It’s 5 am on Boxing Day.  I sit here in the quiet of my living room, the only light little pinpoints from the Christmas tree.  I love this quiet time when the house is asleep.  Sometimes I get a lot of work done.  Other times I spend reflecting on life and my blessings, hopes and dreams.

2012 has been one of the most difficult years of my life.  A life-threatening medical crisis for a family member, thankfully resolved after a long, long bumpy road.  Let’s just say diabetes is a horrific, insidious disease not to be taken lightly.  If you are borderline diabetic, do everything you can to drop those sugar levels.  You want to die with all your limbs intact.

2012 saw me stand on my principles.  Finally, I had enough self-respect and strength to end an lifelong abusive relationship (no, not my husband!).  In doing so, I lost a valued relationship with a different family member for which I still grieve.

2012 was the first time my go-go-go husband was stricken with chronic illness that forced him to retire.  Very difficult for a man who’s never been sick in his life.  Good news is, with treatment the illness will eventually disappear.

2012 was the year I looked forward to, having been unwell for a major part of 2011.  New Year’s Eve, I raised my bottle of water towards a year that could only be better.  That evening, my beautiful friend, Shawna, passed away from breast cancer at 40.  A bright light and infectious smile extinguished.   Two further funerals followed this year.

2012 I learned my neurological disease, which has been controlled, with small flare-ups, for 10 years, came out of remission.  Monday, I received the news it may be permanently disabling and deteriorate.

I’ve had my pity party for the last few days.  Don’t we all need those to adjust to bereavements, losses and unwanted changes?  In my mind, we need to do this or it will come back to haunt us at some later date.

Well, my party for one is over.  My philosophy is to look for what you can still do, not focus on what you can’t.  I may never run again.  Actually, most likely not.  I can still walk though.

I’ve always wondered how long it would take me to walk a half-marathon…I think I’ll find out.  It’ll be my 18th half-marathon.  I’ve been blessed to have these opportunities.

This year my sons established themselves in their careers, a long anticipated moment for their mom.  At 23 and 26, they are on their way.  I am so proud of them.  I’m blessed with 2 sons with whom I have wonderful relationships.  We love each other; we’d do anything for each other.  What more could a mom ask for?

I have 2 non-athletic passions in life.  You can probably guess one – writing – the other is singing.  I discovered at the grand age of 47 (2 years ago) that I actually have a voice.  My secret dream all my life has been to perform.  That dream has been realized as a Soprano 1 in an a capella ensemble choir.  I’m blessed.

Amongst the largest blessings of 2012 are the wonderful relationships I established within the writing community.  I am in awe of the generosity of fellow writers, reviewers and bloggers, who, while working on their own projects, always manage to support their colleagues when a cry for help goes out.  Quite simply, I’m overwhelmed at times.  I only wish I could meet so many of these lovely friends scattered far and wide.

2012 taught me a valuable lesson.  Sometimes, looking at the small picture is more valuable.  You cannot always control the course of life, but you have the power to determine your reaction.  Live in the present.  Yesterday is done.  Worrying about tomorrow is pointless.  I plan to ensure I perform little consistent goals each day.  They will add up in time to equal a large investment, without onerous agonizing.

Starting today – why wait for January 1 – I’m going to find a blessing in each day, even the painful ones.  I firmly believe if you search with an open heart and mind, even a tiny moment – a stranger who smiled at you on a bad health day – is waiting for you to reflect upon and treasure.

May 2013 bring blessings into your lives every day. My sincere wish is you recognize those gifts and they bring you peace, comfort and joy.

Oh, yeah, 2013 is the year of “My Name is Harriet”!  Research and MS completed.  That’s the goal.