do miss the good times with the good folks when it was all working great. I tried to switch my commitment and energies to my band, but the other two members' lives kinda fell apart. One's going to jail and another is borderline homeless (again). I take pride in the projects I've started and maintained for short or long periods. One can't control everything and everyone, one can only do one's best to be inspiring and true.

For me It's probably me going into middle school and the while experience. It affected me by having a different experience and having new friends and groups instead of the same group of friends.

A very close friend passed away after a long battle with cancer. It was the first person my age who I've been close to that has died. I'm honestly relieved that it's over. I did not like the unknown nature of timings and events and the death watch during the last few weeks were awful. I miss her but not as much as I expected to because I think I long ago accepted the idea that she wouldn't be here for much longer.

One of the significant experiences I've had this year was planning, organising and travelling to Montreal with my boyfriend all on our own. We booked the Airbnb, saved for the road trip, paid for the tickets to heavy Montreal ourselves. Overall it's something that I am grateful I did - this isn't to say I'm not grateful for when my mum or his parents want to pitch in so that we have a good time, but to have all that planning done independently, it was fun. It inspired me to continue dreaming of travelling more, and to continue travelling thoroughly too - while we didn't get to see a lot of the 'tourist' highlights, we learned a lot more about the city and its people this way, rather than cooping ourselves up in a hotel.

in the last year I did a program to obtain a background as a hospital chaplain and I found the experience both stressful and exciting in sharing times with patients that were beyond stressful for many. I found I could share their feelings and sometimes talking to or praying with someone was what they needed to deal with the upcoming surgery mentally.

I suppose getting married would count as significant, right? :) Of course it was significant. Looking back, it feels like I spent so long looking for him. And I'm so grateful that I found him. But here's the interesting thing; it feels as if looking for a husband was such a large part of my life, that it really defined it. So who am I now? Who am I as a wife, as someone who no longer seeks a love? In a way, it's exciting. I have the chance to renew myself, to rebuild from a person who no longer exists. What a chance, right? I don't want to lose it. I don't want to do the same old thing and suddenly I wake up one day, 10 years from now, the same person. I have a chance to become someone even better. I am so grateful.

A whole lot of people died. It started with a friend of 10+ years taking his own life. It just kept going. I lost an uncle, an aunt, and a grandmother. That's the short list; for another thing I learned things my other aunt's death that I either didn't need to know, or else didn't need to know ever. Bowie, Prince, Buchla. James. I have really not been handling it very well. I would describe my state of mind over the past year as very bad, verging on catatonic.

Without any warning I was moved to a smaller office. Since I am an art and play therapist many of my tools had to be put in storage. This was part of a restructuring in which 7 more people were stuffed into the aready overburdened building where I work. We had to start using a dreadful internet based program for paperwork and the font (unchangeable) is almost too small for me to read. Very stressful. However, at the same time with four new support staff moving up, the number of clients declined steadily. The front desk service is now so bad I suppose it truned folks away. As a reult I have loads of free time. We will not go out of business since we are a Tribal Clinic and governments pay the bill.

My little brother got married - the whole family is very happy. Additionally, I have moved into a larger house and am now living with all of my stuff- no longer using a storage unit. I now feel an urgency to downsize and get rid of things I do not use or need. I started working on developing community- I have volunteered and started going to the UU church where I know some people already.

We moved to Minnesota to be closer to my family and to have more stability. It's been nearly 6 months and I couldn't be happier with our decision.

This summer I took a break from work to go work at a Girl Scout camp a few hours from home. It was the best decision! I was able to build up my confidence and explore new ways of being. It helped to be surrounded by adult women who were also just piecing life together. I always think I have to have everything figured out but I learned that life is all about not knowing what the hell you're doing and just doing something anyway! I'' so grateful for the experience. It was truly soul-filling.

Not just one, but three major life events: Mark graduated high school, Dorothe got married, Felix had his top surgery. All of them highly anticipated, all of them a challenge, all of them a relief in some way. They all meant a new stage of letting go and moving along with their lives and mine too. After all that, Lauren almost had her car repo'd, then after begging money, she had a suicide scare, and I couldn't help but resent her not taking care of herself, or Ryan for willfully ignoring what was going on. The timing seemed such that she needed to have her own event too, but it couldn't be a positive one. She had to be very dramatic about needing to be rescued, and to prove to herself that I love her. After all the history between us, I had to set some pretty firm boundaries so I wouldn't get involved or swept up by her drama. In some ways I felt cold-hearted but at the same time I need to do that so I can do my work.

I gave birth to Paxton on October 28, 2015. My water broke around 2 in the morning and I gave birth to him drug free. It was really painful and hard and kicked my butt but I did it. I definitely could not have done it without my husband. I felt his head as he was coming out and got to hold him right away. Big 8 pounds and 6 ounces! Ouch!! Amazing and so hard!!

My friend Bill has cancer, he was diagnosed in March 2015, we thought he was making progress but now, in September, things seems to be going down hill. I am grateful to Bill as a friend, but his illness is a reminder to me and others that we are not promised tomorrow.

I did some research on what Ultra-Orthodox Jews are 'doing' to Progressive Jews that make attempts to pray and celebrate bar or bat mitzvahs' (at the section legally granted access to them) at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Israel. I believed all Jews were to love one another. Period. Hate the sin, not not the actor? I am outraged to learn that Ultra-Orthodox Jews told Progressive Jews that they should have died in the Holocaust. That they are not Jewish at all. Some Ultra-Orthodox Jews went so far as to blow whistles, spit, throw human feces, and rip off men's kippot. The police and the government allow this bullying and abuse. I am in love with a Chabad woman and realized that as a Progressive Jew, my hope of marrying her one day is gone now. Has she too been protesting any Jew praying at one of the most holy places to pray on this planet, just because that Progressive Jew wishing to pray, wishes to do so next to someone of the opposite gender -- his or her spouse? I look at Ultra-Orthodox Jews different now. I do not see them as loving, kind, or respectful to all Jews. Did the mean Jews forget we all are one? We each carry a spark of the Divine. Not one of G-d's Creations is higher, or more worthy than another. We all have the spark, not just some. All. I pray for me to not allow this realization to cause me to become bitter like the mean Jews. I will pray that they learn to love all Jews again. Most of all I will pray for the woman I love to not be doing these hateful things to anyone. It breaks my heart to learn of these acts of hate and oppression. I just can't be around anyone that has anything to do with hating another for any reason. Ultra-Orthodox Jews condoning this behavior have become harmful to my very way of living. They are no longer safe as role models to me. Progressive Jews show me strength in character and modernity of the times. That is the kind of Jew I am proud and honored to surround myself with and be a part of.

Being trapped in the hospital with the baby, with doctors unable to figure out why and then deciding I was to blame was horrifying and frightening and by far the worst situation I've ever been in. Making it through was wonderful, but has created a huge rift in my trust of the medical community as a whole. I feel scarred, not diminished, but stronger, more centered, still resolved to figure out this puzzling array of symptoms we're living in, but definitely battle scarred. And the feeling that getting medical care is a battle is pretty traumatic on it's own.

The Brick Nightclub closed. It was my one connection to the gay community. It afforded me an opportunity to do things. I will miss it; both the people and the bar that enriched the lives of many. I am sad it is gone. I am grateful for the time it was. I am relieved that I am free to start a new chapter in my life. I have no resentment. I am inspired. I am inspired for the opportunities that are ahead of me.

I took the leap and hired a mentor. I was concerned about the money, but finally decided I was worth the investment. It has been a catalyst. My businesses are finally taking off, and I am having fun working for myself. Crazy grateful.

Grateful where we are though this has been a challenging year but most important is Jared has recovered from a broken arm healed amazingly well, last year at this time was a nightmare caring for him 24/7. But now he's in a better day program with 1:1 supervision. He seems to enjoy it so alls well that ends well. We're able to care for him with even greater skill joy, and caring. Bessie and Rose are truly looking over us. Very sadly, Wendi passed away unexpectedly. Tough on Adam and Elyse. Plus they're having fertility issues. They're such a great loving couple. Jason continues to be back in the fold, great, hope it last forever. He's been dating a Jewish girl for a month so you never know. Cross fingers. Too many significant events to focus on just one. Let's not forget Sandi's surgery and my infected ankle. And our 45th wedding anniversary. Lots of ebbs and flows this year. Wow.

I changed jobs. I was relieved to finally escape a very stressful work environment.

I went to see Fifth harmony in concert which I had been waiting to do since like March. I was so excited when I got the meet and greet tickets!! When I saw them in perso, it changed me. I felt more of a confident man. I still have problems but at least I feel better about myself. When i met them, couple of them told me I was handsome. HANDSOME! I've never been called handsome before that wasn't a family member!... or a stripper.

Diagnosed with cervical cancer in May, treated thru the summer. Facing mortality and all that. Discovered I'm tougher than I thought, but that lotsa people knew I was already. Still processing what changes it might have wrought in me. Besides instant menopause from treatment. 😉 I am of course grateful to all involved in my treatment and friends and family who have helped. Now dealing with shingles infection thanx to lowered immunity. Looking very forward to some semblance of normal and 2017...

I've been very fortunate in the past year to see tg e support I have. Things that seem significant aren't so much anymore. I am grateful to everyone that has helped me.

I committed to writing my book. I've written the proposal--I literally finished it today and sent it to my agent who will put it out in the world with me. The process has been exciting and challenging. I am daring to hope that what I have to say will resonate widely. If I am being honest, I want it to be a huge success. I want it to change the direction of my life and others. I want this act to be a spark that catches flame and turns into something more than I could have imagined. It was so hard to even say out loud that I was working on a proposal. Then to say I am working on a book. It is a stretch for me, a chance to explore believing in what I have to say. In doing something all for me because that might be the best way to do something for others.

This year, for the first time in several years I was really heard. I was sexually abused by a pastor for years as a teen and when I finally came forward the church took him out of ministry but still allowed him to run service trips with you. A random stranger(pastor) who attended one of tbose trips this year found me on Facebook and asked me about my experience. She fiercely heard me and then pushed the bishop to act. This man finally, after 3 years of fighting, had no access to vulnerable youth (or any youth). I am knee bending grateful for this random pastor that came into my world shook things up and gave me reason to breathe again.

Working with an extremely difficult co-worker. I ended up being grateful because it made me look at my own behaviors. The real learning moment happened when I looked back at my behavior at a group meeting including the difficult co-worker. I realized that if there had been a tape, I would have sounded like the crazy one, not him. That was my wake-up call to do things differently. It has helped me with my kids, other co-workers. Oddly, not sure how it has helped with m partner.

I made the decision to not worry about my weight. I'm am loved as I am. It is liberating. I am healthy! But not a size 8.

My Son and Family moved back near me, I'm excited and grateful.

I returned to Indonesia to work. I'd been there in 2007 and the experience was a total disaster. Nothing went right. Life was extremely aggravating and full of failure. I had an opportunity to return to a different island and after some deliberation I figured a 3 week trip couldn't be bad. I'm so grateful I did because my experience was so much more positive. I enjoyed my students, learned a lot and made some friends. Glad I didn't let a bad past experience cut me off from a good one.

I got divorced this year, and while it was draining and devastating on a number of fronts, I am so much better off without a toxic person in my everyday life. I also bought a house, which has been a tremendous step forward. Having my own space was something that was lacking in a marriage to a narcissist who was a bottomless pit of need, so I can truly relax in my home for the first time in many years.

The biggest thing that I did in the last year was to rebuild my kitchen. It took me going into more debt, and dealing with banks, debt, contractors, decisions. It was a small job, but draining. I still feel guilty and irresponsible about it. And lonely making those decisions. But the kitchen is nice and sometimes I am happy and proud about it.

I got a new job after several other possibilities didn't pan out. For the first time in a long time I'm really excited about the work I'm doing and am so grateful to be in a position where my judgement and expertise is acknowledged and appreciated. I've been feeling stuck professionally for a while, and now I can look back and recognize how taking the time to figure out my needs and priorities was really worth it.

My divorce became final this year. Even though we have lived completely separate lives for over two years, and have had almost no contact since the day that I moved out, actually getting divorced and getting my maiden name back felt liberating. Especially getting my maiden name back. Until your name has unpleasant connotations, you don't realize how often you hear it or say it on a normal basis. Picking up a prescription at the pharmacy? Give your last name. Going to the bank? "Welcome, Mrs. Elder." Signing a credit card slip. Signing his last name. When you are trying to leave a marriage behind, his name keeps popping up on your way to the new you. Until I got that final divorce decree. Which changes absolutely nothing about how I have been living during the last two years, or my finances, or anything. Except that now I can get my precious name back. And I am grateful.

My son who is my oldest child of four this year got married a couple of months ago. It was a beautiful ceremony and celebration and I love my new daughter-in-law. What nobody tells you though, about your child getting married is that there is a little bit of sadness with all that joy. There's a little bit of loss feeling that you have no idea comes along with it. It's okay thought. It's part of the journey. I am so grateful for the love that my son has found and for the exciting journey he has just taken part in and I am grateful for the experience to help me grown in my own life journey.

Quitting my job was recent and very significant. I've always worked, over-worked. I've been at this place for over 9 years, already successful in my role there, from the company perspective. From my perspective, I wonder what is next? Is this it? Am I done now? Is the path just forward? More of the same? Staying home with my son now will be good for my soul I think. I look forward to slowing down. Tomorrow is day one!

I finally got a full time job. I am grateful. Money is nice, but the job is hell so I'm resentful of the way it's completely taken over my life. But but money is nice. I guess that is how life works.

I was hit by a car, the driver was texting. It occurred the first week of June and I am still in pain. I want to forgive the person, I want to be pain free, I want to not feel scared of cars anymore. I want to support my family of bike commuters. All this seems to be ruined at the moment. The driver lied on her account of the accident. The police did not believe me. My case became a part time job, so not only was I hit, I got a job I did not want--insurance processor, doctor visitor, and lastly bike advocate. I fucking hate cars.

Putting creativity first. Last year I decided to put effort to being more creative. The decision to do so has definitely affected me positively. I've learned a lot about fabrication and the process. Some of the specific skills needed to do so, blacksmithng and welding. Volunteering at The Crucible has brought me into a community of others who enjoy making things for the sake of making them. And it lead to reuniting with an old friend and starting a relationship that has inspired me to do so much more. Saira has influenced me to be creative and supported me to do so. I think this decision to be more creative has opened up a new interest in me and I'm excited to see if it takes me anywhere new. If it doesn't I'll still be happy just making things and using my mind in a different way surrounded by others who want to do the same and will support me to do so.

Successfully completed and graduated from a master's program in clinical mental health counseling at the age of 51. Quite relieved to be able to hang with a much younger cohort of fellow students and very grateful to have a new avenue to be able to assist those facing life's challenges and difficulties.

Our time at buck shot cabin I really understood the end of being a parent as approaching the idea we wouldn't be a group of 3 in the same way again there was intensely sad even again now as I write this the beauty of what we do and created the longest shortest time idea clicked that I need to relearn my life and my married life as a different creation soon

Left my job, of 6 years, as a case manager for seniors (with Dementia/Alzheimer's). It felt like 100 pounds had been lifted off of me! I had not realized how much the job was taking out of me, both emotionally and mentally. I had been doing this part time and was working second job, (selling shoes), making a six day work week. I asked to be made full time at the store, and worked out compensation with the owner. Within two weeks I came to realize that I had also been stressing myself physically as well. Net: my productivity has gone up, I'm more relaxed, contributing more, am easier to get along with, have more energy and, have some time for myself. Happier than I've been in a long time.

This year I am trying to figure out how to pull back from working and devote time to creating. But nothing significant has happened on that front. I just keep ruminating on it. So what has happened? Life! A grand daughter and a grandson on the way. One grandchild lost. Some signs of sickness and aging on the other end of life. How do I feel? Content- with the idea that life is starting and ending and teeming all around us and our little problems and indignities are part of a bigger whole.

I starte working out again after Izzy was born. Though it seems minor, it is the first time i am getting back to focusing on my health the the 20 lbs i am still caryying are not the way i want my daughter to see normal.

My house came really close to being flooded this August. I had to be evacuated by boat with my dog. I'm relieved it did not flood especially since I just bought my house earlier this year. But it is sad to see how many people around me flooded. Even though I didn't flood, it was a really emotional experience. Having been through Katrina, the flooding brought that all back up again. This was no where near the scale of Katrina but emotionally it felt the same.

Tom had to close his business recently. It has been quite a shock and has caused a great deal of stress and anxiety. It has also given us the opportunity to start over again which feels like there is hope. It has given me personal strength and showed me that I can handle just about anything. I will try to be okay, no matter what.

I was finally able to have my marriage "blessed" by the Catholic Church after being married to my current husband for more than 5 years. It took over 4 years to have my annulment finalized from my former spouse who was terribly abusive to both myself & my children. I am so grateful to be able to be a full member of the Catholic Church & to be able to receive communion with my family again. Although many people are resentful about the entire process, it is part of my lifelong faith and I am very happy / grateful to have made it through this process.

My life has been blessedly calm this year and for that I am supremely grateful.

This year has been so accelerated that I can't pinpoint one singular experience that was significant. I actually don't recall anything that wasn't significant! I got pregnant. I had a miscarriage. I went to Norway. I found Bentinho. I held an an art exhibition. I sued someone. I bought a house. I went to Cuba and Dominican Republic. I got pregnant again. I rebuilt a house. I went to Canada. I let go of old family issues. I figured out who I am. Even though there were ups and downs I am able to integrate all experiences better and rebalance faster, ready for more. This has been the fasted moving and most growth filled year so far, and probably the most fun. It's the first year I have ever taken the reigns completely of my life and driven it, whether skillfully or not, according to my own intentions.

New job... important but not this. Failed adoption... important but not this. I lost my sister this past year. We knew it was coming. Last time I saw her was December 2015. Then she passed in February 2016. I'm still devastated. I'm still in denial. I still talk to her and think about her and look for little signs. I reread emails from her and printed texts and words with friends games and messages. I'm not afraid of death for the person who dies. I'm not afraid of death for myself. I'm just not ready for this life to end. I'm not ready for the lives of the people I know and see everyday to end. I will never be ready. For my sister, I am relieved. She was suffering. It was no way to live. I don't think I could have better prepared myself. I don't want more people to die. I don't think I can handle the holes losing them creates in my heart.

There have been so many this year. Trying to pick just one is difficult. I lost Simon. I lost my teaching job. I got married. We moved, again. Getting married was wonderful. The ceremony accomplished everything we set out to accomplish. It was intentional, it was beautiful, and we got to celebrate with our family and friends. There were a few bumps in the road but overall it went beautifully. I am very grateful that things went well and that I am now married to the most amazing woman in the world. This life would kill me if I didn't have Stacy. There are days when she is literally the only thing that keeps me here, now that Simon is gone. I am also a bit releaved that it's all over (wedding planning and wedding ) in fact our one year anniversary is on the 11th. It's nice to not be trying to plan and pay for something so huge. While planning the wedding I did wonder at times if we hadn't made a mistake by not just taking a really kick ass vacation with the money my folks gave us, but on balance I think we made the right call, it was a really good day, and it was made infinitely better by having our friends and family there. It was also really nice because it was legal, which only happened in June, so we got to go get a license and everything. It was really exciting. I am insipired to be the best marriage partner that I can be, and to celebrate our mile stones, because they are accomplishments worth celebrating and its all too easy to let things slip by and not give them the attention that they are due. I don't want to do that, I want to be as intentional in the marriage as I was at the wedding. I never thought I'd get married, but I have and I want to make sure that works, I've already seen the alternative and it's awful. Someone asked me recently how it felt to get married, and my response was that we'd been together 6 years already. So it wasn't really new, but it does feel really nice to get to talk about "my wife," that has been really thrilling. Nothing else has really changed, other than my name; that has taken some getting used to. But overall it's been wonderful.

Although this is a lot to bundle up into one experience, my semester abroad in Spain was one of the most life-changing, impactful experiences I will probably ever have in my life. I made an amazing friend, got new parents, improved my Spanish, saw more of the world, and learned so much about my privilege and the US and how to be a better version of myself. I am so grateful for the amazing people that Spain introduced me to. From Eva to Feli and Pepe to Julian and Rafa to Meike and Kiana, I have been so blessed with amazing, supportive, funny, insightful, kinda friends. Traveling was a wonderful gift, too. To see so much of Spain and Europe was amazing and it was just the beginning of what I hope will be a lifelong journey of exploring more of the world. This experience was also super impactful because I am now finishing up my Fulbright application to go back. I am craving more Spanish and more of these challenging, eye-opening, growth experiences and I am excited about the prospect of being there this time next year. I am also so proud of how my time in Spain helped shape me as a person. I feel more spontaneous, open to adventure and new things, more humble and thankful of the help of others, and more laid back than ever before. I learned to relax and live in the moment and appreciate downtime in a way I never would have been able to before. My time in Spain has continued to inspire me as I have started my new academic year and I am excited to see how it affects the next year of my life.

I spent several evenings in the ER with my wife who has has an autoimmune neurological disease. Fortunate in each instance things checked out and she was not admitted. Tonight saying kiddish I choked up at שהחיינו

I was on the search team to find a new pastor for our church. I was grateful to be asked, then realized what kind of work was involved and that we would have to evaluate all of our candidates. I was conscious also of our entire congregation, hoping that they would be happy with the team's choice.

I went through three changes of company. This caused me to look back on my career and becoming supremely unhappy. I feel like I've accomplished none of things I had hoped to.

This past year I took on a new apprentice and have rededicated to taking myself serious as an artist. Is that the reason I sold 2works at the WA State Fair juried show? Oddly, they were both paintings not sculpture. I am excited about the prospect for the coming year. I that same vein I am working more seriously at my LegalShield. I am proud of myself for looking at where I want to be in both those areas of my life and taking action. The money from the sale of the art will go into the Italy kitty.

This time last year I bought my first house with my partner. It has been the best thing and the scariest thing I have ever done. We now have an old run down villa that needs years of work. We have fixed up a lot of stuff - repiled, new roof, woodfire, and insulation and now we have run out of money....so we wait til we can afford the next phase. But I am so happy that we have done this together. She is the best person I could imagine doing this with and the only person I imagine spending the rest of my life with. We're not just buying a house we are building our future and despite being very worried about how we will make it work I am so happy to be with this wonderful woman.

My daughter moved to the east coast. It felt like empty nest syndrome again but on a more permanent level. It through me into a spin initially. I had to accept the enormity of the change and uncertainty of the person she will become. I miss being able to drive and see her and having that to look forward to. I need to embrace Radical acceptance and trust. I am inspired.

Balancing a high school course load and attempting to participate in entrepreneurial activities is an extremely difficult feat which only increases in such difficulty when one has advanced classes that are viewed with moderate apathy. Yet when something piques my interest, say for example, a job opportunity in Silicon Valley, school is more often than not put to the side, to the dismay of my parents and their fire-engulfed wallets, ignited by tuition. Receiving this opportunity defined my high school career not through regurgitating Greek vocabulary nor integrating the natural log of “2x,” but through application development and political warfare. The former I was accustomed to through years of practice and execution, however the former was a brand new area for me. The application development job was not just that, but one that (we hope) will aid in preserving constitutional values online in a way that contemporary social networking sites have consistently failed to do. The ability to aid in the sharing of values I uphold in a way that I am skilled sounds like a dream job, but I had another full-time commitment looming over my head, one that, as it had done for the past decade, began early the next morning. When I received multiple (relatively) poor grades, something inside me could not help but blame my apathy and lack of focus towards my studies. For the longest time I would attempt to convince myself that working in my desired field would yield far more experience than unrelated “busy work,” yet due to the aforementioned indifference the fact remains that my chance of admission to top universities would be much lower than it could have been. To this day, as I write this the fall of senior year, I wonder whether I made the right choice, and in the present, I wonder if I want to reorder my priorities. The opportunities I’ve been awarded may have arrived in the future, yet high school only lasts four years, and after that, one really has no other options. Regardless, taking on these new commitments has caused both unbelievable euphoria and unbelievable stress, tears of joy and tears of frustration, and regardless of one’s opinion of my choices, it is undeniable that my time in high school was (and still is) outside of the norm, and I would not ask for it any other way.

I experienced a deeper love than I have ever experienced before. It's rooted in a mutual respect, shared goals, common values, and an appreciation of humor. It grew into an understanding that required no words, no justifications and no apologies. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have experienced such a pure and abiding love. I now know what unconditional love is.

My daughter had her first baby 13 weeks early. Seeing my daughter so very ill and terrified, and seeing my grand baby so fragile and vulnerable was a very traumatic experience. I have never seen any of my children close to death, and it made me realize how easily the things we take for granted can be ripped away from us. My children are the only blood relatives I am close to, as I am adopted. They are my legacy, they are my descendants from a tree with a broken limb. I want them to grow old and be happy. I want my grand children to do the same. I want to see them all grow old. I am grateful for modern science and the nurses and doctors who saved my daughter & grand child's lives. I am grateful to God for pulling everyone through. I am also relieved. I am resentful that my daughter had to go through this. I wanted her to have the perfect pregnancy, and no complications. I don't know who I resent, it was no one's fault....which leads me to "Inspired"... ' I am inspired by my daughter's tenacity and strength. I am inspired by the strength of my tiny 1.14 ounce grand baby who is now thriving. She is mighty. I am inspired by the love my family has for one another.

I lost about 27 pounds. It was almost by accident. I was sick and lost about 8 pounds and really did not want to gain it back. It turned into a big change in my eating habits. I asserted my preference for an earlier "dinner" and stopped preparing meals when I wasn't hungry. I knew it would be better for the arthritis I have in my knees to be carrying less weight and so have stayed with my new healthier eating choices. I am grateful and happy about my renewed energy. People notice I have lost weight and compliment me, which I like but the down side is that I am the same person I have always been and it bothers me to be treated differently just because I am a smaller size.

H and I finally went to some long-needed counseling. We both had some breakthroughs and revelations, and I let go of a lot of (but by far not all of) my built up anger and resentment toward him and his job. I honestly think it's the only thing that's gotten us off of a path to divorce. That may still come at some point, but I no longer consider it a given. In fact, I even think it's unlikely - we're aiming for long-term fixes and have found some short ones for the interim. I don't want to overstate it. I'm still really angry when certain triggers come up - perhaps to be expected with such a raw, barely-starting-to-heal wound. But at least we talk better now. So I think relieved would be the primary feeling. Maybe even hopeful.

I married the love of my life and did so by legal marriage by my rabbi. these are three things, distinct, that flood me with gratitude. The first is a gift that I did not imagine nor expect, and she has upended my world in such beautiful ways, upended me and the way I see and walk through society. I could not be more grateful. The second is complicated as being denied marriage, my people being denied marriage through time, infuriates me and so while a hard won victory, for which i am celebratory and grateful, I still hold residual anger at having had had to fight that battle when there are so many battles around inequity that need our labor. The last is again a gift that I treasure. We have a rabbi who was willing not only to marry two women--not really an issue--but also to marry me--not yet a jew, though converting--to my wife who converted years ago. He has brought so many things to our congregation, and brought so much to the way Milan and I see our marriage.

Another year, another diagnosis. My sister, who had been cancer free for 8 years, had a recurrence this year. Not feeling particularly grateful and a bit resentful. That said, I find her resilience and positive attitude an inspiration. I have my moments, but try hard not to think too much about what the next year or two might bring. Instead I will share her hopeful outlook, believing in science and the case study she is enrolled in.

My father passed away. I handled it quite well because it was to be expected. He was elderly and his health was failing. Other family members have begun to treat me differently and my mother has started elevating my brother in law over all of us. I am resentful of the fact that my family has made me an outcast basically. I am also not happy that since my brother in law is one of the last remaining men in our family that he is getting things that belonged to my father. I think my family is upset that I don't spend as much time with them as they do each other. But, I don't live in the same town any more. And in regard to my father, he was too busy working to actually spend time with me when I was younger. He worked a factory job and worked in his shop at home way past 1 am in the morning at times.

During this past year I have become involved with the community in the town we moved to about 15 months ago. Through hiking, yoga and Hillel I have met some really good people and have made strong connections, even friendships. Through Boxerwood, Roots and Shoots, Democrats and FFRx, I have reached out as a volunteer in ways that I believe will help our community, country and planet. It all makes me feel like this town is meant to be my home and I really do belong here. For this I am grateful.

Our first child, a beautiful baby boy named Aslan Meir, entered the world and forever changed our lives on September 6. He arrived 9 days late after a very challenging 45 hour labor. But the wait and effort was more than worth the reward. Aslan amazes us daily and helps us see the world in a different light. He's the most precious gift, and I am trying to cherish every minute of this infant stage. I know it will pass so fast and, however challenging, there's no way to ever re-live these early moments. I'm blessed to be his mama.

I won second place in the Ocean Fest paddle race. It was really hard to do. My team did well overall.

I got cancer. After my wife insisted I get what I thought was a torn muscle checked out, it was discovered that I had an enormous tumor in my leg. Six months of treatment later, and I am almost out of the woods, but I still have a ways to go before I know for certain that I'm "cured." As strange as it sounds, I believe I feel, above everything else, grateful. It's as if all of the things that I thought were important got burned away. I'm less afraid to speak my mind, and I'm less afraid of people in general. I feel incredibly lucky: I had great doctors, great insurance, and a speedy treatment, but I was still forced to look at myself, to face my mortality. I found out who in my life was important, and who really had my back when things got bad. Lest anyone think that I recommend getting cancer, I have to say a lot of it sucked incredibly hard. I'll probably be dealing with the repercussions of it for the rest of my life, both physically and emotionally. But I am changed as a result of what happened to me, and I hope the change is permanent. I will take the pain and suffering I went through if it means that I was able, even to a small extent, become a better person.

I left my job as a part-time paraprofessional because my supervisor ran the program into the ground and treated all the staff poorly. I couldn't work under those conditions another year--the stress was harming me. I miss the children so much, and when I see them around town they fly to me for hugs. I hope I made a difference in their lives, even a tiny bit. I returned to full time work in late August, as a personal care attendant. It has been very challenging to work full time, especially since my brain injury in 2015, but my cognitive abilities have improved over the past year. I know I'll never be as I was before the brain injury, though. I feel like a different person, sometimes.

I retired. I am taking better care of myself and devoting time to do things that I couldn't do when I was working. I am learning to pick and choose what I do and what I don't do. Yes I am very grateful, relieved and inspired to enjoy this next chapter of my life.

I was accused of being in a traffic accident that I was not at all involved in (hit and run with a bicyclist). In fact, turns out the accident did not actually happen at all. Thankfully, this was all proved. But it changed the way I view the justice system and more importantly how I view those accused of a crime. I used to think that there, "must be some reason" that people were being looked at suspiciously. I now have first hand experience and know that the only reason this person did not get away with fraud and I was not found guilty is because I was able to borrow resources to get a good lawyer. He had to be able to prove not only my innocence but the fraud before anyone at the DAs office would even consider listening. It almost took the whole year. I was lucky, I realize this completely. I also realize that most people are not as lucky. I am glad but also horrified that I have this knowledge now.

I went to two Jewish music festivals this year, Songleader Boot Camp and Hava Nashira. I am beyond grateful that I received a grant to go to SLBC through PJ Library. This has literally changed my life. I am doing more singing with Jewish children around Rochester than I have done in the past, and I have been introduced to so many wonderful contemporary Jewish music artists. All the music has given me opportunities to pray in ways I couldn't have imagined a year ago.

This year I started back school for a Masters in Instructional design. School is a lot of focused writing; what I'm learning applies directly to my work and enhances my performance. When I started school it seemed as if the expenses would be covered, but the scholarships at work discontinued just after i enrolled, due to budget cuts. But just like when I went for my Bachelor's, I'm keeping at it and have chosen not to pay attention to the money...money can always be a problem but I've chosen not to let money drive my life. I love my job and appreciate the added skills I bring to it because of my studies. Better yet, my studies positively influence my contribution to a better tomorrow....build instruction with a shared a positive core; patiently develop a well defined design and structure; and consider the expertise of others. My family is very supportive. It's funny that they all point out that I will be the first family member ever to get a Masters. I have always thought of myself as the dumb one, it seems that's changing. :) I'm seeing myself differently these days ...as a inquisitive woman always searching to learn and experience new things.

Most of my college application process happrnef this year. That involved getting deferred Early Decision by my then-top choice school, and later being waitlisted both by it and my then-sesecond choice school. It was the first time that I had really failed at something important academically, and I felt mad at the colleges and mad at myself. I was accepted into a lot of schools that were just as good and even had more bragging rights, but I didn't care. I'm happy where I am now, and I'm grateful that I chose it, so I guess I'm grateful for the deferral, too. I'm still a bit frustrated with the wait lists, though - mainly, I just want to know WHY.

I got married 3 months ago. While it was definitely significant, I don't feel like anything has changed. My relationship is still the same. I'm grateful to be with someone I love and who loves me. I have noticed a level of happiness that wasn't there before.

I began a new job as a Director-- something I had aspired to become for a few years. I transitioned after a long time at once campus. I learned how to manage people, raise my game in terms of commitment and felt challenged as well as determined to do a great job. I am grateful to have celebrated a year a few days ago, and for all the opportunities presented to me through this role.

I started college this year, and on the drive down, my mom and I talked about my academic plans. I'm a philosophy major, which is a great path to take- if you know what to do with it. I want to be an activist, an organizer, a builder. I have a general and strong idea of where I want to go with my life, and my mom and I have had this conversation many times before; she's been very supportive the past year, much to my relief. When I first told her my goals, she saw them more as an idea, one of many. We've come a long way, and I reminded her I would do well and figure things out. She then said to me, "I know, I believe you. I believe in you." My mom and I have a very strong and loving relationship, yet I don't remember another time when she's told me that. It shows how far I've come, how much I've become and achieved for her to feel confident in my goals and dreams. And maybe she's always believed in me, but now she can say it honestly. And so it is.

I really don't know if there's anything in particular that stands out, but this year does leave me with an air of happiness. I'm sure that all of it hasn't been perfect but the after taste is good.

I decided NOT to retire. I did it because I needed the $. I needed to go into retirement with less debt but also to help my kids in this next year. I didnt retire because I wasn't quite mentally prepared to NOT be a teacher. Who am I if not a teacher? Everyone expected me to leave-as if there was something in retirement waiting for me. As if there is anything better than teaching...There is not.I am a teacher through and through. I am spending this year thinking about who I am when I am not a teacher. Strangely enough, I already feel like a better teacher-a less stressed teacher.

I had a second child! I love love love my baby Anna, and I enjoyed my pregnancy with her. I feel very lucky to have been blessed with a job that allows me some sanity as I start a family, and with a husband who is committed to our child-raising. And Anna is such a sweet baby; my postpartum experience this time is so different. Healing in a way, since I had such a difficult time after Lev was born. I'm so grateful I can enjoy this time, since it'll likely be my last.

I ended up quitting a fairly lucrative job for a complete 'shot in the dark'. Well-that didn't work out. I learned a LOT. I am grateful for this- I learned that it isn't worth the money if you need anti anxiety medication to go to work. I learned that it's a really good idea to interview with the entire management group when you're offered a job-not only with the person who offers the position. i ended up with a job that I couldn't have foreseen- and I'm kind of in the position that I would have had, if the first job had worked out. So yes, I'm grateful.

I thought this year would be better. It had to be better. Last year my grandmother broke her arm, my father was hospitalized and told his cancer was terminal, my grandfather passed, and then my dad died. My grandmother died January 16, 2016, 3 days after her 83rd birthday. We planned her funeral, went through her things, bought a headstone, held a huge yard sale, and now we're near ready to sell her house. The house next to my mom's. The house she lived in my entire life. I lost 2 very important people to me in 4 months. I no longer have any grandparents. It makes me worried about the health and safety of the rest of my family.

I graduated National Holistic Institute as a certified massage therapist in December. This enabled me to begin using the gift I was given to use. I am a healer. At one of the places I volunteer, I discovered Reiki. I am now studying to become a specialist in Reiki and other energy healing to incorporate into my massages. All of the places Allah (God) has lead me has made me so grateful that I am able to do this. And excited to see what is waiting for me in the next 12 months.

On January 5th, I lost my wife. She died after a 1.5 year battle with cancer. We had been together since 1994. I'm hurt, I'm angry, but I'm relieved she isn't hurting anymore, but mostly I feel so alone. She was my constant companion and now I just don't know how to keep going.

I turned 50 and was unhappy because I felt that I wasn't where I'd like to be in my life. I was also sad that I didn't have a significant other to throw a party or celebrate me. I did appreciate that I wasn't married to someone who didn't love me and that I was doing everything in my power to live the life I wanted; my job was many levels below where it should have been and while I continued to meet men, they weren't the right ones. A month later my friends took me out to celebrate my birthday, I was called about a job that is challenging and pays and I've met a great guy who treats me better than I ever dreamed. I am lucky to be alive and grateful for my wonderful friends. This has been a reminder to have faith.

A significant experience that has happened this past year was that Aaron and I got engaged and this past weekend we completed his moving into my place. Both of these occurrences have effected me by allowing me to reflect on the greater picture of what I want our life focus to be made of. I am grateful and I feel very blessed.

Returning to work after Nora was born was a difficult experience. It has forced me to put my own wants and needs in the front of my mind. I am learning to ask for what I need when I need it, whether it is a few minutes to myself, or for Marshall to help out with specific tasks around the house. I am impressed with myself for the personal growth I have shown in the past year.

A family friend's daughter committed suicide. I'm still shaken to the core. I'm grateful that we were able to share the grief with the family and I was proud of my daughter, who was particularly close to the young woman who killed herself. She and some friends pulled together and set up a fund in her memory, just did a walk today as a team for a suicide prevention event..

I sold my house and moved in with Francoise. the first time in 20 years that I have co-habitated (not counting children). I am grateful on several fronts. One, I sold the house that was draining my resources. Two, I moved to share space with someone I love, and someone who is forgiving, wise, understanding, patient, and a very good sport. Given that she has one offspring living in Seattle and I have two locally, two grandkids and a dog, she has incredible tolerance. I am grateful to have found someone so easy to love and be loved by. Inspired of course. My life takes a new direction not to be saddled with responsibility, overhead and to have someone to share the future with.

Very recently after a rather random conversation, I went down the rabbit hole of "what am I doing with my life?" And I worked on finding my motivation for acting. The earliest memory I could find of wanting to act, I think had less to do with acting and more to do with wanting to be a character. I want to travel and have adventures and meet interesting people. That's what I though acting was, or what it would provide me. So now I may try to find those things through other means.

My business partner decided to retire after being pretty checked out the last 18 months. Huge amounts of stress and anxiety around this as we are a small business. I decided that I had two paths - I could close the company or put the company on steroids. I chose to grow. To do so I hired a team of independent contractors with a great commission structure. Everyone is so excited to be part of the team! SO HAPPY and RELIEVED this all working out. Staying in trust and faith as the evolves.

A significant experience that has happened to me in the past year has been my exchange trip to Sydney. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to go across the globe to experience a new culture that was so similar, yet so different to my own. The trip helped me to open my eyes to the importance of global connections. It also allowed me to meet my best friend, who im hoping won't let geographic distances keep us apart. I am so grateful for this once and I lifetime experience. Although I still have a long time to go, I think that this experience will change me forever.

It's taken me a minute to think past the obvious, because this has been a year of epic changes - leaving Boston after almost 2 decades, moving 600 miles away to start a brand new job. Being on my own is depressingly familiar, but somehow my singleness (always one of my most difficult struggles) is easier now that I'm no longer surrounded by a life that was toxic and unhealthy for far too long. I don't want to forget that as I was driving away, it took me half an hour to realize that I'd never even waved goodbye, or paused for a moment to look back. This move, this change, this re-set has been a really, really good decision, and I feel incredibly grateful, and relieved, and love my new city. By contrast, this other thing is small, but also seems important: while I was weeding out some of my old journals, reading about my time in DC in 1999, I found an entire entry about how much I loved the museums there, and was stunned to read that I was seriously considering going back to school so that I could work in one of the Smithsonian art museums. ...I can't quite believe I'd completely forgotten those thoughts. For the last 5 or 6 years, I've been wondering whether I chose the right career. I resent the weight of my grad school loans in the face of dismal salaries, and feel increasingly reluctant to participate in the professional field...and the former makes me feel trapped into doing the latter, which brings me no joy at all (although I do love teaching; I will say that much). The discovery of that entry was profound because what HAS brought me infinite joy over the past few years has been the hours I've spent volunteering at a museum in Boston. Being surrounded by art, learning about paintings and art history, talking to visitors, leading historical and art-focused talks - all of these have been more wonderful than I could have imagined. When yet another grant application was rejected earlier this year, I started thinking that maybe it was time for a career change, and wondering if I should look into local museum education and curatorial programs (even though I have no idea how I would have managed it, financially). Discovering that this idea has stronger legs and deeper roots inspires so much confidence. I'm here, in my new job, to give my current field my best shot, without all of the baggage and struggle that went along with Boston. But if it turns out to not be a good fit, I want to remember that there are other paths, and that it's okay to change my mind and start over again.

My son and his family who lived in New York, quite close to us for 12 years moved this summer. I miss my grandsons very much. They were a great part of my life and I saw them every week, often several times. I am grateful that my son has a good position and that they now have a beautiful home but I am also conflicted since I feel the boys will now have a very suburban life and I think they would have thrived in the city. Simon my younger grandson especially is both very bright and difficult and was interested in so many things. Susan focuses them nearly exclusively on sports and I don't believe he will live up to his potential.

The experience that stands out the most to me is my mom having 7 different knee surgeries between January - August. Her knee replacement got infected and that started a series of complication after complication. I didn't realize a person could go through so many health issues at once. She was flown "Flight for Life" twice in the year and one was due to a staph infection, which ended up in her bloodstream. She ended up having her leg a few inches above the knee amputated. I spent soooo much time with her at the hospital. Some days I was there from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. at night. I felt like I needed to be there as her advocate and be there for her. Now she is finally at home awaiting the process to get her prosthetic as we cross our fingers that the antibiotics finally work since the infection got into her bone. I have felt a series of different emotions from being resentful toward her, toward other family members, and sometimes at myself for feeling resentful. I am grateful that my job allowed me the flexibility to be there for her as much as I was. I feel inspired by my mom because she is SO strong. We have used her story to inspire others, and it's worked. She gets so many comments from our small community of 4,000 people saying how she's the strongest person they know. I don't feel relieved quite yet, because I still fear that the infection is still in her bone which would result in yet another surgery. I don't want to see her go through that and selfishly, I don't want to spend all that time in the hospital again. I've learned a lot about myself and the areas of myself that still need healing and comfort.

My husband and I nearly lost our marriage due to built up resentments resulting in distance and betrayals. As a result i made a big career shift (i am making it now). We also lost a baby in miscarriage, that moved us to start very consciously thinking about what we want. I am angry and deeply hurt, but also incredibly grateful that we are being called to a fuller life...together.

I didn't attend my sister's wedding. I was devastated to realize how little importance my presence at such a special time meant to her. And after I was devastated, I got angry and bitter and petty. I'm not proud of that but I'm proud that I told her how she made me feel. I have protected her from so many things because I was trying to be a big sister that she appreciated and loved. It was important to say some things I normally would have spared her from because it would make us both uncomfortable. I'm still resentful but my reflection and counseling on my feelings really could become a touchstone that will help me in so many ways going forward. I am generous with my time and focus for other people and I mess up when that "generosity" is actually more of an expectation for time and energy and gratitude returned to me. If I want to give to others, it should always be a gift. If I want to trade with others, I should communicate my expectations. I wrote about this last year too, so clearly I've made some progress and haven't swept it entirely under the rug.

I turned 50 this year. It was (is) much harder than I thought it would be. I don't feel old inside my head. (Though my body feels it.) It's not possible to be this age. Maybe it's because I don't have children and I still feel like I'm 30something. I've had a full life and don't have regrets. I have a fantastic husband who does so much for me. But being 50? I feel like life is winding down and I'm mostly worried that I'm not ready financially for retirement. THAT might be way off in the distance, I'm afraid.

I had a stroke which lead to fixing a 2 cm hole in my heart. I couldn't have been more greatful. I was in the ER, working with people I know and like who then took care of me. I had great care which lead to discovering a time bomb in my body. I became so aware of all of the people who care about me and are there for my support.

I began to sing with the Threshold Choir. Three or four of us sing at bedside for Hospice patients. This work is more inspiring than I can express in words, but I'll try. The best way to describe singing at bedside is that it's love happening. Everyone is served - the person being sung to and the people singing. It is one of the most satisfying activities I've ever done. It also fulfills a hope that I had that I wrote about last year which was to find where my greatest bliss meets the world's greatest hunger. I love to sing and people, especially during a difficult time, need the comfort of song.

My grandmother and aunt died. It was difficult, the loss reverberated the loss of my mother 20 years ago. It was very painful, but I moved thought it. It did have the effect of me doing things I have dreamed to do but put off for years. It also got me into the doctor for a checkup. It shook me awake and reinstilled in me that the best way to honor our dead is by living. Truely, fully living.

The first thing that came to mind was finally letting go and finishing a long process of getting over Stephen and even mourning DC. However this is also really connected to deeper things I have lived through these last months, where I have felt at home in Guatemala once again. This is a strange feeling, for I had not felt it in a long time and it was compounded by my previous life here before leaving for grad school. Letting go of concepts about love, adult life, work life and how the future is supposed to look like and instead focusing on the now and present has had a deep impact on me. I feel like I have my two feet grounded here, and that I don't have to stretch my heart in two places. I feel a sense of community again, different from other places and previous times, and that is OK. I am doing a lot of things I love and care about and at the same time, have been exploring deeper levels inside me. I'm grateful and I'm relieved as well. Thankful to be alive, to be here, to be present... and relieved that a long process of letting go came to a good wrap. Now I can stay or go, I am ready to have more realistic expectations and to really be, fully be, wherever I end up in the next years.

There are two main ones: we sold, not lost, our home after all, and my firing has resulted in a whole new career. I am grateful but ambivalent about both. From two rotten circumstances, we salvaged and prevented real harm. While we didn't make any money from the short sale of our place, we didn't lose any, and my husband's credit took much less of a hit than it would have. We ended our relationship with our neighbors with goodwill intact, which was a huge fear as we fled in what felt like shame. But now, we own nothing, and I have very little hope that we will ever own a home again, or that we will be able to live where we want to. Now, we are in the perfect circumstance. Great apartment, great building, but we'll never be anything but renters with prices where they are. My husband continues to entertain magical thinking about what is possible. I would give anything to own this place, but the price (probably liquidating our retirement, while we're in our 40s -me- and 50s- him) is way too high. I feel that we're priced out every day, and hate that we ar finally up against having no safety, no one good decision that gives us buoyancy against so many other bad ones I have not forgiven him completely (or at all?) and that makes me small and bitter. I am disappointed in my own inability to move on. I was fired from a job that I was conflicted about, but assumed was mine to give up when and if I ever saw fit to. I had a plan to leave in the summer of 2018 or 19. That choice was taken from me. Now, a year and a half later, I have a prominent position in the regular college. The president, who is the one who had me fired, thinks i'm great and is entrusting me with important projects. I am suddenly a decently high-level higher ed adminstrator - a whole new career and potentially career path. Again, I am ambivalent. I want to write. I want to work with families. I want to have power at the table. I want to spend time with my friends and family and most of all, my son. To make the most of this job though, may require giving up some of that. I want balance, but I want to know what my life is about. JUan is, as always, trying to figrue out what the hell he'll be doing career-wise. There hasn't really been a moment since we've been married when that hasn't been the case. It is infuriating that I am the one still holding the center, holding the secure middle, while he bounces around from one thing to the next, taking chances that i find intolerable. It makes me hate him sometimes. It makes me feel limited and confined and held back. Yet, I am doing all the things I want to do. I am writing. I am seeing my friends. I am planning special things for me and Naftali to do together, even simple ones. I don't have the marriage I want, but I know that I am making forward progress in my life. I am stronger than I know. I am more capable than I allow myself credit for. That does, when I remember it, inspire me. I am disappointed in my focus on money, and disgusted that it controls me so much. But I took this leap to marry someone for whom having money was important - I let myself be honest and followed him into that. But his relationship to money and mine are so, so different. The way he relates to it all leaves me terrified and feeling unprotected, when a good portion of my motivation to marriage was to be protected and to share the job of planning a life. I feel like I've had to stand my ground and be viciously cheap in order to have basic stability and that has sucked, every minute. That I have found a positive outcome from two disastrous situations is...astounding. Marriage has been good for me in that it has made me see things through. Having a time-sensitive, vaguely high-pressured career has too. I can't just give up and not get things done. They have to happen. I can't just give up on too much, which I have allowed myself to do for too much of my life. This year, it is my book that has to come first, after Naftali. I think I can figure out the job in 40 hours a week (or so I arrogantly think). I need the rest of the time for my own life.

My daughter became my son. It's difficult to think of a way this experience has not affected me. Our daughter was a few weeks shy of her 19th birthday, a freshman in college, when she came out as "gender neutral" or "gender questioning." We spent the next year adjusting to our child's changing gender identification, and last year he returned to start a new school year. But it didn't go well, and about a year ago, he was forced to withdraw from school and return home for the rest of the year. This year he's back at school, picking up where he left off in a much better place. So the initial coming out was definitely "a significant experience," but I would say I didn't really live the change until our son was living at home for what was really an indefinite period of time. What I realized was that gender, in its binary form, underlies pretty much every social convention, every interaction, every relationship we as humans ever have. To change one's basic internal understanding and acceptance of that fact requires enormous patience, focus, and a willingness to feel off-balance and uncomfortable. It can be very frustrating and difficult at times. At first, (and still occasionally now, though not often) I chafed against the change, and I mourned the loss of my daughter, my child. The past year has required me to accept that my child is becoming an adult, and in many ways, that change is the loss I am mourning more than the change in his gender. Am I grateful? Yes. I am grateful for the capacity to continue to love my child so deeply that I can be happy for him that he has found himself. I am grateful to my faith community that has openly welcomed and loved him and our family without judgment or question. And I am profoundly grateful for my son, for who he is, and for his courage to be who he is.

This year, I came out to everyone in my life (and myself) and then moved from Boston to Jackson, MS. I am so happy I am finally living my true life with a sexuality that I feel and own, and. my girlfriend of eight months is amazing. I love her and I love knowing that being gay can feel so natural and normal. The move to Mississippi has been much more difficult for me socially and emotionally. It's hard having to hide parts of my identity and having to start over in a new, foreign place. I left all my friends, family, and loved ones behind because I wanted this opportunity but I'm really not sure if it was worth it or not. I simultaneously hate and enjoy the look on people's faces when I tell them I live in Jackson, MS. I am quick to say I'm a Yankee, but I also love regaling others with stories from my Southern life. In the past four months, this new experience has already made me grow more than if I would have chosen to stay in Boston in my safety net.

Completing my first full length album. mostly GRATEFUL and a little bit relieved! . I had a lot of help: emotional, financial, creative. I put in time, sweat, passion, money, made real sacrifices and took risks. I'm incredibly grateful for the creative process and outcome.

We dropped my son at college about six weeks ago and that was a significant milestone for him and for all of us. One the one hand, I am incredibly excited for him and the the new direction his life is taking. On the other hand, not seeing him every day or even knowing what he is doing on any given day is a strange feeling. Tonight we Facetimed with him, and he admitted that he was homesick for the first time. He's getting involved in many activities and he seems to be very happy, which makes me happy. However, I miss having my boy around and don't know if I'm quite ready for this stage in our lives.

I went to Europe with my boyfriend. It was exciting, inspiring, and made me fall even more in love with him.

A significant experience was being able to see and take part in the development and growth of my friend group. I've found individuals whom I trust and feel happy with. Since this has never happened to me before, I'm really excited to continue on with them and see how we all get closer throughout high school.

My oldest child started kindergarten 3 weeks ago. Although we are still navigating this transition I am really struck by the change. Almost six, she has grown up from even a month ago. Always friendly and outgoing, being at school is an exciting adventure for her. And honestly I have some relief that she has this new outlet for her energy, creativity and curiosity. But after being attached to me for the last 6 years it is strange to have 6 hours a day apart. It is so quiet. Quiet in the house, in the car, in my mind when I don’t have her presence tethered to me. And I feel very emotional. Everything from relief and freedom to sadness and grief, excitement for her growth and anxiety if this is the best path for us. And I am just in awe how the parent/child bond creates all of these emotions.

I learned to drive and got my license at age 26, a decade late. I'm really scared to drive alone, and have not done it yet. I'm excited, too -- so far I love driving -- but I'm terribly afraid of being involved in an accident, and I can't help but feel that I'm increasing my exposure to risk/death significantly by moving forward with this aspect of adult American life. So many people die because of cars. Would I have been safer if I hadn't pursued this freedom? But mostly, I'm sad and a bit angry that my parents kept me from learning as a teenager. They did not lack the means or the time -- rather, they just didn't care, and refused to let anyone else care either. I was so dependent because of that decision, and I missed out on so many things. I still do not understand their decision as motivated by anything other than a desire for control, and I really resent that. I haven't yet told them that I know how to drive. I don't want to give them the idea that I care this much. I'll probably not mention it until one day when I fly across the country to see them, and roll up in a rental. That would be an interesting way to start the conversation -- to see whether or not they congratulate me, or find it significant at all. I am so grateful to my friend who taught me. The real treasure of adulthood is finding people who love you more than your family. She is a saint, and probably the significant thing here is not even the product of her time -- but rather, the gloriousness that she would offer it in the first place. I am so lucky to have found our friendship, and I love her so much.

The past 24 months have been a period of significant transition for me with many significant events. Each milestone became something to "get through" and then I hoped to be "relieved" and "less burdened" as I got through it. For some of these situations, this is what happened. But something else to get through always came up, and there were new things to be "relieved" from. Exhausting and not sustainable. The past 4 months or so have been particularly intense and I know I am not myself. I am not sure how to get out of this cycle. It keeps me from being present, and I always thinking "today stinks, but if I just get through it, everything will be fine tomorrow." But what exactly does "getting through it" mean? I'm trying to move forward.

I finally let go of the same toxic friend I was hoping to get rid of last year during 10Q. It makes me extremely grateful that I was able to find the courage to do such an important yet hard thing, but I do still feel some guilt. I miss having her as a friend when we could just laugh, talk about Friends, and relive college memories - but ultimately, it was the best decision for my happiness.

I visited my in laws in Ireland. Made me feel lucky to have Robert in my life. Grateful he chose me. Guilty he left them

Dropping my only child, 18, at her University as a first semester student. The univ is many hours away by car, or a 2-hour flight + 1 hour on the road. The period leading up to it was very interesting, given that i'm separated from her mom, and we don't usually talk. We decided (i think it was my pushing it; suggesting it?) that we'd drive there together, the 3 of us. The decision was taken during a long period of time, and it was an interesting period of introspection for all (i think, they are not very open about their feelings; am I?). We drove, slept at a relative's house midway, completed the trip without incident. The drop off was very successful, from the perspective of the "kid." No fights, no discussions, all working towards the same goal. Sleeping arrangements were done totally independently. The tough part was the good bye and the period that follows. Hard social adjustment, totally different environment, taxing on all involved. How much support is enough vs too much? The kid mustered a lot of courage, which is typically not recognized in young adults, and decided to persevere in following her dream school. She's fighting a good fight and will emerge victorious at the end; and i hope "the end is near" :-) I know she'll be ok, but i don't think she knows it for sure. Interesting culture that "dictates" that kids (most of which i believe are not prepared) leave home to go to college, where there is little to no support unless kids ask for it. but for some kids, it's really hard to ask!!! i feel a little unhappy for my daughter's unhappiness (is this empathy), but confident she'll go over all these obstacles. Not so confident about the overall level of happiness emerging from these experiences.

Getting used to life with three kids. How is this my life? I am grateful, feel blessed and take moments of joy when I can. But mostly I am tired. I miss working. I miss making money. I miss having a career to talk about. I am so very fortunate to be able to stay at home. Glad that we are not overcommitted financially so that I have the choice to stay at home with my young kids. I appreciate that this is complicated. There will be pros and cons to whatever I do. Next year I'll be complaining about my job.

my 2015-16 experience was a wish that i could not imagine happen. In my 10th year of rebuilding my life and learning how to be totally self sufficient, to not count on anyone, to be single in a very tiny circle, and find happiness at it, my life has switched. My dear friend X has developed enough trust to join me in my little bubble, and sharing his family and friends with me. i am so grateful and happy to be part of a new family with children and grand children. I lam thankful to have a chance at a new relationship, i love the new partnership when learning how to live together and i am inspired to create a most conscious, loving and harmonious relationship.

This past summer I traveled to Southeast Asia for seven weeks. It was the first time I had ever done a solo trip and the first time I had ever been away from home for so long. I was excited...and terrified. I had imagined that it would magical... an epic adventure full of quiet moments of wonder and awe and filled with exotic sights and sounds. But I was unprepared for just how epic it was! Grateful doesn't begin to describe my feelings. I came home with a full heart. I met and hung out with cool people and then I spent days where I didn't talk to a soul. It was magical. It was difficult, yes, but I learned that there is always beauty to be seen. You just have to look for it. And you always find what you're looking for. Also, I realized on this journey that I am resilient as fuck and I need to give myself more credit. And that I am okay alone. Because alone isn't the same as lonely.

I quit my job. Over the last few years, I've mentioned my "job" in my 10Qs and now it is finally over. This is the first time I've ever taken such a huge leap with so much at risk. I have a house, two kids, two cars, a mortgage and an entrepreneurial wife who is reaching for the stars every day. I'm grateful that my wife and family have been incredibly supportive during this process. I'm relieved because I'm now free to find the role that is right for me. I'm stressed because of everything I just mentioned. I need to find the right balance of time / investment between myself, the new job, and everything else. The right opportunity will present itself and I will capture it. I'm excited, confident, and ready for the next challenge. My time with my previous company was as good as it gets. Now I'm ready for the next thing and I can't wait!

This year we welcomed Ethan into our family. He has definitely changed all of our lives. Foster and I are giving more of ourselves than we knew was possible, but the payoff is watching our sons grow and develop together as brothers. I get such a kick out of watching them interact. They live in each other, pull at each other, and seem to even have little games they share.

