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Q01

Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?

My father's passing. It was pretty big in a lot of ways. Made me feel more like a grown up. I finally can say that I am a woman, and feel it. Grateful. no. relived in a lot of ways. Not resentful. Proud. Proud to be his daughter. Proud of my actions this past year in regards to going back to Ohio and helping. Facing things...getting closer in terms of my relationship with my sister.

I ran for a really important election this year. It was going to include me taking a gap year (after high school) and I worked endlessly preparing for it. I ended up losing and at the time believed it to be the worst thing that could have happened to me. But, because I didn't get that position I ended up working at summer camp and absolutely loving it, I made amazing friends and got to inspire my campers. I also decided to take a gap year anyways. I am currently in Spain and will be going to Israel for the second half of the year. I am having a fabulous time and got to do something completely new and out of my comfort zone. I still think about the election sometimes and it is still hard when I do but I quickly cheer myself up while remembering that when one door closes another opens (or in this case many open).

A significant experience for me this year was moving from one country to another with my family. After 4.5 years in one place, it was hard to be open to changes. Nothing was better in the new place, only worse...at first. But I am grateful for the new opportunities and the welcoming nature of my new friends and colleagues. I am grateful to have a job and home.

The end of my relationship about a month ago. The relationship itself was short, but intense and full of every unhealthy tendency a relationship could have. He is my best friend, and I think that's how it should have stayed. That being said, neither of us regret anything - we've both learned so much about ourselves and if anything it's made our bond stronger. We would still do anything to fix it and try and make it work but for now, we are the best of friends and we are okay with that. I love him dearly, and he loves me dearly. The situation could definitely be worse.

I was suppose to be married on 10.10.10. It didn't happen. Wow... Talk about life changing... Went up until 2 weeks before... I am grateful, relieved and still hurting nonetheless... Seriously challenged my faith and sobriety... I have refocused myself and become a better person for it. Thank you God for allowing me to be guided by you...

I stood by my brother as he was accused of murdering his beloved wife. I was proud of my ability to be there in a qualitative way for him, month after month as this vile threat dragged on. He was acquitted, but the jury "split the baby" and found him guilty of involuntary manslaughter. he is in prison now, serving a three-year sentence. I don't know how I really feel about it. His cats live in my house as a constant reminder of his predicament.

Realized a girl I thought I could love did not feel the same, and that she never would.

i lost my job and i am sad, angry, scared.

There were many years where I would have no meaningful answer to this question. Unfortunately, this year is not one of them. My son and my mom both died. I've felt numb for most of the year, followed by sadness and anger. My son was battling cancer and was non-responsive to treatments-we knew he was going to die and, yes, there was some relief at the end. My mom was a total shock. She died while undergoing heart surgery. She was much sicker than she led on to, mainly so she wouldn't add more of a burden to what I was already going through with my son. Obviously, this has effected every part of my being. My fear is that I remain the bitter, sad person that I am today. I know my beautiful new daughter (whose birth should be the most significant experience that happened last year) will be instrumental in making sure that doesn't happen.

Many experiences, but if I have to say only one it would be moving to London! It was a big big big thing moving abroad. First my family and friends thinking i couldn't do it, packing, getting there.. unpacking, having an amazing time with my mother, then having to say goodbye, knowing we wouldn't see the other for a long time! and starting University on my own. Haven't had a really sad moment yet. It has been a month now and I don't feel much. But I think I am doing pretty well! So my big experience this year? Moving to London! Knowing this program will be 4 years long.. its a big step!

hedy died. i was really surprised. i felt terrible b/c i had emails from her that went unanswered. it was jarring b/c i've had so much else on my mind and it was like life kicking me in the shins.

I got married and had a baby. It affected me so positively. It showed me what it is to be grateful. It has changed the way I see every single day. It has given me tangible, in-my-face reasons for why to be the best person I can be.

i had a baby. i am so fucking grateful. this was such a wanted child. i still can't believe it, that she's here.

I broke up with my first serious boyfriend. First person I thought I wanted to make plans with, a future, a family, marriage, but his career was going no where and his life seemed to be going backwards. I decided to leave him. It was scary, I felt bad like I was doing something wrong. I was surprised how many of my friends and family were proud of me for making a rational decision and moving forward. I feel confident in my ability to be assertive and make decisions.

both of my grandparents died. it feels strange not to see them anymore, but it was distressing to see them deteriorating so quickly, especially for my granddad after my grandma passed away. seeing my granddad cry- a man who has seen so much through his life, but who had lost his partner of over 60 years, was very harrowing. also seeing how my dad reacted to all of it- how much of a burden it was for him was difficult. my grandparents were very inspiring people, even when they were at their worst they fought bravely. i hope that i can be a bit like them.

My retirement -- very significant -- it has changed my life in ways that I am not even aware of yet -- it just happened in June -- I am grateful that I have been able to enter this next season of my life but it is scary -- it is inspiring to have this opportunity but it is also so much of a challenge to do well with it....

I graduated college! And got a my first full time job, and a promotion and a raise. I am very grateful and I feel proud of myself. I could have shied away from responsibility and I could have taken a year off to travel or a much needed vacation but I put in more work and I got the results.

I am finally in a relationship. I cannot say how happy it makes me to be able to say that. In March/April of this year, I realised that I had feelings for my best friend Tim that were more than just friend feelings. I took a chance and kissed him in May, and we have been happy for the 4 and a bit months since. Everything has just fallen into place and I haven't been this happy in a very long time. It only took 7 years of knowing him (!), but hopefully we can continue to make up for lost time now.

A few short trips I was blessed enough to take this year had a big impact on me. First, I traveled abroad. It was a very short trip, and it was for work, but it was the first time in my 25 years of life that I had gotten the opportunity. I went to London and I was over whelmed with how similar and different a place could be all at the same time. I now know how much foreign travel means to me, I now have an itch to see the world. I was also fortunate enough to take a short vacation out west, where I stayed in Vegas, and was able to go see the Grand Canyon. It was simply breathe taking and was able to give me an unbelievable amount of perspective. I have a strong desire to experience as many foreign cultures as I can in my life, but this trip really, really made me have a much deeper appreciation for the country I am lucky enough to call home. I want to see it all! :) I love anything that makes me feel small.

I realized how important my marrage is and the impact marrage has had on my life. I am greatful to my wonderful wife and I am inspired to trying harder

I am very grateful. I was asked to play and produce a local musician/aqqaintence's song in the studio. It gave me an opportunity to do something I'm good at, and reminded me of all my strengths.

My mother's dementia has progressed significantly this year. So painful to watch how this disease has ravaged her brilliant mind.

I started to write down my thoughts and observations. It has allowed me to think clearer and better.

I got into my dream college -- a conservatory of music in my home city, studying music and singing, my main driving passion in life. I have met so many people already who I know will change me for the better. Everyone is so friendly, passionate, driven, and supportive -- not catty prima donnas. I feel so at home, and I've gotten over my initial feelings of inferiority and self-consciousness that came with starting at such a prestigious conservatory. I have stopped telling myself that my acceptance was a fluke, and started accepting it and embracing myself, as a performer and student, fully, tackling my flaws as soon as possible. The one thing that I know will eventually lead to stress is the repayments of my student loans -- we had to take many in order to cover the hefty tuition. Still, much as I know this, I can't find myself upset about it yet. I am so inspired, and I have this overwhelming feeling that I've only just finally found the place and people with whom I belong. I feel like I'm home.

I've been through a lot in the past year physically and mentally. It has changed my view on life completely. now i'm grateful for all I have and it has really inspired me to change my life and help others change theres

The year started off badly but I applied and got into a college course that finally agrees with me and that I can do well on. I also stalked someone for months and asked him out - he seems to like me back and so far we have been on 4 dates!

I finally came to the realisation that my father has been responsible for so much pain and suffering in my life. It was Mamusu who initially helped, and Jill Shields who worked out the details with me. Emasculated and frightened, my childhood was anything but normal yet I've been brainwashed into thinking it was by both parents (though the mum part of that statement is new today). I have lost a year of my university degree to this but gained many years back in return. I'm very relieved to finally accept this fact - dad is a sociopath.

Earlier this year, after watching "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead", I started making diet & exercise changes. I detoxed from chemicals in processed foods and refined sugars, caffeine and junk food. I started walking most days. Starting July 15th, I spent 5 days on a green smoothie fast. I've lost 20 lbs and try to walk 10,000 steps a day. I tried on a pair of size 16 jeans yesterday and they fit. At 53, I'm literally smaller than I was at 35 probably already in better shape than I've been for the last 10 years. I'm not where I need to be, but I've made a great start in the right direction.

I fell in love. I'm not sure if I'm still in love, but I knew I loved him when he was in hospital, and I came to see him because I couldn't stand the waiting and the not knowing. It felt like honey, and like growing up. I'm grateful and surprised to know I can feel this way.

The country of Cote d'Ivoire had a very violent post-election crisis. There were many nights where I lay awake, hoping that my friends and their families were safe. It was hard to feel so helpless so far away, but the bravery and fortitude of my friends and colleagues was amazing. It's a source of inspiration I'll carry with me for the rest of my life.

Many things happened. One significant thing is that our second child left home leaving Dena, my wife and I as the parents of two younger kids for most of the week which has had an intersting affect on our lives. I think that there is a sense of redefinition involved. I certainly feel that it has made me realise that for me family life has changed on a day to day level and that there are less everyday demands on my time. I am unquestionably grateful for this (as I get older I feel that I have less energy for life and kids have always been a very big part of that) but something of the innocence of the kids as they were younger gets lost as we move onto the teenage and post years. It is very imprtant for me to put in something on the national level too as my national life in Israel is something that I live very deeply and very personally. This was the summer of the social protest and the movement for a juster and kinder society. We went to several demonstrations here in Jerusalem and I found it one of the most inspiring things I have taken part in for years on a national level. The fact that hundreds of thousands of people from many different parts of the society all came out to demonstrate for a different, more responsive society and the feeling that there are indeed partners to the kind of ideas that drive much of my life here brought tears of joy to my eyes. May it continue and may there be results. That's what I will be doing much of my praying about htis Rosh HaShana.

The most significant experience I've had this year was completing Diamondman 70.3 triathlon. I decided I would do this race on new year's day and proceeded to spend the next 8 months training for it. It restructured my entire life. It made me look at everything, from the way I ate, the way I exercised and the way I lived my life. Today I can proudly say that I did something few people have the commitment or drive to really do and it's empowering. I was able to prove to myself through a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run that no matter how impossible something may seem, or how daunting, if you put your mind to it and dedicate yourself and commit and trust your ability, you really can do anything. It's empowering.

I became a grandmother at the end od December 2010. My son and his girlfriend had a son. He's now 9 months old and is a very happy chappie. He's managing to shuffle around the floor on his belly at the moment. It has made me realise just how grown up my son is and how well adjusted he has become to being a father. It was a relief to know that they are both coping so well. They are not well off by any means but seem to make ends meet. They had to move from their house into their flat 2 weeks before Ashley was born as their landlord was bankrupt. They are now thinking of moving again by next summer so they can have a garden for Ashley to play in.

My husband became addicted to drugs. During his active addiction, I had no trust in him. I felt alone in our relationship when it came to setting up our new house and planning our wedding. I was supposed to have a partner, but he wasn't there emotionally. I was resentful and negative and I withdrew from family and friends. After he went to treatment and I learned about going to treatment for myself, I feel almost grateful for his addiction. Recovery is teaching me how to be a more positive and mindful human being and partner, and it's introduced me to an amazing group of people who understand what it's like to have an addicted family member. I am still suffering with fear of a relapse but I am learning to acknowledge my feelings and live peacefully with them, rather than letting them consume me. I am learning to acknowledge God's presence in our lives and appreciate His gifts.

I seperated from my husband with 3 small children. I grieved a lot and then sought therapy for childhood wounding. I am GRATEFUL for the fierce healing that is occuring through recovery. Inspired that I will feel the weight of my choices lighten from setting myself free from the family wounds. Yay!

Sent my daughter off to her freshman year of college. Nervous, excited, relieved, hopeful.

Taking off and living in Joshua Tree for 6 months! It was amazing. I inspired myself, and remembered my thirst for passion and adventure.

The moment I finally got my diagnosis of Hypothyroidism after feeling lousy for 6 months and being constantly fobbed off by the doctor. It was as expected but such a relief to get a diagnosis and be able to start the long path to feeling better.

I participated in holocaust tour of poland. cannot believe the strength of character of the survivors to have rebuilt their lives. I was grateful for being in a position to undertake the tour & inspired by the survivors & frigthened how easily humans can become so evil

A few weeks ago, a favorite aunt passed away suddenly. She was only 9 years older than me and we had always been kindred spirits. All summer I had been meaning to call her but my overwhelming family issues had gotten in the way. I feel so much sadness and regret. I have vowed now that when I get the urge to call someone, I pick up the phone, regardless of what is going on.

The birth of my son changed my life for the better. I'm very grateful and inspired to my be a good role model for him.

My stepfather had a pretty bad stroke a couple of weeks ago. Always a very verbal person - loved to read, talk, tell jokes, debate politics - he now has very limited use of language. I live 1,000 miles away and have not been able to visit. I am grateful he is alive and that physically he is doing so well. I am worried about him and about my mother, who now has a lot of caregiving and household management to do, and who has lost, for the time being, a central aspect of the man she loves. I am grateful they have each other, and grateful for my own good health and my husband's. I am grateful for the miracle of my own use of language. It seems so easy, but I'm taking it a lot less for granted now. Being able to express myself is a blessing.

I discover why I am passing to this hard time I realized that I have to learn because is the only way to understand and help other people whit my experience

Going to tanglewood .sitting under a tree with Friend . blue sky and heavenly music. It was great.

This year my father passed away of cancer. To try to list the ways that it has affected me would be pointless. It has changed every aspect of my life-how I feel about the world-what I believed in. It has broken me down and made me stronger, all at the same time. Today is my 31st birthday, and all I can think about is how this is a year of my life that my father will never see. I don't know how to handle that. I don't even know how to describe that pain.

Trained and completed my First 70.3 Ironman. Definitely relieved, inspired to train harder and smarter, and drop weight so the race isn't uncomfortable. :) Goal is to do another 70.3 in 2012.

I broke my ankle playing roller derby, which finally gave me the impetus to leave a team that was being abusive and causing me an AMAZING amount of stress and angst. Even though healing it is difficult and painful, it has been a focus for a lot of change I've needed to make in my life.

I fell in love with someone, but have found out the hardships that come with love. I feel so grateful to have been given such a wonderful thing which so many people spend years, even decades, waiting for. They inspire me to be a better person. I wish it was easier for us to be together, but I am working incredibly hard so that we can be together, enjoy our love and ignore all the hardships.

My grandmother passed away almost a year ago and I really miss her. I regret not being able to know her better than I did, but I'm happy to say that I'm probably the only grandchild that DID know something. I can honestly say that I was her favorite. I love her so much and she showed me that with perseverance and determination, anything is possible.

I recently returned home from leading a trip to Poland. I took 21 youth on a Holocaust educational experience which has not only changed their lives forever but mine too. It was my third time going, however, this time was far different. The focal point of this tragic period of history was not what you'd expect for a Jewish group. We focused it towards a human tragedy. Using deep, underlying messages of the Holocaust to teach young people of today the true powers of prejudice, racial hatred, discrimination and acts of pure evil which has never truly been done before. People did this to people and unless the world learns about yesterdays mistakes for a better tomorrow, I'm afraid there is a chance something like this could happen again! It has once more helped me appreciate everything I have, be it from running water, to close family ties; from a pillow on my bed, to clothes in a wardrobe; and the right to move around freely without being singled out as a threat to society. This experience truly helped inspire me to continue to educate the leaders of tomorrow but more than that, to take what I believe can be incredibly strong messages and develop them further, changing more lives for the better and on a grander scale!

I won a fitness/weight-loss transformation contest... and then I gained all of the weight back just as quickly as I lost it. I shouldn't be surprised, since statistically, that's what happens to people. But I'm disappointed with myself for not being consistent and I'm not sure why it's so difficult to get back on track. The weight loss didn't even feel that difficult-- I was eating entirely reasonably and not going overboard with exercise. Why the need to be self destructive? Is it just gluttony? I'm still proud of my achievement and I think I went about it in the right way. But now I need to figure out how to really make those changes permanent.

I was accepted into an employment opportunity that can be quite life changing. Even thought I have not begun the position yet, I am excited, nervous, grateful, happy and cannot wait until I begin next year :)

Our daughter 40, died of agressive lymphoma, stage 4 cancer. There was no treatment nor cure. She lasted 2 months after diagnosis. I was shocked as not suppose to happen, your child predeceasing you. Then became more sad after shock wore off and reality set in, and then some remorse. Felt very sorry for her. Still have some sadness and remorse. It was sad when she said she was sorry not enough time to change her life. She was having problems with the life choices she made and the situation she was in. In a way her death releaved her from much suffering. My wife and I are adjusting and getting on with our life.

My father-in-law died of lung cancer. It has made me realize how short life is, and it has changed the way I am raising my son. My father-in-law was the "fun" grandparent, and had he lived, he would have surely given my son some ideas that would have gotten him into trouble. But life is about risk and adventure, and I was looking forward to my son having those experiences. As his parent, I can't be the "fun" one, but I can at least make sure I only stress what is truly important in life.

I started dating someone and broke my right ankle (and therefore could not drive) very early on in the relationship. Because he was retired and living in Midland he decided that he should take care of me and I let it all happen. Learned so much about myself, I am not ready to retire, I don't want to live with someone (especially with a dog that traumatizes my cats), I love my alone time and want to date rather than live with someone. Just a few of the things I learned about myself from this relationship.

I got engaged. I've known for a long time that this guy was the right guy and waiting for him to ask was a challenge that I almost wasn't up to. What I love about our relationship and us as a couple is that we are partners & equals. We make a good team and being with him makes me feel calm and safe. I want to be the best person I can be because that is what our relationship deserves.

This year, I was invited to do a one man show. I don't know (nor can I tell, really) if it's sheer luck, or if it was something that was destined to happen, just waiting for the right time. Granted, it's only in our school and it's not exactly the fanciest of all events, but it made me think that maybe I could do greater things. I made me believe in myself. I never would have tried out other media if it weren't for this. I was never really referred to as the great artist or anything, so it made me think that maybe I was destined for more. This experience made me believe in myself and in what I can do and accomplish. This experience made me realize that I can be up to any task that I put my mind to and that I could do great things. Before this, I honestly was quite lost because I hadn't really found my passion. Now, I feel like I have this firm place in the world, like I really have a reason for my existence. This experience made me sure of who I am and who I (think) want to be.

This past year, I finally made a commitment to my partner of six years. We've each had relationships in the past, and have been very wary of commitment, but based on our continuing desire to see our problems through -- and on our deep caring for each other, and continued delight in what each of us brings to the relationship, I decided to stop questioning and wondering if there was something better out there, and to put all my energy into being together. The enhanced sense of trust between us has been very rewarding, and in spite of other health and financial issues, I feel happy and grateful.

Moving to l'Heritage. Comedy Class. Fitness. Those are the three significant movements (no pun intended) from the last year. And I am grateful for all three of those initiatives. Relieved for sure that I no longer worry about where I'm living and whether there will be jackhammers at 7am to destroy me. Glad that I made an attempt at comedy and realize how natural it comes to me but how difficult it is to harness and pursue as a regular activity. The physical fitness part has brought me closer to a sense of alignment and I'm not even sure from where that came. Lately, I started listening to Springsteen's "Thunder Road" and it reminded me of that Grey Cup at CBB—listening to it right before the big game and entering into a sort of trance that afternoon, as if I had everything to prove and nothing to lose, as if this game would be a defining moment, the moment to step up and prove something not just to the people I had known for years, but to myself: that I was capable to pounding it, pushing it, launching it, feeling it. Of course, I went overboard, as I do with so many other activities, but it was on that day, that game, that everything was peeled away and something emerged, something true, something intense. Me.

Death of Mother. Felt both disappointed and relieved that she had died. She left a legacy to my sister and me which has come in handy. I didn't realize that she had that much. It was being remembered that mattered as I was under the impression that it would all be left to my sister and she would be the one to distribute it. At times I miss talking with her or I have a question about her life that I would like to ask her. Her memory continues to live within me and I hear her voice in my head when I make mistakes or decisions. She is not gone.

I decided to go back to school despite my fears. So far so good I love school and am working toward my goal of becoming a pastoral counselor. I know that only God would make it so that I could get in this program because if it wasn't for him I would have never found it online. I wound't have seen this place as an option because I am really into school names but this school is so far a good place for me.

I spent my summer in a gun store. I never in a million years would have thought working in a gun store would be anything that I would want to do (or as much fun as it was). It opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities. It also allowed me to find home. Now, I'm in Kenosha, Wisconsin at Carthage College. And I'm so far away from home. And so unhappy. But I know that I will (eventually, whenever that may be) be able to go back home.

I am in my senior year of high school and that's a pretty big deal. I can't believe that I have made it this far in my life. I am grateful to finally be here at this spot and I am relieved that my high school experience is almost over, but to think about what comes after high school scares me a bit. I mean, college is next but figuring out what I want to do with my life is a challenge and I don't know if I am ready to take on that responsibility. I am inspired to make this year of high school all the best and strive to be the greatest! I just hope that this year will be the best year of my life because I hope to accomplish so much and become a person that is ready to face the future by storm :)

I got my first post-college job. It really changed me because I finally have broken away from the college lifestyle, and in a few short weeks have learned much about myself and what I want to do with my future.

I got denied my major for the second time last semester. It was a challenge on my part to trust that the Lord had a plan for me despite not getting into fabric design; and he certainly has blessed me with my new major, fashion merchandising. I have so many more opportunities, new friends, and a chance to go to Ghana next May. I am so thankful.

I lost the house I loved. We are trying to make the move to a new area of Los Angeles an adventure but I am very lonely and I feel isolated. I have always struggled with making friends and finding a place for myself but that has been magnified ten-fold. I know I should feel relieved and look forward but shaking the pain of it all has turned out to be more difficult that I anticipated.

My partner had to declare bankruptcy and he lost the house he grew up in. As a result, his uncle had to go to an assisted living facility, and Ed and I had to move into an apartment. We've learned a lot, and all in all, our life is much better and the whole thing has made our relationship stronger. Even more importantly, by having his uncle move away, my partner's stress has been relieved significantly, and his uncle's health care needs are taken care of adequately. All in all, a horrible thing like a bankruptcy can rapidly turn out to be a good thing.

We moved across the country so my husband could take a job - I did not ever expect to move that far. Am I grateful? Well, we have jobs in a state that has few opportunities so that is good and we're able to pay most of our bills but our life savings is gone and I don't see any hope in the near future of having the means to save for emergencies which scares me.

I got married! While the act itself didn't really change much about how we live our lives, it had made me feel much stronger as a person. I feel like a "real" adult. I feel empowered in a way that I didn't before marriage. Going through a major rough spot shortly after our wedding, also made me realize how important this union is to me and how solid we are as a couple, even if it takes time to heal our wounds sometimes. We are truly a team taking on the world, and that helps me be a strong, fearless individual, too.

Our son was married Labor Day Weekend. It's always great to have something to celebrate. It was a lot of work for a lot of people -- mostly the bride and groom and the mothers. I didn't get too involved in the many details, knowing that a) others would do a wonderful job of that, and b) I would have my own special moments as one of the officiants. I was surprised that I DIDN'T feel overwhelming emotion during the ceremony -- especially after sensing the week before, at someone ELSE's wedding, what moment would hit me most. As it turned out, the sweep of emotion came later --at the reception -- when we entered the ballroom and danced the hora. I'm grateful and happy. Mazel Tov, Ben and Aliza

I went camping. This seems like an insignificant weekend ritual of most Americans, but I had not been camping since I was 11, and adults were building tents and fires for me. The simple act of being outside, in a tent I selected, in a space i picked out, and with my husband and friends all cooking for each other, made me feel like I had established myself in some way that allowed me to be able to do this.

Exactly one year ago today, I was a bone marrow donor. For last year's 10Q, I wrote about anticipating the experience and wondering how it would change me. It was amazing--I am enormously grateful for this glimpse of a miracle. It gave me new resolve to do things I never tried before, and strive to live every minute of my life as fully as I can.

I moved in with my partner and her daughter. Learning how to navigate a relationship and rearing a young child has been a welcome and rewarding experience.. I'm so very grateful for this chance to live my life dramatically differently than I ever expected.

I got married after spending two days in JFK Airport due to the Christmas snowstorm. We weren't sure if we were going to make it to our own wedding in time, and I remember asking everyone—from my mother to the cab drivers that took us to the airport (twice) to the guy who worked at Juan Valdez Coffee in Terminal 8—to pray for us that we would make it in time. We landed in Prague with 18 hours to spare before the ceremony and I will never forget how everyone we encountered in our roundabout trip to the Czech Republic helped us out and supported us. Perfect strangers told us to check into our flight before them so that we were sure to get a seat. Our wedding planner stayed on the phone with us at 4am her time while we figured out when we'd be able to get a flight. Most importantly, after going through a stressful travel period with my husband, including staying up all night on the floor at JFK, I wanted to marry him even more.

I started graduate school. It's been stressful- very stressful, actually- but I've done quite well so far, especially considering that this is the first serious academic work I've done in 15 or so years. I am hopeful that the result will be to enable me to progress in my career and provide better for my family.

I was ordained as a rabbi! Oh, holy wow, what an experience that was. I still remember what it felt like to be standing on that bimah, beside my friends and colleagues, with the hands of my dear teachers on my shoulders and their voices in my ear. I closed my eyes and went inside and felt the incredible transmission of their love, their teaching, their trust. I am humbled to be serving my community and serving God, and so grateful for the teachers who brought me to where I am.

