We’ve officially exited 2016 and the big collective sigh was given. Many people have dubbed 2016 as one of the worst years ever. With horrific world tragedies, many celebrities dying, political upheaval either at, or close to, home. Personally, it wasn’t much of a cake walk for my family with my accident and resulting brain injury on the last day of February. What I have appreciated over the last week is seeing people highlight the positive thing in 2016 trying to drag us out of our funk and start 2017 in a better frame of mind.
January 1st 2016 started with high hopes and a positive outlook. I had decided to try the Gratitude Jar with my family. I see some posts about this floating around on Facebook right now. The idea is you (or members of your family) put in one note or comment about something that happens each day that you are greatful for. When opening the Jar recently I saw happy things like having done my YMCA Tri groups New Years Day event, having seen Star Wars The Force Awakens, moments about my class, and simple snuggles on the couch. The sad thing I noted was the contributions ended the day before my accident.
Since March however, I’ve had more awareness of my ability to be greatful than ever before. My accident could have been so much worse. Yes, my day to day life is impacted. Yes, I still have long term challenges from my concussion and whiplash. No, I’m not back to any kind of Tri Training. Yes, I have a long way to go. I have slow but continual progress, an amazing support system and hope. These hiccups that my brain now work with, these imperfections, are now part of me and I am still valuable. Like the Japanese tradition of Kintsukuroi (filling cracks in pottery with gold) I am filling these cracks with gratitude, patience and acceptance.
Now just because the calender has changed our collective stuggles have not. So here is what I hope for our/your 2017. I hope it is full of all the love you need, all the excitement you can enjoy, and the bravery to be vulnerable.