No one significant experience happened (yet) this year but moving into my current apartment building was noteworthy. Gained a group of interesting people, beautiful lake view, handy to events, all-around fun place to live. I'm inspired.

I started finding myself again. The year prior I was literally weak because of chemotherapy and radiation. Cancer helped me see people for who they really are and it helped me take a leap to rebuild boundaries and leave shitty people in the dust. While I am inspired to do better, it is still a battle in and of itself. New habits need to be formed. Bad habits need to be broken.

She dumped me and I am so grateful. About a year ago, she and I met at an event and immediately there this sense of knowing...were familiar strangers. The first time we hung out she dominated the conversation talking about her job. A few times she referred to me as privileged, to which I remained silent. The second time we sat in my car an talked and talked and talked about boyfriends, racism, family, dreams. My car died, gave me her jumper cables and helped me get a jump. Little did I know that this was going to be the pinnacle of our brief friendship. When we were in the same space, I listened. As a collector of stories, I have a tendency to be quieter with gregarious people. But with her it was different. I felt like a smaller version of myself. Like my view of the world wasn't enough. Not black enough...Not militant enough. My preference to collaborate and draw on the many cultures was too kumbaya. So, I remained silent around her and just listened. I don't recall exactly what I did to initiate the "break-up", but I'm so very grateful that she did it. She basically explained that it was important for her to only surround herself with people she felt comfortable to be vulnerable around, people who'd sharpen her so she could go out to do the work she was here to do, people who shared her perspective. Again, I'm grateful. She advocated for her needs (her first step was being aware of what her needs really were). Was unapologetic about her needs. Willing to release a "good person" to maintain what she needed in her healing circle. She was a teacher for me, and through her I got a beautiful glimpse of a new level of self care. Only keep what feeds you...

My brother was diagnosed with cancer and it has affected me greatly. I feel inspired by his carefree attitude and the positive vibes he creates. However, I feel very resentful that this has happened to my family. With ALL, it is not a staged cancer and no one can predict his chances of survival except with a mere probability. It has changed my outlook on life.

This year I came out to my parents. It was something that's been on my resolution list probably for the last 3 years and I finally did it. It didn't go exactly how I'd expected but it went well overall. I'm grateful that I come from an accepting family, and I'm relieved to not have to still be worrying about it. I'm still working through a lot of the effects and I know that it's an ongoing process, but overall I feel much better.

I am still dealing with a herniated disc in my back from the car accident in 2015. Haven't worked much this year. I have now been told my kidney function will fail within the year. It has been more than I can handle. I have been placed on medication for depression. But all through this, my beautiful husband has been there every step of the way. He is my inspiration, love and guidance through this difficult time in our lives. Dialysis is a difficult lifestyle. I have been on it for 5 years. But this time I have a man who loves and supports me. The change to our lifestyle is overwhelming. No travel. Attached to a machine for the rest of my life. It's heartbreaking.

This year my improvement from brain damage has continued. I had forgotten how to cook, so I'm trying lots of recipes. As of yesterday I made my fourth successful dish...chicken, bacon and corn chowder. I took it to church and people liked it. I felt relieved and grateful. My lasting feeling has been one of joy that I am working hard to relearn things and am finally beginning to succeed. It's very encouraging.

I got married this year. To the man of my dreams. He's perfect for me in every way and he makes me happier than I ever could have imagined. I understand now, what it means when people say true love. I've never loved anyone as much as I love him and couldn't imagine my life without him. He inspires me and makes me laugh and he will forever be my motivation to be a better version of myself.

A significant experience that has happened in the past year is that I flew 5,600 miles on my spring break trip to vacation with my dad, only to, by accident, discover that he was having an affair and leaving my mom. I went through up and down emotions for months- and when I came home for the summer from college I went between feeling like things were the same, to such anger that I couldn't even speak to him or be around him, to trying so hard to just love him for who he is and be okay with it. The morning I was flying back for my senior year of college, my dad told me and my mom he had prostate cancer. My up and down with my dad has affected me so deeply- I love him so much and want him to be happy, but it is sometimes hard to accept him for who he is. He is not a perfect person and neither am I, and trying to find compassion and love for him will be something I always will work for. I have unfortunately let it make me a little bitter. I don't believe that anything lasts, which makes me sad because I'm sure things can. Why not? Maybe people don't outgrow each other and get sick of each other, but to me it just seems natural. I hate that I look around and I can't think that an older guy wanting to be with an older woman is possible. Older guys always go for the young women who can keep up with their sex drive and be interested in an older man. But they all seem pathetic to me. All in all though, I'm trying to find gratitude for the experience. I'm trying to find patience and compassion even when it is hard. I have gratitude for my illness, even with the pain I'm in sometimes. I know it's shaping me. This is hard though, because it's not really my life that is as deeply affected as other peoples lives. I am not resentful any more though. I'm not upset about anything. I really do want my dad to be happy, I just hope he doesn't make it difficult money-wise and legal-wise for my mom and my sisters. Most of all, I'm relieved. Even though I don't understand my dad a lot, he, as much as anyone deserves to be happy. So does my mom. And she never would have left him... I truly hope she finds inner peace herself. I never thought this inspired me, but thinking about it now, I guess I am inspired to go out and find what's my calling- even if it doesn't make sense to people around me. I'm inspired by my dad that he thinks hes finally found love and going to be happy, and he's about to turn 60. I guess sometimes I'm resentful that he would only leave if he had someone else, and so where I believe if you're looking for someone else you should leave the person you're already with first, he doesn't see it like that. I think I was resentful of that- not that he was leaving (I wanted him to, he was not good to my mom in my opinion though his companionship definitely wasn't always a bad thing) but that he waited until he securely had someone else. But all of that aside, I'm inspired that he has never given up on finding happiness, even though he didn't really ever take it into his own hands. He kept looking. And for that I can, for the first time ever reflecting on it, am inspired. I do feel like my whole 21 years were leading up to this. I wonder if they feel like their whole 30 year marriage was leading up to this. For as long as I can remember, I was just waiting for the last foot to fall. So I am relieved, and hopefully that was the worst of it. And I hope my dad gets healthy and leaves soon and is happy. And I hope my mom is happy too. After all, they are both my parents, and I love them both. I do. I love them.

Starting college has changed my life significantly. I'm so grateful for it. It has made me more responsible, confident and empowered. I realize that the work has barely started and by the end I will be stressed and there will be highs and lows. I will miss my family, cats, Seattle, food, friends, etc but the fresh start has completely reset me and for that reason I couldn't be happier.

I started therapy. Getting permission to feel my feelings has been huge, as has the reassurance that I'm *not* crazy. I recommend it to everyone now.

My mother passed away after suffering for three years with a nasty form of Alzheimer's Disease called Lewy Bodies Dementia. At some point during the spring she became disinterested in eating and let herself become emaciated and there was nothing we could say or do to change her disposition. She died on July 16th while in bed at her care facility after my sister and I spent a few hours with her the night before. I believe me and my two siblings did all the right things for her and we should be proud that we were able to work so well together in making key decisions. We are relieved that she is at rest laying beside our Dad who died 2 years ago.

In the past year I got to see both my brothers after not being able to connect with them for many years. It was so emotional and beautiful, especially realizing how much easier it was to show up with an open heart instead of anger and resentment. I am so happy I have them both in my life again and that I am able to miss them with love and not with a feeling of loss.

I was called for jury duty. During the questioning I found it difficult to follow the questions that the lawyers were asking to the point that I let it be known and after a few questions I was released from the panel. I was not trying to get out of serving but I was relieved as I did not want to hear a domestic violence case again and wanted to be able to work at the boat dock on Wednesday. But what really made me sad was that I was letting old age get the better of me and confessing to a full court room that my mind was not up to the job. I'm done with jury duty!

My son was repeatedly hospitalized for severe anxiety and depression. It was seriously traumatizing. I am relieved that we are through the worst of it!

My father-in-law passed away and it was awful to be part of that process yet I had moments and flashes of gratitude for being there and bearing witness to so many emotions in the family and in my own self.

Graduated high school. I felt proud but it didn't feel as important as I thought it would. I was happy but scared. I'm still scared, it's scary not knowing how the future is going to go.

In the first part of this year, I lost a dear friend to an overdose, right as I was starting a program to be a somatic sex educator. I think about him often. Small things bring up memories, tears. I gained a new understanding of how grief moves in the body. Of shame. Of fear. It was the beginning of my transition into nursing school. Focusing on being a healer. Focusing on showing up for people. I keep growing. The past falls away. I wonder who I am anymore.

About 10 months ago I ended up in court for the first time to get a restraining order against my ex. It was one of the worst experiences of my life but also got me to take a long hard look at my life and how I had gotten to the dark place. I took that moment and changed my life. I reconnected with old friends and spent more time with my family. Lost 20 lbs. fell in love with myself again. So looking back I am grateful that I was able to take this bad experience and use that to transform into the woman I had always wanted to be.

In February this year my partner of four years was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lung cancer. This was just 6 months after we finally decided to move in together. I thought the lesson would be gratefulness that he is alive and to always be kind. I threw myself into his cancer experience. Never missed a chemo or radiation appointment. I lost myself a bit, and didn't do anything but make sure he stayed alive. In June this year, I turned 40, and i decided i needed to take care of me. Its like I finally decided through this horrific experience that my health and well being were just as important.

There are so many things I could list. Last year was a time of endings and beginnings. My marriage of 9 years ended. My job of nine years ended. My faith in God and in the LDS church ended. But in the same token, I started down the path of a new profession. I have a second chance at being single. And for the first time in my life I am thinking for myself, acting for myself, and living my life the way I feel it should be lived. And despite all of the changes, I feel completely grateful for where I am. My parents have shown over and over how wonderful they are. My children are the lights of my life. I live for their laughter, hugs, and "I love you"s. I love what I am studying in the PA program. I am hopeful for the future. I don't know what the future holds, and I know there will definitely be more difficult times ahead, but I've learned that I can do really hard things, and that despite those things I have continued to be a good father, a good friend, and a good person. That is something I'm very proud of.

This past year - two weeks ago to be precise - I was called to read from the Torah for the first time in my life. I had been preparing for the past two years and it was a pretty amazing experience. I think that the preparation - learning Hebrew, learning about prayer etc was just as important as the day itself. I felt shivers as I was chanting my Torah portion, feeling the words of the Torah being transformed into a prayer that stretched back hundreds of generations and forward for just as many. Though I was bat mitzvahed as a teenager, it was very non-tradititional. Having this experience as an adult was nothing short of profound. I feel more connected to my Jewish-ness and more able to fully engage in services and leading prayers at home. I am also relieved to have done it, and to have more free time now that I am not studying all the time. I am inspired to be more active in our congregation as well.

This past year I finally achieved my dream of studying abroad in New Zealand. It has changed me in more ways than I can say. It has made me a more adventurous person, and made me realize that I have to take more time to just stop and enjoy life rather than just working all the time. Being surrounded by such incredible beauty all the time also gave me such a deep sense of peace and made me realize how amazing the world truly is, even if it sometimes seemed like we're doomed. Going to New Zealand also allowed me to figure out more of who I truly am as a person since I was so far away from everyone that I knew. It allowed me to, I think, finally truly get over my grandmother's death, although that could just as easily be the simple passage of time. The people I met and the places I hiked and saw will stay with me forever, and although I might miss New Zealand everyday, I know I will go back one day, and once again feel the peace that comes from being surrounded by such beauty. I know I will never take that experience for granted, and it has inspired me to become the truest version of myself.

I found G-d.I thought I knew Him but discovered I knew nothing.Now one year later I continue to see the effects of an infinate G-d who has spun in and out of the chaos of my chosen life,how ungrateful I have been but He remains.I can say I am passionate about Him.Maybe more than I can put down in words,more than I can even stand.I am awed.Speechless at times.

After many years of trying to manage the private hell of depression and anxiety on my own, I finally reached out for help. I've only been to four sessions of therapy so far, and the jury's still out on whether or not this counselor is a good fit, but at least I'm through the bottleneck of allowing myself to trust enough to try again. The last time I was in therapy was over 25 years ago, and I stopped going when I felt wrong about the direction it had taken. I am hoping for the day when I can say I've found healing. I think therapy is only part of that process; I know I've got a lot of work to do—spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially, intellectually. Despair and intimidation seem always to be waiting for me around every corner, but I am determined to grow healthy in mind and body. This effort is my gift of love and faith and gratitude to my God, my family and friends, and of course, myself.

My daughter has had a child. That makes me a grandfather. I could never have guessed how elated such an event could make me feel. There is something primal about it, something resonant in the core of my being. I have joy in my heart in a new way that colors my feelings, outlook, and behavior towards others. All is good.

Our triplex went into foreclosure because the landlord had not paid the mortgage for over a year. There are 16 apartments in my town, none of them available. Stressed--unsure whether it's time to change towns and jobs. My neighbors are family to me, helping with anything I need--am I going to lose them?

This year was pretty uneventful. Every summer gets harder, guests get more difficult, staff gets harder to deal with. The summer of 2016 had record sales in both restaurants. But some of the staff issues were unbelievable. Fights broke out in the kitchen. A staff member was accused of raping another staff member. The amount of internal conflict was unbelievable. In 22 years I have never seen this amount of animosity. This really affected my self-esteem and confidence. I become very bitter and resentful by the end of summer. By the middle of August I was getting ready to throw in the towel. Luckily, I got a burst of motivation and started to take steps to get back on track. I started setting goals and working with a life coach. I became inspired. I am working on steps and goals to make sure next summer will NOT be repeat of this one. I have set a five year goal to be the Benchmark in my community.

My husband died in February. I am relieved that he is gone. He was an abuser, of alcohol, drugs and me.

A significant experience would be my move from the most Eastern point of Australia to the most Westerly point. Life in WA was always good (spent a lot of time here) and today it is just awesome!

Just at the end of 5776 I accepted a full time job, which marks a major shift in my income-earning ability as well as my use of my time. I'm all of the above: relieved, resentful, and inspired.

My friend Brian died. He'd been sick for a while, but he seemed like he was getting better, but apparently not. So he died, and we had to clean up after him. He hadn't planned anything or written anything down, and that was a real shock, because he seemed so careful about planning. We had his memorial service at my house. And I miss him every day.

I was hard to get ahold of for a week and a friend told me that if I hadn't connected with her when I finally did, she would have been "done" with me. For 1, I have PTSD and sometimes it's hard to get ahold of me. So that happens and if you're not okay with that happening sometimes, then we can't be friends. Secondly, SHE was also being hard to get ahold of. When I said I was available to connect, she was not. So it wasn't just me. That just goes to show what friendship really means to other people.

My boyfriend and I decided to quit our jobs and go on a 6 month roadtrip through the US and Europe. I am very grateful for both being able to find a partner that would be willing to go on this kind of trip with me (take time off from his career to spend time with me) and for being able bodied enough to give up some of the more comfortable parts of life and enjoy seeing the world. It's been a wonderful experience.

I had a baby this year, so my life completely changed. I didn't know I could love someone so much, so I am thrilled to have her in my life. She is amazing to watch as she grows and learns. I am so grateful to have her, and at the same time, I sometimes wish for the days when I only had to worry about my own needs. Now that I'm in grad school again, it is very hard to find time to study and I can't be the student I want to be. I will make it work, but it scares me that I won't be the A student I used to be. I don't resent my daughter, but maybe I resent the situation I'm in.

I joined a chamber choir after decades of singing in large symphonic choruses. The repertoire is a challenge and I have definitely grown as a singer by being part of this group. Our conductor is inspiring: he is a singer and a composer and I am learning a lot from him and from my fellow choristers.

We bought at house. It is beautiful and lovely and everything I have hoped to be able to provide for my children. I am both grateful and aware of the fragility of material things. I am trying to maintain my gratitude while not becoming overly attached to a particular outcome.

The significant experience for me was the return of a long lost love surprisingly in December. I was blown away initially infact I fell back into Love with her again like there was no tomorrow. I felt that I validated the fact that I trully loved her more than I was appreciated. The strange thing was after the initial honey, I went into deeper reflection about our past and realized I was truly crazy about her. There was no doubt I had given myself truly toher. I was grateful to see that I could love like this however I was not wise doing it and falling again for the same person. During the time I hurt the perosn I was developing a relationship with and I still do not feel a good person for doing that. I also neglected a couple of projects I was leading to their temporary detriment. At the end of it I was resentful about being treated badly again by the same person. However I am much stronger now and I was hurt and then depressed for months like the previous occasion. Also I am in a long crusade to make it up to the person I hurt. Love will all your heart but make sure there is reflection about your whole life

I moved to Portland from San Francisco. It was a tough time trying to pick a city to live in and pack up all of my stuff without much of a plan. I am grateful to have had this experience; it makes me more confident in many aspects of my life.

In the past year I've broken up with Asaf 2 times? 3 times? It's a bit embarrassing that this is the first thing that came to mind as a significant experience. I also had a few different jobs, moved apartments, and got into grad school (although I haven't started yet). This crazy relationship probably is my most significant experience. I guess after it all I can only say I'm grateful. We will see how it all plays out (we are currently broken up!), but I have learned so, so much about struggle, loneliness, love, valuing myself and following my heart.

Last year I fell in love. Initially I thought there was a good chance that this could work out, and that all of the work that I had done on being happy with myself and finally paid off. In the past half year since things ended, I have struggled in a way that I never have to try to deal with it. The situation was/is complicated, and I didn't get a chance to cut off from him and have space to myself. What I have gained from it is a great deal of insight as to what being in a relationship means, how romantic love has messed all of us up, and what it mean she to truly love someone as they are. I hope that this will help me in whatever relationship comes next, or that a year from now he and I will be together and I can share this all with him. I'm glad that I'm capable of loving someone so completely, and hope that he or someone else can see how much I truly have to give.

I tried hypnotherapy and it gave me a moment of absolute clarity about what I am going to do next with my life.

I completed Land's End to John O'Groats as part of Deloitte Ride Across Britain, cycling 972 miles in 9 days in September 2016. 12 months prior to this significantly positive experience I was not a cyclist - I couldn't use clip in pedals, I couldn't climb hills and could barely manage 30 miles. Yet I chose to sign up for the most mammoth of cycling events because I knew I needed a focus. In August 2015 my sister had suddenly died from bowel cancer - just a month after diagnosis. The family was in shock, I was 250 miles away, feeling very isolated and alone and angry. I knew those emotions all too well. Having suffered from depression I knew the spiral could so easily continue to a point that the "other" part of me would take over (I call it an "other" because it is characteristically unlike me). Exercise had saved me previously, so I looked to my bike with some feelings of loathing (we'd had a shaky start), contemplated my savings and threw myself in. I trained hard for almost 12 months. I let cycling consume me. I didn't always enjoy it but I found a peace, a positivity and a focus that my family started to look for in phone calls and visits home. And I realised I could do more good than simply raising money for the charities that helped my sister. That I might have within me the power to inspire. So I did that, I aspired to inspire. The power to show a nephew that lost a mum, a husband that lost a wife, parents that lost a daughter, siblings that lost one and numerous other family and friends that while life can get dark and desperate there is always a light, that you can achieve something positive out of the darkness. I wanted to show anyone that feels they can't that they really, really can. I wanted to show them that "you didn't come this far to only come this far". And I did, not only did I ride my bike the length of a country, I brought joy and pride and inspired my family and others. My Dad (and hero) followed me the whole way, watching, cheering, photographing, feeding and fixing. He inspired me to push through and I inspired him to try the same event next year. That was powerful. This event (and everything I experienced running up to it) taught me that you can achieve anything you set your mind to - it just takes patience, hard work, determination and letting others support you. Life can throw you a bad hand, but remember: "you didn't come this far to only come this far".

Paul, being in a loving relationship. Actually having a partner. And though I have my wobbly moments actually believing I'm enough and can be loved And through that, realising that most of the drama with Gary is in the past. Him being kind when Elliot met Paul was a huge positive step. Asking for help and having counselling, taking anti depressants. Actually dealing with my demons, understanding myself better and finally being in a place where I'm in control (mostly) of my anxiety. There have been a few moments when I have felt totally better, I'm still finding some of it a struggle, but I'm on much firmer ground that I can ever remember being

I ended a friendship - another friendship - this year, and a pattern has emerged. Once again, I've nurtured a relationship with someone who I realized was either untrustworthy, shallow, egotistical, or manipulative. And, I have turned a blind eye to it and rationalized their behavior until it blew up in my face. Although it hurt, I am grateful because I finally had to recognize my own complicity in the whole ugly dance. Now I can exercise greater awareness and retreat from a situation when I see these behaviors emerge. Sadly, it's only taken me like 30 times to get here!

We hosted Netta Ari and Alex (daughter, grandson and Son Out-Law for nearly a month A lot of organisation of a place for them and also setting some rules to protect me from "attack" Alon and I worked as a team so well I was safe. And medicated (Clonazepam) which kept everyhting in my head under control nicely had some nice times with Netta and also Ari To see N back on Kinneret and how all the kibbutz was pleased to see her and the baby was wonderful. She has a home here and she felt it Ari is a lovely boy - bright friendly curious Taught him the song Nellie the Elephant and he says "Savta" - well, "Ta-ta" It was nice the short time just Alon and I had with him as "solo grandparents". We held our tongues and even did not go on and on about stuff we disagreed with his upbringing when we were alone Partial tikkun to last year Relieved we did not (have to) discuss directly it with Netta and Alex though

In 2016 I bought my very first flat. It was a somewhat rushed decision after my previous landlady/roommate decided that her boyfriend was moving in so I had to move out, but I lucked out and found the perfect place. It's just the right size for me, with plenty of space for having a crowd of people over. I love having my own space. It was a bit scary at first, and sometimes overwhelming having so many things to deal with (eg. electricity bill, council tax, paying rent) but it feels like home now and I just love it. When I close my front door I am in a safe space where I feel so content. My favourite thing in the world is waking up on a Saturday morning in my own huge king size bed and going through to my living room to open my balcony doors and sitting on my sofa with a cup of coffee and a book. Bliss.

I started to take testosterone as my gender identity is transmasculine and this step has been a long time in coming. I am extremely grateful -- not only for the possibility of T, but also for my partner who has continued to support my journey before and after T. She has been a rock, especially when facing a healthcare system and experience that is often uninviting. It feels good to see some of the changes I have only envisioned in my mind's eye, such as facial hair. I'm taking this journey with a lot of intention and ease, so gel is getting me along on this journey rather than shots. I am still getting used to being "sirred" and to my mother commenting on my facial hair. I'm not quite sure always of how to respond.

I was able to visit Colombia in December and January. It was a great experience. I learned a lot about the family and the home country of my boyfriend. I am very grateful for this trip. I was taken very good care of and everyone was so nice!

Not so much a single experience, but I made the decision to stop caring as much about things i had absolutely no power over.

In December of last year, I was admitted into my number 1 choice for college. I spent months committed to attending and looking forward to my future but then I was thrown a curveball. I go accepted to one of my safety school with a half ride whereas my top choice gave me zero dollar of financial aid. This made me reconsider the plans I had made for the next 6 years of my life. I ended up accepting the offer from my top choice but the decision is one for which I am grateful. It made me realize that I cannot possibly plan everything so many years in advance and to not be worried when things do change.

I finished my Open University degree, which I started 10 years ag0 (and took a break in the middle to go to drama school). Finishing felt really odd - there was huge relief, especially when I got the result, but I also felt a bit lost and had to restrain myself from immediately putting myself on an MA to start this year and look at what I really wanted to do now I didn't have the time constraints (and excuse, if I'm honest) of the degree study. After around 5 months of virtual mental hibernation and complete blankness about what direction to take, as well as abortive sign up to an MA in Creative Writing and signing up for a Certificate in Astronomy, I think I'm ready to put myself on the market as an actor again.

We got the news that we're going to be grandparents. Normally, that would make us happy, but the situation is difficult and it's hard to get excited about a child we might never see.

My brother had to be placed in a nursing home- because of ALS and 24 hour care needs. Although I'm relieved, I am sad and feeling like I've failed him.

My spouse and I almost separated, but we discussed the issues and formed a plan to overcome. (I make it sound so simple and straight forward - it was not.) I am stressed from the effort and grateful that we have a path forward.

We completed our move to a retirement community in FL. We believe was a G_d directed life experience. Very grateful and inspired. Health has improved for both myself and wife. We are getting better healthcare and our conditions are being appropriately treated. Resentful: Am little resentful that my previous Doctor mis- diagnosed my condition and prescribed a med which made condition worse.

I began practicing a healthy lifestyle with Weight Watchers. So far I am down 46.4lbs. It has change me physically, spiritually and emotionally. I have some wonderful people in my life as a result. Our WW group is very close and I am an active participant. Grateful doesn't begin to explain how I feel. All of the side effects from the estrogen blocker are gone. I do my best to carry the message of how life after breast cancer can be pain free and thin.

My elderly aunt and uncle died. I have been resentful at times because it seems that my mom regressed and many of the decisions fell to me. But I also saw all the things she was handling. I don't want my kids to have to go through that so I am inspired to get my act together.

Por un lado, la separación de mi ex pareja, me alivió y veo un cambio positivo en mi hijo, mejor comportamiento, mas amoroso y realmente puedo disfrutarlo aún más ahora ( aunque lo vea menos tiempo ) También el haberme encontrado con una persona maravillosa como Pipi. Realmente es inexplicable decir con palabras lo agradecido al universo que estoy por ello. Es mi angel, mi compañera, la esperé mas de una vida para volver a verla. =)

I took a course at work, offered by the CEO, that challenged me with questions about life, meaning, and purpose. I realized I was empty and alone, living in isolation - one created by myself. After finishing the course, I decided to move closer to my family. I live >12 miles away from them now, and the past year has been renewing, a time to spend with them and feel connection. It also put me closer to girls I went to school with and I've been able to connect and spend time with them too. I am grateful, relieved, and at peace with the decision to move.

Well, In December I passed my Black Belt test! and the following June I passed my Instructor Certification! Yeah me! I am both grateful and relived. I have been working toward this for over 10 years.

I had a partial hysterectomy in July. It was a big decision and not one that was made lightly. I had been having problems for a long time, and this was the only solution that treated the root cause. It meant 2 weeks completely out of work and 2 weeks working from home. I was lucky to have a very supportive family and wonderful friends to help during this down time. But it was very hard for me to ask for help. I also had a hard time with allowing myself to completely relax and go with what my body told me. I'm usually running at top notch all the time, and this was the complete opposite. It was a true learning experience.

Well, there were many. I was deeply hurt and felt bullied in my work situation. This, had a profound affect on my and luckily I have moved away from that job. I have had a back and forth and confusion around my most intimate personal relationship. And I wonder why I let that go on as long as it did. Maybe the time I spent trying to make it work should be a sign that it's not going to work. I've learned to be grateful and car about the people in my life and to work hard and steady on the things I care about. I feel grateful, but not relieved. I feel resentful and I feel inspired.

Perhaps this answer is skewed by how recently Grandma and Andy died, but I think these have been the most significant events of the year. I've experienced a new level of pain, grief, sadness and bewilderment...at how people behave when grieving, at how people behave when faced with illness. I'm inspired by my mother, and how resilient she continues to be. She hasn't given up and she has every reason to. I'm resentful towards Steven, for writing nasty emails to me about mom, for not being kind to her, for not being generous. I learned how hard it is to press forward, to work through life-work, other social obligations, paperwork of dying-in the midst of just processing the lost. I think I've helped mom a great deal, but I know there's a lot more to be done. I miss Grandma and Andy every day, but I do sometimes wonder if they're better off, if they're at peace, not in pain, not worrying about mom and vice versa. It's uncanny the way Grandma died 4 weeks before Andy, as if she wanted to help mom with rent money... This experience has changed my relationship with mom. We're back to high school, in some ways: she's depressed, manic, only can function when working, and my instinct is to save her, to fix everything I can. But I'm also trying to not go into that role again, so that's new, and challenging, and probably a good thing?

I had a miscarriage in February. I am sad, hurt and angry but at the same time relieved since my husband and I split up. To have brought a child into the toxic environment that he and I had created would have been unfair to him or her.

New building!- relieved, Cam- too small and too many kids that go here now Noel-there was a shooting.....mass ones, Orlando, police shootings, school shooting in SC Sullivan moved in with Ms. Ruth- pretty stoked about life...just saying Kaden and Aaron moved from Hawaii and Summerville- relieved and less cramped We discovered a love for broccoli-inspired to be honest. Broccoli is really good and we appreciate that even Tat loves broccoli Nicole got lights in her room- she feels inspired and less homework getting done, but happy about it. They make me feel ......af Drake grew 7 inches! I like being taller than some people. It's fun especially being taller than Nicole Cameron grew 6 inches! I really don't care about those 6 inches though Drake went to Europe, Kaden went to Hawaii (but he lived there), Nicole went to Germany and Houston and Austria

This past year I started working for Tafe full time. This has, although I didn't always recognise it, always been a goal of mine. I was inspired and mentored by people like Tracy Allen who seemed to have so much experience and passion for what they did. I don't think I actively pursued it...but then....I did. I did my Cert IV TAE with this in mind. I have been really happy at Tafe. Teaching is something else I have a passion for. I think I realise this now. Sometimes it's hard to ackowledge that (publicly at least) as lots of people in this area are a bit jaded. Much like working with clients I guess, but I didn't find it hard to be enthused about client work or to share that enthusiasm. I think in Tafe, it's more obvious and explicit and there is almost a sense of, don't be naive about teaching - you're new to this and you'll see soon enough. But I didn't get jaded about client work so I think I will be OK here. It has brought with it new challenges and a great small team comprised of Olivia, Jenn and myself. We are all reasonably fresh to this and get along well. My brain has had to adapt to a new system and processes. Only now, maybe 9 months in, do I feel like I have an idea of what's going on. My creativity has also been stimulated. This is a love hate process. Hard but rewarding. I have found my rhythm a bit more and know my process more. It has also brought more job instability. I still don't know if there is work for next year. You can know this on an intellectual level but really you can'prepare for what this might mean if there is no more work until it actually happens. Regardless, I think I will be OK. I would love to keep working for Tafe and getting better at teaching. But I also recognise that my skill set that makes me useful needs to stay current, so continuing some kind of work or contact with clients is important. I haven't figured out how to make that happen yet.

On November 18th I had a bilateral mastectomy to cure breast cancer. I had excellent care from the medical professionals and my beloveds. The process of facing this health issue made me stronger. I'm so much stronger, physically and spiritually. I am so grateful for all of it.

The best experience of the past year I can describe in two doings. 1. I made in Novemver 2015 great event on my job. I didn't it almost alone. That situation helped me to understand that I'm professional and can proud of myself as a good specialist. 2. My private life. I met my love after 2,8 years of not seeing each other. Yes, it is still very complicated. But I'm so much happy of all the moments we spent together.

When out to dinner with my son in August he told me he had been thinking about how to commit suicide. The way we worked through that together and go to such a better place left me feeling very grateful for the life experiences that I had that gave me the courage, knowledge, connections, information and ability to provide him the support he needed.

I accomplished my goal of meditating every day for a year. It's something I've wanted to do for years and I finally did it. It's made a significant diffference in my ability to deal with all the challenges of the past year. I've noticed from time to time that I'm able to pause temporarily in my hectic day and notice what's happening at that moment, and it really does help to allow increased perspective.

I got engaged! It was a huge relief, as I wasn't sure he even knew he was supposed to propose this year. I felt like it opened us up to be 100% ourselves with each other - no holding back and wondering if we both wanted the same things in life. However, recently, I've been coming out of the wedding planning haze and starting to...doubt. I've become a more forward thinking person because of this. I know I'm going to change as the years go on, and I'm almost aware of HOW I'm going to change - the good and the bad. And I can see how he's going to change as well. For the first time, I'm nervous about whether we'll be able to grow together.

Opening the clinic has had the affect of making me grateful, relieved and inspired. Grateful to the L-rd for his provision. Relieved that the security and the professional environment is available to me daily. Inspired and amazed at the faithfulness, presence, and provision of the L-rd. Seeing how powerfully the L-rd accomplishes things in our lives when we do EXACTLY what he is calling us to.

A recent trip to the United States. I left Australia with a lot of love and guidance, I came back to Australia questioning myself, my relationships and overall what the hell I was doing. I never thought I would feel the way I did having to leave Seattle. I felt sick in the stomach the whole way home and I still don't understand why, but I'm determined to figure it out. I had the best time of my life there, being part of a wedding, meeting people that blew my mind on a daily basis. I felt free, I felt I had ran away from all my responsibilities and obligations, and I've never felt better. The way i feel has made me question who I am as a person. I feel guilt knowing that the way I feel will bring harm onto the people whom I love, and who love me back, but its a feeling I can't shake, and again, I'm determined to figure out why I feel this way

I changed the party affiliation on my voter registration. When I initially registered to vote, I felt that I took much care before choosing a party. I was taking political science 101 at the time and I was also doing an internship in the state legislature. I thought... I thought this party represented that values that were important to me. I didn't enjoy changing my registration to no party affiliation. I don't like that I'm losing faith in the system.

My niece was born. I am so grateful, as it has made me more aware of family and the importance of keeping in touch. She has grown so quickly.

There have been so many significant experiences in the past year. The most significant was definitely getting married. I am insanely grateful to be married to such a kind, funny, strong man. He is better than what I was hoping for. I didn't know men could be like him - so understanding and easy to talk to. What has surprised me is how relieved and relaxed I feel at a VERY DEEP level. I don't think I realized how tense I was about the possibility of never getting married. It's sad, but as a woman who grew up in conservative religion, it was THE focus. I feel like I can now breathe fully and deeply because I'm finally validated as a married woman. Which bothers me in a way, but I'm also just so grateful and happy that I don't care.

After 3 years of shoulder/arm pain from a torn rotator cuff I had surgery to repair it. It is almost a year later and my arm is much better. I am thankful for the excellent care from my surgeon, physical therapists and to all my family and friends who helped me recover. I was scared, but overcame my fear and dealt with the post surgical pain. I worked hard in rehab and learned a new patience with my body. I have learned to slow down and listen to my body more and also believe that things can change for the better.

I turned 50 this year and I did it "my way." No big parties or trips and no hand-wringing. Time with small groups of beloveds instead, and lots of reflection on how meaningful and meaningless it is at the same time. Now it just feels like a blip.

I was identified as having Lymphoma. I underwent treatment, and am told that I am currently in remission. When (not if) this returns, I will start the treatment from the beginning.

My weaving mentor, Jan Ward, passed away this year. In addition we lost my father in law and sister in law. All of these people have had an impact on me. It's been rough

We moved out of mom and will's place and into our own house. It has made life much easier, even with all the obstacles.

I had the courage to end a relationship with someone I deeply loved but whom I was not compatible. It's the first time I've made the choice myself. It was just as hard as being broken up with, but it was abolutely the right thing to do. It made me question what my life will be like and whether I will be alone for the rest of my life. This may be so, but I'm coming to terms with the sadness of not having a romantic partner, but the happiness of having a good life surrounded by people who love me.

The loss of my second son was of huge significance for me. It's been 10 years since the death of my youngest son, George, due to a drive by shooting. Nathan was found deceased in his vehicle after having been missing for a few days. I was devastated as was his older sister Gina. Gina, is my only surviving child. Almost a year later, I still attend grief counseling. I'm at a point where I feel I will stop going. It was going through the first year of 'firsts' that I needed help. I realize Nathan's one year anniversary, November 21, is coming and I still feel a rush of sorrow at his loss. It has ignited the pain felt with the death of George, and at times it seems like double trouble. George did leave me a beautiful grand daughter, Jessica. Nathan had no children. I know Nathan was terribly depressed with George's murder (drive by shooting) and it contributed to his use of alcohol and perhaps other substances. On one hand I feel that he is no longer burdened and has peace, on the other, I find myself missing them terribly. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of them. I feel them close to me, watching over me, and lift my spirits realizing that they are both sleeping at the feet of Jesus. I'm thankful that God placed them both in my life...

This year I had a miscarriage. It is not a world event but deeply impacted me whether I am want to acknowledge that or not. How did it affect me? Am I grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired? Yes, all of it.

I bought my first home! I'm so happy and proud of myself. It wasn't necessarily how I thought it would be- I thought I'd have a partner to be buying it with, but honestly, I'm really proud that I saved up the down payment, and bought it all on my own at 29. I'm also thankful for the career I have that has provided me with the ability to do it. I went on vacation, and I thought at lot about how I love my home, and how it makes me feel like I have roots and more settled.

I quit my job. It nearly killed me. I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. But on the same note staying would have killed me just as well. Really right now I want to just get the rest of my debt done with so I can just disappear in a ditch or something.

I lived with NO budget for about 9 months. I depended and relied in God for sustainability throughout the first year of my masters in Boston. He provided all the things I needed during these past 2 years. I'm so thankful for His loyalty and faithfulness in the midst of crazy hard circumstances and uncertainty that I had ever experienced. There's still a lot of uncertainty in the following months/years of my life (Raise your hand if your life has ever been certain), however I'm confident everything will work out since my plans are placed in God rather than my own strength.

I gained my British citizenship. It means i can now join the Royal Marines and fight for my country. I'm really happy about it, because it is the beginning of a new start for me.

My son had an awful break up with his girlfriend, and it broke his heart. Since then, they've been sort of together again, not sure of the precise relationship, and maybe they aren't either. This was the first time my son has had his heart broken in love, and it was so painful. My husband and I have talked about it between ourselves, and have worried over how we might support him. He's such a great guy, quiet, loving, gentle, supportive. We so hope he finds someone who'll appreciate him.

This year, I met and became engaged to the love of my life. I've never felt more grateful, more safe, more relieved and more hopeful.

I found out I will, once again, require surgery on both my hands and elbows in the coming weeks. I am relieved because I feel and hope the pain and difficulty I have will be gone for good. I am also nervous because what if my hands end up worse because of the surgery. Am hopeful, but apprehensive. Wish it were done yesterday.

Our vacation to Spain, particularly Barcelona. That was the best vacation I have ever had. ever ever ever, I hope it just gets better from here on. Everything about that vacation was great the company, the food, the culture, the architecture, the art, the people, the places. It made me feel grateful and greedy and inspired. Grateful: I never thought my life and I were capable of so much happiness and fun. I never thought I would get an opportunity to travel all over the world and share that experience with someone I love the most. When you have someone to share what you love the most, it changes everything. I am deeply grateful for having someone to share such a blessed life, and grateful for having this blessed life. Greedy: I want more from it. I want to travel even more, I want to see more, I want to experience more! When I didn't know how much fun it could be I didn't care much. Now I want more. Inspired: Inspired to achieve more to be able to travel more. Inspired to love more. Inspired to spend more time with my beloved. Inspired to cherish what we have and take care of it. Inspired to focus more. Inspired to love everything that I do. PS: We bought our first home. Its so perfect. We decorated it in such a way that it feels ours. It is ours.

I can't really think of a significant experience from this past year. I'm actually pretty lucky, I think, since in years past, there was just so much drama that impacted me - parents' illnesses and eventual deaths, family drama, major changes are work, etc. But for the past few years (since my mom's death), life has just gone on day by day. And that's been a really good thing for me. So I'm really grateful for the lack of a significant experience. I am relieved that I can be impacted instead b the everyday flow of life, instead of constantly reacting to emergencies, stress, or drama. I'm grateful for this space in my life to be able to reflect on what I can learn from small things and everyday pleasures and be able to life in accordance with my beliefs, desires, and choices, instead of being buffeted by the emotions and necessities of others' choices and lives.

Death -- my ex-boyfriend died of a drug overdose last November, and, in mid-August of this year, my best male friend committed suicide. Neither was exactly a shock, but the loss, especially of my friend, is considerable. I also ran into problems at work, almost immediately after starting the new job, around the end of September last year. I have managed to survive, however, and hope to be MUCH more discreet about how I do things. (The problem at work may have been started by my admitting to cutting corners with something to a fellow social worker. That was an incredibly dumb thing to do, as she had her own motives to get rid of me so she could get the job back). So I guess it affected me in a good way, to exercise more care.

Finally made the jump and gave notice at UCLA. My departure was stretched out over 6 months, but I'm happy to be here at UCLA for as long as possible. I will cry like grieving parent once we're back in NM (or maybe not). I'm mostly apprehensive for the future because there is a large, grey, unknown portal to what's next. I'm also curious and happy to know that I can direct my life on a different path if so desired.

My father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in the spring, and recently passed away. It has been an interesting experience thus far, as I feel like I did a lot of my mourning at the time that we found out about the cancer and that it was not curable. But when he had radiation treatment and improved for a while, I think that I stopped bracing myself. When he ultimately declined, quite quickly, a week ago, I went through the process all over again. I learned quite a bit about myself, and my relationship with my father. Of course I'm very sad about the loss of my dad, particularly my childhood dad. I was also relieved to see him released from pain, however, as the pain has been significant, and living a reduced life over the past several months has been hard on him. There were times in the past 20 years since he left my mom that I have carried a lot of resentment toward he and his new wife. I have found that the resentment toward my father is gone, but the resentment toward his wife is still deep, and I need to work on that through the next few months in order to be more supportive of her pain and loss.

I swam from Alcatraz to SF! I feel proud of myself for setting the goal and accomplishing it. I feel strong. But I also know it's not really that hard to do, and I'm keenly aware of how quickly I have lost that strength again after the race. It's not about one-time goals, it's about an ongoing habit of staying strong and getting lots of exercise.

We bought a house! This was one of my goals for the year and we did it. It didn't happen exactly when we thought it would, but it happened at the right time. We have lot of pricey projects with it, but I love the house. It is home. It feels like us. I am grateful we found what we were looking for and have the ability to make it what we want it to be. I don't think it will fully settle in until we don't have to move in the next year.

In the past year a ton of significant experiences have happened to me. I got engaged, I left my family and my job to move to a new city, my grandfather passed away, and I am working on developing myself as an independent adult. I have often been overwhelmed with gratitude and also just a sense of restlessness. It is quite the juxtaposition. There is so much to find joy in, yet there is still so much work to be done.

There have been a few significant experiences this year that have affected me deeply. I am renting a cottage (2nd residence) in the country because it is something I have dreamed of, and really have made it wonderfully cozy and the perfect escape. This was all for me. It makes me happy just being up there surrounded by nature and calm. Otherwise my (now former) significant other had another meltdown I find unrecoverable. This is very sad because I felt like he could be "the one" and because of his very selfish, mean actions it doesn't seem that I can get myself to take ANOTHER chance on him - despite his offering to get married of all things (NOT A SOLUTION!). I am walking away but wonder if that's the right thing to do or if that is what I seem to do best. I hope I am not leading myself to a lonely future but thankfully I do believe in myself and do not need a partner that cannot be present in a healthy way. I guess I am relieved but also worried it is over.

I divorced him. I really did it. The divorce will be final sometime this week or next. I moved into my own little apartment on Piedmont Ave. I am grateful. I am relieved. I am sad. I am inspired. I am scared. I made the right decision.

On March 21, 2016, my mother passed away. It was a very sad and difficult time. She was diagnosed with Cancer in February, so she went very quickly. For me, I felt mixed emotions. I was sad she would no longer be with us, but I was thankful she did not suffer long. I was very hard to watch my Dad lose his wife, best friend and lifelong companion. Dad and I are very close, so he shared his sorry with me. I was able to stay in "Mom's Cabin" while I was in Ca. This was good for me because I felt her presence while I was there. My big sister Jen also stayed with me, which allowed us some extra visiting and someone to cry with. My other big sister, Cindy and I were never very close and had many issued that needed to be resolved. We were able to do this and are much closer than ever before. My younger sister took it hardest of all and is still struggling with it. She is in my daily thoughts, as well as Dad, as they were most affected by her loss. I feel that though her death was sad for everyone, she wouldn't have wanted it any other way as it brought about much family healing.

Took a ten day road trip to Prince Edward island across Canada with my boyfriend. Living so close to the Canadian border, I had never been before and though the countries are similar it was eye opening and beautiful. Andy and I work together fairly well and it taught us that making up is sometimes more important than what we are fighting about. Also New Brunswick is beautiful and has wonderful bread.

I recovered from an eating disorder. This was a long process and sometimes included slight relapses. I am proud that I have been committed to recovery and am on my way to be able to help others with their own recovery processes.

My Dad, age 87, was close to death. He has had a terrible year - starting with a broken hip, multiple infections, a fractured tibia, incontinence, sepsis, needing to leave his home and stay at a board and care facility. I've been out to seem him three times, and the fourth time, I did not think I was going to get back to San Diego in time. He had been uroseptic and his course was complicated by C. diff colitis. He was discharged from the hospital on hospice. However, days before Hannah and I arrived, he turned the corner and finally started to respond to the antibiotics. His delirium significantly cleared and we ended up having a really nice visit. The highlight for me was when my Dad asked me about where I was working, vaguely remembering that I had started a new job. I responded it was good - that I had moved to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He asked "Do you have any standing there?" I replied, "Yes, I am a full professor with tenure." "Tenure?" he replied. "Yes, tenure." My Dad exclaimed, "That's wonderful!" and with a huge smile, started clapping for me.

This year I fell in love, in a way I never have before. I moved in with my partner and have built a shared life with him. This feels significant to me because I've always been fiercely independent and almost fundamentally oppositional to the intimacy we now share. Loving Daniel has caused me to confront what I know about myself, what I'm willing to change, and what I'm willing to accept about him. There are moments when I'm filled with utter doubt-- did we do the right thing, did we move too quickly, are we right for each other? But more often, there are moments of such wonder and joy and peace. It's a balance, truly. To open myself to another, to commit and be committed to, and to foster love in our lives is beautiful and challenging. I'm so grateful to have this complicated, infuriating, wonderful, loving person in my life.

Well I guess it can only really be one thing... In November, I hooked up with K, started officially going out with her in January, moved in with her in May, and went to Ibiza with her in September. Phew! That's significant, especially in the context of what I said last year filling out these questions!! How did it affect me? Well, I think I'm still trying to figure that out. I mean, I think I'm happy, and there's few better feelings in this world than feeling loved, but it's definitely a massive change for me. For years and years now, I told myself and believed that I didn't need anyone else, that being on my own was good for me, that love was just a social construct that I could see through, etc etc. Flipping all this completely has naturally lead to a ton of questions in my head. Why did I do it? I can't really say for sure. It feels like years of people, society, family, friends, and perhaps some kind of moral conscience, telling me to settle down, buy a home and start a family etc has finally kicked in. I know that I looked around at my friends, peers and colleagues and seen that things were changing. I also read a lot, around how connecting with other humans is really the only true purpose of life; that loving and being loved is the complete human experience; that raising a family is the real true joy among so many material, superficial and fleeting rewards available today... In essence, I started to think, 'maybe I'm wrong'. Maybe I need to push against what I'm feeling, maybe those things I've been telling myself have been like comfort blankets, lies I've been telling myself to make me feel better about a pretty harsh life. Maybe I need to do the exact opposite of what I've been saying to myself and others for years, and go find someone. So I did. That someone, is great. Like, really great. K has a heart of gold, of pure love and kindness, and I'm in awe of her genuineness every day. She's so in touch with her emotions, at times to a fault, but in a way that I could never hope to even get near. It feels like we are opposites in so many ways, but we think similarly on lots of topics too. Not only does she tell me she loves me on a regular basis, but I can FEEL that she does. There is no doubt, that's a fricking awesome feeling. To get this far with her has been an achievement for me. I've actually just flat-out ignored all the usual voices I hear in my head around relationships, falling in love, etc. I still get the same nervousness around wanting to push her away, wanting to be alone, not feeling like I can't see a future with her (or anyone). But, I choose to ignore them. I am refusing to listen to them. I am keeping calm and carrying on, as I want to see if they'll go away for good and I'll find some harmonious state of mind, the longed-for feeling of contentment, completeness. It's supposed to be found by going down this path, so off I shall walk. It's too early to see if it leads to where all the accounts have said it does.

I had the Mirena IUD placed last summer and it messed me up so badly physically, emotionally and spiritually. I only had it in for 4 months. I am so resentful about this. I feel like I have lost a year of my life. The anxiety was so bad, my hormones were so messed up and it seemed like no one could help me. I suffered from derealization and as much as he tired my husband couldn't fix me. I think I may have had a nervous breakdown. I read this book that helped me through it, hope and help for your nerves. It helped me feel like I was going to be okay. Therapy has also helped as well as the supplements my doctor recommended. I still don't quite feel like a 100% but I am working towards that. I am also depressed more and still have some anxiety but again I am working through that. I learned how to be gentle with myself but other than that nothing else positive came from the experience. I hope I will be fully healed one day.

My mother died this year. I am so sorrowful, and as it was recent I still find myself crying, out of the blue. Although this happens less often with time, it still surprises me when the moment happens and I am overcome with sadness. I feel regret, too, for not having been kinder to her, or not taking better care of her at the end. I also feel relief, because she was such a burden to me and my sister, and this creates guilt. I am trying to go easy on myself and not to carry guilt and anger with me on my journey forward. My mother would have been the first to give me absolution, and to tell me that I did well and that she is proud of me.

In April, I had severe autistic burnout and was unable to eat or work for 2 weeks, and was barely functional for 4 months. It pushed me to a breaking point with the issues I had been working on in therapy that were not getting any better. In particular, the social anxiety and isolation, but also my inability to wear clothes other than jeans and t-shirt, the nightmares, the meltdowns and pounding my head with my fist over noise, etc. After 2 years of going to D&D, I was sitting in the car, crying after every session, confused. Matthew had been pushed out and I had to struggle not to just walk out. I was considering suicide because I am unbearably lonely and yet, am so fearful of people that social contact is terrifying. I talked with Willow, and she asked if I had ever been diagnosed as on the autism spectrum. And of course I was when I was institutionalized at AKO, but I was not told until I was discharged, and when I looked it up, the suggestion that autistics cannot feel empathy made it very hard to accept (that just is not true). I did revisit it periodically and was even out to kept people on my dissertation committee about it, and eventually just sort of forgot about it. At first I was relieved because now that there is a lot more information available,. especially by autistics themselves, I was able to understand a lot of the problems I have had. It also helped me look at myself, my family and my childhood and later life through a different lens. Then I became severely depressed because I realized that much of what I have been trying to fix is unfixable. I am just starting to shift out of that depression and see that some parts can be fixed or at least compensated for by approaching them with the understanding of what it means to be autistic.

My daughter and her boyfriend invited me to meet them in Carmel for one of their friend's wedding. I was invited to the rehearsal dinner and able to explore on my own during the Saturday night service at the ranch in Mission Carmel. We all pitched in on an Air BNB in Monterey, me and their friends, seven of us total. On Sunday we drove down the coast of which I'm native and was able to tell the young people about the lack of health in water quality for that stretch of the coast based on prior experience.We connected on FB afterwards. I feel contentment.

My ex husband has been diagnosed with a couple cancers - ones you don't want to have. I am saddened that I cannot help him to deal with this, and spend whatever time left with him. I still love him.

I had my little daughter. She's amazing. She's just so happy about everything in the world. I barely got depressed this time around. Even right now, she's been sick for weeks and wakes up all the time and she's still the happiest baby ever. I'm so relieved that post partum was not so rough this time around. I was incredibly worried about it after my first kid.

I retired from full-time work. I'm relieved to be able to cut down on my daily commutes. I'm also profoundly grateful for the love shown by my coworkers.

I paced a friend for 16 miles of his 100 mile race. We ran overnight for my portion. It was the most brutal yet amazing experience I have had next to childbirth. I learned that nothing can stop my friend or me. Powering through the toughest terrain in the middle of the night on no sleep was the most inspiring thing I could do for my friend. Helping him through many dark hours. I can't wait to run my own 100 miles one day. Though for me it will need to wait until my children are a little older.

I discovered that my wife had been having an emotional affair with a lone interest from the past. She was acting very secretive and displaying signs of infidelity. I began spying on her electronically and taking screen images of their text conversations. One night they exchanged nude photos and engaged n phone sex. I made the decision to confront her that weekend, our last weekend in our apartment. I told her I knew, that I wanted a divorce. This was just the cherry on top of a shitty marriage. This was 10 days ago.

The decision to begin the adoption process has been a significant experience. That decision has confirmed that my partner and I cannot have children biologically, which has been a hard pill to swallow. There is some rationalization in the decision ("well, now we know") and anger ("it's not fair"). It has also allowed us to move forward to starting a family in this way - which is it's own stressful act. I am also aware that part of me is coming to terms with being a father and parenting with my partner. For me, going through the ebb and flow of trying and failing to conceive a child naturally also brought feelings of "do I want to be a father or not?" There is this part of me that things that if you can't naturally reproduce, then you shouldn't have children. There is another part of me that thinks that I am a parent now without the actual benefit of a child. The feeling of terror that comes with actually being a father is probably the most natural part of this process - no matter if we conceived or adopted. If I wasn't terrified, I wouldn't be a parent. I don't know how all of this is affecting me. I guess I am still processing and still excited to move forward.

Taking the bar. It was positive and negative. I prayed more daily than I have, also cried more than I have in years, I learned a lot, I got to live with my parents (I like them so much), but I missed Mark (which I think highlighted how much I love being with him). The actual experience was slightly less stressful than I thought it would be - I think due to prayer by myself and from others. I was still super stressful and I have major doubts if I passed. But I'm inspired to be open to how I can be helpful with this degree and hopefully passing the bar, CA and CO.

I traveled to Europe for the first time and it made me realize how lucky I am.

My roommate decided to move out, but gave some conflicting stories to me and mutual friends about why she was doing it. The process of finding a new roommate exacerbated the pain of her finding the living situation too difficult. I took it personally, and thought it was completely unfair for her to blame me for her personal choices. It all did work out for the best and I have a better living situation now, but I find myself second-guessing how I come across to others and what they really think about me. I have trouble making the experience into something to grow from.

My youngest daughter came home after sixteen months in residential treatment. Reconnecting as a family in one household and navigating the many small and large transitions on the road to her adulthood and independence has been both incredibly joyful and deeply humbling. We're not quite there yet. I am grateful to those wise and beautiful souls who are supporting and mentoring her and our family on this journey. I am thankful to her for taking the risk to open up and want more for herself and her life.

A dear friend died this last spring. She struggled with depression for years and died from it, killing herself. It brought me to look deeper at my own history with depression and suicidal ideation. It hurt that she succumbed to the pain and I miss her terribly. And I also honor her choice. Or not even a choice. I get how sometimes mental illness can be so terrible that the choice is gone. I've felt that way and one way or another have managed to stubbornly hold on and ride it out. It isn't shameful to not ride it out; to kill yourself. The thing that made her death extra hard was that we had just talked a few days before and I had been helping her get a job at the agency I work at. She was moving back home that week. Instead of being home right now she is dead. I love you, friend. Come say hi sometime.

I had always been blessed, privileged with being loved, and I was not afraid. I did not know any better. I picked a man, a writer, wonderful to my eyes that did not hold up in reality. It took about a year to recover from my first heartbreak, which was the long overdue end to my sort of innocence. But, that experience did open up doors to romantic and sexual exploration. My next lover was a complicated, nonbinary, disabled, polyamorous poet. Their writing transported me, like my first love did. It helped recover somewhat, to be able to feed and give my affection to someone who reciprocated the feeling. However, the time constraints of when we could see each other left me lonely and unsatisfied. It did not work out. I don't have proper closure on this particular relationship, because I haven't had the chance to discuss what happened with them. But their life is more stressful than most, and if they really wanted to know what was in my heart they would ask. I had to pull myself out of this one alone, but it was not so painful as the first. I am grateful for this experience, to find someone who inspired me to be a better writer, who opened a new world, new friends, and opportunities. I kept telling myself that I was the one who screwed us up, but I know ultimately that it wasn't a mistake. They are not the right one for me, but they still have my friendship and my care. It will take a little more time to get over the organ squeezing feeling I get when I see them with their girlfriends. It was a good learning experience how not to engage in polyamory. Three people seems to be a good limit.

I became the co-lead of the local chapter of my company's employee resource group. On one hand, it has been very challenging. Somewhere along the line, I stopped thinking of myself as a leader and it's been pretty difficult stepping back into that role. I've relied very heavily on my co-lead and now that she's leaving, I'm really scared. I go back and forth between feeling inadequate and feeling hopeful that I can do this.

This year I had three breakups, four if you count one with someone who had been a friend about whom I had been hesitant (turns out my gut instinct was 100% correct) with whom I got close, and who then went significantly off the rails. All but one of those breakups were desperately necessary and they were all hard, and hard on me, but I learned an awful lot from going through the experience. It has been like going to breakup bootcamp. One of the breakups happened this morning -- someone I have dated only two months but needed to stop seeing because we had very different needs and expectations about what that relationship would and should be, among other things. One of the reasons I broke up with the person just today was because I didn't want to bring the relationship with me into the new year. I knew it was not working and I needed to stop throwing good energy into something that wasn't working for me and that was making me feel like I was not getting what I wanted at the same time as it took a lot of my time/effort/energy. I am angry and relieved and resentful at the emotional string-yanking. But I know I made the right decision. This time and all but one of the others. I have regrets about that one.

This year has been full of changes and significant events. I quit my PhD program and got a regular job. My dad died. My uncle, who I was very close to, died. I had appendicitis. I got a new job and moved my family back across the country to be closer to our families. After living on the east coast for 7 years it feels like home, and I miss it even though I know moving back was the right thing to do. My feelings about this year are so mixed. I miss my dad. I feel regret that we didn't move back sooner, but I'm also homesick for our old home. I'm excited about my new job, which pays almost double what my old one paid and has a lot of room for growth. I'm working for the university that was both my and my dad's alma mater, and he would be so happy to see me here. This coming year is going to be great for the stability of my family, and I'm excited to see what comes up, but I'm still feeling the loss and sadness of moving.

In this past year, two good friends of mine passed away. Both were very sudden. One of them had a brain aneurysm and the other one committed suicide. I felt sad for my friend who died of the brain aneurysm but she had survived one many years ago which was amazing. She lived life to it's fullest and did everything she set out to do and still had more life up ahead for her. But I was devastated about the news of my other friend who went back to drinking after many years of sobriety and ended up shooting himself in his apartment. He was always so fun and seemed happy and was quirky and everyone loved him. I am still reeling from this, which took place about a month ago. I went to the funeral by his gravesite and I still find it hard to believe that he's gone. His family was lovely and all who knew him were shocked and hurt by this. Whenever loved ones pass away, it is a reminder of how precious our time really is and how important it is to let people know that you care and appreciate all the moments that you do get with them. I was inspired to tell my other friends that we all need to get together for a happy occasion instead of always meeting up for another friend's funeral or memorial. ---- As a side note, a follow-up to my last year's answer on how excited I am for my friend finding her true love and watching her life blossom... well they are engaged to be married at the end of this year! Yay!!

