It’s the end of December and I finally found a few moments in which to wrap up 2017 with a retrospective of the most memorable things that happened for me. I think I can best describe this year as eye opening. I don’t know about you, but I feel awake. I’ve had some rich and meaningful conversations with a wide group of folks. I’m aways profoundly impressed with the fact that as different and diverse as we are, we humans share a fundamental hope to live good peaceful lives. 2017 started with a bang and it seems to be going off that way. It’s been a busy last few months both on the work front and in my personal life. Sometimes I feel like I lead such a crazy, unexpected life, but I really can’t imagine it any other way. I’m not going to get overly emotional, but I do want to share the best things that I noticed, experienced or saw this year. I rather like reminiscing because I’m a true sentimentalist. I also like looking back at events that somehow impacted decisions I might or have made. I don’t want to focus on the negative because it was a tough year and I cried too much over news stories that I felt hurt the world. This is simply a list of things that stood out for me on a personal level. Okay, here I go with my list of the best of 2017.
The Great American Eclipse
Ever since I could remember I’ve been in love with the stars, moon and space so it was incredible to see so many kids and adults get excited about this particular total solar eclipse. It seemed the world needed a little break from what was happening here on earth and imagine the possibilities of space. We took the day off to view the eclipse with loved ones. I made it an adventure for my two favorite humans and we camped out on a beach while marveling as the moon began its fantastic journey across the sun. We had fun speculating about what is actually out there? It made me excited that my teenaged companions still love doing these things with their aunt and they have as much curiousity and respect for the universe as I do.
An Entire Month In Spain
I booked a ticket and a gorgeous apartment in Madrid with no real plans of what I would do. It was an adventure from the moment I landed until I left with a heart abundant with joy. I had a few friends and family come visit and took a detour to Barcelona for a few days. This adventure solidified what is essentially my personal motto: life is about appreciating the moments you create. I feel grateful that I could step away from work and create memories.
Seeing Pablo Picasso’s Geurnica In Person
I felt incredibly lucky to see this masterpiece at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid. I didn't even know it was exhibiting until the day I decided to visit the museum. It truly was awe inspiring. I could feel the spiritual and political message Picasso conveyed with this painting almost before I entered the room. It is a powerful piece of work and succinctly tells the story of the injustice of war and how it afflicts suffering among innocents. It was Pablo Picasso’s personal greatest work and having seen it in person was a dream come true.
Becoming A Great-Aunt For The First Time
Okay, this just happened! My first born niece Erica gave birth to her first child on 12/20/17 and officially made me a great-aunt! I was in the delivery room when Erica was born and was the first person to hold her, even before my sister. Talk about an aunt spoiling her niece! Erica was showered with this aunt's crazy love and now I will be showering her little one too. I’m already planning my trip to Arizona and all the gushing I’ll be making over this little one.
Sometimes we hear about so many terrible things that it feels overwhelming and causes our hearts to ache over the state of the world. This story is about how 80 people made a human chain to rescue a drowning family at sea. This is the reason we must never lose hope. Statistically speaking, most people you meet are kind and value others as much as you do. So many people worry and live in fear about their fellow human being, but the truth is there is more kindness in the world than the news seems to let on. Keep that on the forefront of your daily life and remember the commonality you share with your neighbor. It keeps us connected and compassionate.
The Silence Breakers #MeToo
It broke our hearts to hear the accounts of sexual harassment in the workplace from so many brave women (and men) all across the board. This is a pervasive issue that has affected many women I know, as well as my myself. What I find empowering from all of these accounts are the conversations that have resulted from these stories. I have discussed this with friends, family and even with my niece and nephew who I believe are not afraid to speak out because of our open and honest conversations. It is time for those of us that have been affected by sexual harassment to come out of hiding and those that have haunted us to be unveiled. This is how a cycle of abuse begins to heal and hopefully end.
Wishing you all a wonderful new year and a happy holiday season filled with love, champagne and cake.