The best we can

December 31st. The day that most of us stop for an extra moment to reflect on the year that’s about to end. Since i’m a naturally reflective and curious person, today has been spent doing just that.

This year seemed to go by in the blink of an eye (don’t they all). And while I could give a detailed list of the milestones that occurred, instead i’ll say this: I did the best that I could.

With everything.

I tried really, really hard at my career. And I continue to do so day in and day out. I left a job in Chicago that I absolutely adored so that I could be closer to my family, and when I started my new job in Rochester, I had to adapt to a completely new environment. It wasn’t always easy, but when it came to my career this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

Now that i’m closer to home, my family and my relationship with my boyfriend (and subsequently his family) are a top priority. It can be exhausting, but working to bring two families together has been one of my greatest joys in 2016. We aren’t perfect. There are arguments and inevitably stressful times. But when it came to family and love this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

I also put a lot of thought, time, and energy into my friendships this year, as I try to do every year. Some flourished. Others dimmed. In hindsight, I would have changed a few things. I would have stood my ground a little stronger and communicated more often. I think I could have been a better friend. I guess there’s always room to be a better friend. And i’m going to try to do so in the days, weeks, and years ahead. But when it came to friendships this year, I do know this: I did the best that I could.

Every year comes with its own set of challenges. And that’s because life is tough. It kicks you in the ass and it makes you cry and it leaves you bruised and banged up with mud on your knees and a confused look on your face. And it never stops.

It always forces you to learn, reach, grow, transform, and stretch in the direction of goodness and kindness so that you can hopefully become a better version of yourself. It does this every damn day. It’s no easy task, and there are no breaks.

But don’t forget that just being alive and well is a blessing in and of itself. And although the lessons we must learn are tough, they’re worth learning.

Whether 2016 was a joy or a nightmare for you, just remember this: we’re all just doing the best we can. And may we continue to do so in the years to come.

 

best

Who is it

Tonight I spent time with one of my closest friends, and as we threw back a couple drinks we found ourselves playing this silly game called ‘tough questions.’ The rules? Ask each other tough questions. Shocking, I know.

We started off pretty top of mind: if these two people were trapped in a burning house and you could only save one, who would it be? and If you had to choose between a career and a family, what would you choose?

Then I asked him, if you could spend your last day on earth with only one person, who would you spend it with? As we talked through his answer and the subsequent topics to follow, it really got me to think about the company that I keep and who it is that I want to surround myself with. The issue stuck with me the whole drive home.

As i’ve come to learn all too well the past few years, you never know how much time you truly have with the people you love. So who is it that you would want to spend that last day with? Heck, even if you had a week, a month, a year… who would it be? Maybe it’s a family member, an old friend, a mentor you just wouldn’t be where you’re at now without, a significant other. Maybe it’s even a few people who you just can’t decide between.

I bet the answer will come quicker to you than you may realize. And if you’re fortunate enough to have the clarity of who these people in your life are, do yourself a favor and reach out to them, no matter how long it’s been. Then go a step further and make your gratitude for them known.

At the end of the day, hiding the reality of our heart does more harm than good, and often leaves us barricaded with doubt and confusion. When it comes to the important relationships in our lives, there shouldn’t be any guessing as to what we truly mean and how we truly feel.

Who is it?

Now go ahead. Tell them.