I lost three members of my family since last October. My brother in law Bill Ogden, my favorite Aunt and my oldest sister Suzanne Ogden. I am grateful that I was able to be there for them, especially my sister and her husband. Since they had no children, I was their source of assistance. My sister left her entire estate to me and I have felt both unworthy and grateful, sometimes at the same time. She and my brother in law have always been very important in my life, and I was able to give them some peace of mind while they were still alive. He died suddenly, after seeming to be recovering from heart valve surgery. I had spent time with him that weekend, and helped him pay bills. I believe he also knew that I would take care of Suzanne while he recovered. She had a stroke while he was in the hospital, and I had taken care of her medical care since he was not able to. I am very grateful that I was able to perform these acts of love for them before they passed away. They did so much for me and my kids over the years. I hope that they are pleased with what I have done with their estate so far.

Well, I guess the one I am really working on as a "new year" situation is the separation. The question really does hit a lot of my feelings on it. I am relieved, resentful, inspired, but I am also grieving. I am grieving the loss of a dream. I am relieved of the struggle. I am resentful of the lies. I am inspired to live more, move forward, and not be dragged down by the events. I have often thought that I was supposed to learn about love in this lifetime. That I was supposed to have challenges in it, but learn its value. The idea that it's been a lie... hurts very, very much. The idea that it's not worth fighting for? Maybe even more. I'm done with that lifetime. Maybe I'll find love again in this new life. Maybe we'll find love again with each other. If so, it's got to start differently. I am putting back my pieces in a new way, yes, and while I have a lot of experience from lives before, I need to move forward. I don't know how much has to break still - but if it does, I want it to be like ice in water, and this is springtime.

Woah. I moved from Reno to NEPA and then to Pittsburgh. Got with David. Got pregnant. Now I am about to have my second child. It has been showing me soooo many different sides of myself, allowing me to dive really deeply into my Self and so some healing. I am grateful, but I am scared. Everything is also really hard. Poverty is hard, and making money is disgusting. Parenting is both enormously rewarding and incredibly challenging. Growing life while trying to survive is fucking insanity as well as goddessy and regenerative and deep, so deep. I am all of the feelings in the universe. I am everything and it's chaotic and important and beautiful and difficult.

My son was hospitalized twice for mental illness. This was by far the biggest thing that happened to me (and to him) last year. It has opened my eyes to the world of mental illness, and to the fact that so many people around me suffer with this in their families. It is such a difficult thing. And something we all keep so quiet. I am grateful to have had these insights into mental illness. Also, to see that my son has grown as a result of his illness, and that i have grown too. I realize now that perhaps his gender issues contributed to his suicidal thoughts. That makes me want him to be as free as he can be. I will help that.

A few weeks after I moved into a new home, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. From the day I heard until the day I returned to work, I was loved, supported, cared for, prayed for, surrounded with encouragement. As a result of wonderful surgical and medical care as well as healing prayer, it seems that I am entirely well now. (Of course we will monitor.) Yes, I am grateful. Yes, I am relieved. The love and prayers kept my feet from touching the ground and I felt truly carried through the whole experience. I would never wish anyone to have to go through a cancer diagnosis, but I would wish everyone feel so loved. It was beyond my ability to describe, much less to express thanks for, such grace.

I decided to do the full IB Programme diploma (and I became a junior). I'm proud of myself for pursuing it but I'm also extremely stressed out. It has started off quick and heavy with tons of homework. By becoming a junior the stress of approaching college decisions and testing is also present. But overall I'm excited and ready about the year to come and a little bit worried about the challenges.

The first thing that came to mind was the shooting in Orlando. It was another mass shooting, this time directed at gays, and mostly Latinos, and again, no one did anything to control gun laws. It has really shown me that our Congress is unwilling to go against the NRA's wishes. It made me angry at first, but now I am just jaded and disappointed in humanity.

I finally got a job at MD Anderson making the same amount of money as I did when we left Vermont in 2010. 6 years to get back to where I was. I am a little resentful. I've made sacrifices for my husband's career but he hasn't done the same for me. I had hoped finally feeling like I could realistically survive without him now would make me feel better about living in Houston. It doesn't.

I got sober and I've stayed sober. So grateful. March 28, 2016. Best thing I've ever done for myself. :)

A lot of things happened this year but most recently my parents separated once more and I would like to think that it is for the last time. It was something that was building up for and it left me tired to say the least. My father refuses to acknowledge what he's done is wrong. He is literally in denial for this. I am back at my grandma's house but it has been a relief that its all done. I was in therapy when it happened so im glad I had learned some strategies to deal with them.

My daughter got married! It was happy, sad, complicated, simple, beautiful. I felt more like a spectator than a participant, which I suppose is how I should feel. Kate didn't attend, and that had all sorts of fallout in many ways. It was a blessing to see her start a life with someone she loves. She will be happy with him, they will be happy together. I've heard (multiple times) from Kate how I failed to assert my needs enough with Laurel about her attendance. I don't agree at all-it wouldn't have changed the outcome. I am very grateful that she's happy. I do see this changing our relationship and not in a good way, since Kate doesn't like Joshua. Also, my sister died. Sad, pathetic, weird. Bob escaped to the wilds this past weekend. Life goes on..

I was greatly affected by the medical summer camp I attended. I was inspired and grateful for the experience. I learned a lot but it was also very fun to meet new people. It also made me very excited to study nursing in college. Definitely one of the best summer experiences I have had.

I got hit with the worst depression of my life this year. I had experienced depression before, & was more familiar with anxiety than depression in fact, but this time it hit me--hard. Since about February I have dealt with the worst feelings I have ever endured. I felt trapped & around April I started feeling suicidal. My therapist recommended medication, finally, because nothing was helping combat the feelings & I was getting pretty tired of wanting to kill myself. I did end up getting a prescription, & along with the therapy, I think it's helping. I feel stronger knowing I'm able to get through this now.

My wife and I bought a co-op. So much paperwork. We're still not officially moved in as we haven't had our move-in inspection yet. I'm grateful that we have been able to build up enough of a nest egg that we can buy our own home, making room in my parents' house for my brothers and for my parents.

Beginning with our trip to the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in New Mexico in November and ending with our trip to Glacier National Park in September, I have reveled in places of deep quiet and peace. These places allowed my soul to rest. Returning home to an urban environment, there is so much noise. I feel a sense of loss, deprived of the wonderful gift of silence I have experienced.

I got engaged. It made me realize that all these things that you see in movies or read about, actually happen. I'm so in love with my fiancé and I feel even more in love. I am inspired, excited, a little stressed, but very, very happy.

I was put through a redundancy for the second time in three years. It made me feel demotivated and resentful of my workplace, but inspired to get out of that job and do something else with my life.

I finally acknowledged and resolved a toxic situation that had overshadowed my life for years. I realised I'd been bullied and then I heard the quote 'this far and no more'. The next day I put the wheels in motion for change. It was tough and it got worse before it got better, but I always knew it would get better! Now I would never have believed I could be so happy doing other things, things that enrich me, surrounded by people who nurture me.

I resigned from my job where I was unhappy. I needed time to emotionally recharge. I loved everyday of not working but it took an emotional and financial toll on my marriage. During this time, I also invested everything we had into starting my own therapy practice. It's my goal to help those who struggle with "otherness", such as dual diagnosis and psychiatric issues. I am optimistic.

Started job-hunting. I was feeling hopeless and stressed, wanting to leave journalism behind but sure I lacked the experience for anything else. I applied for nine jobs, got three interviews and only went to one, because I landed the very first job I applied for and the one I wanted most. I went from hopeless and stressed to excited, pinch-me thrilled, relieved and grateful. I didn't think I'd been shortlisted. Then I thought I blew the interview. I still can't quite believe they gave me the job!

ESP intensive It affected me by helping me with my growth and development. I transformed things and saw new perceptions about things that I had not to date. I overcame a lot of my OCD tendencies, my control patterns, my objectifying of people and saw that my essence is being a humanitarian and loving. I'm very grateful for participating. I'm relieved to overcome some of my perceptions and limitations that have been holding me back I'm inspired to do more and to continue growing

My brother passed almost two months ago. It was almost three years since diagnosis and reading my responses from last year where I wrote about how remarkably well he was doing only proves how quickly things can change. I am still very raw from it; his wife and I were the ones who were with him, who were taking care of him in the last days. It is a hard thing to push from your mind, what you see and do in those final days and moments but slowly I am replacing those images with ones from when we were younger, and he was healthy. Am I grateful is an interesting question because yes, I am grateful that he is not suffering and in pain any longer. Yes, I am grateful that I was able to be there at the end to help him physically and emotionally. I am privileged to bear witness, it is a profound thing to watch someone crossover, but I am not relieved. I am resentful. And I am inspired. He was a young man, he should have had years of life and joy and sorrow ahead of him. He should have been able to be there to his 3 year old daughter grow and laugh and learn from her mistakes, instead she will have to deal with this loss. We'll all grow from this experience. We will develop a new level of strength, but in the end, like so many things, it is still unfair.

I went to Biz's place in the lakes and had a very significant experience! I was very grateful and extremely inspired! The bike ride down the Hill at the end of it all made it even better!!

Several things actually: firstly, I was majorly promoted at my job, which has been a fantastic opportunity and learning experience. I am inspired and grateful and motivated to keep working hard and doing good stuff. Secondly, I am pregnant! Which I am so thrilled about and excited and grateful. Thirdly, my husband has found a career and a job that he is excited about going to everyday, that he is committed to and that challenges him. He's worked so hard and was so driven, its just wonderful for him and to see him really be able to make his dreams come true.

Selling of our cottages was significant. It gave us an opportunity to reflect on our work, let go of more things, and attract new and younger people into the community. Now, we walk around our neighborhood again not thinking about what improvements need to be made but just to enjoy the surroundings again.

My eldest child graduated high school and moved off to college. Relieved that he got into a school that we feel will be a very good fit for him. Proud of him. Worried that he won't study enough.

I retired after a 38 year teaching career, and then was recruited to run for the School Board to try to effect changes that prevent teachers from teaching, a change in teacher autonomy that led to my retirement. I am sad but relieved about the former, and inspired but not optimistic about the latter.

Dorris the elderly woman with dementia falling and breaking her hip. I think it traumatized me for life. But I am grateful that it shows me that I am not the kind of person who would ever leave. I'm sad with how many people just walked away

Fired. I am scaref, bitter, resentful. I want to see a new opportunity but just can't yet.

My husband and I have fought a lot in the last year - two, really, since our daughter was born - and I'm realizing that I need to be more thoughtful in how I interact with him if I really, truly want to preserve our relationship. I mean thoughtful in I need to think more. I need to be kinder. I need to seek to build connection with him, the same way I seek to build connection with our daughter. Not so I can parent him but so we can be connected because that's what we did this for in the first place. I've been resentful about our fights and his apparent lack of interest/ability to build connection with me; right now I'm meditative I guess.

A significant development in my life was that my daughter decided to have another baby. The implications are too hard to contemplate: they weren't financially stable when they decided to have Baby #1 and it increased the drain on my husband and me. Now she will not be working at all, her husband is under employed, and they need a new vehicle to hold four people (currently a truck = 3 people). They cannot afford a vehicle nor insurance, yet it is a necessity. We are on the hook again - monthly rent, a vehicle on the horizon, and all the in-between requests for money. I am resentful that at a time when I want to retire, I need to keep working to help support them. Also resentful that my husband, a retired teacher, is now substitute teaching to keep up the income stream. I am resentful that she had no clue what her choices are costing us. We feel trapped that we cannot abandon the babies, and therefore have to step up to the financial plate.

The biggest experience was that Mom died. Wayne died. Both in December. Within a week from each other. Mom went to the hospital on Thanksgiving day. They had to shock her heart when she got to Athens and they medflighted her to Huntsville. I went home on Saturday after Thanksgiving and extended my stay twice. She came to once or twice. One day, I felt she was fairly coherent. Then she went downhill. I packed for a funeral. I went to two funerals. Earlier this year, July, Georgia Lou died. They buried her on Granny's birthday. I haven't really mourned about Mom's death, only a few tears here and there. When I got my new phone, an old voice mail from her was there. That was weird. As for emotions, I am all of the above.

The most significant thing that's happened this year is that Lauren and I bought a house. Not just any house. A beautiful house in the hills of Laurel Canyon, with sweeping views from a spacious deck full of flowering hibiscus, peppers and tomatoes. Right now I'm sitting on a lawn chair in the garage while the electricians rewire the house and guys from Diaz floors prepare to refinish all the flooring. I'm drying clothes in our own laundry machine in our house. I'm so full of joy, so grateful to Lauren for the hard work that enabled us to afford this, so grateful to the myriad disparate forces and coincidences that brought us to this house, so grateful to Mia Carpenter for selling it to us. There's a lot of work to do, but when we're done, the place will be beautiful. I feel that my heart is enlarged by having this home.

I have experienced a significant amount of trauma due to the fact that my spouse is an alcoholic, however the most traumatic thing I'v experinced is a miscarriage. This was a shared trauma with my spouse. We are both still dealing with it in our own way, and it's still very difficult for us.

The most significant experience of my last year was the jump to Albany, and it was recent enough that I still feel a lot of things about it. I'm incredibly grateful and proud that I was offered this job and that I was brave enough to jump on it, even though it meant moving to a less-than-ideal place for me and doing a lot of transitioning and revising of relationships and boundaries and life-shape. I'm still frustrated that it took so long, and that I don't get to have every last thing I wanted, even though I worked hard and asked nicely (:-D), but I'm glad and proud and relieved that it came at last, and in a form that's mostly good, and will probably yield surprise benefits down the road. It feels incredible to be doing work that I'm well-suited for and that I find meaningful and useful.

The most significant thing that happened with in the last year, without question, was my autistic son starting to speak on a regular, consistent basis. He was never completely nonverbal, but he was very very limited with his speech (a one syllable word here and there with lots of prompting). Things were going pretty badly for us during the summer of 2015 and a specialist recommended more speech therapy on top of what he was getting at school. I was pretty skeptical because he was six and everyone kept saying how important it was to do things early and we'd always had mediocre results with speech therapy both outside and inside of school. And I knew our insurance would not help out much. We started that summer and saw only a little improvement at first. Then in December of 2015, I was buckling both my children into their carseats and talking about dinner when I heard a little quiet voice say "pizza." It wasn't my little chatterbox preschooler, it was my oldest son. It was the first time he had spontaneously said a two syllable word to contribute to a conversation. And then he said it again when I asked him to repeat himself. It is one of my most profound moments I have experienced as a parent. After that words started pouring out of him, new words everyday. And within the last six months he's started truly spelling, reading, and writing (big, shaky letters). He still doesn't speak at the "level" of his age, but he speaks exponentially more than he did and his future has more options than ever before.

I was in the hospital for CHF. I am thankful for the doctors, nurses and other staff that help restore one to health. I am relieved I will live longer. I also recognize that I am depressed. I am tired of fighting to live, not healthwise but money, political, etc. I feel sorry that the USA is so divided, so intolerant.

This spring I produced and wrote my first short film, something I'm very proud of. I've always wanted to be a part of the film-making community, but as an actor I also felt like I was on the outside looking in with not much substance to add to the conversation. After finishing the project, that was when a lot of the big emotions came crashing in, after the work was done and I looked back on the process. Relief, that the project was finished, disturbed by how insignificant the project seemed to others who worked on it, hopeful that I would do better on the next one, scared that no one would like what we had made. In the end, all of those feelings seem valid and even useful in helping me to imagine how I could do better on the next one, but ultimately didn't change the outcome or success of the project. Even now, months later, the project has potential to be successful, and create many relationships for me within the world of independent film-makers, regardless of my feelings.

Last year, meaning 2015, I was unable to ride my pony because he developed a tumor and it was unclear whether it would affect his brain or not because it was so close to his skull. He started on an experimental treatment to control the tumor and although everything turned out fine, it was a very stressful time. I wish that I had been more proactive when the tumor was discovered because although he is not aversely affected, it could have gotten removed when it was smaller but now he has to take medication for the rest of his life to manage it, although he is now a happy pony that works full time and enjoys his visits to the vet because he always gets treats and praise due to his adorableness and kind pony nature.

What could be more significant this year than the birth of Abigail? It has affected me almost every possible way but I am still me. I am still tired and struggling in the morning. I am still critical of myself and am still anxious. I am trying to keep certain priorities of myself - eating and working out and ACRP volunteering. But Abby has all of me. I am grateful for her and am amazed to watch her grow and change every day. But it also pulls into focus each and every thing my own mother did. I am so grateful for the time I had with my mom before her death, and I long to tell her how thankful I am for everything she did, but now in a way I could not have known before Abby's birth. I am inspired to be more present and more everything for her.

I had my second son. I struggled with the decision to have another child. I have never been so grateful and awestruck as to happy i am that i did. I didnt even realize how much i wanted him until i had him. It has brought out the best in all of us me my husband and my first son. We are a beautiful team. So blessed.

I have had multiple deaths in my family and with people close to me this past year. It has definitely made me more aware of my own mortality and the importance of taking care of myself. I am also making sure that I tell my loved ones often how much I love and appreciate them! I'm inspired to chase my dreams as well! I can't live this life without honoring those who can no longer chase their dreams, so I need to shed my fears and go for it!

After a three year struggle I got a new job and feel that I am part of society again. It was a period of reflection, working on my self and persistency. Tough, painful albeit a good learning experience.

In the last year, nothing of any significance has happened. I guess I am grateful for that.

I got serious about singing this year. I understand my voice now. I have an idea, an inkling, about how to use it as an instrument. I have an insight into what makes it special. I'm very glad and grateful to have discovered this. It makes me feel proud and hopeful and connected with a mystery inside of me.

I went back and forth a lot deciding what to talk about. There is no one event that jumps out from this past year. I ended up choosing the Exit Space modern dance performance.... Partly because I think it is something that should be really big and significant, but I haven't really processed or thought about much. For as introspective and analyzing as I normally am, this for some reason is something I haven't given a ton of time to. Dance is something I've always wished I'd done, but felt like it was inaccessible for me - or like I had already missed my opportunity. So finally finding an outlet to learn and perform dance was fulfilling a goal I've secretly held for a long time. In that way, I am so so so grateful that I finally found a space I could do that. I adored the experience from beginning to end - I loved performing, I re-affirmed my admiration for dance, and I felt surprisingly comfortable in the whole process. That's what surprised me the most - even though it was this huge big step - doing something I've always wanted to do, and putting myself in a completely foreign situation - I didn't really feel uncomfortable at all. It didn't feel like a huge difficult push for myself. I kinda wish I had a more intense emotional reaction to it - I wish I could say that I had a bold feeling of overcoming something or accomplishing something very difficult. But I also believe in cycling with the earth - in the ease that follows you when you are on the right path. Maybe that easiness I'm feeling is because I am a stronger person than I realize - maybe I have gotten to a point that I can move into new situations without fear or self-doubt. Maybe trying new things and moving fluidly from interest to interest is a natural state for me. I can't quite say yet. I can say, I think it's something a lot of people wouldn't have felt safe doing. And for that I am proud. I guess I still haven't found anything that will be my all-consuming passion. And maybe I was expecting modern dance to become that..... But also..... maybe that's just not who I am.... Maybe my passion is experimenting, maybe my interests will always shift and change. Instead of trying to find a focused and intense fire, I should embrace this comfort and easiness I have, let it take me to all new and varied experiences. As long as I am continually moving and expanding, I don't need to force myself on any specific path or goal.... Take a breath, cycle with the earth, and see where it takes me.

Going on cruise in January really prepared for it and going away Moving Caroline back from DC Working to be very open to her Having my 60th bday party this year Really enjoyed that Having a much different experience with my mother this year and really being more compassionate about her

My boyfriend and I bought a house. I think the impact is still being felt, sort of rippling out over the last few months. When we first got the house, it felt meant to be, everything came together so perfectly. Now, a few months in, I'm feeling anxious and unsteady about my relationship. Suddenly, the realization of a huge mistake feels inevitable... like, the humiliation is looming. A few months ago I would've told you that God is a part of this, and that whatever happens I'm going to be taken care of. Now it feels like I made this decision on my own and I'll bear the consequences alone. And looking at those moments of grace like remembering a drunk night: 'What was I thinking?' I was reminded last night that if I'm not willing to have faith, I can start by asking for the willingness to be willing. It feels like a manageable next step. I just thought... hoped I guess, that I'd learned enough to avoid stepping in these piles of shit and self-doubt.

I moved to St. Boniface Hospital Research as Heart Health Scholar. It has been very slow and frustrating.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 LBCD non Hodgkin lymphoma. I had felt the large lump in my thigh and since it was hard and intractable I was fairly certain it was malignant, so when my surgeon confirmed it, I wasn't shocked. I am doing well so far. On my second round of R CHOP, due to have four more. I am optimistic and I still have my hair 😉

A significant experience was graduating from college. I was proud yet humbled. I was grateful yet I knew I deserved it. After all that hard work, it was finally recognized. Seeing the proud look on my family's face and receiving the messages from those who couldn't be there was incredible. I was fully present in that moment and I will never forget it.

My wife had a miscarriage earlier this, which was shit, but it brought me closer to her, and made me realise just how lucky I am to already have 2 amazing children. Having a third would just be the cherry on the cake. Luckily, we found out 4 weeks ago that she's pregnant again. Fingers crossed it goes well this time, but if it doesn't, then it wasn't meant to be. It makes you realise that life can be a right c**t sometimes, but there's always someone who has it much worse, and I've decided that I should always be grateful for what I do have, and not be too bothered if I don't get the things that I want.

I cut my ex out of my life. I am relieved and much better off for it. It makes me sad sometimes, and I miss his friendship, but overall it was one of the best decisions I made throughout the past year.

I don't know if it is one experience, but I've had a few episodes of blacking out from drinking. During these times, I've put myself in extremely vulnerable situations. One time I even drove. I got into a really big fight with a friend that still has residual effects - even if I'm the only one who feels them. It brought up a lot of questions for me? What am I trying to escape from? Why do I go too far? It caused shame. It caused anxiety - not remembering what I had said or done. It caused guilt... If anything happened to me, it would CRUSH my parents - with all they have going on right now. It also inspired me to get my act together and take really great care of myself. I'm working on it. Work in progress. But I think the biggest revelation is that alcohol does not serve the same purpose for me as it used to. I don't know how, or if, I want it to fit in my life. I'm in the thick of figuring it out - I'm in a growth spurt, so to speak, where some of my values are changing and/or coming into focus. And while these episodes make me cringe, I'm also very thankful for the courage and willingness to examine the situation, and the openness to change.

In the past year, my grandmother passed away. It was a very difficult time in the family, as the in fighting has ripped the family apart. Even before the passing there was tremendous acrimony and vitriol between the family. It degraded further upon her death when inheritance and the like came to the fore. It has created much bitterness, and distrust in me. I am working hard to get peace and harmony back in my mind space.

I visited Cuba. The trip inspired me to be resourceful with what I have- and not to need more just because it is available. When is lots enough. When is lots too much.

I cant remember anything it all just happened in a blur all I can remember is that car I cant sleep at night all I think about is that car where did it come from what is it.

Reached one goal -- to survive or endure the people who employed me and have enough to live on for the rest of my life. After realizing money as an end in and of itself is a vicious and hollow goal, I met an old flame who reminded me that's never enough. She is miserable, lost and broken. And I am very capable of following her if I do not take steps to counter that empty, disastrous path of self-centeredness. Also, realized I am as sensitive as people have always told me, which isn't bad--and that a sense of humor can be very useful.

I got my job working in 911 dispatch. It's hard, and complicated, and it's weird dealing with people during the worst moments of their lives. At the same time, sometimes they're grateful, and it was a cool feeling saving that druggie in Parker. CPR is amazingly complicated and no one ever pumps the chest fast enough. Anyhow, I suppose I'm not exactly grateful for the job, but I like getting to help people in a setting where most of my coworkers are friendly. The schedule and paycheck enable me to keep working to finish the doctorate, too, and that's worth the time and effort.

I got married! Getting married is amazing and our relationship feels more solid and full of love than ever. It's not a monumental shift in how we relate to each other, but it does feel very permanent and safe. Life we've found a home in each other (even after 6 years in a relationship and living together for nearly 4). Planning a wedding...that was very stressful. I'm filled with gratitude for the friends and family that supported me while I was going crazy with wedding planning and then actually showed up to help put my plans into action. Having my friends surround me and support me while I took this big step in life was truly amazing. It was the best week (and day) of my life. Holy crap. It was so beautiful, emotional and fun.

First International Trip! London! by myself. it was good, not great. wish it was longer. enjoyed the dr who museum and harry potter museums best. I broke up with one partner of many years, it was sad but i wasn't feeling it anymore. still hoping we can be friends again, maybe slowly. I maintained 2 partners One partner got to meet my grandparents, parents, some friends and is still around! I also got to show him around my city. Ended my tea of the month expierment, sad but didn't have enough sales to justify the effort. Attended MAGFEST it was fun, wish i had more time to play and had the mental capacity to pre req for some RPG My tea is at Social House, Idego Coffee and Artful Lawyer Gallary, woo! I even partnered with Blacksburg Bagels for breafast a few times. There was Hackers on a Farm 1 (HOF1) and we are plotting HOF 2 - it was a good time. and kicked off me getting a third partner. I visited both bobbie and eva who I had not seen in too long, <3 My primary came with me for shore gaming, met friends, played games, was good weekend. I had the Start, and end, of my chai concentrate business. sigh FDA. WTE, always fun, but so pricey. DEFCON/BSIDESLV was stressful this year, didn't like, i hope it's not that way next year or I will give up on it. Shmoocon was a good time. BSidesDC i did a driveby, sad i couldn't stay longer.

I went to a yoga Gaia retreat to learn an approach to yoga that is earth based and far more sustaining to a person than the ways I was taught to resource myself as a person I am very thankful for the experience and sense a growing sunshine of awareness growing from within as I accept everything that I am

My two closest friends at work left for positions in other districts, but I remained with the district. It leaves me feeling sad and alone many days at work, but I realized it was the push I needed to leave after the end of this school year. Ultimately, I'm glad they left. I'm holy for my friends, but more so happy that I feel motivated to finally take the step I need to take and go after what I really want both personally and professionally.

One of the most significant experiences I had this year was my time at 59th street elementary school. I learned a lot about myself, what I can work through and when I have to give myself a break. I learned I am not a quitter and that I can persevere in the face of obstacles. I am proud I made it through the whole year and that I didn't let it keep me from continuing to pursue full time work.

I successfully defended my PhD, and got a postdoc job in Seattle! I'm thrilled, and relieved, and feel something between accomplished and stupefied. As in, "whoa, that thing I'd been working toward for how many years finally actually happened?!" There are a lot of feelings mixed up in this, but the net result is very, very positive.

A Friend died and it caused me to look at my life and change the parts of it that were making me sick and unhappy. I am grateful for the good that has come from the changes, but I am also sad that it took the loss of this person to help me change.

In 2016 I graduated from college, I traveled Europe, I moved back home to Fort Lauderdale, I started working full-time (granted it's 2 part-time jobs but 40 hours a week none-the-less). It's been a big year, it would be ridiculous to say that I'm not grateful. The ability to graduate college in 4 years and without debt is an accomplishment and a privilege in it's own right but to have the added bonus of being able to travel and take my time settling down shows how truly charmed my life is in some important ways. That said, the life of a spoiled, post grad, 20-something isn't all its cracked up to be. It's just not as pretty or easy as it seems on paper.

My daughter became a Bat Mitzvah in January. It was the most incredible experience, watching her handle herself in such a mature and poised manner. She took to the challenge and nailed it. And it was wonderful to be surrounded by so many friends and family, it made the experience so special. My heart was so filled with joy.

Cory's nephew Cameron went through a horrible experience where he was involved in a shooting. He was defending himself and had to use a gun on one of his classmates to get them to stop beating him up. This is not how everyone else saw the situation. He was hurt pretty badly and is recovering but he was in jail and had been for weeks. This has effected the entire family as well as our relationship. I'm not sure how I feel about this situation right now. I am mad that the cannot give him the respect to look at the situation from his side. I would really like to know how much this effects Cory and how much it effects our relationship.

I became an official doctoral candidate (again) at Uni Dortmund, so that's cool.

Life is continuing to be really good. Doing more of what I like to do & less of those things I don't like. "Significant" for me that would amuse people is that I finally painted my bathroom & living room. I had painted both rooms at least 10 years ago and never really happy with either and they gnawed at me often. I decided to have my deck rebuilt after 3 (5?) years of no easy access thru my bedroom door. Joseph had one week to work so I decided to paint since I wanted to be around most of the time. No classes, no tutoring, so I had all day free. I LOVE the bathroom. I was ultra careful masking and prepping (and not my usual half-assed job). I also got my grout clean. Not mold, just collection of lint from black towels! Beautiful room. Living room is magnificent. The colors are fabulous, my wall technique is what I wanted 10 years ago. Again, I took great care in doing it right and not just okay. I have a new mantra. Replacing "just do it" which never worked, it's now: "why not now?" I have to answer honestly and usually the answer is "no reason" and I do it. I'm a grownup now ;-)

Wife's had a miscarriage. It as not easy on either of us. I made a lot of mistakes in the way that I handled it.

Las year has shocked me, shacled me, rocked me. turned me around and inside out. I have finally moved to a new home. I have sold half my business, I can start doing videomaking more fully. and also I am sad and mourning my mother and my husband's closest friend, that passed away this year.

I knew too many people dying. I am both grateful and sad.

Wow, what a whirlwind year! I spent most of my time fully engaged as one of Tony Robbin's Platinum Partners and it was amazing! I can't really say that I fully understand what the impact of this year is or will be -- not yet. I'm still too close to it. All I can say is that I've changed so much in such a short time that I can't believe it fully -- and I still have one more major event to go on! Wow. I'm grateful, I"m inspired... and I'm curious!! I can't wait to see what I'm going to do in 2017!

I almost got into a business project that was nearly doomed from the start. I'm relieved that I got out of that in time. I'm grateful for the chance to learn a few more things about people and their shortcomings...

My marriage has been challenged, and is currently being challenged. On this Rosh Hashanah, at the start of these high holy days, I am overwhelmed by anger, sadness, and insecurity. I don't know how this will affect me and my family. I don't know how to think about myself without having an integral party of my identity intact. There is improvement to go around on all sides, but up until today, I thought we both valued our marriage enough to make it work. I no longer think my wife values our marriage and me enough to recommit. I know anger is my clutch, because it allows me to avoid sadness and despair and self-doubt, but I don't want to be angry. And I don't want to be angry in the presence of our children. And I don't want our children to feel any less loved or secure; I want them to feel every bit of the strength and love and self-confidence and graciousness and kindness that my wife and I try to impart upon them and teach them. I fear turning bitter against her and enabling that to filter into my relationship with them. I fear losing friends. I fear an inability to stay focused on other facets of my life and work. I fear having a failed marriage define me emotionally, intellectually, and consume all my time. I fear an anger returning to call upon the worst parts of my personality and turn me into someone that I am not. And I feel rejected and neglected, unworthy of requited love, and fearful of the pain of unrequited love. I am scared for how I tell myself and others the narrative of my life, because the narrative of my life, for so long, has been about my family and my wife and what we want to accomplish together. And this is not the narrative of her life anymore. And it makes me feel foolish.

During the last week of July, I went to World Youth Day held in Kraków, Poland with my parish to attend a mass said by the Pope. Although I am not very religious, I decided to attend to reconnect with my friends from my local parish that I rarely get to see due to my attendance at B.C. High. This experience allowed me to not only strengthen the relationships with my old friends, but to become updated in the recent happenings in their lives. I was also able to meet and interact with a myriad of individuals of my age from all over the world with the same core purpose, to celebrate their religion and its impact. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity of meeting these unique individuals and learning about each specific culture and how their communities view and structurally implement Catholicism. This also inspired me to learn and research about various cultures throughout the world and the impact Catholicism has on them when I returned home. I spread the word of positivity about my World Youth Day experience to anyone and everyone in my community and highly recommended adolescents interested in unique cultures to attend the next World Youth Day in 3 years. I am also happy and satisfied that I took this opportunity to attend this event because initially I was a bit skeptical and anxious but without this experience I would not have amassed the huge amount of useful information I now know about cultures throughout the world.

The most significant would be the change of jobs... again. And while I'm embarrassed to have only lasted at my last job less than a year, I am wonderfully relieved, and it took care of a huge financial burden. I am gloriously grateful to be working in a job that I love and that's continually challenging me but also (pretty much) daily exciting. It has been a tough transition since I'm now fully full-time and my husband is still ridiculously busy, which leaves me in charge of the house, the kids, and work, but I'm excited about what the future holds for the next year at work. It was also a prayer answered though I didn't realize it at the time. When praying to succeed in my self-funding at the last job, I prayed for $250K (I know pretty greedy, but it would have paid off ALL of our debt), instead, God, being so much wiser than me, gave me this job, which will total 250K over 5 years. God always knows better - and we're on our way to being 100% debt free before we're 40, mortgage and all!

I moved to a new state to be with the man I love. Initially I was reluctant, since I had grown to like the area where I had lived for over a year much more than I thought I would. I had a great network of friends and loved my job. But I also realized how special it is to find that person as I have gotten older, and how much of a priority it is for me to develop a lifelong relationship with someone and hopefully start a family.

I moved away from home to come to uni. First person in my whole family to get into uni and I can't explain how grateful I am to have such a supportive family. Can't wait until 2018 for graduation to see all my family there embarrassing me along the way!!

well jeez. This year has been the most significant in all of my 18 years. Of everything that happened in 5776, Pepa dying had the most significant effect on me. I had never lost a grandparent, or anyone close to me, and now I lost one of the closest people to me. It was so says sudden too. He fell down his stairs and died 4 days later. The time between Pepa falling and him dying was a big spiritual awakening for me. I decided to speak to the rabbi because I was conflicted. I knew I wanted to pray, but I wasn't sure what to pray for. Do I pray for Pepa's recovery? Or do I pray for an easy passing? I knew that Pepa wouldn't have wanted to recover from his fall but I couldn't pray for him to die and I didn't want him to die. The rabbi told me to pray for Pepa's healing of the soul. To pray for the doctors to know what they are doing and for Pepa's soul to be happy and at peace. Pepa ended up dying 2 days after that conversation. March 17th. It was a Thursday. I miss Pepa everyday. This is the first New Year without him and it is really hard. After he died I didn't know if I would ever be able to think about him without crying. Now, 6 months later I still get sad, but I don't always cry. Harry Vener was wearing one of Pepa's sweaters yesterday at dinner and I smelled it and it smelled just like Pepa and I broke down crying. That was really hard. I am learning to live my like without my grandfather. It is hard, but I am managing and learning along the way.

This year was devoted to staying on an even keel. For that I'm grateful. Wouldn't mind a little something different, though -- like love.

Visiting and presenting in Australia. Major accomplishment.

Last year i felt stressed. My uncle got sirverly depressed and so dad my grandmother. While my uncle got out of derpession my grandmother still is. Im inspired by him because he was so strong when he fighted it

Bud's fall and head injury has changed our lives, reset my priorities and challenged me in so many ways. It makes me want to be better, stronger and more patient while at the same time frightened, lonely and worried!

The voting of the U.K. to leave the European Union. It was heartbreaking that our country would be so short sighted as to leave the EU and put our country and the future of our children at risk.

My second kid went to college. It shook my world. All I had been doing was living for my kids. And I can clearly see the end of that. I feel like I'm having a midlife crisis. So I guess I'm inspired. But I am also scared. I am so unclear about what my future holds now

Began a friendship with someone from work. She has ruined my life and I can't get away from her.

This year I learned to live without my husband. For the first part of the year it was so painful--every day I would go outside with the dog and think about him in anger--how could he have done this to me, how could it have been like this? And then...one day in about March as the sun was coming up earlier, I realized I hadn't been thinking of him. That I was just living my life. I am so grateful for this year and for not being so angry and hurt that I just cut the ties. It has been a tremendous year of growth for me and I can't believe how much better I feel.

I am elevated by meeting my partner. It caught me off-guard, it made me appreciate myself in a new way, it has opened my heart. It has inspired me to try, to succeed, to fail, and to try again. I am thankful to see that the world works beautifully with that narrative in mind.

Richard fell and broke his shoulder. That made us both realize that we're getting frailer. I could not completely assist him when it first happened as I wasn't strong enough to lift him or help him get out of a chair or the bed. That was an awakening for me as I've always felt strong and able.

It feels like I've had numerous significant experiences this past year. Ranging from relapsing in recovery and the lessons learned from continuing to try to date emotionally unavailable men to Woodinville High School discontinuing their contract which lead me to working at the Center for Pain Relief, 2016 has been a year of change. More than before, I believe I'm learning to see each experience as an opportunity. Even when it hurts in the moment, I always survive. And having that attitude helps me to be in a state of appreciation instead of resentment. I'm relieved to be working for a medical clinic for now. I'm relieved to be working with adults instead of children and to have close supervision and support from people who have been in the field for years. I'm also incredibly tired, so it's hard to feel inspired in this place.

There's really only one thing that I can point to for 2016 and that's my husband's horrific illness. He was four months in recovery -- two months in the hospital followed by two months in rehab. As of today (October 3) he is still using a wheelchair or walker to get around. He almost died, but thanks in large part to the fine doctors who treated him he is expected to make a full recovery. I am only just beginning to process what this has meant for me. I am certainly relieved he is going to recover. I am also in some ways grateful that it made him realize he was suffering from major depression and not caring for himself. He has recommitted himself to his own health and to our marriage. I believe it has made our marriage stronger in many ways. That said, I think I am suffering from a form of PTSD from all that we've been through and I still find myself having crying jags and panics about him. I think we will be dealing with the fallout for many months to come.

One of the most difficult experiences I have had in the past year is defending my son with disabilities within the public school system. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia for several years and has an IEP in school which is a blueprint for how his education needs should be met. There were several teachers that did not support his as required, and blamed my son for difficulties he was having in class. The district started a legal process to have him moved to a low functioning and self contained class which was significantly above his level of functioning. They were not acting in the best interest of my son, but rather acting in fear of the teacher's union which in NJ has too much power. I hired a lawyer, had my son tested, observed in school and provided a report. I also gave the school notice that I was removing him from school and placing him in a private school that could meet his needs and would litigate for them to pay for the school. They made some changes to his schedule, gave him the required supports that were originally outlined in his plan, and he performed beautifully. He was on the honor roll the last two marking periods. At the time, I was extremely angry and resentful that my son was being put under so much scrutiny and we were both under an extreme amount of pressure. At this point, I still feel some resentment, but am trying to focus on being grateful that I had the means and knowledge to seek the type of advise and professionals needed to help resolve the problem. I am not great at forgiveness, but have been working on that and trying to imagine what the point of view of those involved on the other side saw that forced them to act so cruelly.

It seems that the past couple of years have been filled with loss. My grandmother passed away in March. While I miss her, I know she missed Grandpop and was in pain, so I'm grateful she passed away in the comfort of her home with her loved ones.

Going to Yosemite with my daughter was a significant experience for me. It was not only a chance to spend some "quality" time with her, but it was meaningful because it was the place her dad and I married. Although we later divorced, we remained the very best of friends. In 2012, when he was murdered, we were devastated. It was very special for me to share a place of joy for her dad and me. She loved Yosemite as much as her dad and I do.

Two weeks ago I led a YPO retreat for 10 men who have known each other for 20 years. In Los Angeles. Called "What's Next?: Writing Your Next Chapter". It was great. But more importantly really personally important to me. A terrific reminder of my expertise, what I know, what I've learned and the impact I can have. After a year of losing that, I start the school year renewed and curious about what will happen for me. In a good way!

We were "evicted" by my old landlord. I was very sad because it was the house that made us a family, and now we had to leave it. However, soon I realized how great it was in our new (smaller) apartment. Dishwasher, no dangerous stairs for our daughter to roam freely, walkable. It was actually all for the best.

I decided to move out of my husband's house and get my own apartment. I'm glad I did this, because I needed the space and quiet to figure out what to do next. Even though the future is still unresolved, I'm ok with that. The place I am living is beautiful and it reminds me all the time that I am worth every penny. It inspires me to be true to myself, no matter what.

I graduated with my masters degree, I stopped talking to my sister again, and I found out the story behind my real biological father/sperm.

OMG my partner Cheryl was diagnosed with bladder cancer. It totally turned our lives upside down. She had to go through two surgeries and chemo-therapy poor dear. I was so fortunate to not have had to work during this time. It was a full year until we were through things and back to some type of normalcy. I'm totally grateful and relieved that she's cancer free. We had the best surgeon we could hope for - Dr. Presti - and he was both incredibly skilled as well as compassionate and understanding. I'm forever grateful for her prognosis and care.

A few: we bought a new house, moved to my in-laws while we were renovating, moved into the house, moved back out (more renovations) and are now back in. During this, we found out I was pregnant with our second son. All of the movement and change has been crazy -- feelings of being unsettled, not in our home, and spending tons of money have been stressful and exhausting. Overall, though, we have so much love and help and I am very grateful. The news of my pregnancy is also something I have been very grateful for but has too been challenging. Throwing up at least once a day while living with in-laws, having a toddler, and working full time was quite an experience. We are now in the home stretch and will welcome our son in the coming months. What a ride.

As a Dallasite, I was especially saddened by the murder of five police officers who were at a peaceful Black Luves Matter rally earlier this year. I grieve for those police officers and their families. I grieve for the countless black families who have been subjected to so many senseless forms of violence for so long. And I pray for peace and wholenss for us all.

I'm very happy I moved to Nashville this past year , it has given me more strength to accomplish a lot of things things I would not have if I stayed in Louisville.

Oh, I would have to say that being told I'm BRCA1 positive and thus have a 87% chance of developing breast cancer was the most significant experience of 2016, at least so far. I'm not exactly grateful for the information but I'm also not ungrateful. I have the opportunity to face my risk BEFORE developing cancer, which is something my great-grandmother, grandmother, aunt, and father didn't have. On the other hand, there is a "why me?" voice crying out. I'm scheduled for a double mastectomy with reconstruction for December 20 and I'm sure that will replace the original test results as the most significant experience of 2016. I wish I could snap my fingers and have it be tomorrow as my nerves and anxiety increase daily. I want to be looking at this in the rear view mirror.

I am slowly letting go of my dependency on my current, soon to be ex-husband. We have stayed together for four years as roommates to see our son grow, and although we had previously planned to move out and split this coming year, I was still dragging my feet because I didn't want to lose that security blanket. We were forced to split earlier than planned, and it was jarring for me. I am now living on my own, splitting custody of our son, and I am learning how to be a party of one again. I am so many things at once - relieved, stressed, inspired, tired, fearful, excited, worried, ready. I am working toward being the independent person I was prior to marrying him, once again.

My husband and I both began and graduated from couples counseling. It was hard work but we talk to each other differently now and it makes a big difference. It's not that we didn't talk before but we weren't talking about what we wanted, what we liked, and our frustrations. We also weren't approaching things as a team. I am not an optimistic person so I wasn't sure it was going to end well but I'm more optimistic about us now. We have better tools to work with and the counselor says we can always come back in for fine tuning.

We didn't get pregnant. I was really upset at first, I was really mad and sad and resentful, and, even now, every month I wonder if I am, but now I am more curious. And even tentative, not sure if I really want a second child or can deal with it. It seems like too much to take on. I wonder whether it will happen or not, but I don't feel ready to set all my hopes on it or "work" at it. Our house is small, and it's not like our three year old leaves us "bored." Maybe it will happen, maybe it won't. Maybe we are dodging a bullet, with the mental illness in my family. Our house won't be way too small, we can afford childcare, we can go out to eat, and travel with just 3 plane tickets. There are many reasons why it is ok. And if it does happen, I am ok with that too. I am a little inspired to live my own life, take care of my own self.

I did a 5-day personal development course that completely changed how I do life. I was able to get over limitations and let go of anger and fear. I now feel more in control of my life and positive about the future and my ability to handle challenges. I am so grateful to my brother for telling me about it and encouraging me to do it. I feel inspired and relieved. Now when 'bad' things happen I see them as an opportunity for self exploration and expanding my skills, persistence and compassion for others. It is the best time of my life right now and I believe it is only the beginning.

Todd and I paid off the mortgage on the house. It is a big relief and I think a bigger relief for Todd. Now we have to decide what to do with the money that was going toward the mortgage. Hopefully some nice vacations are in the future, but I know Todd wants to do a lot of projects around the house.

My mother-in-law passed away this past year. It was almost 7 months ago now, but it still doesn't seem real to me. It's amazing that someone can be there one day and then not there the next day, or the next month. In the months after her death I was struck by all the meaningless things in my life, mostly the struggles and challenges I deal with at work that really do not add anything to the quality of my life or others'. I vowed to find another job where I could feel that my time was worth it and where I could feel as though I was doing something that would make other people's lives easier. I'm not there yet, but this feeling also applies to other parts of my life. I am more likely now to leave work early to attend my children's events, to spend time with friends, etc.

Last winter, I drove to Albuquerque and back for New Year's, meeting Miss Alex there. This was significant for a couple of reasons: First, the sheer rugged beauty of the high desert was phenomenal and inspiring. The light, the red rocks, the sparse, twisted trees, the snowstorm we could see from thirty miles away... Just so much gorgeousness. Second, we passed through many areas that looked essentially like ghost towns, and yet people still lived there. It threw the comforts of my own life into sharp relief and made me grateful for the world I was born into here in the Bay Area. Third, I was proud to have made it all the way across the racist state of Arizona without stopping--not for gas, not for food, not for nothing! I literally gave the finger every time we saw a "Welcome to Arizona" sign and it felt righteous. Fourth, I realized that my rebound boyfriend, Yonatan, was not working out. I didn't want to try with him anymore. He had accompanied me on the drive there and flown back alone (this was already planned because he had to get back to work) but I enjoyed the drive back, all by myself, more than the drive there with him. A few days after I returned, I broke up with him and felt much better. Despite seeming perfect for me on paper, deep down he wasn't right--and I'm proud that I was strong enough to recognize it and take action.

I began writing a novel. Yes, I've done this many times before, but something about this attempt is different. I have the novel fully outlined, I have specific people and events included in the outline, and I've made great headway in the writing. It has given me a sense of purpose at a time when I've been feeling "less than", on multiple fronts. While I am deep into the writing, everything else disappears. Writing this book is my personal adventure...which is kind of ironic considering the Aldous Huxley quote I have posted - "every man's memory is his own private literature". I guess it works both ways. It feels wonderful to be creating again!

Parliament of the Worlds' Religions. It was inspiring.

We made a decision to close our business. It is at once a huge relief, but there is also sadness and a feeling of failure...even though i don't believe i'm a failure. It's more like putting to rest a loved one who has been sick for a while. I am so happy to see what the future brings!

I had a miscarriage on the same day I got a new job. It was crazy. I was so sad as it was my second miscarriage since my daughter and I was really excited to be pregnant. As I left the doctor's appointment confirming my loss, there was a message on my voicemail offering me a job that paid way more and was so close to home. It was a lot in one day. I sat by my window and cried. Listened to blood and tears. I knew a next chapter that was to begin immediately. My neck seized up from the stress. I started my new job less than two weeks later which ended up being amazing. After a little help from a fertility clinic I was pregnant within 4 months. Grateful.

This happened 2 years ago, but the aftermath has still very much affected my in the past year. I fell in love for the first time and I also got my heart broken for the first time. I experiences the high of highs and the low of lows. I realized my capacity to love and I am so incredibly grateful for that, because now I don't have to worry that I am unlovable or that it can't happen for me. It took me an entire year to get over him and then even longer to stop feeling angry, but I understand more than ever now that time heals and that things get better. I have also learned that I deserve so much more than he could have ever given me! I am so happy in life now and I am ready to put myself out there and look for someone that respects me and doesn't need to control me. Someone like my dad.

An ugly fallout with my mom where my son was going to be hurt. She claimed she was in control and he wouldn't be. She didn't have any intention of hurting him, but I think I saw otherwise. She did it to "get my attention." I've never seen anything like it. No one has ever shocked me like that before. I don't ever want to be in a place like that again. It was a cry for help from my mom as in I see her way of thinking has changed with her old age. And I don't want to ever put my son in that position again. I will not tolerate things anymore out of fear of hurting someone's feelings or being unliked or being scolded. I have a son for whom I'm responsible. He's counting on me to protect him and keep him in safe environments.

My father died on October 28 last year. He was in the hospital when 10Q rolled around, so a lot of my answers mentioned my sadness and confusion around that. The two most visceral things I felt were 1) the feeling that a countdown clock set for 35 years (the age my father was when I was born) had just started. 2) the fact that there was a place for my mother's name on the memorial plate where my father's ashes are interred.

Going with my husband to have a memory test, and being told he has evidence of past strokes and that vascular dementia and/or Alzheimer's dementia is being considered was life altering. It has effected me deeply, and tearfully, and with anxiety and dread. Dementia robs people of the personality and relationships and cognition, which makes them who they are. It is frightfully expensive, emotionally, physically and financially. It looms huge and scary. I pray I will be able to care for him lovingly as long as needed. And that we will not be financially wiped out.

Going back to graduate school and surviving my thesis!

Signing up for unlimited yoga class has made a significant change on my life and practice. My lungs have more power as evidenced by participating in a 5k and doing better than last year and also much younger runners. I am inspired and feel a deeper connection in class. Walking the second half Walkway Marathon and running a 5K coming in faster than 147 younger women. Not talking about health conditions and doctors.

Last February my husband almost bled to death from blood thinners that were too aggressive. In reality, I saved his life by not acquiescing to his desire to wait until the morning to call a doctor. I always deferred to his instincts--especially about himself--but this time I pleaded with him to trust my assessment. When the ambulance took him to the ER, they told us he'd lost 50% of his blood supply into his abdominal cavity. It shook me completely. He was on death's door. The 4 months of hospitalizations & therapy that followed changed our lives and our roles in one another's life. I am grateful that I've risen to the many challenges that have ensued. I'd forgotten how capable I can be. I am grateful for our ability to be with "what's so" rather than be mired in resentment and anger. Because of losing the usefulness of his legs, we've both had so very many adjustments to make. I know I'm not alone in facing what's ahead. I've a dedicated community of friends & family for support. But most of all, I've G-d as my partner.

I bought the house my partner and I owned together. I bought him out, paid him off, got the mortgage in my name, and have made it my own. I never imagined I would or could own my own home without the financial and emotional support of another, but here I am doing just that. I've been paying my own mortgage--and the rest of my bills--on my own for just over a year now. And the house has been mine--all mine--since February 2016. How grateful I am.

In the past year I graduated college and started my MPH program. I'm extremely grateful to have finally earned my degree in two fields I love with a really good GPA. It feels good to not worry about getting into a graduate program and it feels good to be in a program that I know is practical. It's pretty scary, though, to be a step closer to the "real world" and have write a thesis, do an internship, develop myself into a professional, find a job, etc. Still, its exciting to know how much I'm going to grow in the next two years. I don't feel significantly different now that I have a BA, but I think that's because I'm still in school (at the same institution/campus), so it feels like nothing really changed.

A significant experience was deciding that I want children. I have waffled back and forth and worry that I'm too selfish or lazy. Or, that I won't be as active as I would like. And, in ways, I can see why having children itself as being the definition of selfish. But...I think it's also hopeful. It's drawing a line in the sand and saying that this world is worth living in and we need more people who feel that way and will be raised to do good and to hope and to give back. I feel like it doubles-down my own worldview and will make me be a better person as I model that sort of behavior to my hypothetical child. That said, it makes the present more difficult in that I'm admitting that I want my life to be different and it's a bit of a no-man's land...between the present and the future that could be so close, or, so far away.

I started a new job this year. I am grateful, but it has been very difficult. I didn't have the best work-life balance in my first year, and I hope I can do a better job of building a life outside of work as I move forward.

Obviously, the most significant experience was my wedding. I am so grateful that the day was wonderful. All of our family and friends stayed safe and healthy for the big day. Our vendors were amazing. Our guests had so much fun. Even though the weather wasn't the best, it adds to the story. How many people get 2 rainbows and an awesome lightning storm on their wedding day? I was just so happy the whole day. I am a little resentful still about people who didn't come for dumb reasons, or people who said they were going to come and didn't. There's always family drama. And I know it's not about the gifts, but a lot of cousins who didn't come didn't even bother to send at least a card when I've attended all their weddings. But I can't dwell on those things, because at the end of the day it was the happiest day of my life and I'm so lucky to have been able to marry the love of my life.

Had to come to terms with physical abilities waning as I get older and the limitations this brings with it .... it has its own challenges and I vacillate between all three ... relieved resentfull and inspired

So many significant things this past year. I was still reeling from Luke breakup. I started pro-domme work, which I found empowering, happy, joyful, and has led me to meet new people I love. I made my way in the world for a whole year post graduation - and I've grown a lot - I have applied for and received a number of writing residencies, my first play production is happening in July, I had to face a lot of boundary questions with Gina moving in, and the bar I opened with Chris is open - cementing his position in my life as family. I hope. A lot of work taking care of Dylan's father too, in the wake of Prince dying, in the wake of David Bowie, and a lot of people close to death. I feel like it was a hard, scattered year, and I have been feeling like a crystal godzilla. Fragile and powerful and with no time for fuckery.

A very dear friend, Rich Widener, died. He suffered for a long time and died a terrible death. He got better than worse, better, worse, better, worse ... then he died. I was sorry that I was out of town at a dance, in Vermonth, when he died. It was odd that I was dancing when he decided to be removed from life support. We met dancing and stayed connected via dance. I wish I could have been there to literally hold his hand when he died. He was surrounded by hospital staff and I wish that a friend could have been with him. I was upset, relieved, thankful that that he wasn't suffering anymore, confused, profoundly sad, and grateful for the 27 years of friendship we shared. May his memory be a blessing.

This year has been relatively dull, all things considered. Lots of work, lots of wine, lots of sleep. While I would typically contend that I"m not a fan of change, I almost will it in a way lately. Positive change of course. But something new.

My employer lost our contract with the government. I felt like I'd been kicked in the gut when it happened, but the feeling mellowed this past year. After a number of legal actions, my company finally accepted the fact that our competitor did indeed win, and we employees learned our fate. I've waffled between several different employment options, and I've decided to simply "change my shirt" as they say. This is the easiest, softest way for certain, and a part of me considers myself a bit cowardly for not striking out into new territory. But my conservative choice to stay in my current position, albeit with a new employer, does not mean I cannot change my mind later. I guess I'm relieved, but at the same time, I wonder if I'm making the right decision.

Almost exactly one year ago my daughter was born. It was hands down the most difficult shift I have every experienced. It was not the physical change that was most challenging, but the emotional one that really became nearly insurmountable. Overnight, my life went from being about me to about my family. At the same time, I desperately wanted to cling to a life about myself. I mean this in two ways. First, there was the daily basis of how my days were spent. As a PhD student and independent worker I've enjoyed tremendous flexibility in my scheduling. I am able to run in the mornings, work late in the evenings, go out for drinks, eat at nice restaurants, take of on a moments notice for a hiking trip, etc. Now I had a seemingly fragile life that depending me taking her needs into account. I wanted desperately to be able to give her all of myself and at the same time I resented her for not allowing me to sit on the couch and recover. Second, I was used to planning out a life that was full of adventure and travel and unique experiences. With my little girl in tow, I wasn't sure if such a life could still exist. Could we still backpack in the Sierra's? Could I still do open water swimming? Could we as a family still go to foreign countries? Could I still present at international conferences? All this uncertainty was incredibly challenging at first, however her energy and my own curiosity inspired ongoing attempts to achieve these things. In the end, it turns out that yes, having a baby does not end the life that you once enjoyed, but only enhances it! One year later, I can say that I am truly and deeply grateful for the light in her eyes. Every day she sees and finds joy in the world. She explores every corner and wants to taste everything around her. As I look forward to the year ahead I am thrilled to know that I will be a mother and be able to share it with her.

This was a year of growth. I learned how to break up with someone and how to pass meds at work. I think learning to handle the medications was pretty significant. It's forced me into positions of leadership and high pressure. I need to be able to talk to each resident in their own way, as well as communicate with families. It's made me seem like a leader to other caregivers, especially those newer to the community.

We recently moved to the Pacific Northwest after being in the Midwest all my life. It has left me with a roller coaster of emotions on every spectrum, from being very happy and excited to very sad and wondering what my purpose is for being here. I am both grateful and resentful for being uprooted, and am trying to focus on the gratitude (some days it works better than others).

I left my partner of over 5 years only 2 months ago. It was a rather toxic relationship. I was- if I am utterly honest with myself in an emotionally abusive relationship. I left him after a particularly bad psychotic episode (he had many) and thought I would never look back. I came back to London having worked abroad and thought all would be fine. It didn't work out that simply. A restraining order later and I have felt at rock bottom of late. See hamlet act 2 scene 2 "I have of late wherefore I know not lost all my mirth.." You know the rest I am sure. I don't believe in regret or resentment, that gets you nowhere. What I do know is that I am a rather damaged soul. I am trying to rebuild my life bit by bit, piece by piece. I feel very much like a rescue greyhound at the moment. Could anyone adopt me again? I want to live for the future and the possibilities that presents. I have felt like life may not be worth living but I am resolutely pushing those thoughts away. So in conclusion, this year has been an eye opener and ultimately the saviour of my life. End of.

I got married! This was a huge life event. I'm glad I did the bachelor party in Charleston as well and it was all a lot of work. When the event was over I was not relieved and happy to be done with it though. It was one of the best days of my life! We had so much fun. Maya looked amazing and the venue was great, even with the rain. I felt inspired after the event and proud to have put on such a successful event that I think everyone enjoyed. It was also great to bring the family together and see everyone I love all in one place. Getting married made my relationship feel more serious and committed. It was scary and I in fact did have some cold feet just beforehand. It's been a learning process and a practice of being more thoughtful and less selfish.