Last fall, I was in China. I always joke about it with other people -- I say I never want to go back, and certainly I don't pine for the time I spent there -- but I feel like I really came back a different person. I gained several extremely close friends, people that I might have missed out knowing completely, had I not gone... I also think I have some better clarity on who I am, and what I like. I've become a little better at discerning what's true to me, and what's something that I romanticize. Recently I made a few important decisions about where I will be and what I'll be doing for the next few years. There are a lot of ways I can grow, and become better, but when I look back over my time at college I feel that I've become a vastly better person.

Having my son. I'm stuck not really being able to do anything. I can't move in with friends and not need to be responsible for anyone else but myself. I wish I could go out every might and not worry about a baby just about getting to work on time. I love him and I want him but I wish someone else could take him for the first couple of years. I guess I'm a bit resentful but Ilove him and I wouldn't go back and abort him or give him up. I have a lot of fun with him, I think I'm just going through a period of depression considering I'm nineteen and a single mom. My family helps me out so much but I'm just not ready to grow up yet. Though I'm going to have to.

I started going to therapy. Finally. I've only had two sessions so far. It feels like the right thing to do, the right thing to confront and figure out how to become unstuck. I also took on a job I was unqualified for and undermined my professional development.

I got an internship with Brightline iTV. I lived in NY during the summer, and while I was there, I hated living in the city. All I wanted was fresh air to breath. But, when I left, all I wanted was to go back to the hustle and bustle of the city. I am actually on my way back now, and I cant wait! I am going to celebrate the sweet New Year with my friend, Brian Wollman. I cannot wait. I am so greatful that I got the opportunity to have this internship. I think that having it will change my life and hopefully will get me a job some day.

I'm torn between which one was more significant. I graduated with a master's degree and I was laid off. In some ways, the two are interconnected. It's the new master's degree that prepares me for new career, and that made the job loss something less of a disaster. But it is still a disaster. I've never been fired or laid off before. I've never had to go on food stamps. I've never had so many weeks unsure of what to do with myself while the rest of the world goes to work every day. I've never realized just how demeaning and dehumanizing it is to be poor. I've never had to face losing my home. I've never known the desperation. It has been _hard_. I don't know how else to say it. It has tested my ability to remain stable. It has truly tested my strength. But it has also made me feel more connected to the plight of others in need. Even though I sympathized before, I never truly felt it. So, reading this, it's obvious which impacted me more. But it's the other, the education, that gives me hope in spite of it.

I slipped on the ice this winter and broke my wrist. While I certainly am not grateful for the experience, the extent to which I was reminded of my own fragility on the one hand, and of the depth of support of my community, remains very powerful.

I done got pregnant! On one hand, I feel a sense of relief because it happened so quickly. On the other hand, it's hard to know what the future will bring or even if the potential downsides to getting pregnant so quickly (e.g. the next time could take much longer, if that's something we decide to do; we weren't quite financially prepared for how quickly it did happen). At any rate, it has happened and we are excited no matter what!

I got engaged! I am very excited to marry the love of my life.

A close friend passed away suddenly and I became guardian to his adult son. I have had no regrets thus far. It was what I needed to do for everyone involved. I had no doubts. I feel good about it. I have enjoyed this relationship which is basically new to me because my friendship was with his father.

I just got divorced. I'm extremely sad but full of hope.

My hubs and I decided to start trying to have a child recently and I am feeling .. everything. Excited, nervous, scared, happy, sentimental, unsure, positive, ... essentially if there is an emotion in existence, I am feeling it. The bottom line is that I want to have kids and even though I am scared, I absolutely want to make more versions of the big guy .. he is just excellent ... he is an entire unvierse of yes .. and I want to be a part of making more him, more me, more us ... and I can't wait to get started (tomorrow!).

Ended or paused a long term relationship that at one time informed who i am to such a level that i couldn't imagine myself without it. As a result of living more authentically, this relationship was rocked to its core, and did not survive, because the other person is not living authentically and the incongruency became intolerable to us both. I also started writing, and have found that it is the most sexy way to increase my self awareness, expressing myself and my experiences in words, editing and refining them, and sharing them almost recklessly.

I lost my job. I wasn't nearly as upset as I believe my employer thought I'd be. I came out of it pretty strong. I learned a lot of life lessons I will not repeat.

The most significant even has obviously been meeting Tyler. Like I've told him, he not only makes me happy, but me makes me less sad. Having suffered somewhat crippling anxiety, especially during my time in Bluff due to previous relationship failures, he instantly took all that away. With him, the most important parts of me are whole and everything else is less upsetting or stressful. He inspires me daily.

I was diagnosed with Stage 0 colon cancer. I am scared, but almost grateful for the opportunity it gives me to heal myself. I am also scared.

I got a job that I hate in an industry that I never wanted in a field not even remotely related to my major. And yet, I have a job and that's a blessing. This job has pushed me to work hard to follow my dreams and maybe shown me that my dreams have changed a little. I know that sitting in a cubicle behind a desk is not for me and that has led to me to consider a graduate program in sustainable development and look at jobs in a nonprofit field.

The one that sticks out the most is that my grandad got really ill and for a while I was convinced he was going to die and I've never really thought of him as old or frail but him being in hospital, coming home and then being in hospital again I was petrified that he wasn't going to be here for much longer and it's really made me think of all of the things that I'd like to do and share with my grandparents, like getting married and having children. They had my cousin and uncles stay with them the past fortnight and my cousin brought her little girl with her (she's 19 months old) and seeing them with her powerfully made me want to share that experience with them and our future children. It's made me appreciate every moment you have with a person and really make an effort to stay in touch which sounds silly but even just a phone call makes a difference.

I got a new job as Associate Rabbi at Temple Beth El. It is amazing - my life as a rabbi has changed significantly. The opportunities I now have to work with people at times when they need a rabbi have expanded beyond belief. I am SO grateful - in this difficult time for so many people, I only wish that more of us could land successfully. I am totally inspired to take this blessing in my life and try to bring others opportunities as well.

For my son's Bar Mitzvah, we went on a 12 day tour of Israel where he read from the Torah at Massada during a sunrise ceremony. Later, he did a similar service at the Western Wall with his Israeli family there to witness and help him. I'm not even Jewish, but found both ceremonies extremely inspirational.

I travelled to Australia with my husband for our late honeymoon. It was one of the most amazing holidays ever - we saw some great sights, met some lovely people and did everything we wanted to do while we were there. It made me realise how lucky we were, and that Australia will always be a place that I want to visit again. It also reinforced how much I enjoy spending quality time with my husband, and that we can never have enough 'us' time. It was an amazing unforgetable experience, and one that I loved sharing with him.

I started graduate school at WUSTL. It has re-engaged my imagination, built up my confidence, and re-inspired my creativity. It has re-invigorated my desire to change the world and affect change. I am excited to learn, grow, and be challenged. I enjoy being pushed past my boundaries. It has also sparked at a great deal of self-reflection, and realizing the fragility of my ego. I realize that there are many situations in which good intentions can result in lousy outcomes, and even more situations in which my positiveness can crumble due to other's relative shortcomings. I challenge myself to become the 'bigger person' to recognize these shortcomings, but not be reactive to them in a way that deteriorates value for a group, team, company or organization.

My father's sudden passing. I've never experienced death before and this has been an eye opening experience. I'm sad and remorseful. I wish I could've said goodbye and told him I love him. It's amazing to think that the last time I will have ever spoken to my father was 6 months ago. That my children will never meet him and that he will miss all of my life events. I miss him and think about him every day.

I have continued to run and have accomplished my ultimate running challenge for this year - completing a 10K! I was so emotional the final 1/2 mile because I was proud of myself for sticking to this task. I'm historically not a good finisher. I have set goal after goal and never completed any of them. Running proves to me that I can do anything I set my mind to do. Running inspires me to push forward and go after goals in other areas of my life.

I am in a different world, workwise. Although I'm still not making the kind of money I would like.One project has lead to another, that has lead to another, and I just sent contract paperwork yesterday to work forBloomberg Businessweek, from the work I have been doing for the U.S.China Business Council and The China Business Review. All names I never knew existed one year ago. I am grateful, relieved, inspired. Throw in scared. God is working in my life. I need to walk through the doors with gusto.

Suffered extreme knee pain. Came to realization I needed to lose weight. Since then I have been watching what I eat and got to the gym 5 days a week. I hate I got in this condition but am inspired to work on getting out of it.

A little under a year ago, I came out to my mom. I had dated girls in the past and had been in a relationship with my girlfriend for almost a month at the time. It was scary and probably the most difficult thing I've ever done, but it was totally worth it. After the newness of it and the shock went away, it all turned out pretty great. My mom and dad have my back and support me - and so does most of my family. Granted, there are a few who are staunchly against it, but even at that, they still love me, so I guess all in all it didn't turn out that bad. It was the hardest, yet most liberating, moment of my life.

This has been a year of change and transformation for me. Last year at this time I was a brand new college student- lost, confused, missing home, but loving the blank slate in front of me. I worked hard to build a life for myself in a new place, and this year I am able to benefit from that hard work. I'm inspired and amazed by the life I created for myself. One filled with wonderful friendships, inside jokes, hilarious pictures, and beautiful nature. But the transformation of my life hasn't all been easy. Turning 20 really scared me. Real life kind of hit me in the face. I've never had a boyfriend-never really let any man into my heart. This is the decade when people get married, and I haven't even experienced a fraction of love for any man. Mommy also told me she was moving to DC (over an email) and it hit me like a bus. It was the first time mommy and daddy ever felt divorced to me after such a long time. And then I got a letter from Daddy that was one of the most impactful letters I've ever received. I'll quote some: "This is, I suppose, another step for all of us in the process of growing up, which continues until we die. Loss and growth do go hand in hand; in order to change and grow, we must leave things behind, which is very hard for me. What I can promise you is this: I love you dearly, and will always be there for you, wherever you are, wherever mommy is, and Rosa is, no matter where we all are--we will always be a family."

We moved from Brooklyn, NY to Colorado Springs, CO. We sold our house and came here with no jobs. Seven months later, my wife has just been hired and I have been working part-time for four months. We were burning through our savings quite quickly, so it's a relief that Laurie now has a full time job with benefits. It has been quite a change, but I think it's been a good move.

Launching my first retail fashion line. It has affected my energy levels like crazy.... Some days I want to stay in bed because it would be easier, but once I get going I feel incredibly fulfilled. I love seeing the joy on my clients faces when they wear my pieces.

My husband lost his aunt to cancer, and her sister fell and had to move to an assisted living facility. We then were stuck with dealing with their home- a horrific hoarding situation. I love the aunts, and I love my husband, but this has been an incredibly difficult time dealing with the physical detritus of their lives. Our friends have been an amazing help, but I can't help being resentful on occasion that this year has been completely devoted to cleaning a house that isn't even my own- while our own home repairs have been going on. I feel like I've been living an entire year coated in dirt and grime, and that nothing I do seems to make either house look any better.

For the first time, when my visiting my parents with my fiancee, it felt like I was seeing old friends. We talked and laughed. I felt so much gratitude for having been brought into the world by such loving, caring people.

I lost 50 pounds. Grateful but not yet relieved. you realize how far you have come and how far you still have to go.

This year has been chock full of these, funny enough. I graduated from college, got a job in New York, ended a near four-year relationship, and basically just packed up my life to head onto new territory. It's been beautiful and terrifying all at once. I am often sad, because some things I didn't want to change, but the rest of it is thrilling. I'm hopeful for the future. I am so young and still have so much left to learn. Unsteady on my feet, but figuring out how to pay the bills, to furnish the apartment, to have the 40+ hour work-week, to navigate the metropolis, to miss and love people without having to resent physical distance. It's an adventure.

I've moved house. A change of scenery is always good, also I'm getting more indepent. Plus getting use to things being different from how they were before

I left a relationship that wasn't working for me, one in which I was stuck, unhappy, and in which I was not taking care of myself. It's especially significant because I had never previously ended a relationship by actively deciding to end it, rather than simply contributing to the demise. I ended it, and found a lot of peace and comfort on the other side. I created a lot more space to take care of myself and be responsible for my happiness.

I have registered and am currently attending my Spiritual class this year. It is both exciting and frightening. I have no excuses, and I have dedicated the next two years to learning this. NO EXCUSES and it scares me. I know this is the right thing for me at this time. The first day of class we were asked to talk with our higher self and get one word to inspire us through adventure. My message was "FAITH". I keep referring back to "FAITH" whenever I question if this is the right thing for me. It is very scary.

I attended (and presented at) a prestigious conference at MIT. It was inspiring and intimidating and made me want to "get on my grind" and become a better young scientist and a more disciplined and serious person. Being there made me incredibly disappointed that I have let so much of my potential lie fallow.

new job and new city. Am grateful but worried about how it will all turn out.

One of my best friends and I were dating each other, and I had no idea that anything was wrong. Then all of a sudden, one day, he pulled me aside and told me that he couldn't be with me anymore. I was in shock, but decided that hanging out with him as friends was better than nothing at all. He's still my best friend, but I don't know how fully I've ever gotten over him. I still don't know how to move on without having feelings for him.

Until very recently I was severely underemployed. I applied for over 30 positions, and interviewed for several - often getting to the last round before getting beat our OR learning that despite the fact that I was an organization's first choice, they had suffered cuts in funding that made new hires prohibitive. I was depressed and angry. I had the love and support of my girlfriend, family and friends, and I wasn't totally unemployed (I'm a freelance development consultant - I had some gigs, but not enough). But I just didn't understand how, after years of hard work, success and education, I was in this position. I blamed myself most of all - for not being aggressive enough when the market was crashing, for not saving more money when I had it, for this, for that, for everything. And then I got a bicycle, and I threw myself into cycling as a means of combating anxiety and depression (and staying in shape and save money on a Metrocard and gym membership). My girlfriend and I started budgeting, stopped eating out. I decided to embrace the free time allotted by underemployment as a chance to improve myself and devote more time/energy to the projects I had. I was still pissed, I was still ashamed I hadn't saved more money when I could, but I was being proactive. I was motivating in the worst of times, and slowly, VERY SLOWLY, I began to feel proud of myself again. I'm welling up a little thinking about this tough year. In the last 8 weeks I've gotten more job offers than I can accept. Hard work and a positive attitude lead to good fortune - and the support of loved ones is invaluable. So to anyone reading this going through a similar dark professional/financial period, I offer you the following advice: never, never, never, never give up. And take the time, while you have it, to ask yourself important questions about what you want and if you're really doing what you need to do to achieve those goals. It's going to be okay. Oh, and cook your own meals. Cooking is cathartic, and eating out/buying prepared crap is expensive and unhealthy.

Moving out again has helped me find both my independence & sanity. I am grateful for the time I lived rent-free & all the perks that came along with that but I will do my best to never move home again.

There have been many, but I think the biggest change was moving in with my best friend when she bought her first home. It's completely changed the dynamics of our relationship and taken things to a whole new level - and we've been friends for 15 years! These past six weeks have been a huge adjustment, but I think we're past the hardest part and I'm so excited to help her grow and settle into this new home. Plus, it was major because I knew it would be the last time I'd ever leave my parents' nest - definitely no going back this time! Very bittersweet, but luckily we don't live very far away, I would miss them too much!

After some uncertainty with the company that I had been working for for nearly three years, I went on the hunt and took a new job. It has only been a few weeks, but I am learning a tremendous amount and am being valued at work in a way that I haven't felt in quite a long while. The financial benefits have yet to really have a toehold, but I am hopeful. This would be a relief as I might actually be able to start saving for retirement and take a real vacation within the next year.

I finished up a contract position and became unemployed. The feelings are jumbled and oscillating... excitement, fear, renewal, inferiority, ambition, defeat... I don't know anyone else who is unemployed. Everyone I know is doing something awesome or on the path to doing something awesome. Everyone is sort of secure with their professional identity, doing what they want to be doing. I feel lost, unsure, unqualified... but at the same time, I am anxious to find my place and prove to myself that I can be effective in my field.

My brother went to Jail. My parents are in rough shape! My family journey this past year is learning how to love them and be grateful for their better selves, in the midst of witnessing some of their worst selves, and let go of my anger at them for needing so much support. I have also learned how to support them better (still in the process), without entirely losing it in my own life. I have accepted, I think, that what they say and do doesn't reflect on me in the terrifying way that I used to feel it did (even though intellectually I knew it didn't). I am like them in ways that are wonderful and in ways that make me shudder, but their life trajectories are not mine. Still, there but for the grace of - go I. I have learned that empathy and compassion don't need to mean taking on the pain of the person that you are feeling for; rather it can be just making the effort to be there and open for them - in a controlled way that doesn't threaten your own mental health. Sometimes I am resentful, scared, angry and sad about it all - I guess mostly I am sad that they aren't happier and mad at the revelation that the strong, but sometimes idiotic, people who took care of me all my life are simply human after all. But I guess maybe it gives me more permission to be human, too.

I moved into an apartment at school. It's my first time really living on my own- I have apartment-mates and all but it's not nearly the same as a dorm. I have my own room and I have to take out the garbage and go grocery shopping and stuff. It's been a great experience, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to finally get some more independence. I've even started cooking! Yes, making eggs and pasta counts as cooking. It's been awesome.

I went to work for a hospital as a pot washer. I love being able to overcome the small challenges my job poses. I hope to get a job soon that will pay me a little better.

I came out as gay. It's amazing to finally be able to be myself around everyone I know, especially since they're all so accepting. I moved to Iowa City to go to the University of Iowa, and the opportunities I have now are so much more than where I lived before. Not only have I been able to come to terms with who I am, but I have possibilities to be happy down here.

I traveled by myself for 2 months in Europe, seeing so many beautiful places and living in the moment. I became much more self-sufficient, adventurous and open to living in the moment, which does not come naturally for me. I am grateful for this gift to myself.

I turned 50. I'm depressed and paniced. It reminds me of how little I've accomplished, with so many blessings. I've been unable to shake it. I am frequently resentful of my older Boomer peers - as a tail-boomer, my life's been a familiar story. Opportunity and interest have been consumed by older boomers, like a horde of hungry locusts, leaving nothing for anyone who follows. Social Security's just one example. A generation of entitled, spoiled, hateful people somehow felt disenfranchised so they invented/powered the Tea Party - an anti-social, back-looking political disaster. Here at the rear of their line, things look ugly.

I got promoted at work after a year of working towards it. I'm grateful that my hard work paid off and that I proved that I can achieve my goals.

Its not very important or even exciting, but I got a job last year which affected my life quite a bit. I was very depressed after the break-up with my boyfriend one year ago and that very job gave me a lot of distraction. I met someone who was not good for me, but in the end I met so many people who made my life so much better since I answered the last 10Q. And I'm very thankful that they came into my life and that I decided to go on with my life and take that job.

I got a job to supplement my studies. The experience of working there for a year has given me good things to put on my CV, and more importantly, made me sure that I don't want to work in an office environment for a career! I'm glad to have the experience of working with lots of different people and at least now I have some experience in the field to fall back on- but it spurs me on to make sure I can do something more fulfilling when I leave university.

I have been very fortunate to join an acting agency and had really good luck with it so far. I have been on television and set to be in a film coming out in 2012. I also got to meet a lot of famous australians like Rebecca Gibbony and Ryan Kwanten. It's been a blessing. And I really love what I am doing even if it's only a couple of hours here or there.

My boss retired and I was promoted, at least in theory. The beautiful huge office inspires me and I feel so powerful when I'm able to accomplish things for the staff here that she couldn't. The continuing fight to get my reclassification paperwork approved has left me defeated and depressed. On one hand I've got the staff at my location that love me and would stand up for me in a heartbeat, on the other hand I've got headquarters that apparently doesn't care at all. It'll be interesting to see if this time next year I'm still here or somewhere else.

Getting the chance to take photos for several bands/musicians that I enjoy. I'm very grateful for the path my life has taken over the past year

I got my first rejection letter from a publishing house. It was exciting because I felt like I was really doing what I had set out to do. My book ended up in the right hands. Someone read it. It motivated me to work harder and push myself in even more challenging ways. Whether or not that was the right thing to do is a different story.

At the end of May, I lost my job at because they could no longer afford to pay me. The church has lost all the families with children; & they are down to just a few members. I ended up having to take my social security & it has affected our ability to go places & do things. Von lost his SSI but kept his SS; He lost his Medicaid but kept his Medicare & we still don't know how that is going to affect our budget. I find myself angry & resentful some of the time - specifically toward the end of the month when things are really tight & we don't even have the money to go anywhere because we don't have the money for either gas or the bus. They paid his SSI in August when I started receiving my social security. Now they want that back so $35 will be withheld from his small check until that is paid back. I am going to start a small part time job that will net me a whole total of $120 extra dollars a month. I am really trying to count my blessings - which are many; but feel like I increasingly am succumbing to living in resentment. This is not the me that I want to be & it is affecting me more than I want to admit.

I got engaged in April just shy of our two year anniversary. I wasn't expecting it to happen when it did, and it didn't happen how I imagined it would but I am very happy to be with my partner and to be actively planning our lives together. (I still wish we could have just eloped but I am trying to embrace all of the wedding planning!)

I had the lap band surgery and lost 67 lbs since February 14. Love the way I look, feel and am now.

I realized that I am finally as "over" the end of my 25 year marriage as I want to be, in the way I want to be. I always knew his flaws and never put him on a pedestal but until he decided to end our marriage I had no idea that he had changed so deeply, and I fought that knowledge within myself every step of the way, insisting that his actions were due to depression -- the mood, not the man. But now I understand that he just isn't that man any more. His values somehow changed over time, and that made him a different person than the man I married, had children with and supported. But the big thing that happened (over time) this year (five years after he left me) is that I no longer feel deeply resentful. While I'd certainly say I'm relieved to be done with the constant thinking about it, and the anger, I seem to have also made my peace with the love I had for the man. I think I've forgiven him.

I returned to work from maternity leave in January. I experienced all the usual "mommy guilt" factors. I tried to justify it by saying I am setting a good example for my daughter. It's true but it doesn't change the fact I feel like I'm failing her on some level. Even if I was financially comfortable with staying at home, I wouldn't be happy there. I like the interaction and challenge of working. I like feeling that I contribute to the organization. So I'm still torn, still confused, still a little lost as to my 'place' at work and home.

Had surgery to remove a brain tumor. All is clear and benign. I am so grateful for the fine medical care I received. I also feel lucky that my result is positive, while so many others suffer from an illness that is terminal or life threatening. At 57, with a wife of 22 years and two daughters in college, I am blessed. But the medical challenge has sharpened my focus on a search to define my life's purpose and future legacy.

The most significant experience this year was getting Luna, our dog. With Luna came a host of other changes that I think moved our lives towards the better. We are now in a much nicer apartment because we had to find one that was pet friendly. We now have something to focus on other than ourselves. Concern for this awesome dog often trumps other daily life or work stresses and helps put our priorities in order. It took us over two months to adopt her, and the wait wasn't easy. But now that Luna is with us we are happy and grateful. Luna has tons of fun energy and is incredibly pretty. When she's happy Nady and I are both happy. Of course there are bad days too. Luna can be brat or sometimes will just freeze up and be impossible to get to. But the good outweighs the bad tenfold and we are glad to have her in our lives.

My husband and I took our kids on our first big vacation. 10 days away spent outside the hotel room far from television or phones. In fact, we had no internet service. We talked to each other and enjoyed every moment of the vacation. I am grateful for all of it! It gave us 10 days of fun, great conversation and freedom from stress. It was amazing!

My mother-in-law died. I am relieved because she was in pain and an invalid. It reminds me our time here is limited and not to waste it.

One major significant experience I had this year is studying abroad in London. I made great new friends and experienced something out of this world. Traveling around Europe really opened my eyes and made me realize how much there is out there. Learning about different cultures, cities and countries really broadened my mind and made me appreciate my life and what I have. I am grateful to have had such a life changing experience and would reccomend it to any college student. One of the best decisions I made in college. Also, working at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia made me realize how important the Jewish religion is for me. I have made the decisioin to only marry someone Jewish, because oetherwise that person would never fully understand me. My religion is part of me.

We moved our family from San Diego to Ventura. I always thought our next move would be back to Minnesota and it was hard to accept the change. But now that we are here. I love it! I am so grateful to have the chance to live in this space and for the friends I have made. I am also inspired to be an at home mom AND work on creating my own business.

Two people I knew died of cancer. Attending the funeral of the one who lived in St. Louis made me think about the legacy I want to leave behind and the way I want to be remembered by my family and friends. I drove to Ohio to pick up my daughter from college instead of having her fly home because the children of the man who passed away mentioned how their Dad would have done anything for them.

I found out my youngest son is gay. I was surprised, but honestly feel that as long as he is happy, and with someone that cares about him and treats him well, I'm happy for him. So far, he seems to be much more comfortable in his own skin, less grouchy and isolated. All good developments.

I moved to Denver after being able to work out a remote employee agreement with the company I work for in another state. I think I showed scattered signs of gratefulness, but not nearly as much as I should have. I let my pride get in the way towards my peers who were not getting the opportunities I was. I was definitely relieved after getting settled in and knowing the remote setup was going to work - it's been 10 months now and the situation is better than ever. The best part about this whole process is that I feel absolutely no resentment or regret. It's been a completely welcomed change in my life, and Denver has been an inspirational city to be a part of. Next steps: be grateful. for everything. continue to be inspired - and inspire others through positive encouragement.

