Imagine if life had a formula. If you wanted to be a doctor, you did this, this, and this and voila! You are a doctor. Or a lawyer. Or cowboy. Or movie star. Whatever. If there was a formula, you would know what to expect and would achieve your results 100% of the time. There would be no need for human interaction per se, as most necessary elements could be automated.

Imagine if that was a story you were reading. You’d be going “OK, where is the punch line? When does something go awry? Where is the drama, the excitement?” The story would be predictable…and boring. 

And this is where we thank 2021…

Life was ANYTHING but boring in the past year(s). There was a continuous plot shift. Who were the good guys and who were the bad? And that hero you had on a pedestal? Well, just look at what happened to them! Emotions were ALL over the place: the high highs and the low lows. It was all one unbelievable, yet captivating tale.

Kierkegaard said that life can only be understood looking backwards. This time of year always makes me pause, to take that look backwards and see what brought me to where I am today. And invariably, once I am through whatever was consuming me at the time, I can see it for what it was: another lesson to learn, a diversion to get me back on my true path, a blessing to help me come more fully into who I am and who I am intended to be in this lifetime. 

I’m a natural storyteller. It’s gotten to the point where I recognize that if you ask me a question, there will probably be an answer imbedded in a tale. I even warn people now when I meet them that there will be stories. I can’t help it. I believe life is about the details, not just the facts. Life is not just a road to trudge – it’s an adventure! And good adventures have excitement and curiosity, and heartbreak, and joy. 

For me, 2021 is one for the books. Did I feel like this was all a great adventure when I was going through it? Ah, no. Well, not all the time. But I was blessed with the knowing that what was happening all had a purpose. I may not know or understand it all for a long time, or maybe ever. However, I am full of trust that there is a reason for everything. 

My year was full of twists and turns (found a house, lost the bid – 10 times), highs (got to see my mom after 2 years; found a perfect home in a perfect neighborhood; new grandchild; saw all my kids/grandkids) and lows (lawsuits and ending of a beautiful long-term relationship). As these things were happening the intensity can be overwhelming. But now, on this side of it, as I look back at this year like no other, I am filled with awe and gratitude. I got through it. That in itself is amazing to me. And I got through with my soul intact, feeling stronger because of what happened and curiously optimistic about what may be ahead.

Will 2022 be perfect? Well, think back to the end of 2020. Or 2019. Didn’t we exhale and say, “Wow – glad THAT is over! Bring on the new year!” Yeah. Kinda doubt 2022 will be what we would consider perfect. But, actually, it will be. It will be full of highs and lows and joys and frustrations and new problems and new answers. And we will get through it all and look back a year from now, exhaling, and saying “Wow. That was a year!” Because, life, my friends, is a fabulous story. Go ahead and make yourself the hero of it.