I broke up with my long term girlfriend. It was the first long term relationship I have had and the first person I have loved unconditionally. It has made me sad and hopeful. Sad that the relationship ended but hopeful that I can find love again.

I moved to LA!!!! Which was...not anti-climactic by any means, but definitely not as dramatic as I anticipated it to be this time last year. That's not to say that it hasn't been emotional, BUT it feels more like a homecoming that a total uprooting. I feel aligned with my physical surroundings in a way that makes me feel even-keeled in all areas of my life, which is exactly the OPPOSITE of how I felt while living in New York. I also began a serious relationship with Alex, which has added an extra sweetness to my daily life that I am more and more grateful for each day. He calms me, grounds me, challenges me, supports me. I feel extremely loved, which allows me to move forward in other areas of my life with confidence. I also got a significant job change/promotion in April of this year from working Fairly OddParents to working in the Current Series Animation department at the Nickelodeon network. This job has shown me exactly what I am capable of (a lot) and has re-affirmed my passion for the kid's animation industry as a whole. It has also re-taught me the lesson that just because I am good at something does not mean I have an obligation to do it if it does not light me up from the inside out. I've been struggling with that particular lesson these past few months, and finally feel ready to stop feeling stuck and move forward with my writing on the side of my job so that I can look for writing-related jobs in the next year or two.

James's suicide attempt. I am very grateful for access to mental health services. I am very grateful that he is finally on anti depressants and has a good counsellor. I do wish that the antidepressants were a little more effective, and that some other things were slightly different (like he had a job) but these things will come with time.

I did cat sitting last year from January until mid April. Her name was Luna and she was 11 years old Russian Blue girl. I had to stay in her place since the owner left for a long cruise trip. I had a very special connection with this cat. She was declawed when she was young. I was so sorry for her since she wasn't able to use her paws. I loved her so much. She was sleeping with me. Putting her head on the pillow just like me. I am grateful to know Luna.

On January first my father passed away. I was with him almost daily for the last month of his life as he was dying of lung cancer. For some reason neither myself or my mother thought he was dying, we kept thinking he was going to bounce back, he had always bounced back in the past. I didn't really get along with my father and as nervous that when he moved near me it would be difficult but when he died I felt robbed. He was supposed to see my kids through high school. He was supposed to live a long time. He was always healthy. I was angry at everyone whose father was still alive.

Acute pancreatitis sent me to the hospital for 5 days. Actually, I'm grateful because it's the wake-up call I've been needing. I'm now eating healthfully, abstaining from alcohol, and exercising regularly.

X filed divorce in May, after 1 year separation. Turns out she was dating a guy also. That stung given the celibacy of the marriage. It hurt and it was hard for me to deal with. I felt a degree of jealousy and self pity that surprised me. I am relieved that the marriage is over. But I still resent her, and I'm not happy about that. My relationship with my daughter is SO MUCH BETTER now, though, and I am grateful for that. Also grateful that my relationship with my father and my buddies are better than ever.

My boyfriend moved in with me. It has been for the most part great. But, you have to put in some work and learn how to live with someone and respect their way of thinking. There is more compromise, but also good company. I also took a job that I thought would only be temporary. It was less money and a dead end job. I am currently still at the same job. I am resentful. But, i have realized that in my quest for a better work-life balance, i didn't plan for setting money aside to find the right job. These things take time and savings.

I met my boyfriend and future fiancé. He makes me better in every way. I swear, I had been praying for him. For help to make me a stronger person, work harder, become more motivated. He helps me with all of that - and he is so strong and so dedicated to me. I'm so grateful for him.

Getting sick in January. I reached out for support and Jason answered, then he got sick and I supported him. This lead to our engagement and soon wedding.

I went to Israel in March and was exposed to its racism, which is comparable to the U.S. It made me disheartened because since I was last there in 2013 on Birthright, I had always imagined Israel as the U.S.'s social better, a place where I knew I belonged, no matter the color of my skin. I think with the parallels between the two countries in terms of racial equality protests and horrific race-driven incidents with law enforcement, it just shattered my vision of Israel as that utopia that I seek. I am grateful to have gone, especially with JDC, because I was able to put these conflicting viewpoints into perspective. It also drove me to be much more politically active and social justice driven. That isn't to say that my feelings about Israel or the racial tensions there and here at home have changed. I'm still very much trying to navigate my way through that.

I turned 65. And I'm not ready or even able to retire. I am in remarkably good health but that number kind of scares me. I know I have less future than past and I think about death a lot. What it means for me to know that I will die someday and it won't be long even if its 40 years away. What does it mean to die? What will happen? Both my work and my age contribute to this awareness. I am a single transwoman too. And I surely wonder about being alone with all of it though I have many friends and I know they would show up for me. That comforts me in the night. I find I am also kind of strangely comforted knowing that when I die Life will go on. This world will go on in all it's magnificence. I wish I could be here to see it all actually. Maybe there is reincarnation. Maybe there isn't. Maybe there's consciousness after death. Maybe there isn't. I think maybe there is because I've had hints of that in dreams. I can't help but be grateful sometimes that I am still here when so many don't make it this far. I don't know what I feel about it. It puzzles me. I've studied religious thoughts my whole life and I don't feel any closer to any answer about death. It does help me live each day more consciously though. Each day now I live with this thought. And I watch how this thought changes where I go and who I talk with for how long. And so I am left with it's a Mystery. We call it Great Mystery. That seems to be the closest I can get to it.

Ciara Whitney committed suicide in March of 2016. I feel guilty and I feel so strongly that I want to go back in time and change it. I'm not deeply affected the way Bailey and Emily have been but if I could go back and time and stop her from getting high, if I could talk to her in some way, I would do it. A million times over until I get it right.

I had my first injection in nearly a decade of abject fear of needles. It was a monumental task that took a lot of work and help and I did it. But I'm not getting the joy and relief and feelings of accomplishment that this kind of effort usually rewards me with. I fear I still have a very long way to go.

Advised my parents to move into senior living. From watching them adjust to their new arrangements, I was struck by the importance of being thankful for your many blessings rather than being resentful for what could have been. I've learned that joy should come from a deeper place than your surroundings or circumstances. I've learned how important it is to be a happy person, for your own sake and for those around you.

I had my first real meaningful job interviews in a while and did not get hired by any of them. It's inspiring me to be better.

Having shoulder surgery was significant and I am so grateful I didn't put it off and it led me to learning how to properly swim at age 37. So grateful for health insurance, a flexible work life, and willingness to heal my body over time.

This past February I got engaged to a wonderful and loving man. I am grateful that he accepts me fuller for who I am and loves me for my best and worse characteristics.

I developed pneumonia and was bedridden for 4 weeks in the fall with an added 4 weeks of recovery. I had trouble understanding how my body could deceive me when I had responsibilities and people who depended on me. I remember thinking " this must be how those with asthma must feel when this beathing is laboured". Although I wasn't eating, my disabled husband needed to. Enter friends and family who cooked and shopped and cooked even more. I was grateful and humbled by their generousity , caring and kindness in keeping us nourished. This experience brought light to the importance of having healthing lungs and appriatong every breath we take, as well as the importance of nuturing friendships, our friends are our family..

I have been living away from my two kids for the past 2 years. I was living in Europe, they were in Canada. I never got to travel back to see them in all that time, and it left a huge hole in my heart. I moved there with my girlfriend who got a job, and at the time I was trading the stock market so I was working from home. Had big dreams to make lots of money and go back to see them as often as I wanted. Well that didn't work out as planned. I was trading scared all the time because I didn't have enough money to start with, my ongoing divorce making sure of that, so I didn't make enough to have the freedom to do the things I wanted to do. So the feeling just got worse and worse as the last year went on until eventually I couldn't take it anymore and decided to head back to Canada to be close to them. The hole hasn't healed completely but seeing them again has made a huge difference. Now the only emptiness is in my pocket as I still have to find work here again. But it is a better feeling that the one I had before. I certainly appreciate the moments I have with them more than I ever did. Absence can make the heart grow fonder but only if you are aware enough to remember what it was like to be apart and not take it for granted when you are together. I am so grateful.

He made it happen this time. We reconnected after a year of not speaking and now we're together. It's something that I thought would never happen and I am so grateful that it did. I'm truly blessed. I love him like no other, and I feel the same from him. We built a foundation based on trust, honesty, love, God, and family. I love it.

I retired at the end of April. I knew I was ready to retire, but I was surprised at how relieved I felt--unburdened. I had been an administrator, and dedicated to my job and to my profession. I was also surprised at how easy it was to close the book on that part of my life--no desires to go into consulting, etc. I retired because of my husband's health, and it has given us more time to focus on that and on each other. Also, it has meant that I can be lazy for the first time in my life! I slept late, gardened, read a lot, got together with friends and otherwise lived a much more unstructured life. Now, after six months, I am ready to look for volunteer opportunities.

Making the decision to not go to rabbinical school was a huge choice for me--mostly because it had always been my dream to go. I was excited to have been accepted into my dream school and to WANT to go--until a million reasons crept in for why I couldn't go. Financially, it was a mistake. I couldn't afford it and would be going into more debt (without a foreseeable ability to get myself out of it). Familially, I felt it important to be close--to stay as close as possible to help out however I could. Emotionally, I can honestly say that I was ready to go--and I still question if I made the right decision. I'm not sure the affect it's had just yet, but I know that it's not a negative one. I'm sorry to think that I may have given up on an incredible dream--but I'm hoping that maybe I'm just making my way towards a new one.

In the past year, the thing that was the most significant was talking to Kathy. Before speaking with her, I let the stress of my love life basically take over my life. Talking to her helped me to release that worry, and stop letting those thoughts dominate my every day. I was so concerned that I would never find someone that I would become SO obsessed with any person who would give me attention, and that was toxic to me. I held on to so many relationships because I was surrounded by people who were in them. Talking to her cleared my head and got my to leave the mindset that I will be alone forever.

My trip out west was inspiring, fabulous, and totally surprising. I knew I wanted to see the West with my own eyes, but until I actually did, I didn't understand why. The magnificence and scale are only perceptible in person. I'm grateful I got to do it, and as with all my travels, I want to do it again.

Every possible thing has changed this year... Job, home, relationship, car. I'm sure it will all normalize.... It already is settling quite a bit but it's all been coupled with a lot of grief

My aunt passed away. She was my mother's only sister. My mother passed away 20 years ago. Since then, my aunt has been an anchor to the connection to my mother. When she died I went to California for the funeral. It was the first time the 4 adult cousins had been together-just the 4 of us. It was a deeply meaningful time where we each reconnected. It was a life changing moment. We found solace, connection, love, support, empathy and friendship that had not existed before since we all live in 4 different cities across the country. I am deeply grateful for this experience and how it has connected the 4 of us. Since then, we all take the time to touch base with each other on a regular basis.

A significant experience that happened this past year was the falling out I had with my closest friend in high school It affected me by opening my eyes to my own thoughtless actions as well as how I wasn't aware enough of other people's feelings. I'm grateful because we're back to being friends, but better than before because this happened. It taught me a lot about both myself and my interactions with others.

The death of my ex-husband really had me reflect on my married life. Initially, I remembered the good times, but then, on speaking to my sons and his wife, I remembered how he affected me and them negatively. So in the end, I went through the entire range of emotions and am trying to reflect on how much I learned through my marriage, my divorce and how it affected my sons.

Losing my dad is the most significant experience of the year--maybe even of the decade. I am forever changed by the experience of sitting by his side for a month as the cancer stole his health...by the grace with which he carried himself through the process of dying...by the miracles of little pain, of limited suffering, of his mind remaining in tact until the final days... I am grateful for the time with him, for noting left unsaid, for joy in the midst of sorrow, and for personal growth in the shadow of death. But I wish he were still here!

My nephew moved in with us to finish high school. It has been amazing and exhausting at the same time. The culmination of skills from many different experiences including being youth group minister for a year and a half but at the same time a whole new area because he is not a youth group kind of kid. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to help him grow to be an adult but at the same time I worry that what I know will not be enough.

I had a second kid! And this is the last one. And I will never have a daughter. I am sad and relieved and generally overwhelmed most of the time. I also went back to school after a 10 year gap. So far I'm really enjoying it! Not having enough time to do well scares me but I am committed to powering through. I'll graduate right before my older son starts kindergarten.

Many things happened this year that dealt with life and death. My friend's husband was diagnosed with cancer is now dying. My son, David, at the age of 25 passed away on 8/7/2016 due to an overdose of prescription medicines. I am resentful that my son was taken away from me, our family and all those who loved him.

My dear father dying. I feel incredibly sad but also grateful for the long time he lived. He saw me grow up, marry, and have children. He met all of his grandchildren and knew how loved I felt by him.

I left my job of 10 years and got a job in disability rights, which was actually horrible. My boss was super inconsiderate, demanding, and a horrible communicator. But also, he had a serious anger problem, was verbally abusive and physically threatening. I lasted as long as I could, but eventually quit and was unemployed for months while I reeled in a new surge of PTSD symptoms and deep fear of what it means for the future. I had been clear of strong PTSD symptoms for many years, and was afraid I was losing my mind. My entire outlook on life changed. I no longer trust my mental health and I'm terrified of changing jobs. I'm angry my hard-earned PTSD recovery was crumbled by a horrible human. I need a new job and I'm struggling.

Broke my knee. Put a screeching halt to my active life, and back on narcotics. I am grateful now that it's over, grateful I saw how deadening of my soul the drugs are. I am relieved that it's history now, not resentful and not inspired, other than to try and not be such a klutz!

After seven years, my former husband finally settled our finances. The settlement, once it came was an anticlimax, but the effort to get him there just about wiped me out. In all that time, I tried to be my ideal self - there was no yelling or nastiness, no going to court or resorting to tricks. I just found and practiced my inner hard-ass. I discovered that I could be an executive, a coach, a manager, a psychologist.

I have a new job with great benefits at a financially healthy company. Unfortunately, I hate it, but better to feel a little more secure. I'm hoping I'll warm up to my co-workers and they to me. They're a very negative and bitter group of women and it rubs off on me. It's been very stressful. We had a great boss who helped inspire positivity, but he's moved to a different department and the new management in place is kind of cliquish which makes my co-workers more miserable. I just hope to stay busy to distract me from the bullshit.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was murdered. He was in his car near his grandmother’s house when two young boys from the neighborhood walked up to the car and shot him. This would not be the first time, a situation like this has come up but when's it's your boys, family, and teammates it hurts. Things go right for a long time and then they burn and crash all at once. This is the fifth time in the past 3 years I have lost a friend to gun violence. It hurts and crushes my spirit. Then after the pain leaves I begin to feel inspired and want to enact change on my neighborhood.

Becoming President on my congregation has pushed me to grow in new ways. I've become more confident, run meetings without batting an eye, when I thought that would be the scariest part of the job and negotiating through complicated situations by taking baby steps and getting support from those around me. I'm grateful for what I've learned but have mixed feelings about what it's been like to be in this position. I've come to understand that I don't want the business part of the synagogue, I want the community and this hasn't fulfilled that piece for me. I've been a member of the Board for 8 years. Two years of the Presidency will be enough. But I'm concerned that at the end of my term, I'll find I'm not just done, but will feel lost.

I launched my first book: Beyond the Wire: Levinas vis-a-vis Villawood. My feeling was floating joy similar to my PhD graduation moment. A sense of who I am. My beliefs and personal achievement put out there. Ros Horin honoured me so graciously I gobbled her words. Even strangers popped in for the launch. I am inspired at this moment to keep writing.

In the past year I've noticed that my daughter is moving away from me more. She's 13 and always been an introvert, but it's painful for me. it hits me hard sometimes, though I was the same way when I was her age. I was convinced my parents didn't understand or want to understand what was going on in my head. It hurts to think that she might feel the same way. I make every effort to ask questions, but she sometimes seems to just relish keeping what is in her head to herself.

Our youngest married and had a baby. It's freed us from feeling so responsible for all our kids. This year we've officially become empty nesters. Although everyone is still here with us for the most part. Grateful that we were able to stay married through all the kids growing up- not many these days have that priveledge. A little resentful that my husband has made this whole other life at work without me. But also grateful that we've been able to meet the kids needs and always had plenty.

I finally told my roommate and friend I wanted to get my own place and I feel relieved. It's something I'd been wanting to do and say for a while but I was scared of hurting her feelings. At the end of the day it was the right thing to do for me and for our friendship and I feel at peace with it.

In June, I was diagnosed with pre-cancerous cells on my cervix and had to have surgery to remove them. Then I had a nasty complication, with lots of bleeding that sent me back to the hospital two weeks later. Thankfully, I've been fine since, and the doctors tell me that I'm clear of danger. I'm grateful and thankful that I'm (reportedly) healthy now. But the experience really underscored how much I want to have children -- and soon. Chris and I have decided that we're going to start trying a lot sooner than we had initially thought: this time next year. We won't be 100% of the way to the financial goal we wanted to achieve by then (debt-free, a fully funded emergency fund, and a new car for me), but we know we'll get there. And the fact that it'll take a few extra months to get those things is a lot better than us waiting another year to have a kid, and in that time another cancer cell begins to grow.

Getting a promotion was a huge honor and made me feel wonderfully warm and fuzzy, but it has been a HUGE stressor and I constantly feel like I am failing miserably. I want to throw myself off a cliff every day. Everything moves so slowly and I never feel like I'm doing a good job. Because I am consumed by work and feeling awful about it, and always worried about everything at my job, I feel completely incapable of moving forward with anything--kids, grad school, travel, buying a house. Everything feels impossible and I wouldn't be surprised if in a year I felt exactly the same and was in exactly the same place in my life, even though I feel like something needs to change.

My younger daughter set a very tight limit on family communications without telling us WHY. It coincided with some health needs on my part and I felt very isolated, needy and angry. 6 months later, I can say the mystery is lifting -- and more important, she and her family seem much happier... Feeling very optimistic. And loving.

My aunt's dementia worsened to a point where it became worrisome to the rest of the family. She's my (late) father's only sibling and is 86, and she never married or had children so her only family is me and my three siblings. I wanted to take immediate action on this front a few years ago out of concern for her safety after she had surgery and recovered in a nursing home, where they found her "wandering" the halls (she doesn't live in such a great neighborhood and lives alone in a 3-story house), but my siblings failed to realize that action was needed and no one backed me up despite my pleading with my aunt and the siblings to move her to an apartment at a retirement community. At the time I was very upset about the whole situation, but my sister's husband told me being upset and yelling at my siblings isn't going to help her. This year it got worse and my aunt was scammed out of a lot of money. Suddenly the siblings decided action was needed. I hate to think money was the reason for their action, but I can't help but think it's in there somewhere. This has been going on since last year, and it's hard to see my aunt because she really has been out of touch with reality and I feel helpless when I'm around her because she really needs serious care. I think she was in denial about her own condition for a long time. And now at last, she has agreed to move to a retirement community and has given power of attorney to my sister. I'm obviously resentful that my siblings and aunt didn't heed my warnings when this first came up. But I'm truly relieved that things are moving in the right direction to get her the help she needs in a safe environment.

I decided to leave my profession of 16 years to try my hand in a new industry. I am still processing how I feel about the decision, not because I regret leaving but because God has not yet revealed what I will do next. I received a job offer from the company I had dreamed of joining for the last three years. I was thrilled! However, much to my surprise and disappointment, the leaders of the company rescinded their offer less than a month later. I am certain that God was protecting me from something, but it still feels like a deep loss. I must trust that though I may never understand, His will is perfect and He has something better in mind. I am grateful that I have been able to spend time with family and truly rest the last two months (I've gone an entire week without setting my alarm!). I am praying for the courage and wisdom to wait well as God reveals His plans for me.

I finally decided to end my marriage after almost 10 years together. To say that it affected me in a huge way would be an understatement. It was brutal at the beginning as Gary took it so badly and took a bottle of pills that the kids and I woke up to the next morning and that was crazy. Once I made the decision, I got into high gear, finding a new place for the kids and me near Park Vista and tried to just move forward. Gabby had a bit of a tough time at first, but Marty was relieved and thrilled. I got an attorney who was great and fair and thankfully Gary didn't have or want to spend any money so I don't have to pay alimony which would have killed me as I get NOTHING for Gabby and Marty. I am so grateful, relieved and inspired almost one year later. Both kids are in a better and Great place. I love being on my own with no one to answer to and even though I am resentful of the kid's father for not taking care of the kids, I am proud of myself for getting it all done.

Deciding to take the job at St. George. I think it has already changed my relationship with the kids. Definitely has changed my career and what I think about myself as a teacher. I am grateful for this opportunity, and very grateful for the chance to see my kids every day. I am inspired to do more as a teacher. To do the best I can for those kids in my classroom. It isn't like I didn't do that before but somehow the urgency and pressure to do it and do it well is more real, like if I screw up with 8 year olds it will mess them up forever. Also the experience of Amanda moving in and the beginning of us truly sharing our lives together. I am grateful of how generous she is in helping make our household run and feel like a home. She provides and equilibrium that was missing before. Also she holds me accountable which is a good thing.

Well, I moved to New York City. It changed my whole world. Mostly for the better, a little bit of heartbreak and a lot of learning. I feel incredibly grateful that I have this whole new life, surrounded by millions of people living their own lives and all of us just making it work. And shockingly, I love the weather.

Last September I was fired after 22 years from a job that I had put my heart and sole into. On one hand I knew I had done a great job and on the other hand I knew I was not totally suited for the role. This experience was shocking, humiliating and terrifying. But after 3 months I actually landed myself a dream job that is suited to my abilities. I am now grateful for the incredible life changing experience. My life is much better now. Also my old place plummeted after I left and that kind of felt good. :)

The birth of my baby girl... I have never been more affected by or grateful for anything in my life. I'm in awe of her strength & can't get enough of her tiny, cuddly soul. There's not a happier baby! She inspires me to be better, to continue to see the good & the beauty in the world, & to love like I've never loved before.

radical forgiveness from both parties. or at least attempted radical forgiveness.

Wow... not much has really happened in the past near. No funerals, so that's a plus. I guess the only significant experience I've had is getting really involved in my job and having that landscape shift to one in which I commute to Chicago once a month. I actually rather enjoy that. I do find it a bit inspiring. I'm a little afraid of how it will go... now that there's a central office, will I be forgotten? Pushed out? Forced to relocate? I don't know, but I don't want to stress about things beyond my control. So for now I'll enjoy the fun amount of travel and exciting times with my co-workers, whom I really enjoy.

This was the band's first season on the new mobile stage. (Reference: we have 59 people in this band. We're big, the stage is big.) My summer season workload literally tripled, but not the pay. I don't mind it much...this is very much a labor of love for me. But my job is one of those that people don't notice unless it's done badly, so there wasn't much in the way of thanks until the end of the season.

This spring was the moment when I had to face, on-site, in person, coding challenges which had no clear solution under the anxious, doubtful and paranoid gaze of a client in the Southland. It was quite past "10" on the terror meter, and I am still recovering from the experience. But it broke through my deepest layers of insecurity, un-confidence and fear in my own psyche, and all was resolved quite well, so it was ultimately a boon to my growth and freedom. It also rescued my company from likely closure, as over a quarter of a million dollars was at stake, and all of it has been received by the bank subsequent to this dedication and commitment on my part. It was tantamount to going to war: something I never want to do again, and wouldn't change for anything.

I think that the most significant experience was coming to the realization that the man I was in love with was not really the one for me. What made it significant was the experience of having my heart broken open so far that it will never again be able to close completely.

I met our new Rabbi. I am grateful to be learning with him and feel inspired by his presence.

My niece, Vita, died. Her last 11 months were torturous for all of us. She was born with a genetic disability, and the medical care she received in Georgia after she achieved independence from her parents was inadequate. I love her so. She met each loss of functioning with grace. She wanted to live to her 29th birthday and she succeeded. The pediatrician at her birth predicted she would only live one year. She graduated college, made 4 films, had dear friends, and loved concerts, baseball games, science fiction, Harry Potter and donuts. I am grateful to have known her, to have been present for her many triumphs, to love her and have gotten her love in return, to laugh with her and cry with her. She inspired me.

Its three hundred degrees, at least that's what it feels like. I am standing in a small pond of my own sweat, staring down the antagonist to my life story. He is determined to make sure I fail, to drag me down, to drown me in fear, to consume me with doubt. It is not a personal between me and him, our relationship is purely a professional. The watch on my wrist documents my fleeting moments of rest. He smirks, then grins, convinced of his victory. My alarm sounds and I grimace as bend to grasp the weight once more. Every square centimeter of muscle screams in anguish as I overcome the Earth’s downward tug. I feel his condescending gaze flicker over my writhing form, mildly amused at my struggle. As I leave, I catch a glimpse of him in the mirror, and I see now that he too is standing in a pond of sweat, checking the watch on his wrist. Now I am the one smirking, knowing that I will be back tomorrow to clash again. I began a serious attempt to attain a higher level of physical fitness this year, and boy has it been all of the adjectives listed in that prompt. One I would add to this list is determined. Every improvement that is made demands to be followed with another, the cycle of gains. I feel comfortable within my own skin, more confident with who I am and who I can become. I like the small element of control that it grants me, a small positive choice that I can consciously make.

We purchased a house. It was a frustrating and scary and totally worth it experience. I am extremely grateful that we are fortunate enough to be able to purchase in the Bay Area.

Sabbatical year away from the fishbowl in Virginia...and giving birth to our second son without drugs after a 30 hour ordeal...relocating at 35 weeks pregnant and feeling in a comfortable, safe space for the birth in such little time was pretty epic for me. I am grateful how many connections and new experiences I had during our 10 months away. Being a new mother made me so open and receptive to people.

This has been a rather uneventful year. Cannot think a any truly significant experience. Grateful for lack of drams, resentful no adventure.

This past year I've had a few bouts with depression. Both have lasted about 4-6 weeks. All of March, most of July and early August. December wasn't so great either. These are characterized by inability to do anything much. There was a particular weekend in August where I simply lay in bed... all day... on a beautiful Saturday, unable to do anything. During these bouts I feel dry, cold, uncaring. I force myself to go to work, to read, to meet with friends, to be in the places I know that I should be. I feel very far away from God. I know what I should do, so I force myself to do it. I know that is for the best. But like all depressed people say, I feel nothing. There is little or no reason to do anything. There were other very fun, pleasurable, things that happened this year. I wish that I could write about them, I should write about them! These other fun pleasurable activities made me feel successful and strong, gave me great joy. But they were not as significant as these other deeply disturbing long periods of silence and nothing. Why me? I don't know. I don't know what purpose they were for, I merely know they happened.

Last year at this season Julia and I got married. It was an amazing weekend. The whole experience brought Julia and I closer to each other and to our families and friends. I am so grateful that we did it and that we stay true to ourselves through the whole planning process. I loved our wedding above all others I have ever attended. During this year, Julia and I have looked back at the wedding day differently. I had been looking for a "life changing" experience, and I had one. Julia had not. It has been difficult to look back on this experience with different perspectives and emotions. I think as time passes Julia will begin to see and feel the positive emotions above the hard feelings she experienced.

Moved into rented condo without a thermostat. Feels like poverty and I'm not happy about it. Yet, not unhappy enough to look for a better job. So exhausted. Diagnosed with RA and if sucks and I'm so very tired. The pain they can heal. the exhaustion, not so much. I'm hibernating too much and it's easy. I need to learn to love me again!

My stepmother had a mental breakdown. My husband and children let me go to be by her side and help my father and coordinate her care. I am beyond grateful for the generosity of my family in taking steps to move them back to our area. I hope to accomplish this within the next year.

Our first big argument during our June holiday was incredibly painful -- I had been holding a lot in and resentment, anger, shame and fear had built up as a result. It forced us to face the reality that we had some large challenges to address and while it was scary to decide to see a couples therapist, it has turned out to be the best thing for us. I feel like that June argument was just the prologue to our even grander love story.

Recognizing my psychic abilities and finding a whole support group around this. Major changes in direction of my business. Major integration of so many aspects of who I am including those I've hidden. Excited, grateful, curious, happy, expansive!

My husband and I spent New Year's Day apart. For me, it set the tone for the entire year in motion. I went to my Aunt Kathy's with Quinn, alone. And, what initially felt foreign and shameful, has now --over the course of the year -- become the 'norm.' We hurt each other on NYE. And then again on New Year's Day. On a day of new beginnings and fresh starts, we spent it apart. Just blocks away from one another. I was upset and angry and embarrassed and sad.

Got married and bought a house. Most content with my life I've ever been, with just a hint of trepidation about the future evolution of our relationship if we have kids, and a keen desire not to be so content that I cannot flourish professionally.

I did not get a unanimous pass on the proposal part of my written prelim. It happened in January & I just submitted my second proposal. My experience sucked! I have some resentment for the way the process was handled by my chair and how subjective this process really is. Having had some time to think about it and comparing the first to the second, I have to admit I am grateful for the directed independent study over the summer because it helped me to see things with a fresh set of eyes. My defense is in 9 days - I am hopeful.

I'm not a changer by nature. I thought I'd be in the same organization for the rest of my career. My efficacy there was challenged by naysayers who questioned my every move, but still I powered on. When my colleagues thwarted my efforts to advance, I applied for a job elsewhere. I got it and the original position I applied for! As I was trying to decide what to do, my friend said, "I didn't realize how bad my marriage was until I got out and saw what other relationships could be like." Ultimately, I chose the new position. I love my new job! Every day I am so thankful I get to go to work to my potential and inspire others to do the same. What a great move that was!

I learned that I would be losing my job that I've held for almost 9 years. It's weird because the job has become part of my identity. Especially being the only single person among my group of friends (perpetually so) and even more recently one of the few that isn't having children and/or partner living, I've poured a lot of my time and energy into my job, used it as a place to stash my depression and loneliness, given the long hours and unconventional schedule. During the recession, I was one of the few in my friend group with a great job, making money, traveling etc. Now, to lose it, feels like a hit to both my psych status and also my financial security. But then on the other hand it's freeing. I've also given so much of my life to this job-- missed a lot of fun events that I can never get back. Also, had trouble keeping up relationships and keeping my health reasonably in tact. It's a relief to think I might never work this stupid schedule again in my life.

At the end of August, my dad had a liver transplant. It all happened so fast. While the process of testing to get onto the list lasted a few months, he was only on the list for 4 days. If I didn't believe in miracles before... Being there with him for the few days after surgery made me realize in a new way just how crazy-fragile life is. He lay there, totally helpless, seemingly, but probably not any more so than he was just a few days prior, when one of his vital organs wasn't functioning properly, and something could go wrong at any minute. We didn't know whether he would make it another year, to see my ordination, much less my kids born, whenever that happens. And now, so far as the doctors have told him, "something else will get him." And it's also incredibly complicated. While we celebrate this "miracle" for us, knowing that someone else's life ended to bring it about is sobering. And the more people I tell, the more often someone brings up the fact that they know someone - a friend or relative - who were, at one point, also on the liver transplant list, and were not as lucky (is that the word to use??) as my dad, as my family. No, the experience was not mine, but it effects me deeply, and is causing me to confront these new tensions with which I and my family are living.

I obviously have to start with Claire's suicide from last September. It changed everything, and affected everything. In many ways, I "lost" a year. The timeline for buying a house and having a baby with Chris got pushed back and we're only just now resuming those plans. The loss of Chris's Firebird in February compacted the pushback. It's been a year of learning. I understand myself, and other people, in more nuanced ways than I could have imagined a year ago. Grief changes you. I feel wrung out, washed, and exhausted, but I also feel like I'm smarter, stronger, and better able to face future obstacles.

This past year, I've been single. For some reason, I thought I could "get back in the swing of things" relatively quickly after my 2015 breakup; maybe because I'd felt so alone in my relationship for such a long time. But this year, I've spent a lot of time alone; a lot of time keeping myself distracted, busy, focused on doing, rather than being. It affected me in many ways. My stress manifested in my body: heartburn, recurring illnesses, headaches, backaches, etc. I poured a lot of my free time into my training. I did my IronMan training every month without fail, even with all the stress-induced illness. My training and endurance provided me an outlet for keeping myself accountable and goal-oriented, since it was something tangible and me-focused that I could control. On impulse, I signed up for my first half-marathon and I did it within the time frame I set for myself. For weeks, I rode the high that comes with confronting a challenge I'd never done before, and it felt amazing -- except, I wanted to share it with someone who loved me and cared for me and would be proud of me. I realized that there's something childhood-related for me that needs to be healed, which has nothing to do with my breakup and probably more to do with my dad. At the same time, I started noticing the 420 trend: every time I'd wake up randomly in the night, it'd be 4:20. I'd get texts at 4:20 pm. I'd make purchases and they'd total $4.20 or the change returned would be $4.20. It was everywhere. I finally did some basic numerology and realized 4+2+0=6 (6th month is June), 4=20=24. June 24 is Dad's birthday, so I started thinking that the 420 patterns was him letting me know he was with me. Overall, I feel grateful and it's time to take that recognition of healing myself to the next level.

Bryan and the boys moved in. I'm happy! At first, it was terrifying and suffocating. But I worked through it, and it's easier. I'm getting used to them, and more lenient...understanding they are just kids. I see good in them. We are bonding. I hope this just keeps getting better, because I'm digging it so far. I want to keep this family. I want to stay with them forever. I feel like they really love me!

I divorced my mom. I am a mixture of grieving, relieved, grateful, and resentful. Divorce is hard. Daughterhood is hard. Disengaging is both a skill and a cop out. I am always learning and growing.

I finally started reckoning with the sexual violations that I've experienced in my life. I unfriended the man who raped me when I was 20 in college. That felt fucking good to unfriend him. There is still a lot of work I have to do in that area, and there are a lot of ways that I am still numb to all the anger and fear and sadness that has resulted. But I'm working on it, slowly. I haven't been interested in sex for the past while, and I'm letting my body do exactly as it wants, because it knows best. I know that my depression is a reaction to trying to control my feelings, mostly anger, and so I am trying to bring feeling back to my body, when it feels safe. With that comes a lot of anger, and sadness, but makes room for joy too. And pleasure. And fun. Slowly I am getting in touch with what it means to be alive. Its hard work, but its good.

Decided that CPAP was not working and the doctor had no solution. It made me feel like once again I bought into a one size fit all solution that really works for no one. I am grateful that I woke up and saw the light. Relieved that I do not have to participate in this any more. I resent that I wasted so much time, energy, and money on this boondoggle. I am inspired to try other solutions

I moved home and experienced the death of a dear friend. Each new moment I learn of Nick's life moves me in surprising ways. To lose someone with so much promise so young is devastating. To lose someone who had already accomplished so much is inspiring. I am grateful to have known him. And I am grateful to have experienced his joy and drive. Nick did nothing halfway. Live it be it. Our exuberant pact the day before he died. I think of how I question myself having moved across the country to start over. Nick was happy for my decision and I try to be, too. I am happy to have seen him--something that would never have happened if I had stayed in DC, hating my job and doing the same things all the time. He would want me to give in to this new experience that feels so old. I am trying to do that. I am trying to be here, alive.

I started therapy and recently an antidepressant. I finally decided that I would find joy in this pain. That I would love myself through the pain. Because hating myself and dismissing myself just wasn't working. Wasn't healthy. Change was necessary. Is necessary. As the current garden bed rotts and crumbles away into the soil, change is the very essence of the fertilizer that is needed for the new bed of flowers to blossom. One that is more beautiful, vibrant, taller and more aromatic than the one last season. Oh, and I saw Hamilton. The Musical. On Broadway. In New York City. By myself. On my first true vacation with my friends Nimi and Bea.

I found out that a family member was suffering from a dibiltating disorder. It made me feel sad and also somewhat concerned about being out of touch. I am grateful to know and to put in place a program to help but saddened that I did not recognize it earlier.

I left my job of 9 years without a new job or a plan. It was terrifying and exciting all rolled in to one. It was also a huge relief. I had forgotten how empowering it was to quit. It was very scary but I'm so glad I did it.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer this summer. It was horrible and difficult and I am still reeling. I just feel sad. I get it- this is life. We are fragile. And- I hate the thought of not having my dad near. I feel sad for the shortcomings of life in general.

Alissa: Barbara dying. appreciation for the life I have, awe at Barbara's grace... (in the way she faced it, how she lived her final months) Michelle: Barbara's death: periods of clear perspective about what's important... feel a little more free. gratitude for role modeling of a "good death"... also feel like the acute missing is mitigated by almost having an avatar of Barbara in my own psyche so I can visit her whenever I want.

My sister got cancer and it home that I won't have tomorrow with her. I ve gone home to spend the remainder of her time with her. I am lucky I can do this, resentful because I am not ready to let her go, and scared because I really, really don't want watch her die but I'm going to

I interviewed for a full-time job...and actually wanted it...and totally nailed the interview. The part that feels the most significant is the *wanting* a full-time job part, and then the *seeking* it out part. That realization, even before I realized where I wanted to be, felt like a huge weight off my chest. I'd been holding myself to some crazy expectations around starting an organization, not working a regular 9-5, living the "project-based" lifestyle, being alternative... And it just wasn't working. Figuring out that it wasn't failing or quitting, but learning about myself and intentionally choosing my next steps, was a pretty significant part of my life this past year.

Both Boys graduated this year. One is out of college and one is going to college. I am so grateful for these boys and I am preparing myself for my next stage - the empty nester. I feel like I did a lot of emotional prep work but how can you ever know how these things will affect you. I just want them to be happy and while the younger one is not yet feeling settled in school I am not yet settled in either.

I learned how to change my mind. To slow down, to pause, to stop. After my request to be laid off from work was graciously accepted, I intuitively knew that I was being prepared for something. I didn't know what it was, but I knew what I needed to do. I needed to learn how to personally know God and develop a relationship with the Lord that my spirit was (and is) always yearning for. How can I talk to you? How can I listen and hear you? How can I know you better? What is your purpose for me here? I chose to start each day in meditation with a single pointed focus on the Prayer of Saint Francis. The translation of what I discovered in over 60 days of solitude revealed itself in the coming months. When my partner was diagnosed with Breast Cancer 3 months into my Sabbatical, how effortless it was to be a supportive girlfriend and mother to a 13 year old boy. The abundance of energy, gratitude and love that I found within myself became a radiant beam of the divine spirit within me. So what now? She has one more surgery this week. Keep asking questions and go back to the source. Pray and meditate. Make time to be still and breathe. More will be revealed.

My father passed away. Despite his debilitating stroke 14 years before and his slow recovery, plateau, learning to live with his disabilities and then his repeated scares and recoveries, it was a shock to my system. I did not think I would be as grief stricken as I was, that I would feel the way I felt and still do feel. The loss of a parent is a club we all join at some point and despite the masses who are part of that club and the sensations we share, it can feel so incredibly lonely

I feel like I should say Important Adulting Things, but really the most amazing part of last year was taking the trip to Yosemite. It was a dream-come-true kind of moment, the sort of thing that I never expected to come together, and yet it did. It was magical, the most beautiful place I've ever seen and a welcome glimpse of snow in California. The trip wasn't perfect, but it was pretty freaking great, and I still can't really believe that it happened. I think a lot of the times I propose wild ideas that get shot down by my more pragmatic friends as not being feasible, but this trip gave me so much confidence that wild and crazy dreams are really possible.

This was a really a landmark year. The most significant experience of the year was really the most significant experience of my entire career. I won the National Book Award. What made it even more special was that it was for a work so personal, and meaningful to me and to my whole family. I am extremely grateful, and found myself even more inspired. I know awards shouldn’t matter, and that true rewards come from within, but there’s something tremendously freeing about having that validation. I’ve always felt that I had something to prove. Now I don’t feel that pressure anymore. Sure, there are still a lot of pressures and stresses, both personal and professional, but they take on a different timbre in the light of such validation. I can move forward with a sense of satisfaction, and that feeling has lingered. I was afraid it would go away, and I’d get that “now what?” feeling, but it hasn’t. There’s some sadness, though, because I wish my parents were alive to see it.

Diving in Raja Ampat: I felt grateful to be able to dive still at 62; amazed at the dramatic and mysterious beauty of the reefs; inspired to fight to save our glorious planet.

Falling in love with someone who's in a committed relationship with another person. It tested my sense of myself. My moral compass. My control over my emotions. In the end I'm grateful it happened. I'm relieved it's over. But it gave me a new perspective. And in a weird way being in love with someone who's unattainable is easier than putting yourself out there trying to attain someone.

During the HHD last year I started all of my new jobs. Not much more can be said about the significance they have played in my life during the last 12 months. I've gone from great highs and to deep lows. I have been thrilled having my life to myself. No more do I slog my way to work, sit in useless meetings, and wonder if I'll be in trouble (again). I work with caring, thoughtful people and I couldn't feel more blessed. However, I've also found myself paralyzed with uncertainty at time and scared that I've bitten of WAAAY more than I can chew. I also fear that I have made a horrible mistake in taking on too much and that my foundation is on rocky soil. Therefore, I am grateful and terrified.

This school year I have a new position at my job. I am now Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) in charge or curriculum coordination. This is a very exciting opportunity for me. It is great because it allows me to both grow professionally and gives me greater work-life balance (there is not so much take home work as teaching). I have known for a while that I do not want to remain a teacher for the rest of my career. I am very happy to be able to remain under contract as a teacher (pay and benefits) while taking a step in another direction. I am also very grateful to have a job that has supported me and provided me this opportunity.

This year, after a great trip with Marcus to Koh Phagnan, we moved into a new apartment together and made a baby. At first I was terrified and overwhelmed but thankfully, somehow this pregnancy has been good for both Marcus and I. We've both pulled up our straps and started working together to make our dreams come true and create a good life and foundation for our baby. We're both so excited to meet him, despite the anxieties and practical concerns that come along with our joy. I don't know what to expect or how having a child will further change us, but I'm excited to find out. I feel so grateful to have found and married a partner who is right for me. I hope this will remain the case and that we keep bringing out the best in each other as we grow and adapt to our new life - and hopefully a big move to another country soon. I hope our hearts' desires and adventures continue to bring us together and that we're as happy as we are now or more so we can share it all with the world in meaningful ways

I experienced another breakup, the latest in a string of breakups, and began to reconsider the reasons I've been dating at all. I started to question whether it's purely social expectations that made me think I wanted to meet someone, when I am actually happiest when I'm single. It's been a relief and a big realisation for me, but the hardest thing about figuring all this out has been realising that everyone else I know and everyone else I meet is either paired off or urgently wants to pair off. This has made me feel a bit isolated, a bit sad and a bit excluded from all the couples surrounding me.

the most significant event that happened this year was that we got married! that week was a capsule in time, a reprieve from the desert of struggle before & the bounty of anxiety after. it happened so simply & so quickly, like a rush of waterfall. it was beautiful. the quiet of nature surrounding us, the scent of redwoods & sequoias permeating the air, the excitement, nervousness, & happy incredibility inside us. i could not even imagine a more ideal way to have been married --in simple dresses, at a beautiful forest of green, at cool afternoon, in a "secret cove" apart from everyone else, by someone who knew & cared about both of us & thoughtfully wrote out the ceremony, &, most of all, with the love of my life, whom i grow increasingly proud to be married to.

I was chosen to be part of a retreat for Jewish entrepreneurs at a time where I was undefined and set loose by my Jewishness- not practicing or thinking/reading very much, apart from my community. Being at the retreat tied me fast to my peoples, showed me ideas and let people show me there are ways to be connected.

Well it's recent and it is significant - I joined Sam and his family for his mother's 60th for a weekend away. It was a mix of family and chosen family - all really high-achieving, impressive people. And incredible setting, and we had an impromptu helicopter ride! How actually crazy is that?? But what was significant was to see what wonderful, long-held dedicated friendships she has. It was powerful to see people with strong relationships having known each other their entire adult lives. Serious squad goals. And as I get older and see constellations of friendships shift, it makes me think. I am grateful for my friends and I want to cherish them more and cultivate community because it really is special, and what nourishes us. So I am feeling grateful to have been included in and witnessed that, and inspired to do something similar. Also - everyone was so welcoming - I've never felt so at home and so welcomed by a tribe before. It's really special, and I don't deserve it (because nobody does) and I am so lucky, and so grateful. Subtext - things with Sam are great. His family and friends couldn't be better, but more than that, I am always laughing and being silly, and respected and respecting and feeling safe, supported, delighted in - all while doing the same. So just basically all the best things. My biggest issue is that I don't see him enough, which we've talked about and the light is at the end of the tunnel!! So, I guess a significant experience is that I've been in a wonderful adult relationship for a year more. I knew I had a good feeling about him. And I still do. :)

Tim and I decided to move across the world. We feel like we're living a dream every day. My hope and wish is to never have regrets and wish I could do things over again. By traveling and seeing the world I hope to feel appreciation and gratitude for what I have while also being well informed about the world, it's beauty and its problems.

working on this ... so much to review...I can't get to just one at this moment. I can't feel which, a positive or a negative, would surface the most. Hmmmmm ....

Leaving my dream job. It started as resentful, then relieved, and eventually and ( is still ) settling into grateful. It was a beautiful, beautiful growth accelerator and an experience that has fundamentally shaped the way I see so much. I left it to pursue a personal project I hold very dear to my heart - as well as the hearts of so many others I hold close to me. While leaving had it's pain, confusion, guilt and fear - the experience was so critical in developing a deeper grasp on myself, my needs, my vision. I feel renewed in this sense. In the sense that I can step forward with significantly more confidence and see that I have been a leader who has been afraid to lead - and I look forward to what this realization brings into fruition in 2017.

This past year, I moved to Europe. I had absolutely no plan, no idea if I'd be able to find work or get the visa, etc. I spent three weeks backpacking and four months living in Vienna, but then, one month before my visa was up, I packed my bags and moved to Berlin. Moving to Berlin has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I've never felt more at home in a foreign country. I found an apartment and a job my first week here, which is unheard of. I learned to trust no matter what. I've learned to live in the moment and enjoy everything life has to offer. Live, love and let go; go forth without fear. This is what life is all about.

In the last year, more than one significant experience happened. * I decided to start my own business * I learned the hard way that I have to struggle and do it by my self * I realised that I needed support and mentoring, but from specialists, not my close friends and family * I experienced the power of meditation * I learned that I have to prioritise my life, take some hard decisions and fight for my Higher Plan * I changed my mental frame and train to uplevel my game And much more. All this made me feel inspired, scared, trust my instincts, put my dreams on paper, start a business plan, learn to never give up. But most of all, relieved that it's not too late to follow my dream, my destiny, to bring my contribution to the world. LEAP AFRAID! Yes YES!

What affected me the most in the last year happened in my job as a Provisional Psychologist when a man walked into my office having only just hours ago lost his newborn son in a car accident. For the first time in my career I was at a loss for words until a moment later I said: 'Love has entered your life for a short while and now that it's gone you don't know how you can live without it.' I felt lucky to be able to share that moment with him and to help him in my own small way.

I graduated with a degree in Social Work Bicultural Practice. Im very grateful, relieved it's over because it was hard work studying and working full time. I'm thankful that I had the support, commitment, direction from above, and came out inspired by all the learning yet challenged by whether I could make a difference in my community.

The moment I said no. When I quit the corporate high paying job because it was driving me into the ground. I didn't betray myself, I didn't lie. It was the most honest and truthful thing I have done for myself all my life. I am so grateful that I saw what I was made of. I was resentful because this was supposed to be my dream job and because the company was cost cutting and had awful leadership it was a hostile environment. I wanted it to work out so badly, I tried so hard to make it work, but couldn't. Now I have no job and am looking for brighter horizons.

My wife and I were finally able to go on our honeymoon. It took months of planning and a lot of scheming to get the plane tickets, hotel rooms, and plans of the trip and it came out great. Yes, we did have some difficult times while on the trip (mostly due to how much it was costing at times) but it was a great trip. We got closer to each other as a result of the trip.

I had brain surgery for a brain aneurism last October. It was my time to face my mortality. I am very grateful for how it worked out. I always wanted a big life but couldn't define it. Now I can. It is the huge number of people in my life who prayed for me, sent me love and supported me. More recently, my sister and I were robbed at knifepoint last week in Costa Rica. It was very scary, but not the worst thing that ever happened to me. My screams and my sisters refusal to keep giving him things of value scared the man off. I'm grateful we are both ok.

I participated in an energy meditation class of sorts, this opened the door for further spiritual work. It is all part of my growing up process. I am grateful that life seems to be making a bit more sense and I seem to be moving in a purposeful direction - but - I feel a bit discouraged that it has taken so long to see some of these truths. I guess life is meant to be this process but I can't help but feel that I have wasted a lot of time floundering around...caring about trivialities and really going far afield.

i crashed on my bike it was allfull

My husband lost his job. Initially I was devastated, stressed, resentful. Now, I am relieved. He has a new job that is leading us on a brand new life path.

I came to terms with the fact that I must now generate income from various activities using my experience and skill and that I will not be an employee again. I am challenged but releived that I do not have to dance to the corporate tune anymore.

two very significant experiences this year, make that three: Alice Warden Unemployed Grateful for Alice Inspired by being a Warden Relieved and Resentful about losing my job These events are forming my day to day actions as well as my future

I am learning it is my destiny to reach out and be a servant leader rather than leading by default only. I am grateful because this is what G-d has called me to as a man, husband, father, and as a spiritual leader.

Almost a year ago, I made the decision to relocate to the uk as this is something I had always thought about doing but always found a reason not to. As we go through our days, so many times our mind will wander off to the things we wish we had in our lives. Most of the time we quickly file those away in a "someday" folder or jot them down on a bucket list we insist on keeping. What if you made a decision right now to make your life so full, so complete and so exhilarating that you didn't need a bucket list. The move left me feeling inspired, grateful and happy.

Dad moved in to assisted living and I took over his finances. I was very resentful of having to do the extra work. I have simplified my life and especially my finances so I do not have to think about them much and that was not the case with Dad's. I will be grateful when everything is done.

This year I became more involved in Temple life because of Tyler's level of involvement in Youth Group and for the most part it has had a positive effect on me. It's a lot of driving and a lot of time and sometimes I am resentful of it but for the most part I am inspired by it!

Derby died and we got a dog. I was really sad when she died. But so happy with Pippi. It had been a major adjustment to being responsible for another life that needs more than good water and litter scooping. It has been hard, but I wouldn't change the decision. Not for a second.

I think the most significant thing that happened to me this year was my taking a new job. It required me to move several hours away from all my family and friends, to strike it out on my own, and to either live or fail on my ability to provide for myself. I think it affected me in profound ways. Before I did so, I was scared to take on new challenges, I was hesitant to try new things, and I really like the comfort of stability and normal life. Being now almost a year removed from that decision, I realize it was one of the best choices I could have made. It gave me a stable job where I could do well and learn new things. I've had a lot of awesome experiences and I really feel like I've learned to stand on my own as an attorney, a man, and a member of society. I'm very grateful for the opportunities.

Decided to return to the U.S. after 4 1/2 years abroad. Relieved to leave Rome, but with mixed feelings about leaving our lifestyle behind. Worried we will fall back into American bad habits.

There have been many things which have happened in the past year. I have been told that I am not a nice person. I do nice things but I am not a nice person. I am not quite sure how to move passed that moment. I believe I am a nice person with a very good heart. Do i get upset or angry? Yes, but all in all I believe I am very even keeled and level headed.

I finished what is essentially divorce mediation with my ex. We had been married for more than 20 years, and during our first session he screamed at me in front of the attorney and stormed out of the room without looking at me. Since I was the one who had ended the marriage, this left me feeling tremendously guilty and ashamed of myself, and I thought that the mediation might not work. But I hung in there and gave it time, and eventually he came around. After three or four months we ended up with a settlement that we were both satisfied with. I think this allowed us to continue to be loving co-parents to our 18-year-old, who just moved to college. ... Divorce is not what I wanted for my life. I would rather be able to live with my son's father, but we cannot live together in peace, and I've had to accept this and move on. Going through with separating our assets and also accepting some of the financial settlement that was due to me by law left me feeling relieved and also motivated to be my own sole financial support at the level I would like to live.

I experienced an existential financial crisis with my business that, while not fully resolved, for now seems manageable. I felt the impact in several ways. First off, it triggered "worst case" thinking and scenario planning. I am grateful for this because even as I looked at bankruptcy and other issues in my business, and thought through how it would impact my business, I realized that I would still have my family, their love, and their support. This gratefulness provided some much needed perspective on what is really important in my life. It also highlighted that I do have a strong support system in place, but I need to be vulnerable and ask. During this period, I was also able to maintain a focus on the balance in my life I have been working hard to achieve and keep. I continued with my clean eating and exercise, which likely helped me manage the stress as well.

This year, I found my way back to God. I have rediscovered my faith, and started my journey to join the Catholic Church. I am grateful to find myself there, but disappointed with myself for taking so long to actually get there.

I shave my head and my father died. And left me cut out of his will. Which brought up all the feelings of being unloved and ashamed that have been part of my life for 60 years. And then I acted out of strength and cut off my sisters. That's been difficult. I'm constantly temple to see if they have reached out to me, to find out they care. But I also know I need to keep them away. The most interesting part is how much happier and stronger I feel without any of them. And how much more open to bring loved I feel.

My daughter got engaged. I am hopeful, but cautious and nervous.

I got laid off. It has had a major impact on my life, for obvious reasons, but it's also made me truly examine how I spend my time, how I view myself, and how I approach life. And it has inspired me to re-evaluate my priorities. So while I won't say I am grateful, I cannot see it as entirely a bad thing. (But that's easy to say when there's money in my bank account and food in my belly.)

In the past year I became a dreaded divorcee. My relationship lasted 7 years...the last few years had been straight chaos. Between intense work schedules and continual family tragedies (on my side) my days and those years were exhausting. Sometimes life can get so unmanageable that you become a high functioning zombie- that's what I was but with a kick ass personality and good attitude 😉. My dad always told me "attitude is everything" particularly when I was on the receiving end of a grounding. So as life got harder and harder I clung to his mantra. It made the difference of being okay vs being miserable. My ex took a different path. As my domino effect of strange, sad and chaotic events ensued, his life was getting better. We worked as a team bettering his finances, life goals and dreams...all becoming realities. I actively made it a point that my black cloud of unfortunate events didn't effect him, whatever that entailed, I did it. Despite the focused goal of not burdening him & his continued successes, he slowly became sad, angry, hostile and unmotivated. Almost like sympathy pains. For every bad or sad thing happening to me he'd become that much more dark. I didn't realize this in real time. I was so focused on the what I felt I could do to keep my relationship, handle tragedy and advance in my career. Eventually things boiled to a head. My grandfather had passed, leaving my family in a katonic state of sadness and anger, my job was in peak busy season and my health was pretty crappy. Not wanting to disrupt my exes free time I rearranged plans we'd had to go to 3 day music festival, I set him up with his buddies and drove them to and from the venue as needed creating a guys weekend instead of us time. In my mind this gave me time to handle my family, work and rest while making sure he was able to enjoy his weekend. By the 2nd day of the festival I knew he'd messed up, there weren't any signs just instinct. I let it be, and continued on with the weekend. A couple days later pictures started appearing on social media 🙄. The proof was in the drunken selfies and shady discussions about how his weekend went. I knew then and there I'd never be able to forgive him, or respect him. I looked at my life and realized I'd been given a choice. I've always been the rock amongst my friends, family & coworkers. Infallibly dependable and always the fixer. In an hour of perfect clarity I found myself living a life of integrity with an obscene absense of happiness. Something I did to myself. So I grew a pair, ended the marriage & reworked my job so it could be done remotely...within a week I packed up and moved out of state. In the last year I've had a million chances to be a victim, or act as if things have happened to me and I had no control. Trust me there were days I really wanted to. But there was a hard truth that screamed at me, it wouldn't ever allow me to shirk ownership in the catastrophe that had become of my once carefully crafted life. My ex continues to apologize for his behavior in the last few years, I believe he's truly sorry...I just don't believe he should be. We both had our heads in the sand in respect to each other, 1,000 times before the incident we could have been real and honest. We chose not to be. I always chose to be the reliable friend, family member and coworker- usually at my own expense. I chose that. So in this last year I've been accountable. I've been terrified, devastated, raging mad and occasionally annoyed. I've been so many things this last year that I never let myself be before. Above all of the emotions and mind sets, this last year I've been free. I'm living. I'm becoming. I'm happy to my soul. I feel an endless amount of gratitude for the events of my past. Im so grateful that my ex handled the music festival the way he did, I don't believe I would have had the courage to want more for myself, or to be more. I wouldn't have felt the burn of disappointment and loss required to persue the things I have. I wouldn't have had the chance to know just how solid my friends and family are, how much they believe in me...a million days of sorrow would be worth all the beauty I've encountered. This year has been at shit crazy, but in the most glorious of ways.

I became employed full-time at a company again. Aside from the obvious fact that it helped our family financially, it made me realize that I needed the structure that being employed brought. When I don't have structure in my day I tend to let my mind wander into areas that are negative, martyristic and filled with anger and resentment. I realize that I thrive on structure so I am grateful.

I'm grateful for a year without any significant experiences, although when Bernie lost the nomination I was disheartened with the political process and the DNC like so many other Americans. Still, he filled stadiums across the nation with tens of thousands of people from all walks of life, people who are still building a compassionate revolution. Look for us again in 2020.

My father in law passed away. It made me reflect on my on mortality, and how to foster a strong relationship with my son. It also made me feel more "grown-up" and independent. I also really respect my husband for the way he handled everything. I feel both inspired and relieved. I wish he had lived longer to see his grandson more, but I think that is my wish more than anyone else's.

I traveled to Europe this past July with my 3 best friends. I feel grateful that I had the opportunity to travel the world for two full weeks with some of my favorite people. Traveling inspired me to continue to try new things, expand my horizons, and not put so much pressure on myself career-wise, even though we are conditioned to think this way in America. I also saw a lot of friends, relatives, acquaintances, and strangers experience a loss of a loved one over the past year. This both saddened me and reminded me to continue to appreciate life, seize every opportunity, and live unapologetically. I also fell in love. He is kind and patient and smart and silly and so much more. I feel so lucky that we found each other and I look forward to what's ahead for both of us!