I ran my first marathon, qualified for boston, ran boston in a personal best (if you can have a personal best after two races!). This adventure to boston did two things. it built and solidified one of the most amazing friendships between three of us. we are training partners, we push each other to new levels of hurt and new levels of understanding. it also proved to me that i can achieve anything i put my mind to. and even though you may have others by your side during most of your life's adventures it is solely up to YOU to finish the race. i am in control whether i like it or not.

My boyfriend of a a little over a year took a spiritual journey, came back and broke up with me. He said he may have exaggerated when he said he loved me. He said he didn't want to get married. Four months later he got married to someone else. A stranger. I went through stages of grief and resentment and I'm still pretty angry when it comes down to it. I am glad that I'm not with someone that doesn't truly love me, but sad to lose a friend. I think its really pushed me to figure out what it is I really want for myself. I think that I am really better focused on how my life goes for me rather than building a life for an imaginary 'us'. I spend so much time picking up skills and catering to a boyfriend that its like I am preparing a dissertation for an MRS. degree. Now I'm studying myself, I'll pick up the Mrs when I am ready.

Had an incident at work, felt devastated . Hashem helped me work through it with no hard feelings. Became a time of growth.

I went to the top of the empire state building with my parents, the day after my roomate told me he was moving out. I had asked him to move out, in anger, and tried desperately to take it back, but he was resolute in leaving, suddenly, after having expressed his love for me and then quickly allowing a crazy ex girlfriend back into his bed. I was appauled, but i was grateful that i wasn't in love with him. I met my parents with puffy eyes from crying the night before and that morning, and when we got to the top of the building my parents explained that they didn't want me to have another roomate, unless it would be a boyfriend. They said they would cover the other part of the rent, for as long as I needed them to. They wanted to give this gift to me because they could, and they wanted to invest in me, and encourage my writing. The feeling was like winning the lottery, and suddenly i did want my roomate to go, and I felt relief like no other. But I also feel heartbroken from the loss of a friend. He betrayed me, after I had supported him and taken care of him without fail. I feel so lucky, to have my parents, and the event felt as though it was meant to be. Everything is going to be ok.

My girlfriend broke her foot in June and it ruined her summer. It still hasn't healed. She is dependent on me for so much - I have to do almost all the work around the house. She is incredibly frustrated at being so limited and dependent and sometimes she takes her despair out on me. She is also very ill in other ways, which only adds to her misery. I try to be patient with her but it isn't always easy, especially when she attacks me or overreacts. I'm a little resentful but she has done so much for me that I really try to be patient and mature about the whole thing. I just hope that her foot heals soon!

It's been a very hard year..four funerals,my mom's surgery.The wonderful thing is the birth of my second grandchild..it made everything better! I'm a very blessed person!

I have decided to make a huge decision and lessen the distance in my current long distance relationship. So I am in the slow process of moving to New York from Philadelphia. This is a difficult change as I love Philadelphia and my group of friends, but it just seems like the right time to do this. Plus, I think it's not only good for my relationship but also, hopefully, for my career. Unfortunately since I'll be moving to a more expensive city it also means I need to edit-down my life to fit into a smaller space. Therefore I need to sell-off almost everything I own including my car, which to me is like selling off my freedom. I feel like my entire life is on sale and there won’t be much left of me once I depart Philly. I guess I'll buy a new life once I'm permanently in Manhattan. Hopefully NYC will be good to me.

In the past year an old friend accused me of being toxic. She said that I had betrayed her and was scheming in my attempts to undermine her and her relationship to her brother. The only thing I was not forthright about was my growing negative feelings towards our relationship and her controlling attitude towards me. I feel that I perhaps didn't handle the situation as well as I could have but on the other hand I was treated in a very destructive way by her. I tried reaching out but was rejected. I have been trying to reconcile this situation in my mind but it still haunts me. My goal is to let go.

My eldest daughter entered college. Yes, it changed me as a parent. I am relieved it is over and she just started her second year. I am happy for her. Her hard work paid off. I think I am a more mature parent now.

I've become a runner. I've run 5Ks and a 5 mile run, I'm about to do my first tri. I have found such pride in my ability to do this and such peace with every step. I feel grateful, proud, and strong.

I met my Zumba instructor who has inspired me to get myself back into shape. This has made me want to not only get my body back into shape but also my inner self. I forgot how much workout made em feel good about myself!

The past year I went through a life changing event. I got divorced. It has been the hardest thing I have ever dealt with. I have two children who didn't understand why and what was happening. To make matters worse my ex and there dad moved to Arizona, got remarried and is now expecting his third child. After his move to Arizona he decided that he missed the kids and wanted them to live with him, so in July 2011 we went to court on a custody battle. In the end the judge ruled in my favor and ordered my ex to move back to Kansas. All in all my divorce has set me free from his controling, mental, emotional, and physical abuse. I am a stronger woman now than I was then.

My 88 year old mother developed dementia. I needed to take over her finances, arrange for day care, etc (from 1500 miles away). It made me feel responsible; it was (and is) a sobering feeling and experience.

My sister turned 40. It made me realize 3 things: 1) 40 isn't so bad; 2) 40 years is just about halfway to the end, which in turn made me think about my life and the decisions that I was making. Was I moving in the right direction?; and 3) I have to stop dwelling on the last 40 years and focus on the next 40. I am so grateful. I feel optimistic. One more thing - my sister is the greatest gift in my life.

I was diagnosed with Lupus after suffering from a blood clot in my leg. While it wasnt great news, it lead to the curing of my hand issue. I went from not being able to hold a soda can to being as good at golf as i have ever been. While the medications, injections and doctor visits seem like a nuisance, it is nice to be back to being healthy.

There are so many things here. I started college. That in itself has been nerve-wracking - from the application process nearly ten months ago, to choosing which one, to getting ready for it. I fell in love for the first time. I thought I'd fallen in love once before, but whatever that was, it wasn't love. This time, though, it was different. From good morning texts to staring contexts to hands held in such a way that no one else knew what was going on except for us; from walks along the lake and bad fireworks and screeching tires and dogs, and looking into his eyes; from children's parks to lying in a field looking at the stars to just sitting in his car holding hands; it was love. It still is. There was heartbreak, but a different kind; we should have done this sooner, we could have had much more time.

I fell in love. After the previous year's breakup, and my spectacular lack of success 'dating', I fell for a man who had been there for a while. It's a relief to know I'm not incapable of loving someone, or undeserving of reciprocal feelings, and any number of self-flagellating things I told myself after my last breakup. It's wonderful to discover I can still be emotionally unsettled and excited by another human being. At the same time it makes me question what it means to be in love -- if love isn't forever, if it isn't necessarily about longevity, what does it mean to "fall in love again", and why do we do it?

My husband has retired and I now have no time to myself in the house. It has left me feeling resentful.

One year ago, I was beginning the quarter in which I would finally finish my BA. It had been nearly six years since I started taking college classes and I was really burned out on university before the fall quarter had even started. Because of university budget cuts, the classes I had wanted to finish up my degree with weren't offered. I was able to take some other classes to fulfill requirements, but my heart was elsewhere, particularly, preparing to move three hours into the mountains, as well as a trip abroad as soon as I graduated. On top of all this, I met a great guy a few weeks before I turned in my final thesis. We found ways to spend time together, and, in spite of ourselves, we are now happily enjoying a loving long-distance relationship. Throughout the stress, struggle and lean times, I can look back on that final quarter with a sweet fondness. I amazed at how such good things can come out of chaos.

Brian moved out. It affected every aspect of my life, and who I was and who I am today. I could no longer hide from him or, more importantly, from myself. I am more grateful than I can express. Relieved, yes. Resentful, yes I was. Inspired? Beyond my previous level of belief.

I got engaged in a beautiful cloister in Santa Maria Novella, Florence, in the middle of a torrential downpour, to the love of my life. This is possibly made me the happiest woman in the whole world, and I think is working to make our relationship even stronger than it was before.

This year I learned that I am BRCA2 positive. It was a surprise because I'd been told in the past that this would be unlikely because my family history was not strong enough. Thank you to whatever angel whispered in my mammography radiologist's ear that day. As a result, I've had my ovaries removed, and frankly that's relieving. Ever since I took fertility drugs in an attempt to get pregnant some years ago I have silently worried about ovarian cancer, particularly since it's so hard to detect early. Now my chance of developing ovarian cancer has gone from 40% to 2% and my chance of developing breast cancer has dropped from 80% to 40%. Most importantly, I know my risk more clearly.

My husband was unable to sell his business. He had alot of people interested and two that we thought would make offers. It affected both of us. I feel as though I am holding my breath, and cannot exhale. Our relationship does not feel strained, but it probably is. He is amazing and keeps an even keel. I am so appreciative of his strength and intelligence. I am a bit resentful of the professionals who did not give us the advice we needed to make this happen, but did not find out until the end of the year what changes we needed to make to help effectuate the sale. However, it is counterproductive to look back and say "what if?" So, we look forward and hope that our big wish comes true this year.

I successfully completed my service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal. I didn't think I would make it through; I continually thought about quitting, coming home early. Now that I am home, I am so grateful for the experience. I learned so much, saw so much, experienced so much and met so many people who have had such a profound effect on my life. Who knew I was strong enough to overcome the challenging parts and make it through to the rewarding parts?

In March, my daughter was born. So far I have mixed feelings. I love her, but I'm not sure I'm cut out to be a parent. I vacillate wildly between the joys of watching her grow and learn, and the frustrations of saying goodbye to many of my adult pursuits (not to mention my sleep). I cherish our happy moments together, but I feel I can never meet my own expectations of what I'm supposed to achieve as a wife and mother.

The most obvious significant event is that I was offered a new job. I'm incredibly grateful, and I feel that I not only have a new job, but the right job. It's a wonderful city, a good 'fit' with the rabbi, an exciting congregation. I don't think I would have considered this position if it had been offered last year, so clearly this is a matter of right timing. Also, I had the opportunity to spend the past year back in the embrace of my learning community, so I didn't feel that the year was a holding pattern. I feel inspired to renew my energy to serve God and the congregation with all my heart and with all my best energies.

T deployed this year, and was gone to Afghanistan for seven months. It changed my opinion of the military, of military spouses, and of the way this country is received abroad. It made me feel angry and inspired and everything in between. Having him come home was beyond surreal and is still amazing.

A huge significant event happened this year, I fell in love. I went from the first of the year in grief again after my aunt's death, to being very mired in depression, working through grief counselling.. to falling in love. Spending our summer getting to know one another and deciding it was actually real. I got in engaged to be married just last week. This year has significantly changed my life. Grateful, hell yes. Humbled as well. Happy. Full. Hope and Promise. Inspired, for sure.

The most significant experience has been going travelling - seeing how other people live and learning that Chris and I can spend 24 hours a day together 7 days a week and not kill each other. I'm grateful that I got the chance to go, and grateful that I have someone to share those experiences with. It's inspired me to travel more, and has also made me pick my battles more, and accept that there are some things you cannot control and that sometimes letting go of a situation is far more relieving and calming than getting involved in it.

So many significant things have happened in my life in the last year. My ex girlfriend and I broke up. I contemplated dropping out of graduate school. I became more self aware about the ways that I hurt people that I love. I became much closer with a dear friend who has loved and supported me through great loss and sadness- I am so, so thankful for her. I came back to life. I met my current partner and fell in love with her. I got an amazing job despite great competition. I left my job to finish graduate school- despite how hard and frightening it was to make that decision. I decided on a definite career path to become a nurse and go back into clinical medicine. Wow. I came back to life.

I'd say the most significant experience that happened this past year was moving into a new apartment. I hadn't moved since I first moved to New York the summer after I graduated college. This move meant a lot to me because it was a fresh start. I was not happy where I was living and I needed something new devoid of all the bad memories of past relationships, etc. Also, I officially started to pay all of my rent. This was a big change for me, and I am still to this day getting used to the extra expense. All in all, I'm in a much better place mentally, if not financially, and I love my new apartment. I wake up every morning stress free, and without the fear of cockroaches! This has helped my mental state a ton. Just last week, I resigned my lease to stay there, even though the rent has gone up, I am stuck there for 2 more years and I hope to continue to settle in and feel at home here. I couldn't have made a better choice!

It's been an emotionally draining year. Barbara tried to kill herself. It scares me that another sister tried suicide. And Cynthia has gone off the deep end. I had to put Miss Kitty to sleep last Tuesday. I started therapy a month ago. In two weeks we're doing our first craft show, and I'm not ready. I'm so tired. And all I want to do is sleep.

I played at a festival with my band. It made me feel great about myself to see everyone cheering, and how many people showed up just to see us.

I was walking with my beloved grandsons on a rather rough trail and found that I had difficulty both with my wonky knee and breathing as I walked up a steep hill. My 7 year-old grandson was obviously frightened and in later conversations indicated he didn't feel safe walking with me. I am having knee surgery to hopefully correct the deficit so that I can walk safely as well as lose weight.

I started a Masters in Jewish Professional Studies through Spertus Institute. I can only liken it to being in boot camp in the Israeli Army. It is exhausting, mind bending, sleep deprived and I have often been wondering why I volunteered to do this. What I have learned (again) is that the most meaningful things in life are not the things that come easy, but rather the things that you have to struggle for in order to obtain. (kind of like Jacob wrestling with the Angel except that I get to keep my name and no muscles are being pulled, well... except perhaps my brain!). It has really been inspirational because not being academic was only a part of my past. I have learned that like the stock market, past performance is no indication of future returns.

I had my first baby. She turned my world upside down...just when you think you know what love is, you meet this perfect human to teach you what pure, animal love really is. I'm so grateful that she's healthy and happy. I'm inspired by her to be a better person. A better mom, sister, daughter, wife, friend. She's just amazing. Every day with her is a gift.

I was fired from my previous job. It happened after months of being depressed about leaving my corporate position in NYC. I took the new job because I had thought it would give me freedom to spend more time with my kids and experience another side of my chosen career. It was not at all what I had expected. I was very angry about being fired, blamed myself for it, but it led me to start my own business. If I hadn't taken that first leap by leaving my job in the city, I would not have had the courage to strike out on my own. Though it was a tough first few months, I am grateful that things worked out the way they did. One year later, my business is thriving and I am less fearful of the unknown.

Our family moved from the Northeast to California. I feel a sense of peace to be closer to family and some old friends, although there are some things that I miss about our old home and community.

I went to visit my sister in Guatemala and I have never ever in my life seen a place it. It is so different from everything I am used to, I spent the entire time in shock and aw at the wonder I saw. I went zip lining, ate mysterious food and had an amazing and happy experience.

I GOT MARRIED!!! possibly the most significant thing to have happened to me since birth! Life- changer, for the best. married to my love, my best friend, my everything. am i inspired! every day. from seeing her, i know i can and should do my best.

I was offered a new job, which involved us moving to a new country. I am grateful to be working in this new environment, which is so nurturing and welcoming; and I am enjoying the experience of living in a new place. But leaving friends and family was very hard, and continues to be a challenge.

My son got his driver's license this year. It has helped to relieve some of the stress of having to drive him and my daughter everywhere. He can run out to the store for me, and pick her up at practice, etc. It is a really good thing in that there's a little less hassle in my life, and I feel a little bit melancholy because he's growing up, but he is a wonderful, smart and responsible young man, so I'm happy that my family is growing up the way that I had hoped.

I fell out of love with someone I didn't have a chance with. It was good, it was what needed to happen, but it's kind of depressing and boring and confusing. I'm always uncomfortable with the idea that people can stop having such strong feelings for someone.

We thought my mom had congestive heart failure. I went home to be with her through doctors tests etc. in the end it wasn't that, and she's recovered now, but it has really made me sad to live so far away, to evaluate moving back to be near them, and worried about being an only child as they get older.

When our daughter and son-in-law told us we were going to become grandparents, I was overwhelmed with emotions. Yet, in spite of my joy, I chose not to share the information with others right away. My failure to so do in the case of an older family friend troubles me, because she died before I told her. Even though I believe she, my parents and others dear to us who no longer walk this earth know, I am still sad I did not convey our wonderful news sooner.

I am learning to go slow and to listen to my body rhythms. It gives me morebalance in my life and a greater vitality to accomplish what I have set out for myself.

My older daughter, Tanya, graduated from high school and went off to the University of Colorado. And my younger, Rosa, spent a semester of her junior year of high school in Israel. So I got a taste of being an empty nester. I was fearing this--but found it less difficult than I had anticipated. My ongoing challenge: coping with loneliness and reaching out to others.

My son (and only child) got his drivers license. This made me realize that for the first time in 16 years, I was really able to do things that were purely for me. The ability to prioritize my own interests over the interests of my family is empowering and exciting. And so now I play roller derby.

Went to Ireland for the first time and despite some challenging weather and navigation, had a marvelous, memorable time with our best friends. The trip didn't disappoint and I would return in a heartbeat.

We sold our house this past year and are about to move into our new house. It was a huge relief to sell a house given the current real estate market and I was further relieved that we did not take a huge financial loss. It made me feel grateful and appreciative of my situation when I know many others who are trying to sell their house are either not finding a buyer and/or are taking a big financial loss on their sale.

Meeting James has been significant, it affects my whole life as since last week we are living together. I am happy because he is just so amazing in a non conventional way. I am grateful we found each other in a mo moment we could actually get together despite living in different countries, I mean everything worked for both of us. I am a bit reluctant as sometimes I feel this is too good to be true, this is my analytical me that fears the worst it is to come. Wishful that the things start working on their own as I am not very good setting discipline, boundaries or anything related so if there is such kind of work on my way I will run away from it, I've done it before (running away), I really don't like being bossy. I am inspired to do loads of traveling, eating, cooking, music listening, even drinking out with James, he is great. hope next year I can show him this.

I sat in a VC meeting with Ken Lerer of Lerer Ventures shortly after his sale of the Huffington Post. I was in this meeting with my business partner and while the meeting did not go well, we realized at the close of it that we were poised to do our own thing - which we are now doing. It was perhaps the THE moment when I realized it was time for me to truly strike out on my own. Which I'm doing. So I was and am grateful and inspired.

I just got a new job! After three years of sitting at a terrible position (and three years of reading unfulfilled wishes from 10Q questions), I finally accepted a new position. I literally gave my notice to the HR department this morning. I'll start in 2-1/2 weeks and I couldn't be more excited. I feel like this is the turning point my professional life has been waiting for. Now, if you'd asked me this question a week ago, I wouldn't have such awesome news to tell you. In that event, I'd probably say that the most significant experience was starting Formal Fringe, my party blog. It's been a work-in-progress for roughly a year now, but I officially launched the site at the end of August 2011. It's been a little over a month and I'd say it's a smashing success. 20,000 page views the first month and a little over $60 in revenue so far. This time next year, I'd love to see that doubled. I'm inspired to create something great for myself and my career. I hope this pet project doesn't have to take a back burner to my new position.

I took my three adult kids on a family road trip. 26, 24 and 21 and they all wanted to do this drive and 9 day trip together. I planned it, paid for it and once we got out into all of these national parks and hiked, rappelled and climbed, they took care of me and each other. I just marveled at how they literally had one another's back and mine. with each day we celebrated being in our family and being so close (one room) for those 9 days. I saw each of them as adults while at the same time they are my kids. Amazing experience for this eema. I have never felt so aware of the blessings in my life. My heart overflows.

I am in my ninth month of rehab following total knee replacement surgery. They say it's 1% surgery and 99% rehab, and they are right. What a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical journey this has been. At this point, I am more hopeful for the future than I have been in the previous eight months. This is partly due to the chemical assistance that has caused my depression to lift. The pain is still there but it doesn't signify all the sad and scary things it seemed to before. I hope that my experience will be useful in some way to others, as I believe it will sensitize me to the sufferings of others in ways that nothing else could have done.

I moved cities and jobs. It's been scary and I'm still settling in. A part of me wants my old life back. I especially miss my old job, I miss the feeling of being well respected and in-demand.

I moved to North Carolina. It was tough at first, I really struggled with missing my friends, and I wasn't putting any effort into adapting at all. But, now I see how good it was for me. I've started school, my relationships with my family are better than ever, I still have a lot of my old friends and the ones who didn't stick it out aren't really worth my time. I have a new church that I love, and I'm getting involved in ministry again. Everything here is good. It's a very supportive environment, which is exactly what I need right now.

Michele and I got married. It was beautiful. Taylin my sister and my mother were there. It made me feel just little bit more grown up and validated.

I got married to the most wonderful, amazing, supportive, and sweetest man. I am so grateful that we found each other 4 years ago, and that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together. He inspires me to be a better person everday, and I can't imagine my life without him! I am also very relieved we got married before I tured 30!

Everything. In the last 6 months I graduated, got a job, moved, moved again, got laid off and was unemployed and the hired again and now have a hundred million things to do this month. I've loved every second of it, the ups and downs. I mean, I've done the whole gamut. That's all experience, that's all things to learn. When you hit a low it gives you more perspective. Not that I didn't enjoy the adventure of being poor, the adventure of the unknown. The adventure of just getting by. I'd say I was grateful I walked away from these experiences in a positive manner.

I got the OK from my therapist to start getting off my antidepressants! I had wanted to get off of them for a while, but she kept telling me to wait because I was about to graduate college and I didn't have a job lined up. Well, I made it through four months of unemployment and finally got a job (even though it's temporary). She gave me the go-ahead at my last appointment and I was so excited. I was a little worried about withdrawal symptoms but it's been two weeks and I've been doing great!!!!!!!

We purchased a condo at the beach and it has given us a special place to reconnect as a family, as a couple, and individually to reconnect with rest and relaxation. For each of us, it is a different aspect of the time at the beach that recharges our souls, whether it's simply a break from everyday routine, a chance to walk by the beach or to pursue photography in a more focused manner. We are grateful to my mom to have enabled this opportunity and we are inspired to try and find more ways to live life more fully.

I lost 15 pounds on the Atkins diet and I am very happy about that because I have wanted to lose weight for several years.

My step-daughter came to live with us after her mother (who clearly has issues) moved in with a Nazi who was verbally and ultimately physically abusive to her. It has been the greatest event of my life to be able to help her heal and become, as she is indeed becoming, a self-directed young woman with self-esteem and a sense of purpose. I am very sorry she had such an awful trauma before her arrival with us, but I am so glad for the opportunity Ha Shem has given me to nurture and love this girl.

My long term boyfriend broke up with me because I'm converting to judaism. I took it hard at first, but then it got me into the arms of my best friend(I've loved him for years) so now I look back on my previous breakup happily, knowing it got me to where I've wanted to be for years.

My youngest, and only living daughter graduated from university in May. I am grateful beyond measure that she is here, that she is who she is, that she will be who she will be. I am also sad that her sister is not here to be who she is and is not here to share these milestones with her little sis.

The most significant experience that has happened in the past year is that my boyfriend dumped me. Hardcore dumped broken heart splattered everywhere. I couldn't be more grateful. It's not that I don't miss him, and it's not that I don't love him, but for months I was lost and wandering and he opened the world up for me to find myself and find my way. I'm still working on it, it's by no means totally figured out, but it was the single biggest event in the past five years of my life and the one that made me grow the most, reflect the hardest, and think the longest. I've learned more about myself than I thought possible, and to be honest, I feel I have this well-spring now of self-resilience and self-reliance that I believe can carry me through anything. Of course breakups are complicated things, and resentful is a good word to use as well. But in my day-to-day this event still strikes a chord with me, and on most days, it's a positive one.

My mother died a little more than a year ago. I feel a lot less sad than I thought I would. I am actually relieved that she didn't suffer and neither did we. Her death has allowed us the freedom to have another baby, which is something we never would have done if she was still alive. We never knew how badly she would suffer so we didn't want to bring another child into this. Many people seem to be devastated by the death of their parents. Somehow I am not.

The sudden and catastrophic demise of a 35-year friendship has left me with mixed emotions, resentment being the strongest.

I had a mammoplasty reduction less than 2 weeks ago. Last weekend, I was at events which included standing on some very hard surfaces. Back pain had become an issue in the last 2 years. Monday morning, I rolled out of bed and realized that I had not had any back pain with all of the standing. Hooray! My shoulders no longer feel like they are being dragged down to my waist. And several of my ribs may stop being grooved. My diaphragm can really expand now!Of course the fact that I look 20 lbs lighter, a few more years younger, am wearing a few shirts that I'd put away due to gaping button holes etc., are all great bonuses. I am thrilled and grateful on so many levels.

I realized that no matter what I do, my husband will not love me. More importantly, I don't care anymore. There is not a thing I can to to affect the path that he is on. It is what I do from this moment forward that matters. What is past is past.

I fell in love. It was completely expected and the relationship had a definite end: when I moved to a new city. I had been planning to move for a long time, and was excited for this move until I realized I was falling for him. I have cried a lot since then. I tried my best to enjoy my time with him, knowing that it was finite. I'm still trying to move on, but it's very difficult. I don't want to hope for something unattainable but I do hope that I will have the chance to be with him again. Unlikely.

