The new year is a time of reflection for me. I look back over the past year, think about the life I am currently living and consider what I want to improve. I don’t make resolutions, but I do spend time thinking about the meaning I want to give my existence and what I hope to leave behind.

My children gifted Rob and I with a Storyworth subscription. Rob and I gifted his father and mine with Storyworth as well. The way this gift works is we each answer a question each week and then at the end of the year receive a copy of our life story. So far I am enjoying the process and telling stories about my life, knowing that my children and grandchildren will have an opportunity to know much more about me. It fills my heart that my children are interested in who I am!

The end of 2023 had its challenges, but they are the kind of challenges that remind me how grateful I am for my health, husband and beautiful family. I was finally cleared to get back to working out two weeks ago and yesterday got back in the pool for the first time in three months! My strokes are not what they were, but I’ll get there.

The older I get, the more I understand the power of kindness for no reason at all. Friends who took five minutes to reach out and tell me they were thinking of me meant the world. I’ll be honest; there were some surprises in that mix, some hurt over those I never heard from.

I’m tired of people who are “too busy” to be a friend when all it takes is a quick hello, saying “I’m thinking of you.”

There have been times I’ve felt the world is full of people who will drop what they are doing to fundraise for a cause far away, but who don’t think of those right in front of them. It requires less effort to put a check in the mail than it does to take the time to look in on a friend or family member. What does that say about us?

As I reflect on the previous year, I’ve been thinking about why we don’t take better care of one another. Are we incapable? Selfish or self absorbed? Overwhelmed by world events? Uncaring? Maybe, but that makes little sense to me. Friendship can be such a balm to our existence if we nurture it, and perhaps we might all experiment with taking a few moments to reach out to someone we care about.

Today’s message on my tea bag was “Plant kindness and gather love.” – Proverb
Let’s all take that to heart this year.