Got to go on a trip I've been wanting for 30 years! Went to Mackinac Island with my sister - and it was everything we'd hoped for! Got to immerse ourselves in the Somewhere in Time experience, have the lunch buffet at the Grand Hotel, see some of the rooms, have a drink in the Cupola bar at the top of the hotel and take some amazing pictures! Flying there and back was 'interesting', but the experience while there was magical!

This year, I became a mother. Isabella Santiago Duncan was born on November 25, 2016. As I read through my answers from last year, I am struck by my fear surrounding her birth. While I was excited and grateful for the pregnancy, I was preparing for how challenging the change would be. When Isabella came home with us, I kept waiting for it to be harder and for me to feel the way mothers often say they do - at their wit's end and in tears. Instead, I was unprepared for the enormous amount of love I would feel holding, feeding and caring for our precious babe. The word gratitude doesn't seem strong enough to convey the emotions I feel surrounding my beautiful daughter's birth and her presence in my life. While I feared that having a baby might limit what I'm able to do, instead I have found more fulfillment than I ever thought possible. I am so profoundly appreciative of the great opportunity to be Isabella's mother. I love being her mom more than I imagined. She inspires me to be the best version of myself - to show her love and compassion on a daily basis, to model a healthy relationship with Gabriel, to build a home and life that she loves and appreciates and to make the world a better place for her. Needless to say, the most significant experience this year by far has been becoming a mother.

Divorce. It is interesting to ponder whether or not I am grateful for divorce after 30 years of marriage. If asked this at any time during this year, before now, I would have said no. I am not grateful for my family breaking up and having to leave my home. But now, I am starting to settle in and feel gratitude that I am away from a man who didn't appreciate me, took me for granted, lived his life without empathy and compassion and who didnt hold my needs and wishes in the same esteem as his own. I am now feeling grateful to be in control of my own destiny. I am relieved to be out from under the crushing anxiety and tension of an unhappy marriage.

Still feel like I am reeling/recovering from Bob's death. The past year was a fucking whirlwind. I'm still not sure which way is up,quite frankly. I have a new normal but it sure doesn't feel normal. At least not yet. The best thing that happened was that Sam rallied against his depression and his father's death and on his own timeline got himself into college and went -and seems happy to be there. What a load off. Relief doesn't even begin to describe it. Bob would be proud and happy of us all. I can't believe how great both my kids are doing. How fine they seem to be. I still feel like I struggle a lot of the time. Maybe they struggle too, I'm sure they feel the loss but they sure don't seem to let it get in their way - or at least not much. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afam2nIae4o

I moved from my 4 bedroom house of 29 years to an apartment. I was very stressed out during the process, but relieved when it was over. Sometime I am a little resentful. Inspired? Not sure...working on it!

It's all about the problems with my mom's health this year. By now, I'm resentful. I'm resentful that my husband and I have been put in the position to manage mom's finances and her belongings and her expectations that we will keep all of the shit that she's collected over 70+ years "because those are my memories". I'm resentful that dealing with the state and her healthcare has put a time/energy/financial strain on us. I didn't sign up for this. I didn't offer to be responsible for paying the bills for her care. It sucks when trying to do the right thing takes such a toll on the life we've built.

My son recently turned 1. I felt a huge amount of anxiety lift - because surviving that first year as a new mom was the hardest thing I have ever *ever* done. I am relieved, but mostly I a proud. A fussy colicky baby who didn't sleep well, postpartum depression, not enough help from the husband... moms are amazing.

I quit my job at HMS. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I knew it was the right decision, but that didn't make it any easier. How do you walk away from family in their time of need? When they allow their needs to supercede yours in an unhealthy way. I hope I'll be able to repair the relationship before it's too late.

I realized that I can be good at school, not just mediocre. I got the best grades in my life while taking really hard classes, and I felt like I actually earned them. I'm encouraged to consider grad school for real (ie. Get my PhD) I'm scared but getting better at not being paralyzed by fear.

We bought a house! This made me feel excited, it is a massive commitment with John that ties us together more than marriage does, but it makes me feel anxious too - all my life savings are in the house now, we owe the bank and my parents significant amounts of money. Our flexibility is constrained, expensive things can go wrong and we had a hell of a lot of work to do on doing it up! Six months in and we have already done a lot, but I am still anxious that we need to get it in a 'finished' state so that we can stop spending all our money on it, so that we feel proud to host family and friends and also have some flexibility back - just in case we want to rent it out!

On May 8, Mother's Day, my mother in law passed away. She had been living with us since January, when she came home from the hospital after being diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, which had metastasized. Those four months were the most challenging four m0nths our family had ever endured. My wife, who seemed prepared for this situation, took over. She saw to her mother's every need, whenever she needed it, worked from home, and was up almost every night with her mom. She took care of tasks nobody would seek out, endured her mother's scorn and vitriol throughout (her mom was not a warm and fuzzy person in the best of time, but with the realization she was dying she became very bitter). My wife's sister, who lives nearby, either could not or would not help, so this left almost the entire burden on my wife. She handled this with remarkable grace, and toward the end her relationship with her mom softened, and they both reached some unknowable level of understanding and love. Our entire family were with her when my wife's mother passed. My son sang to her softly, we gathered around, said a traditional prayer for her and she her breathing stopped. It was a moment of such transcendent beauty among the grief. I feel so privileged to have been able to have a part, even a small part, of caring for her. But I feel even more privileged to have been there when she passed.

I had a soul mate who died. It shook everything I thought stable in my life. Its been 8 months since, and I'm still trying to figure out who I am again.

Qualified for a home equity loan. Seams small but I pressured my wife into moving to a larger house. We have 4 small boys so it was under the guise that we needed more space, but a big factor was my ego. Big house shows that I'm doing good. The kitchen was a wreck, getting the loan gave us the opportunity to upgrade to a place where we can be comfortable again.

I was scheduled to defend my dissertation on July 19th but on July 7th learned that the external examiner had rejected that it pass on to defense. I was devastated and embarrassed and while many people (family, friends, academics) tried to console me I can't help but feel that perhaps it was indeed inadequate work. This thought has been very difficult to overcome as I was originally really proud of my work, I'd enjoyed the academic process and in particular grappling with large and small problems. Now, as I wait to learn whether or not I can indeed defend on Oct 13th, I am very gun-shy and haven't shared this information with many people. I'm trying to be positive, but its hard and I feel my experience has been tarnished. All I can do, is hope that the experience becomes a positive one over time and that I exercise kindness if ever put in the position where I can dictate someone else's future with the same level of impact.

In the last 12 months I have become a Producer/ Director after what has felt like 12 very hard years working my way up in television documentaries. I'm so happy to have finally made that step up, it has felt well overdue. I am still however deeply resentful towards the industry that systematically kept me down, paid me less, worked me harder and gave me insufficient kudos. Now I work alongside other people, with the same job title, and 8 years less experience than me, who don't know their job, and aren't competent, but somehow they have progressed at lightening speed. At some point I have to stop comparing and moaning. But right now, I think it takes the piss.

There are really two particularly large experiences that have occurred in the past year. The first was the completion of my conversion to Judaism. The second was the decision to move forward with adopting a child. Both of them lead to a large amount of introspection and much discussion, and I think both processes have left me more knowledgeable about my own thinking, and closer to my husband and family. Overall, because of both processes, I am more grateful and aware of the wonderful things around me.

I turned 30 and stepped down as GM at Core in order to take a gamble and work on my book. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to try, but I'm so terrified my book will come to nothing and a year from now I'll be not only book-less, but financially dependent and worse off than I am now. I'm worried not working is going to hurt my relationship, but on the flip side it's allowed me to be home and build the kind of home environment that I really cherish.

I did get new responsibilities at work, and I'm loving my job.

My oldest son decided to cut ties with the family, especially me. This has been painful and has brought many tears. I have finally decided I must practice accepting that I may never see him again. I am using a special meditation practice to accomplish this.

Vicki died. She DIED. I fell in love for the first time and SHE DIED. It's so unbelievable. It feels like a story. A story that happened to someone else, and I still struggle every day with that reality. I was at my highest high, ready to marry her, to have a baby with her, to create a lifetime of memories with her when she died. And I'm not sure I will ever recover. The more time that goes by, the more I appreciate the weight of this pain. The more I realize that climbing this mountain of grief may be the hardest thing I ever do. I know for sure I will never be the same. And I will always love her.

I got a promotion to LMI. I am so incredibly grateful. And inspired somewhat.

For me the most significant experience was getting int an maintaining a relationship to nearly 11 months before it reached its end. I'm proud of myself for showing up, showing love, and being realistic in expressing my wants and boundaries. I do have resentments both to her and to myself. I did overstep what I wanted in the hopes it may work out and I hoped she was truly the one. I am inspired that I can find someone that is closer to what I want. I'm still nursing a broken heart, but it's not as bad as previous ones and the confidence in the feeling I'm on the right path.

Jane, my mother, died on the 29th of May. Some time later I came across the concept of 'family of origin,' and realized that I no longer have one. Parents gone, no siblings, no cousins... Orphaned at the tender age of 54. And of course losing my mother was hard, but let's set that aside for a bit. The unexpected feeling was of independence, with all the baggage, both good and bad, that it entails. Time and again I'll be doing something that I would have shared with her, but can't. On the other hand, I'm under no obligation to explain myself to her either, nor am I in a position to be much influenced by her opinions. Grateful/relieved/resentful/inspired? More just surprised and intrigued by the changes. And I miss her, but after 96 years, she had places to go.

I feel like this is always work related. Lol. I got promoted again! I think last time I wrote about this I had just gotten a job at Enterprise, but now I've been promoted 3 times. I'm now an account executive and life is pretty good. It can be pretty stressful but its definitely much better than before. I'm pretty excited to see what's going to happen next and i just want to Do well.

Since I continue to work on my journey of self - I made some tough choices about moving away from friends that were no longer being true friends - not vested in my journey or helping to support it. It has been a long lonely journey this year - with many hours alone - and almost debilitating fear of leaving my home. So I am not sure if the journey is going the way I had hoped? I am struggling to find a good place with my work presently and a new person that I helped hire is making my work challenging at beset. I am seeking the answers to why this person or other persons are being brought into my life- perhaps an exercise in not caring so much, being in what I like to think is control...ON some level I am feeling frustrated by this, on another I am feeling like I just need to let it be what it will be - I am having anxiety attacks again and sleeping restlessly because I am so worried about this new person at work I don't see it working out and need to determine at what cost? I have let go of some volunteer work this year that I loved because again the "Friends" weren't supporting me and were supporting the poison in the organization.. It has give me a lot more time on my hands and I am not sure how I feel about that right now- I did volunteer for TEDxABQ this year and met an amazing group of new, young people, - I am laughing that I am calling them young, they are but I don't fee old - I guess facing the 50 year mark is adding a new layer I haven't thought about yet? I am grateful for my health my life and my journey even though I am so unsure where the next steps will take me???

I got divorced. It was huge. I am happier now. I am grateful that it went as smoothly as it did. I am relieved at how people around me have accepted it.

Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee for President. I always assumed that a woman would eventually get there... I'm glad it's happening in my lifetime. But watching what's going on in the press with her has also made me much more aware of the misogyny and sexism in the media, and in everyday life. I'm inspired that she has made it this far (and will hopefully win in six weeks), and hopeful that we can change the discourse so more women will be willing to put themselves out there to lead.

from my journal a few weeks ago: I just found out on Wednesday, that my partner had sex with an old coworker, one time, one-night, when we were “on a break” earlier this summer. Whether we were on a break is up for debate so it contributes to the complexity of the situation, but regardless, it does not change the way it FEELS to know my partner had sex with another woman. Since then, I have become obsessed with the details. Was she good in bed? (no, it was drunk and awful and he was barely hard.) How long did they kiss for? (A long time.) Did he finish inside her? (No, and he used a condom.) How old is she? (23.) Are you still in contact? (she texted last week, but nothing inappropriate.) How many times did you do it? (Once.) We are trying to work through this. He’s been very remorseful, and respectful in answering my questions. I let him know that I am likely to be crazy for a couple of weeks and he has to just let me be emotional. The worst thing he can do in my mind is lie to me or try to diminish what happened to spare my feelings. What I’m trying to figure out by asking so many questions is “am I going to be able to get over this” and “how likely is it to happen again?” I am also wrestling my own demons. I am almost 40, and have had 2 kids and my body looks nothing like hers. I am friends with her on social media and the day before my partner confessed about the sex, I had even commented on how hot she looked in her instagram photo. FML. Right now, I feel crazy. I want to know the details of everything but I also wish it had never happened. I’m being really cautious not to punish him emotionally as it doesn’t serve either of us if I become passive-aggressive or bitter or if I keep score. But last night, we were snuggling and watching How I Met Your Mother and Ted was talking about kissing Robin for the first time and said “she could be my future wife, I have to make the first kiss special.” My heart fluttered as I remembered the first kiss with my partner and how special he made our first kiss many years ago. It was magical and wonderful. Without warning I burst into tears picturing his lips on hers, their bodies pressed together and I thought for a few minutes that I’d never be able to stop crying. He kindly just paused the show and held me until I had calmed down. He kissed my forehead and when I started to breathe again I said “ok unpause.” This morning when I left for work I said “was she a good kisser?” I don’t know why it matters. I’m trying not to torture myself with the details, but my imagination has been proven to be worse than the details. The only control I have over this situation is the meaning I give it. I don’t know if we will be able to make it work. I don’t know if it will always hurt this much. But I do know that if I don’t know the details I can’t re-write this story, and I desperately want it to have a happy ending, no matter what the outcome.

My daughters and I visited my parents for summer vacation this year. This was a milestone because my daughters had never visited before and I had not visited both my parents in their home in 16 years. My father had previously been unwilling to "be involved," as he put it, with my girls due to their being African American. (My children are both adopted and I am white.) I am extremely grateful for this experience. I am also very relieved. Watching my children interact with their grandparents in their home was inspiring and I am so happy that we were able to have this experience.

Jenna and I moved into a (rented) house in January. This is the nicest place I've lived in since leaving home in 2004. It's also the first single-unit residency I've had in that same time period. I'm very grateful to live here, but it set the standard very high for future dwellings. I think it's spoiled me from living in a crowded place like New York, or somewhere without a garage. I hope I can afford to make another step up when the time comes to move.

I moved to Nashville with the love of my life and got engaged in Montana. Mike fills my life with love. He is kind and thoughtful. I feel so grateful for the unexpected ways in which my life has changed since he came into it. I feel confident we will be able to tackle life's challenges together. He makes me calmer and more at ease. It isn't a roller coaster relationship but rather one where the roses smell sweeter.

As a new widow, paid my taxes for the first time. So relieved!!! Felt competent and accomplished

My husband got a new job. It is wonderful to see him confident and happy, and it has certainly affected (positively!) our life together.

I dated. I've always been such a strong introvert that I've never felt any comfort or real pressing desire to meet new people. I've wanted a relationship, but always been too afraid to meet new people. So, with the help of my therapist, I started dating after four years alone (and after a nasty divorce). I went on some awful dates, and a few pretty good ones. I am grateful, and relieved. I am grateful for the experience and without it I would have met the man I'm with now. I am relieved because it was a major road block for me and I am glad to be past it, but also to know that I am capable of doing it.

A trip to California with my wife and kids. It made me appreciate them all that much more. I was so grateful to be able to spend 9-10 days of pure quality time with them and loved watching everyones interaction with each other

Our daughter was born. I am so grateful and inspired and relieved to be a part of creating a family and helping to bring another child in the world.

After experiencing the occasional bout of nausea and paranoia in public places over the last three years, early in 2016 I had a debilitating panic attack that led to a serious reckoning with how I feel about being perceived as a woman. It brought about good, valuable conversations with my partner and my close friends about how they experience their gender. I feel inspired to speak more freely about notions of masculinity and femininity with my friends and coworkers, and to try to connect and empathize with more of the feminine women in my life, instead of viewing them as too different from me to have anything to say to.

The travel with my husband and my three kids. We've been to some amazing places - Florida, Arizona, Utah. I've enjoyed sharing the mundane moments of a road trip, and getting to see and learn about the world through their eyes. Traveling gives me peace. I feel more connected to my family and the purpose of my life when traveling.

My husband died after a long illness. The grief and recovery have forced me to reevaluate my life and figure out what to do with my life.

My best friend had a baby. It's selfishly traumatic for me because in some ways I'm losing my best friend. But in other ways, nothing has changed or has changed for the better. Also, it's really helped me settle into being okay saying out loud that I don't want kids. Not just that I don't want to be pregnant but that I'll be okay if I don't raise any children. I can be the fun aunt/godmom/friend. I have my college students and I have my friends kids and I'll probably have my sister's kids, and that's enough. So mostly relieved and settled (in a good way).

"Ride for the Living." The stories, the training, the ride with my wife and my daughter. Making new friends. Having my wife tell me what an unexpected incredible experience it was for her. Tova wanting to sign up again next year. At the end of the 55 mile ride I cried from happiness.

My husband's grandmother died this year. She was a Holocaust survivor who never failed to see the beauty in everything. She always saw the best in people, and expected it in return. I really hope she finally found some peace from the nightmares and the dementia that robbed her of her memories; in her moments of lucidity she would smile and crack jokes. It was so painful to watch such a firecracker personality go out with a fizzle and a gasp.

50 years on earth. Imagining myself turning fifty, I pictured myself as a much older person. The way fifty tends to be portrayed as a milestone to be poked fun at. Officially old but able to have a sense of humor about how fat and brain-addled you've become. The sad jokey initiation into the comfort zone of 'old age'. Well, I don't feel old in the sense of being washed up or irrelevant or being given the thumbs up to let my body or mind go soft. I do feel like I need to be realistic about the age of this organism I get around in, and to care for it and listen to it. I've gotten interested in fasting again. But when I fasted in the past, over 10 years ago, I did it as a form of discipline, a drill i put my body through to make it more obedient. It wasn't so much about attention to fine tuning my instrument, making it stronger, but more about getting it under my control, making it and its animal urges submit to me. It's taken 50 years to see the difference between treating my body with care and dignity and just flogging it to get the most out of it that I can. The idea of my body as a temple is hard for me to hold onto because a temple is too fixed and not anywhere near as vulnerable. It has no roots, no breath, no fear, no sadness. It isn't conflicted enough to represent the human. A hybrid animal god. Why does our culture deny us the privilege to feel dignity and love for ourselves? To acknowledge that it's all quite messy but also warm because our blood is warm? I hate over-the hill and menopause jokes. Everybody's elbowing each other in the ribs but underneath we're so unnecessarily afraid and in denial of what's happening to us. It's good, what's happening, when the dying is slow enough that you can fit a lot of living inside of it. The years are etched on our skins but if you keep the musculature surprised, the aging body will sculpt itself into a masterpiece of time and propulsion, a living diary of striving. For the first time in my life I do not seek a teacher, someone to point the proper way for me. Everyone I meet guides me along. Like ants in a line, they never pass each other without touching their antennae together. This for me, is the greatest relief. I remember when I turned 30, the sensation I had was of entering a new country. But turning 50 feels more like I'm exiting a continent. Swimming strongly away from the laws and expectations that applied to being a woman in all my previous decades on earth. Swimming away from alcatraz, using everything as an oar.

In a relationship Feb 12 2016 It has stabilized me. It has strengthened me. It has me looking at honesty, integrity, who I am and what I want to strengthen/manifest in terms of qualities/attributes. I am grateful and inspired.

A significant experience this past year was CPE. From this experience, I learned more about my independence, my ability to do something incredibly difficult, my need to take care of myself and my body, and also that I love prayer ! I had a great time praying with people and challenged myself especially in this area. I am so proud and have seen how this helps me in other areas as well. I am grateful for teh support that I had from my family and proud of also how much I did on my own, while Avi and my family were often far away.

My father passed away. He seemed to lose his will to live after my brother passed a few years ago, and I think depression stepped in finished the job that wasn't done by illness. I knew that he would eventually pass, but I didn't realize how soon it would be. I thought I would have more time. To grow a relationship with him. To forgive him for not being around. I spoke to him the month before he passed for about an hour, which is the longest conversation we've had in my entire life. He was so sick and couldn't comprehend much, and it broke my heart when I asked him if he had talked to his sisters and he said he hadn't and wanted to cry when I asked him if he wanted to talk to them. I actually wrote down a list of my worries 4 days before he passed and one of the things I had written down was "haven't called my dad in over a month." It breaks my heart every time I see it. I knew I needed to call him, to check on him, and I didn't. I should've had my mom go check on him in the home that he was in, and I didn't. I think it's something that I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. In some ways, it's made me be better about talking to people when I think of them. But I still struggle. I know the consequences of not picking up the phone, of thinking I'll have tomorrow, and I still make the same mistakes. I'm still grieving. I never got closure. I'm still left feeling unwanted. I thought that I'd be okay when he passed. I thought, well it's not like we had a relationship while he was living, so it won't matter that much. But it matters. It's painful. Even more painful is that I feel like I'm grieving a stranger. I listened to people share stories about what it was like to have my dad as a friend, a cousin, a brother, as a father, as a grandfather, and I couldn't relate to any of it. Sometimes I feel like I'm grieving that, the opportunity to have known the person that all these other people seemed to know, more than I'm grieving him. I still don't want to talk to anyone about all of this. But it weighs on me.

I came up with five significant experiences that happened this past year. I know I'm only supposed to pick one. But I'll give a short description of the first two and how they affected me. I purposefully excluded my leaving Epic, which I think will be covered in a later question. 1. Artist in Residence - I had the unique opportunity to create an event -- any event -- to engage the Madison Jewish community. I spent a lot of time planning "This Is Madison," which happened to create a lot of stress on my end since I was planning it myself. It was similar to planning a JSU event, except I had to do the program planning, presedential relations work, marketing, and actually running the event. While it didn't turn out exactly as I had planned (how could it have?), I am very proud of the result -- both the physical artwork we created together and the space we created at Gates of Heaven. This helped light the fire of art inside my soul again and made me happy. The Jewish Artist's Lab gave me something to look forward to twice a month and really marked my second year in Madison. I'm grateful for the opportunity and proud of what I accomplished and the community I was a part of and helped build. 2. Copenhagen - I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Copenhagen, Denmark for 16 days this past May. I spent a week of personal time seeing my Danish family, Britt, Ivan, and all of my favorite spots. I even found a few new locations that I had yet to explore when I was abroad. It was an amazing experience, and I loved being back. However, I unfortunately encountered two new health related issues -- lactose intolerance/sensitive stomach and anxiety. These issues were intertwined and fed on one another, and were particularly scary since I had not encountered them before to this extent. It made me nervous for how to deal with it and also what was to come in the near future of how I would survive go-live and the longer future of whether I would have to live with these new stomach problems and anxiety forever. I'm thankful that I have an amazing mother who gave me skills and medications to cope with these issues, and she can help me from personal experience. I'm still a little worried about my future, but I have my toolkit at the ready and my card that I carry everyday that let's me know how to handle these situations whenever they arise.

I'm not sure there's 1 experience that stands out... and now I'm feeling a bit anxious that I didn't have or don't remember a significant experience. To be honest, I guess I had a pretty great year, even though no experience stands out, for the most part, I feel pretty inspired by the work that I do and the life that I live.

I graduated from UWE with a First Class degree. During the few months before graduation I put a lot of pressure on myself as I knew I was so close to getting a first class. When I finally got my results I was extremely relieved, and proud of my accomplishments. I worked all throughout uni, supported myself, and visited Australia, India, Corfu, Tenerife, Val Thorens, Centre Parcs, Wales, Paris, and Budapest, whilst living with a man who loves me. I am proud.

I write this just as I've moved back into my house after 3 months of renovation work. It has been a very powerful experience to say the least. The most potent moments involved seeing the demolition of my home in preparation for the remodel. What felt permanent was rendered completely temporary and made me understand permanence as a state of choice not as a fact. Coming back home has increased my anxiety about financially caring for my loved ones. I know that I can't protect them from everything that will befall them, but I feel obligated to do my best. Anxiety has become a bigger part of my life this year, and as I told myself last year, it won't matter at all. There's a balance between hedonism and frugality that has to exist somewhere. I'll find it some day.

I got the job I had been wanting/manifesting for 10 years. Not the exact place, but all other specifications. The type, the sector, job duties, pay range, kind of people I get to work with. I had a specific place in mind for 10 years. When I finally let that go, I was offered the opportunity where Inam at. I am extremely grateful.

Em had a child . . . It makes me feel like everyone around me is creating a permanent life and I am still flailing. This child terrifies me and I resent it a bit, 1) because I feel like I lost my best friend and will never have someone who just 'gets me' again. Girls nights will never be the same. And, 2) I don't think I will ever want 'that', and 'that' is feeling more and more like the expected and appropriate route.

The trip to Iceland broke open my suffocating under the weight of working motherhood and feeling so completely disconnected from myself now I have been on the slow journey back to myself for the past six months

We had a wonderful holiday together. I'm so happy :) It keeps getting better and better.

I injured my back, taking stuff out of my parents' house after my father died and I moved my mother into an apartment. The stress was almost more than I could handle, and I was in pain for almost a year. In a way, I'm grateful for the experience: it taught me to take better care of myself, physically, to be more patient with myself - and my mother, who is getting more fragile as the days pass. Also, because I think I was a bit depressed, I started a phase of my artwork that has turned into something I'd never imagined. Humorous, creative, a daily practice, this work is the culmination of decades of experience. I'd never have done it without the physical pain and emotional stress!

The most significant experience that has happened to us this past year (since Rosh Hoshana 2016) has been an unexpected pregnancy that happened at a time of great instability for us -- after my husband was recovering from mental illness, as he was starting a new job, very shortly following the birth of another child. This very much tested our relationship, our priorities (I'd wanted to "Lean In" to my career), and our finances -- we have had to borrow/take money from family in order to meet monthly expenses of mortgage, student loans, daycare tuition. I am very immensely grateful to my active decision to have this child, and to my parents for knowingly supporting us financially and emotionally as our family changed. I have had to let go of my resentment, actively, not blame my husband, or me, or my son, or my older children. I am not relieved or inspired -- life is very difficult at the moment, but I do feel that it is worth it.

Having seen Q3 before seeing Q1, I'm going to save up the main negative one. On the positive side, got a job doing something which really feels meaningful - maybe for the first time in a working life of over a quarter of a century. I'm really pleased about that, but also suffering from impostor syndrome - I don't know if I'm sufficiently qualified / experience, and am worried about being found out. I've also become aware that, even when I'm doing something to which I feel committed, I can suffer from procrastination and a lack of concentration.

My first response is to say that I became single. This is what I'd like to say, but it's not the entire truth. The truth is that A is still in my life in a significant way. I can't really picture him NOT in my life. We did have a sense of closure, however. This is what I am proud of. It's significant - for the first time I told him "no" on my terms. It was me ending the cycle, not him. I felt empowered doing this, even though it hurt me to see him upset. Since then, I have felt more in my power than I ever have. I feel good, and I am enjoying where I am in my life.

My last academic semester was the most successful I've had since the beginning of high school. I went into the year with that goal on my mind, and with the Fall semester as a stepping stone, I actually was able to follow through. I feel excited about the accomplishment and leaves me going into this year optimistic and ready to work hard to do it again, though wishing I had been able to do it earlier. It was a bit of a let down when I wasn't able to channel that success into nailing a job for the summer, but I'm hoping that failure will drive me harder in seeking a job post-grad.

I spent most of the past year working with clients in deep grief at Hospice. I sat with husbands and wives who had lost spouses, parents and grandparents who had lost children, sons and daughters who had lost parents. All of them bereft, torn apart. It was difficult work at times, and at the start - or, a week after the start - I wasn't sure I was cut out for it. I worried that I was failing my clients. My confidence was shaken, so long had it been since I was truly a beginner. I struggle to put words to the experience of this work, because I fear making it about me. I know that I helped. I know that I was able to provide support that my clients desperately needed, and couldn't find anywhere else. I was able to comfort, and to hold hope for a time when things would be less painful. And I was able to sit with them in their grief without asking them to push it away. I felt -connection- with these clients, something that seems so rare in these times. I am -so grateful- for this experience, so indebted to these clients for sharing their stories with me. I am forever changed.

1- WECT did a story about me & my cemetery preservation on the news. i am grateful & pleased that people are interested in preserving abandoned cemeteries. 2- My favorite giant tree fell on my shed. i was in the outdoor shower at the time. i am amazed at the power & destruction of nature and so grateful that the dogs, nor i, were injured

I moved in with my girlfriend, Fran, 6 weeks ago. It’s been lovely. I’ve moved from my house out of town in Kidlington back to my old neighbourhood, Jericho. This makes my commute longer (more time for podcasts!) but also means we can get into town much quicker and we’re only 5 minutes’ walk from our local cinema. Being with Fran is great. We get on really well; can balance each others ups and downs; love spending time together, cooking and eating, making our house into a home, making gradual improvements to the way we live. When we lived apart, we spent a lot of time planning the logistics of seeing each other and travelling back and forth between Kidlington and Wolvercote and making trips into town. Now we come home to each other every evening and can put our slippers and pyjamas on as early as we like without having to go out again. I’m getting to that (middle) age where I resent having made plans in the evenings and at weekends. I’d much rather stay home with Fran, sleep in, and make our own plans for the day - even if that’s mostly planning when to have the next meal and what to eat. I’m really grateful to have met Fran and made such a good start to our relationship. I’ve felt very comfortable with her from the very beginning. We soon settled into a nice pattern of seeing each other. We could have moved in together much earlier, but I moved into my own place shortly after we met and wanted a bit of time to try living by myself. The natural cycle of tenancy agreements also delayed it somewhat. But we decided earlier this year to start looking for places to live together. Our first search was unfruitful. But when we tried again, after one horrible Saturday of seeing three dreadful places in a row (well, the last one wasn’t that bad), I heard from my old landlords in Jericho that they had this flat available and we could take it before it even went on the market. I’m so glad to be here with my old landlords in my favourite part of Oxford. It’s a relief that things have worked out so well. But then I believe that if you let the world know you’re looking to make a change, it’s more likely to happen. That’s kind of how I met Fran in the first place. But that’s another story…

I took on a new job with a lot of responsibility, more high-level and a long commute. I know it was the right thing to do but it has not been without its challenges. It is something I visualized for a long time (without specific detail, but the field, role etc.) I was surprised that visualizing it worked! I was also reminded of the importance of relationships and networking.

Significant event. I turned 40. I honestly never thought I'd be 40. I thought I'd be young forever. Yes. Everywhere people proclaim "40 is the new 30". I call bull. 40 is 40. I'm older than I was 10 years ago. I see it in my face. My forehead has wrinkles that used to only appear when I'd worry. Now they don't disappear. I can't sleep. I can't stay awake. I have to stay on top of my food intake and exercise or I gain 10 pounds in the blink of an eye. I'm weary. Bleary eyed. 40 is tough. But... 40 is GLORIOUS as well. I know who I am. I'm insecure, but I'm secure in my insecurities. I know what I believe. I know what I want. I know things. Not everything. But more than I did when I was 30. Yes. I am 40. I turned 40 this year. How the hell did 40 years go by so quickly? I oscillate. Between being comfortable with my life and then wondering why haven't done all I wanted to. I'm a mess. I'm together. 40. 40. Wow. Yep.

I got an LPC license! I've been working toward this for so long. So far, it has not affected me that much, but it does open up so many new possibilities and avenues. I'm so excited to have all the tools I need to make moves in my life and career. I'm so relieved to have persevered through to this point and I know it's the start of great stuff.

Andrew was hospitalized. It was the scariest time of my life. I think it helped put a lot of things in perspective. Health and happiness are number one. I have to stop focusing on all the little shit. I need to make sure my kids are happy and enjoying life. It only gets harder. I am certainly relieved that Andrew came out of the experience stronger and more determined for self-improvement. I think it showed me how strong I am. It showed me how resilient we can be as a family. And how very important family is. I never thought about it before but I guess I have to be grateful that Andrew Was helped. that there is help out there for people struggling emotionally. I'm grateful that we have the financial resources to get our children and ourselves all the medical attention we need.

This year I got Gender Confirmation Surgery. It was a huge impact on my life going up to it, and getting it, and then the recovery from it. The difference has been immense. I feel so much more at home and comfortable in this body than I ever have before, and it's made me think a lot about myself and the types of things that I want to be. I'm so relieved because mostly I was scared that I would never be this way, and I would be living in a body that I couldn't feel comfortable in for a very long time. Over the last year I've walked back from the edge, and then started actually thinking about my future. A future that I can actually see happening now and I want to participate in.

Getting more serious with Ian has affected me in every way possible - good and bad. I have felt more vulnerable than I have ever felt, I have felt so close to breaking down completely, I have broken down completely, I have been hurt, but I also have felt love like I've never felt it before, I've had more fun with someone than I've ever had before, I feel connected to someone more than ever before, I have never been in love like this before. But it scares me. This could be "It" or it could be a mistake. Some days I feel so incredibly lost with where I am and what I'm doing, but other days I have never felt more confident in my decisions. It's a roller coaster. It makes me wonder if it's supposed to be like. If with him, it's different. Or it would be like this no matter who I'm with.

I'm sitting in The Dazzler Hotel in Lima, Peru and I have to go with hiking the Inca Trail. We completed the trek 6 days ago and as I walked down to trail from the Sun Gate through the ruins I had an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment come over me. I was thoroughly grateful for the experience, and RELIVED when it was over (and I got to shower and use a real bathroom)! The trek felt like the first step in a new life direction. Two days before flying to Peru I let my boss know we would be moving to Colorado, leaving New York after a decade in the city. Completing the trek makes me feel confident that this change was good, and that I can handle, and look forward, to what's next!

The most significant experience of the past year was falling and breaking my wrist, exactly one year ago today. I've learned things I never thought I wanted to know: how to live one-handed/armed; how to do everything left-handed which is not my dominant hand; that relying on other people doesn't always work out, even when they've offered to help; that I have more strength and stamina than I ever thought I did. I'm in awe that it's been a year already. I will never have back the mobility I once had and I will probably always have some pain, but one year later, my wrist is about 90% back to where it was a year ago. My overall physical health is not as good (multiple things have gone wrong with my body over this past year including congestive heart failure) but I'm committed to working on doing what I can to get better and more healthy. I've been house-less for almost 9 years, living on the road in a teeny tiny vintage trailer (which I sold shortly before breaking my wrist in anticipation of doing some international traveling) and figuring out how to recover without a home of my own while staying with friends has been a huge challenge for me. I never thought I'd be here at this stage of my life (I'm 64 years old). I'm completely inspired to be the best I can be for the rest of my life. Onward and upward!

Over this past year, I got over my grief over my dad's death. He passed away in 2015, but it wasn't until well into this year that I really incorporated his death into my new reality and emerged stronger. I still feel anxious and afraid sometimes, but I'm able to steel myself now because I made it through the hardest days of my life and I kicked grief's ass.

This year I went to Peru and hiked the Salkantay & Inca Trail - 6 days, 5 nights. Incredible. Hardest thing I've ever done physically. To prepare, I sent one day every weekend for 16 weeks before the trip (well - almost every weekend, 14/16) - hiking. Either with friends and/or with my dog, to prepare. I also resigned up for a trainer since my training/ gym time had gone to sh*t. It was an inspiring 4 months and an amazing trip. And I finished- and I made it- and I wasn't last (on the last day) - or any day. I'm stronger than I've ever been. And I'm so happy to be where I am. But now I'm not working towards something - and it's left me a little hollow and lacking.

A little over a year ago my husband started a new job. I had been praying to HaShem to help him with this. I am grateful that I recognized my prayers had been heard and answered. This new position is with an extremely large company that everyone knows and uses. My husband is making more money, better benefits, and more importantly, is able to use more of his mathematical skills. Of course, not everything can be or is 100% perfect. Although the job is not a full week, it is four 10 hours+ nights. Okay, who is going to argue with overtime, right?! We knew this was going to be a big, nay mega change. We were both committed to working through it. It has been tough. We are literally like ships that pass in the night (or in our case, in the morning when he gets home!); we share one car, so I can't start my work day until he gets home. Okay, I'm lucky to have a flexible job to accommodate this. The problem comes (often) from feeling like we lead separate lives. It has been sad, frustrating and lonely. On top of that, feeling like I didn't want to share these feelings and make him feel badly. I am so proud of my beloved and know he is doing this for us. I know he misses me, too, but has this opportunity to distract him. So, what do I pray to HaShem for now? Better hours? Another car? No, I think I need to ask for more patience, courage and understanding.

This past January I celebrated 1 year clean and got my driver's license in consecutive weekends. I remember being so nervous in the weeks before my whole cycle got thrown off (ok maybe that's TMI). Getting my license, after years of using busses and asking for rides and confining myself to metro's perimeter, changed my life drastically. After getting my own car in March--with help, but only because I pursued relentlessly-- literally everything was able to change. I found friends in NA that live further out than I was able to go before, I became able to search for a new job (and eventually leave the fitness center), I started workstudy at my dance studio because getting to classes became half the trip. Most of all, I gained a sort of confidence in myself and my abilities that only achieving my license could fulfill. I am beyond words grateful i pulled through those 5 minutes of "test" so I could move the f on with my life. Relief is apt too. Once in a while I will feel resentful for the years I put this off, or the 5 years I was too intoxicated to care, but in retrospect I guess I wouldn't change anything. I still sometimes don't believe it's real.

This year Blake and I got engaged! It happened on September 17th in Vancouver, BC. It was so magical, and while our relationship has been steady for years, having this new level of commitment makes me feel complete in a whole new way, which I didn't expect. I'm feeling inspired to move forward together, facing the challenges of planning our wedding and building our new home together.

This year, I was a different person. I took a chance and commit to something that I wouldn't have done if I had made different choices in my past. Although riding my bike across the US was a memorable experience, an even bigger thing turned out to be that I shared my journey with so many of my family and friends and even with people I didn't know or who I wasn't close to. When I decided to embark on my journey, I didn't want to share my feelings or what I was about to do with anybody, not even my immediate family. I was going to leave a note of where I would be going on the door and just leave. But I had to tell my parents at some point because we really share an honest love for each other and it wouldn't be fair to put them through unecessary pain. Of course, their reaction wasn't what I'd expected because they care for me on a different level than friends. It made me feel even more rebellious deep down but I can't change how they feel, neither could I change how I felt about wanting to do this particular thing. Over time, they warmed up to the idea as I opened up more to them about the details and my plan. In fact, if I hadn't have told them, I probably wouldn't be where I am now. I needed my parents and my sister to trust that I am capable, in the mind, body, and spirit. For so long I feel I've been coddled and treated as if I'm still the child they raised or the little brother she took care of. They didn't know deeply the other life I had experienced, the other life of me selling different kinds of drugs for 8 years or me being addicted to cocaine for 7 years. What I was really doing was hustling to maintain the addiction. Juggling school, honest work, and dishonest work all at the same time. I quit my addiction January 21st 2014 and stopped selling a few months before. I quit on my own and kept it a secret to only those who knew that I was addicted. No support groups or relapses, if I really wanted to grow up then I knew I had to be the strongest I'd ever have to be and to make the smartest decisions toward bettering my future. It was a major thing for me because if been doing it for so long since high school. An entire 6 to 7 years out of high school is a big chunk of my life I feel I'd wasted. Of course I regret that but I can't take it back and I can't change what had happened. There are only very few people who know that I did certain things and only fewer that know I was addicted. I kept my circle small so I'm learning to overcome that. By sharing with people before and after my bike ride, I've learned to open up a lot more and I'm sort of teaching myself that there's nothing more to hide in the process. My sister inspired me to make a GoFundMe. So I decided that instead of asking for donations and being lazy, I could put my artistic abilities to work and make an incentive for people to donate. So now that people have donated, I am able to share my artwork and snippets from my journal from the trip with them. I made about 80 pieces of artwork after I'd arrived to stay at my sisters place in Brooklyn, New York. I started in Fairfield, California (Bay Area). I still am amazed that I actually traveled that far using my legs. I met some incredible people along the way and I am still humbled by how many people have shown interest. I started April 1st and arrived in Brooklyn June 11th. Been here ever since with the most amazing sister I could ever ask for. She continues to inspire me and we actually inspire each other with new art project ideas that could take our lives in another direction. I've been delivering food and packages for UberRush and UberEats to pay for food and groceries and to help with bills for my sister while I'm here. I don't know exactly what I'm going to when I return to California. All I know is that I'm enjoying life in New York and I'm so looking forward to experiencing the Christmas spirit in the city. Although, we'll probably be heading back to Cali before Christmas but I want to experience the snow here. I'm afraid of treading water for the rest of my life and I shouldn't be because I do have an amazing support system. I guess that's what I'm afraid of even more. That I can get too comfortable knowing that I have a family to take care of me when I need their help so I won't have any outstanding need or drive to be a go getter. An artist breaks out when they have less. This is some deep psychological issue I'm dealing with. Should I part from my family and see what I can do when I am without them? Or should I stay with them and never grow from my comfort zone? Why does it even come down to these questions? Because my circumstances and current condition calls for them. Well, we'll see what happens in a year if I'll even be here.

After spending my entire adult life struggling to control my weight (and mostly failing), I made the simultaneously very hard and yet very easy decision to have bariatric surgery. Since having the surgery in June, I have lost more than 50 pounds. I've gone down 3-4 sizes in all my clothes. I can exercise a lot easier and walk a lot faster. I finished a pre-programmed workout on my treadmill last week, something I'd never been able to do before. Though there is good and bad to this decision, and the burden for long-term success is still on me, I feel like I have accepted the ultimate tool to finally get my health on track. I'm excited to see where I am even two or three months from now -- the thought that I could be out of plus sizes for the first time in more than 15 years is overwhelming in the best way. I was so nervous and worried before the surgery, and the recovery wasn't a piece of cake (no pun intended), but now I am so happy and so pleased with my progress and so excited to see where I am in a year's time. It is amazing to finally feel like I have some control over my body.

The only significant experience that has happened in the past year is the current problem with my father's health. I feel very unsettled about his health and his future. Questions that make me uncomfortable are in the forefront of my mind. I don't want this to be happening now, but he is 90 and who knows how many more years he can live on his own. I feel like I am holding a beach ball under the water and I'm trying hard to keep it submerged. I had hoped for another good 3-5 years.

I became an artist-in-residence for a wilderness space. I have never done anything like it before and have absolutely loved the experience. I'm enthusiastic about their mission to raise $ and buy property ahead of the developers, create wildlife corodors and protect the watershed and everything that lives within it. I really like the smart and driven people involved in the Foundation. I love the area, and have now for a year driven to the mountain and hiked up it taking volumes of photos. I come home, review them and then paint, on a mission, in my peaceful studio. What could be better? Being chosen for the residency came on the heals of not being juried into the festival. It was a blow to my confidence and pride, but I made myself write the proposal. The year as resident artist was so much more broad and happy than I have ever been in a festival!

This year, my oldest son finished middle school and started high school, and my youngest son finished elementary school and started middle school. It definitely feels like a personal milestone--I have a high schooler and I no longer have kids in elementary school. I feel like our whole family has graduated to a different stage of life. No more little kids around here! I feel grateful that my kids have access to such quality, free education and thrilled that they do well in school.

This year we were going to adopt and then he decided we wouldn't. This made me see how dependent my life was on him, on his happiness, his decisions. I decided to make friends and that started a chain of events I could never have predicted. I made a friend, and it has been a friendship that I really needed. It has been a balm to my soul and helped fill a void left when my last best friend died, but who can never be replaced. It is still a bone of contention between my spouse and I, for various reasons, and my husband and I might not make it. So I feel the adoption issue was a catalyst to change my life, for good or not remains to be seen.

I had chemo and radiation for cancer. It was hard on me, but I'm grateful for medical care. My life is forever changed so I'm a little resentful, but as I've discovered in therapy, by facing death, I'm living more.

In November last year, my kitten broke her leg, requiring surgery and intense care for two solid months. This might not be as mind-bending as some people's events. But aside from the cost, the inconvenience was... interesting, I guess you'd say? It meant I had to change my whole way of doing some things, and had to work from home a lot, and had to clean out her cage two or three times a day. It also meant I couldn't make it home for Christmas. It felt like the worst thing in the world at the time, especially being unable to explain things to her. I barely slept with her crying and I was... okay, yes, resentful. I wanted help and support and there was neither. I wanted someone to do some of the work and I don't have anyone. But we got through, and she's okay. Wow, I guess it's been a quiet year. I think everything that I do now that is hard and that is harder because I'm by myself is interesting. Some days I want to complain bitterly about being lonely and feeling unsupported, but I try to celebrate my independence instead.

One of the most significant experiences of my life happened this summer: taking psylocibin twice, as a subject in a study of clergy at at Johns Hopkins Medical center; I put the details in question five so that I can share it with others (anonymouslY0. Also, I went to the ALEPH Kallah in Fort Collins Colorado in July (Avraham came, too, and went to the evening and Shabbat programs). I took a class on "Ecstatic Practice" chanting with Rabbi Shefa Gold, and it was an amazing, uplifting, exuberant and joyful week. A Rocky Mountain spiritual high that stayed with me when I chant "amech ami ve-elohayich elohai" as I see different people, or "samuch liba lo tira" when I need support, etc. And it influenced my sessions at Johns Hopkins.

This year was filled with becoming a Detroiter. We threw ourselves into exploring our new home and taking advantage of our new surroundings. I'm very proud that we dove into this opportunity and are making this place our new home.

I had my second baby. Not only is he completely wonderful, and not only is it wonderful to see his interactions with his sister, but I really do feel more complete and more fulfilled with his presence in my life and in our family. We would have been happy just the three, but I have felt calmer than ever before.

I was diagnosed with bipolar. No surprise really, I have been fighting off the diagnosis for a long time, however things came to a head in late November - February and I realised that i needed help. I struggled with the diagnosis and took it as a life failure and felt that I was no longer intelligent. It will be along road t acceptance but I hope that I will get there.

In March, my rowhouse in Fells Point suffered a very significant fire. I was ok, but much of my stuff was damaged. I'm grateful that I came out of the experience unscathed. My primary takeaway from the experience, however, is that I am so fortunate to have a significant support system around me. Without my aunt, parents, and brothers, I surely would have been lost and unable to cope with my circumstances to the same extent that I was able to with their support.

There were many wonderful things this year. Moshe and Rachel had a baby boy- Nathaniel Eliezer, born on November 14, 2015 and Yael and Avram had a baby boy on 4/8/16- Hillel Yosl Ziskind. Liba and Ethan left New Orleans and are now living in Riverdale, NY. Moshe got a post doc at Washington University and my sister Ruth got married to Peter Kristal bringing the entire family- nieces and nephews together for several days. I am grateful for family.

An acquaintance had 2 strokes and passed away, just a few weeks ago. She has 3 kids, the 2 youngest around the same age as my 2, and it was just devastating to everyone in our community. We are so sad for her family, but at the same time, it has really helped me re-frame things to some degree. I am trying to remember to not sweat the small stuff, as they say, and to spend time enjoying life with kids and family and friends and not get so caught up in work and what 'needs to be done.'

Extraordinarily grateful that I was able to hold amazing bar mitzvah services for my son with our family, friends and new community here in Montana! He smiled and enjoyed leading services with me, delivered a challenging dvar Torah and chanted the Ten Commandments! One friend said he was the happiest bar mitzvah he had ever seen! That was the best compliment we could have received!

I'm feeling older and changing ... still hopeful, eager, filled with desires, inspired but slower I think. I watch myself yearn and then resist and sit still. I'm not afraid of aging and graciously desire a sweet future. I AM SO GRATEFUL.

I had a trapeziectomy operation on both hands in December and August. I am still recovering from the August one. It has helped with the arthritic pain. Grateful for the National Health Service and the skill of those who work in it.

This has been my year for hospital stays. On March 31 I had double partial knee replacement surgery. It was horribly painful and the initial recovery seemed endless. Although the knees have healed, I still have major pain and stiffness in the muscles in my upper legs. The doctor says it will just take a long time to heal. Therefore the jury is still out on whether it was worth it. The second hospital stay was the result of almost constant diarrhea that lasted for weeks. Finally had to be hospitalized due to dehydration. Lots of nasty tests later, I'm on a gluten free diet and learning a whole new way of eating. Some improvement but, again, the jury is still out as to whether this is the cure and if it's permanent....

I pulled 2 dogs from Animal Control and the one I fought for is a big job. It's stretching and burdensome to foster him. I love him, but he also drives me crazy. Would I do it all over again if I had the same choice? Probably. Even though I'm not sleeping well. A little part of me has given more over to letting things be as they are instead of fighting. Maybe the fight creates more hassle...? I dated JP. I loved him and still do. I wonder how big love can be....when do you know you need to walk away and when do you know you should stay or go back? I know that there is an opportunity in this situation for me to break some patterns that aren't serving me, but I'm either scared, not willing to or don't see what the next step is to moving past. I feel stuck in it. How do you unstick yourself from something that your heart wants but your head doesn't? I don't know what to do. Abuela died. I was more upset about how my Dad handled it than her passing- only because she wanted to go and I didn't see her often. I have fond memories of her. She doesn't feel gone to me because I felt her kiss me while meditating. She's here all the time even if she's not here. That's a significant change in perception I have. Maybe it's easier when you don't see someone on a regular basis to let them go. My Dad is still an asshole for acting like a toddler. I can't believe how stupid he is sometimes.

I fell in love with my boyfriend. It was really weird. I still don't believe I'm this lucky or this happy, so at the risk of jinxing... that's the most significant thing that has happened for me this year. I am so grateful to have him in my life. I am kinder, more at peace, more gentle with myself and others, and more than anything-- more loved than I ever have been. It is easier to do so many things, especially this time of year, in a relationship. Most obvious to me is engaging with my mom and family. I can allow things to just roll off my shoulders. I would like to think that this is about more than my partner, its the years of work put in, but it's likely a combination of both.

Earlier in this year, I found out that my blood sugar levels were at an unhealthy level (Type II). With determination, a change in lifestyle and plenty of exercise, I have been able to bring them down to a much healthier level and will keep working at it. Moral: Change is possible. It just takes work.

Someone I have worked with closely for years who has been a mentor to me retired. It seemed unimaginable that she would be gone. I miss her, but I also feel excited to do things on my own. It feels like a new adventure. Sometimes I have no idea how to do things without being able to consult her. But I go ahead. Sometimes I know I could have benefited from her advice, but still it is a good experience having to go it alone. Other times I really enjoy not having to consult with her. I was ready.

Met Steven. The love of my life. The kindest, most caring generous man I've ever met. We both feel like we've waited our whole lives for each other. Am I grateful? OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Impact: Everything will change at some point. In a way it already has. I can't believe I have love again. Really in some ways for the first time. A maturity infuses all our relating. And with him came such a rich package with 2 adult kids and 5 grandkids to fill me where my past marriage did not. I'm still (only 4 months in) reluctant to let go of my independence. His pace is certainly rocket ship next to my gradually wading into the cold lake water. I feel like I'm the brake person on a runaway train. Fortunately he is so respectful that little by little my fears are melting away. I know by next year's questions I will feel differently, but now I'm grateful that we live 2 hours apart and need to go slower because of the distance. I look forward to this next year and where this love goes and takes me. It's quite a ride already!!

I broke up with S. This was the biggie for this year. It was the main event from January through August, and then the past month or so has been moving into the new phase. I'm in a very different place, so the pain feels like a memory aside from some lingering aches. It was exquisitely painful at times but mostly low grade painful. But the whole process also had silver linings, as much as I hate to say it. We were loving to each other until the end and I was very aware of that. We had periods where we tried to work it out but it got to the point that I was just done. It was too painful. And then he had his crisis, which brought on a second wave of difficult. But that passed relatively quickly and I closed the door (officially) at the beginning of August. So, it's been two months...but close to 10 since things starting falling apart. I would not describe myself as "getting over a break up," but I would describe myself as "having gone through a breakup recently." I would not say I am grateful for what happened, at all. Watching something beautiful die is sad. I'm relieved the relationship is over, after the 7 month stretch of emotional exhaustion. I am not particularly resentful. I am a bit impressed by my resilience, both through the acute tough stuff and (now) the adjustment to being single again. That was the part I was most scared of and in some ways is the hardest part. It's not blissful but it's different this time around, I have more faith in myself and in life. And feel more able to notice the temptation to panic, better able to consciously decide to keep the faith. Granted, that is challenged and will continue to be. There is certainly a low level sadness and anxiety that wasn't there during the 2 years of our relationship being really good. But I want to think of it as an evolution, not the new status quo. That's a bit of a tough sell, b/c part of me feels like this IS the new status quo. But it's not forever. That's one thing I'm more comfortable with after this past year - the ongoing evolution that is life.

After working as a writer/editor basically my entire adult life, this year, at the age of 45, I began the process of building a career in a completely different field. I'm a couple of months in now, which means I've just reached the "Oh god, I've made a terrible mistake whatever was I thinking and whatever am I to do now?" phase. It's really terrifying and depressing, but I'm hoping it's only temporary. And I feel incredibly lucky to have a supportive partner who makes this shift even possible. I want to justify his support/belief (but of course that adds an extra layer of stress).

My mom passed and I'm so grateful I had her and so resentful and hurt that she's gone. I'm really struggling with my faith and my existence. I don't know how to be a person in the world without her. I don't know what to do in moments that I so whole heartedly intrinsically need my mother. I just cry and cry and hurt. I don't even feel like having a new year it's just to hard that she's not a part of it.

My divorce finally came through. There was a lot of delaying on my part (I didn't file it until I had been apart from my husband for three years and then only when I had met someone) but there were also a lot of silliness with the courts about having EXACTLY the right wording. There are several feelings surrounding this, not the least of which is relief that it is finally done, but I am still left feeling very sorry that I even got married to this person, because I knew it wasn't the right thing to do from the get go. I keep going back to how I should not have fallen into the sin of 'pretending to emotions you do not feel.' I need to remain vigilant as this is something that I have done before, though not with such tragic consequences for another.

We almost moved to the other side of the country, after 20 years in California (For me) and raising our kids here for their entire lives. It was an illuminating experience, because both Amy and I had always imagined that we would make such a move if we had a chance, to be closer to family, and to more familiar surroundings. We agonized over the decision across many dimensions - Career, family, friends, place to raise kids. Ultimately, we stayed put in san francisco - but I think the process brought Amy and me much closer together, as it gave us a chance to make a big decision together, and reinforced the fact that we have a lot of shared values about what's important to us.

I broke up with my bf but now we are back together. I guess it taught me a lot about how to survive. And also made us realize the depth of our love for each other.

Right now, I would have to say that the protests by university students here in South Africa has been a significant event/experience. Unlike our other visits to South Africa, my 3 months here have been a lot of waiting and watching my friends deal with this difficult situation. I find myself resenting the students, and even more so the non-student actors who see this concern about cost of higher education as a way to generate political unrest generally. It really seems like the ANC is so worried about their declining support that this new cause has become a way to separate South Africans by race and by SES level. Far beyond simple funding which NMMU has been very proactive in addressing, the multiple and conflicting demands for firing of faculty and administrators believed by some students as not supportive or even racist, and the call for decolonizing of the curriculum have created an impossible situation. . These are concerns that cannot be responded to overnight, and yet the students close the doors of the university to the 75% who want to finish the school year. It shakes my firm belief that South Africa can really be a non-racial democracy that includes everyone.

I finally had my operation to remove that cyst in my neck. It was called a carotid or parotid cyst. It was precancerous they said. But it turned out to be benign. Hallelujah. All that stress the past 8 years was for naught. So quite relieved. A second significant experience has been my new church One River Vineyard. We started back in January. It has been really special. We are gelling as a body and perhaps growing past the original 50 with some new couples. (at least today we had 3 new families!) We see each other 2 or 3 times a week with a weekly potluck and life group--and perhaps another activity together. It has been a great move for both Victor and I. He feels such a part in his serving. He is essential to them. He found the building we meet in and sets up the church every other week. I'm on the worship team again! Playing guitar and singing every month. God did restore music to me. Thank you!!! I started a new weight loss program called metabolic mastery where I work at intensely every other morning to get my metabolism started and drink a restorative shakes for breakfast. Between April and July I lost about 13 pounds. It was quite challenging. Ever since my operation I've gained back three of those pounds. But I'm trying really hard to keep up the exercise. Now I just have to get off coffee and sugar again. So this summer I had an audiobook called mindset by Carol Dweck and it was recommended that I read it last year at school. But because of the intense schedule we had, I wasn't able to read it until the summer. However I think it is changing the way I teach and the way I think about myself and the barriers in my life. I have always felt like I had certain flaws that were permanent in my life. This is a fixed mindset, that I cannot grow in my abilities. However through that book and another book called grit, I have been able to push myself mentally past the blocks that I had before. One of the main concepts is that failures do not define us; we learn from our failures. This is how I'm viewing the New Jersey writing project failure of last February 2015. I'm going to try to get back on that horse with and by the grace of God

The birth of Carmel, my daughter. A whole new world has been created. Perfect. Whole. Full of life and possibility. All that has been in the past is backstory for her - just raw materials with which she will create a new journey, a new path through this world. I love her to the ends of the earth and back.

I spent just over a year in Quebec City, doing my usual job, but working & living as much as possible in French, as an exercise in language acquisition. I also became part of a tiny (TINY) Jewish community that is presently in a difficult growth situation. It has moved in the past year from being Modern Orthodox (on paper - it was actually pretty rigidly Orthodox, having had services delivered by a Chabad rabbi for several years) to taking the first steps to becoming egalitarian. The experience changed me in ways I didn't expect, not the least of which was the experience with this tiny synagogue. I am so grateful for having had the experience, but now that I have returned to my usual residence, my heart is sore at all that I have left behind. It's difficult to say how I feel right now - I have been back for less than 2 weeks. I expected to spend High Holidays in Quebec, and my heart is sore that I have not - yet, my community here has welcomed me back warmly.

Going to yeshiva for a year was a surreal experience, one that I don't think I have yet to realize the impact of. It is an experience that makes me love myself to the highest degree, and realize that I have so much more room to grow and learn. At the same time it leaves me with just as many questions as when I entered, knowing that my religious and spiritual life is a constantly moving target. However I decide to live my life in the future, I know that this year was one I will never forget.