This is an Email i sent to my Campers several days since the end of the summer: Hey Guys! It’s been a couple of days since camp ended, and It already feels like a million years. The hardest part of camp for me is always its conclusion. This year was particularly difficult for me. Ever since I got back from my two years in Israel, camp has been an oasis of everything which makes me love being Jewish. Some of you know this already, but until my first year with Bnei Akiva I truly resented being Jewish. Camp is what taught me that Judaism is more than an old rotting relic from the distant past. Camp is where I learned to be proud of being a Jew. It is where I found Simcha in Avodat Hashem. It is where I first felt truly connected to the Jewish people. My parents were also part of this, but until Bnei Akiva they were lone beacons of light in a otherwise dark world. So I dread the end of camp, not only because I have to say goodbye to all my friends and campers but also because I know that I'm going back to the place where that false perception of Judaism was born. In camp I can pretend, just for a little while, that I'm back in our homeland, where we all truly belong. But this year something different happened to me, something which came as a total shock. On the drive back to Philly I think I met Eliyahu Hanavi. Yes I'm serious, Eliyahu Hanavi. This realization only struck me once I left his presence. On the way out of camp I needed to fill up my car with gas, so I pulled into a gas station not 5 minutes away from camp. Standing in front of the door to the store at the station was an old man holding a bunch of American flags. He came up to me, showed me his US veterans ID and asked me to donate some money to benefit veterans who fought in the war in Korea. I hand him 2 bucks, figuring that he is either telling the truth, or that he is poor and needs the money. The old man then glances at my Kippa looks back at me, and asks if it is possible for me to give him a ride into Honesdale if that is where I'm headed. My first instinct would normally be to say, "no way man.” Now while I don't recommend that anyone do what I was about to do (you can get yourself killed or kidnapped this way), for some reason I hesitated and then said “yes.” I asked to see closely his US Veteran ID one more time, and then let him into my car. As I started driving he began to tell me about some of the problems he was having with his teenage daughter. Apparently, she frequently disappears for days at a time, and spends all her time with her friends. His daughter is about to leave for college and he told me that he wants to spend some time with her before she goes away. He turned to me and asked if I felt that this is normal behavior for teens these days. I, who am still in college myself and have no idea how to give advice about rebellious teenagers, stupidly said "Ummm I'm not sure, I grew up in a different culture." This man looks at me knowingly and nodded his head. "Yes" he said "your a Hasidic Jew right?" I'm not about to go into the details about the differences between Modern Orthodox and Hasidic Jews so I simply reply, "sort of, I follow the same laws they do." "Yes, you are probably much more family oriented, especially with your Friday night meals" he said to me. Then he said something which should have surprised me, but for some reason didn't. "I was born Jewish, you know." Here was the connection. This was the reason that against sane judgment I let him into my car. Here was another Jew, who looked walked and talked like a typical random Honesdale resident, but who is a Jew in hiding. He introduces himself as Jack, I say "oh, yeah that's my middle name, Yaacov!" Jack nodded again knowingly, "yes Jacob" he says. For the rest of the ride to Honesdale we chatted. Jack told me that his daughter’s mother is not Jewish, probably knowing that only Jewish mothers have Jewish children. Jack then told me about the broken home in Queens, NY where he came from and about some of the money troubles he was having. Mostly I just listened, commenting here and there. Finally Jack directed me to a rundown house about 3 blocks off Route 6. He got out of the car, and shook my hand, thanked me and offered to pay for gas. I turned him down, and leaned toward the window. I asked him if he was really born Jewish. "Yes" he replied. Then I thought for a moment about what I should tell a totally cut of Jew, thinking that this might be the last time he ever spoke to one. I extend my hand and say, "well then you will always be my brother." He thanked me, we had one more round of goodbyes, and then parted ways. As I was driving away I thought to myself, wow that is exactly what I needed. G-d put this man in the exact right spot at the exact right time, perhaps for Jack, so that he could connect with a Jew once again, and also perhaps for me, to show me that I will never be cut off from Israel. No matter where I am Jews will find me, or I will find them. At the moment there could have been no more comforting realization for me, to know that I'm not alone, and that G-d always watches out for his people. I realized that G-d will always present me with opportunities to bring myself and other Jews closer to Hashem. The palpable Jewish connection to Am Yisroel that I have in camp and more so in Israel, does not have to end. However, unlike in camp or Israel I will have to search for it. It will always be there. All I have to do is just look a little harder. This is my blessing to all of you, that you take strength from your memories of camp, and use them as lights, to help you through your year. Please know that no matter where you go, your Madrichim will always be there for you. I met Eliyahu Hanavi the other day at, of all places, a gas station in Honesdale Pennsylvania and he showed me that no matter how dark a place I go, there will always be a light to lead me back home. Love, (Name edited out)

I got heavily involved in the Jewish community on my campus. I attended the Jewish Federations of North America's General Assembly in New Orleans. There, I talked about my experiences as a Campus Entrpreneurship Initiative Intern. The CEO of Hillel International told me that the work I was doing was riteous and that I was important to the greater Jewish community. I felt so empowered and so proud. Later in the year, I went on an Alternative Spring break with Hillel and Jewish Funds for Justice. Helping to rebuild houses in NOLA made me feel even more empowered. I realized that what I do makes a difference to the world around me. It was huge.

This spring, my older son graduated from college and after a final summer of partying with his college friends, he boomeranged back home. With that move, I had to switch from worrying about his younger brother (who is now safely ensconced in his sophomore year in college) to worrying about the older brother. I haven't really worried about him at all, or much anyway, for the four years he was in college. But this transition from college into the real world, in the midst of the worst economy since the Great Depression is proving very stressful. Watching his joy and excitement at graduation in May dissipate into dejection in September is heartbreaking. It helps a tiny bit to read statistics like 85% of the Class of 2011 has moved back home with their parents, but my son is not a statistic to me. He is a living, breathing example of my generation's failure to provide for the success of the next generation.

I reconnect with good friends from my past. It renewed my faith in humanity because I had been making a lot of bad choices. It showed me that I could still be myself. I am grateful to no end, inspired and feel I've a new purpose in life.

Starting to know the person that I really am. I am inspired to know that I can know who I am and get to love me as myself. I am pure positive energy and I am a co-creator in this life that I live.

I graduated from college in May! After a really long and drawn out road I finally finished what I started. I know I didn't do it nearly as fast as others my age, but I am so very proud of myself for earning that piece of paper. I am grateful for my family for encouraging me and being proud of me. I am definitely relieved to be able to consider myself a college graduate. Now I am in grad school working towards yet ANOTHER piece of paper. In fact my first paper is due tonight and I am shaking in my boots. All I can do is my best and learn from my mistakes.

A significant event was the buying of the River house, and more,and more, and more. I am soooo grateful, and I think it has inspired me as well to go deeper into myself.

We got married in April. The wedding itself was three incredible, wonderful, days filled with love from so many friends and family. That is a feeling to savor forever.

I was able to make amends to loved ones I hurt and frightened through self-deluded and selfish behavior. I was ashamed, grateful and able to begin to see myself and my life in a much clearer light. It is painful to stand naked in the Temple of Truth, but then came the freedom to live without secrets and an unexamined life.

My sister-in-law died before last Chirstmas. I loved her very much and she was a stabilizing influence in my life. As she grew older, and my husband and I would leave from a visit with her, we would wave good-bye and I would think about how some day, she would no longer be alive. So I keep her in my heart. It still seems incredible to me that one minute, someone is here, in this world, and the next minute, they're gone. Life can turn on a dime. Though we knew she was dying, we couldn't really believe it, or accept it.

During the past year, a lot has occurred in an emotional sense. Within the beginning of my junior year, two of my best friends moved away from me. One left to Michigan, and the other to another school. This affected me because I felt lonely. Although I did have one of my three best friends with me, there was still this sullen void that I could not fill. This lead to a dark depression. I went back to thinking horrible thoughts and wishing for accidents that could have been possibly fatal. It wasn't until the summer that I got some sunshine shot into my life. In July I went to go visit my best friend in Michigan. Although I was only there for one week, I felt revived. We laughed, we cried, we shared dirty secrets and insecurities. It was great being with my best friend again. That same month, I got to know a boy better. I used to think he was a horrible person, but I moved past that prejudice mentality and enjoyed his presence. He came in at such a pivotal moment in my life where I was still lonely. In a way, I sought him as a savior. We got into a relationship and it was beautiful. Recently, things got messy. I'm still not sure what completely happened. I miss him.

I went through a lot of depression. I feel like I grew a lot during this time. Although I am still struggling and it hasn't been a pleasant experience, I am grateful that I've had the support of friends (esp Nicole) and that I'm getting though it.

We visited Israel, and for the first time went by ourselves and rented a car instead of going on a group trip. I gained significant insight into Israeli society, and also the differences between Jerusalem and the rest of Israel. I feel less hopeful about Middle East peace but feel more connected to Israel and its citizens than ever. Being in the middle of all the social turmoil and protests was an experience I will never forget.

Coaching my son's 11-12 year old soccer team - as the sole coach. Prevous experience had been as assistant coach. This time every minute had to be prepared in advance - by me. Overwhelming at times, but amazingly rewarding - expecially watching the weaker kids develop skills and confidence - and I was directly responsible for some of that change! Very empowering - to influence lives like that.

After years as a professional writer, mostly of non-fiction, I started writing my first novel. I am grateful to the wonderful man I live with, who has made it financially possible for me to focus on this project, and to the exemplary teacher of my writing class and my fellow students; relieved that my skills are up to the monumental task at hand; and inspired beyond measure.

I got engaged in February. Pat and I had only been dating a year. I was so happy. It was all I wanted in the world. Then I told my family. It became the most difficult time period of my life. Pat's family was so happy and excited for him, but mine was shocked and upset. They told me I'm too young and I don't have any money. They warned me to finish school before I got married. There were several pregnancy jokes. No one was happy for me. I just wanted to jump up and down with everyone, but they wanted to lecture me. Then Pat and I started fighting a lot. I have never felt so alone. I was isolated from my family, and I couldn't get comfort from Pat when we were fighting. I felt like I traded in my family for Pat. My family treated me like an ignorant little girl. My parents forgot who I was. They should have known that I am not impulsive and just said yes because Pat asked. My parents should have been confident in how they raised me and the person I had become. Instead they assumed that I was going to run out and get married. I said so many cruel things to Pat during that time, but I had to let someone know my thoughts and fears. I had also isolated myself from my friends because they thought I was crazy for getting engaged. I also just hadn't spent much time with them between school, their relationships, and mine. I am still disappointed because this was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life, but instead it was one of the darkest. I don't regret getting engaged at all. I love Pat and want to spend my life with him. I just wish my family had been more open-minded and had a little more faith in me.

Jenny continued to happen. My Mirrorball. She started happening two years ago and she's changed my life. And I managed to mess it up. She's my 'once in a lifetime', the most wonderful person I ever met. I'm so very grateful that I had that time with her, that she's been a part of my life, even though now it seems it's over. Yes, she inspired me to do the things I needed to do to get my life in order but I took too long and, understandably, she became resentful and now I think I'll never get her back. I'm going to carry on with the things she inspired, because that'll make me a better man, but I'll never meet someone like her again. I hope she reads this because the last words we had were angry ones and I'd like for her to know that I feel no anger, no resentment for her decision. In fact I don't blame her at all, only myself. I only feel love and gratitude. Oh, and yearning. I hope she remembers the first half of this year, not the second. She told me so many times that what made her unhappy wasn't me, but my absence. I hope she remembers that. I believe that's true. If she reads this and recognises herself: I hope I can make it up to you, however difficult that might seem now.

So much has happened! I quit my job to do my side freelance business full time, I got married, and we bought a house! I am so grateful and lucky for everything I have and I try to never forget it.

I fell in love and found my 'person'. I had been dating my boyfriend for a few months - we were committed and I thought that I was really in love. But, while in China for work, I realized how utterly crucial and essential he was in my life and that I loved him more than I could say. When I got home from China, I arrived late in the evening and he was waiting for me in my apartment. The minute I saw him, I hugged and kissed him and I knew from that minute on that I could never be without him.

Entrar a 4° año de la normal. Me siento temerosa de lo que pueda pasar, pero al mismo tiempo quiero que el tiempo pase pronto y sacar mi licenciatura, es mi último año!

Got married! While the "wedding" took over a lot more of my brain & energy than I thought it would, and I ended up caring a lot more about little details than I thought, now that it is all over, I love knowing that I am married to the person I truly want to spend forever with. I sometimes reflect on earlier times in life where it felt like you were never going to find "the one" - and I am so confident that this is really it, that no matter what crosses our paths, we will work it out. I am grateful every day to have met him.

I had pneumonia last year and while I was at home recovering, I realized that my life was out of balance. Through a series of somewhat unfortunate events at work, I was able to leave gracefully with a "successful exit strategy." I feel blessed to be unemployed and spend more time with my daughter in her transition to middle school and darn glad to be out of a yucky situation. I've gained back the weight I lost when I was sick and I feel much, much healthier on so many levels. But, yeah, if I think about some aspects of the job situ I still feel hurt or angry. I am grateful I took a chance on trying a new way to live and am excited about the possibilities!

Moved into a house of my own (sharing with friends). I was grateful but also hate it. Hate the fact that my housemates, while my friends, aren't the best people to live with. I don't feel comfortable with them all the time. I'm also relieved that I passed my first year of University.

I gave birth to my son. It was amazing and scary and all kinds of other stuff all at once. Becoming a mom has been one the greatest learning experiences ever and I have loved watching my son grow and watching my husband become a dad.

I graduated from college with honors and moved back home. It was a huge change. It seemed to be this big event that marked the end of childhood, yet that same day I moved out of my apartment in Connecticut and moved back into my single bedroom in my parents house. It has been an incredibly journey. I am extremely proud of how far I've come and that I was able to do it gracefully without failing. Leaving school meant moving on to bigger and better things while at the same time leaving behind the fun life and many of my friends. It has been a strange feeling to have. But because I've graduated college and worked so hard to do so well, I've landed myself a great job in the publishing industry which I love.

We had an incredible stay-cation with our kids for a week in August. We took day trips and had little activities planned, but stayed pretty close to home. We had a great time - nine days of just playing and being with the kids. It really helped me understand my Jonah a little bit better and helped me be a better mom to him. For example, I realized that if he gets ready for a nap during the day, it's not until 2 p.m., so he's really just not ready for a nap when it's nap time at school. That allowed me to make him a non-napper and it's made his teachers and him much, much less frustrated. I'm grateful for the time with my family, a little resentful that I need to go to work to support us, but mostly grateful. I'm inspired to tune in to my kids more intensely.

Reconciliation with my younger brother (who, because of his wife who cut off contact with me years ago and has refused any effort I made to reconnect with her, has been torn between us) and accidentally running into a woman who was my best friend for 25 years until we had a major falling out. She now lives in Turkey, but she was so glad to see me and I could see how she's changed, how much more open she is. These events really impressed on me that endings aren't always final and one's heart is a really durable organ.

In the past year, I performed taharah for the first time. This is the ritual in which we wash and dress a dead person, and place her in her coffin. The biggest affect it has had on me is that it has made it easier for me to see life all around me. When I look at a tree now, I don't just see a trunk and branches and leaves. I see life. Life is everywhere, all around us, all the time. The earth is teeming with it. I am both grateful for, and inspired by this experience, and plan to continue to do this mitzvah in the future.

I was separated from my husband of 25 years - because he suffers from mental health problems that he self-medicates with alcohol. When you end up in such a bad place and you stop seeing it - you are in most danger of harming yourself and the people who depend on you. I hope he gets help - but I realize I have to work on my own issues and let him figure out things for himself. I am grateful - for the opportunity to bring fesh eyes to this, and for the chance to start understanding more about how I am implicit in making my life what it is. Learning that I am not a victim.

I got in to a lot of honors classes at school. This was a huge accomplishment for me because for ONCE I don't feel like the idiot of my group. I'm really proud of myself that I could work hard enough to do this, even though it is a lot of work.

Glen beck killed my soul. Just kidding...sort of. Allow me to explain: I went to Bryant Park Movie Night the same night that Mr. Beck and his family did, and had the misfortune of sitting directly behind him. Long story short, if you Google my name, bad things happen. His fans eviscerated me, my friends, my family, and I was incapacitated for days. How do I feel about this? It was a learning experience. I would say that I'd do everything I did over again, but only if no one else was affected by my actions (or lack thereof -a general misconception by Glenbeckistan was that we did something that we did NOT, and when I defended myself and those I was with, chaos ensued). In the end, I was relieved to find that my 15 minutes were just as short as everyone else's, and, oddly enough, with the wealth of data I'd accrued via the countless hate mail I'd received I was inspired to study this phenomenon on a sociological level. No word on when I'll have enough emotional distance from the event to do so...maybe next year?

Last summer, I had my first job. Well, I'd had a few odd jobs of the house cleaning and babysitting variety, but this was the first job I'd had with a real paycheck and everything. At the age of 20. It was about time, I guess. Also, I was working as resident staff at my church camp that I've gone to as a camper and volunteer counselor forever, and I'd kind of been planning to work at the camp since literally ten years ago. So it was really fulfilling.

I got the opportunity to travel to Eastern Europe to visit towns and cities that were once very Jewish but now are not. It made me really think about my upbringing and how there are still many Jews living in those areas that do not realize they are missing out on a Jewish education. It also made me think about what was lost during the Holocaust - the people, places, histories, traditions that we no longer have available. It made me sad to lost these things but reminded me to emphasize what I do have and teach it to future generations.

I got NASM certified as a Personal Trainer. It made me feel a HUGE sense of pride, but I have not been able to use the skills to help anyone (way too shy for that). It has ramped up my own workout, though, which has helped me look and feel good.

I left school and entered the university I wanted. But it's not something extraordinary. I found a new friend, a true friend. Hope our friendship will last as long as possible.

I got married. The ceremony was exceptional - just so filled with love and joy. The experience as a married man is still difficult to accept. I am very much in love with my wife and see myself with her forever. I wonder with greater frequency about whether she is THE ONE. There's just a lot more anxiety about the relationship now than in the past, yet there's also a greater calmness in my life. It's a strange contradiction of emotions.

My wife held a walk for autism. It raised over $4000 for an autism charity. I did as much as I could to help her - it was her success, but I did take part. I was grateful, inspired AND relieved.

On June 28th my father died. He had fallen two months prior and diminished quickly. The experience, beyond grief, brought all of the family to a closeness we had previously only experienced in joy. The day of the funeral one of my nieces said that it was one of most beautiful, meaningful days of her life, adding that the beauty did not reduce the burden of sadness but added poignancy. I felt grateful for the opportunity to express my admiration and love for my father in public. something that would never have happened had he been there. I loved the feeling of unity with my brothers. I loved that mother needed us that day. Dad's gone and I haven't really opened that door. I just keep on, keeping on. I will always walk in his shadow, his protective shadow, his loving shadow.

In the past year after getting my heart broken for the first time I saw how I look externally to be validated. Someone else has to show me what makes me wonderful or worthwhile or someone else who I bring into my life proves that those qualities exist in myself. Whether it was career, friends, family, life....I was always looking for approval and to have SOMETHING to show for myself rather than knowing I am enough just as I am. It was a brutal and eye opening realization. It felt like it was long overdue but I was glad to have finally seen the impact it has had on my life in my short 25 years.

I've gone through a lot this year, moving, unemployment, family death, home buying, new jobs and so on. It's all quite overwhelming at times. But the most significant thing was coming to terms with my own mortality and the way the system works. I found a nodule on my breast and I had no health insurance. For the first time in my life I couldn't just go to the Dr. and have it fixed without any questions. I had to find out how to get cared for without having insurance. I had to qualify for special care through foundations .. it was a horrible thing to go through on top of having this THING on my breast. In the end, it worked out and I was able to get the care I needed and found out the nodule was a cyst and non-cancerous. But out of it comes an awareness that our health care system is seriously messed up.

When my Mother passed away I decided that I would make an effort to spend every weekend with my Dad who is 92 years. While I work during the week, have little time for myself, it has been fulfilling to make that effort to be with him, to learn from him, to laugh, to cry, to argue, to keep my mouth shut - all the while together.

I switched careers completely--from teaching to software development, and then got into a car accident. The combination of big changes at once has been incredibly difficult, but has given me the time to reflect upon my life, what I like, what I don't, and what I want to change.

In the course of one week, I lost my brother, my wife and my home. It was devastating to see how quickly life can be ripped apart. Just trying to get through day by day...

I applied, interviewed, and received a job offer... however with a significant pay decrease. I chose not to take the offer. I've been looking to change my job for a very long time... and can't seem to find a new, better paying job, that does not require travel. I feel very stuck.

Well, I broke up with the guy I was with for four years. I'm so proud of myself, from it I've made a bunch of mistakes with others that I've either gone on dates with or just had a good night with. Not that type of good night, I'm saying a nice first date but that was it. It made me realize though, that I tend to like what I can't have. I'm trying to stop my temptations of wanting what I can't. I've learned a lot about myself and I'm no where near done. Let's see what ends up happening. I'm currently with Daniel, but it's ending pretty soon since I'm trying to learn that people aren't puzzles to be solved, as my best friend put it the other night. I' m bound to make so many more mistakes and even after I've learned myself, but hey, it's me, what more could you have expected :)

I got my divorce from my second husband. I was enormously relieved to cut the final thread that bound us together and very happy to return to my maiden name.

I quit my job to write. It was a job I actually enjoyed. I did this during a terrible recession, and with much trepidation. I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to. I feel like this is right. At the same time I feel scared, and even foolish. I'm not going to give in to those fears anymore, life is too short.

My evil boss was fired last week. Although I dislike her intensely and spent a year under her thumb feeling stressed and awful, it never occurred to me that others had her number as well. So now I wonder if I should have said something sooner rather than (mostly) accepting the daily oppression. I feel angry, but not at her or at myself (not sure where to put the anger, frankly). But I'm grateful that the situation is resolving, that I outlasted her, and I'm relieved that my time with this evil person has come to an end. I think I'll feel inspired soon, but right now (this is less than a week old), I'm still gathering the energy needed to start fresh.

Last year I think it was my accident. This year it's been the challenges related to it. I am so tired of doctors, procedures, paperwork, etc. I hope that this is making me a stronger person. I hope that by next year I am not thinking about this anymore.

I gave birth to my daughter. She is my first child and it has turned my life around 360 degrees! The labour was traumatic but hasn't put me off having further children. I have learnt so much in the ten weeks since she was born. I realised that despite being sure I wasn't maternal at all before becoming pregnant in fact the complete opposite is true. I think I've taken to motherhood like a duck to water and am blessed with a very calm and content baby because of this. My daughter is the most important thing in my whole life and I've had to re-priorotise a lot of things now that she's around. Housework has taken a back seat as has work and relaxation! My only job and chore nowdays is ensuring my baby is happy, healthy and entertained. I love my new life. Going out and drinking or partying are now a thing of the past and I'm pleased about that.

My 2 youngest daughters got Married. I am hugely grateful to the Almighty that with my wife's help and support, I have brought up 3 daughters, put them through an education and married them to wonderful boys who will be the fathers of my grandchildren.

I finally starting dating again, for real. I'm not in love with anyone and I had some sad experiences but it feels good. I'm glad I did it.

We moved to California this summer from Maryland. Although, I was excited and felt it was going to be a positive move, it has been more challenging than I anticipated. We lived for 4 years in Maryland after being back in Winnipeg for 6 years, then we had to move once while in Maryland and the girls had to switch schools. I really need to focus on my blessings. " What was, was" and what hasn't happened yet is not worth worrying about . I have just been in a funk and have not been a positive source in my household. I am determined to change that. Hang in there. Julie

I got a transfer to tbi southampton. It has put me in a place where I can focus on my future but it has also been a bit of a burden. Lone working is lonely and stressful. It is one thing to manage but another to manage and work and everything else.

I started a weight loss journey (again) but stuck with it and lost 65 lbs so far this year, with a final goal of 120 lbs. So I'm more than halfway there! I feel so much better and am very proud of myself and committed to reaching my goal in 2012. It's taught me that nothing is impossible and given me a renewed sense of empowerment, self-confidence, happiness and peace.

Going to China. First time traveling outside the country besides Canada. Has changed my entire life. Most truly grateful for the best experience in my life thus far. Want to travel everywhere on this beautiful planet that I possibly can. Very inspired although I have been a little lazy about doing anything with my inspiration, telling myself I will change that very soon. Was slightly resentful at the way a relationship panned out while in China, but now realize that it was very much for the best and everything that happened with that trip--even when I got sick, was so good. I have not a single bad memory associated with my trip to that enchanted land.

My mother passed away. She was 89, had dementia, and lived with me and my husband. She became ill, and died of pancreatic cancer in a very short time. She stayed at home with help from hospice. I am very grateful that I was able to help care for her for the last few years, but very sad at the loss. I miss sharing things with her, even with her dementia. She was joyful and full of wonder at times, other times she was difficult and argumentative. I miss all those times.

In the past year, I married my highschool sweetheart. I can remember the day I saw his name pop up on my facebook newsfeed. I couldn't believe I had actually found him again. Then we started talking that day by messenger, texts, which turned into phone calls, that turned into him moving back just to be with me. I don't know what it is about me he loves so much, but I thank God for bringing him back into my life. I love that man with everything inside me. My kids now have the dad they should have had to start with, and I get to spend the rest of my life with my soulmate.

We came home from a 9 month long trip around the world. It made me grateful for my family and friends. Sad to leave behind the adventure, but excited for a whole new kind of adventure, making a life back at home. It has inspired me to try new things and integrate them into my life, and is now challenging me to do it more quickly and more often.

I had my first child and am incredibly grateful for having had a healthy pregnancy, a smooth, natural delivery, and awed every day by the miracle of my daughter. Becoming a mom has caused me to grow so much in these last three months and I am inspired to continue to change and grow into this role.

Well, I went to college. The only way I think it's affected me is just through my ability to do what I want. I mean I pretty much had that luxury at home. My parents weren't that strict. It's just now I can go to Taco Bell at 2:30 in the morning If I feel like it without having to worry about them waking up. You know, if Taco Bell is open. I'm definitely relieved. My parents were causing some strain. You know, it's just that time when they start getting REALLY annoying and try to insert themselves into every area of your life and it makes you want to say "ENOUGH. I'm going to college." So, luckily, that worked out.

