Open Letter to 2017

Dear 2017,

I know it’s been a difficult year for many people and unsurprisingly, I am not the exception. Thankfully, however, the majority of the struggles I faced were intrapersonal and interpersonal.

This was the year, however, when our family said goodbye to Grandpa Venske after his death in July. He and Grandma lived right next door my whole life and perhaps, subconsciously, I thought that would always be the case. It’s been six months and I still can’t believe he’s gone. But it’s the man he was, life he led, family he raised, and impact he had in my life that have comforted me most and were the point I wanted to emphasize during his eulogy.

Grandpa’s words come back to me now, specifically in a card he sent me years ago where he noted, “It’s funny how things work out…” That’s kinda 2017 in a nutshell. There are pangs of disbelief in all that’s transpired, where I was and now the overwhelming relief to be here in 2018.

When I look back on 2017 I see a year of growth and transformation. Frederick Douglas was right, “Without a struggle, there can be no progress.” It hasn’t been an easy year. But I feel much better about the man I am because of the struggles experienced and shared. I’m doing the work and the efforts are showing.

One of the biggest areas of my life I’ve changed is the practice of offering forgiveness. Because: I’m not perfect and neither are you. We all make mistakes; so what a special joy it is to share grace (and patience and understanding) with myself and others. In this process my heart and capacity to love is growing… Now, when I look in the mirror I see a man who will make my grandfather proud.

I just feel so hopeful for 2018 and it’s a great feeling!

Let’s go, 2018!

Noted Happenings in 2017

1 Second Every Day Video (from the last few weeks of 2017)

A reminder of the happier moments in 2017: