As we say goodbye to 2016, I ponder what to write about.

Do I talk about a year that I’d rather forget? For me, 2016 can be summed up in one word–difficult. Nothing could have prepared me for the death of my son last May.

Do I concentrate on looking forward? For the first time in many years, I don’t have “plans” for the new year. I have some ideas and goals, but there’s no strategy for accomplishing them. And there are no travel plans. Yet.

Technically, I’m traveling now. I’m sitting in a brownstone in Brooklyn, NY. I spent Christmas with my BFF and Fran, my former student, who was visiting from Chile. Travel makes for interesting connections.

For example, on the flight to New York, I met a young woman from England who is studying at the University of New Mexico. We chatted during the flight and even met up here where I introduced her to Fran. So a Brit meets a Chilean through a Texan who’s traveling from New Mexico to New York. Small world moment.

I’ve been thinking about the importance of connections and their ripple effects. Like throwing a stone into a pond, I never know how far-reaching the results are going to be.

I don’t know that my son, Phillip, thought much about the ripples he made. He might have chafed at the idea, but he was an excellent teacher.

A few of the things he taught me include:
1. Do what you love. You’re here to fulfill your own dreams and destiny, not someone else’s.

2. Admit that you’re not always in control. Control is an illusion. Life goes more smoothly if you learn to be okay with that.

3. Never turn down the opportunity to dance. There is music everywhere.

4. Live empathetically. You don’t know what someone else is going through.

5. Allow others to be who they are. They have their own lessons to learn, just as you have yours.

6. Hold lightly. Things, and people, are transitory. Holding on tightly can’t ensure that you won’t lose them. See Nº.s 2 and 5.

7. Be flexible. She who is flexible bends, instead of breaking, when the storms come.

8. True connections cannot be broken. Through time, distance, or death, they endure.

I wish you a year of deep connections and joyous experiences. Thank you for reading.

~~Sally Rose
Author of Amazon Nº. 1 Best Seller Penny Possible
Author of A Million Sticky Kisses
Contributing author to Once Upon An Expat
iamsallyrose.com

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