There has not been one specific event or experience. This past year has been a culmination of many things. I am at peace with everything in my life. I continue to be grateful for what I have and I also have have learned that I can move forward and I do want more. I have never been more comfortable with who I am and what I have to say and what I have to contribute to those around me. I am living without fear. I am truly finding my voice. I continue to grow in this happier more content place. I have worked for years to come to this place. There is still a long way to go as is the story of life. But I am coming out of the scarey dark place that I was in for many years. I have come to terms with the people in my life and I am accepting them for who they are and where they are and it is not for me to judge. I have truly learned and live under the idea that I can control 2 things in this world. What I say and do an dhow I respond to what others say and do. And that is it. Coming to terms with this is my savior. nothing is that big of a deal. I have peace in my life and I have love in my life. Not that I don't have my issues, but I learn to manage them and not let them take over my whole life. God is Great

I had to get a male mammogram. A painful lump had appeared around my left nipple area. Doctors assured me it was not cancer but to be safe, I had to go through the full routine women have to do. Mammography (not as bad as my wife led me to believe- but then again, there's not much to compress for me), ultrasound, and biopsy. It gave me a much greater appreciation of a woman's ordeal and psychological stress. It was also very humiliating to go to the Breast Clinic and be treated as something of a leper. I had to slink down back hallways to avoid the half-dressed women there. I was greatly relieved to learn it was caused by the blood pressure medication, Spirunalactone, and the lumps went away within two weeks of stopping the meds!

I helped the best friend I have, I changed his future with a simple effort. I will never regret what I did and I will always be proud of myself.

I fell in love for the first time. How it affected me was that it changed the way I feel about myself and other people.

I spent two weeks in Spain at the World Youth Day 2011 with young people from all over the world to pray, think, discuss and celebrate. We had an amazing time and I personally think it has changed me a lot. I've become a lot more faithful, and this is probably the biggest change. I actually believe in God. Plus, in Spain I met wonderful, wonderful people! It really was an experience that I will tell my grandchildren about!

I finally found a trauma counselor I actually connect with and have been working on that. It just hit me how much work I actually have to do and how much I want to change. I think it also just hit me how badly I was abused. But...I'm not afraid of working hard and although I am profoundly sad for the child that had to deal with all that, I am not sad for the woman I am now. I had my rabbi change my name to Chaya Ora-life and light and I intend to serve both to the best of my ability every day. :)

I started college this year! I read back my answers from the previous year and I had wrote: "I can't believe I'll be in college when I next read this!" Time has flown by so quickly and I'm growing up much too fast. Soon, I'll be flooded with bills, job applications and stress. I went back to Hong Kong and China this summer, I hadn't been back for three years and I had missed it dearly. Nothing had changed, not the place, nor my family. I've grown up enough to actually appreciate the time I have with my family now, I know they're not going to be there forever. I took in all the beauty of the glorious city/country and it was a fascinating trip, learning and seeing so many new things was incredible. I'll never be accustomed to the way they do things over there, not entirely! The drivers drive like maniacs, the shop-keepers are often rude or ignorantly idiotic (but I learnt to embrace it instead of constantly wanting to slap somebody), and the weather makes me feel like I'm a chicken roasting in the oven. My little cousins have grown up a lot, obviously, and that was kind of hard to handle! I wasn't used to them knowing so much about the world they live in now. New family members have arrived too! This holiday, I really felt that life was great because I sincerely had all I needed. I'm so inspired by my beautiful family, and my beautiful second home. Together, we're so strong.

I became clinically depressed. Or at least, I was diagnosed. Although that is dark in itself, it has made me value each day afterwards the slightest bit more. It's made me love harder, think brighter, and act stronger.

My nephew, was hospitalized in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at CHOP for a month in May. He was admitted the day after I soloed in a plane for the first time. It was hard to reconcile the elation and wonder of May 11th with the worry and sadness that I felt in the following weeks. I found that I felt grateful to have the capacity for feelings that were so opposite from one another. It was quite some time before I was really able to talk about my personal achievement. I've been thinking about why and how I was able to spend many, many hours with my nephew at the hospital because I'm sure I didn't him as much all year long.

Last November I started renting a shared office for my small seedling of a private practice that I started to grow at the same time. Having a office and "real" clients was a huge change from praticing counseling on my schoolmates or friends. It has made me more confident about my ability as a nutrition counselor and the positive feedback from my clients has reinforced my career change decision. I am inspired to keep growing the practice!

My 3rd and last brother went to college. I don't like being the only child at home, and sometimes it's hard for me to cope by myself. I know he's having fun though, and I can still talk to him anytime I want.

I moved to freaking Colorado! That was huge. And it's still kind of hard to believe. Life's gotten somewhat normal out here... but it's so weird being far from family, picking up people from the airport all the time, becoming a regular Skyper... I am definitely grateful. Beyond grateful. And relieved to feel like I can finally plan for my future. The friends we've made so far have made the transition easier, and I thank God for that. He's provided us with so much in such a short amount of time. Now I just want to start using it better. It's becoming clear to me that we're pretty crappy stewards of our money and possessions. I want to start giving back to Him, instead of taking from Him all the time. And I want to find the balance that my life has lacked for so long.

I graduated high school and moved into college. It has made me realize who my true friends are, and how much my family is there for me. I am happy with the experience, and all the new friendship and opportunities that have come my way because of this.

This past April my parents got a divorce. I've anticipated it for awhile, six years or so, and even dreamed of it at times, but the feeling its given me is not the relief I thought it would. I was wholeheartedly expecting to feel joyous and happy that my parents were finally moving in the right direction and I allowed myself to get my hopes up about being able to have a "normal and happy" family. However, not only does the former not exist, but the result was not normality as any rational thinker could have foreshadowed, but it was a new realm of reality. It was the presence of a blatant reality that reminded me every day that my family was in shreds and the two houses only made it harder to hide. Yet what their divorce gave me was a new perspective. It was the perspective that my family, no matter how distraught, dysfunctional and irrational as a whole, was made up of five phenomenal people that I not only love dearly but have much to learn from. While I will never say that I love the torturous and disastrous family dinners, I have come to have an entirely new level of appreciation for my family as individuals. My dad is a phenomenal person, always striving to make others happy and put his best foot forward and my mom will always be your number one fan, encouraging you to become all that you can be. My younger sister sees the world through love and compassion while my younger brother is never afraid to bring the facts we too often try to hide to the forefront. The divorce shed light on the fact that I let the issues of my parents get in the way of my relationships with my family members. While it is never too late to start, you can never regain the time you lost. So here I am as a college freshman- relieved that my parents are no longer under the same house, resentful towards them and myself for the time I lost, grateful for my relationships with my family and inspired to make the most out of every moment, for I have many more days to rejoice in. Although some of my time has been wasted, it is never too late to start living my life to its fullest despite the ever present downfalls. For in the words of Aristotle, "it makes no difference whether he is young in years or youthful in character; the deficit does not depend on time, but on his living."

I gave birth to my first child, my daughter, Harper Mae. Nothing went how I'd planned but everything happened just as it needed to. We both got safely through and we were lucky enough to be surrounded by people that love us. I am so grateful to have this experience of parenthood and to be the one who walks with my daughter into the world. She may not be mine but I will stand by her as fiercely as possible as long as she'll let me. People ask me what its like and I tell them that it is incredible difficult. The highs are so high and lows are so low but that this is exactly what I wanted. I am inspired to reach for even more because Harper will watch me now for all my days. I can't know how this will influence her but I want her to know in the end that I tried my best. I will never resent this.

I've had cancer twice, the first was about 15 years ago. I've been tired ever since. This last spring I met the concept of "Cancer Thrivers." It has changed my world. Every time I feel defeated, I remember that I can thrive, not just survive. That encourages me to tackle problems rather than just avoid them. The fixes aren't always quick - some problems have existed for years. But this is the first time I have really tackled some of them...and I'm winning and thriving - slowly but surely.

My partner and I decided to get married this year. He proposed to me while we were dancing outdoors to excellent live drumming at the Montreal Jazz Festival. I am thrilled that we are committing, publicly, to spending the rest of our lives living, loving and growing together. I am full of hope, gratitude and excitement for our relationship. I am also a bit overwhelmed with planning the wedding! I know it will be fun and beautiful, but at this point, it is just exhausting to think about all the tasks ahead of us. I know this experience, like all the others we have been through, will continue to help us learn about ourselves and each other, and will strengthen our communication skills.

Passed my oral exams - bittersweet.

No major experiences. My husband and I bought a condo and moved. We are in the same city, so it's not a huge, huge change, but change nevertheless. It has been a good thing. I love where we live and feel grateful everyday for how lucky I am to be able to have such a nice space. Thinking of home makes me happy.

A lot has happened in the last year. First, I fell in love with a Jewish woman who had recently come out as a lesbian, and who was in the middle of a divorce with a man. We began dating, but she realized in January that she wasn't ready for a relationship because of the turmoil of ending her marriage of 11 years, in addition to having two young girls to take care of. From there, it has been a tumultuous time, since we continued to be "off and on," due to the strong connection between us. I have also been unemployed and unable to find work. My lack of employment has been an enormous financial burden, particularly since my ex-partner and I have been going through mediation about the house we bought together before we separated. I stayed and she moved out, but I am afraid I may no longer be able to afford to stay, even though I love my home and don't want to lose it. I have some meager income through freelance work, but it isn't enough. I am still looking for work, and hopeful that something will come along very soon. The most significant event was my decision to convert (not because of the Jewish woman I had been dating). I have been meeting with a Rabbi on a regular basis and attending as many events and services as I can. This will be my first celebration of the High Holidays. Passover was my first Jewish celebration, shortly after I first met with the Rabbi. Because of the nature of the High Holidays, I am not resentful toward the woman I was seeing. Yes, I was hurt, confused, and very sad since we can't be friends now due to the fact that there's still an attraction between us. I have forgiven her for all the times she came back to me only to realize once again she wasn't ready and needed more space than I do. I am grateful for our experience together, no matter how difficult it has been. And inspired by the fact that neither of us knows what may happen when we re-connect. Hopefully, we can at least be friends, but I am also hopeful that there might be more... I'm also very grateful for the Jewish community that I have now become part of. Recently, I was hit by a car on my bike and broke my collar bone (on the way to the synagogue no less). And it has been the Jewish community who has reached out to me the most, and come to my aid in a time of need. Ultimately, I do have hope for the new year in all parts of my life.

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 - I realized something, watching the children who lost their parents. I lost my father suddenly when I was 7. What I realized was that I identified being safe and protected with my father. It is he that I looked to if I was scared or felt threatened. I looked towards my mother for nurturing - but it was my Dad that was the protector. At 61 years old I have finally realized that I haven't felt "safe" for almost 54 years. I think that has affected (corrupted) many of my relationships - and perhaps why I never married. I feel inspired to explore how I can use this realization to temper some of my controlling behavior and perhaps trust people more.

In the past year, I fell in love. The impact that she has had on my life has been unbelievable and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

I became more active in my shul, joined the board. Made me glad, gave me a stronger connection to my community.

We adopted our tiny dog, Lily, who is around 15 years old and was found roaming the streets. She has only one tooth, and was emaciated when she went to the shelter. While everyone else in our family thought I was a little nuts, we kept her for a weekend to see how she'd get along. Of course everyone fell in love with her. She has made me more aware of aging, and I feel more patient and compassionate as a result. We are so grateful to have her with us. She is surprisingly spry and spunky!

I went through a series of smaller significant events that led to me finally following my dream and, in turn, having a truly significant experience. Last October I moved to Los Angeles and in the months that followed, I was in a car accident, was laid off and went through a break up. Plus the normal family, financial, "where is my life going" stressors that weigh on all of us every day. I decided I could either feel sorry for myself and cross my fingers that somebody would come along to fix this mess or finally do what I've wanted to do all along and what brought me to California in the first place. Give it up to the universe and start my career. With that, I launched my production company and am now working on a series of interviews talking to people about their significant events and what's shaped them. I've learned so much from meeting these people. They are strong, positive, amazing folks with so much to share. I'm so grateful that they're willing to take a chance on me and share their stories. Every person I've met has inspired me to want to do more with life and do a better job on this project. I'm terrified by this experience because I hope I'm strong enough, smart enough and talented enough to paint their pictures the way they deserve. Only time will tell I suppose, but just the fact that I know I'm willing to work as hard as it takes to make something special, something that might inspire someone else or make them smile...that feeling, as much as it truly does terrify me, also makes me delightfully happy. Maybe I'm finally doing what I'm supposed to. It feels right.

May 1, 2011 was Yom HaShoah, the Day of Holocaust Rememberance. I was in charge of Austin's (Texas) commemoration. We brought into town (from opposite coasts) two sisters who survived Auschwitz and other camps together. We also had a US soldier who liberated the last camp the sisters were in. I interviewed the sisters in front of the crowd as they told their story. I filmed the US soldier's story of liberating the camp and showed it at the event (he was too ill to be there in person). I am very grateful for the experience. It was so moving to see and hear the sisters share their love and stories of survival. They were moved by the soldier's emotional "I was just doing my job, but never dreamed I run into this" attitude. It reminds me that it not what happens to us that matters, it's what we learn from it and how we teach the world those valuable lessons learned.

        For the past ten years, I have been going to a Jewish camp called Camp B’nai Brith Riback. At this camp many of the BBYO members of my region are present. This past summer was my last as a camper, and it was a summer that really helped me understand the commitment i had made to my fellow Jews and our community. In a program at the beginning of the summer we were supposed to say that we committed to impacting a child's life the same way someone in our past had impacted ours. I spent some time counselling some 8 year girls and i couldn’t help but think, which one of these girls will remember me the same way i remembered my CIT buddy? After a long week with them, I made a personal connection with a little girl named Ariana. After some thought, I realized that she had impacted my life way more than I could ever impact her. This little girl had opened my eyes and made me appreciate little things and taught me how to lighten up. From this story, I realized that I have so much power to change and inspire people the same way Ariana had taught me to do. So I want to be a global ambassador because I commit to impacting someone's life the same way BBYO and Ariana  have impacted mine. This is why want to reach out to other who have yet to find this joy, honour and real sense of belonging around the world, and let them see exactly how i feel and let them feel it themselves.

Too many things just to choose one. My Nan died, we moved house, I was heartbroken, I fell in love with someone who doesn't like me, I slept with one of my best friends and hasn't spoken to me since.

I finally got my own place in the form of an apartment. It has been such a great feeling, because even though I have been away from home at college I have never felt like a true adult until now. It has changed the way I have viewed things and I am very happy to have experienced this finally.

Redefines the life to early retirement after I got the kibbutz to conntinue the same $$ as Social Security This was my main worry from last year ie financial future

There has been so much, the little girl earning inside of me wants to talk about how much my first kiss and first summer fling meant to me. However, this past year, without a doubt was significant because of the time I spent studying abroad in Israel. I paid for most of the trip myself, and I worked while in Israel to help provide for food. I may not of had as much of an exciting time as my classmates while abroad, but it showed me just how much I am capable of achieving if I work for it!

I got married to the man I truly believe is my soul mate. I feel blessed, lucky, grateful, and loved. I also feel fear that perhaps I have not done enough to deserve the happiness that I feel.

My daughter, who was living with her father for the past 5.5 years, moved back home to go to college. It was the partial culmination (her brother is still at his dad's) of the healing of my heart, which was broken when her father took custody, immorally and pretty much illegally, all those years ago. I am so grateful to have my beautiful daughter home and to help her to heal after all these years. I am resentful that it has taken this long to get her here, and I am inspired to work harder to get her brother here before his 18th birthday. Chai. Happy New Year.

The most significant experience of this past year is that I developed sever arthritis in my shoulders and it has changed my whole life. First I have learned to live with pain. Secondly it has severely affected my quality of life. I can no longer swim, bathe, dress myself, scratch itches on my back and pick up my grandchildren. I am sad in that I am losing what I love the most but I am not resentful because this is life and as it is said in the children's story "it can always be worse." so I will live and make the most of what I have.

My sister-in-law passed away and left us a substantial inheritance. I was amazed and so very, very humbled.

I went through the job application process for law firms and ended up being quite successful. I'm still not totally sure that law firm life is for me or if I'm capable of working as hard as is required, but I suppose there's only one way to find out. On the bright side, I know I'll be making a lot of money, which can help me do lots of things that I want to do. On the downside, I am not sure whether I'll be helping people enough to feel fulfilled. I'm not even sure that helping people brings me fulfillment, it's just what I've always done; I don't think I'd like myself as a person if I didn't do it. Either way, time to jump right in. I'm also relieved that I got the job I got. Still not sure how I've made it this far without working as hard as possible. I guess that's a good thing. Ambivalence reigns.

I have been dealing with a health issue. It's finally resolving itself; I'm so grateful for my good health and I want to celebrate it every day. Easier said than done, of course. In the last few months I've re-doubled my efforts to move more, to exercise consistently and take full advantage of being healthy!

My longtime boyfriend proposed to me. It made me feel more grounded and loved and appreciated. It made me want to act more like a wife than a girlfriend. It made me feel so much more secure in our relationship.

After an 18 month search, I finally got a job offer just before Pesach. I was very grateful to the place that hired me for recognizing my talents and gifts and relieved to be able to remain employed. I am working through the resentment toward the places that mis-led me or strung me along during the process.

My first child was born this year, and that inspired me to resign from my job to be a stay-home dad.

I stopped believing in God again. It made me less interested in prayer services and more annoyed by the traditional language of the siddur. God bless Alvin J. Reines!

This has been a difficult year - not for any one reason, but just a lot of angst around being 25 and figuring out my life. I feel like the year has been colored by a lot of sadness and frustration - but in the last few months I have started to settle, and find my way. NYC is a hard city to figure out, and I felt lost and alone here. Now I have new roommates and a new boss and things are looking up.

My brother in law dying with ALS...grief, sadness, reflection, peace..and watching him live with spirit has helped me to really get that we are so much more than our bodies. Having him dying hard right now brings up questions of why... just not getting that he has to go so hard when he lived in so much joy all his life...let him go in joy...

The woman who taught lessons at my barn got lazier and lazier and demanded more and more free so we asked her to leave. It got very ugly, she called me names and made empty threats and is probably still bad-mouthing me and the barn to anyone who will listen. I was angry, sad, resentful and then relieved to have my home back and management of my barn back so all in all it turned out for the best.

I got pregnant! I feel extremely lucky to be going through this amazing life changing experience. My husband and I are closer than ever and I can't wait to meet our baby girl in January.

Transformus. Carolina regional Burning Man Event. July in Asheville, NC. Very transformative. Humbled, grateful, inspired. Amazing event with even more amazing connections, gifts, friends, love, fire.

I was dumped by my boyfriend. I am not sure if I saw it coming or if I was completely blindsided. I guess all the signs were there, but I did not see them. Obviously it was not meant to be, but I wish he would have let me go sooner. I really hope that I am not holding on to this for another year. I think I am pretty much over it, but I guess I will learn to look at the warning signs in the future. Though it was very painful, I feel as though this has made me a better person.

This summer I went on two summer programs throught the B'nai Brith Youth Organization. The first program is called International Leadership Training Convention (ILTC) and the second is called Kallah. These two programs were truly life changing. They enabled me to make life long friends, discover myself as a person and specifically a Jew, and have fun all at the same time. BBYO is my passion and getting to do it for 5 weeks this summer was a dream come true. ILTC is focused on leadership while Kallah is focused on Judaism. At ILTC, I learned how to be a better leader both within and outside of BBYO. I also learned how to better my chapter and my council. At Kallah, I further discovered my already prevalent Jewish values. I learned about what I agree with, what I disagree with, and what I do not have an opinion on yet. I have realized that I truly agree with many of the beliefs and values that go along with Judaism. I also made so many amazing friends who will always be there for me. It is a really great feeling knowing that I could show up in almost any state in the United States and have a house to stay at. I more than grateful for this experience and I will never ever forget the summer of 2011!!

Nate was born. I am extremely grateful. He's a joy.

My husband and I formed a LLC and have embarked on an e-commerce venture. It's a little scary and overwhelming, but the thought of being our own boss is a thrilling prospect.

In October 2010 with a heavy heart, I moved out of my home at 555 Bluebird. I left behind my garden, my sycamore tree, my tiled steps and the echos of all the love and energy that had occured there over 18 years. It broke my heart to leave my funny little house with the crooked windows and spidery garden. I brought both my children home to that house. I can still hear my kids shouts and laughter and remember the many magical moments under the sycamore tree on the deck or in the hammock. I thought I would grow old in that house, but I didn't. I left, I moved. I moved into the condo complex where I owned 102 Santa Rosa before I was married. In "Ten Things to Do When Your Life Falls Apart" it says to "get back to who you always were." I took that to a literal level! LOL Anyway, it has been a lesson in how less can be more; that home is where your heart is; and that when you invest love in a place, it sings back to you. I will always love that house. And now, after living in my condo for a year, I am ready to make a home again. Just this week I made an offer on a house -- may this be the year of coming home again.

This year I traveled to China to meet and document the artisans that manufacture some of my work. It was an incredible experience that I am still in the middle of editing for publication. I could not have predicted what happened there or what my reactions would have been. Everything took me by surprise, especially the fact that these 'artists' were not very different from me and my artist peers here in the USA. The themes that we reflect on in our work are different, but our lives, our concerns and our hopes are nearly identical. I have traveled to many places. None as far as China. It makes me feel more connected to all of humankind when I understand how similar we are.

It was my first year of retirement from 33 years in education. I jumped into the Master Gardener Program; went to Acadia with Brent for a week of photography; worked on decluttering my house; took charge of the Children's Garden; took a Learn to Quilt Class; got solar panels, new windows, redid the kitchen, and fixed the chimney (again); tutored GaryMichael through 7th grade; skied and kayaked a little, gardened a lot; read lots of books about raising food and the food industry and paid too much attention to politics. I'm grateful for the gift of time to do all these things. I love the thrill of creating a new quilt square, of seeing a wave differently through the lens, and creating solutions to the small obstacles that crop up in gardening. I worry about money (so what else is new?). I've discovered that I love making things, but I resent the feeling that there is no end-to the gardening, decluttering, fixing, redoing, etc. But my biggest concern: is this what I'm supposed to be doing with the precious time allotted to me? Is it OK to feed my passions even if it means nothing to the rest of the world? Is it OK to live "small"? And why do I find it so hard to put my tasks aside to go "play" with others?

I've become a grandfather

I attended a conference on Mastocytosis in Tucson. Mastocytosis is a very rare condition that causes extreme chronic bone pain, rashes and flushing and digestive disorders, among other debilitating symptoms. One entire day of the conference was devoted to anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening event for people with mast cell diseases. I had been very lucky having never experienced it. Speakers taught us what to do and helped us fill out forms in a 3-ring binder to give to EMTs in the event we found ourselves experiencing anaphylaxis. Less than three weeks after returning home I ate something that triggered my first anaphylactic episode and by the time the EMT's responded to my 911 call I was passed out in complete anaphylactic shock with the three ring binder in my hands. The EMTs and the emergency room personnel both said that the notebook may have saved my life. I am so grateful to the group that put on the seminar. I was so inspired by their work that I have joined the group TMS (the mastocytosis society) and volunteered to join the strategic planning committee to give them the benefit of my 25 years experience (before having to stop working and go out on long-term disability) to help others as they helped me.

Joan and I spend our 25th wedding anniversary in Punta Cana. It was our first time at an all inclusive resort, and, even though we were there during Hurrican Irene, we loved it. We rested, enjoyed each other, read, hung out and had no obligations or places to be. We came back refreshed, and wishing we could do more together. We found that we really do like each other, even after all these years.

This past year, last weekend actually, I was in a terrible accident. I flipped my car on i95. This affected me in an unimaginable way. I am so grateful to be alive. Once my car landed, I immediately crawled out of my window. I was very relieved to have escaped my car so quickly. I am resentful because it was my fault but I will only learn from this. I am inspired to take what Hashem has given me (my life) and become something of it. He has bigger plans for me.

I was fired by my boss from a horrible job in which I hated and was about to quit. It was a relief and both troublesome because it weighed on my mind that I was rejected by someone that I did not respect. However, I found inspiration and the opportunity to work with people that mutually respect each other and the world around them- which is a blessing in itself.

Grew my own food. While working on the farm I was fortunate enough to have the experience of independently maintaining a large garden and as such I was often the first to sample the great food that was growing. In addition to the garden, the farm had some surprises hidden all around such as the mulberry trees, wild blackberries, and wild asparagus. Being able to sample off of this abundance of nature while working throughout the day was invigorating and kept me conscious of the fact that nature specializes in abundance, as long as it is respected rather than forced. It definitely inspired me. Providing sustenance for one's self is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately as a result of what I believe to be an approaching energy/food crisis. The taste of food that grew from an area that you monitored and cared for is one of the most satisfying treats I've experienced in my life.

My classmate died in a car accident this year. We were never close or anything, but somehow it affected me, but I had no one to talk to. That was the time all of my friends abandoned me and I found myself face to face with this terrible, horrible reality of someone so young just being dead. I went to his funeral, thinking I'd be okay, but I broke down, when I saw him taken out of the church in a coffin, a sight I will never forget. Right now I feel just as sorry and not able to understand, why would the universe do something like that to anyone. It did, however, make me realize, I'm always all by myself, especially when it comes to serious and hard situations like this.

I went on an Israel tour with FZY, it was inspirational as i saw a part of the world i never thought i would see, i shared moments and emotions with people i had never met yet i had such a connection with everyone that it felt as though i had known them all my life. i made new friendships, broadened my horizons and saw some more of the world i am dying to see. But most importantly i found myself as a person. i figured out who i am and i accept who i am! AND I LOVE WHO I AM. never change for anyone or for anything, through thick and thin originality and uniqueness prevails.

