Last year, I was dreading my birthday. Dreading. And this is unusual for me, but I had my reasons. This year, on the other hand, the impending birthday cannot come quickly enough. Yes, I realize it moves me one step closer to 40. Yes, it means that I'll annoyingly have to check off the "36-44" age bracket on forms that require your age. Yes, I realize that being a year older but not a year closer to some of my goals in life doesn't bode very well. But 35, or at least the end of it, was a humdinger. I lost my beloved Cinn after a several month battle with illness. I had numerous other changes in my life that didn't exactly align with my goals. I screwed up my knee/hip/IT band (again!) while training for what was to be my first half marathon which I was very excited about and now feel there's pretty much no chance of even limping my way through. And several other smaller things that threw me for mini-loops.
In fairness, not all of year 35 was bad, and as my goal for my incoming year is to focus more on the positive, I'd be amiss if I didn't mention a few things that kept me pulling through. I took several international trips, including Paris, Morocco, Portugal, and Mexico. I got a promotion at work. I made some new friends and reconnected with old ones. I finished the very very rough draft of my novel. I completed my second Overnight Walk and became involved with the local chapters.
And so, as the last days of this year wind down for me and I say good riddance to 35 and welcome 36 with open arms, I try to remember that every single thing that happened to me this year - happy, sad, painful, what have you - must serve as a stepping stone to the upcoming year. I would not be who I am today, at this moment, without each and every one of them. Some of them no doubt will linger into the upcoming year. I don't think there will be a day of my life, ever, when I don't think of Cinn and wish she was here with me still. But they are opportunities to grow and learn and adjust my sails, so to speak, and I take what I can from this past year, while hoping that not quite so much pain and heartache and frustration awaits me in the coming one.