Can someone please refresh my memory? Has it been 2021 for eleven plus months now or one hundred eleven? Regardless, today marks the last post of 2021 and I have a fun new Christmas game printable that you can play with your family and friends!
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The Year in Review
In the words of Queen Elizabeth, this year proved to be a bit of an annus horribilis. But, as things are rarely all bad, there were some highlights.
We were thrilled to be able to travel and make new friends again as well as catch up with some friends made on long ago trips! Adventures re-awaken the spirit and the people we meet while traveling hold a special place in our hearts. Grateful we continue to keep in touch.
In terms of lowlights, the year proved to be quite stressful and emotionally challenging. We experienced the passing of my father-in-law after an extended and volatile hospital stay following a car accident as well as the death of one of my very best friends following a quick and ruthless cancer diagnosis. This was accompanied by a hearty handful of other health scares that, thankfully, to date, seem to be resolving or under control.
So deck those halls, trim those trees
Raise up cups of Christmas cheer,
I just need to catch my breath,
Christmas by myself this year.The Waitresses
As someone who is easily prone to depressions, I don’t fare well when there are multiple life stressors going on simultaneously. Another discovered bright pocket this year was my ability to handle things significantly better than I would have 10 or 15 years ago. Small progress is still progress!
Make New Friends but Keep the Old
I rediscovered a deep appreciation for my long-term, hometown friends. They say friends are the family that you choose for yourself and that certainly proved true this year. Thanks to all of you for your constancy and for helping to keep me afloat!
Several years back catching up with a high school friend that had moved out of state, he commented that he wished he’d married someone from high school. That dating as an adult and in a new geographic area was so difficult. That he met some people that completely fabricated their life backgrounds. And that with others, it was much harder to put someone’s “crazy family” into context without having been around to experience it over the years first-hand.
Those years upon years of familiarity and context as to “how and why you are the way you are” represent what’s so valuable about life-long relationships! Never will you be able to replace those that have seen all your iterations and how you’ve evolved through the years. And it’s such a privilege to be able to view your friends’ lives in that same manner.
A couple of newer acquaintances deserve some shout-outs as well! Sabah, of CookinGenie, Laura from Green Compass CBD, and Andrea in St. Paul, MN all made extraordinary efforts to check in on me and lend support. Thank you!
Consider spreading some love this year by donating to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation or by purchasing goods/services through my friend’s companies, linked above. First-time Green Compass CBD customers can receive $10 off their order by clicking this link.
A New Christmas Game
Summer Bucket List Bingo was such a hit that I developed a couple of new cards to play while you’re out looking at holiday lights this year! There are two versions to download and print, just click HERE and HERE. Mark off each item that you find as you look at holiday lights in your neighborhood – the first to complete an entire row wins.
To my wonderfully dedicated, kind, and supportive readers….have a wonderful next month celebrating whichever holidays that you do! I remain ever so grateful for you continuing to keep Natty Gal as a part of your lives. Much happiness to you in 2022 and I’ll be back in touch sometime in the new year.