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You seem to be in a similar reflective frame of mind as I am. Every year at this time, doesn’t there seem to be that same sensation of an end? 

One thing that really struck me last night is how frequently I hear people repeat, “A lot happened this year,” as if they didn’t say the exact same thing last December and every previous December, while going through a similar nostalgic retrospective. 

I suppose it is in our nature to elevate the present with a sense of urgency and relevance that the past no longer has for us. Someone once said, “We’re only as aware as our last two or three experiences.”

The fact is, a lot has happened this year and will continue to happen to you and me each and every year. You and I shall serve a moving, breathing, furious, happy world for as long as we are alive. 

Someone recently told me, “Even if you think you are stuck, you are actually moving.” Things keep happening around you, sometimes for you and sometimes to you, regardless of your participation. It’s funny how we tell our own stories, but the world — with which we interact — also tells them.

But now that we’re back, let me leave you with one more thought before the year is out: we’re going to survive, “a lot,” regardless of how you feel right now.

We will meet new people and say goodbye to others. We shall let go of old joys and discover new ones. We will lament letting go of old hobbies while discovering new ones. We shall welcome fresh experiences and reflect on the past. 

Our hearts will be torn apart, and we will lovingly put each one back together. When we reach the absolute lowest point, we will get back up and begin the next year with a glimmer of optimism.

And then we’ll return in December of the following year to remark, “A lot has happened this year!”

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