I left on a 14 month bicycle trip together with my boyfriend. It took a year and a half of planning and some upheaval in our professional and personal lives, so when we finally left in a flurry of last minute practicalities and festive goodbyes it was quite the event. I am so glad we made this choice to leave our comfy life behinds for a little while. We are now 5 months into the trip (I am writing this from Kyrgyzstan) and I am indeed grateful for this chance to discover the world from up close and personal, grit an all. This instead of forming an opinion of the world through a screen or a sanitised organised tour. Loving every challenge, every chance encounter, the tremendous generosity, friendliness and curiosity of all the people out there. The world is big and it is small and it is great to travel it at our own human powered pace.

On my birthday this year (37), just a week ago, my grandmother reached out to me via my cousin. She wanted to talk to me on my birthday. It was the first time that she had done that in my adult life. I called her back and we had probably the nicest conversation we've ever had. I know that her health is failing so she is close to the end, but after that conversation I am at peace with where our relationship is. It feels good.

I have wanted to learn about programming for quite a while, and the opportunity arrived with the free time of this past summer. However, instead of enrolling in a summer class, I opted to take a free, self-paced online course for the sake of convenience. There were no delusions of near-instant coding proficiency or The Matrix-like technical wizardry by the end of the summer; my goal was merely to understand the basics of how a programming language works and manipulating it to do something useful or fun. With that mindset, I began the course: Harvard's CS50x, which teaches the language of C. Its difficulty was beyond my skill. The lectures themselves were no mental burden to digest, but applying the knowledge to complete problem sets gave me much trouble. This first foray into self-motivated learning was a rare moment in my academic pursuits that left me frustratedly confused with how to solve a problem. Normally I would ask for help from a teacher, but without the live assistance of a well-versed programmer, navigating the intricacies of the language proved taxing – sometimes the flubs were as simple as a function one line of code out of place. I responded to the challenge by trudging through until solved, but progress slowed as the coursework grew more complex. Despite the Internet as my vast resource, I was unable to finish the course's problem sets. Though quite dismayed at my incompletion, I am satisfied with my tenacity in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

Getting more engaged in racial equity and starting to find my voice there. I am grateful, inspired when I reflect on this, saddened that it's not as much a part of my life right now as I want it to be.

My husband's brother stole almost half a million dollars from my mother in law after my father in law died. Then he told his mom (who has mild dementia) that it was my husband who stole the money. She won't talk to my husband now and hangs up on him when he calls. It's a shocking and devastating situation. Makes me sick to my stomach.

Opening my own business. I've worked so hard for this opportunity and I have a burning desire to make it a huge success. I work hard so that the business can one day afford my husband to retire and my daughters can attend college without financial aid.

My Best Friend's brother was killed in a farming accident. I don't know if he knew Jesus or not, but the people that knew him well think he did. I've tried to do what I can as I watched this terror rip through not only the family, but the whole community. He was a marine, and his family is well-respected in the community, and he was a good guy. I'm grateful that the family has a great support system. But confused, because I don't understand hoe this fits in to God's plan.

Last Rosh Hashanah I got my period, after three years of trying to get pregnant. And then in January, my husband and I went through in vitro only to have a miscarriage. I felt so deeply sad and stuck, terrified things would never progress and I would be caught in a never ending cycle of shots, doctors, medical bills and unfulfilled hope. Having a miscarriage taught me resilience, patience, strength, hope in the face of the unknown and unanswered. It taught me to let go and acknowledge I am not in control. It taught me to wait patiently and be satisfied with what I have in the meantime. In May, we got pregnant and enter this new year with the same hope, fears, anxiety, and lack of control. I am trying to feel grateful and appreciate what I have, without giving into to the fear that it might be snatched away from me at any given moment.

My younger brother, Michael, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25 on the eve before Thanksgiving 2015. This event affected me significantly because I have been an advocate for stopping the stigma of drug addition for many years. I grew up with another drug addicted brother for 20 plus years of my life. Having my younger brother die from this was actually my worst nightmare come true. This event brought much family resentment. Resentment because as a family, we have experienced so much via my living brother's addiction and with my younger brother - family hid their head in the sand again, hoping he would be able to fix this heroin addiction on his own. Fear took over, they became powerless and couldn't do a thing to help him or themselves, which infuriates me. My only relief from this outcome was that Michael is no longer living a life of hell and misery. Michael's death has brought more separation for the family. It is so sad. I can find hope in praying my words and this ending shows my children and all I speak to the dangers of drugs. My living brother, who is clean for 2.9 months now, is the messenger. My dead brother, Michael, is the message.

It didn't come to me immediately, but my Europe trip was pretty significant. I learnt many things, but something that struck me was how easy everything was. I did things I'd never done before and only a few days later I would realise that it had been no challenge at all. Thing's like catching a plane, booking a room, choosing every meal and planning out my days as I went aren't huge things, but I had expected to stumble more.

My mom lost custody of me. I was really happy when this happened because my mom is a bad person.

On October 31st, 2015 I turned in my laptop, badge, and corporate credit card at Caterpillar. My job had been eliminated and after nine years with the company I was let go. The enormous weight that it lifted off me was unexpected. Even though Caterpillar was never a good fit for me and I had known for several years that I needed to move on, I stayed stuck. I should have left when I gained 30 pounds, when half my hair fell out, when it changed who I was a wife, mom and friend. I should have left a thousand different times over those 9 years, but walking away from a 6 figure income seemed impossible. Ungrateful. Risky. I was so beaten down that I didn't think any other company would even hire me. I still struggle with those thoughts, especially now, being out of the work force for almost a year to stay home and raise my babies. Today though, almost a year later, it was the best possible thing that could have happened to me and our family. I feel like a different person. I can relax. I can enjoy my life, my son (and soon my daughter as she arrives in December), my husbands and my friends and family. My answer to the question "how have you been" used to always be "busy". Now, the answer is "fantastic".

I have been fortunate enough to spend the last six months travelling through Europe and being exposed to new sights, places, cultures, languages and people. I have made incredible new friends from different backgrounds who have inspired me with their individual life stories and provided me with new insights into the beauty and complexity of people and human relationships. My journey has somehow led me to Canada (a destination not on my original travel list) and a relationship that has transcended the conventional expectations of a holiday fling. Every day I am growing and learning new things because of this experience, and I know I will return home a completely different person, wiser with my new found awareness of the world and forever grateful for this experience.

This whole year has centered around the grief of losing my mama. I started a blog, have traveled through Central America, Cuba, Bahamas, and I am sitting now in India at an Ayurveda center. At the core of this I am still very sad. My dad is talking of marriage and lives with his girlfriend. He is not there for me in a way that I guess I expect. I have some expectations of him to get rid of and some things I have to forgive. I also have to accept that my family has changed and I need to keep an open mind of the possibilities of this bringing positive change. It will take time. Don't forget that you know how short life is. Get over your shit and find nothing but love for your dad, if you haven't already.

In the past year, the secretary in my office quit which led me to first take over her position while still in mine, but later hire a new secretary that I began to supervise. The vacating of the original position left me feeling frustrated and stressed out but I took on the extra responsibilities and learned that I am stronger than I thought. Supervising an employee has been a learning experience as well. Some aspects have been good, others not so much. It has inspired me to take a few classes on Human Relations and Critical Thinking- with the possibility of going after my BA in leadership.

I bought a small business with a partner after 11 years being in house somewhere. It has changed everything. On the technical side, it changed my income, my need to spend hours on a train each day, my expenditures of time and energy. On the spiritual side, it changed the way I feel about myself, my life, my work. It freed me up to think about what I really want, how I want to spend my time, and what I want to spend each day doing and thinking about. Seems I couldn't really address that while enmeshed in my old life, which is surprising. I feel relieved, for sure. A little scared. Definitely inspired. And absolutely hopeful about what's ahead.

On April 11th, at 21:47pm, my daughter Sofía was born. I was thankful to G'd that my wife and newborn baby were in good health and really felt blessed "shehecheyanu vekiymanu vehigi'anu lazman hazeh." (to have been "granted life, sustainance, and to have reached that moment")

I stopped working at M. This necessitated me taking a month off work in January and living with the uncertainty of not knowing what the next step would be, when it would happen, or if my decision to leave was a good idea. I was full of doubts and had no idea what the next step was. But I knew it had to be better than what I was leaving. It was an important time for me, and I am grateful for it. I got a chance to spend time with my family that I wasn't expecting. I read nearly 7 books in one month. In the end, I was able to get a position which put me in a great position to get my current job, which is a great fit, and which I probably wouldn't have gotten without the experience at B. Looking back, I realize that I never really felt that the position at M was a good fit. I was bored and unappreciated. I just didn't think it was a possibility to walk away -- or I thought it would make me seem weak or it would be "quitting." It's not quitting to step away from something that isn't working and find a new way to go. Now, I'm proud that I had the courage to face much more anxiety to leave, than I would have faced simply staying.

Birthright Winter 2015-2016. I was a bit skeptical because it's a tourist trip but it truly was an amazing experience. Extending was one of the best things I've done because I got to be truly independent for the first time, and it gave me a taste of what will happen when I go abroad next semester. I also got to practice my Hebrew and it was really cool getting to speak it in a place designed to speak that language. Also, I got to do a lot of things I wouldn't have had I just gone myself such as riding camels, having a coexistence seminar, and meeting some really cool people who were on my bus. It was like a free sample before going abroad!

My second daughter was born in January. I am so incredibly grateful to have her, so grateful to have gotten pregnant with no difficulties this time, so grateful for a perfectly healthy pregnancy with no complications this time, so grateful for a healthy, happy, amazing baby girl. I am so grateful to see my older daughter grow into such a loving, adoring big sister. I am so inspired by my daughters' boundless unconditional love. I am so inspired by my husband's easy transition to a father of two (under two!).

My (Western) new year's resolution was to write a book this year. At (Lunar) new year, the idea for a book came to me, and I've been pushing through the writing process ever since. Now it's (Jewish) new year, and I'm in the final stretch. I may be finished by the end of Yom Kippur.

Spent a few weekends vacationing with Kat. Two trips to the white mountains and one to Maine. Had a ton of fun. Waterfalls were amazing. The White Mountains trips were some of the best camping and vacations everywhere. Grateful to have a camping buddy and best friend this year to share this with.

My acting class has been life changing. It's therapy and craft all in one. It's made me a fuller person and reminded me that there are people who care about the ART and CRAFT of acting not just the business side. It's a dysfunctional little community of truly good people and even if I don't continue pursuing the career, I will continue to pursue this craft.

During Sukkot, 2015, my daughter caused a serious auto accident while she was drunk. We now know that she has been an alcoholic for many years. Neither my husband nor I have a family history of alcoholism, as far as we know, and as such had no knowledge of the disease and how it can destroy families. This experience has affected me in all ways-- I am relieved to finally understand why she behaved the way she did toward me and others for so long. At first, I resented her for turning my life upside down, but I've learned that I have a choice about how I respond to the situation. I work on managing my resentments, an indicator of my character defects. My primary source of inspiration has been the people who attend the AA program for families of alcoholics, Al-Anon. It is because of the program that my recovery from the disease is underway. Today, I am grateful that our family has not been irreparably damaged, and that battling the disease has made me stronger.

My second grandchild was born this past year. Her arrival assured me that no matter what, my work at its most important has been fulfilled. I have a grandson and a granddaughter and in that way, I believe our family's future is insured. This means so much to me as the son of a Holocaust survivor. He was the sole survivor of his family and died very young. To know that his progeny are numerous and growing is the best honor to his memory I can think of. I feel so fortunate to keep the chain growing.

I met Wolf! We have gone on so many adventures and formed such a deep love. I feel so grateful. He is the one my soul was waiting for. I can see us spending forever together.

I lost my job twice - once in February and once in September. At the time (both times), it was devastating. I'm still unemployed as of writing this - it hasn't been long, but it still feels like forever. I've alternated between incredible optimism and serious desperation and wishing for death. Right now, though? I'm optimistic. I'm confident that I can do it - that the world needs my voice and I can succeed.

This was a big year for my mother. After falling in her home, we quickly learned that her ability to take care of herself was done. The short story of what followed was three months of rehabilitation and then the rest of her life in a nursing home with full time care. Thankfully, after much effort we were able to secure a bed for her in NYC close to me, my brother and her only grandson. It's been a very emotional rollercoaster for us, but mostly for her. Leaving the ability to control her days and her destiny has been very depressing and difficult. Also watching her have to deal with the increasingly rapid loss of movement due to MS has been very difficult. Much more that I can share here but the way I'll end is to say that this experience has been amazing, scary, exciting, sad, touching, horrible, happy and challenging. Overall it's amazing, and we're all so happy to be closer to my mother. But at the same time, her emotions and the challenges we're seeing up close have been heartbreaking. #life

I relocated from the Midwest to the Deep South. I quit my job and find myself very unmotivated. I'm depressed and anxious. I am completely out of my comfort zone. I'm grateful God has provided this opportunity, but I'm so unsettled.

Right around New Year's last year, I began a solid, consistent meditation practice. From that place of balance and peace, I was able to feel a profound sense of calm and gratitude; I started to give fewer and fewer fucks; and from there, I started to experience daily, constant, practical and spiritual liberation.

getting involved in social justice through my synagogue has been an enriching and life changing event. I have learned that I have justice through my being. i have learned to exercise that voice. I have made people aware and situations have different outcomes just by in a respectful tone, standing up for the person. It is a truly gratifying feeling. Makes me proud of my human hood.

I completed my goal of visiting all 50 states by the time I turned fifty. I am grateful to have been able to do all that traveling. The last two were Arizona and Utah and we visited 8 national parks on our 10 day road trip. I am marveled by variety of the natural beauty. I am in awe of God who created it all. I am inspired to visit more national parks and I'm considering as a new goal to visit all 6 continents by the time I turn 70. I'll have to see whether or not Antarctica is accessible or not before I make that a firm goal.

My husband left me. I am both relieved and resentful... we had a very challenging relationship and I knew that he was unhappy with me. And there was a history of verbal and emotional abuse. But I had been willing to stick it out and fight to preserve what we had, even though deep down it wasn't really working for me either. I am relieved that he made the decision first, because I probably wouldn't have left otherwise. But now we are dealing with the battle of how to share custody of our nearly 3 year old daughter, and my soon to be ex has moved 90 minutes away from us. So commuting is a pain, and scheduling is a pain, and I wish that we didn't have to share our child like this because I see that it's challenging for her as well.

I had two heart attacks in 4 months. I learned that I have a mutated gene--and it's not my lifestyle. Because I was thinking about the details of the times I didn't hold up to my vegan, gluten free, sugar free lifestyle. A valve is damaged so running out of breath while walking in the woods can be challenging. Riding my bike, giddy as I was to sweat, discovered that pushing the valve would put me in bed for a week. All emotions as you'd expected, have hit me. I'm too young for this. But....I'm grateful that it's opened doors to a new career in nutrition.

Our older daughter suffered a life threatening postpartum infection. She suffered surgery after surgery, months of uncertainty and brutal medications. We are eternally grateful that she survived and will always draw inspiration from her ability to get through this ordeal while nurturing her newborn and older child.

In the aftermath, I think he and I really figured out where we are. It's more obvious now that we want to be together, but I don't honestly know if we're any closer to a solution to the long distance and his school/career demands. It's like we don't want to live in this world without one another, but we're not sure how to take steps forward. How does that affect me? I am both reassured and terrified; like it's been proven he's someone I can count on despite all that gets in the way, but I also can't see the future for us - it's very foggy.

This year, aged 31, I was diagnosed with ADHD. It's been a rollercoaster and it still hasn't stopped. I struggled for years without even realising that I was until life became too much and I almost cracked. Diagnosis brought relief, but also more questions than it answered. Medication brought a new sense of normal. I don't feel better on the tablets - I feel like myself for the first time in my life. Off them feels like the struggle, as if they are making me worse, until I look rationally at how I am acting and realise that is how I always was. I'm excited for the future, but also scared. What if this doesn't last? What if I have to go back to fighting? I will never get better. I can only try and make myself strong enough.

Although it may sound trivial, and there is more to the story that can be told here, we went as a family--me, my wife, two teenage daughters--to see Adele in concert and it was a truly memorable experience that deeply affected all four of us. The music and the show, of course, but more so that we were together for it. We have talked about it often since and it will clearly be something we remember and share forever. I am grateful for that in ways that bring genuine tears to my eyes, and I imagine always will.

I'm 10 days away from moving in with a friend of 11 years in another state. I'm very nervous, a little scared... but excited and hopeful.

This year I was unemployed for about 3 months during the summer. For someone that defines success and worth by my work, this was a a challenge at first. But I've ended up very proud of this time, as I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to make bread, I worked out constantly, I traveled, I camped, I was well read, and I even took two or three days just to lounge and relax and not detest myself. I was constantly afraid that my unemployment would fly by, and I'd be back to work regretting not using the time well. But I don't feel that way. I feel accomplished in my time. I found happiness in myself, in my own self-industry.

My sister died. That is it... No more words.

My mother unexpectedly died 2 months before her 96th birthday, I was devastated as she was so "alive".

doing the Aids Life Cycle ride has impacted me in ways i did not expect. getting together with a group of people to change lives and get in shape has helped me see the importance of community. i can't wait to do another.

I traveled to Israel with a small group of women. I am grateful to have been able to make this trip. Also had an opportunity to connect with a cousin I had not seen in many years.

I abseiled down one of the tallest buildings in the city i live in. I had never abseiled before and I'm scared of heights. My daughter did the challenge with me - she is in the process of recovering from a terrible year where she made several suicide attempts and self - harmed. Much of her trauma came from an incident when she was raped in a flat by 3 men. It was only after the abseil that she revealed to me that the building we had come down was the one where this had happened. I was so moved and so proud of her for facing her fears in such an awesome way.

My parents moved into a nearby assisted living facility from out of state. It has changed everything in my life as I see to their needs and make them a part of our lives. A friend, Rabbi Mark Borovitz, heard the stress in my voice when talking about these changes and told me "this is a Mitzvah that you GET to do." Completely changed my outlook and helped me find gratitude.

Ha ha ha ha hah okay wow- this is a no-brainer! By far the most significant experience of the past 12 months was giving birth to my son. I have thankfully suppressed all of the sensations of pain I felt, but I still remember the moment of him slipping fully from my body into the world, and the... physical emptiness he left. It has changed my life COMPLETELY. Some ways are huge and obvious, but others are more a subtle change in shade. I am so, so grateful to have him alive and well and in my arms. So relieved to have him alive and well and in my arms. I don't know if "resentful" is the right word- more like wistful? I occasionally miss my pre-child freedom, but then I remind myself that this is just a season of life, and that all great things require sacrifice. We find the balance. Right now it's shifted towards keeping him alive, but as he grows and thrives it will shift back towards me. And I am DEFINITELY inspired: inspired to once again strive to be the person I always thought I could be, because now he is watching me and I want him to know that you don't have to let life beat you down or make you numb. I want him to be even better than me, so I have to make sure I'm worth emulating in the first place.

The most significant experience of the past year was getting married, and all of the things that went with getting married impacted my way of life, essentially since October 22, 2015. Making the decision to have a tiny fourteen person wedding was the best and most significant decision we made. I'm so grateful that I made this decision. I was able to have quality time with each of our "best people," and, because of this, the day was relaxed and calm. I was able to savor all the parts of the actual wedding day. I have absolutely no regrets. Seeing my family come together to help with set up--painting the luminarias, decorating, finding a reading for the ceremony. It was just magical. Being able to make my own meal and feed my own people. That was so special. I also really appreciated everything that people did in preparation and celebration--Brian flying me out to California in February and Mel and Bre flying in. Carole and Kendole coming down. Kimily making time at Harry's. It was so special. So many people came into town for the reception. What a treat to have my family, high school friends, and grad school friends in Chicago! It's amazing to see that people rally around you.

My partner and I took some time off to go travelling and see some of the world. It certainly gives you a different outlook and definitely changes you. It was an amazing experience but now normal like seems mundane and depressing.

This past year has been challenging and dark. I placed myself in a living situation that nearly killed me. I was living with someone who was manipulative, forceful, and so negative that they were almost the destruction of me. They were like a parasite, waiting around every corner, listening to everything I said, watching every move I make, controlling of my environment, my actions, my existence. I have certain self-care rituals that really do not impact anyone but me, but even those were not allowed. And the worst point came when there was a complete invasion of my metaphysical space. I was literally being attacked mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with very real physical repercussions. It was the darkest experience of my life thus far. And I leave out the details even though they are so deeply engrained in my story. During this entire experience, up until I packed my things and left that place (damn, I'm fucking courageous to just do that!), I was depleted. I had no energy to share with myself. My life energy was at an all time low. I was depressed, lost, and a zombie. I tried escaping any way I could - through travel, staying out of my house, and not dealing with this person. But the avoidance was insufficient. I ended up hating this person and then not hating them and then feeling indifferent. I ended up hating myself, and then forgiving myself, and now I'm grateful for the experiences and all that has resulted from it. I ended up being homeless for almost 6 months, unable to set roots. I had to dispose of the majority of things that I owned; everything I now own fits in my car. I had to pick up the broken pieces of me day in and day out and pretend like it was all good... even when I knew it wasn't. But I learned that I am resilient and brave and loved. Others came to my aid without my asking. Others came when I asked. I stood by me. My family stood by me. I saw the light in the eyes of those who I shared my light with... even when my inner fire was barely visible. And in this journey of destruction and rebirth, I learned who I was and what I valued. I let go of many things and people whose time in my life was long past. And I embraced the silenced of me more and more until I found my reflection in my eyes.

In the last year I was diagnosed with HSV. It hugely affected my confidence and I have not yet had to share this information with a sexual partner. It has made me think more about looking after myself and my health, and I'm confident will act as a good filter for relationships. It has felt like the final straw with the list of things 'wrong' with my vagina but it has also been very useful in teaching me how out of my control much of my life is. I also had a major falling out with my sister which has hugely changed the way in which we interact and relate to each other. This has been positive for the most part and I have finally said, "enough is enough. You don't get to treat me this way". However, it has also been very painful to grieve this loss. I continue to be devastated with grief at the loss of the family I never had and always wanted but hopeful that I'm moving through this process daily.

The last year has been interesting. A few major events/experiences have effected me in weird ways. My younger sister got marries which triggered a lot of random feelings and a significant amount of pressure from people around me to do the same. Probably the most significant though was the decision to get a regular job. I stopped doing comedy almost altogether and while I like my job I can't shake the feeling that I'm slowly loosing my identity to fit into a pre-determined format. Kelly and I are about to move in together after dating for almost 7 years and honestly, it's been the most stressful bullshit experience. She wants to live in Astoria, i don't. This has caused us to do nothing but fight and I can't stop thinking I'm being selfish or something but there seems to be no consideration for me. I just want this process to be over. I'm grateful that we are finally able to take this step but I resent myself for taking this job that limits where I can move. After years of wanting to get off LI no I'm tethered here. It sucks.

It is hard to even type this, because each time I write it makes it all the more real, but my dad died. I was in the room with him, holding his hand, stroking his hair. It has caused me to make big changes in my life. I took a risk and quit my job to be with my kids full time. It made me realize how short life is and reassess what matters. I miss him viscerally everyday. He was so sweet natures and loved me so much.

My sister asked my step-father to adopt her. I don't know if they're going to actually go through with it, but they were so happy - my sister and step-father, and my mother cried, and my half-sister cried, and I stood there watching - both happy and sad. It made me think about how I had asked my mother years ago if she would let me ask my step-dad to adopt me, and she said no - not to ask - because she didn't think he wanted that. Now, a few years later - my sister, who is my full-sister by blood, asks him, and he's so excited and touched and happy, and my entire family is happy. and I'm standing there, hoping - wishing - that maybe I'd be asked to? Remembered? My half-sister said "now I have a sister... not that she wasn't before but now it's for real" and still, I stood there, hoping that they'd remember. But they didn't. My mom gave me a hug, said that she loved me. My step-dad gave me a hug and then went out to smoke a cigarette and he was so happy with my sister asking him, but I couldn't ask him. I want them to be happy, but it makes me feel like I've been forgotten again.

I moved to out of the state I grew up in for the first time. I'm 27, and this is the furthest from home I've ever lived. It's definitely taught me a lot about independence and my own resiliences. I've learned a lot more about how to be okay on my own.

My youngest son was officially diagnosed with autism. I knew it was coming but it obviously has me worried about his future. What kind of struggles is he going to face?

Aaron and I moved in together. I've never lived with anyone before. It was very exciting and nerve racking at the same time. We have been living together for almost a full year. I am more in love with him now then I was when we first moved in. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he has been a great dad to the girls. I see him growing and changing as a man and it's beautiful to see. I cant wait to see what the next year brings for us. Hopefully a new baby and possibly moving to a new city or state. We are coming up on four years together, and I have never been so happy or as in love as I am with him.

I'm not sure there has been any one single significant experience. I think after being laid off last year in July, that it took me far longer than I would have expected to really process the transition from full time, professional, senior level person to non-employed - what? I have spent several months actually pursuing my former career in new form - as a consultant or temp contractor - and I may still find a little work doing that. But the longer I am out of the business, the less inclined I am to put myself back in it with the same degree of 'all-in' focus. I prioritized work over so many things - and now I want to reassess those matters that fell aside because of work for the past 35 years. I am not too far off my original targeted date of retirement, and I am thinking this is kind of like starting college! What do I want to 'major' in, as a retired person in America? What do I want to do with my life? Assuming I live as long as projected - this could be another 20 years of my life, or more. It is a whole new 'career' and I don't know what I want to BE, beyond 'as healthy and active as I can be'. So I've been working on the 'healthy and active' part - and wondering about the whole 'what will I do - and why', which is much harder.

I lost 50 pounds and got new teeth! I feel and look amazing! I feel strong and like I can accomplish anything. I get 12,000 steps a day, drink half my body weight in water, and I've recently started doing squats, arm workouts, and ab and butt workouts. I went from 195 and size 16/1X to 144 and a size 6/M. After 30 years of bad teeth, I finally got new ones. It was pretty painful but I recovered quickly and they look great. I haven't got my final pair yet but the ones I have look awesome! I've had to learn how to smile with my teeth after 30 years of hiding.

I was shocked by the killing of Philando Castille on a traffic stop outside Minneapolis. It happened after many other high profile police shootings and before others that have happened since. They are each and all important and shocking, but this one touched me personally because I have been pulled over on a highway like Mr. Castille so many times. He was unarmed just like me. But for some reason the officer approached with a gun drawn and shot him. His wife sat next to him and filmed the whole thing, asking the officer, "Why did you shoot him?" There was no answer. I hold the police to a higher standard than this. Yes, they have a tough job, but they have to do better than this. Each and every officer, individually and collectively, must stop killing citizens. The citizenry must also trust and give the benefit of the doubt to our police, but that cannot happen until the police earn our trust. I am hopeful that change is coming but scared that race relations and police-community relations will get worse before they get better.

Swiping right on 2D images of girls, a string of disappointing dates, I was ready to swipe uninstall on Tinder. I said to myself, just one last date. It was on a cold winter's morning that I would come to meet Anabel, an older lady who had scrutinized my intentions with a fine tooth comb. In a jazzed up brunch cafe in Brockley, we had a cava breakfast. I didn't know what to expect, the picture was not too clear, both of us in fact quickly came to the conclusion we were not like the pictures - something I had gotten used to. Fortunately though it was to exceed the other's expectation. From first glance and from every angle, I could see she was delicately framed, vibrant, her glowing skin seemingly vibrating with something - more sublime than beauty, it absorbed me. Everything she said danced around my ears like butterflys in Spring, her words were sweet but rounded, substantial and I was falling under her spell. Only, she's never hinted that she's aware of the effect she has, and so the feeling remains. From pushing overpriced muffins across my plate snatching glances, to meandering the paths of star pointed Greenwhich park and to hour long conversations about the roots of human experience; from opening the curtains and boiling the kettle on a dark morning, to giving her and her daughter Ophelia a lift to school when we've gotten up too late, I wanted to spend time with her, and still do. When the lights go out too she is irresistable, my body melts to the the shimmering sensation of her, the touch, my mind spins. Meeting Anabel, I am willing to give up myself, happy to get lost in her - though she never takes this for granted and that's why I love her. I guess it's maddening, inspiring and may turn out to be fulfilling.

As a family, we stopped dialysis for my mom, which ultimately ended with her passing away this summer. My emotions are all over the place regarding this - relief, guilt, sadness, and more. Relief that she isn't suffering anymore. The last few years were tough on her the last few months even more so. Yes, she is in a better place but the logical part of this doesn't make missing her any easier. Guilt - did I do enough in the last few days to let her know she was loved, she will be missed and more or did I sit with my own feelings and think of me? Did we do the right thing? Did we do the right thing by honoring my dad's wishes and not telling mom everything. Sadness - she is gone, she will not be able to call again, or celebrate simchas with us. I can't pick up the phone and vent about my daughter or ask for advice. Watching my daughter grow up without her - knowing my niece will have no memories of her at all. And then there are the feelings that cannot be put into words - the ones that I just feel. The overwhelming emptiness - the thoughts I can't explain - the tears that fall for what seems like no reason.

The biggest thing that happened was graduating from law school. This truly was a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, law school was very difficult and I was not happy there. But on the other hand, I no longer have a structure to my life and there is no more putting off the question of what I am going to do with my life. In a sense, I am all of those feelings: grateful that I had the opportunity to go to law school and that I was able to do everything that I did, relieved that I no longer have exams or the bar exam to dread, resentful that I went to law school instead of doing something else, and inspired that I now have skills to make a difference in the world.

My son was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. It's been overwhelming, frightening and so challenging. I'm bewildered by why this had to happen -- he's already been through so much. I am so angry and resentful, even as I do my best to hide it and be only as positive as I can be.

I was invited to the wedding of my ex-boyfriend's sister, and against my better judgement, I went. It was a very emotional time but I'm glad I went, because seeing him again was exactly what I needed. Not because I missed him, or because he's in any way good for me, but because seeing him reminded me again (and drove home one final time) just how much he used me and took advantage of my love and kindness for all the years we were together. I NEEDED to see him, one last time, so that I could know that I would never need to see him again. It's been six months since then and I've never once been tempted to call, or text, or respond to the correspondence that he's sent since. Not even once. And for that I am relieved AND grateful. I'm moving forward now and I have no ties to that past.

I got my first job, with all its features. It was very hard to get the job, it wasn't in my area of expertise. I learned so much, I evolved from curiosity, from a wish to belong to complete boredom and a feeling that I was in the wrong place. Still, I met amazing people, I learned how to value my work and make my work environment a better place to my co-workers. I am deeply grateful for that step in my life, but also a bit relieved it is not my reality anymore.

The separation of my husband and me. It caused me to believe that it was meant to be. The lack of not understanding why it happened pulled me closers to G-D in turn bringing my marriage back in my life. I believe G-D wanted me to endure certain situations and to understand his Grace clearly. Which now I am grateful for and don't ask G-D why it happened. But to learn how to trust in HIM.

I started med school! It's exciting to finally be doing the thing that I've wanted to do for so long. I'm extremely grateful to be here and to have the opportunity to learn and be on the path to practicing medicine. I'm really inspired by so many people in the community here - there's a huge focus on social justice which is exciting.

My mother was diagnosed with alzheimer's this summer. It has been a fast and saddening decline and I see her slipping away from us. It is a reminder about mortality, human fragility, and the role that women play in being caretakers for everyone around them. I am thankful for all of our wonderful moments that we shared in our lives, for the wonderful mother she has been, and so glad that my daughter had such a close relationship with her and will be able to remember her in the future.

Becoming a homeowner was a significant experience as well as completing a leadership program with 50 other strangers. Both felt scary and required me stepping outside my comfort zone. Jury is still out on my decision to move forward with signing up for a mortgage (which reminds me of all the things I hate about my country's current economic system as well as my privilege in some respects). Super glad I did the leadership program, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I've made friends for life.

Turning 30. I don't usually let my age effect how I view myself, but 30 really got to me. I'm relieved the milestone is passed, but the events surrounding my birthday taught me a lot of positive things about myself and the people I surround my life with.

Seeing the northern lights with one of my oldest friends 😊 We only had 4 nights in Tromso and with our first trip we saw them. All in all we spent about 5 hrs in the minus whatever celcius watching waiting hoping - and they were building for a while - then suddenly our guide made one last stop, and the lights danced in front of our eyes. It was a truly joyful , affirming experience. I felt really lucky and inspired.

I got married! July 9 2016. It was the happiest day of my life. I also started a new job and got a cat.

A significant experience has been coming out. It has made me feel more like everyone else and I am open.

Working at Valentynes. I started May 2015 casually a day a week usually Sat. ThenI told Paula I have been applying elsewhere and she said dont do anything. She then offered me 2 days a week. Months later Carmel wanted to give up a day so Ive been working 3 days a week. It has given me income, met lovely customers, purpose and achieved great sales. I feel inspired especially when I get good sales.

I had a baby boy! He is so sweet and such a joy. It has held such a myriad of emotions and experiences. The exhaustion from the lack of sleep, the loneliness that came with it was one of the hardest things for me personally. It has uncovered so much and helped with so much growth. I have found ways that I am naturally gifted in parenting, and how it will eventually balance with career. I still find myself feeling isolated when I cannot get out of the house easily, and I am the one to have to coordinate everything. It has been harder and easier than I expected in so many ways.

I went through depression for about six months. It affected my point of looking at myself, no I like myself a little bit. I'm inspired by how strong I am, and how the people around cared about my mental health.

I was seeing a guy that I was very committed to and thought that I would maybe go somewhere with him. However, the first thing he told me was that for him to date me I had to lose weight because "my mom died when I was a little child from diabetes and I don't want that happening to you." Then he was telling me what to wear. I agreed with the deal. A month after we started the deal, he texted me, jumping down my throat because I didn't go to the gym enough and that people were cussing him because he wasn't seeing a skinny African woman (he's an African and I'm white). I had a hard time with that. Then about a week later, he tells me that his ex text him out of nowhere. They were together for a year and a half, but she broke up with him because she was being told that he was cheating on her. I didn't take that very well, but we stayed together, we were "friends with benefits." Now about 6 months later, she's pregnant with his child and I have my heart broken. He blames me for him going back to her because I took too long to lose weight. He tells me that something was going to happen because he once loved her and that's what happens when you start talking with your ex again. I was resentful at first, but I think I'm actually over it now. I don't want him. I deserve someone who will treat me with the respect I deserve, who won't emotionally abuse me or manipulate me.

Kurt and Casey moving to Montana home. I want them to be there forever. Alberta developing an eye tumor and needing to retire. Koala coming into my life.

Describe a Significant Experience That Happened in the Past Year This year someone in my community took her own life. How did it affect you? I am so saddened. She seemed to have everything. It was a pretty big reminder that looking like one has it together doesn't mean one has it together. Are you grateful? I am grateful for the opportunity for my community to grow closer, to check on each other more, to appreciate our own lives more. I am grateful for acupuncture, for meditation, for friends and family who do love me (instead of focusing on who isn't giving me time or attention) and I'm grateful that I have already been gifted with more time on this earth than my friend and community member. Are you relieved? I am relieved in that this helped me find some self-forgiveness around a past relationship with someone struggling with suicidal ideation. I tried my hardest to support that person to the detriment of my other relationships. This helped me understand that my fear was valid because sometimes folks attempt and think about taking their own lives and sometimes they actually do. It also helped free me from becoming so involved in being someone's only emotional support. It takes an entire community to support someone and sometimes even that isn't enough. Are you resentful? Yes, I'm resentful toward her and working toward releasing that resentment. I know she must have been in a lot of pain to not be able to stay here with us. Are you inspired? Yes, I am inspired by the way people are coming together to support each other in our time of grief. I am also reminded that while my life is hard being able to keep trying and to look for the good and to address any mental health things that come up for me early and often is a gift. I'm inspired to make the most of that gift.

Retiring from my job. I have been approximatelyretired one full year. It affected me in so many ways it's hard to even describe. I went through somebody's been working since I was 14 1/2 to not having to get up in the morning or be responsible for anyone other than myself. I have to say I am beyond grateful. I never would've been able to do this without the help of Rich and Merle. I have been able to travel almost every month since I have retired. I have met many amazing people and been able to connect with some old friends and make some new ones. In some ways I am very relieved too. My job was extremely stressful and getting away from my boss was something that I'm very happy about. For the last eight years I had extensive amount of stress beyond my regular job due to my boss being a bully. I think it's taken almost a year to come to terms with that. I think I've made some good choices and some not so good choices but upon reflection it is been an amazing year.

A significant experience - figuring out some of the sources of my issues, the consequences of being touched sexually as a child. It is inspiring, causes me gratitude at the level in which life is structured to spin meaning if you search for it, and gives me hope in my ongoing efforts to evolve and grow!

My mother suffered two falls resulting in fractures, both of which were debilitating. I quit working to care for her. It's been extremely difficult. Most days I would say I'm resentful of being in this role and wonder when I might have a chance to have a life of my own.

In a word, love. It was unexpected, slow and deliberate. Thoughtful and joyous. Uninhibited, uncharted and liberating. Sexy, adventurous and thrilling. Uplifting and freeing professionally. I found a ski buddy, an adventure buddy, a dive buddy, a travel buddy, a lunchbox buddy. Someone I can share anything and everything with. It has given me confidence, new hope and vision, and a new direction at work. I am inspired to work harder, play harder and live harder, in a healthy and grounded way. I am a better person because of it.

Through hell and high water, I got myself (and my husband) back to Boston. I feel relieved and proud. I worked damn hard to get out of CT and back here. But I also still feel a great sense of loss for not being able to return to Somerville and to Union Square. I feel jealous of my friends who are still there...I feel a bit left out. I do hope/believe that over time I'll feel deeply satisfied to live in Dorchester, but it's hard for me to imagine that it will feel like an extension of my body and soul, as Somerville truly was. But at least now I'm back in a perfect job for me, in a city where I fit in, and I don't feel like a total outsider in a culture and a world that I don't even want to fit into.

I suppose the most significant thing that has happened has been the birth of Leela My new grand Daughter. I am very thankful and grateful but also a little apprehensive as far as how the family structure. I think my son is a little lazy and I know that it's because I have done so much for him. I think that he is slowly coming around as far as financial support. I feel a responsibility and I'm looking more at my role is a grandparent as far as how she will be raised. I want her to know her Jewish heritage although I did not raise my son with that background because at the time it did not seem as important. Not sure how this will go I will buy books and read to her and teach her some things about our heritage

My father's suicide in February totally changed how I see myself, my family, the world. It's opened me up to some new experiences, especially being less difficult on myself and more forgiving and patience with myself and less forgiving and patience with those who demand unreasonable things from me. I feel hopeful.

The answer to this is easy, it was going to visit Bonnie in Florida, going for a bike ride and falling off breaking my middle finger on my left hand and bruising my pisiform on my right hand. Impact, HUGE! Essentially left me with a broken left hand, as the doc referred to it, and a not so good right hand. The first three months were agony, intense pain. I was stubborn and didn't want to impose so didn't ask for much help. Had to for the ACC show in February and Kay and Artie helped out, Laura and April came by too. I still ended up missing a month of yoga. Went with my hand problem but after tripping while packing for ACC and bruising my knee, I couldn't get on the floor without my hands and one knee. So grateful that Robyn and Melisa worked with me this entire year to modify while I'm healing. Also glad to have found Hands On Therapy who have helped me regain much of my strength and flexibility. It's 9-1/2 months now and it will definitely take at least a year as everyone said. Getting close but still not fully functional. Refuse to accept anything less than full functionality. This experience has taught me to slow down and be more patient. A broken finger, especially the middle one, dislocated sideways more than 90° and breaking the end of the bone, does not heal quickly and causes so much change. Little things I have taken for granted could not be done easily, even opening my front door, putting on a bra, tying my shoes, doing laundry or making the bed, cutting my food, opening a jar, and most importantly, working with my clay. So grateful I had some inventory left over because I couldn't make more for about 7 months. More than anything, I'm grateful this was not worse and that I've come to realize I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I'm immensely grateful that I'm healing and becoming more functional.

This past year, my boyfriend took me to his mother's resting place. He does not go there often, but knew that it was something that I wanted to do with him - when he was ready. I never knew his mom since she passed years before we met. He does talk about her, but I am always slightly hesitant to bring her up because I don't want him to start feeling sad. His sister and his aunt have told me that they don't think that he ever fully grieved his mom and he has told me that he's blocked out parts of her being sick and around her death. It was a huge thing for him to bring me to visit her and it really weighed on me. I was honored that he was ready to visit her with me, and that he wanted to take me. I wish that I had be able to know her; everything that I have heard about her tells me that she was the sweetest, most caring woman. I know that losing her was tough on him, so the fact that he opened up like that to me was a major thing for us and our relationship.

I graduated in May. Though I felt ready to move on from my college experience, I knew I was having to let go of something that meant a lot to my growth as a young adult. It was overwhelming being in the sea of purple in Yankee Stadium, knowing I wouldn't be surrounded by that group (especially GLS) again. I tried to capture every moment, every memory. I watched friends move away and I watched friends move back. For a moment, it almost felt like college never happened. But then little things would happen at work to remind me just how far I came in four years. I would catch myself reminsicing on scholarly work from cultural/social foundations. And Spain was always there to remind me how worthwhile a challenge can be. So yes, I am relieved but more than anything I am grateful for four years of growth, strength, and love.

In late March, I lost my job. It was a good job and I made good money, but I was kind of miserable there. This is the second time I've had to suddenly go look for a new job since I turned 50. I think it's very hard to find a new job at my age, with my unusual background. I'm really tired of worrying about every penny. I know I'm figuring out what's the next phase in my life, but it's exhausting.

The most significant experience of the past year (and one of the most significant in my life) was the death of my mother in January after a year-long battle with cancer. I miss her dearly but am grateful for all the ways in which she helped us grow and prepared us for her death during the last year of her life. I'm still continuing to process what it means that she's gone and how I continue to keep her memory alive.

My girlfriend has been battling Leukaemia. It has been a constant battle. Be it roid rage, my frustration, her illness and exhaustion or simple just because of the stress caring for and having a loved one so sick can make you. At times I have resented her illness and in turn her but I have also loved her deeply. I have wished, the whole year for the uphill slog to end for her and for me. But then there are moment or joy, small wins and above all else her unwavering commitment to and grittiness with regard to battling not only cancer but also to maintaining a home and being eternally considerate of others, almost to her own detriment. She is an inspiration, she is a warrior, she is a unicorn, she is my lover. I am just glad she has been her with me through this experience I have learned so much and failed so many times but truthfully cancer is in no uncertain terms a mother fucker. Now, after almost a year of fighting, she is 98% clear. I hope this trajectory maintains and we can travel and indulge in some sort of normality once again. As for where I am now. I'm hopeful.

I quit my job, and moved my family back to our home town after seven years away. I'm currently equal parts relieved and terrified. No job, and trying to get into a completely different career is scary but it's so amazing to be near our extended family again after all this time. I hope it pays off.

My hubby and I visited Alan Savory Institut for Hollistically managed grassfed lifestock mimicing the behavior of natural herds and predators in Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. We took a four days crash course and it has profoundly changed our lives. This is the best ever solution how to address climate change.

I began doing a discipleship study. It has opened my eyes and heart so much and I can see it molding me into the person I'm supposed to be. I am so grateful and inspired!!!

My daughter in law was in labor to give birth to our first grandson and the labor was difficult. I was awakened in the middle of the night and began to pray with anxiety, at the same time, miles away, my sister and my cousin were feeling the same, and without knowing all were together praying. The baby was delivered by C-section and was well. We were so grateful.

I had the opportunity to live in San Francisco and meet incredible people and work in the most tech heavy city in the world. I am extremely grateful for the experiences I had as it made me think a lot about what I want in regards to a city, family, relationship, job etc. I met Vernon who taught me that I can connect with a guy both intimately and romantically. I worked like I never worked before and learned my worth. IT has taught me that I care deeply about the people and the values I surround myself with.

I am in the process of relocating back to NJ/Westchester/NYC after 20 years of living in VT. I was hoping to be able to find a self-supporting job here, something I was not able to do in VT. After four difficult months of many interviews and commuting back and forth, I landed a dream job teaching middle school in the South Bronx at an amazing and intentional school. Because of my years of teaching experience and of subbing at the middle school level, I had no worries about classroom management or about creating my own curriculum. I was so naïve. I had one class that felt so chaotic and disrespectful that I could not maintain enough quiet to finish a sentence. The curriculum was new. The teaching methods were new. I was stressed and anxious and lost seven pounds in the first two weeks. I resigned without notice, burning bridges with the DOE and everyone at that school. And I am full of shame and feel humiliated. I carry a fear of feeling overwhelmed and of failing with me as I begin piecing together what is next. I wonder if my assessment of my abilities and capabilities is realistic. And I have been in this situation before, exactly 20 years ago when I left an amazing teaching job after no longer being able to fulfill the responsibilities and expectations there. I am highly educated and high-powered, but I cannot sustain a high level of performance day after day. Because of my educational background, my perfectionism, and the response I receive from others based on their first impressions of me, I wonder if I will always feel like I am underachieving.

First time my step son was verbally abusive with me at my house. I am married to his father for 18 years. I was very upset and angry.

I have had a lot of highs and lows this past year. Highs: I have celebrated one year together with the man I love. I'm so thankful to have met someone who is so supportive, family orientated, and a genuinely good person who can make me laugh despite myself. We have come a long way this past year and I am genuinely excited to see what our future holds. Lows: I have been diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. I'm so relieved to finally have a diagnosis, however trudging through the medical system and ADA has been very difficult and challenging. I am hopeful that I will be able to find a support group and will learn how to continue to live my life to the fullest with my diagnosis.

Toward the end of last year I had a short spell in hospital and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder... It has taken me quite a while to get my head around this but I have recently started an anonymous blog which is helping. I have also done a fair bit of fundraising this year ... in January I raised £720 for SAMH and I am in the process of raising funds for The Rock Trust via the big sleep out £250 raised so far. I am proud that I have been able to help others this way ... who knows I might even do a skydive next year.

There were so many significant experiences this past year. I met Josh. We got engaged. Grandpa died two days later. I quit my job. I moved back to Michigan. I got married. I (finally!) got a job in my field at an agency that I love. But if I have to pick one I'd say getting married was by far the most significant experience of the past year. Combining my life with another person's is such a powerful, weird, ridiculous, amazing experience so far. I've stretched my ability to compromise, my ability to empathize, my patience, my love. I've learned to accept that being married means always considering someone else's needs, wants, desires, feelings, and preferences in addition to my own. We've only been married for six months and while I know I have so so so much more to learn and grow and become, I have also already learned and grown so much. I'm so grateful for Josh and all that he has taught me.

The man after whom I've been pining for years got engaged last month. I've been thrust into a depression. I am seeking help.

Having my son was the most significant experience from this past year. I was surprised that the love I felt for him was a slow burn. I loved and was grateful for him. But over time that loved just blossomed. Last night as I was putting him to bed he started looking at me and giggling. And then I started laughing at him laughing. And then we was laughing at me. It was endless cycle. I felt so much joy. He is a part of me. I have been blessed enough to encounter him in this lifetime. He brings me so much happiness that I tear up every time I think of him. I didn't expect to feel like this but I am so happy.

I did international travel - Australia and Singapore. It was a breath of fresh air. I am grateful as it inspired me to search for a better life(style)

I've been developing a children's book series for a couple of years. This year, I began collaborating with my best friend. We have been friends for 35 years, living on opposite coasts for much of that time. Now we are closer in distance and writing these books together has brought a new and exciting dimension to our friendship. We also have rewritten the first two books and working on the third. It is an exciting project, both in the books themselves and seeing how a good partnership can work.

I helped in firing a person who I liked and cared about very much. It has made me very sad though it is and was the right thing to do. It has impressed upon me how important it is to do the toughest tasks with dignity and integrity. While the hurt is still fresh I hope it will inspire me to keep front and center these two important traits that can make a difficult human interaction tolerable.

There are two that are worth noting and both happened in August. My 'position' at my job of nearly 23 years was eliminated. I feel a lot of things - relieved, excited about the future, a bit scared, inspired, resentful. Mostly I feel like the light has been turned on and I can look around the room/world to see what else is there. It's a much needed transition and perhaps one I might not have gotten around to without the push that I got. The second was a health issue for my mother. She had emergency surgery in August; her appendix had ruptured. She was in the hospital for a month and I was in FL for most of that time. It was stressful and really crazymaking. I'm so grateful she is on the mend but the process was very traumatic for me as I was there alone for a good bit of time.

I think the most significant experience was getting into Medical School. And not just into any medical school, but my top choice. I was relieved and shocked. To the point where I almost threw up. I think most of all I was grateful that this incredibly stressful process was over. Just a week before I got the acceptance email, I was having nightmares about not getting in. I was feeling broken, and really hopeless that all the skills I've worked so hard to acquire would be for nothing and I'd have to move to a career or job path that felt meaningless to me. Having applied once before to medical school and not getting in, I had promised myself that this second round would be my last. And I'm grateful that things worked out for me, and that now I'm studying something really difficult, but still fulfilling and surrounded by people I deeply care about and actually like.

Holy hell this has been a year. Signifiant experiences galore. Since answering these questions last year I've gotten engaged, lost my job, gotten married, started a new job, lost my last parent and bought a house. I think I've felt just about every feeling human beings can feel in the last six months alone. I can't really pick which experience to focus on, even, though certainly my dad's death and my marriage have been the biggest events. I think I've felt almost every feeling about my dad's death alone. Relieved? Certainly. Resentful? Absolutely. Devastated, broken, terrified, loved, inspired - I've felt all of those things about just this one event. I'm certainly angry. I felt, in the end, that my father betrayed me. He broke his most important promises. He let my truly evil stepmother do truly terrible things to me and my sister. I also miss him deeply. There is a deep sadness I think I might always have to live with. In turn, though, I have been very lucky. My friends in general and my husband in particular have been wonderful. I am so very, very grateful for all of them. They're all I have now.

One of my students died after a protracted battle with cancer. He was 18. I spent a lot of time with both him and his family as they struggled -- both successfully, at first, and then in the end succumbed. Many ups and downs over two plus years. And then I spent time with the family and his friends -- my students -- as they grieved. And I grieved. And his death, from cancer, connects in many ways to my own mom's death from cancer two and a half years ago. They were both diagnosed around the same time, and the new loss provoked a fresh wave of grief for my mom's death. Was I grateful? For the end of his suffering, yes. But for the acute pain his family felt to lose a son too young: of course, no. Resentful? It's hard not to find it unfair. But it's hard to resent something so large and complex as illness. And inspired? In a way, yes. I've always written, and have been writing all through this process in response to my feelings (both about my student and my mom).

Moving across the country. It turned my world upside-down in both good and bad ways. It completely took me out of my element, which affected my personality. I didn't know anyone, so there was no one to socialize with. I was working in a new hospital, where I didn't have the same comfort level as I did at my previous job. The weather change affected my brain, in that I was/am constantly dehydrated, thus making my brain more foggy and not as sharp as it usually is. I am also grateful to have this new experience. I'm learning more how to survive on my own. I'm experiencing new hobbies that I have been taking to take part in. Sometimes, when Rob and I argue, I resent moving here for him and leaving behind my comfort zone. Those feelings don't last too long though, as I know, deep down, this is where I am supposed to be in life right now. Being with Rob makes me feel on top of the world, and like we can conquer any task/goal we put our minds to.

I feel like a lot has happened in the past year: My parents are getting divorced. It's so messy... and even though I am angry with my father for what he's done I see that he's still my dad and I can't be mad forever. As far as my mom goes, I hope that she finds someone so awesome. I always wondered why my parents were together and even though I am unhappy with the result I am also happy to think that my mom will maybe find someone who can compliment her better than my father. Things are still very tense, and I imagine they will continue to be tense for some time. I just hope that things turn out okay and my parents can act mature about it all. I don't know, I guess only time will tell. Only time can heal. Also, I went to a traditional school this year for the first time. I met tons of new people, had some crazy experiences and studied A LOT. Took way too many classes during Spring Semester and Summer, but I'm so happy that it's over and I survived. I dated Zane. I miss him still sometimes and tell myself that it's good that I let him go. I think what I did was pretty unjustified... He was such a nice, funny, awesome guy. It just all went too fast. I struggled to find the time for him and had no idea how to fit him into my life. Now that I'm in England I see how difficult it may have been to sustain a relationship with him anyway. Isn't it funny how you never want them when they're there, but you always want them when they leave? It's a real struggle.

I graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality and Resort Management. I proud of myself of getting a college education. But since I've graduated it's been hard to get a better job where I can use my degree. It's so frustrating to me because usually when I'm applying for jobs I never have a problem. With Chipmunk having a hard time to with jobs but always pulling through with great opportunities in the end. I've tried to advance at The Peabody but it looks my reputation there is definitely shattered but then again their system needs fixing too.

I literally got into the middle of an altercation between my two dogs. They both just got triggered and went at each other, and I was afraid that they would kill each other. I simply could not just stand there and watch. In the middle of it, I was nude and bleeding and holding the big one, trying to dodge the little one and managed to finally get a closed door in between them. We were all traumatized, and physically injured. That experience, and the consequences of it, have lead me to completely re-envision my life, and change my course. It has been ultimately hard, and good. I am grateful.

There are so many, both good and bad I published a book, which reminded me of some of my capabilities that I sell myself short on too often. I fell in love, and reconnected with parts of me I thought were lost, recognising that I still have a deep propensity for giving love, and being open to receiving it. I had my heart broken, which left me bitter and broken and confused, resentful towards her and resentful towards myself. I spent three months living in the US, and it changed the way I thought of the world, and my place inside it.

Break up > move > left Pinterest > started new job > became conscious of vocational calling. Grateful, a bit shaken, inspired, a little fearful. Inspired to move toward work that calls to me: helping those who suffer.

I met a man and I fell in love. That hadn't happened in a long time. We had an intoxicating, whirlwind four months, then he told me he didn't want me, and it broke me like I hadn't been broken in years. But it changed me. I hadn't felt that alive or more like myself in a very, very long time. I feel things now that I had forgotten how to feel. I see and understand things that I had stopped noticing. I do NOT stand for crap that I just let slide before. I found love and appreciation of myself, and all I have to offer. And it has come to me because of the flawed, imperfect, but beautiful experience I had with this man - all of it - the good and the bad. And I am grateful. And I am ready to walk forward into my future and my narrative with both hands on the wheel. I am not bitter towards him. I am still healing, but I wish him only good things.

It's hard to choose just one because Chris and I got engaged December 6th, eloped April 16th and got pregnant on our honeymoon in July! The most significant is that we are expecting... Especially as it is going on right now. Just in the start of the 4th month. I am so excited and anxious. I want to be the best mom I can be. I'm also really grateful that it was so easy for us to get pregnant and that the baby has looked healthy at all the ultrasounds. What an exciting time!

We bought Larry Anderson's house. We have the added stress of a big move and now ongoing remodeling. But, this is not such a price to pay for the prospect of living in a house that is much lighter, quieter, has a better view and is quite grand! Not to mention it appears to be a very good investment as well. Grateful, excited and a little anxious would describe the feelings.

Sal past away. It was really hard because I felt like I never got to know her as an adult and I find myself wanting more time with her. I am grateful for the times I had with her and realize more and more how many of my mannersims and sayings I got from her. On a happier note, I got into PT school! Im excited and nervous to be starting a new chapter in my life. Excited to learn but nervous that I won't be able to handle the sheer amount of information and stress.

Being in a relationship for the entire past year is something new (and terrifying) for me! It's made me balance my time better. It's also made me consistently question/doubt everything, which is a new feeling! I suppose it's good to question, but at what point does it turn into pointless worrying?

I went to Ca "for the Winter" and ended up staying nearly six months. For three of those months I was the primary caregiver for a newborn (with some help from her mother). It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. An adorable child and a very overwhelmed and unstable mother and father. As anyone who has had a newborn can tell you it was exhausting. It was also exhilarating. I am grateful. Maybe a little bit resentful that things did not go as I had hoped, and as I had thought would be the best for the child. I suppose I am inspired in some way, but not one that I can elaborate upon at this moment. And yes I am relieved, to be able to have moved on and no longer in the throes of emotional chaos, relieved that the child is in the loving home of a grandmother, and relieved that I may be able to have some connection with her as she grows up. We shall see.

The most significant thing I can think of is that I cut my hair. I was inspired by a woman who always wore her hair long and straight, but had battled breast cancer this past year and when her hair grew in, she left it short, curly and gray. I'm still coloring it, but I have had tremendous feedback about how much younger and skinnier I look from all kinds of people. I wonder why I hadn't done sooner. It inspires me to keep changing for the better.

The first day of 2016, I felt a big shift in my being and I got sober. I had been struggling with alcohol for a long time, spent some time in rehab, tried a lot of "controlled" drinking. But on this morning, I felt different and I committed to breaking free from my addiction. It's been a fascinating, wonderful and excruciating year.

One significant experience that has happened is that I officially (legally) started my business! I have been very nervous but excited. I'm so very grateful to have taken this step eight Mike completely behind me - in support of this venture. It was a huge accomplishment for me - launching it is another thing - and then making it financially sustainable will be another! Feeling very hopeful. I have complete faith that it will work out and be successful!

I got CAMDEN! After 2.5 years back in the states and pining for a dog and missing Oliver, I finally got my own dog with me. I'm so grateful, happy, over the moon in love with my little man. He's my little shadow, follows me everywhere and is happiest when he's right beside me, in my lap or in my arms. It almost made me feel more complete as a human on my path in life. It's amazing...

I gave my ex-boyfriend an ultimatum in February: either move to my state or we cut off contact altogether. He has yet to move here, and I have yet to decide on a timeline to move on with my romantic life.

Well I've never been broken up with and this year I was and it sucked. Don't they say that at the end of a storm comes a rainbow. Well I believe that to be true. This year I made some mistakes in my relationship with Wayne. I know what they are and have apologized for them. However, I believe that since Wayne and I broke up, I have become a more self aware and mindful person. This particular experience reminded me of my freshman year in high school when I would sneak out and party without telling my parents. Then one day my dad caught me and gave me a choice. To take the high road and leave this path behind or to continue on the path I was on. Luckily I took the high road and after that talk I never snuck out of the house again and I changed my ways, I became a better me. The same goes for my experience with Wayne. He gave me two options, well let me rephrase, I gave myself two options and since that day we broke up, I have taken the high road and am a better person today because of it. I feel like sometimes we need to be called out on our mistakes or bad habits and realize that our actions effect not only us but the people we love. Part of me is grateful this happened because I now have a defined sense of what it means to be in a relationship again and a new knowledge about the meaning of loving someone. I am relieved that Wayne was forgiving and that I was determined because now we are very happy together. This experience made me realize how much I truly love and care for Wayne.