I got my first salary job. At LJS. Away from AmeriCorps, away from Nonprofits. Working with people who recognized my ability and were smarter and more driven then me was a great thing. I realized that jobs can be challenging, demanding, and fulfilling outside of nonprofit, plus I got a reasonable paycheck. I haven't felt this proud of my abilities since college, and feel really excited about upcoming challenges and new experiences.

A year ago I started a new business with one of my oldest friends. Some people thought we were crazy - starting a business in the middle of a recession but it was, and still is, the best thing I have ever done. I was nervous about the potential impact on my friendship with my business partner - but if anything it has made us closer and better friends. I have even more admiration and affection for him now than I did before. I was nervous, after a fairly bruising experience of redundancy, that I wouldn't be 'up to the job'. But my confidence has soared and as well as doing all the things I used to do - and enjoying them more - I literally learn something new every day. I was nervous that we might not succeed. But we have gone from strength to strength in the past year and are making a healthy profit. All in all, the experience has taught me the truth of the words I have parroted all my life - that you regret more the things you don't do, than the risks you take.

I got married earlier this year and I'm so thankful for such a wonderful husband, who encourages me and helps me achieve my goals. I could not ask for a more perfect person with whom to share my life. He is my best friend and I feel grateful!

My family, including my wife's mom and our great friend Lisa, spent two weeks together touring Israel over the winter holidays. My daughter wasn't thrilled about giving up her winter break from college, my son couldn't be bothered at first to show any interest, Mom only wanted to know if Israelis would be speaking Yiddish like everyone did where she grew up in Brooklyn, and I was in turmoil over how much the trip was going to cost, and how far in debt we already were. All those worries started to fade when our tour guide picked us up the first morning in Tel Aviv (at 9 a.m. after arriving at 4:30 a.m.), and we were quickly swept away in the experience. Not having any pre-conceived ideas about what it would be like other than my childhood memories of slide shows brought back from "the Holy Land" by my missionary relatives, I was blown away. By the history, the tension, the resilience of the people, the close proximity of so many holy sites of the three major religions, by the feeling that Jerusalem was at the center of the universe. Some of it touched on my Christian upbringing-walking the Via Dolorosa on Christmas Eve to the Holy Sepulcher comes to mind-and some experiences ran right up against my then-current process of conversion to Judaism and the accompanying studies. We came home spent and broke two weeks later, but I found the experience gave me a sense of who I am becoming, while acknowledging where I came from. In doing so it removed the last lingering doubts about whether I was dishonoring my parents through my conversion.

My father passed away at the age of 92. My brother and I had been dividing each week for a year.... staying with Dad and driving him around for most of that year. It was a wonderful time with a wonderful man... mostly... but it was also hard on me as it took me 89 miles from my home half of every week. So how did it affect me? I am grateful for the one-on-one time with my Dad.... I am relieved that I can now spend time in my new home, tending to my own life... I don't in any way feel resentful... and my father, the finest man I have ever known, has inspired me all my life. He will be my inspiration until the day I die.

I am grateful for finding a job after >800 days of unemployment. I am relieved but not taking it for granted!

I had a c-section. It was the scariest thing I've ever been through. My pregnancy was very difficult and I was very sick due to vitamin deficiency even though I was taking prenatal vitamins plus supplements. I became hypertensive. My blood pressure was so much higher than normal and when it became 150/90something my doctor calmly told me that I was going to have to go to the hospital for an overnight observation and that I might have to have a Cesarian. I've never had surgery before. I wanted to have a natural, drug free birth like I had with my first child. I called my best friend and she took me to the hospital and stayed with me while they ran their tests. The next day my blood pressure had gone down but not far enough. Hypertension is a symptom of pre-eclampsia, Eclampsia, as wiki says "is the development of protein in the urine, generalized swelling, and severe seizures". So in other words, the baby had to be born. Now. Luckily I was 37 weeks. My little boy had cooked just long enough that he wasn't premature. But that meant I was going to have to spend my wedding day in the hospital! Despite a painful and very grumpy new mommy/bride to be, we got married in the hospital chapel and our lovely family got to see the most beautiful little boy who just had to be there for his parent's wedding. And now I have a scar on my belly and I'm able to say with a bad new york accent, "Oi! Why do you give your mother such troubles! I was sick for nine months giving you life and have the scar to prove it!" There is even more laughter in our home now. :)

In my first year of business I had customers who were committing fraud, exploiting those they claimed to serve, and contracting for services for which they subsequently refused to pay. There were times when I was frightened, angry, and/or sickened. I am financially worse off for it. But I learned what the cost of doing business truly is, and that the most important costs aren't financial. I jettisoned clients and wrote off debt, refocused my business, recommitted to my values, and have begun slowly to move forward. I sleep like a baby and feel better than ever. I don't know how I will pay the bills a few months from now, but actually manage to trust that the money I need will be there when the time comes. Life is uncertain, but good!

8 Months ago, my Dad passed away. He had been fighting cancer for 7 years. After he passed, I felt lost, afraid, numb. I had no emotions, because I didn't know how to feel. Eventually the numbness was replaced with horrible sorrow and pain. Each and everyday I hoped to hear his voice again. I wished for another chance to play basketball with him. I had lost my everything. He was my inspiration, and the best man I ever knew. Other the course of the first few months after his passing, I felt empty. I felt as though there was a huge whole in my heart. I had lost a part of myself. Those first few months, were the hardiest times of my entire life. During the spring I decided to go on Birthright with my school, and it is because of this trip, the people I experienced it with, and the memories I made that I finally started to feel ok again. Birthright allowed me to come alive in a way I could have never imagined. I felt my Dads presence again. I felt like I could talk to him, and he could hear me. This trip was a turning point in my life, because it made me realize that life is too short, and that love is all that matters. My Dad wanted me to keep going, and to keep living life to the fullest. I didn't realize this until I went to Israel. I didn't want to accept it, I wanted to live in the past, because my dad was in the past. But now I've realized that he isn't just in the past, he's in the present, and he will be in my future.

i got in contact with jason after 18 years. well i was very excited at first and all i wanted to do was talk to him and get to know him and his life. yes i am very grateful i was able to get in contact with him finally. relieved um sort of. because now ive started to get a feel for what he is like and i can now gage our future interactions, when we do meet in person that is. resentful not even close. im some what inspired, i now know that my other half sister lives in washington and is 17. this definitely makes me want to pursue that relationship.

Four months ago, I received tenure and promotion at a public university. For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be a teacher. By the time I was in high school, I was already planning on getting a Ph.D. and becoming a college professor. I think it's that my first love has always been learning and discovery, the excitement of learning something new, figuring something out, seeing something for the first time, and that internal "click" when all the pieces fall together and I "get" something. At age 25 I started graduate school and started walking through the fire. Now I'm 41 years old, and this past spring I was awarded tenure and promotion, so the journey to associate professor has ended (although there is still much to do and learn and eventually become a Full Professor. I took a job at a public teaching university because I believe in higher education for everyone and I wanted a career that emphasized teaching but would still allow for scholarship and research. The journey to tenured professor has been long and hard; and I made some serious mistakes along the way, that I hadn't fully appreciated until now. Somewhere along the line, I gave up on other parts of my life. I stopped making music, I stopped reading fiction, I stopped making friends, I stopped trying to date, I stopped going out. I told myself that I was tired, that I had too much to do, that I had work. But mostly, I had used the tenure-track as an excuse to put my life on hold. I'm deeply relieved to have achieved tenure, and also proud of my accomplishment. But I resent my university (low pay, crushing work-load, uninspired learning environment) and I'm angry at myself for losing balance, losing sight of what my values really are, what I really want from life. I have achieved a goal I've had since I was a teenager, but the life I got out of it is not the life I wanted. This year, one of my major acts of t'shuvah will be to bring my life back into balance, to start taking care of myself, to re-establish connections and create a family.

In the past year my husband and I decided that we needed to look for more satisfying jobs and a new place to live. We both have well paying jobs now, but they leave us empty and feeling distant from each other. My job takes me away for long days and many nights a month, and it is not what I want to do with my career. While we knew this was not a long-term place to live, making the decision to start the job hunt was very scary. We don't have any people in either of our families that are supportive of our decision. I am relieved that we made this decision because it gives more direction to my life. We have made the decision to not wait to start living the lives that we want, including the jobs that we want. It also makes going to work easier knowing that I am working on a way to get a better job and that this one is only a stepping stone for my next job and not my career for the rest of my life.

I started a new job that I had no idea anything about. I have a computer background, I started in finance. It was a big leap of faith for the company any myself. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity and determined to make it work because the possibilities were endless. It has proven stressful as the learning curve was steep, and I did not pick up as fast as I liked. But it made me work even harder/longer/persistent to catch up and show my bosses and the shareholders that I can do what they need. I also found a girl who is perfect for me. I have been blessed and lucky this year.

Finished high school and started college. I feel like i am growing up and can really try to figure out what i want/like. Definitely a new part of my life starting.

I got a job as a front desk agent at a hotel. Same industry, but totally different job than I've had in my life so far. I am very grateful for this job and inspired by it everyday. I like the people I work with, from the fellow employees to the guests that come in and share their love of the city. It's great and I hope it only gets better!

After finding myself unexpectedly pregnant, I had a miscarriage. It sucked. I learned that I do definitely want another child, and well meaning people often offer the absolute worse kind of support, but are genuinely appreciative of being told what would be helpful, as opposed to what is not. I also learned first hand why one waits to share news.

My youngest daughter Emily suffered a stillborn death of a full term baby, Vivian Rosman Heger. Vivian was Emily's first born and my 10th grandchild. A life changing event for many of us. Emily is comforted by a new found religious, spirituality . At the same time she is tortured by a totally unwarranted sense of guilt that she could have done something differently. I am sad and in pain. The logic of finding relief in a god doesn't come close to working for me. I failed Emily and Vivian.We held this perfect child for hours after the birth. A profound experience that no one should ever have to go through.

I sponsored a plaque honoring the first policewoman to die in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. Because I'm a retired librarian, I was able to locate the officer's daughter; she and her husband were able to travel to the city from Kentucky to participate in the dedication ceremony. It was a grander occasion than I expected and the daughter was very appreciative of my efforts. The whole scenario makes me want to repeat my gesture and makes me feel like my education and experience served me well.

i suppose what has marked the year most is mommie getting cancer. it was less than two months after daddy found out that he had cancer, and i think i was still in shock. but i felt then, and still feel, so close to god, that it only took a couple of seconds before i heard in my mind, and knew it was true, that god would take care of her, and all of us. that we were blessed. i have begun meditating daily, attending services in various spiritual places, and have brought my relationship with god to the forefront of my life because of this. i am profoundly grateful for the life i've had with my mother and the closeness i feel with the universe.

In the past year I allowed myself to fall in love. I had always been terrified of finding someone because I was afraid of what would happen when it ended. I now know there was nothing to be afraid of, life has it's ups and downs and this relationship has the same. But, we know we want to be together and that we'll get through those ups and downs together. We are both old enough to know what life looks like when you try to tackle it alone and do not want to face that again. I think it makes us try a little harder and look at each other a little differently. We're both prone to depression, so when one of us are having a difficult day, the other one understands it. I'm truly happy for the first time in my life. It may not be perfect, but it's life and not supposed to be perfect. I love him and know for the first time in my life that I'm loved back.

I got told I would not be offered additional help from my mortgage company! I was annoyed at first, then accepted it. I then had to make a plan to increase my income in the short term to keep the house and look to the future and my long term goals. My life had become stagnant up to that point!

I came to grips with the fact that I have terrible trouble managing my finances. I started to attend DA meetings and to take concrete steps to get this under control. I am grateful and relieved.

Two significant events occurred this year. My mother unexpectedly had to undergo bypass surgery. Her heart condition was caught in time, and she has been recovering nicely. The other event was that we had to put our beloved dog to sleep this year. It was by far the saddest event of our lives. He was 13 1/2, and the sweetest dog ever. We learned - through both these events - how to give without asking anything in return, how to love without limits, and how to cherish everything about life.

I found out that I was losing the job I've had since 1999 due to a merger. At this point I think it will be a good thing. I have been thinking about doing something more challenging for some time, but was too comfortable with my current position to do a full exploration of what I might want to do next. This event has prompted me to think about some of those issues, and given me some time to do so without immediately worrying about paying the bills.

I got into the college "of my dreams" after months of jumping through application hoops and waiting and hoping to get in. Now I get to be in a program with people who I love and feel like I've known my entire life, with similar goals and ideas as me. I have full reign to be my most creative self and use everything I learn to enjoy my creative process more. I'm so inspired by this town, these people and everything, even if it means leaving some people behind and missing them every night.

My sister and her ex-husband asked my 87 yr old mother and I to move out of her home. We were homeless for ten days with no place to put our dog, no food, no gas and no money. It made me angry and resentful that she didn't appreciate all that we had done for her but it was a Blessing in disguise because we ended up moving into a really nice home. I'm relieved we're away from her.

I signed up for a University course. Finally. It's not exactly what I was hoping for, but it felt good to start thinking differently again. I'm a bit nervous about getting my first essay done as it's due one week from tomorrow!

Became convinced that a family member has developed a mental illness much worse than was originally believed. My belief that my sister could be cured somehow by making myself more available for emotional and rational support has been undone. My efforts only served to reveal the true depth of her disorder and to involve myself and family in her manipulations to a worse degree. She is working to undermine my birth family by withholding her son from my parents (his grandparents), actively attempting to exclude them from alternate social events she holds. I'm fearful for her health and for her son's, resentful of the continual stress she creates, and tired of the effort required to navigate family allegiances when she is concerned.

I went to Italy on an honors capstone experience. Somehow, this led me to living out my faith in a more concrete and every day way. I look at things from the perspective others would and try not to do anything without purpose. God was so incredibly present in the places we went in Italy and I decided, why can't it be that way at home too? So I made it happen in my life.

My brother died on the day we moved into our new apartment. It was a heartbreaking moment and also a signifigant reminder of how our lives were going to be different from that day on. The loss of my last family member and the loss of the place I had lived for the past 15 years were somehow bound up together. What I have is all the memories, good and bad, and the determination to move forward on a new and positive path.

I authored my first book, co-authoring as a ghost author in first person narrative. It has given me a great sense of accomplishment and the realization that His timing is perfect. I am grateful, relieved, and inspired to begin my second manuscript, now more aware than every that it is hard work. Yet G-d has blessed the work of my hands!

I got engaged. I'm grateful because I know that I am marrying my best friend and am excited to be with him forever.

Going to Ireland with my 'chosen family.' It was one of the best times I've ever had in my life. I want to have more & more experiences like this in years to come. I also realized that the experience I remember most was getting stuck in a terrible storm, having an awful 3 hour car ride home, losing power everywhere we went and being meowed at by a local kid. I need to remember that staying at home doesn't lead to adventures.

I gave a presentation at an international conference on the day before Erev Rosh Hashanah. It turned out well and I am happy to go forward into beautiful this season of renewal.

My book sold! At first I was elated, but it's turned out to be stressful. The process is difficult, the monetary pay off low, and much of the time I'm more discouraged than delighted. I feel a ton of pressure to make the project succeed, yet get little help and poor feedback on how to do that.

I had my baby! It took a long time trying before we were able to have her, and we were worried about a lot of things during the pregnancy - she was followed very closely. But she was born and everything looked fine - I was relieved, grateful, happy. And now I have a new focus in my live - I have to be responsible for her. Its a lot to adjust to, but I'm happy to have her here.

After a startling diagnosis of colon cancer following a routine colonoscopy, I had surgery and then six months of chemotherapy. The experience has affected me profoundly, in too many ways to enumerate, but mostly I am just so grateful, on so many levels, for so many things.

I spent about six months looking for a job after law school with equal amounts of despair and cynicism. I eventually found one in the city I wanted to be in, but it took quite a while. I was certainly relieved, but also resentful at the process and how difficult it was. It also made me appreciate all of the resources I have and how much more difficult it would be for someone without those resources.

For the last several years, we have been in the process of losing our home. I have fought tooth and nail to keep it. I think we are out of options and will likely be out of it no later than January 2012. It has been really stressful. But, I am grateful to be almost done with it. And, now we have a chance to start again. We will rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Life will go on.

My mother was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer in the late spring. Her diagnosis has of course completely changed her life, but it's also completely changed mine. I was just completing graduate school, and luckily could immediately come home to stay with her during surgeries, doctors appointments, physical therapy -- the treatment of her cancer and the resumption of "life as normal", for now. It was overwhelming to experience my mother as this totally mortal person. She's always been larger than life, a dynamo, the woman with more energy than anyone else I've ever known. Seeing her need to nap daily, unable to walk, was totally shaking. She's still in physical recovery, and for the next 3-5 years, will need constant monitoring to watch for recurrence of the cancer -- it has a very high recurrence rate, and mortality rate. I have no idea how much time I really have left with her. But in addition to the "typical" topsy-turviness a serious medical diagnosis brings to a family, it has also radically altered my personal life plans. I had accepted a job in Portland, Oregon that I was set to begin after completing my masters programs. Instead, I suddenly moved back to the Bay Area, returned to my childhood bedroom in my parents house, and recommenced the job search. I was incredibly lucky (both through the fates and through, I suppose, making my own luck) that I found an equally great position pretty quickly, but three months of unemployment made me much more sensitive to the plight of so many Americans suffering through this recession. My move back to the Bay Area also facilitated a relationship with a wonderful man I reconnected with in the late spring. Had I moved to Portland, it's doubtful we would have begun dating, but as it is, we're going strong. I have a lot of hope for this relationship -- we share the same values, a similar sense of humor, interests. I think we're both in a place where we want to make it work, which is very different from most relationships I've been in. So despite the deep, deep awfulness of my mother's diagnosis, and not knowing what the future holds for her, the fact that it brought me back to the Bay Area has brought great change, but also a lot of positives to my own life. It leaves me feeling scared for my mom, grateful I was in a position to make the decision to move home, proud that I did so, and excited about my future. Quite a grab bag....

I got divorced and met the man of my dreams. Going through my divorce was the hardest and lowest point of my life. It left me feeling like I was the failure. Working through those emotions made me stronger and when I felt solid and comfortable in my own skin - I meet the person that I just know I'm supposed to spend the rest of my life with.

Speaking my emotional truth to my ex-husband and letting go of how he responded to it. I am grateful that I took the opportunity and risk and grateful that I was able to do it. Hopefully, I will be inspired to do it more consistently.

My dear son decided to make aliyah and in August moved to Israel. I am inspired by his decision and determination, scared by the tenuous situation in the Middle East right now and gratedful that we raised him with good values that he is choosing to honour.

I went to Halifax. It affected me by strengthening my resolve to go there for university even though (or perhaps because) it's so far away.

On April 24, I got married. I'm relieved it's over-I thought we were "keeping it simple", then realized how NOT simple our plan was. I'm very glad we're married (and I love to say "my husband"), but looking back, the town hall and a big party at the house is what we should have gone for. Everything else is just fluff-it's standing in front of your true love, meaning each vow as you say it, then sharing that feeling with your friends and family. Nothing else is important that day and I wish I had realized that beforehand.

I've started home educating my two youngest children. It was a big decision and I'm glad I had the courage to make it - I'm not very confident when faced with big decisions, but it felt like the right thing to do for so many reasons. Taking charge of their education has made me feel so much more hopeful about their future, and has also grounded me in the present moment. I feel really grateful to be in a position where I can do this.

I turned 50 this year. I am grateful to be alive and in love with my husband of 25 years. I am in awe of my 3 wonderful children. I am relieved that the turning part of 50 is over. I am resentful that my father is dying and I can't accept it! I am inspired to become a healthier person, since longevity is not in my genes.

Our son became a Bar Mitzvah. It was so much work for him - and for me. I'm so proud of him. It was stressful, then fun and then there was a kind of 'let down'. It's so nice to see him progressing well, but part of me doesn't want him to grow up so fast!

My brother has always been ill but this past year he has become very ill and is very close to dying. It has made me look at things very differently in terms of hope and simply just getting things done. I have always been proactive but now I am even more so because I see how precious time really is.

The most influential and significant experience in the past year was returning to camp. At first I was extremely apprehensive about returning to a summer job that did not directly correlate with my life goals and give me theater experience that I really need. Returning to camp however gave me something else I had been craving-- happiness, friendship and love. It is hard to not be effected by the events of this summer, the sensation that still remains in me after being surrounded by people and filled with love for 8 weeks. I feel lucky that this summer happened the way it did when I was concerned it was a huge mistake. In choosing camp, i chose life. I chose to live my life for the first time ever. I am so grateful to have met the people I did, form close bonds with strangers, tighten the already existing bonds with people I knew and remember how easy it is to simply have fun.

I decided to live alone, on my own, for the first time. The ripple effects were tremendous! I lost 40 pounds, met my current boyfriend, got a promotion at work, and settled into my current life confidently and satisfyingly for the first time.

I divorced my husband after 27 years of marriage and two children. It has been a huge relief for me. He has a mental illness that has gotten worse over the years (although he denies it) and it has weighed down on all of us as a family. I was supporting the family financially and taking care of the children on my own. He was spending thousands of dollars on his various ventures and was not a partner to me in any sense of the word. That said he's not a bad person just . . .not well. Finally, after years of frustration and anger, I have a fresh start. It was hard for the kids, but they are pulling through. Ironically my ex husband is more involved in their lives now, which is good for everyone. My hope for the year is that he doesn't crash after he runs through the money we got for selling our house.

My best friend came to the realization that he loved me as more than a friend and we began our relationship as a couple. I am consistently grateful and humbled for the gift of having him with me, for his love and his continued friendship.

Recently, I watched several shows and read several books on current farm and food industries. They all led me (of course!) in the direction of vegetarianism, or veganism. It felt a familiar and comfortable place, and yet, it makes me a bit fearful. I have gotten into things so many times, with all the best intentions, but without enough of whatever it takes, to stick with something for the long haul. So now I feel a mixture of things: Disgust with how I have let things go and not forced myself to go in the directions of my true feelings, , worry about alienating people by being on the fringe, and relief, a bit, to know I am seemingly getting to where I might have been all along if I had gotten off to a different start, a start without making choices that got me no where as far as being true to myself... and instead got me into a very long, very destructive relationship and life. I am thankful for second (and third and fourth!) chances. An I am very thankful for my new husband who always encourages me to be my real self.

I was laid off at work on May 19, 2011. I was very emotional when it first happened. I am a bit resentful, but more relieved. Staying at that place was like being in suspended animation. I need to move on and get a job that I don't dread going to. Plus, moving buildings into the main building would have been horrible.

I started my sophomore year of college, and am now more confident in myself. I feel like I am a freshman again because this year I feel the community at my university. I am very grateful. This year has already been so much better than my last year, and I can't wait to see whats in store.

My father suddenly passed away. This was a sad and shocking experience and has definately upset my equilibrium and made me look at my own mortality.

In April I missed a step and dislocated/broke 2 or 3 bones on the top of my foot. Little bones, big impact. I became completely dependent on the kindness of others and had to learn how to ask for help, accept help, and from that, I have learned better how to give help. Haven't handled it as graciously as I would have liked - got a new perspective on who I am and how I am, who and how I want to be, who my friends and family are. I have new appreciation for my clients and what they go through. My daughter got the chance to grow up and become more independent. Part of me is secretly disappointed to be getting better.

My husband had heart issues and was hospitalized. He eventually had a procedure that helped -- I hope -- but the whole time of the hospitalizations and the procedures, I kept thinking: "This is my husband's heart," and I was anxious and dismayed because he's always been so incredibly healthy and vigorous. It made me view him and our relationship in an entirely new way. It made me face the fact that we're older and someday one of us will be alone.

I got married! Secretly! My fiancé and I are engaged and are planning a wedding for next year. But for practical reasons - such as health insurance, etc. - we decided to get married at the court house with our respective best friends as witnesses. We four are the only ones who know! The ceremony was surprisingly moving - and I cried. It takes me a while to acclimate to things, so this it was the right move for me. I can get used to it privately and when we are publicly a married couple, I will have already started the adjustment and process of transition. There are times when it doesn't feel real! There are times, I feel cranky in my new role as wife. But most of the time I marvel at the change - how different my life is - richer.

I was offered a promotion, then had it snatched out from under me. There was little explanation or apology. I am somewhat resentful, but I don't tend to hold grudges and am doing fine. I do wish that they would take my words and opinions more seriously.

My daughter in law's Dad past away unexpectedly. This struck me in many ways. My brother passed away 11 months before. Both men were my contemporaries, while both had ailments they did not die from. It made me look at how I live my life. I try to live a more healthy life. I try to appreciate what is happening around me and the people I come in contact with. I want to let go of petty affronts and enjoy the happiness and good will that surrounds me if I only take a moment to notice it.I experienced a deep unexpected sadness. Although, not a close relationship we a shared many life experiences, our children started dating at 15 and 2 weeks ago our granddaughter was Bat Mitzvah-ed. So many celebrations and life occurrences joined us. He so loved his family and his presence is missing but his light was right there with us. I am trying to live in the moment, since you never no what will be your last momnet.

i was attendind a retreat at isabella freedman. i was there to support a friend as she attained smicha as a kohenet. it was all a beautiful experience and was unuasual in that it was the first time i was at this center without a defined program to keep my attention. i realized that i had come to a point in my journey where, to move forward, i needed a teacher who could work heart to heart with me. the new phase of my journey has barely begun. i have no fears about hwere it will take me. my only fear is that i do the WORK, which is not an easy task for em

In the past year, I lost my best friend. Not by death, but by immaturity and drama. I was so hurt, and thought i would never get through it, that I would never have another friend that was so close. However, I have met some amazing people who love me for me, and who support everything i do. i am so grateful for them, they saved my life. Do I regret things? Yes. However, from that regret i learned lessons and I know that there will be challenges that I will be able to overcome.

