"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get."
Yes, and no.
If you look at the description on the box you can find the ingredients:
Four layers of unexpected, ooey-gooey, bittersweet and some nuts thrown in for good measure. That was 2012.
My first layer of the year was mostly bittersweet. It started with a weekend in San Jose I will certainly never forget. During our skater's most dramatic performance, our own family drama was playing out just 30 feet from the ice. You know the story, so I won't go through it again. Let me just say that it took months for me to finally watch the freeskate. The incident became the catalyst for my husband losing more than 65 pounds on Weight Watchers. Adding in my 40 pound loss, we have effectively eliminated the equivalent of a female pairs skater while maintaining our nearly 25 year partnership. There's something to be said for longevity in teams.
In the second layer, we discovered unexpected choices, including the true sweetness of insight, understanding and focus. After all, life is a process. As author and clergyman Charles Swindoll said, "The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to it." In the second layer of 2012, I was 90-percenting a lot.
The wonderfully sweet, ooey-gooey third layer of 2012 came in the form of making great new friends while reconnecting with old ones. I found tremendous strength in all the women and men I know who battled and won their fights with cancer this year. This layer also found me enthusiastically embracing people who were strangers but who shared my views on artistry, diversity, equality, empowerment and disability. Through this, I made new and treasured friends, reconnected with old ones and gained a greater perspective on not only my life, but on how I can impact the lives of others.
But the best and last layer of chocolates in my 2012 candy box was reserved for my family of mixed nuts. I don't know what kind they are, but I know they're all filled with sweet surprises right down to their cores. After all, when it comes to family, it's truly a wild assortment. You never know what to expect; you just know you're going to love it.
So, goodbye 2012. It's been a box. Perhaps 2013 will come with a list of contents that reads something like this:
"In order to enjoy each of these 365 sweet days - laugh often and much.Win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. Leave the world a better place. Know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. Then you have succeeded."
Happy New Year, Everyone!
Pay it forward.
Pass it on.