Happy New Year!

Wine and crackersI’d like to be able to say that I am creative enough to come up with a spectacular year-in-review list but I’m afraid I’m not; we’ll leave that to others. I would like to use this post to talk about things I’m thankful for this year:

First and foremost, the fact that my dad’s health appears to be getting better. He’s got a long road ahead of him, with diet and medicinal changes in order, but he knows that if he wants to live longer he will have no choice but to make these changes. Fortunately he has my mother, who has been proactive in the research department in finding out (beyond what his doctor has recommended) what he can and can’t eat. After he got out of the hospital, he was really, really tired for the first few weeks but he’s building up his strength bit by bit, week after week, so he’s not as winded by doing simple tasks as he was in the days after he got out of the hospital. As it stands now, the doctors are not saying anything much about the possibility of needing a kidney transplant, but there is a possibility sometime next year that he will have to go on dialysis. We’re obviously hoping it won’t come to that, but we’ll cross that bridge if we have to.

I’m also thankful for the spark that was lit in my life during the early part of the summer. It’s like a light went off – don’t really know the exact moment when it happened, but through a series of otherwise un-noteworthy events, I’ve been inspired to do more than just keep my nose buried in a book or face plastered to a computer screen. It’s time to really live. This happens when you know you’re approaching a milestone age; in my case, I’ll be turning 40 in a few weeks. When you start thinking about all the things you haven’t done in your life that you’d like to, it’s like you can’t get around to doing them fast enough – especially when you have the thought in mind that “I’m not getting any younger.” I’ve taken a few risks in my personal life over the last few months. Some of them have paid off, while others have been disappointing to say the least. But you live and learn from those disappointments. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, as the old saying goes. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop taking risks, either. Life’s too short to let curveballs set you back from living it to the fullest.

I’m extremely thankful for the three “F”‘s: faith, family and friends – that almost goes without saying. Have had some family and friends alike who have hit some rough patches this year. I’ve dealt with a few rough patches myself. Mama always told me that you know who your true friends are in times of crisis, and that has proved most definitely true in my life this year – perhaps more so than any other. My faith is stronger, my family is closer and the bonds with my close friends is stronger because of what we’ve been through healthwise, careerwise, and/or otherwise. I could not have made it through the last part of this year without all three.

Do I really need to mention how thankful I am for last month’s election results? Nah :D . I’m cautiously optimistic about what the next 2 years holds – and am hoping that the GOP will work hard to either reverse or at the very least contain the liberal policies of the Obama administration that have taken this country in the wrong direction.

Last but certainly not least, I’m thankful for the readership here, and the online friendships I’ve made with many here and through various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Unlike last year, I spent a lot more time this year cultivating a following at both sites and it’s not only helped increase the readership, but it’s also helped me network, as well as enrich my knowledge and source base. Some people don’t like social media sites because of the “instant” nature of it, but if you play your cards right, you learn a lot about various issues and about breaking news from the people you follow and who follow you. Also, as a result of my utilization of social media sites, I’ve gotten to know some wonderful people – and one of them I’ll be traveling to CPAC with in February. I’m really excited about that trip, because of the bonding time I’ll get with her, as well as because I’ll get to meet a whole bunch of blogger/writer friends who I’ve never met before. Should be a great experience. :)

I hope as the clock counts down to 2011, you’ll consider all you have to be thankful for this year & raise a toast to those people and things at midnight. As we get caught up in the hecticness of everyday life, sometimes we forget or neglect to reflect on what we have in our lives for which we should be immensely grateful. One resolution I have for next year that I’ll share with you is that, in addition to me taking more risks in an effort to explore and learn new things, I plan on taking more time to demonstrate to the people in my life who I love and care about just how much they mean to me. Sometimes it will be via words, sometimes it will be via actions. If you’re not doing this already, I hope you will start. It doesn’t matter which way you decide to do it; the important thing it is done.

If you’re going to be out celebrating tonight, please be safe. FYI, AAA is offering to members and non-members alike a free tow and ride home to anyone under the influence tonight or tomorrow night who has had too much to drink and calls and says they need a ride home. The number to call is 1-800-222-4357.

Happy New Year, y’all! <:-p

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