My grandfather passed away, which brought on many old emotions, most of which were quite negative. It was an emotional experience dealing with family I had not spoken to, and though it opened up communication with family I had missed, it certainly felt like an open wound.

This year I graduated from high school, but a bit of an unconventional manner. Although I did really well academically, I did not fit in of feel welcome. I was able to take my English 12 credit, the only required class for senior year, at the local community college at the beginning of the summer for that credit. By August, I was holding my diploma! No, I didn't have that walk across the stage, but that's ok. I'm proud of myself, and I am really happy at community college. When I thought things were falling apart, everything came together and I couldn't have asked for anything better.

I crashed my car!! (close to this time last year actually). It was terrifying, not a lot to say about it, pretty much sucked! It's made me a better driver and realised that it is silly to get emotional over small issues which could in turn cause harm to other people.

After so many years of loneliness, i finally met someone and it's been bliss., just feeling loved. It's a wonder everyday.

I went and worked for Disney through the College Program for 5 months. It was an absolutely amazing experience and I am so grateful that I got to go and be independent and meet new people.

Zach and I broke up, after a (mostly) wonderful two and a half years. While I think that I handled it well, it is something that still affects me, and that always takes me by surprise. I also wish I was able to be open to new love, without actively throwing myself into finding it. I wish I was able to relax and let new love find me when it is ready to.

Bought land, building house, living small.

I started taking a medicine called Humira. It's for my Psoriasis which I have had since I was 18 years old. I've never been debilitated by the condition but it's been embarrassing and inconvenient. Since being diagnosed, I've been covered in scaly red patches that flake. It was in my scalp, parts of my face, all over my torso, and legs. Humira - given by injection 2x a month - has totally cleared me up. I guess it has shown me that change is possible. I never thought my skin would look this way ever again.

I let myself fall in love this summer. I do not regret it what so ever. He is my best friend and the person I am more comfortable with than anyone else. He knows me better than anyone and I trust him more than I trust myself. Although we aren't together anymore he will always be my first love and I will probably always love him. He makes me happy and smile and gives me the confidence to be myself.

Started Voice Dialogue training and intensive facilitations. I've been doing this by myself for years, and now new doors opening all the time at a dizzying speed.

My mother was diagnosed with Stage 0 breast cancer. Although it was terrible news, it was the best diagnosis under the circumstance. She had her surgery at the end of August and the surgeons successfully removed all of the cancer. Her healing has been an amazing process and she is making great strides. Although originally this threw a wrench into my summer, I am so grateful to her wonderful doctors and all those who helped her heal in this process. She means everything to me and I can't imagine life without her.

I moved from a 3 bedroom house to a studio. I am so grateful and ispired to lower my footprint.

The health issue and the first hospital experience was pretty darn scary.

The experience that affected me the most in the past year was a turbulent period of time at work, in which my job security was threatened and my career was blighted. At the time, I crumbled under the anxiety and stress. I was clearly suffering from depression, and in hindsight, really should have sought medical attention. The lasting effects are more subtle - the depression has lifted and I no longer feel stressed - but I think I will always be a more anxious person, because constant anxiety I suffered at work pulled a chord in me that never quite sprung back in to place. I don't think I will ever be quite as confident as I once was, and I think it has, in general, made me become a more timid person. However, I feel relief rather than resent at the experience. There is no point holding on to animosity - that would only prolong the depression and stress. I had to let it go, and I very much feel that I am moving on.

I became a bridesmaid for the first wedding that I am ever going to attend. My brother got engaged and I got asked to be a bridesmaid. I was thrilled that i was going to be gaining a new sister and was very grateful for the opportunity.

So many things have happened this year. 1. Having Zach (thus making Syd a big sister). It's been so wonderful watching Zach grow and begin his transformation from baby into little boy. I love him so much. Sydney has been incredible. I didn't think she would take to this transition so smoothly. There has been no jealousy on her part, and I am so grateful that she is such a wonderful child. I love her very much. After three miscarriages, I'm so glad to have my perfect family. 2. Losing Grandma, who I shared a birthday with for the past 32 years. It will be hard next month to celebrate without her for the first time in my life. I'm thankful that she got to meet Sydney and know that Zach existed on some level, even though she didn't get to meet him. 3. Making a commitment to the gym. Nearly 10 lbs later, I feel fitter, stronger, and healthier. Only 20 lbs to go! 4. Matt FINALLY settling down and asking Lauren to marry him. I can't wait for more nieces and nephews.

I was unexpectedly surprised when two strangers approached me in Atlanta, GA. Both had prophetic words for me and my wife regarding major projects on which I'm working. The words were specific, addressed the project directly, cited the past and predicted the future. These unsolicited remarks were affirming, emboldening, and made me realize I am on the right path with my life and in God's eyes.

I learned that my job does not define me. I define myself and my family and close friends defines who I am. I was fired from a long time job without any warning, shortly after last Rosh Hashana. It took a lot of inner strength and good advice from my family to get through the situation. At first I felt like I was not worthy of anything, I felt like I was in a dark hole. With the help of my friends and family and positive feedback I was able to regain my self esteem and realize that I was more then just a job. At first I was resentful since I devoted so much of my time to the job. Now I am greatful and relieved that I am not working. I have retired early and I am able to spend the time with my family and friends. Yes sometimes I slip into that place where I question what happened, but believe me it is not for long and I quickly go on with my wonderful life.

Almost two months ago, my best friend passed away in a car accident. Since then I have made a conscious effort to stop by her house every day and have gotten significantly closer with her family. Although this has been, and still is, the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with, it has taught me to never take life for granted. She was a fun loving, carefree, selfless girl and I will never forget that about her and I have vowed to live my life for her and in honor of her because although she is no longer physically living with us, her soul, her vibrant eyes, her contagious smile, and her beautiful laugh will live on forever.

Adam and I bought a house. This is the most significant commitment I've ever met, to a person and to an object or place of living. Of course it's directly connected to the intensification of our relationship and choosing to go to Princeton for graduate school. I've frequently said over the past few years that I've been tired of feeling transient, like everything in my life can and may change in a moment, so in a way it's very calming feeling like I have so much stability all of sudden. It's also just fulfilling to have a space to claim as mine, to customize, to own, to grow in. At times it feels a bit overwhelming, less the long-term responsibility but mostly the day-to-day requirements of keeping it up and fixing things, which I'm not as good about as I should be. I don't ask for help as much as I probably should because I feel like Adam has this huge burden in his commute and I don't want to add to it, so I feel like I owe him (and us) some sacrifice of my own. I am a bit worried about being able to balance things better over time as the work to be done increases, and I want to make sure I don't take on more than I can handle. I mostly worry about him not being as happy as I am - the so far unsubstantiated concern about him being able to live with me as well as the very real concern about the toll the commute takes on him. I still feel like this has been a wonderful development and I'm very optimistic about us being able to make it work, though, and I view this as a huge step toward us creating the lives we want together.

My daughter was born early September. Nothing else this year comes close to that experience. Along with my wife and son, she's the light of my life.

joining rugby at school. it has made me a more athletic person and better able to work in a group. i feel that i have learned more about doing what is best for the team and not just for myself. i have also learned a lot about rugby and am grateful i can know help teach the rookies. i think joining rugby has made me have a richer and better experience at school and has let me meet so many new people. it is the decision that has had the most influence on my life in the past year.

I transferred to Appalachian State University. It's changed virtually every aspect of my life, forcing me to appreciate things that I didn't previously- such as a base level of cleanliness at home that does not exist in the apartment. I am resentful toward two of my roommates for their inability to simply do dishes. I'm forced to eat at places other than home basically at all times, my meals are rendered unhealthy at best and completely unsatisfying at their worst, and I have to go to the bathroom sink just to get a cup of water. Moving here has virtually saved my relationship with my girlfriend though, and the campus and classes are a delight.

I guess it would be graduating from law school although right now it is hard to have good thoughts. On one hand it was a huge achievement, on the other had, I have no job and it feels like it was all for nothing.

I had a miscarriage. Two, in fact. It's been painful. It's been hard for me to be happy with my mum's pregnancy because of it. I see all these women who treat their kids like toys and it angers me that my little angels were cruelly taken from me. There's not a day that goes past that I don't think of them or imagine what they would be like.

I learned that the stress in my life has had significant impacts on my health. I am scared to know that I have done damage to my body - I only have one body and really I should treat it better. A little bit fearful because I don't know if I can change my life enough to make my health a priority. Especially given family needs and the pressure I am under for work this year.

I've had a career change. My new job is very different from my old one, and the whole process of having to find a new job and retrani has really made me appreciate how mycg I enjoy my work. I'm really grateful, even though I'm not earning as much as I was, to have found something that I enjoy - and that is really rewarding in the way that this job is.

I was fortunate enough to attend the birth of my niece, Aviva. I still have so many feelings about the experience, which was simultaneously amazing and difficult, both emotionally and physically. My sister and I used to be each other's chief rivals. Then there was a time that we were as close as can be. I felt like nobody understood me better than she did, and I cherished her presence in my life. Of course, there were still moments when our rivalry emerged, but they were eclipsed by the support and understanding that we provided each other. The pinnacle of our relationship came when she attended the birth of my son. Her support helped me find the inner strength I needed to cope with the pain and open myself up to whatever the birth experience would be. But ever since then, we've been growing apart, and it feels more and more like our rivalrous relationship has returned. There are countless reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that we have had neither the time nor the proximity to bring us together. We live across the country from each other, and we both have ridiculously busy lives. There have also been important moments where we've hurt each other, which makes it harder to put in the effort our relationship needs. When my sister got pregnant, I was delighted for her, and was excited to welcome her into the club of motherhood. As her due date approached, I set aside a week to come and help her, shortly after I moved to a new home, in what we thought would be the early days of her baby's life. I left behind my kids, my husband, my book manuscript, and boxes upon boxes that needed unpacking. When I arrived, she was already 6 days past her due date. Like any overdue pregnant woman, she was irritable. Her irritability mixed with unresolved hurt and our history of rivalry to produce day after day of painful interchanges. During this time, I did my best to tiptoe around her needs and to keep in mind that my purpose in being there was to help her in any way she needed it. But it felt like no matter what I did, it was wrong. At one point, when I told her I would be in my room keeping to myself because I realized she needed space, she suggested I go to the coffee shop down the street! It was so, so hard. I tried to keep my hurt to myself while I spent each day feeling like my every breath was annoying. I hung out at the coffee shop pretending to work, but spending most of my time writing about our relationship and crying as discretely as I could. Eventually, I suggested that it might make sense for me to leave early, and that prompted a conversation that helped clear the air. My sister went into what turned out to be a protracted labor the next day. Her husband and I both worked hard during the labor to support her -- squeezing her hips through every contraction, massaging her back in between them. We only got a few cat naps as she labored through the night and all the next day. We were a team, and my sister repeatedly told me how happy she was that I could be there for the birth. I was delighted that I could be there and that I was finally able to give her what she needed. When Aviva was finally born, it was such an incredibly beautiful moment. I saw her emerge from my sister's body, and I witnessed my sister instantly transform into a mother. There was something so magically biological about it. It was, pure and simply, a gift to behold. The question prompt asks how the experience I described affected me. It asks if I am grateful, relieved, resentful, or inspired. The answer is yes. Ultimately, I am glad I was there, but I walked away from the experience feeling scarred. I question whether I will ever feel like what I get back from the relationship is worth what I put into it. Aviva is now three months old and my sister and I have yet to fully process what happened that week. A part of me wonders if we will ever find the time to do so. I know that one of the defining features of the club of motherhood is sacrifice. Our time and attention for anything but our babies is limited. But motherhood also schools us in patience, and I am willing to wait. I am hoping that the time that passes will erode my hurt and resentment and will leave me remembering the beauty and magic of the moment. I worry, though, that it will only add to the gulf between us, robbing us of the attention our relationship needs.

This year, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. It's serious, and not pretty, although he'll make it. I have learned from it that I am tough as nails for many things, but also deeply self centered, much more than I had previously thought. I want to be the spouse who will give all for my husband without a second thought for myself. While I succeed in the first part, I fail in the second - I have thought about my sacrifices regularly, and that makes me feel selfish.

My Mother died. I have struggled to form some sort of opinion as to where she might be. In heaven. Reconnected with God. In a box in my den. Is she watching me? I've tried to find memories of her before she was sick and I just can't get past the oxygen pump. I can't remember her laugh. I can't remember her with energy. That's the worst part, worse than losing her. Her death brought me closer to my community, but further from my family. I'm not resentful, but I have been struggling to find the light back in my life.

MY WIFE OF 53YEARS WAS BAT MITSVA

I was given a written warning twice at work for being overly familiar with employees. I'm an assistant manager, and I'm still learning how to relate to the staff. It's another object lesson about how lonely it is at the top.

Life is grand. I was addicted to Valium for more than 15 years, but now I don't need it any more. Inow I can see everything differently and the world is full of colours, I am open-minded and I have the chance to make experience. Isn't that wonderful?

I turned 21. While I'm not a huge partier and it wasn't a huge deal for me, it's definitely been the gateway to this coming year, which is my last year of college. I'm starting to feel more mature and responsible, and I'm beginning to think about life after college and where it's going to go.

I've spent the last year working on my thesis for my MFA program. I haven't spent as much time as I'd like on it, and I have many things I can change as I move forward to turn it in. It has really shaped me as a writer and made me very aware of how much time I spend in my own head. Not necessarily a bad thing, but awareness has been key. I'm inspired in this writing and hope that I continue to make it a part of my life.

I MOVED to nyc by myself. scared

I went to Cuba for four months. I fell in love with a country and a culture (and a person). I learned not to take anything that I have for granted. We are lucky to live in a country that permits us to have cell phones, and access to information, and enough food to sustain ourselves. But I have also learned to persevere for what is important. And I learned more about myself than I ever could have imagined I would.

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. It was the most exciting time in the city. The energy was unreal and I felt like everything was alive. As a die-hard Giants fan, it was the coolest, most sacred feeling and I'll never forget it.

Probably the most significant experience that has happened to me in the past year has been my Frosh week, which just happened about 3 and a half weeks ago. Initially I was nervous and a little apprehensive about it because I did not know what to expect out of it, I didn't know anyone there in the university and I generally did not feel like a very social person. Although my confidence had definitely risen in the time prior to it, I always imagined that others would start making friends instantly and get to know everyone and basically have a great experience while I'd be left behind and alone. And then something completely unexpected happened: I turned into one of those people. I can say with full confidence that Frosh week was the best week of my life. I had more fun than I ever have before in a single week and I met more people than I made friends in high school. Not only met, I made friends too, from all over the place. I met girls and guys alike, people on my floor, people from my area of study, people from other residences, people from other colleges, professors and upper year students, staff, dons and my roommate. I admit that I'm not as close with the majority of those people as I am with some of the friends I made in high school, but they're still there to make my university experience that much better. There have been a select few people with whom I've become pretty close, and I enjoy that, but I try not to forget my high school friends either. In any case, that week was the most significant experience I've had not just in the past year but in my whole life. I even met a wonderful girl whom I sincerely find perfect in every way, but who I'm still getting to know. I don't know yet if she likes me back, but I hope with all my heart that she does. That week changed me and my life completely. It made me much more confident in myself, much less insecure, more socially adept and much happier. My life is perfect right now.

I spent a Friday evening at BJ's Kabbalat Shabbat service and was embraced by the spiritual aura of Shabbat, the Kehila. It was a moving experience which pushed me to want more in my own Congregation. Thus far I have failed to shine my light on my own Congregation, to the contrary I resigned from my positin on the Board because of the apathy that I perceive to be holding me and the congregation from holding the spiritual light of Judaism. I will keep working at it.

I experienced love :) I semi-lived with Austin and fell in love with him every morning. I came to Germany for an internship. I had travelled around Europe before, but working and living here changed my perspective of the world, even of my own country. I'm very greatful for this opportunity; I'm still enjoying and making the most out of it. I learnt some German and supported myself financially for the first time. I passed Química Orgánica III - libre.

Two of my dearest friends from grade school each suffered losses in their immediate families. We hadn't all been together for at least 30 years. Although the situations were horrible they allowed our group to reconnect. We discovered that the ties made in childhood are often times the strongest and that no matter how much time had passed, we were as close as ever. The lesson learned from this was to live each and every day to its fullest and to make every effort to enjoy friendships and family as much as possible.

This year, I traveled out of the country for the first time – to Prague and Israel. It was scary to travel so far away, especially since this isn’t something my family does. Ever. I’m grateful for the experience since this is not something I would have done on my own and it has motivated me to learn more about the world and specifically Jewish communities around the world. I feel independent, I am more comfortable traveling, and I feel like I can take on anything! I have a travel bug and am so excited to see what other journeys life will take me on!

I suffered a retinal detachment and had to have emergency surgery less than a week before my son's wedding. Nine months later I'm grateful and relieved that my vision has been restored. I'm now very aware at how life can suddenly be upended and that for all our plans, nothing is certain. I'm also thankful that I have access to excellent medical care without having to choose between it and other necessities, like so many people in the world.

I had my second child. I am extremely grateful and inspired and surprisingly, it has made me even more appreciative of my older child who is 3.

I broke up with a guy that I wasn't in love with. I led him on, partly because I didn't want to hurt him and partly because I thought eventually I would fall in love. I also just couldn't believe someone could love me as much as he did. It felt good to have someone love me so much, but what is that worth if he doesn't love you back? I feel awful about leading him on and I wish I had had the courage to end it at the beginning. Now that it's over I am relieved. Never again will I let things go because I don't know how to deal with them.

Well, in the past year a lot has happened. The most significant? I got divorced after 16 months of marriage and 12 months of pain and suffering (emotional, that is). How did it affect me? Well, it left me realizing that I have so much to work on personally before I can grow in a relationship with someone else, and it also showed me that I am so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be. I'm relieved in one sense and inspired in another sense -- relieved because I'm no longer suffering and alone, and inspired because I feel like the world is my oyster and I can do anything.

My mother became very ill on April 28, 2011 and was in the hospital or rehab until June 1, 2011. During the worst part of her illness she was very ill with a bleeding ulcer, at one point I thought we would loose her. I asked her if she was ready to see her Daddy? she paused for a second and said NO, but she also said she didn't want to feel so bad. I knew she wanted to get better, and it enabled me to be able to tell the doctors to do whatever could be done. She is about to turn 83 on October 14, 2011 and doing well.

This past year, in fact this past week, I checked myself into an ER for mental health issues. It is a turning point for me. I've realized that if I want any chance of happiness, contentedness, success in my relationships and all of that, I must take better care of myself. I don't know why I am this screwed up. Perhaps its not a question worth pondering anymore. It's simply enough to WANT to live, to WANT to climb out of this bad situation. Hope springs eternal.

This past year, I spent 9 months traveling abroad in both India and Africa - where my husband is from. I had many significant experiences, but one I will always remember is the feeling of being sick in India. I felt scared, but also grateful to be able to afford medicine, and grateful that I had the support of my husband. It led me to think about the public health issues the world faces, and what I could do to help. Because of that experience, I decided to run the New York City Marathon this November in support of a charity called Malaria No More, working towards ending malaria. http://www.kintera.org/siteapps/personalpage/ShowPage.aspx?c=9hKII0MJIlI4E&b=6704625&sid=aoJFIMNoF6JCIKNoGmH

I am a member of the Global Information Network and they hold meetings all over the world. I went to a see a seminar by Dr. Leonard Coldwell on June 12, and it changed my life, literally. I was empowered to make decisions that I'd been putting off, or didn't even know I had to make. I was empowered to take action to manifest change in my life in ways I could not have imagined before. I am deeply grateful to Dr. Coldwell and thankful that I joined this fantastic club!

my boyfriend had brain surgery. it was incredibly scary, and made me realize just how much i love him and how much i would miss him if he was gone. it made me realize how precious and short life is, and that i shouldn't waste a moment of it.

I moved away from home to college for the first time in my entire life. I was always a homebody and despite not having many friends, a little independent. I was comfortable with being alone but I was never comfortable with living on my own. My home in my hometown is my safe haven, and leaving that place was the most significant thing I ever had to go through. However, I am extremely grateful and inspired. My current place of living is the perfect place for a homebody like me. I am surrounded by mountains, good spirited people, and the constant need to go out and make something of our lives. Despite my constant desire to be alone, independent and comfortable, I feel that it exists in these mountains. I am comfortable here, I am inspired and despite my need to be alone, I receive that request...but there is always the feeling of comfort here. Although I miss my home and the comfort of it every single day, I have gone beyond my boundaries and have done something that has surprised me and everyone who knows me. I love to thrive in this new element and I am forever grateful of this new change and move.

I started college and it was a completely different environment to what i was used to at school, but it was amazing! I can't wait to go in every day to see all my new class mates and learn some things that will get me to where i want to go and become a nurse! :)

In the past year, I went on a bbyo summer program called impact: boston and it completely changed my life. During this program I worked with adults with mental illnesses and working with them showed me how amazing those people are and that I need to appreciate my life more because these people have been through sooo much and some of them are the happiest people I know and they went to hell and back. I wasn't relieved or resentful but I was extremely inspired and I wish more people would realize that these people are the victims of the crime not the people committing the crime.

Our daughter has had significant medical problems this year, we have had CT scan, MRIs and daily therapy sessions for the past 8 months. I have been deeply affected by this experience, and have felt every emotion from guilt to anger to all out despair, I will say I am NOT happy about about this turn of events, but I'm not angry either. It has given me the ability to spend quality time with my daughter that i may not have slowed down long enough to have otherwise. We are so "busy" living and doing the mundane that sometimes it takes a slap across the face (which this very much was), to teach us that life is lived in the moment NOT at the finish line.

Feeling the waves of unending gratitude flowing through me in Uxmal. This has been a year of deep healing ... of bringing the numbness, pain and underlying stuck grief to the surface so that my body can release it. FINALLY! More than that, this has been a year of discovering the truth of who I am -- that exists because or maybe despite -- that layer of numbness. A year of profound acceptance of my inner strength, resilience, compassion, deep listening, wisdom ... of discovering my essence and my genius. I believe the numbness is melting because it is no longer about what I'm letting go of, but rather what I'm making way for. I've shifted so strongly into the higher vibration of those qualities that I bring forth with ease because they are ME. By cultivating, celebrating, savoring those qualities, I'm experiencing them more and more, which is bringing the rest to the surface in order to make space for even more. YEAH! I've been experiencing a deepening into who I am ... a profound love affair with my essence. What an amazing way to turn 45!

I turned fifty. I underplayed the milestone when it arrived, partially because I felt uncomfortable celebrating myself openly and experiencing anticipatory anxiety. In the future, I think I will be trying to spend less time in pre-event dread and more effort in relaxing and enjoying milestone moments, big and small. I've told friends that while our 20s and 30s seem to be where character is formed, 40s are notable for being able to stand against the tide and not give a damn. Fifties are even better, I think, because we get to take the awareness and go from not giving a damn to not giving a shit -- about what other people do, what other people think. It's very freeing to fly on my own wings -- just wish that my husband had lived long enough to experience the same metamorphosis.

The most significant event of my year was probably Rachel telling me that I was the only person that she remembered from the course we did together. It seems that I was always willing to move the story forward and had a good story to tell. I think she was either lying, or she fancied me. Now if only she told me she had fancied me when I was in London....

I took a new position as rabbi of a wonderful congregation in central New York. I am so grateful to all who helped me in the process and to the congregation who so warmly embraced me and my family and to my family to going on another adventure.

The most significant experience that happened to me and my family this year was the tragic car accident that occurred in late February 2011 that caused the permanent and irreversible brain damage of my dear nephew, Nathan Krasnopoler. Nathan was traveling on a bike within a designated bike lane near Johns Hopkins campus, where he was enrolled as a sophomore computer science student. A car turning into a driveway hit him; he went underneath the car and a collapsed lung kept oxygen from getting to his brain for more than 15 minutes before rescue personnel could free him. Nathan also suffered severe burns to his face and other parts of his body that required multiple plastic surgeries. Nathan passed away on August 10th, after enduring almost 6 full months of surgeries and other interventions that could not bring him back to the brilliant, warm, loving, creative person that he was. Nathan's accident and death have affected me profoundly. I have thought about him practically daily since the accident, and also since his death and funeral. The experience has been mostly sad. Profoundly sad. It has made me realize, yet again, that we as humans are not able to fathom the true workings of the world when something as tragic and seemingly random and devastating as this event can happen. But also I have tried to put things in perspective, given the number of lives devastated by natural disasters (forest fires, hurricanes, earth quakes) and the multiple people and families who have suffered because of acts of war this year and in other years. The event has also been oddly inspiring, since it allowed me to see just how many lives Nathan touched in his short but meaningful life (he would have turned 21 on September 6th, 2011). It also opened up Nathan's full personality to me; I learned a lot about him from his devoted college friends who visited him in the hospital for months on end. They knew a Nathan that I didn't and I, as an aunt, knew a Nathan that they didn't. It was comforting to share stories of Nathan with one another. It made me realize just how unique and special all of our lives are, and just how much influence each individual can make in the world, no matter the length of time he or she has been here.

My girlfriend and I had a pretty scary accident that put both of our lives in danger. At first, it was a huge relief and it was followed by a long period of gratefulness and taking much more value in every day, even in small routine acts and interactions. As time passed, I've found myself less overcome by the experience and seeing less and less of the profound in my day to day life. I worry that by this time next year, I will have lost the benefit of that experience altogether.

I sang "If I Were a Rich Man" in front of the entire camp at the end of First Session and both before and after the camp cheered wildly for me. That made me feel really at home and as though I was cared for and had somehow connected with people, even though I was no longer in the bunks and hadn't taught Yahadut that year.

