The end of the year offers a unique perspective and allows the chance to see what the results of the efforts of 12 months have brought. There are some years where big changes have come and others where much more subtle alterations occurred. 2012 was a year filled with big highs and not many lows. It’s not unusual to have ups and downs but it is always more about how you handle them than how big the challenge they present.
I was very lucky in 2012. My family was healthy, active and energized by their personal direction and experiences. While my hope and ambition would lead me to wish for more time spent together I can recognize that we are each on our own path and the points where those paths intersect changes and I can celebrate those times we connect but shouldn’t bemoan the times we are apart.
I was surrounded by many remarkable people this year. I enjoyed the warmth of their friendship and hopefully was able to reflect some of that love back. I think I was able to be a friend that could be counted on and when someone close to me struggled with illness I was fortunate enough to be able to be there and continue to be someone who could be depended on.
When I think of what I accomplished this year I could choose an artistic high point of producing many new paintings, or qualifying for the Crossfit Games and competing against men my age from around the world. I could think of the support and encouragement I was able to provide to dear friends and to fellow athletes starting their own journey. Those things and more I can feel good about but there was another moment that in all the year stands out.
On a summer day I was walking in an unfamiliar area in New Westminister and as I looked for an address I saw a figure lying on the sidewalk beside a parked car. I picked up my pace then ran up to what I now realized was an older woman who had fallen and was struggling to try and stand up. I was able to help her to her feet and provide someone to lean on for a moment as we determined that she was able to walk. I luckily had Kleenex handy to deal with her bleeding nose and scraps. In a couple of minutes she was ready and I took her arm, carried her shopping in the other hand and together we slowly walked the short distance to her apartment. Once inside she was more confident and able to carry on to the elevator. I don’t know her name nor will I ever see her again but I am so happy that I was able to be there at the right time to help her. I am grateful to her for the opportunity our chance encounter provided for me to be a better person. Random, unplanned, spontaneous, those situations that allow your instincts to take over and for you to react based on who you really are don’t come along that often but for that moment I was able to see myself as a good person and who could ask for much more.
I hope that the New Year brings peace and joy to everyone who will open their heart to those possibilities. I hope I am given the chance to care for others, to share the love I have inside of me, to be there for friends and for strangers, to have the chance to grow as a person.
Best wishes to all.