I lost my closest childhood friend eleven years ago. Though I honor her memory throughout the year, Thanksgiving is a time when it feels a little more painful than usual. She would have turned 32 years old tomorrow. Instead, she turned 21 on November 25th, 2004 and passed away five days later from a very aggressive form of cancer.
A year before that, no one would have ever suspected that would have happened. She was thriving in college, preparing for the LSATs, and was planning her future out. She was one of the most conscientious, caring, diligent, and hard-working people I have ever known. Valedictorian of her class, she pursued excellence relentlessly. She spent most of her time preparing for her future…a future she never got to have.
I didn’t have many close friends growing up. I was shy and it took me time to develop friendships and relationships with people (something I got much better at in my adult life). Her passing was extremely difficult for me to process and I still miss her dearly…I wish things were the way they were in high school and college. We always celebrated her birthday the weekend after Thanksgiving…it was tradition to go to her favorite Italian restaurant and then a movie.
I bring all this up not to depress you, however. I think the holidays are a tough time of year for most people. On the one hand, they help you take a step back and count your blessings. On the other hand, you often think of loved ones you lost, people you won’t be celebrating with this time around. And then, of course, there is all the preparation that comes with the holidays — cooking, cleaning, shopping, parties, end of the year goals (personally and professionally), etc. It’s a lot in a short period of time.
So I just want to sincerely wish all of you peace. I truly hope that you have an opportunity to rest and enjoy the moment with your loved ones, and that it will not be stressful for you as we get into December. It is an important time of year to remember what we are grateful for, and I’m certainly grateful for a whole lot that has happened this past year:
- My home and family.
- Graduating in January with my Ph.D. (an endeavor that took years of hard work at night and on the weekends)
- Publishing my book, starting my blog, starting my online school. Though it’s very challenging and hard to “put myself out there,” I know that it’s for good reasons. I am happy to discover that my programs have been helping some individuals manage their lives more easily. I was very touched by some feedback I received recently.
- YOU! I really appreciate that we have connected through my blog or programs! I mean that sincerely. Thanks so much for your support. I sincerely hope that you are finding value in my blog / programs.
On the aforementioned note of peace — I am working out the details now to provide some resources during December to help manage the holiday stress. Following that, as we get into the new year, there will be a new blog series (details to come).
Again, I wish you all a peaceful and very Happy Thanksgiving.