Hello 2016

I have waited a long time to see you. 2015 didn’t treat me so well and I decided a long time ago to kick it to the curb when you showed up. I could probably document a sorrow from every month, but I won’t. Instead I will look at the year ahead and find ways to use the problems from 2015 to improve the year 2016.

I saw a post on facebook suggesting an empty jar be begun on New Year’s Day. Each week I am to write something good that happened that week on a slip of paper and put it in the jar. Next year this time, I can look back on good memories.

Perhaps 2015 wasn’t as rough on me as it felt. Some good things did happen. My youngest son came home from his travels. My dog was prescribed a second arthritis medicine that helps her walk better. My cat overcame heart failure, which is no easy feat. I watched my beloved dog, Magic, die from it a few years ago. I still miss her every day.

But I had to quit work. I was diagnosed with an illness that often makes me feel bad. That is the biggie that I’ll remember from 2015. The year I could no longer work and the anger I felt about it. I am one of those people who loved my job. I was a Reading Specialist. I’d sit with small groups of children all day long and focus on what would help each group learn to read better. My room was a magic room where mistakes were allowed and attempts, even if not exactly right, were encouraged. I moved some children three levels in nine weeks and was so proud of them and me.

Then I got the news and was told I had to go on short term disability. Oh boy. Not my cup of tea. When school began in August, I didn’t join my colleagues who returned to work.

As I wended my way through Social Security Disability, I had form after form to either fill out or get filled out. My oldest son, who was living with me at the time, filled out his form they required and I read it with dismay. Was that really how I now appeared to him?

But like I told one friend, when God closes one door, a window flies open, or something like that. I searched for months for that window and may have found it. We’ll see.

The year 2016 will show that to me – is this where I fly out to do other things that bring me as much joy as teaching did? Is this it? We’ll see.

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