As the last 28 minutes of 2016 wind down to the first seconds of 2017, nostalgia for what has been, both the good and the not-so-good things, of this year kindles.

I am liable to start blubbering. I lost a lot of fur- and feather-babies this year and I feel those losses keenly. I keep looking for Alice and Ariel, Trooper and Jillian, Blessing, Patience, Squire and Charity. It doesn’t help that Ariel, Trooper and Jillian were all geriatrics. No matter how much time you have with someone you love–human or humane–it is never enough. Trooper was my problem “child”, always into mischief and squabbling with the other cats–especially Pearl. And every day we shared was a gift that I wouldn’t trade for all the tea in China. Nor would I have wanted him any other way. Ariel…she and I go way back. I was blessed with 16+ years with her; I couldn’t have asked for much more but, again, there is never enough time. That was especially true for Alice, who died too young and unexpectedly, but who graced my life with so much love and hope while he was here. (Yes, he. Alice was named for Alice Cooper.) Jillian Bunny was probably the least skittish out of all of my bunnies and patiently put up with regular groomings and haircuts. Though the latter was always a little stressful due to the constant worry about nicking her, it was also a bonding time with us, a time where she was the focus of all of my attention. And my chickens all greeted me with their songs each morning–except for Squire. I confess, though it saddens me that he also died fairly young, Squire was the meanest rooster I have ever known. I did everything the “experts” suggested to tame him but he was a nasty boy. I’m saddened over any loss but was more relieved than anything else when I found him in the barnyard last summer…suspiciously so after he challenged Sargent Feathers earlier in the day. Just saying…

That’s true for humans, too. There is never enough time and I am more grateful than any words can express that friends and family are all hale and hearty this year.

As midnight creeps ever closer, I’m looking back not only at the losses but also the triumphs of this year. I had a lot of good classes, wrote some good pieces for those classes and kept the 4.0 grade point average in tact. Yes, I am boasting a bit but I’m proud of what I have accomplished. I also worked with a wonderful woman named Farnoosh Brock this year, taking her Smart Exit Blueprint course–it helped me to focus on what matters the most in my life, my passions, hopes, dreams, and gave me the courage to step out of the comfort zone and follow my heart’s desires. I’m not changing careers so much as simply giving myself permission to pursue the one I have always wanted. That has been writing, of course. And this blog is another triumph. It’s no longer collecting dust and I have been blessed with new acquaintances along the way. Lastly, through the SEB program, and a fundraiser at church, I discovered a love for painting. I use acrylics for the moment; hoping to branch out with watercolors and oils, too.

New Year’s Resolutions? I blogged this morning about overcoming my tendency for procrastination. And that’s a big one, one I can’t ignore. I think I’m also going the more traditional route and add “losing weight” to my list. Forget the 20 lbs. by November 20th. The goal is to lose 30 lbs. this year, to get into better shape, improve my circulation and eat better, healthier. That will do for starters.

And, as it is now 12:05 a.m., I say ‘goodbye’ to 2016 and welcome a new year filled with hope and prayer and faith. It will be a good year.

Happy 2017!

May God bless you & keep you!

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