by Sarah Gayda
As 2016 came to a close and the New Year launches with a frosty start in Vancouver, I can't help but look back on last year and ahead to the next one. I treasure the time between Christmas and New Year's Day because the world dramatically slows, and we're given a rare chance to breathe and contemplate life. I'm definitely in a reflective mood right now.
Alexander Graham Bell is often quoted as saying, "When one door closes another one opens." However, the second half of his statement is less well known: "... but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." So true.
I've been thinking a lot about endings and beginnings lately. Both elicit a complex mix of emotions — everything from melancholy and trepidation to joy and anticipation. As I embark on 2017, some complicated, poignant and sentimental endings and beginnings surround me.
My baby is graduating. I feel far too young to have a son who will be graduating from high school this year, although a look in the mirror tells me otherwise. It's been quite a ride with him and I'm proud of how much he's accomplished. Hard to believe he will be off to university next September.
End of the hockey era. My daughter has been playing competitive ice hockey for some time now and her dream path to the junior and university teams was all but secured. But after two concussions within one year, she made the decision to quit the sport she loves and has worked so hard for. Bell's above quote is especially applicable to her. Once past the sadness and grief, I know other positive opportunities, experiences and passions will unfold for her as she forges a new direction.
Lucky in love - not once, but twice. My brother still mourns for my lovely sister-in-law, who we lost to cancer in 2015 at the age of 42. He always will. But life took some mercy on him, and he met and married another remarkable woman in 2016. It's so great to see him smile and laugh and love again.
Combo projects go and come. I was so fortunate last year to meet my Combo partners Su T and Kelley. Working with like-minded people with similar interests has been uplifting and motivating. We completed a lot of work I'm proud about last year, including launching the Level 10 website and editing a massive amount of website content for the new BC Housing site. This year I'm exciting to start on new projects with new clients such as Stage 3 Systems.
Goodbye Obama, hello Trump. Not sure what's left to say about this one. It was an ugly 2016 in American politics, and the future does not look bright. Perhaps the silver lining is that the world has witnessed what's possible with an intellectual, open-minded, progressive, empathetic and intelligent individual in the Oval Office. Let's hope the next administration represents a brief mistaken blip on the road to enlightened governance.
So, here's to things that end and things that start anew. And here's to focusing on the doors that will open for us all in 2017.
Photo credit: Philipp Berndt