Yes. Here it is: http://www.schooledthepodcast.com/ I think honesty inspires more honesty. Wow.

We got back together and we spontaneously bought this house. I feel nervous, still, but most of the time I feel so grateful and so blessed. I feel like I could have explored other options, taken more time, not made this decision, but now 90% of the time, I'm confident with the choice and happy here. Now, it's just, what comes next?

Dad died. And yet the sun still shines, some rain still falls, nights are still quietly beautiful, days stunningly gorgeous. And we -somehow- managed to keep breathing. In a way it was a relief in the end, but Gods, does it hurt. Still. And I guess it always will hurt. And yet: I've learned so much, about fear and strength, love and friendship. I've got so much to be grateful for. Mom's doing alright, and we've found a new balance, a new way to lead our lives. And now that we're slowly getting back on our feet, I find I'm looking forward to the rest of my life. To moving in with my Love, to working less hours, to start drawing classes, work in the garden, have more fun in the kitchen, laughter with friends, dances....

In the past year, I have studied in Hong Kong, traveled around east Asia, made incredible friends, graduated from university, moved to Israel (yet to be determined how permanent it is) and worked for two great companies. I am incredibly grateful to have had such amazing opportunities and parents who support me no matter where I am in the world. I can only hope that I continue to meet amazing people, and never stop exploring and learning as much as I have in the past year.

This time, last year, my dad was taken in by my aunts under a promise of longevity and quality of life. Despite all medical reasoning he has survived the year, but quality of life, for him, is near to nonexistent. My aunts continually comment on the burden of my dad's being in their care, acting as a martyr for having him. They've filled his mind with deceit that my sister and I (who cared for him for years before my aunts bamboozled him without talking to us) don't care for him and want him to die. He's a broken man. It breaks our hearts. But he is also so physically ill that he's beyond our care. We wanted to place him in a home with 24-hour care, that he needs. He's in failing health, and who knows how much longer he has? Medical science says he should have died over a year ago. His organs are shutting down. He's ineligible for transplants. He's never taken care of his health. All of this has made me love my close family (my parents, my sister/her family, my husband and kids, my husband's siblings and their spouses/kids, and my husband's dad/step-mom) and question extended family. To my dad his sisters may be considered close family (as my parents are divorced and he has no spouse) and he did choose to be there. But when I speak to him he sounds miserable. I digress and I know not where I'm going with this experience or what I want to truly say. It just weighs heavy on my heart. I want better for my dad. He wasn't the greatest of parents. Neither was my mother. Neither wanted children nor knew how to raise my sister and myself. We were raised by our grandmothers, just kind of pushed onto them. So it isn't that I think of him as my parent. My parents died years ago. He's more a child I grew up with and seeing him in this state makes me sad. I also feel helpless. My sister and I tried and he's still in and out of the hospital monthly with a mini-stroke or seizure or for another organ that just isn't working anymore each time and each time my aunts don't tell my sister or myself that anything's happened to my dad. We sometimes find out through a Facebook post or another relative calling us and sometimes it isn't until we talk to our dad that we find out he had been in the hospital again for a week or so. It's frustrating and infuriating that they're so childish. My sister and I are his family and we are left in the dark about what's happening to him or with his health and when we find anything out it's usually another prognosis for another 8 weeks to live or something like that ... it's all just made me numb.

Last night, Wafae and Maroua cooked us dinner which made me think about how personal relationships are the most important thing about travel and life more broadly. Even if the food wasn't delicious (which it was), the situation is the exact situation you look for when you travel. Getting to know someone in another country then sharing an experience with them. It's a reminder of both the ephemerality of experiences and the need to appreciate moments as I know that in a few days I'll be leaving to potentially never come back. If you only look towards the future then you may be sad that this moment is temporary but the moment is all you have.

Is it significant that I got through another year sans Joe? Relatively intact? Relatively solvent? That I laughed maybe even more than cried? At the beginning of summer my nephew got himself into a life-changing car accident through nobody's fault but his own; drinking, not wearing a seatbelt. He's alive but neither he nor his parents, nor we the relatives and friends standing by appalled, will ever be the same. Spinal cord injury of horrific scope. I treasure my children and theirs ever more, and am humbled realizing the fragile threads by which All of us hang. It's scary. I try to relish each moment, try to be compassionate, worry most about my brother, the father to the 23 year old; devastating.

I got my heart broken by a person I loved and with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life (as far ahead as I could imagine it). This technically happened just before last year's 10Q went out but I was far too bereft to type the words. The question asks how it affected me...am I grateful? No. Relieved? No. Resentful? Yes. Inspired? Not at all. I've cycled through the stages of grief and had brief moments of feeling all right but looking back at the past year as a whole, the best I can say is that I am alive. I have wanted to die but I haven't and I don't intend to. I don't think I have enough perspective yet to know how this is going to affect me long-term except that it's the worst thing that's every happened to me. And I don't want to be a victim, I want to take responsibility for my own part. But right now, October 7 2016, I am still hurting a lot. I still feel like this is it, I'll never get over it, I'll be alone and sad forever and it's not fair. Fuck, this is bleak. I don't want to be so bleak. This "significant experience" has taught me how vulnerable I am. Some days I feel doomed. Other days, days I hope will come back around soon, I feel human, and I know there is possibility in that.

The experience I've been thinking about the most happened recently. I've been in spiritual direction for over a year. I've been trying to feel closer to God, as well as deal with issues of fear and loss. In our July meeting I realized for the first time and said out loud that there are places inside me that are never OK, and those places just are never OK. Then there are places that are sometimes OK and sometimes not, and those places were good at that time. My spiritual director asked if I was ready to go there, to explore what's never OK. He said I might not be, and it was my choice. I said, "What am I doing here if not that?" So I started journaling and writing about everything that's never OK inside. After a few weeks, I felt like I broke open. I spent a full day just crying, I felt like an exposed nerve, an open wound, a pulsing pile of need. I'm still not sure what happens next, but I think I am getting somewhere, maybe even starting to heal in the broken places. This is huge, because this stuff has been there for years. It has been super hard, but I crave the process of digging deep and I wish I could meet with my spiritual director daily. I'm grateful, still kind of scared of what's to come, and hopeful that I will come to a place where I feel less broken. I do feel more whole, having stopped fighting to negate the stuff inside that's never okay.

My father came to visit. He is 86. I was very grateful. He has never valued me before, but he came because he wanted to show that he did. He liked my home, and my friends, and the events I had arranged. He was more optimistic about his abilities than was realistic, so we could not do some, but I was able to find a right balance of everything so that I could make sure he had a really good time, and to show him that I valued him, too.

Had a hip replacement. Was surprised at how fast I recovered. It is another reminder that I am mortal and I won't last forever. Grateful to have Larry here for me. It would have been hard to take care of myself when I came home. This follows the gall bladder surgery I had last year. I expected all this to start later. Grateful that I can still drive and get along by myself when necessary.

I met the love of my life! Well, actually, we knew one another and have been "good but not close" friends for a number of years. On NYE, however, we connected in a new way and have been happily in love pretty much ever since. It's funny knowing that she's definitely "the one" and knowing that she feels the same way about me. It's not the right time in either of our lives to take the relationship past dating, but I definitely look forward to a time when it will make sense to ask her to marry me.

I stop paying alimony next month. I'm relieved as well as saddened, knowing this last tie, though merely financial and not emotional, is the last tie aside from our children that my ex and I have left between us.

I went on tour with my boyfriend. Ended up breaking up in a different state and heading home to start school. I was heart broken. However, I started a much needed journey. Now I am in school. Almost finished. I feel grateful for the heartache and support. The fact I can love myself truly.

I am no longer on the synagogue board of directors or executive committee (because my term ended). It is a bit of a relief because of some of the things that are going on now, but it also feels a little strange to be out of the loop on things I was so involved in for so long. It will be very interesting to see what decisions they make in the coming year, especially in regard to personnel and budget.

This year this answer is easy. I became engaged to my best friend and partner in crime. It was beautiful and perfect up on Mt. Cadillac in Acadia (though it had a few awkward moments.) We spent the weekend together being us and enjoying the energy of the decision. It was in some ways hard because I felt like I had been waiting forever for something and had weird expectations about it. I was relieved, a little sad that he had made the ring and it wasn't what he wanted it to be, and weirded out that it was so very me rather than being public me and a little put aback at the quality until he explained he had made it. All in all though the change has been perfect and wonderful in so many ways I have no regrets about how any of it happened. It had everything it needed to have and the weekend was perfect.

I recently got the first real full time job I've had in 7 years. I'd almost given up hope, but not of working...just of the idea of 9-5, M-F work being a steady thing that was attainable. I had resigned myself to not having that, and committed (albeit not fully) to building my own business. As much as I still WANT to work for myself, I am incredibly relieved to have the job that I have. So many people who have started businesses did so with investments, or savings, or just plain being able to pay their bills. I had none of those things, and did it out of necessity...I'm excited to see what I can do with it now that financial worries are potentially gone, and I don't have to take every opportunity that comes, good or bad, just to survive and provide for my family.

This year I left my two kids for ten days and traveled to Poland with a group of professionals for an immersive look at Poland and Jewish life, past,present, and into the future. It felt like an awakening to clarity - a connection to history I never had. But it also felt like an awakening to the connective thread of heritage - one I had in my non-nostalgic approach, had never felt before. I so appreciate it and am still processing how to allow it to affect my life, my work and my leadership in the Jewish community.

My grandmother and my dog died. I am still grieving and I suspect I will be forever

I recently achieved a huge career goal. I'd always said my dream was to get a book published by the time I was 30, and on my 30th birthday the first possibility of an offer came in. A month later, I had achieved my dream. I'm grateful beyond words. I really feel that I'm the luckiest person alive. And, probably obnoxiously, that makes me feel guilty as hell. I have a beautiful family, I have career success (for now - I'm highly aware things could always fall apart), and I'm safe and healthy. It's mind-boggling to me. I learned the lesson long ago that external elements in life don't equal happiness or contentment. That old study about how people who win the lottery are at the same reported levels of happiness six months later that they were before they won always stuck with me. So I'm trying to keep perspective on all of this. It's funny to me how my self-esteem is still so low. It wasn't affected too much by this outside validation. I mean, I still have horrific body image, and I still feel like I'm disappointing people (even in my writing itself and in the type of book I'm publishing), and I still obsess over the same stupid minutae. So I'm grateful. Hugely grateful. And I want to let that gratitude sweep away the anxieties that have long consumed me. I hope to only live in gratitude.

My son had his bar mitzvah. It was amazing. He studied for years and worked extremely hard, and his confidence and enjoyment of the day were so gratifying. It was a fantastic experience for him and for our family. I also couldn't help thinking, "We must be doing something right."

We moved from darkness to light, from a very difficult place to a new home, a new job, and new medical care for our daughter. While it has not been easy, the contrast between this time last year and today is dramatic, and I feel as if a huge burden has been lifted.

My partner, our family's major breadwinner, was laid off in a re-org last winter. We are scrambling, but have our heads above water - so far. Promising interviews are coming in stronger this fall. We're scared; I work part time and it's both seasonal and not nearly enough to carry us, but it's what I can do. We are grateful for MediCal...

This past summer I traveled to the country of my grandfather, Poland. I felt a sense of familiarity, as if I had been there before. I know that I will never forget what happened there

Just one? Man, there were so many. However the big one was moving back to California to be with Jenn. No doubt I'm grateful because I am now with the woman I deeply love and we get to build a life together. That's the easy part. The move part has shaken me up. I'm not graceful with big life changes. It's hard for me to admit that because I've always wanted to be seen as flexible and go-with-the-flow. But the truth is out—that easy going attitude is out the window when I'm trying to find my footing in a new place.

A good chunk of this year was focused on fertility preservation. Part of me is relieved that this is an option and I can delay the big decision. Part of me is anxious that this is no guarantee of my future ability to have a child. Part of me is terribly sad that I haven't been able to find a life partner that I can happily plan a family with rather than facing it all alone.

My brother's institutionalization due to Alzheimers. It makes me pay more attention everyday, it reminds me that time is an unknown factor - we have no idea how much or how little we have. It makes me grateful, present, afraid, awestruck, dumbfounded, wanting to seize the day to be sure to embrace what I have and what is possible now.

My best friend tired of me, and and has been immature. I am hurt, reacting badly, and trying to grow but feeling too wounded. So I am trying to be mature and allow her to go and leave me, but don't know how to act around her when she clearly doesn't want to be around me at all.

I met a guy at a monastery just before my birthday (no, not a monk) and we've been talking a lot since then. He's the first guy who's expressed any sort of interest and it's quite flattering. I can't seem to stop grinning when I think of him.

I was in a three month gig and my boss suddenly decided to undermine all of my work and hand off the credit to someone with half my experience and talent. It took my at least 6 months to process and let myself see it for the deceitful mess it was. It sorely affected my confidence and crushed my love of the experience. I was resentful but now I've worked through it and I feel stronger than ever.

I converted to Judaism in May this year. Before I converted, it seemed like the Holy One had been calling, calling, calling me. Then, I walked through that door, and the Holy One seemed silent. It has been beautiful and I have been embraced and inspired. But, I also know that there is nothing new about me. I'm still betwixt and between, religiously. When I hear the neighborhood church bells, the words of the hymn come to mind. I still love Bach, and struggle with Lewandowsky. I know that becoming a Jew and fulfilling whatever mission G-d has for me is the work of day-to-day living. That challenge is, perhaps, everyday and eternal. I am so grateful to live in a community where I can learn and grow as a person. I trust G-d to help and guide me. I feel hopeful, uncomfortable, and somewhat new. Like a scab has been pulled off, but the new skin is still tender.

I got accepted into the University of Chicago. It is scary and it is exciting. I want to do well in my one time to be an undergrad. I am excited to take this on head-on.

I was pushed to my limit, by my sister, and I came to realize that I need to consider my own needs before anyone else's. Learn to say NO. I'm practicing it a little every day, and life is so much less complicated, and a lot easier. I feel grateful, relieved, appreciated, and loved.

Just before my granddaughter's Bat Mitzvah I received my Hebrew name. It gave me a feeling of connection. I am grateful

This year, in fact last week, I spent Rosh Hashana in a jail serving as a rabbi/spiritual leader. It reminded me that one can find meaning in life in even the darkest, least free spaces. It showed me that people who committed crimes aren't necessarily "criminals." In fact, they are very human and may have simply been born in a tougher area without the support someone like me has had. The inmates and I shared many experiences together, and I imagine if I could engage with them, I can hopefully engage with nearly any population as a spiritual leader. I feel very grateful for the experience and inspired by it.

One year ago, my family was in Australia. We're US based, and had never been anywhere! This was the first stamp in my passport... not that we had an actual stamp, consarn it. Anyway, we spent two months on the east coast of Australia, Island hopping for the first month, before heading to the Red Center for Uluru and the Ghan south, then from Adelaide to Sydney, where we spent a month living in a condo next door to the train station in Edgecliff. Absolutely astonishingly life changing trip. The people, the flora and fauna, the vast and incredible landscape... and the travel bug that bit hard. In the year since we've traveled to St. Lucia, got scuba certified (including my 12 year old daughter), have Christmas plans in Hawaii, and plans for next year to dive in the Philippines. Grateful doesn't even begin to describe it. But yeah. Grateful. Hella grateful.

Meeting Carleton 3 weeks ago. It made me feel incredible and loved and wonderful, and I knew it was all or nothing.

There have been several highly significant events this past year, including: 1) Receiving the diagnosis of Barret's Esophagus and early signs of adenocarcinoma. As a result I (we) have undergone 6-8 (lost track) endoscopies over the last year. At times there the alarm bell of a possible (another!!) major surgery loomed, and entailed sleepless nights, waiting for pathology results, surgical consultation, and finally in August the recommendation for continuing frequent surveillance. The endoscopies themselves were reasonably easy, although the weeks following were rather miserable -- pain / discomfort, weeks at time of minimal eating and diminished energy, HUNGER (which was a two-sided coin: it provided me with a new and valuable, heretofore non-existent, experience with hunger -- in turn this allowed me to appreciate, in an utterly safe and benign manner, something that so many in this world experience on an ongoing basis -- I hope / pray / intend to use this to somehow guide my work as my future unfolds; the flip side of that coin was 1-2 week periods of whining and irritability. The experiences, in total, fueled a mixture of fear / anxiety as I pondered both the short and long-term effects of possible esophogectomy, as well as shortened life; beyond this, I'd like to believe that I can see all of this through a lense of gratitude. 2) Marcy's Mom decided to relocate from Scottsdale to here in Bellevue. What enormous courage and fortitude that it must have required -- not only to make the difficult decision (at the age of 83) to leave her friends and all that was familiar in order to move someplace which was almost completely foreign, but to then actually plan and carry out all of the steps necessary to make it happen. She's been here for a few weeks now -- its has clearly been stressful for her, and frankly exhausting at times for me / us. Yet, I'm so very proud of her and inspired by the great adventure that she has undertaken.

I moved in with my boyfriend. I didn't quite believe people when they said it was going to be hard, as we weren't a couple who fought very often beforehand. I was slower at the unpacking process than he wanted, and that caused some tension for a couple months. Fortunately, I think we've finally crossed into a settled in enough space that that will happen less often than it did over the summer.

This past year has been very eventful. My father got married in December 2015, and his choice has been quite controversial in my family. My daughter graduated from high school in May 2016, and we made the decision for her to take a gap year and stay home and work. Her continuing struggles with anxiety and epilepsy were the main reasons for keeping her home another year. My disabled nephew moved in with us in June 2016, and we've had to help him try to set up services and a support network so that he can one day live independently. And I made the decision to transition out of my 2nd part-time job (which I held while also working a full-time job.). I think what was most significant is that I realized I had too much on my plate, my health was suffering (both physically and mentally), and I realized that if I didn't start taking care of myself better I could not help anyone else. I'm kind of awed when I think about how much I've dealt with and how strong I've been. Now it's time for me to make my physical, mental and spiritual health my top priorities. And I have taking my first steps down that path...

I moved from California to Nevada and am enormously grateful and relieved that to be saving so much money. I haven't had a roommate in a long time and we get along so great, it makes all the difference in my life. I only wish I'd been able to make this kind of transition sooner. Also, my father died. It was more difficult than I expected, brought on my own health issues, and because my family is Jehovah's Witnesses - and I am not - brought up resentment and hurt from a lifetime spent without a supportive family.

My daughter graduated from high school and headed out of state to college. It was a tough road but she graduated with better grades than previous years. She had a tougher time adjusting to college than we had expected but now, she seems to be thriving. My loving partner became ill which was very scary for us both. It appears he will be fine but it's been an adjustment for me because I've come to rely on him more than I had thought. Overall, it's been a tough year. We've financially struggled and that's never easy. I just want to move forward and build a fund that will take care of us as we get older.

There are so many. I moved, joined a church, became active in social justice, joined a community choir, my father-in-law became very ill, I lost my job, I got a new job, I traveled to Sweden with my son, became a member of the church board, I got a bad job review, my husband lost his job, we are now looking to move again. I guess I am feeling a bit battered, humbled, over-committed, and I recognize how important people are to me. I want people around me that I love and admire. I want to be of use. I want to make this life better.

I got into a serious relationship, that evolved into not so serious, then not at all and is now serious as fuck! This partner has helped me grow and start really hammering out my feelings on life and the universe. I am so grateful for their being in my life.

This year, I got my first full-time job. Although it was not in the career I ultimately hope to pursue, it has been incredibly rewarding. It has been gratifying to discover that not only can I survive in the "adult" world, out of school, but that I enjoy it. Being able to bring in a steady paycheck, budget, and begin to save money has been one of the most major landmarks which has made me feel like I might be able to do the "adulting" thing after all.

Through the internship job I needed to finish grad school, I had both the best boss and the worst boss of my years of working. I worked in a small department of my grad school, so small that it really was only me, my boss, and his boss there. My boss was awesome, and to me, he was the coolest guy you would ever want to work for. Our regular meetings together were chats about current projects that always ended in us laughing and telling stories. He was interested in my professional development and how life outside of work was going, giving me advice as someone that had "been there" in a lot of ways. Even when I messed something up, he never got mad. Instead, he was there to chat with me about how to improve and what to do next time. Unfortunately, his boss (both our boss) was a slightly unhinged woman. I had been warned by everyone that ever had to deal with her that she was nutz, but I have a reputation for befriending and working with notoriously difficult people. So, things started out great but soured after not too long, despite my best efforts and my boss helping me along. She was unclear when she told me to do things, and vague when asked to clarify. She overreacted to a couple of my mistakes, and never tried to make amends. I consider myself big on empathy, so it makes me really sad that I could not reach her in some way, and have a good relationship while I was there. The experience with the bad boss makes me question whether the field I just finished getting a masters in is for me at all. The experience with the good boss makes me want to follow him to whatever organization he moved to in order to get away from the crazy boss. I am grateful and resentful about the entire 6 month experience.

I went to Israel. It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed like-minded company, I experience not so good encounters with close-minded people. I learned a lot. The good and bad encounters made me discovered many other sides of my self.

There have been so many significant experiences that have happened in the past year. (1) Last November, just before Thanksgiving (2015), Rick got out of jail and came here to live. He was on parole for just over 2 years, until January 2018. He was still grieving the death of his wife, which even though they were separated before he went to jail and she had a boyfriend, they had been married 10 years and had a child together. The 10 months he spent in jail, the grief, and then not being able to get his daughter, and not being able to go to his parent's house because of parole conditions, changed him into a bitter person who refused to call out to God. The relationship that I thought we would have when he got here never happened. We tried for about a month, I guess but he was just so inconsiderate to me, and when I expected him to call me or do little, seemingly insignificant things, he said I was trying to control him. These were things that a man who loved a woman would naturally do, but not him. We could not have normal sexual relations either, because of his impotence so problems just compounded. The holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas were almost sad...just blah. Instead of thinking about the blessings of being out of jail and having a nice place to live and having people who loved him, all he could concentrate on was the negative. Then after us going back and forth to South LA to court several times to try to get his daughter, she was put into the care of his mother-in-law, again because of parole stipulations. She ended up getting permanent custody of her with a clause that says he cannot see her until she is 18. I fault myself for not having more patience but all the stress along with the physical problems I started having was too much for me. For months now he just gets in the car and leaves, is gone all day, and never tells me where he is going or where he has been besides to his daddy's or fishing. (2) I began to have physical problems that added negativity to the situation. I began to experience pain in my right hip the first week of January. (2016). The doctor thought it was just bad arthritis. By the first of March, the pain had become almost unbearable and I had to take off work and Rick and I stopped sleeping in the same bed. He had already been rejecting me physically, not even letting me lie on his arm at night and never kissing me. In April, I had a complete right hip replacement. Tommy Robinson made a special trip to come stay a couple weeks with me. Rick was there for the surgery, but did not stay a night with me at the surgical hospital and did not come see me at all the six days I spent in the rehab hospital. He also refused to try to find a job to help out with strained finances. That was extremely hurtful. (3) I recovered well from the surgery but the arthritis in my knee became so bad that I have not been able to return to work. (4) About the same time I was in the hospital, Rick's mother and my friend who came to my house often, had carotid artery surgery and about 2 days after she got out of the hospital she had a brain bleed and went into a comma. Two months later she died. I lost my best friend and Rick lost his mother and because things had gotten so bad between us, I was not even able to hug him and comfort him. I have missed her so much. (5) Because my son's drug use had gotten worse I did not hear from him for abut 4 months and this was during my surgery and recuperation. I knew things were really bad, because I knew that otherwise, he would have been here when I had surgery or in the least call me often. I did a lot of praying for God to have mercy on him and deliver him from evil (drugs, people, etc. (6) My son got arrested on some serious drug charges July 29, 2016, and he is still in jail. If God does not intervene, he will spend time in prison. I am praying and asking God's mercy and favor for my son in the situation. His bond is too high for us to bond him out ($265,000). Then because of overcrowding at the Andrews jail, they moved him 175 miles from home and Angie and the boys haven't even been to go visit him. This is like a nightmare I cannot wake up from. He has been in jail 10 weeks and it seems like it has been a lifetime. He has been having anxiety attacks and he and Angie have continued to fuss and argue. He thinks she should sell the Vet and pay part of the bond and him be able to pay the rest off in payments. What he doesn't seem to realize or care is that they would never get that money back and the bond could be revoked for even a traffic violation. He had what I believe was a real experience with God while he was in seg for a couple of weeks but when they put him back in population he just seemed to put God on the back burner until when I talked to him last night he was cursing and using the f word and saying he don't care about anyone or anything including praying or reading his bible. He said he is about to lose his mind. All I can do is ask God to have mercy on him because he does not really realize the seriousness of what he is saying. Only God knows what is best for him, but even I can see that if he got out of jail and back on the streets that it wouldn't be long before he was using drugs again and would be right back in jail. I have felt at times like I am losing my mind in the situation too because I am helpless in the situation. I have no money to help. (7) The latest significant thing to happen is that Rick went for his monthly visit to his parole officer and they revoked his parole because he has not been going to the classes that were part of his parole agreement and he was late with his fees. So they put him in jail (Wed. Oct. 5) The PO has been telling him for the past few visits that he better take care of those things but he kept refusing to do it. I had been buying his cigarettes and skoal, paying his parole fees, and paying for his phone for months until I couldn't do it anymore and that is when he got behind with his fees. He had been doing some odd jobs for Carolann and maybe someone else and with the help of his dad, had been paying his fees but he was still behind. I'm sure he blames me for his being locked up because I stopped giving him money, but I had been telling him for months that he needed to get a job even if it was just mowing yards. He did not even call me when they locked him up and the only message he gave his daddy to give me was to try to get my cousin who works at the MPSO to let him have a lower bunk. There is a chance that they won't actually revoke the parole since he has not committed a new crime; it has to go before a parole board member and they will determine if him not going to the classes is enough reason to keep him in already overcrowded jails, but he doesn't even know when he will get to do that. And then I have the dilemma of whether or not to let him come back here if they release him. All of these situations have been like one long nightmare I cannot wake up to. I still cannot walk correctly and am in pain and cannot work and I just feel like I have lost the Kathy that I was. My whole life has changed in the past year and much of it for the worse. (8) This is the good thing that has happened; I have finally found a home church (Trinity Assembly) and have been going for nearly 3 months now. I feel at home there and the people are very friendly. I am still just going on Sunday mornings (they don't have a Sunday night service.) but I already feel a part of them. They have prayed with me and for me and I am glad to have finally started back into a Christian fellowship.

Purchase Dream House for My wife. Level of Confidence increased and Great Motivation

Whelp, a significant experience since this time last year is that I got engaged at the end of October and then called off the engagement just a few months later at Christmas. My sister confronted me at thanksgiving because she noticed I wasn't acting like myself, and over dinner, as we unpacked what I was feeling, the moment I took marriage off the table, my body just immediately felt relief. Christmas was not fun and I did not handle breaking it to him very well, partly because I wanted to do it on my terms, but he forced a situation and I was not at all prepared. When I reviewed my answers from last year, I was all gaga about this guy and what I thought he meant to me. But, as I slowly realized, I was in love with threads of him, but not really him. And when he brushed those threads away, well, there wasn't a person there that I was compatible with. The analogy I've come up with is this: you know when you go to the movies and there's some dust or lint in the film, you start to focus on that on screen. well I was watching the dust and when it cleared up, I didn't recognize or want to watch the film anymore. I am incredibly grateful for my sister, poking me and helping me through my feelings and incredibly relieved that I didn't continue down a path with him. I'm also grateful for the self-discovery and self-learning this experience afforded, because I realized that as comfortable as I am being single, I do actually desire a partner, and that's been a great self-realization.

I spent some of last October on the island of Lesbos, a primary entry point for refugees fleeing the violence of the Middle East. I think it filled me with all sorts of emotions: seeing the people filling the streets and camps was sobering, seeing the environmental damage was worrying. Their stories inspired me to be more focused on doing what I could to assist - limited though that is given our political structures - and also to be resentful of those structures that prevented me and us from doing more. So I guess all of the above.

We got married this year!! We are happy and grateful for all the people we got to see and dance with and who wrote songs and toast for us who shared their abundant love with us. We feel grateful that our parents gave us the wedding that we dreamed about. More than the wedding itself we feel grateful to have met each other and to have a partner in life who is such a compatible friend and lover and supporter.

Leading at CCV for the women's event was groundbreaking and poetic and ironic. I was grateful for that closure and opportunity. It was a big step for the church and for me to rise and be able.

I hope I talked about my grandfather's death last year. Maybe not. But I won't here. Just this week, I was at a music concert (which I find wonderfully grounding) and I realized that in his life, he never would have let me make the decisions for his family that I am making today. In the back of his mind, I felt he didn't really trust me. Maybe because I am a woman. Maybe because of my past with drugs and alcohol. But now, I am managing his estate and working with lawyers and financial planners to make sure his wife grandma and his daughters will be taken care of. I feel a sense of duty and a sense of making it right. But, man, would he hate the idea of it!

I got a cookbook deal and I went part-time at work. I am so grateful for this entire year — it feels like all of my adult life has been leading (in a very winding way) to this point

My memory issues have worsened. I hope this site might help in some way! I have, of course, been very frightened, angry, and, yes, resentful. Not only am I losing old memories, new ones are extremely hard to old onto. On the plus side, it spurred me to ~continuously~ shop around until I found care providers who would take me seriously and help me figure out what's going on. Not figured yet, but I have hope.

I gave birth to our son. I have extremely conflicting feelings about the actual experience - on the one hand, it brought me this precious, beautiful, healthy little boy. On the other hand, I count labor and delivery among the worst and most difficult experiences of my life. In honesty, I believe I have experienced a real trauma, and I think that I will need to work through that. In the day to day since, I get to snuggle and care for this amazing little creature. It's a very confusing combination of feelings to hold at once.

My lovely 83-year-old disabled mother was sexually assaulted in her own home by a stranger. Shock. Disbelief. Anger. A fierce desire to protect her. And enormous gratitude to, and for, our police service who have been universally swift, efficient, supportive and above all kind in the aftermath. It seems likely that the suspect in question will be charged and hopefully convicted soon. I hope by this time next year he will be in prison serving a long, unpleasant sentence.

My father who has advanced Parkinson's needed to be moved to a nursing home last February. It was hard, but he is in a better place living in the nursing home. The have equipment and personnel that can do so much more for him than could be done at home. He did not want to go into a nursing home and thus had not selected one. After a bad fall in February, we needed to quickly choose a nursing home. My sister, mother and I chose the one we thought he would like best. It has a Rabbi that leads services and Torah study and Jewish foods (like bagels and lox). For Rosh Hashanah, he can no longer be moved from the nursing home, but they are provided Rosh Hashanah food tasting and services. I am thankful he is being so well cared for. My father the retired Ivy League professor and fantastic daddy, coach and listener in a wheel chair, I find depressing. I am relieved and grateful that he is living in a better place. He is still amazing to talk to, and today when we were talking on the phone about G-d, he spoke about how the core of Judaism is the Shema. "Here all Israel the Lord our G-d the Lord is One." and how Judaism is a religion that moved away from idols to one G-d who on his own created the world (rivers, streams, mountains, oceans) and we pray to Him.

Sadly, I can't remember any significant events! Oh yes - finished a job, started a job, went on vacation...It's a blur - some of it should be significant. Life is so busy that it becomes so hard to remember any of it. So perhaps that is the lesson - it needs to slow down so you can appreciate any of it.

After moving back home, I fell into a deep depression. Although it's been hard, it's been a great turning point for me. I made the decision that I need to be happy. For me, for the people around me, and for my future. I started seeing a therapist, applied for a mastermind program, read a ton of inspiring books, and decided to pivot. The theme that has came from all this is: Transform. I have the ability to transform into the real me.

there were a few 'significant' experiences this past year. i found a breast lump two weeks before my home of twenty years burned to the ground in june in a wildfire. my humble home was paid off five years ago. the insurance was then cancelled to save for my upcoming retirement and to save for home improvements to increase the market value of my home. the sale of my home would provide me the nest egg i would need when i ceased working.... my daughter and grandson moved out of state shortly after the fire. it is odd to not see them, to hold them, to be in their presence. despite everything, i find gratitude in the gift of life. it is a strange world, though, and i am stumbling through it the best i can.

A significant experience that happened in the past year: at least for a while, having peace about Windsor. It felt so good not to be burdened by that pain. I am grateful that I am in a better place about that failed relationship this time 'round. I am still angry and hurt but no longer obsessively but I'm pretty sure I felt relief at not feeling so much angst. I'm still resentful and no, I'm not inspired but for the first time I do have this longing to have a boyfriend again, to be loved and accepted. Another highly significant experience was going to Panama for a month for the first time. It was so beautiful and I long to return. I went alone of course. It was so good to be away from the US and my life here.

This past year, I spent a great deal of time by myself. It was an incredibly isolating experience, but I think those quiet moments taught me a lot about who I am, what I need, and what I want from the coming years. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to occupy a space that was only mine, however I also feel that the past year was a bit of a waste--I spent so much time being upset that I failed to recognize many of the beautiful things in my life. I didn't really try to be happy.

I moved into a horrible, horrible living situation. It has sapped my energy and damaged my trust in people. Now on the verge of leaving it for a lovely little home. Feeling that life is about to open up again.

This year I became a Mom, and it is everything I dreamed about. Even on the worst days, it is the best thing ever.

I solved an intractable problem involving my 2 brothers--one mentally ill and the other my co-trustee managing our youngest brother's special needs trust. Solved--not by actually solving it now, but in finding the groupto whom I will go--when the time is right, when my co-trustee brother finally agrees to it, to take the managing of our brother's care from our shoulders. This has been a knot I've been struggling with for 15 years--and though nothing outwardly has changed--I feel different about all of it. Good thing, because in this last year an old friend was diagnosed with stage 4 small-cell cancer spread into her chest cavity, and my niece had a mastectomy. These two loved-ones in their illness, paired with the horrifying prospect of Donald Trump becoming president--a man who in too many scary ways resembles my mentally ill brother in body language, gestures, and ways of speaking (boastful, lying, self-inflated, delusional) has forced me to stop being so very reactive to every event, personal and public, that comes at me. How did it affect me? All of the above--resentful, inspired, burned out, grateful to reach a different perspective and learning to set boundaries on when and how much I tune into media of any kind.

I broke my leg, I got kicked by my horse who is no longer my horse. It was quite significant as it promted me to spend much time sitting and reflecting about my life. I read a lot, learned how to breathe and get calm. I would say I'm not exactly resentful, but the result of the injury has caused me much physical pain. I'm unable to do the active things I was doing before the accident. It's been 8 months now and I'm realizing I will need to have surgery for a second time to correct the pain issues I'm experiencing. But I've learned to live with it and that is probably a positive asset. I'm believing with another surgery I will be close to if not better than before.

I got into grad school!! So grateful

After three years of increasingly limited mobility, my sweetie finally gave in and let the VA buy him a motorized wheelchair. It saved our non-marriage. He resented feeling dependent, I didn't feel properly appreciated for all I was doing for him - we fought every blessed day for three solid weeks. In the end we stopped mostly because we were too tired to keep it up. But once the chair arrived and he got used to it and realized how much freedom it gave back to him (and I got a bit of a break from doing as much for him), we were able to talk to each other calmly and work a few things out, and remember why we chose each other in the first place. We even kinda fell in love again. It was awesome.

I lost my mom. It is the most incredible pain I can imagine. I feel consumed and overwhelmed, physically and emotionally and mentally. Even knowing it was inevitable, even knowing that it would be soon, even knowing that we haven't had real Mom in awhile, it is excruciating. I don't know how to explain it. I dont know how to live with. I absolutely cannot comprehend that I have to live the rest of my life without my mother. It is unfair and horrible and painful and ugly and awful. I suppose I should see the silver lining in it all....that we could provide her the care she needed, that I got to say goodbye, that my family mostly got along through the process, we have tons of support, etc etc. But right now, I don't feel any of those things. I know them intellectually, but I don't feel them. Right now, I feel pain. True pain. True sadness. True loss. I have lost the center of my family. I have lost my mother - my sweet, loving, stubborn, silly, beautiful mother. I am besides myself. I can only hope that what people say in that time heals wounds is true. Now, that seems unimaginable. Now that seems impossible. I miss her every moment, every day. I think of her in everything I do. I am proud to have her carry on through me that way - but that does not mask the pain of loss. I miss my mom. I love her. I just dont know how to do this.

All residents of my apartment building were required to move out completely for a month last Fall so the landlord could make some "improvements" (-: The improvements made me very sick for the next eight months until it was warm enough that I could sleep outside. My blood/ox sat. dropped to be in the 70s even when sitting or resting forcing me on full time oxygen. We don't know if it's going to improve and the doc doesn't know what it causing it. I don't want to go out in public anymore. The landlord won't take any responsibility for any serious problems they created for anyone. I'm not grateful. I haven't seen any up side to this. I am feeling defeated from breathing problems, coughing and other unpleasant symptoms caused by coughing so much. I often feel sad and fearful. I'm tired a lot of the time. I liked sleeping outside and spending time away from the apartment but it's getting cold again so I will have to sleep indoors now.

I found myself really struggling with this question. Maybe because my life hasn't been marked with anything that I would call significant. No big, monumental events. Instead, several small victories along the way. Having said that, I now wonder how much I'm holding back and why. Something I intend to explore.

I quit Together Colorado, moved to LA and started Rabbinical school. I'm on the brink of a whole new life, or maybe I've dived into it already. I'm really loving it and really missing my old life. I wish I'd remembered how lonely moving can be. But its such a blessing to be here, to see things beyond how I could see them when my TC blinders were on. It's a relief to be out of that work culture honestly. And I'm floundering a bit because there's not a constant feedback loop--because I don't know how not live my life from the frame of critique. I'm so so so grateful to be here though, each day feels like a blessing. The opportunity and privilege to study torah is an enormous blessing and I can't wait to see what more is to come.

I turned 70! I can't believe that I am this old! Most of the time, I don't feel this old, but I am seeing my chiropractor more frequently and gardening less. Given how short lived the women in my family are, I realize that my time left on Earth is limited. I want to make the most of it and I hope my granddaughters will remember me as fondly as I remember my grandmother.

I had a knee replacement in March of this year. I am finally grateful for the surgery as pain has decreased and I am more mobile than I was before surgery. It was a longer than usual recovery, however, and is not complete yet. I still limp, cannot easily navigate stairs yet and have occasional pain and numbness in the knee. Until the past two weeks, I would not have recommended this surgery, but now I would.

The most significant experience that happened in the past year is the death of my mother and my experience of her last few days which was both very intimate and very troubling as her body changed. I can't define how it changed me. I'm grateful that she no longer suffers and that my sister and brother-in-law are no longer unduly burdened with her support and care.

Today 10/8/16 in the second Shabbaton with Zach, we did a writing reflection on the subject of judging. What little I was able to write in the five minute allotted time was a revelation as well as a prompt to write regularly as a form of reflection for the same reasons I assign reflections to my clients. The question asked was who do you find yourself judging most, why and how do you think you would relate once you stop judging. I answered that I judge my wife out of resentment that I have to adapt to traits of hers that flow from low self esteem (like her weight which makes her physically unattractive). Reflecting on this I saw that the three fingers pointing back at me showed that the judging was reinforcing my own low self esteem: I experienced her condition as a reflection on me for which the judging was a form of self persecution to say nothing of the effect it has on her. Were I to address this issue without judgment, I would see the pain she lives with in her denial of what the weight issue is all about and summon compassion for her struggle which of course is not unlike my own, and that of most people. I would want to be a source of comfort to her and in so doing, notice the comfort it brought me to behave with integrity vs. spite. Approaching Yom Kippur, I am struggling with redoubling the energy it takes to keep returning to this high road each time I slip off and fall down the rocky slope to the low road below.

I fell in love with a place I worked. Head over heels. Butterflies in the stomach in love. A special m place and people.With a job. And then one day this life was over with my job. I cried. I crawled into bed. I felt rejected. I rethought every conversation. I was angry, and I was bitter. I believe it is hard to move forward with Out forgiveness.

My business partner ended our formal relationship, though we still collaborate. That shook my confidence and left me concerned about my future. I'm now more than grateful for the transition (though I wish it had happened less painfully) as I'm now pursuing a more authentic path for me, and I'm experiencing a level of freedom I was missing before. I cherish this freedom and pray that I'm able to sustain and grow this venture.

I took a trip of a lifetime that radically shifted my whole perception of myself and the way I interact with the world. I was merely seeking a physical escape; a chance to explore our beautiful planet. I didn't expect the outward travel to be such a strong impetus for the inward journey that was to follow. I have conquered previously unexplored territories within myself. The more I learnt, the more I realised I didn't know. I am trying to find myself. I am trying to become the pure, authentic, raw, genuine and unapolagetic me. Before, I, like many others, were caught on the conveyer belt of life. Now, I am a seeker. Is this a blessing or a curse? I'd say both.

I had total knee replacement early in 2016 after waiting 8 years to have it done. It was a difficult surgery, but 8 months later I am thrilled that I took the plunge and had it done.

I finished writing my book and finally put it up for mass-funding. I am grateful that it happened, not yet quite relieved because as of today I've only raised 9% of what I need, inspired to continue and quite stressed out about it

I have maintained a weight loss for nearly a year. I am shocked and surprised and challenged by it every day. Earlier in the year, I felt inspired and inspiring by my weight loss and my ability to maintain the exercise and dieting regimen I had eased into but the last couple of months have been challenging. I am not inspired, nor inspiring and it has allowed me to be a bit more introspective. I know there is a reason this introspection has come at THIS time and I'm slowly allowing myself to peel away the layers of it to continue to grow personally.

Well to begin this year I was fired at MMS. This put me into a world of high paced acute care. I enjoy the association of the fine nurses and caregivers in which I work with daily. Although I am at times upset how it happened I am overall grateful to be at the hospital full time. I'm able to contribute and grow. I am also grateful for the decision to take the ILP course at Landmark. This shaped me further and I now know myself as a bigger person and know myself on a new level.

My significant experience has been my career refocus. After traveling last summer and trying to find another non-profit job I felt really uninspired. I was ready to commit myself to a career that felt fulfilling and challenging. The problem was I didn't know what that career was. I even wrote in the last 10Q that figuring out a career and making moves towards it was my big goal for the next year. And guess what? I'm doing it! I am working towards a career in medicine! I have a job that aligns with that goal and I am in school! It's overwhelming at times but really exciting also. I feel energized and driven to achieve this long and difficult goal.

I was greatful to acomplish my dream and buy a caravan and I was greatful... I also experience my first Yom Kippour when I broke everything possible and I made me feel relieved...

I got married! It was an AWEsome day from start to finish. Surrounded by friends and family and the man I love. We wrote special vows to each other, and i had an ABSOLUTE blast. I could not have asked for a better day.

I don't think I've had a significant experience in the past year. The most significant thing has probably been a shift in self-perception, in a way that I feel way more confident and calm, and the fact that I don't feel motivated by my job anymore. I am a teacher, but somehow i stopped caring for teaching and for my student's progress. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I have a dead-end job which will eventually lead to a very bleak and harsh future. There is something going on beneath the surface, a new me is being born and I don't really want to do the same things all over again.

I think the most significant experience of the past year has been the birth of my daughter. I'm so grateful for her. She has been a constant source of light and beauty in our lives. I love her so much and I want her to be happy and healthy and feel safe. I'm sometimes anxious that I won't be able to provide a high-enough level of comfort for her. But having her in my life makes me want to be a better father, husband and human being.

I got a promotion But it's been terrible. for the 1.50/hour, there is so much expected of me. I feel that I'm having a nervous breakdown. I think of taking a demotion back to my former position, but I'm not sure how that will look career wise. Also it helps with increase my pension, if I can stay with the organization until I'm 62. Then I think, I'm going to be 60 in a few weeks, and does it really matter. One part of me says no, go back to the tedious old job and don't drive yourself crazy. But another part says, stick with it, it'll get better, it may lead to other opportunities. I know a change in attitude would help, but am I capable of that?

My dad died. My dad suicided. I fell apart and then I started to come out of the fog. I am relieved and resentful at the same time. It was always going to be this way with my dad or at least the dying part was always going to happen. I don't fully know how to understand my dad or what he did but he did it and maybe it was one of the only things he ever did in his life that he truly chose.

Well I got in a relationship this year, the first after many years, and then after several months it ended. It affected me very deeply, I grew so much during it and am growing even more after it has ended. I learned greater compassion for myself and others I learned that I am indeed loveable and still very attractive. I learned that I am resilient and still have so much love to give. It has been heartbreaking that the relationship ended but here are some of the things I have gained in the face of processing the grief of the relationship's demise: - Sharpened intuition - Greater self confidence - Greater sense of self and being a self supporter - Deeper faith and connection to G-D - Compassion for myself and for others going through grief - A stronger and more focused ability to go after these funds for my creative projects - An ability to pursue what really matters to me - A greater trust and greater support for my younger self - Deeper connection (and re-connection) with friends and family again - Willingness to trust the wisdom of G-D - Reading wonderful books again - The incredible community of love and support in my synagogue(s) - the joining of new professional communities - Greater discipline with working out and seeing the results - All of the miracles I can see and all that I can’t

I went to a distant country, to visit some friends, including a woman I have had a lot of affection for. She came to meet me for a day. I truly enjoyed her company as I always had. When I was leaving, I gave her a hug, and I felt a new aspect of love. It was a very wholesome feeling, a sense of deep respect and affection. I may never see her again, and really didn't get to spend a ton of time with her in the first place, but somehow she has given me feelings as though we had already been married 50 years. I can't explain that. The affect was acutely felt, was exquisite, and totally new to me. I am grateful for that, and hopeful.

I had my first doula client since beginning my training. This was significant because it let me know I am on the right path. I loved every minute of it. It gave me purpose and rive. I am so grateful, inspired and actually relieved because I am no longer drifting aimlessly.

A significant experience I had this year was moving to Sydney. I know it was the right move and was good to get out of the same town I'd been living in for all my life. I've met a lot of new people and I've definitely learned heaps. But I am super tired. I have moments of serious homesickness. I miss being able to wake up and do nothing. I miss being at university. I miss not having pressure. All I want to do is move to the beach and do nothing all day except art.

I confronted a teacher who was misdirecting her frustrations and taking them out on me. Not the first time she has been unethical to me. I called her on it in front of my colleagues, and we had a pretty real email conversation afterwards. She has since apologized numerous times and moved into the suite next to mine, but I will never let her into my heart. I don't trust her. The process has taught me how to take my own ego out of the equation to see what is really happening and how I need to proceed in a way that is for the greater good. It's not the best feeling, because sometimes I just want to strike back or yell. But it is gratifying to see the better results.

I came on Remote Year and travelled the world with some great people from all over the world. I learnt more about the world, other cultures, myself, what I like and where I could live in the world. And I met Caitlin :)

Meet Jeff and embarking on our relationship. It's been filled with ups and downs but always is rewarding and loving. I feel so lucky.

Riding the Death Ride. It inspired me to ride more. I am extremely grateful for the experience and the acknowledgement of my strength, perseverance and friends.

I moved into my first apartment in a different state from my family. Living apart from them and a decent ways away from my school friends essentially equated to moving somewhere in isolation. It was literally a leap of faith- but God provided for then and has continued to do so. Through a friend at church I got my first real job and now, 8 months later, I am moving into a management position.

Being an immigrant in a new country not once, but twice has been an incredibly significant experience for me. I find myself to be incredibly lucky in this respect and I think that the idea of privilege has become more clear to me because of it. Being an immigrant is not an easy thing - no country makes it simple. I am an immigrant because I want to be, not because I need to be - the stakes are low for me. If I decide its too hard or if things don't work out, I can always go home. I know I'd have a job, I know my parents would take me in until I got back on my feet. Most people are not so lucky. I am white, I am American, I am college educated, I am female. I am, in effect, one of the most desirable and least threatening demographics that could possibly be applying for a visa and I still find this process difficult. For those that have much higher stakes and much 'less desirable' qualifications I cannot begin to imagine what this process must be like. Where acquiring a visa is your best chance at survival, where getting the chance to stay may be a case of life or death. Where you are most certainly not wanted but are hoping, at the very least, to be tolerated by your new country of residence. I think this year has made me a lot more empathetic towards immigrants and refugees. If I find this hard, with all the chips stacked in my favor, what must it be like for everyone else?

I visited Tennessee and as a Belgian resident I love this state! It gave me the possibility to know other people and I have met new friends. I want to live in tat state because of nature and because of the kindness that people have for each another. I am very grateful for many reasons!

My husband had ankle replacement surgery, with resulting complications of infection. Surgery was May 13. We looked forward to it with great expectation because he could barely walk. He had constant pain, woke up at night, would have to sometimes stop, stand, wait for something to pop into place, and then he could walk. The surgery went well, we went home the next day (too soon), and 3 days later were rushed back to the hospital with severe infection. His leg had turned red, was extremely painful to the point of not being able to lift his leg from pillow to bed. Nurses had not believed me when I called. Finally I sent her a picture of his leg, she responded with "Meet me in the office at 7am." This was completely impossible as we were at our daughter's alone, & he couldn't move without pain. Called ambulance, they drove us from Raleigh back to Durham where the surgery was done, saying it was badly infected. In ER they later told us, "First we saved your life, then we saved your leg, now we are working on healing." We spent the next 5 days back in the hospital. Then came the meds problem. He is allergic to codeine so they gave him the Oxy's. Oxycontin, Oxycodone. That's when he broke out with hives all over his torspo. Can't take the Oxy's. Went to Dilaudid, a powerful morphine derivative but 10X more powerful than morphine. He started having nightmares, talking in his sleep, waving his arms in the air. He couldn't think well enough to write. No poetry. We begged him not to be on FB but he refused and sent many strange messages during this time. They finally recast his foot and we went home. Redness ha diminished and wasn't growing further. NOW they tell us that they never found bacteria, or infection in testing cultures. What the heck?? It was real, not imagined. To this day, they cannot explain what happened. He was an anomaly for this surgery and his doctor has done over 2000 of them. The incision spot they said was the most clean, clear area. I told his doctor PRIOR TO SURGERY, "His ankle is different." It was the size of a tennis ball on the side of his foot before we went in. His reply was, "Do you think you're special?" Well we WERE special. I BELIEVE, MYSELF, that something inside his foot was released with the surgery, and nearly killed him. Something was already there. It did not come from the surgery utensils or the outside. It came from inside his foot but was released somehow with the surgery and spread. They are at a loss to explain it. -- He is a very strong person who used to do a lot of drugs. He quit the meds once out of the hospital, as soon as possible. (Another one was something I had to inject into his belly to prevent blood clots.) -- This whole experience is like a bad dream. I am grateful he has a new ankle which has allowed him to walk. His heel is still quite painful but he uses vionic shoe inserts and sandals which has helped immensely. The experience has made me fearful of surgeries, but I feel his ankle really was "special".

Was granted a job offer as a step up in my career. I didn't think it was going to happen. My Director told me one day that she wanted me to be a trainer and that the Billing Supervisor position I had been training on wasn't going to be available. I was in shock, for real. Then I just lost all momentum and was very distraught. My work had me running ragged going to meetings for a new system implementation and through a connection there, I was offered a job as an AR Supervisor. To boot, Christians were all around me. God had strategically placed me to know the right people and the icing on the cake was granting me a meeting with, unbeknownst to me at the time, my now Sr Director. Many years I've believed, but this was the first time that God delivered me in such a way that my jaw dropped, I knew it was totally Him. While it was going on and I don't really know how to explain it, feeling Him carry me through - for lack of better wording, brought my faith to a deeper level. There's a wicked lot of stress right now, this company does things different, it's a lot bigger and I'm not used to having authority. Even tonight, on something that usually is seamless, in regular life not work - I looked down so to speak and I got afraid for a second. But the God Whose masterfully brought me through this and many other times, He's got this. I don't need to be afraid. He will give me what I need to do whatever it is He has made me for, He will bring me through and provide for me and my family as He always has -- to boot, even when I was far off, I remember God cutting me breaks. One time specifically, my spouse and I had one vehicle - he worked an hour away from home so he took the car. I walked, but I didn't have work so I took the car this rainy night. I was driving too fast and hydro-planed and got into an accident. This was many, many years ago. More than 17 years ago, in fact. There were no cell phones, only rich people had them, they weren't as common as they are today. I was in between an hour's drive to get my (now) spouse late at night, broken down - hardly anyone on the road with it pouring outside. To boot, I had locked myself out of my car, in my freaking out I tripped and fell on the wet ground. It was at my breaking point when an Asian family pulled over. As rare as cell phones were, this family happen to have a cell phone (a big one lol). I was able to call my spouse. The police came and let me drive the car. I got my spouse but then the very next day when he tried to drive the car to work, the steering wheel starting acting weird while he was on the highway. He pulled over and the tie rod broke as he pulled over. Now what we were gonna do. He had to get to work. He worked for a franchise and looking back, now I know God gave him favor with the owner because this owner paid for a rental car while ours was in the shop. It took a while to fix. Back then I wasn't even going to church, knew of Jesus but didn't have a relationship with Him...in fact, I was dabbling in the occult and idiotically asking Jesus to come through tarot cards to, in my mind, make it ok. (when people are deceived their thinking is literally warped) but God, though He would've been in His right to judge and not help me, I certainly didn't deserve His mercy...He didn't. He truly sends His rain on the just and the unjust too. My grams referred to me as the prodigal...how right she was. Looking back, I can see the story of the prodigal in the way that God was calling me back, over time...looking and believing that I would come back and then, in my weakness - He helped me come back to Him and has masterfully changed my entire life. If someone had said to me ten years ago my life would look like this, I would've laughed. I'm grateful for my time at the previous jobs. The lessons God has given me, and I also learned that things I resisted because I felt they were forced on me by people's "ways", would've only benefited me in this new position if I hadn't fought it. It's kind of like when you are driving and someone is tailgating you or cuts you off. This year I would like to work on not being provoked...like at all. Because when Moses was provoked, look what happened. Not that I am the caliber of Moses, but even holy people when they are provoked in their flesh, it never goes over well. It always leads to sin and sometimes the consequences are dire. Plus if the enemy knows he can provoke me to evil, he will keep doing it.

Well, obviously, it was spending the year in Russia. How it has affected me, personally, is that I'm much more willing to charge into something without stopping to make sure I've done every possible bit of prep work that could possibly be imagined. This has been pretty good for me, actually, since I suffered before from a tendency to overthink things ahead of time and put things off for the most minor of reasons.

My girlfriend and I broke up. She was becoming easily agitated, impatient and drifted away. She didn't appreciate me. I was so confused and upset. I didn't understand how someone who said they loved me, someone I felt so connected to and was so committed to, could just give up and turn their back on me. I couldn't accept that she didn't think we were good for each other. I figured it must be the long distance since I was in NY and she was in LA. As time went on I felt like I was to blame. I didn't do enough. I wasn't understanding enough. I lacked patience. I didn't say I love you enough. I wasn't good enough. I read books on relationships, I read about mindfulness, loving wholeheartedly, and emotional intelligence. I read and read hoping I could change enough and in time to win her back. I tried reaching out, but she wouldn't meet me or speak to me. So I wrote her a letter and said that I was going to work on getting my life on track and would reach out to her when I did because I was in love. But she didn't even respond. I felt depressed. I came home at Christmas and felt numb the whole time. My favorite time of year and I sat around sulking or isolated myself in my room, away from my family, thinking about why and how things fell apart. I sought out a therapist, for the first time in my life,to try and figure out what I did wrong, how I could communicate better, learn to be more understanding and speak her language. Again I reached out, but she just blew me off. Then I moved to LA, landed a new job and a fresh start. I reached out. This time she said was she upset that I hadn't told her I moved sooner. She called me selfish. I couldn't believe how she was reacting. Previously, each time I tried to connect she blew me off and made me feel like she didn't want anything to do with me. Now she was angry that I hadn't kept her updated on my life. Once again I felt like I had done something wrong. However, this time I realized there was nothing I could do to change the negative energy she was sending my way. I had so much positivity in my life. Why would I continue to subject myself to this kind of treatment. At the same time I felt kind of foolish. Maybe she really didn't care, maybe she really felt like we were a horrible match. Maybe she was sick of me trying. Whatever it was, it was clear she wasn't in a place where she wanted to see or hear from me. So I decided to do my best to move on. I deleted her from my social media accounts, deleted her number, and stopped reaching out. Although I still missed her and hoped for a miracle that would bring us back together. But I also started focusing on building my new life which I'm very grateful for. It's been almost a year since we broke up, and I still wonder why things didn't work out from time to time. But I've learned to accept that it didn't work out and that that's ok. It definitely wasn't for lack of trying on my part. And in coping with this breakup, my best self has slowly emerged - more understanding, more patient, more confident and secure. It's been the most painful breakup in my life, but also the most uplifting.

I left a company that I thought I loved, and where I would stay for many years. Ultimately it was the right choice as I know work much closer to home and my kids, but it was extremely difficult to make the decision. I was resentful at the time, as I thought I was being pushed out, shown the door. I took the initiative and left before they fired me, but I felt that I was ultimately leaving because the new HR person was changing the company from what it originally was created for. I see that it's still doing good work and I wouldn't hesitate to refer a client, but I know what's going on inside the company itself and I would never recommend that someone I know goes to work there. In the end it was the right decision, but it still hurts to know that I won't get to be part of this amazing company as it grows.

Most recently, one of our roommates changed his attitude towards us over night, making us feel unsafe in our own home. We are moving in with my boyfriend's parents so we can save for a deposit on our own apartment, which is good but also not how we planned it. I hate that our roommate did this but I'm grateful that we have a chance to get our own place finally.

grandaughters born. twins. so much joy. Older daughter resents the twins because she doesn't have kids. Can't life just be filled with pure joy?

