Holy crap. That was a doozy of a year, 2011. I made it through the whole damn thing – befuddled, bewildered, besotted by grief. You just kept dropping bombs, one right after the other, and I had nowhere to hide. 

I started the year full of vim and vigor, convinced that a year with my favorite number in it {11} was destined to be my best year ever. I wrote here that I’d chosen overjoyed as my word of the year because I was so excited for 2011 and wanted to continually feel “bowled over by my wonderful life.” 

Then the shit started hitting the fan – on 1.11.11 no less – with news that my book, two years in the making and scheduled to be released on 10.11.11, had been cancelled. A big fat bomb.

Next came some big challenges for our little family, including some tear-worthy financial woes, some heart-wrenching school struggles for Ryder, and feeling worn out by the amount of intervention our sweet Tru needed for his developmental issues. I remember feeling so fragile last winter, like my heart was under siege.

By spring, my grandma’s health deteriorated and she left us in early May. In August, my radio show got cancelled after nearly five years on the air. And then, as most of you know, my beloved dad got really sick in late September and passed away on October 2nd. I still can’t even believe I’m typing those words. 

Brad and I joked about sending out a Christmas card that just said “WTF, 2011?” But as I’ve been reflecting on this past year, I realize that despite so much sadness, I also had so many moments when I truly did feel overjoyed

I spent beautiful, quality time with my dad – from cheering together at baseball games to sitting by his bedside those final days. I met some of my heroes, like Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer {with my dad at my side, in fact}. I delighted in Tru’s progress. I spoke at wonderful events like this. I adored leading my first ecourse and watching participants spread their wings. I found comfort and joy in my art. I felt wrapped up in a blanket of love – from friends, family and readers like you.  

Over the past week, I have heard many people bitterly bidding this rough year good riddance. But to cast it aside without recognizing its gifts feels like a wasted opportunity’ like going to school all year and not showing up for graduation. 

So, to 2011 I say thank you for all the hard lessons. For the reminders of what matters, for showing me my own strength, for providing beauty and grace when I needed it most, for delivering just as much magic as misery.  

You were the worst year of my life – but probably one of the best, too, given all the lessons and love I received. I’m proud and relieved to say I’m still bowled over by my wonderful life, determined to live happily ever after.