Good-bye 2018! Hello 2019!!

Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.’Alfred Lord Tennyson

2018 was both exhilarating and unsettling; with happy and sad moments. For me, it started with stress induced hair loss. I noticed it as we were preparing for a major electronic health record implementation. I volunteered to take a lead role in the implementation for our program. I panicked when I finally noticed the patch of thinning. I called my stylist looking for help and she calmly explained to me my options. She explained why crocheting was a better option than braiding, weaving or just having a very low cut natural style. I decided to go with crocheting. It has given me a new carefree look. Thankfully, my hair has grown back but I love this look and plan to keep it for a while.

I have spent 35 years taking care of patients bit you are never prepared  to confront medical problems in you families. After finding the best solution to my problem, I was hit with my mother’s sadness over not only the loss of her sister (the oldest) but also her diagnosis of breast cancer. Her sister had a stroke that would have left her debilitated but my cousins chose hospice care. She went peacefully after her sisters’ visit. My mother sailed through the bilateral mastectomy  We talk almost every day and but she still misses her sister. I could not make it to the funeral and my sisters were there to help her because I was studying for my Family Medicine Recertification Exam. The test was on Friday, April 13.  Not to brag but I passed with a higher score than I did 10 years ago.

In July, we went to the Arrington-Giddens Family Reunion in Chicago. It was so inspiring to see how the Chicago side of our family prospered after my grand aunt fled the racism of Birmingham and along with her brothers who followed built a rich life on the Southside of Chicago. The tour of the area was educational an included the homes Mohammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and the Obamas. Shout out to Michelle Obama for the top-selling book of 2019. The book beautifully showed life on the Southside of Chicago and the southern roots of families as they started new lives during the Northern Migration.

In August, we traveled to Birmingham to see my mother. I didn’t have time to visit all my old friends. We did go to church on that Sunday.  I was fortunate enough to wish my second grade teacher farewell because she is over 90 and transitioning from her long life of independence to live with her son in Texas.  I was overcome with both joy and sadness to see someone who once towered over me weakened by age. She was one of the architects of my success along with my mother.

In September, I realized that the love of my life had a terrible shoulder problem. Fortunately with physical therapy, we were able to celebrate his 75th birthday December 1st. I am now on the other side of 60. It seems like yesterday we celebrated his 40th birthday. Now it really is thirty-five years together. So, now it has been thirty-five Christmases and New Year’s spent together.

Politically, this year has been both disappointing and inspiring. The November election led the way for the most diverse group of legislators in our history  and the Mueller investigation were two positives.  The appointment of the most recent SCJ was a disappointment but many rulings by our circuit court judges have protected the rule of law. The fight over the Border Wall, immigration, and the separation of families was not our best moments.

2018 was also my year to embrace my meditation and yoga practice which formed the foundation for my positivity. I am going to rededicate myself to my yoga and meditation practice in 2019.

Here’s to 2019. I am ready to face it head on.  Happy New Year!!!

Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties. Helen Keller


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