The end of 2015 approaches much faster than I had anticipated. It seems the days, months and years fly by. It is up to us to create meaning and purpose along the way. This meaning and purpose can come out of positive experiences but most often comes out of experiences that challenge the very fiber of who we are. Those things/people we have had to say goodbye to along the way like: jobs, relationships, death of a loved one, decline or sudden change in health, moving, single-hood etc.
There will always be ‘bad’ or shall I say ‘challenging’ things happen to good people, but it is how we respond to them that can create meaning. There are 3 ways in which we can respond.
- We can let the ‘event’ cause us to become angry and bitter. (I am sure we have all met people who have responded this way)
- We can steel ourselves and not allow the event to change it at all, rather like living in denial.
- We can learn and grow from the experience. Have new insights, new empathies, find meaning in the face of an ‘event’.
I look over the past year and I have truly been blessed. I have officiated as many couples joined themselves to each other in marriage, (highlight was officiating at my brother Tim’s wedding to his husband Luis) and celebrated lives well lived at funerals and the graveside. There have been people important to me who have unfortunately left my life (I miss you Aunt Liz) and others who have now joined my life as friends. I have been able to spend time with my lovely wife as we made memories in Toronto, Cuba, Kitchener and at local beaches. While I have not taken anything huge off my Bucket List this year, I have taken the time to create memories with those I love. I have had people inspire, challenge, encourage and support me. I could never have gotten through the year without you and I thank you with all my heart.
They say that life should not be measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away. As you reflect back on 2015 pause and be thankful for those moments that took your breath away, those times you spent creating memories with those you love, and of course the losses that touched your life.
As you imagine and plan for 2016, I invite you to consider taking a big item off your bucket list as well as planning throughout the year those smaller moments that take your breath away. None of us know how much time we have left or what 2016 will hold. So make the most of each day, week, month and year and that way 2016 will hold many fond memories as you reflect back in a year.