You’re already thinking it, so I might as well say it: I can’t believe it’s already mid-December and the New Year is just around the corner. 

I know, we haven’t even gotten through Christmas yet and we’re already dipping our toes into thoughts about 2023. But I have to ask: Where did this year go? 

I have to look at the photos on my phone to recall what I did when and with whom. Thank goodness for that technology, right? Do you recall what you did, where you went, and who you hung out with this year?

As I scroll through my 11,262 images, I see some highlights, and note that friends and family are always in those photos. There were some splendid gatherings of dear, longtime friends, and just as wonderful were brief visits with my sisters, brother, niece and nephews, and a short trip to Florida with one of my sons. And the other son opened a new business!

Scattered among those moments were chance meetings of kindred spirits who have become good friends. Sadly, also among the moments were more than a few passages of friends and family from this earth – some expected, some still unfathomable.

So what happened in the past year? I think all of us can say, “Life happened.”

We spent the months and weeks and days doing what we do – going about our routines day in and day out – waking up and going to bed at the same time, doing the same job, walking the dog on the same route, schlepping the kids here and there, going to the same grocery store and buying the same food, all while wearing the same lounge wear we purchased online in 2020. 

Sounds rather boring and a bit depressing, doesn’t it?

But along the way, if we’re lucky, we were able to enjoy some amazing moments during the year as well. 

I’ve had a few. Two stand out.

On the next to last day of last year, I met my sister from another mister. We are not related, but we bonded immediately and quickly learned we have very similar quirks, we’re both creative, and we’re both in love with country music superstar Vince Gill.

I met Danie because a friend insisted. Since I walked into her weird little store (and stayed for an unexpected 3 hours) that day, we have traveled to Charleston to see our shared “boyfriend” in concert; she came to see me in a play; I wrote a surprise press release for one of her artistic ventures. She is one of few people other than my family whose phone call I will answer at any hour.

Another person who was involved in some amazing moments with me was my sister Shirley. She and I grew up together, then grew apart when I moved away. In the past few years, we’ve strengthened our relationship and have spent more time together – most recently on long road trips. 

Last year, her first grandson, Henrik, was born in Illinois, and we drove up there to meet him. We had been there the prior year for her son’s wedding and got to know his wife’s family. We fell in love with all of them.

A few months later, we returned – mostly to see Henrik, but also to enjoy the annual wheat festival in the small town where the family lives. What a hoot! It was there that we watched our first tractor pull and got excited about a 99-pound prize pumpkin.

These days, we text, email or talk every single day. 

Life is funny sometimes, and fun often – if you take advantage of random opportunities, whims and those amazing moments.

I wish you all the best life has to offer in the coming year!