In 2017, I hiked. I ran. A lot. I was humbled by the ocean and knocked down by waves. I danced. I danced with friends. I danced with my husband. I don’t claim to dance well, but I danced for many reasons and one of my favorite reasons was to dance as a form of celebration.
I grew in my career in 2017. At work, I was – and I am – challenged daily. But more importantly, I am given an opportunity each and every day to learn. To grow. To lead. To contribute. To collaborate. To be creative. To be inspired by those around me. I choose to celebrate this opportunity rather than focus on my shortcomings or things I can’t do.
In June of 2017, we traveled to Sayulita, Mexico where I had the honor of standing by my best friend as her maid of honor at her sweet wedding. Five days later we hopped on a plane to make a quick jaunt to celebrate another best friend’s 30th birthday in Santa Cruz. It has brought me so much joy this year to watch these two women, along with many other dear friends who crossed milestones, step into new seasons of their life with passion and purpose. Now, that’s definitely something to celebrate.
The cancer of 2017 was Brian’s dad diagnosis with Leukemia, but with the disease has come the most beautiful form of strength, resilience and fellowship. My father-in-law, Mark, is facing this trial with dignity and humor, and he inspires me every day. On top of that – as with many hardships – it has brought our family together even more and further connected me to my Gump brothers and sister. Together we celebrate life and kicking cancer’s butt.
As we get older it seems to get harder to get my family all together, and a last-minute idea to celebrate Thanksgiving in Colorado at my sister’s house was the best thing ever. Thanksgiving weekend was spent adventuring with my husband, hanging with my sisters and brother-in-laws, playing with my nieces and nephews, cooking with my mom and running with my dad. All of my favorite things and people packed into one long weekend filled with celebration and gratitude.
We ended the year with a quick trip to Yosemite and on the last day of 2017, with just hours until the new year, we hiked to a mountain peak and toasted to the new year. I don’t know what it was about being up there – maybe because the elevation is closer to God or nature or maybe it was the reward of the cold beer – but the reflection and resolutions felt extra celebratory this year.
It can’t go without note that this year started in the absolute best way possible, as I wed the love of my life on 1.7.17. Marrying Brian has been a life-changing event in more ways than I expected. Not only is he my partner and my person, but what I didn’t expect from marriage is how I would grow personally. He amplifies my positive attributes by bringing out my joy, humor, voice, spirituality, and drive. And at the same time he helps me find more patience, energy, acceptance and physical strength – things that come more naturally to him. He helps me sets goals and together we celebrate our successes.
We received a wedding gift from a dear friend that was a beautiful gold rimmed plate, delicately engraved with the words, “May there always be a reason to celebrate.” In short, that was my motto for 2017 and it’s a motto I will strive for every day and every year thereafter.
2018 – let’s continue the celebration.