Since the year is quickly coming to a close, I have been doing a lot of reflecting. 2017 brought several major life events and, despite the hardships, there's so much that I have to be thankful for.
Here are three items that have shaped my year in a profound way as well as what I have been grateful for during those times.
#1: I'm grateful for all of you!
I feel so much support constantly from all of you and am so grateful for that. I see all of you retweeting my tweets, sharing my articles, commenting on my posts on LinkedIn and other forms of engagement. It warms my heart that my articles resonate with you.
I'm also so fortunate to work with such talented guest posters. I love seeing how so many assistants and proponents of our field value knowledge sharing. I used to struggle with finding the online resources and advice I needed, and it warms my heart to see that so many people also want to help our peers.
As a side note: If anyone is interested in doing a guest post or a collaboration, please don't hesitate to reach out to me (you may contact me here).
I've been through a lot personally this year, which I will talk about in the next two items, so knowing that my tips have helped you have actually, in turn, helped me to get through this period.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
#2: I'm grateful that I've had the courage to trust my gut, even when it wasn't easy.
I currently live in Florida but used to live in Austin, TX. I loved it there! Everything about my life was in line: I loved my job, had a wonderful professional network, lots of amazing friends, so many fun activities in town that I enjoyed doing... you get the idea. (If you ever get the chance to visit Austin, I highly recommend it!)
My husband had a yearning to live closer to his parents in Florida. It was hard news for me to take in, but my instincts were telling me that it was the right thing to do. Towards the end of 2016, we made the difficult move and were settled into our own place by the new year.
A couple of months into our new life, my mother-in-law started experiencing some physical symptoms. The symptoms persisted and she went to several doctors. Over the summer, she ended up getting diagnosed with cancer. I was devastated. I went through a rough emotional period, especially dealing with feelings of sadness after reading the low survival rates.
During this time I did my best to keep active on my blog and climb onto social media. Every time I went online I got a little dose of positivity (see item #1). You guys didn't realize it, but you boosted my spirits during this rough period. I cannot thank you enough for constantly being a positive presence in my life.
I'm grateful that my husband and I were there during the time she got her life-changing news and that we have been able to support her during the hardest time of her life. Making big changes can be hard, but I am thankful that we chose to trust our gut and are right here for her.
#3: I'm grateful for my safety.
There's so much to be thankful for when it comes to my safety. All of the shootings and other attacks in the US have been way out of hand. It also feels the like the amount of natural disasters this year have been off the charts. There were so many reminders this year that my safety is not something that I can take for granted, including a catastrophic hurricane.
In September, Hurricane Irma was projected to hit the city I live in. It was a Category 5 hurricane, which was of mind-boggling proportions. Weather predictions can be wrong, but it was scary seeing so many spaghetti models show it heading in my direction.
There was panic in the days leading up to the hurricane. Stores ran out of bottled water, gas was almost impossible to find and people were getting pushy as survival mode kicked in. I'm from California and am used to earthquakes. There's no time for panic; they just hit. It was a terrifying, drawn-out time since the fate of everyone's safety was unknown.
Since the spaghetti models didn't change close to the time the hurricane was supposed to strike, my family helped me to flee to California to be with them. Even though the hurricane ended up shifting its direction and the impact on our side of the state wasn't as bad as predicted (although it still devastated many homes), I'm still thankful my family was there for me. I was so grateful to be one of the lucky ones to be as far as possible out of harm's way.
During the time when I was watching the news and had no idea if I would have a home to go back to or what was going to happen to my city in general, I was still blogging and climbing onto social media. You guys were my positive distraction during this time. I'm going to point back again to item #1 since not only did I feel the regular support, but some of you knew that I lived in Florida and reached out to me to see if I was safe. It was uplifting to have these interactions, and I cannot thank you for both unknowingly and purposefully providing that support.
I normally don't share much about my personal life online; it actually scares me to open up publicly. However, after reflecting on the past year, I realized that I needed to share how all of you have affected me in ways that you might not have realized. I'd love to hear your reflections, too!
Please share in the (brand new!) comment section below.