So many - my wife converted to Judaism, my daughter became Bat Mitzvah, and my second book was published. Grateful and happy about the first two, the third is complex. I am stepping up to a higher level, and am nervous about the extra responsibility. All I ask is to dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life - let me be faithful to myself, my values, my best self.

i HAVE A BURST APPENDIX. IT CAUSED ME, FOR THE FIRST TIME, TO SPEND TIME IN A HOSPITAL, 7 DAYS. IT WAS VERY UPSETTING. i REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT MY MORTALITY AND MY NEED TO SPEND MORE TIME WITH MY LOVE ONES. I AM GRATEFUL TO SURVIVED AND CAN MAKE MYSELF BETTER

I moved to Charlotte, NC. I had been planning this for well over a year and I've been here now for over five months. I feel a number of emotions. I feel accomplished in the sense that I set my mind to doing this and I am here. I miss my friends; Yamandu, Ryan, Mike, and Jenny. I am glad to have Matt around and deepening the friendship we have had for all these years. I am nervous because I have been out of work since the middle of July. I need to find something soon so that I don't take steps backwards financially.

I was promoted and received a raise. This is even bigger than one would think, as I work for a bureaucracy and they simply don't give merit raises or promotions very often. Even bigger to me is that I did not ask for it. I had talked with my supervisor about a title change and she said she was going to work on that (silly org chart stuff, ego!). When she told me that not only did I have a new title, but a small increase in salary as well, my heart swelled. In no other position have I been tangibly appreciated. I'm not sure organizations understand this, but sincere appreciation is a true gift. I cherish this and will remember it. I am appreciated.

I told someone that I was falling in love with them. The trouble was she was married. I know the relationship couldnt move on but I had this feeling inside me. So I thought I would express my feelings and then not see her anymore. I am so glad I have did this. If I wouldn't I would have regrets for the rest of my life, not telling someone that I loved them. The other person said they wish I wouldnt have said that, but I feel different about that. I have keep things in too much during my life and to release what I was feeling was so much of a load off my back or mind. I dont think about it anymore and have moved on. I need to do that more often. Its freeing.

This past February 2nd, I was in a car accident on my way home from the gym. It was late, there was snow on the ground and I had just picked up some groceries. I was passing through an intersection when suddenly I saw a white pickup truck hurtling towards my driver's side door. I screamed and slammed on the brakes, felt the impact and then a second as my car hit the ice-covered median. My car was totalled, and my neck and back were pretty messed up for awhile. I banged up my knees and couldn't get out of the car because the door was stuck shut. I was taken in an ambulance to the hospital, with my boyfriend following soon thereafter to stay with me (he had already gone home but I called him from the scene). That was a night I won't soon forget (especially since the court case against the crazy lady who hit me and then fled the scene is still ongoing and I'm a key witness). The good news is, the chiropractor fixed me right up, my car insurance covered everything (the other driver had no insurance), and I was able to buy a nice used Subaru with the insurance check as a down payment and a small bank loan. I guess I would say I'm somewhat resentful that this happened; however, it certainly could have been worse. And my new car is definitely better than the old one (the all-wheel-drive will come in handy this winter, no doubt!), so that's a plus.

i fell ill this past summer. i collapsed in a drug store after several days of malaise. my closest male friend insisted i go straight to ER and there i found out it was sepsis. i was on strict bedrest for weeks. was weak and had blood pressure and heart issues afterward. strangely, the incident tore the coverings off of the closest relationships in my life, including that friend. of the few people who knew about the incident, only two came to visit or check on me. it was very much a rude awakening. i am glad for the clarity, no matter how sharp.

The last year has been crazy. I applied to the peace corps, got accepted, had two dream internships, packed all of my worldly belongings, moved across the world to a random town in a random country where I knew no one, gained two new families, new friends, and am now trying to figure out everything.

My friend's divorce. It has shaken me to my core and made me realize how much harder I should work to keep my marriage that I cherish.

Negotiating my full-time contract with my boss. The process brought me to many of the realities of sexism in the workplace in exactly the ways that I've always been told about but never had experienced firsthand. The amazing thing was, I was so well-prepared that although it certainly rocked me emotionally, I didn't lose my sense of grounding. I didn't lose my way. This showed me the incredible value of education. I went to a women's college. I've been hearing "how it goes" and "what it feels like" for my entire adult life. I also have a strong, smart, self-empowered mother who has guided me my whole life to understand my inherent value and to be confident in my strengths. So when I faced someone who, as a negotiating tactic, was trying to make me feel I was "asking too much" as though the value of my work was somehow less than the value of my colleagues work simply because he (supposedly) couldn't afford it . . . that didn't touch me. It helps that I was in a situation where I was legitimately prepared to walk away if certain base-level requirements of mine could not be met. But that was another part of my training. I knew to go in knowing what was and what wasn't a deal-breaker. So I could listen to whatever tactics he would bring and then just return to my message: this is what I need, or it doesn't work for me anymore. Basic, honest, rational. I knew I wasn't asking for a pie in the sky. I knew I wasn't asking for something they weren't already giving (and more!) to people who were doing less than I (although have been with the company much longer, which does and should hold value). I felt incredibly good about myself, even before they came back to say that they'd meet my needs. I felt I had conducted myself with as much integrity as I'd always hoped I would, with as much intelligence as I'd always hoped. I didn't let myself down. That I got what I wanted isn't a result of that, it's a happy coincidence. But now I know even more than ever that I can trust myself in a struggle, to follow the path of rightness. It will not always be easy. Hard things will happen and I will have to weather them, and they will make me feel bad. But feeling bad will not collapse me. It almost feels like being super human. I am my own superhero.

I had a family reunion with all of my siblings, my partner and my Mom, Nephew Michael, and My Mom's boyfriend - and we all got along and had fun. A small miracle ! I bought a new car that I ❤️ - 27 years after I bought the one I sold. A new era! I turned down a job offer at a different agency, after five interviews and a contract negotiation that did not meet expectations What A Process THST was!

I became pregnant! It's affected me in every way -- from my relationship with Jeff to how I think about the future. So many emotions! I am so grateful that this happened and without much real effort (during the first month we half-tried) and that so far I have had a healthy, normal pregnancy. The first 10-12 weeks were very difficult for me because of my previous miscarriages. It was so hard to get excited and to believe it was actually happening. And when the time came when I felt comfortable believing it was actually happening, then came a wave of fear and anxiety. Now I feel all of those things--excited and grateful, scared and anxious! When I feel him move around in there, I know it's a miracle. I am trying to enjoy the pregnancy and be present, as I think it will be my last one. I want to relish it, even though it's hard when I'm so busy and have a very active toddler.

My wife and I now have a beautiful baby daughter. Hat tip to parental bias, but she's everything I've ever hoped for: healthy, strong, determined and gentle. She's definitely cute and I love watching her grow every day. And grow she has... she's in the top 10% of her age group for height. How has it affected me? I've learned that adopting the role of the sole provider for a family is HARD. Bad sleep, money worries, guilt about not being around as much as I'd want to be, guilt over not wanting to give up old habits to make time for sleep (movies/games/reading time for me) or for making quality time with my wife and wider family. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to fit it all in. I'm getting better at it, although I have had to pick up some out of hours freelance work to make sure ends meet. That hasn't started yet, but when it does it'll be hard work. But overall, I might be terribly grumpy some days but I'm so so so happy I've got my own happy family.

I quit my job before I was laid off. I was so very grateful to leave on "my terms" and loved having the first 5 months to finish a certification and then travel around Central and South America. But by July I was bored and anxious and really wanted to go back to work - but there are limited opportunities and I had spent the past 3.5 years not maintaining OR building the relationships I know I need to find the next role. So I hired a company to help me - and while I was inspired by my initial contact, I am losing faith it will work. And I still have no permanent place to call home, changing addresses at least every month.

We took the plunge and moved from Orange County, CA to Reno, NV, and it has proved to be the best decision either of us has ever made, and by far the best decision we ever made together. In just a few months we both started great jobs, and in less than a year we've been able to completely turn our financial situation around and really start building a great life together. We were married on October 1 and it really gave us a chance to reflect on how far we've come and we're so grateful for the help we had and proud of where our hard work has gotten us.

My daughter grew from a baby into a toddler, and I am awed, grateful, and occasionally overcome by fear that something could happen to her.

separating from Tim. Angry, resentful, sad,relieved, lonely, you name it I have felt it,

My friend's cancer went through a long and painful year of treatment. My dad's cancer was diagnosed and isn't responding to treatment. The cancer my grandmother chose not to fight finally took her life. When I told David that I felt like everyone I was close to was suffering, he countered with a list of great things that had happened to me -- my sister's baby, close friends I had made, new things I had learned. It was a great response that reminded me to be thankful for what I have, even in rough times.

My encounter with Donna allowed me to see my inner strength. I do worry about if I've forgiven her, but to be honest I feel nothing, not good or bad. I wish for her to have better health. I've grown and I'm still growing. I shared my truth with my sisters. It gave me compassion and understanding. They were just messed up kids too.

Uncle Bob's time in hospice and his death, where I realized he was a father figure in my life. I was able to support his family from afar and that was a blessing to me...and I hope, also to them. I am relieved that his death was peaceful and his family is moving on together as he would want them to

Our wedding! I am grateful, relieved, resentful, and inspired. I hope a year from now I have let go of the resentment. I am stunned by the ways people showered us with love and abundantly grateful for how they descended into our redwood camp village for a weekend to be fully present with us. I am reminded that the small details that didn't go as I thought they would are byproducts of many hands making light work, and offers to share. I am also touched by how being married has added depth and patience to our relationship. we have had a lot of trust and space since the wedding, both transitioning at work, and she continues to feel like my rock. I look forward to seeing where another year takes us in terms of making big and little next steps - babies? owning property? her new career moves?

I feel like this year the most significant experience has been Matthew. The process of us falling in love was honestly one of the best experiences I've ever had in my life (for many reasons: his persistence, the fact that he's a man and I fell in love, that I could have positive sexual experiences with him, etc.). He fought so hard for me, and finally letting go and trusting him was amazing. I'm so grateful it happened, even though now I feel as though we're so close to falling away from each other. I hope we don't. Then I'd feel so angry and resentful for "allowing" this experience to happen to me, even if it was significant and important.

Service trip to Maine

Being with my mom and dad the last few days of his life was so significant in my life - and had such a lasting impact. When my mom decided to take him home from the last hospital visit, my partner told me that we were going to stay with her and help. I learned a lot about family, my partner, Alzheimer and myself. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend those days with him - even though I had to give up a trip - and I was able to photo document his last journey. I learned about sundowning (and I am pretty sure this is where the Werewolf stories come from). And I learned about the process of dying. Most important, I learned how to say goodbye. My most cherished moment was on day 2 - when he was wheeled by me by the caretaker - and he said "There's Susie." I don't think he had said my name in years .

When this question first came up I couldn't think of anything!! My dad passed in February. I think I made peace with our relationship long before this happened. However, when i got down to see him while he was in hospice i had private time with him and told him that he was a good dad. I don't know if the tears he shed were real or just a biological response to some stimuli, tho i think he probably heard me and responded with gratefulness. For that i was grateful. I thought that this would give me more courage to be more open...alas it has not yet done so (see Q 9)

I entered a serious relationship despite being apprehensive about if the individual was healthy for me. I still don't know if I made the right decision or am making the right decision by remaining in the relationship. While there have been happy and blissful moments, there has also been immense stress regarding unhealthy dynamics playing out. I hold resentment toward myself that I haven't felt strong or brave enough to leave, but I also hold hope that things have the ability to change. Regardless of the outcome, I will walk away knowing that I finally found my voice and for the first time in my life, put my own needs before that of others.

I decided to start a new job and move once again, this time to S. Carolina. I'm still processing how it's affected me, since I literally just moved a few days ago. But the opportunity presented itself months ago, and I accepted the job months ago, and have thought much about it since then. I feel a little confused, a little apprehensive, a little curious -- like I'm not sure why the universe brought this opportunity to me, not sure exactly how it will turn out, not sure what the lesson is for me in this decision. So my uncertainty is giving me an opportunity to remain open-minded and curious about the possibilities.

I passed the PE exam in electrical engineering power systems. It led to a bonus from work, additional responsibilities/clout, and opportunity to advance within the organization. I have long viewed a PE license as "employment insurance". It is extremely valuable. I am grateful for the support and encouragement from friends and family. I am grateful most especially for the support from my wife. Relieved that I no longer need to study as though I'm in grad school all over again. I feel inspired to continually challenge myself and challenge others. I proved to myself that many are capable of this, given the right support and encouragement.

I retired from a workplace that was great for 20 years and toxic stress for the last 5 years. I miss my job and most co-workers, but grateful to be away from the toxic stress.

I came out to my folks. I feel different. I feel far away. I am far away. I feel guilty. It was an extremely anxiety riddled experience and I spent a few weeks feeling like I was going to cry at every moment. As I write this, I am considering coming out to my greater circle on facebook. Not sure. (its 10/10/16). My sister and I are good, and it really feels good with Val. My folks...not so sure. My mom doesn't really mention it, and brock is curious nd inquisitive.

i started painting and my inner artist just flourished and found its voice

My only brother died. It's been awful. He likely died on what would have been our father's 74th birthday (he and John both died before they were 48yr old). I am older than either will ever be. I say likely because we don't know how long he'd been lying dead in his apartment before they found him when they came to collect him for Thanksgiving dinner and found him cold and dead on his floor. I have bins of his things in my garage, and when I sell this house and move on with the divorce, I will restock my kitchen with his things. It also really threw my son into a tailspin. Days after John died, Graham walked out of the treatment centre he was in and disappeared. It took us two weeks to find him. We are still finding our way.

I got married this year! I feel like our relationship is stronger. I think we have a beautiful sense of peace since becoming husband and wife. I am relieved- my soul isn't searching, it is settling in and focused on my gifts and what I will give to the universe. I feel different than I thought I would feel- I anticipated feeling trapped, and I feel so happy and calm

This has been a big year. The biggest change that happened to me was getting a promotion I didn't expect, for the job I've always wanted. Now I get to use logic to determine the best approach to give people something they really need: assistance getting good healthcare - and keeping the organization healthy, too. And it means so much to me that I got it because someone thought I deserved it, not because I fought for it. On a related note, David felt like he could leave his job which has really lowered stress in the house - he's still stressed, but now he can spend time with Leo which is a nice phase after all the time I spent with Leo in his first 6 years. Then I finally finished my Masters after 5 years!! That felts so great, to finally be legit!!! And we tried to have a baby and failed. That was a very tough time. I'm still so conflicted about it. I wanted so badly to self-actualize: not give up on my Master's, not give up on my career. Other women had great achievements early in life - I didn't, and didn't want to say "I'm good with settling right here." Now that I have the degree and have Savid at home while I have my career, I would love another baby. But it's so unlikely. Fortunately Leo is fantastic and we are so lucky to have him and each other. And so got a young puppy, Cody, to energize our world.

This quite literally just happened. I found out I'll no longer be doing the job I've had for nearly 15 years - all of my adult life. It's a change I've wanted to make for a long time - by stopping that work, I can focus on my true passions and what I think I'm really good at, not to mention a new level of ownership of my identity. But the fact that the change didn't happen on my terms stings more than I thought it would. Ultimately, I'm shades of all the questions above, but mostly... inspired. Inspired to finally have urgency to own my life and operate without a safety net. Inspired to put myself out there, and life the truest version of myself for the first time in a very long time.

I initiated and planned a first-ever vacation for myself and my two siblings last spring—a trip to New York to see the Broadway musical "Hamilton." I feel like the purchase of those tickets was a catalyst, not only for a memorable, meaningful, much-needed time-out with my loved ones, but also for intentional movement toward cherished hopes. With "Hamilton" on the horizon, I started to get braver about asking for what I wanted in life.

I launched my new career at age 60. The support of my family, my former employers and the Twitches were essential. I felt anxious about how this would go financially, but confident in my preparations. Now, six months in, I love what I'm doing every day, whether it's marketing, keeping the books or working with clients. The tightness of old work stress has left my body. Gone is the dread that grew on Sunday - dread of the pressures and burden of the week ahead. Gone are the unreasonable hours and the tasks that couldn't possibly get down. I love my third act. and I'm so full of ideas I don't know what I'll do with all of them!

I quit my job to move to Thailand and teach English to survivors of trafficking and exploitation. I'm in the middle of my year commitment and while I don't know the entirety of how this all is changing me - I don't regret coming here for a second. I felt so stuck and dry and, to be honest, dead inside, at my last job, it really was a relief to get out and do something that my heart has been longing to do for some years. Being here has helped me recognize things that I've needed to change in myself - and also how little work I've done in making myself a better person. I was so spiritually lost, going through motions and desperate to be close to jesus again, but I couldn't figure out how to overcome the walls I'd put up all around me. In a way, I knew I needed to get out of the bubble I'd created - and I knew I was capable of so much more. Coming here has been humbling and confusing and overwhelming, but also empowering and refreshing and eye-opening. I don't have answers, and I don't know what's next - which is slightly terrifying - but I'm so much more excited and hopeful for the future than I was at home. It's a journey of trusting the process, but I'm grateful just to be moving.

Moving to DC and moving back. I'm not sure how it affected me - but I found a core of strength in myself that I didn't know existed before. I'm grateful I survived without spiraling in to a severe depression...which I think I probably had a legitimate chance of doing. I'm glad I found a new focus, although I'm not sure how it is going to work out.

This year I'm using a positive experience! I took a month-long trip to celebrate my birthday with friends and cousins. I am so grateful to have so many true long-term friends. I am especially grateful that I got to spend my birthday weekend with a dear friend of almost 40 years who died suddenly over the summer. I was also heartened by how much I was physically able to do, with the help of a newly-purchased walker. 11 hours at Disneyland! Although I came home with a cold, I was inspired to push myself to do more.

My partner and I travelled to Asia for our first proper trip away travelling and it was amazing to help him realise that the world is there to explore - he is now so excited for our next trips.

I passed my PE Exam. I am relieved and grateful to have it over with. It was a lot of work to study for and represents a huge milestone in my career. Now I'm adjusting to the added responsibility that comes with signing and sealing engineering plans.

It was funny actually: on February 29, 2016 my beautiful and perfect niece was born, and later that day Boots killed herself, which set me into my mental break. I broke. It was really scary and I didn't know how to control my world or my circumstances or my brain. It affected me so much in so many different ways. The first thing is that I think I know myself better now. As the product of months of therapy and drugs, I think I am finally getting better at understanding myself, an entity that I thought I'd never be able to make heads or tails of. It's so nice to know that things happen because of my mental illness and not because I'm an idiot: the day my therapist explained to me that it's not my fault and that nobody can control their thoughts, I felt absolved of my burden in a really serious way. Obviously all of the mental stuff still affects me every day, but it feels like now I'm sort of starting to learn how to harness it.

In the past year, Jason and I started talking about the future. It is extremely significant because it is incredible to know who the person is that you will spend the rest of your life with.

I fall in true Love with FF (now FS Forever :-) ) It changed my entire life towards the Best. FF shows me the world of music (which is exciting and fun), Meditation (boring), energy (can't wait to know more about) .... and especially about powerful smartness and LOVE! I haven't been grateful so far but will start immediately being grateful by protecting my family (whatever it means - but we know Mother Earth protects us! As background info: FS (now expecting our sun in 3 months) and I are running away from the Zika virus :-( Absolutely - I AM inspired!

Surgery on right shoulder on January 4, 2016; first time surgery Effects: limited mobility, pain and pain management, recovery, dependency on others especially during the eight weeks I could not drive, the kind responses of those who pitched in or offered to help. Relieved to know that I can recover from a physical setback like surgery even if it takes a very long time. Heightened awareness of my need to 1) keep my ankles mobile and strong and 2) be more aware of my surroundings especially footing to avoid falls that can be so devastating as people age.

I left my job of 11 of years and felt very relieved. It was a scary thing to do because I didn't have another job waiting. Looking for a job was hard, but staying was soul-sucking. So I felt relief not to be there anymore.

I got married! How amazing! A summer I would never have predicted, a whirlwind of elation and stress and relaxation and completely full of love. It's felt rather manic over the last couple of months as we've juggled family, friends, loved ones, and settling into our new home and married life together. And there are still lots of ways in which we're yet to figure out exactly how we want to do things, but it's such a joy to have embarked on that.

I got married!! It's affected me in all the expected ways plus also provided in ways and depths that I never thought possible. Solidifying such an amazing relationship in such an amazing way and with such a complimentary person to me truly changed my life and FELT. SO. RIGHT. It's left me so excited about the future and all of the things we'll do together going forward. Team Florenz forever. :)

Well, I moved out. I asked for a divorce. I started a life totally alone. I'm not grateful but I'm relieved but I'm resentful.

In the past year, I have been able to travel with family, friends, and officemates to more local and international destinations than I believe I ever have previously in my life. I'm very grateful that I'm finally allowed to go out and explore. Travelling really does have so many dimensions and you bond with the people you travel with precisely because you share experiences out of your ordinary routines.

I experienced exteme facial pain on and off during the winter and into the spring. When in pain, I would withdraw from things, become less confident. The experience led me to prayer as I found ways to cope with being in extreme pain. "The lord is with me, I shall not be afraid." Not knowing what was causing the pain, was hard to accept. I felt very fortunate and grateful that after an MRI I was diagnosed with a benign tumor that could be causing the pain. The surgery, although risky (brain surgery), I am inspired by. The opportunity to face a challenge head on, to cleanse myself not only of the tumor, but also to use the recovery time to cleanse myself at work, home, and life.

I guess the most significant things have been involving my kids moving in and out of our house. My youngest son, Collin went off to college last August, but came back at Christmas being dismissed for getting zeros in all of his classes. So, he lived in our Florida room until early August when he finally moved into an apartment with two other guys. In June, my second oldest son moved out of out basement and into an apartment. This was huge because he has OCD, ASD and poor hygiene. So, I finally got my basement back and reorganized all of my things and even bought some new furniture for entertaining down there. But, in mid-August, my oldest son broke up with his long time girlfriend in Cleveland, OH and moved back in with us into the same basement we had just gotten ready for having guests over. Not only that, but he brought all of his furniture over as well, so now both our basement and garage are filled with his things. It seems as if we will be supporting one or more of our kids forever. It is discouraging and stressful to have them here, when I thought they would all be on their own by now.

On a Sunday in September, my mother finally found out that I am in love with Dale Morrison. It was earth shattering when it happened and I firmly believe she will never forgive me; not even for the lie, but merely for my feelings. She takes my feelings as a personal betrayal. None the less, I feel extremely relieved. I'm relieved that the secret is out and I don't have to try to hide as much anymore. There isn't this massive weight hanging over me constantly, worrying about whether she's found out or not. I could've handled it better, yes. I could've been brave enough to come out and tell her. Now I'll never have that chance, but I accept that. The only thing I have to do now is have the courage to move out, because I don't think she's going to move soon enough to keep me from going crazy. It's such a hostile environment and I do not have to stay, but I never realized how much courage it truly takes to leave a conflicted situation.

I spent a semester in Israel and then had my semester of University. Both of these new experiences were incredible and helped me really grow and mature as a person.

The past year has been challenging because the apartment sale fell through last fall and what should have been a smooth transition to Durham became a stressful, lonely, trying time where I had to hustle and work really hard to keep my head above water. The (new) sale finally went through a month ago and I'm very grateful. It was a hard year but I learned a lot about myself and am proud that I found so many places to live and so many ways to make money and survive. I'm also really grateful for my experience creating "The Durham Doll" which was such a huge success. It made my transition to Durham easier when all other avenues were pretty rough and unwelcoming. It is also worth noting how some worries disappear and some don't when you have enough money. I hope that I can organize my life so that I can provide for myself in the future now that the pressure's off.

Discovered more about my transgender mind.. starting to see the true me. took me closer to my partner.

I graduated with my MBA. It made me feel accomplished for about ten minutes but then I just felt lost. I haven't worked for a long time and I'm having a lot of trouble even getting engaged in the job search process. School is full of hope and endless possibilities, not to mention stimulating social interaction and collaboration. Getting out into the real world feels constricting and isolating.

My dad has progressively gotten more frail. It has made me reflect on the time I have spent with him and inspired me to spend as much time with him as I can and still maintain my life at home. I am grateful that I have the free time to be able to travel to him whenever I can. I have had time to grieve with Rob, Val, and Barbara as dad declines. We have been able to discuss how to handle his passing and what needs to be planned rather than having to make plans after the fact. I am grateful that this has brought us closer to Val. I started cooking classes and found a new passion.

Maybe it sounds trivial, but I got a dog. Getting her has been a powerful move for me, and a huge step in caring for my mental health. I have to go outside--a lot. I have met more people in my neighborhood and have explored nearby areas I had not seen. But mostly she has helped with my depression. She relies on me and I wouldn't want anything bad to happen to her. So no matter how depressed I feel or whether I'm thinking about harming myself, she is a built in reason not to. She builds in short term goals (walk a mile, go to the park, etc) that can interrupt the spiral of falling too deeply into myself. I'm proud that I took the leap and that I'm doing my best to give her the best possible life.

Quitting my highly respected job to backpack through Asia. While I've always been reflective, I couldn't even fathom how much I would learn and grow, how wildly different my worldview would become. How I would develop a deep spiritual practice, learn for the passion of learning again and decide over dinner to move to Australia with some of the most passionate, genuine, fulfilled humans I've ever met.

I turned 40...ouch! At 40 there is no denying you are a grown up and I just don't feel like one. Our kids would freak out if they knew that we really don't know what we're doing day to day and that just because you are a "grown up" doesn't mean that you automatically know the right thing to do in any given situation. I'm definitely thankful and grateful for my health and that G-d has allowed me to reach this age. I'm thankful for my family, my life overall and also for the clarity that I feel I've gained over the last few years. I've realized that the important things in life really are your health, your family and your perspective and I'm so thankful that I've come to that realization early on in my life so that I can live every day with that in mind.

This year I graduated from college, and I must say, that I am relieved to be done with school. I now have more free time to focus on activities such as exercising, traveling, reading, learning Spanish, and of course, building my business.

I was able to help/assist coach another area and it helped me see more in both areas that I coach. The attitude of the camp was good feedback nomatter what. Even the critique was non-confrontational. This was an interesting dynamic where any and all people at the camp were not told anything that might hurt their chances of coming back to the camp.

Failing my Patternmaking class and having to retake it after having put so much effort into doing well was extremely difficult to accept. Though I appreciate taking it a second time, the experience really hurt me as I had sacrificed so much just to try and do ok. However, the experience also made me realize how insignificant my relationship with someone I considered a good friend until then was. I had for years really hoped she was a good friend, who would stand by me in my difficult times, but through this experience showed me she doesn't really care. Or even care about caring. Since I spoke with "my friend" and dropped "our friendship" to just "associates" in life after I came to this realization, I guess I'm sort of grateful for failing my class.

I had a miscarriage. I always had a feeling we would have a hard time getting pregnant...but I never imagined I would endure a miscarriage. It changed me. For the good. But I am in no means thankful that it happened. We can be thankful for the journey and experiences, but I wouldn't wish this hurt on anyone. What a hard way to learn a lesson. But I know that God gave me those few short weeks with that child for a reason. That reason changes the more I process things and the longer our journey extends out as we try for a child.

I was transferred to a new workspace- I found the change refreshing and it has inspired me to be more open with my creative side and letting others see the whole me.

We decided to host an au pair around this time last year. Julia moved in with us last November and it has been the best change to our family this year. As a result of having the extra help in our home, my husband and I are able to go on a date at least once every other week, even in the thick of our busiest times. We have more time to spend together, and because Julia lives with us, we've eliminated the yucky and uncomfortable and traumatic "transition" period from going to work, school, and out for dates. I'm so grateful that we found out about the au pair program, I believe it saved our marriage in many ways. I wouldn't say that all of our problems are solved, but having a third adult in our home has really changed the way we function. It means that if we're feeling stressed, tired, overworked, we don't place all the blame on the other parent. Julia helps us to ease the work load. She's also very loving and playful with the kids, and it's a big plus for them to have someone who is full of energy to play with them. I still find that what I talk about hosting an au pair in our home that people are very curious, or border on judgmental, or surprised, because they have preconceived notions about what it would be like to have someone living with you and helping with childcare. I have become somewhat of a spokesperson for this program.

Last year on Rosh Hashanah day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That was definitely significant. It took me out for pretty much a full year, with treatments and surgeries and many mental/emotional distractions. I went through chemo, had a double mastectomy and had DIEP flap breast reconstruction. I’ve already written a lot elsewhere about this, but I will say that overall The Year of Living Cancerously was a really hard and challenging experience. However, I also had amazing support and got to practice a lot of self-determination and courage in the face of fear and anxiety. I have definitely emerged changed by the experience, which I am both grateful for (yay I survived and I still have what look like “real” boobs) and resentful of (for obvious reasons).

Since last Rosh Hashanah a dear colleague and friend moved to another job and another city. He had been one of the reasons I liked my job and had come to be a dear friend and confidant. I have run the gamut of emotion as a result, from anger to sadness to (occasionally) acceptance and love. I miss him a lot but have grown in his absence and come to realize how much of our friendship was based on proximity. That makes it easier to let go, in a sense, although it also makes me sad. It makes me realize I need to be more thoughtful about my non-work life and cultivate the friendships that are real and not proximity-based!

My son was born. He is our third child and he is a beautiful and happy and mild mannered child. At the same time he has thrown our lives into chaos. Three children is way more than two. I love him so much. It's just made life harder and more complicated. I am grateful to God for giving us a healthy baby to join our family, and I am grateful to my wife for being the best mother I could ask for our three children.

I went to Jerusalem for 4.5 months on study abroad. On top of it being insanely fun, it gave me so much as a person -- as in, I am so much more mature now than I was before. It can be, at times, very difficult to navigate a new country -- from learning what kind of yogurt to buy in the grocery store (I finally just gave up on yogurt and switched to cottage cheese) to navigating social interactions with the people in a new country. Luckily I felt so at home -- it was not my first time in Israel, and I had an amazing support system of friends that I love dearly. I also had this weird, amazing feeling of not being an outsider, not having to explain my Kosherness or the fact that I always, always, always have to do Shabbat dinner. In fact, it was all a given. There were times where this feeling was so intoxicating that I swore I would make move to Israel after college, marry an Israeli, live in the North or by the ocean, be among my people. But that feeling wore off every time, and I was just left with the warm, snuggly knowledge that whenever I needed it, Israel would be there for me.

Got married. Probably never going to have a bigger year in my life. Was one of the best days I have ever experienced, but my biggest feeling was that I was glad that we had done it so we could get on with our lives together. It was a huge financial and emotional commitment and something that big is better behind than in front. I look forward to spending the rest of my life with the one I love most in the world.

My daughter graduated and moved to college. As proud of her as I am, i find myself sad and feeling that I am taken for granted by her. It has me feeling bad about myself knowing that when I was the same age I was not kind to my parents, and am left wondering if they experienced similar pain to what I am feeling now. It has me wishing they were alive for me to talk to and seek advice, as well as the ability or opportunity to apologize for taking them for granted for so long. It has me feeling as if this is just karma, and payback for what I put out to in the world when I went to college and acted as a selfish, overindulged teen. And it has be at a loss on how to overcome it and change it.

I have worked diligently and have made many carreer advances..personally I have discovered new facets to my personality. I have pushed the limits of my relationships and have stood my ground with those that tend to disagree with me. I try to stay strong and positive.. feel good about myself and my truth as a human being and as an artist. I am excited to continue this journey.so far no regrets.i am greatful for my families love and understanding. My children .husband .parents and friends .. do feel so very fortunate! !!!!!

Husband had horrific chainsaw accident. Life changing event. Almost a widow. Miracles of prayer, good medical care, and good medical insurance have prevented widowhood and (medical) bankruptcy. Exposed several vulnerabilities in my personal life, as I would have had to organize, prepare, and sell this farmstead on my own. The magnitude of the work load is paralyzing. Have decided to re-do my life by addressing all areas, and simplify. Daring to imagine a life alone, and what I would like it to be like. Scary.

Celebrated youngest son's bar mitzvah and same weekend mom fainted/fell ill. It was a reminder of how precious and fleeting life and joy can be, and how we need to make the most of every moment. There are so many loved ones I miss and also regret not being connected to, but when I feel full from the friends and family who are in my life I remember that life is pretty darn good. I'm grateful for those who are in my life and try very hard not to dwell on the hurt and loss.

I moved in with my boyfriend, and I am grateful! We have made a lovely home together. We brush our teeth together every morning and every night. We wake up together and we (mostly) go to sleep together. He helps me to stay tidy and nags me (lovingly) to do things because he loves me and wants me to happy and organised and fulfilled and safe. I've spent more time with him than I have with anyone else outside of my immediate family, and I haven't got bored yet - I keep expecting to, and maybe it will come, but for now, I'm going to enjoy the honeymoon period and continue to feel grateful.

Kate came up with the idea of throwing a big party for my 50th birthday. The whole thing kept snowballing and by the time it was over it had turned into an event with over 100 attendees, live music all day, a full pig roast, free child care offered, and of course plenty of booze for the adults. She did a great job with the whole thing and it came off fantastically! On Friday night I got my first surprise when Bruiser showed up with Crawford. I had not expected either of them that night and it was great to see them. Plus, Bruiser had bought a cheap guitar and brought it along with a marker so that everyone who came to the party could sign the guitar. He had also gotten the ball rolling by having some folks from State College sign the guitar. Fantastic. On Friday Murphy and Kenny also showed up unexpectedly. This one had been arranged by Kate and it was an awesome surprise. Kate and I stayed up late drinking beers with Murphy and Kenny and Bonnie and Jim. So. Much. Fun. Then the day of the party was a fantastic blur. I ended up playing with various lineups for almost five hours straight. The highlight for me was getting back together with Johnny. He had decided to call our reunion of The Stumbling Dice/Dirt Merchants by a new name -- Sgt. Longhead's Lonely Hearts Club Band. As is typical of Johnny ideas, it was wonderfully wacky and it was brilliant. The whole thing came off great. Plus, Johnny and Greg went in together on buying me a new electric guitar. It is a Gibson and quite frankly it is a bit of a Frankenstein so it is difficult to say exactly what type of guitar it is, but basically it is a Les Paul Standard and a Les Paul Junior mashed together and then Johnny added star inlays to the neck and a tortoise shell pick guard to the body so that it looks a lot like the Everly Brothers acoustic guitar he and I bought together in the 90s. Plus it has dice for the volume and tone controls and it has an automatic tuning feature on the headstock. Unbelievable! Truly blown away.

I got (and stayed) pregnant with G. We're at 24 weeks now, and I'm grateful beyond measure. As with so many other things in life, once you become a parent, you realize that things you once thought were cliches are actually people's best attempts to express something that goes far, far beyond words.

I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania after my second trip there. It changed a lot for me. I am at peace with this effort and experience. I have also listened a lot to people's curiosities and interests about my experience. I hear from others that they could never do that and that they are glad to know me because I've done it, something that they could not do. I'm grateful for the ability to do this and for the opportunity to inspire others with my experience and efforts. I'm just being myself. One other significant experience is the judgment against me in the Pro Se case from Judge Hellerstein. While I was initially upset, I realize that this is actually evidence for me in the case I have against Ameriprise and the Manhattan DA's office. It is actual proof of damages that I can use against them both. It's all in the lens you use to look at anything, isn't it?!

a significant experience was going to see the OB-GYN after a year of unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant. we are still on that journey trying to get pregnant. I feel sad and angry about it.

This year has been one significant experience after another; so many incredible journeys (HP world, New York x2, Bamberg, Stuttgart, Riga, Stockholm, Beijing, The Philippines, London (briefly), Freiburg, Basil, Sicily, Münster x2, Mainz, Spokane, camp, LA, Amsterdam, Berlin, some castle, Malta, to be continued), so many visits from the people I love (Max, Mary, Sas), so many sunny days in the park and neverending perfect days with Ashleigh. Despite the fact my brain seems determined to make me spend as much time in darkness as possible, this year has been undeniably beautiful. I feel grateful.

I had several significant experiences during January 2016. I started my first semester in the clinical mental health counseling program at ODU, got a job as a behavior technician for family preservation services, and broke up with my boyfriend, Kyle. I am very grateful for my strength and insight to know that I was in an unhealthy realtionship, and leave it. I am very grateful for my dedication and hard work that have led me to be accepted into the grad school program and receive this new job. I am very grateful for the strong, independent, hardworking woman I am today working two jobs, going to school, and living in my first apartment on my own!

I quit a job that I had longed for and dreamed about this year. I was scared to make the jump, but also just really tired of feeling unheard, underemployed and undervalued - and disappointed that I couldn't feel my impact in the world. I had gotten to the point where I felt like I had really worked the system, too; my networking game was really strong when I left. I met some people there who had become dear friends, too. But from the day I left, I didn't look back or question my decision. It felt right, and I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude, as if together, the universe and I had found the keys to liberation. I realized how sick my mind and body had been before I left. When I think about how I wasn't heard, I feel frustrated and sad because I know this is happening to many others out there who are never going to leave - because they are afraid. I'm so glad that I did it. And I started my own business. I love the direct, positive impact I can have on people and their businesses almost immediately after we start out work together. I love the flexibility I have that allows me to connect with entrepreneurs in the city and care for and nourish my mind and body through exercise. So far it has been very rewarding hard work.

Cambria started college at Evergreen State in Olympia WA. I am happy that she found a place she feels connected to and a new group of friends, teachers and mentors, but it seems like she has moved on without me. As it should be.

I went into another depressive cycle which I hadnt expected to happen. I think I am pulling myself out of it finally, so I think I've feeling relieved. Perplexed still, but grateful.

I met with my long-distance girlfriend for the first time, driving down to Newark Airport to pick her up back in January. And we clicked like /that/. Six months later, I asked her to marry me. She said yes. I'm still floating on cloud 9 in sheer happiness. Part of my mind boggles at how easily we could have missed each other and never met in the first place, and yet, we managed it, and we're deliriously happy now. But we only met in the first place because of a series of random chances--she saw one of my posts on social media asking for help, and she started messaging me to make sure that I was taking care of myself. It went from there to a friendship, and from there to a relationship.

So many things! I bought my childhood home. I lost my job after 25 years, and decided to take at least a year off. To rest. To travel. To rest some more. Take art classes and yoga classes. Travel some more. Finally renovate my home so it is finally mine! I was a little bit offended when I lost my job, but 85% of me was so so happy! I really needed to get away from a work situation that was not happy or healthy. I am grateful to have had this opportunity. And I have learned to trust in life. It always provided what you need when you need it.

I think that the presidential debates are some of the more marked events this year for me. I have followed politics a lot. Part of it is that I watched West Wing during mat leave and am more tuned in. Part of it is that this is a crucial election, and not just because it's a woman. I have so many emotions, both rage and hope. I am motivated.

I finally went off the Cymbalta completely. Grateful I had it to help with pain while my body healed a bit, relieved to be getting my mind back, resentful that the full effects were never considered serious enough to keep the drug off the market to begin with.

Ryan and I bought a house this year. Recently, actually. Ryan contributed the majority of the money, I helped out where I could, but it was change in the end. Still processing my feelings about that. Does it take away from my independence? Can I still say that I'm still providing for myself? Does it change the power dynamic between us? Am I still holding my own. The moving process was painful and stressful and we're still dealing with it. Because of this, we find ourselves bickering about the time old topics.. "who does more chores?" "is one of us getting to relax more than the other?" It's hard. It does cause a lot of resentment. Most of the time, I'm happy. I'm excited to be embarking on such a solid future with someone I love and works hard to make us work. Whenever we overcome a hardship that homeownership and simply being in a long term relationship might throw at us, I feel inspired.

I got engaged. I started clinical rotations. These were both good things.

two friends died this year and another was very sick. The husband of a friend and someone who had done work on our house also died. In the case of three of these people it seemed to happen almost over night so the idea that I am not immortal is self evident. for the first time while I am more healthy then I have ever been I also feel the weight of time and getting older. Where before I feared change not I am willing to except it and so in a strange way I am feeling more free to be who I want to be more free to try new things and more willing to fail. Each day means more and I am trying to live in the here and now while making plans for the future that I know may not be and for the first time that is also ok with me

completed the herbalist course, went to NM, and opened my own practice. overwhelmed, trying to focus and drive ravenswood forward. meeting tieraona low dog, experienceing kiva. relieved, excited, what next>>> ? can i get the shop all the way self-sufficient?

I've dreaded answering this question because this has been the worst year of my life so far. I have to break this into 2 parts. 1) My teenage niece killed herself this past spring. I've written about it, cried each day since it happened and done my best to not let it ruin my life or my family. But nearly 6 months on, I can tell you that it has changed the way I parent, the way I love, my political opinions, my priorities... nearly everything about me. I'm not grateful for this change. I'm not resentful either. I find that I am simply different and I know I can't go back to who I was. It's very scary to be altered so much without my consent. 2) I had a lateral mastectomy two months ago for DCIS and am still in the reconstruction stage. Oddly, though I find this superficially traumatic, it's more if an inconvenient bother. I am relieved that my cancer was caught so early, but I've now caught on to how unfair and brutal out healthcare system is.

I have was enrolled in a certain class at CBC, and in this class, I have learned many ways on how to be happier and a better person.

I moved to New York City. Yes I am grateful. No, I wouldn't say I'm relieved. Maybe a bit resentful but more grateful than resentful. Inspired, yes, yes very inspired at times. The city's DNA lends itself to a rollercoaster that you have no choice but to sit on until you leave. After you leave, it will take some time for you to feel like you've mentally hopped off. How has it affected me.... It's made me tougher, less kind, smarter, a business women (or one in the making), lost in myself but given me the opportunity to explore the feeling of losing touch with myself, a dear friend to discuss it all with- cry with, laugh with, enjoy the goods and lows and misunderstandings with... I see someone on the side of the street who looks dead and I keep walking. Its pushed me away from my soul, but its shown me I'm strong and through this storm, if I want, I can find my shelter.

In the past year I was able to travel the world with my husband and create a new one as we welcomed our first baby to our lives. We were able to hike Kilimanjaro, run big sur, camp in Mongolia, and explore the world with each other. It allowed us to be more open to children when we came back. And shortly after we were able to conceive and have a beautiful healthy baby girl. All those events forced us to grow up faster than we could imagine. So grateful for the opportunity to see the world. And so blessed to welcome Eames into it.

The power of intention and goals. Several goals this year happened in unexpected ways that I didn't recognize until my coach helped me make the connections. I am humbled by the effectiveness and inspired.

Having just finished my 70th Birthday ride of 5 weeks of travel and ending with a big party, I am humbled by the love and generosity I've been showered with. Joyful, rewarded, lucky, blessed.

I spent 3 months working on a farm in rural NSW. It was unlike any other experience I've ever had. It was fucking tough. It gave me a new perspective on life. It made me realise - if you want to do something, do it. It made me grateful for the opportunities that I have! After I finished, I didn't really feel myself for a couple of weeks. Once I had time to re-adjust to normal life, looking back on it, it felt to me like it had been a life-changing experience. Certainly something I will never forget.

I have started studying a post-grad. I'm worried about my time management skills. First assignment is coming up, but I've started, and that's different from my undergraduate. I'm glad I've chosen something to pursue, I didn't like being in limbo.

Being a new mom and taking my writing seriously. Both required a lot of patience, hard work, self-care, and confidence in my abilities.

Lots going on - dad sick again - brain op, seizures recently & now about to go in for surgery on back winnie - struggled for a wbile to get pregnant - then so amazing to have her hasn't been easy though - ups & downs, angers & frustration - but I love her so much - wish & want to be better with her - such a massive year with loaded emotions etger kert - 7 good year

In the past year, I got a new job and moved into a new apartment. It was a lot of change all at once to be honest-- but at the end of the day, I'm grateful for the changes. I feel challenged, excited, and more confident in my new job. In addition, I have a beautiful home to come back to at night. Living alone has taught me about me and what I need and want. It has given me far more independence than I have had before and it makes me grateful each day for the space that surrounds me. All of the change was hard-- I'm not going to lie. It was really, really hard at points and at points I seriously questioned the decisions I had made. But overall, I am proud of myself for how I handled the change and glad that I did.

My daughter left for college, something I have been dreading for three years and I survived! My brother was diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis is that he will survive and thrive as well

I did stay 2 month at my moms, and I was happy (thats very unusual for me) It made me think "oh so this is how everyone else go about their day, being happy and content.. It made me think about moving to the south, whats left for me here where I live now, new possibilitys..

Although this is really a negative start to the questions - and also only on the cusp of the last year - I would say the most significant experience would be the split between myself and Loop Abroad. Even a year ago, I still believed there would be a future in my career with Loop and also a definite relationship still with Addam and Jane, however, I know realize that ship has sailed. I'm grateful for the years of mentorship that I had from them and I still hope that my connection with Thailand still remains strong, but I have definitely separated myself from them and their cause. I don't like what they did to me and how I was treated and I feel like I never truly stood up for myself with them. I am still resentful and hold a lot of anger from the inevitable demise of our working and personal relationships. It makes me sad that Jane has a baby and I have never met it. It also makes me sad that now it is complicated for me to visit my Thai family in Chiang Mai. I suppose I haven't fully moved on from this split, but I really need to work on progressing past it.

The job application process made me feel really crappy and self-conscious about myself. I am relieved it's over but I also know I will have to do it again. Probably more significant was getting turned down from InkHouse and then having them offer me the job a month later. That was crushing and then made me fearful of accepting the job. Graduation was also significant. I can't believe I didn't think of that first. The experience of graduation removed from all of the other things that come along with it was lovely. I was very happy at the ceremonies and getting ready. But change is scary. I didn't have the meltdown I predicted, so I think that came from the bigger changes associated with jobs.

I went back onto psychiatric meds. First Lexapro. Then Risperdal, an antipsychotic. Now Lamictal, often used for people with bipolar disorder. I had episodes of depersonalization and derealization during periods of extreme stress. I saw my anger explode on my kids and felt great shame. I had a panic attack in IKEA and was chased by their employees. I went back into therapy and started DBT. I took my medicine, even though I didn't want to and even when I wasn't sure if it was working. I slowly climbed out of my shame. I feel grateful that I think my children for the most part feel loved. That as much as I slogged through most of the days, iPhone in hand, I woke up each morning and I showed up. I cooked for my family. I remembered appointments. I signed Nina up for ballet and sat through every class, beaming. I arranged for Felix to get weekly physical therapy appointments and helped him learn to stand and now walk. I found a new daycare. We bought a house. I found a full-time real job at Nurse-Family Partnership. I exercised a hand full of times. I walked. I relished in picking out lovely clothes and toys for my kids. I apologized over and over again. I laughed.I didn't cry nearly enough (meds?). I read books. I took time for myself. I was there for friends. I make tiny mends in my marriage most days. Halfway through the year, I became a little less paralyzed and obsessed by thoughts of death and mortality and the seeming futility of it all. I know, I'll be dead one day and so will everyone I love. I don't know when. But right now, I want to live. I feel grateful to be alive.

I would say that moving to Bushwick and entering into a new living situation was the biggest change. Through the move I've come into contact with new people, go to different events, and in general have a new lifestyle. It's been very fun and exciting, I'm very happy about it. I'm grateful for my roommates and the life we've built.

My husband was arrested and charged with felony assault based on false child abuse allegations created by his ex wife. We decided to stay strong, stand up for our rights and fight the system. At first, I questioned everything about myself. I have always tried hard to be a good person and dedicate my life to the service of others. I have always associated with people of good character and strong values. I assumed that I was bad if the person I love most in the world is bad too. Then, I realized something. I know my husband. My country and malicious local prosecutors who barely do their job don't get to tell me what I know and love about a person I spend every day of my life with. Instead of being crushed, I have become a fighter. I will fight and fight and fight for honesty and integrity no matter the cost. This system can threaten my safety and security, but it can't stop me from loving who I choose to love.

How do I chose one specific experience when the whole 2016 has been full of them? In the past year what has happened with the terrible sickness of my other half: the cytostatic medications did not work, my partner had yet another brain surgery to remove the tumour, the tumour had worsened and become a grade 3 tumour, my partner went through six weeks of radiation treatment, his epilepsy got significantly worse and we were in the ER so many times I have lost count and he is now almost unable to go back to work. Did I mention we are both barely 30? On top of that, in the beginning of 2016 by boss was on a holiday for 5,5 weeks and not only did I have to do all the work he left behind, but a huge transaction started that continued through the Spring and Summer (is still ongoing) that required me to work overtime all the time. And if that wasn't enough, we were basically forced to move since the stairs in our previous apartment got too much for my partner and his worsened epilepsy, so I ended up buying an apartment. I love the apartment but I have to admit, it has been stressful and a lot to handle. But, if I think about a positive experience, about a month ago I took a trip to Copenhagen to take a yoga workshop by one of my favorite teachers, Kino MacGregor, and it was very meaningful to me to meet her and learn from her. The trip confirmed what I already knew deep inside, that yoga is the path for me and that it is the was to inner peace. I am very grateful that I allowed this trip for myself, especially after all the craziness of this year.

I got a hysterectomy that went terribly wrong. It made me reevaluate priorities in life. Also left me a bit sad because that is it for having any more children. No more pain though! That's good.

Brexit. It showed me that, in spite of my interest and passion for politics, I actually know very little about true popular opinion and how the thirst for divisiveness will overcome commonsense.

I spent most of the year alone, not coupled. I ended my engagement and I did not seek new couplings. It makes me sad that I do not have a partner, but I like making my own way too. I'd love to share my life with someone but I don't want to compromise myself or my child to add a third person in our life right now. I'll have plenty of time to date. Now I want to focus on me.

My house flooded. Storage units containing my stuff flooded. I have lost about 90 percent of my clothing and possessions. Part of me is relieved that much of the clutter I was hoarding is gone, but part of me is crushed that clearing clutter via floodwaters also took away treasured mementos.

The pressure of being a restaurant manager took its toll on me. I don't think the fact the company is underdeveloped helped either, as it added pressure to an already stressful situation. It baldy effected me to the point that I was not eating and feeling anxious a lot. Handing in my notice made that all eradicate.

This year has sort of been a lot of significant experiences, and has sort of been recovering from last year's significant experiences. But I think the thing that has affected me the most is being with someone who truly, deeply loves and appreciates me. After being in an abusive relationship, going through a divorce, moving across the country, and starting over (still working on that last one) being with someone who sees and understands me (better than anyone I've known) and who loves me fully for who I am is at once freeing and grounding. I find myself continually moved and constantly grateful.

Both of my grandmother's had significant health events in the last year. Until now, at the blessed age of 36, I have mostly been sheltered from the heartbreak that is aging and caring for the aging. Watching very distantly as my parents are forever changed as my father's mother losses to the ever strong Alzheimer's and my mother's mother suffered a sudden stroke, likely leaving her forever paralyzed. My parents have been talking about aging parents for nearly 20 years, but it was always an idea- like visiting China or buying a boat. Despite the mental exercise, they are visibly gutted and always mentally occupied. They are still quick to laugh and smile, but there is a new fear hiding in their eyes. That development scares me.

Mom died. It was an experience that I had hoped I could be a part of and it was a gift to be with her during her transition. My fondest memory of this time is the gaze she gave me when she was transitioning. It was so loving and compassionate. I want to think that it was me she was viewing; however, I do hold that thought that she was looking past me. I don't think that last part is true, but I am aware of the habit pattern of my not seeing myself as important in her life, not feeling valued, seen or heard by her as influencing all the parts of my life. I think I will choose the former interpretation. She was gazing at ME. Being a part of her transition, I felt grateful to experience her final days and to sit with her body after her final breath. I was disappointed that her body had to be removed within the day as both Keith and Jody wanted the move to happen. I was not in a position to argue my point. I had already made my desires known. I was relieved that she did not have to suffer any more. Her suffering was mild comparatively -- no pain -- just the discomfort of the transition. It was time. The sad part is that she couldn't/wouldn't discuss the transition. It could have been (and most likely it was) the brain cancer that was rapidly spreading and influencing every part of her brain. The inspiration comes from my experience of observing the moments from the time she was diagnosed with lung cancer, through treatment, the move to Assisted Care, the rapid loss of her functioning, the move to Jody's, her final days. The inspiration of considering how I would want my final moments to be: spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Of course I would want dear ones to be at my side. Who would that be? Someone to hold my hand, to possibly breathe with me, to send Metta to me as I transitioned. No resentment -- just gratitude.

So many, but from the grief of losing ny dear Sabrina who was my constant companion for 16 years, to teh koy and gratitude of building an actual family home with my true love. It is a full life lived in the middle with more than imaginary challenges. But I am so grateful, so full of gratitude, and fiercely dedicated to continuing to live fully. It is challenging, but contains the deepest joys.

I had a baby boy born 8/16/16 at 5:49pm. It was the most life changing event I have ever experienced. I am so grateful he came to us, but deeply saddened by his loss on 9/20/16. I am relieved that he does not have to live in pain or suffer from the darkness of being blind, the naïveté of being dumb, the silence of being deaf. I am not resentful of the doctors that gave us our prognosis in such harsh terms, nor resentful of my body that was unable to save him from such a bleak prognosis. I learned so much from this happening to me, from having my heart opened, to asking for and accepting help, to keeping me honest in my heart. It inspires me to be a mother again, to offer help to friends and strangers in need and to reconsider my spiritual life. I was open to new possibilities and gained wisdom, greater than any that I could ever have imagined.

This year I had cancer, a lymphoma. I am sad because I have missed so much time with my youngest child. But I am grateful, that so many people have helped me personally and us as a family. I am grateful, that my husband and I decided to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. I think we would not have done that, if I would not have gotten ill. During the first few weeks after the diagnosis I was (and still am) relieved, that I do not have the feeling like "argh, I should have had a whole different life, there are so many things I did not do..." I just was resentful, that if I would have died soon, I would not have the chance to have more time with my children and my husband.

I spent 5 days with my 6 siblings in Ohio this past year. I had previously recognized that I have vast political differences with them. The week was a celebration of a brother's 60th birthday. I dreaded the visit, however, I went with a positive attitude, kept my mouth shut, and had some laughs and enjoyed seeing an old friend. I am grateful that I got through it without beating myself up mentally. I am sad because I realize, again, that I don't like to be around my siblings. I am inspired to get on with my life. I have two more 60th birthday celebrations in the next 4 years, mine and a sister's. I am hoping my sister's is the last one I attend, and I can celebrate my 60th in a different way. I am grateful that my predictions from last year did not come true....lol... I was surprised to read that I thought I would be in a relationship with a guy named Jason! We share a love of music, but otherwise are not compatible. We are still friends, but I forgot until I ready the predication from last year, that I thought there was anything more to our relationship! WOW -

A significant experience that comes to mind is my employment at Saban. I was so proud and excited to be working for a company that I have admired for so long, only for the experience to unfold as unpleasant and stressful. I learned a lot during my 10 months at Saban, both positive and negative. I am extremely grateful for going through the expereience because I learned from it. The most things I have learned is that 1) I am very competent professionally and it is recognized by my peers. 2) I learned that you cannot trust everyone at work and to not be so open about opinions or thoughts, because it can "haunt" you. 3) I learned that I am able to forgive those who have wronged me (Lisa!) and that even though it may have felt personal, it is really just stemming from their insecurities.

I have witnessed my wife's mental breakdown due to stress about our financial future. I felt a tremendous sense of sadness and guilt, since my inability to generate sufficient income played a big role in her mental state. It did give me more of an "us and against them" attitude toward employers and it did force me to become dead serious about doing whatever I have to do to earn $. This has included the humbling experience of being a ride share driver and a substitute teacher.

One of my closest friends and colleagues faced Metastatic Breast Cancer in her liver; and died only four months after diagnosis. I felt so helpless as I witnessed her struggle, and the inability of the health care team to see her as a whole person, and not just a series of symptoms. I joined others in offering support, and found it difficult to dance with her as she asked for help and then rescinded the requests; how she struggled with pain and fear of pain. The grief was so immense that I felt like it was an iceberg; I showed very little of how I really felt. Her friends and family came together to create an Remembrance of her; and in working with so many people and all their different kinds of grief, I came to understand mine better. And to be grateful for my connection to this lost friend, and the ones she left behind.

I have so many things to write about this past year. I am transcending slowly and in due time to my own growth. The facing death workshop in Ecome was a time with a lot of conflict in my life, I felt I had reached my worst, burned out, tired and not in my full compassion. Yet open to receive the hard gifts of the constellations. Learning about ancestors from my mother side, the pain they carry. the connection to my grandmothers horror story of the grandmother, feeling her and being her along with connecting to all women in my linage. Feeling the shift that i am ready to learn from this pain and allow transformation to happen. Here my full commitment to shift my relation to man shifted. It started my intention to make peace with him, along his side, in support for him and welcoming his support.

I got married! Man - getting married was a roller coaster. At this time last year I was struggling with significant anxiety about my relationship and my sexuality. My partner and I were married by a Rabbi on October 17, 2015. My anxiety was so high, I tried to call off the wedding several times and ultimately We decided to go through with the wedding but not the state license. I continued to struggle for a few months, unsure that I was making the right decision. At some point the anxiety lifted, thanks to medication, meditation, self care, bravery and alot of therapy. We got the marriage license in March and had the same Rabbi sign it with us on March 27th. Believe it or not, my anxiety came back and I hit another roller coaster. Did I make the right choice? Do I really want to be with this person? More medication, meditation, bravery and therapy helped me to find my way again. Now that I write this, I realized that getting married was significant but more significant was my personal identity journey. I have learned so much about myself. I love my self more and am kinder to myself than I have ever been. I am relieved that the dark days are gone, but grateful for the opportunity to be so much more connected to my sense of self. Oh and I am so happy that we went through with the marriage. It is really wonderful.

The most significant thing this year is that we had a baby! At this time last year we had one failed IVF cycle and were going into our second stim cycle. It's amazing to think that the embryo that would be our baby was created about this time last year. I'm grateful that we were able to have a child; as hard as the last two years were, I am well aware that it could have been much worse for us. And in the same way that people say women forget childbirth so and are then able to have another child, I have somewhat forgotten all of the pain - physical and emotional - that we went through to get to this day.

My son graduated from LaGuardia HS for the Arts and was accepted to Stanford University and is taking a gap year in India, Ecuador and Israel. I'm so deeply proud of him and who he has been since he was a small boy. He's big hearted and generous,