Where to start? Surgery, surgery, surgery and more surgery to come! I have had to learn that there are things I can not and should not do. I have paid the price of pushing myself too soon and too hard. I have been trusting in my family and friends and finding support there. I am now unemployed and facing financial strain due to massive medical bills resulting from another's bad training. So many feelings around it all - depression, anger, hope, relief, interest in the future, anxiety about the future, calmness.

On February 28th at Midnight, he got down on one knee and proposed. Expected (because I knew he'd purchased the ring) but unexpected because I wasn't sure if either of us was ready. I feel relief that we're together, relief that we found each other, relief that home is safe, solid, loving, and beautiful. I couldn't have asked for more in a partner. He's kind and caring in ways I always dreamed a partner would be. I'm so lucky to have him, and even though we won't be married for another 6 months, I feel completely committed to him. This year has been wild. I started it out of state, came home, moved in with him, changed jobs twice, made so many amazing friends, lost others, did a lot of self discovery and a lot of crying, laughing and celebrating. I know that this next year will be one of the busiest and most exciting years of my life. Here's to my last year as a "Miss".

I've traveled so much this year - New York with my husband, Philadelphia, LA, San Diego, Atlanta & North Carolina, Washington, DC, London and all of the Mediterranean - and seeing the ancient cities of Rome, Greece and Turkey with my children and through their eyes was empowering, thought-provoking, fulfilling and beautiful. So grateful that I was able to experience this with my husband and our kids, and that my parents were able to accompany us for all of it.

We finally went on a 3-generation family vacation with my parents, my husband and I, and my two grown children to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. It has been my mom's dream to do this for many years, but we could never get schedules coordinated before. It was a very special week, especially since my dad was released from the hospital the day before we left! I don't know if we will ever have the opportunity to do anything like it again, since Mom and Dad are in their 70s and our daughter works out of the country.

I started Office-Envy.com a website that celebrates unique office design and decor by profiling inspiring office spaces and inspiring business people in their work environments. The project excites me more and more everyday!

K- changing jobs- makes me feel inspired, Alive and capable. Finishing my thesis. And all of the above(grateful, relived, resentful and inspired)- I have a few gray hairs and wrinkles to prove it! I- finishing my MBA! Now call me Master! Also my cupcake and wine event at work. Showed me I can plan a successful event - especially mainly using social media. It inspired me to have a little more faith in myself and abilities when I saw so many people show up! K and I- our neighbors wedding- securing a great friendship. We went to 5 weddings this year! Opa dumping his gf of 27 years and finding a new love at the young age of 89/90! Inspiring!!!

At the beginning of my senior year, not even a month in, I found out that one of the girls in my grade had committed suicide. I didn't know how to react. As our principal was telling us the news, I felt almost like I wasn't completely processing what he was saying. I was numb. I was confused. I was shocked beyond belief. What really blew me away was that (as horrible as this sounds), there were other people in my grade whom, if they had done what that girl had done, I would have been less surprised. Of all the people in my grade who could have potentially taken their own lives, this girl was at the very bottom of my list. I didn't know this girl very well, but I knew her well enough that I (along with the rest of my grade) saw her as a happy, bubbly, upbeat person who could you could always count on to make you smile. That someone who seemed as optimistic as she was could do something so drastically and horrifyingly unalterable to herself shook me to my core. I still haven't gotten over her death. Even though I wasn't exactly friends with her, there are times every now and then when I stand stock still and think to myself, "Holy crap, she's gone. She's dead." One thing I suppose I've taken away from all this is that you can never truly know everything about someone. Sometimes, the people who seem the happiest might have the most problems going on inside.

I left California for four months to spend time with family and friends back where I grew up, then returned with new perspective. I realized that California is really my home now, and that I need my relationship with my partner to be healthy and strong. I realized I'm not ready to get out of the job economy--which is scary, as the job economy seems to be collapsing really fast. I had to scramble to get back to some sort of stability, to find a home and enough part-time work to pay bills. This year has also been my first experience with food stamps, and it has really affected my perception of social benefits. I have definitely needed that help, but I have managed to continue to eat in a way that feels healthy and ethical--though not without the help of friends who work at farmers markets! I feel that I know myself better than ever, and I am able to go forward with clearer sight and a better idea of what I want and need in life.

I was given the opportunity to travel to Israel for 10 days. It moved me in so many ways. My love for Israel has always been strong, but being able to visit for this 2nd time was amazing. It inspired me to try to live my life as a better person, better Jew, better parent, better spouse, better employer. The time I was able to spend at the Kotel was soul-nourishing. The free time I was able to spend with my friends Oshrat, Marvin and Amir made this trip especially special.

Teacher Trek to Israel! I'm turned 30. Grandma visit. I believe it was a good year. Teen school was to a great start. Financially I'm not doing good at all, but emotionally and physicality I am. Found out that I no longer have mass in my liver - I guess prayers truly work. All in all I'm super grateful :)

I was laid off for the second time in a year last September. I absolutely hated the job and was in a very bad place mentally but the thought of having no means to support myself - despite having a spouse who was working - took its toll on me mentally. My husband stepped up when I thought he'd freak out (he likes control) and kept me centered and sane. My self worth was plummeting and he made me realize that I can get through anything as long as I keep pushing. It was a turning point in our relationship and a blessing in disguise professionally. I ended up getting a new job shortly thereafter which I love.

Unfortunately my most significant experience this year has not been a good one. Early this year, in January, I realized something was wrong. I went to see a psychologist and was diagnosed with Adult ADHD, Social Anxiety Disorder and Clinical Depression. I've known about and dealt with the ADHD and Social Anxiety Disorder since childhood, but I thought it was something I had left there. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. I was suicidal, and needed to be put on medication. I also am working through these hard times with therapy. I feel like i'm really embracing the issues i've had to silently deal with for so long, and that's something I can at least be proud of. I have a long journey ahead of me, but at least i've started on the path. Also, I got engaged! :D

My father had a minor stroke and was in and out of the hospital several times. This experience helped me focus on my relationship with my own boys and how I can be a better father. It helped me be more patient with my mother who needs me more than ever. I realize more now that life is short and that you need to live in the present while preparing for the future, both physically, mentally and in your experiences with your family.

The death of my grandmother was certainly an experience that impacted me greatly. It was a really sad time for my family and was especially hard on my father who was close to her. I feel an added sense of inspiration every time something happens that reminds me of her. I know she is looking down, proud of what I am doing and how I am living my life.

This summer we lost two young men. Both in their early twenties, their lives just starting in earnest. The darkness of the hole they left is almost intolerable. Each day we wake up is one they will never have the chance to experience. We owe it to them to make the most of it.

My brother went off to his first year of college this school year. I didn't know what to expect or how I would feel, but I do miss him a ton. We don't talk as often as I wish we did because it's hard for me not having him around and seeing him every day. I am grateful that he's happy and succeeding but at the same time I feel like a part of me is missing and I'm just waiting for him to come home.

With my wife on sabbatical and living away from home, and all my kids grown and in the world/college, etc, I spent a good part of my year alone in a big house. I loved the solitude and I hated the loneliness. I relished the silence in the morning and I hated coming home to a dark house. All of which is to say that the paradox of alone/engaged is a dramatic tight rope walk. I am more grateful for my wife's presence, and actually after 31 yrs of marriage wanting to further acknowledge my love for her. And frankly I am more desirous of maintaining a part of my dominion, my palace of loud jazz at 1am if I want, of leaving dirty socks where they fall, etc. It'd make a good reality show. I'm watching.

My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. It was heartbreaking to know what awaits her, but a blessing to know that we have to make the very best of every moment she still knows who we are.

In February of this past year I broke up of my longterm boyfriend of 2.5 years. It was the first time that I had a serious long term relationship like that, but for some reason it was one of those that you stayed in because of comfort, because of stability. After realizing that I could have settled for less than I desired I broke it off right after my birthday. I could have continued on forever doing what we were doing, but it wasn't my dreams, it wasn't in my heart. Since then I've felt so relieved. Relieved and free in a way. Not like he wasn't great to me, he was fantastic, hands down wonderful, but not in that deep way that you desire in life. I've met so many new people, experienced and traveled so much, and feel like I'm starting to develop into someone that I would want to be with, to be lucky to be with. Hopefully I will find my other half one day

I was evicted from my home due to being out of a job for so long, attempted going to school at Colorado Springs, CO, and became homeless in the process. It remains to be seen as to whether I can make school which starts Oct. 2nd, 2011.

Hell of a YEAR.. bpd.. sobriety.. still trying to figure out what's up w my immune system.. cvid? russia.. family.. same.. worse? better? everything is relative.. but distance helps.. it really came to that.. don't know.. working at joey's.. ehh... will c what comes next.. grateful for shawn, grateful to be alive, to have clear head.. to hopefully start rebuilding.. my life .. myself.. solidly.. no rush.. hopeful.. tentatively hopeful

For the first time in my adult life, work has been a mess. I am being laid off this week after more than a decade at my job. I am hurt, angry and resentful for sure, but I also am excited about what's next. I really wish I got to close the door myself before opening a new one, but in the end, I know this will be the catalyst to new and exciting things. I'd say taht righ tnow I'm more motivated than inspired, but I hope that once I have time to focus on the next chapter, it will move in that direction.

My internship at Penguin Books was definitely the most significant experience of my year so far. It confirmed that my decision to change careers and go into publishing was the right one, and I was so relieved, because I was so afraid that I'd hyped up the idea so much in my mind that by the time I actually got there, I'd be hugely disappointed. I'll never forget leaving the building after my first day with a full heart. I can't wait to get a full time position!

I went back to Israel. It made me feel connected to the land and inspired to do my work.

Dealing with my car accident over the last year has been quite exhausting. To say that it has made me grateful is an understatement. I'm so appreciative of the lessons it's taught me, and the people I have met through the process. When I am weak, I truly am strong and I'm so grateful for the lessons I've learned

I converted to Judaism. I am -- relieved that the process is over; -- a little overwhelmed that I'm now Jewish - I was so focused on the process that I didn't think how I'd feel when it was done, and I think it's going to take some time to integrate it. Yup, I really belong to these people - how weird!; and -- still a little amazed and giddy when I think about it. And proud. And smily. This time next year I want to re-read the "Why I want to be Jewish" statement I wrote for the beit din, and reflect on it, and see how things have changed for me and for my family (thanks, 10Q, for reminding me).

I had 2 miscarriages, one more traumatic than the other and I felt deeply wounded. It felt like my whole world tipped upside down and I was being punished for past actions. I realized in those moments how grateful I am to have a healthy, beautiful son and an amazingly supportive husband in my life...and that I really do enjoying a mom.

Last year, my significant other, confidant, lover, best friend for the past 18 years, Chanter in the church, confessed that he was gay. I am still not over the shock. The shock, not of learning of his coming out, but of my not having had a clue! I have known many men in my life and I thought I was extremely 'wise' to the ways of the world and the sexuality of men. Was I ever wrong! I can understand how this man struggled with accepting his natural born sexuality and I can understand why he could not tell me. I could not and cannot, however, understand why he didn't trust me or respect me enough to have given me a 'clear' option to go on with my life much sooner than he did. As it is, I feel like I have been robbed of many healthy and normal years and have lost the opportunity to have a suitable life partner. I am now 63 years old and my options for finding this partner have dwindled because of his weaknesses and inability to face the truth. I feel grateful that I have not contacted any diseases, relieved that I am away from this person, his lies and his depression, a bit resentful, but working on eliminating this feeling as resentment only affects my life, not his, and also inspired to share this story with others who may have had or will have similar experiences. Sometimes, bad relationships really aren't our fault, just 'bad luck of the draw' from the onset. How we play those cards and whether we win or loose, is not bad luck, but sheer skill and skill taken with total courage and conviction.

I moved in with my boyfriend. It has been a wonderful experience but stressfull at times as we learn to get along together and he learns what living with my teenagers is like!!

My son was bar mitzvahed. It was a beautiful service. He was a marvel of poise and he did a magnificent job. His speech was personal and meaningful and I was deeply proud of him.

In early May, my husband and I found out that were were pregnant with our first child. There are days when I feel overwhelmed with the awesome responsibility of growing a child; there are days where I feel filled with dread that I won't be able to measure up to the standards I have set for myself in being a good mother. But most of all, and likely most important at the end of the day, I want our future daughter to fall asleep each and every night, knowing that she is loved unconditionally. While I would never want her to go for wanting of anything material, I want her to be absolutely certain that our love, affection and adoration are limitless and unending.

Well, just over a year ago I got married. It has changed my life dramatically. I love it. I love the calm and joy of our relationship. I love how our wedding brought together so many people we love to a place we loved to celebrate. I'd love to reconnect in that way a lot with people. Every day. How could every day, or even every act, be a significant way to share this world? I felt loved. Connected. Happy. Grateful. Abundant.

Unfortunately, it was another death that affected me this, like last year. In October of 2010, my uncle, Paul Clark, my mum's older brother died very suddenly of a brain aneurysm. It was not long after my friend Beth had passed away and it hit me extremely hard. I wasn't as close to my uncle as I would have liked to be and although I know the last year of his life was one of the best, I wish that he had had more time here and that I had known him better. He wasn't very old, in his late 40s and it was unfair. He didn't deserve to die at all, he had so much more time he could have spent here. His death really hit me very hard, but I haven't spoken to anyone about it really, since he died. I've found it very difficult. Since his death I've actually become a happier person, ironically, because he left a poem given to each person who attended his funeral. The first lines are 'It's hard to laugh when things go wrong, it's easy to lose heart, but if you can keep smiling it's certainly a start.' I really took these words to heart and try to look at each day much more positively now than I ever have done in the past. A few months ago my two other uncles did a bike ride from Lands End to John O'Groats to raise money for Headway, the brain charity. They raised so much money, in memory of my Uncle Paul. They really inspired me and I'm so proud of them both.

I was confronted by the fact that my only child, my son, had purchased a handgun, taken the required safety course and the optional concealed weapon course. In addition, he had bought a 6month supply of freeze-dried emergency food, purchased gold & silver and seems to become convinced that he will need these things to survive and protect himself from coming desintegration of our society. I was frightened and more saddened by his actions and beliefs than I can ever express. The fact that my son was so full of fear and pessimism hurt my very soul. I made a "date" to have lunch with him and spoke to him of all the anguish of my young adulthood during the Vietnam War, the killing of the 4 college students at Kent State, the failure of the ERA amendment, the anguish of the civil rights battle and the open maniacal behavior of Richard Nixon of Watergate and tried to tell him that the choice I made was NOT to arm myself but to open my heart to the changes I wanted made in my country and my efforts to precipitate those changes instead of giving into fear I told him that the thought that he was filled with fear and possible anger and thought he had the capacity to take someone's life who might riot for food or change was sad to me. I let myself cry in front of him. I am no relieved, certainly not inspired and certainly not resentful either. I noe just try to love my son even more. To offer a different, calm and loving voice in the screaming political atmospher filled with anger, fear, hatred. I pray this High Holiday season that peace and clarity will come to his soul and that by next Rosh Hasahana I will have my gentle, loving son back.

My boyfriend and I broke up after being together for 7 years. We lived together for 5 of the years. It affected me because I thought I had found the person I was going to marry. We broke up because out of nowhere he tells me he doesn't believe in marriage. After everything settled I feel grateful because we didn't belong together but at times I am resentful too because I feel strung along and although I try not and let it affect any future relationships I can't lie, I keep my guard up even more.

I moved out of my parents house for the first time and into NYC. The transition was a bit difficult financially, but socially it was exhilarating. I had the opportunity to really create my life. I had a really bad roommate for about 8 months and that made it really difficult to be home. I now have a new roommate who is wonderful! She even made me pumpkin bread last night :)I'm so grateful that my parents taught me to budget my time and money accordingly so I could be financially independent.

I moved out of my mother's house. I'd lived there for the three years since I graduated college. I thought that I would be thrilled to have my own place with my boyfriend, and I am, but I was also somewhat homesick at first. I was surprised to find that I miss my mother... just don't tell her that.

I finished graduate school in December. My intended purpose was to find a position as a classroom teacher. However, in the final stages of my program -- I discovered that I may be going in a different direction. Research and writing and community arts advocacy seem to be taking front and center. Perhaps if there had not been a recession -- I would not have discovered this. I'm being forced to explore my 'native talents' and bridge this with my recent training.

I joined a fraternity and I got a job. Both of those have made me such a better more outgoing person. It's crazy to think how shy I used to be, I had my group of friends and that was it. But now I'll talk to complete strangers and I've become more stronger with who I am and I stand up for myself. I am grateful for this past year and my changes. Relieved, maybe a little and maybe a little not. I thought I had myself figured out and now I don't. Not resentful, other then it took a lot of time so I missed out on a lot. Inspired to do better with my life and continue to be different for the better.

Kind of weird but I have to say it was seeing two of closest friends get married, one newer pal and one lifelong. It made me never want to be the other woman, made me feel like part of their family. I'm grateful to be included in those important moments in their lives and to be truly happy for them and optimistic that they picked really good people. Now that the weddings have past, I'm relieved that everything went well, and that the receptions were fun and any anxiety I had about seeing old friends from the past was ridiculous, people are just people. Not resentful, maybe a little envious because they have something that I don't yet. But also inspired that it could happen for me someday...hopefully in the not too distant future.

I lost a very dear friend. It was not expected so I was really in shock. I am saddened by the loss but I realized how much that person touched the lives of so many and he inspired me to be a better person.

This has been a year of significant experiences, many of them "blows" of one sort or another. This time last year I was "downsized;" my position as Associate Pastor was eliminated leading to a prolonged, unintentional sabbatical. My wife broke her ankle two days before Christmas and had to have surgery to repair it, causing us to miss Christmas with my dad. Not long after that, I had a bad bout of Menniere's Disease which resulted in significant hearing loss, necessitating the use of hearing aids. I was found to be allergic to dairy, yeast and eggs, necessitating some serious changes in diet. I lost 40 pounds I shouldn't have been carrying around anyway. My father-in-law, a man I admired greatly and loved deeply, died suddenly and unexpectedly a week after Easter. A few weeks later my own father, who had seemed to be pretty healthy except for a nagging pain in his side, was diagnosed with advanced Pancreatic Cancer. He died only a few weeks after that. In August, our daughter gave birth to twins! My spouse was hired as a full-time lecturer on the faculty of Cal State, Fullerton. As I write this, we are preparing to move so I can begin my new call as pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, a congregation in the town where I grew up. One doesn't have a year like that without experiencing some profound internal changes. Oddly, the overall effect has been, for me, tranquilizing. One might think that it's merely reflexive numbness, but that's not it at all. I still feel the sharp edges of things gone wrong. I still feel the "high" of the joyful moments, too. But the feelings are somewhat tempered now, balanced by a new kind of perspective. The rational "analyst/observer" part of my mind is stronger and my emotions don't carry all the momentum of the moment. I find myself smiling a lot and and saying, "Well, that's just life." Meri calls it "the Valium of experience." I am more grateful for what is. I still see things that I want to change, things that need to change, but I realize that lasting, positive progress in human nature and human institutions can take generations to accomplish. I still have my part to play in making the world a better place, but I realize I'm just one instrument in the symphony. I am relieved to be traveling more lightly. I am more patient with those who are reading the world by a different light. I am more curious about what they are seeing and why. I feel much freer. At the same time I find that I cherish my family ties, bonds and relationships in a deeper, quieter, stronger way. Jesus said, "I came that you might have life to the fullest." He didn't say that we would like all of it. We can, however, find meaning in all of it. We can learn from it. We can let it inspire us. In the last rites of Bokononism, the fictional religion created by Kurt Vonnegut in Cat's Cradle one of the things the dying person says is, "Lucky me. Lucky mud. Think of all the mud that didn't get to sit up and look around." I say that to myself a lot these days. Life is brief. Savor every drop of it. Even the bitterest bites. Mix the agave syrup with the cocoa.

I was elected a regional board member in BBYO. It has become one of the most important things in my life and I am so grateful to have been elected. I will devote most of my time and effort to be the best that I can possibly be. I want to take my region to new heights, and this is where it all starts. I want to be that girl that inspires those around me.

The birth of my second daughter was amazing. After having a miscarriage last year, I was so happy to have a healthy, uneventful pregnancy that has led me to her. I feel grateful every day!

I quit my fancy career job, went from working full time, 70 hours a week, to working for myself from home- in the fledgling stages of starting my own business. I'm relieved, terrified, grateful, and tenuously happy right now... but it could all fall apart in a moment!

I was laid off and found a new job. The tech industry can be very chaotic, but I won’t complain. There are people who are paid a lot less to do much more grueling work. I’m fortunate that I live in an era where computers exist and I am paid to work on them.

I had a child. From being my parents' daughter, I became my son's mother. I am infinitely grateful, and definitely inspired. Somewhat relieved to, because I always thought I would be a good mom, but there is only one way to really find out, and it's not like you can backtrack if you're no good at it. I hope to have at least two more kids, but I am getting older, so it is a bit scary. I don't think I could handle a handicapped child. I know this may sound horrible, but I panick at the idea of serious illness or disability. Still I love being a mother. I have rediscovered treasures of love, patience and even a bit of wisdom I knew I had inside me, a better me :)

I learned that it's not my guilt that I suffer from depression. But that I a m the only person who can do something about it. Since then I wasn't depressed anymore.

I finished my conversion to Judaism. It was a long time coming. I had been living a Jewish life for several years and have felt intensely connected to Jews since I was small. But as I became more observant and knowledgeable in college, I was repeatedly confronted with feeling like I was on the outside looking in. I couldn't engage with my community as an adult by counting in a minyan, saying kaddish for my father, being able to take aliyot, saying berachot and so on. Not being able to take an aliyah after a Shavuot tikkun two years ago made me realize that I would need to finalize my conversion in order to be happy. Finding out that a rabbi with whom I had developed a good rapport was moving gave me a deadline. It was a brilliant blur, but I will be forever grateful to him and the other two rabbanot on my beit din for changing my life. They converted a family on the same day right after me. I am grateful for the bond I feel with them. It wasn't all I had hoped for, but I will remember the day forever. I felt mildly shocked and giddy. The months since then have been filled will subtle reminders that everything's different and nothing's changed. Only slightly rearranged.

I was able to marry the one man in my life that has always meant the world to me. He is my dream come true and was made for me and I for him. We have a life together that many try to imitate, which is so special to us. We have the family that binds into one

I moved out of my parents home and away for school. I've never been the type who likes to fit in so this was just another way for me to show that i'm different. through this i've become friends with people i never would have and was able to truly get the college experience and live care free. I also believed I gained a new sense of independence and was able to uncover a little more about myself.

My daughter was born. I don't have a relationship with my mother, and I'm shocked and amazed by how having a daughter has taken a whole lot of pain and disappeared it. I'm so in love with her-- its different to have a daughter than a son (don't get me wrong, I love him too). And amazing to see how a family changes and grows with a new member. Incredible.

I have discovered yoga, and it has helped me so much discover my own body and my own strengths and weaknesses. It has also taught me that change is possible, very slowly, and with a lot of hard work.

I moved and the first month was a little truamatic but it soon got sorted out and i was relieved and very happy

After 10.5 months of unemployment, my husband was rehired by the company that let him go, only we had to move to a small town which our son hates and our daughter won't come to visit. I was ecstatic over the thought of my husband regaining his confidence, and I was relieved that we might not be made homeless. I was sad to leave our home of many years. I was happy over the thought of small town life once again. I was quite stressed too, as a result of calling 3 places home at the same time that I was taking 2 college classes.

In May, I spent a week in Muchucuxcah, Mexico with the American Jewish World Service on a Service/Learning trip. I had never before had an experience like it. It was a small group of about 8 participants and leaders. I knew no one on the trip, but the bonds we formed as a group were unique and I appreciate the importance of bringing together strangers to share in an incredible mitzvah. During and immediately following the trip, I was so inspired and excited to make use of the knowledge I gleaned from the trip. Since then, the passion and inspiration that grew in me in that tiny Mayan village has dwindled. This year, I hope to reignite that flame in me and seek to do good in my community and in the world, even if it means starting small and working up to even greater challenges than this trip.

There were two experiences that happened to me this year. Two large and life changing events that occured. One was me being hospitalized for respiratory failure at the beginning of the year. The second is my dad dying of lung cancer at the end of June. Both of these effected me greatly. My hospitalization, while a huge shock and scare to me and my family helped to figure out exactly why I had been feeling so horrible for so long. I can't even think of when I started feeling really badly. But I finally started learning why I was waking up with headaches and nodding off for no reason while sitting on the couch. It's an experience that rocked my world. I now have to sleep with a bipap machine and I get tired way more easily than I ever have before. On the other hand because I found out what was wrong I have been able to take steps to rehabilitate and now I feel a little more myself mentality than I have in a very very long time. The other experience, losing my father, was traumatic and has left me sad and in a state much like I was after ending my relationship with Maria in some ways. My father was diagnosed and gone within a month. I was there with him every single day for at least 12 hours a day. My bipap needs at night prevented me from staying in the hospital with him at night. I'm now also dealing with being the administrator of his estate and dealing with losing him. I have good days and bad days. It's a hard hard thing to deal with. Probably one of the heaviest things I've had to deal with. I have a great fear of death, like I'm sure a lot of people do. But to have to face that process head on with my father and to not be as scared as I thought I would be showed me that I can handle a lot of things in life. Having just dealt with respiratory problems I felt like I had some idea of what my dad was experiencing early on in the first few weeks after his diagnosis. The feeling of not being able to breathe is a scary one. I can only imagine a fraction of what must have been going through his mind. Both experiences have left me somewhat dazed. I feel like both experiences were like a one-two punch, if you will. As I was recovering from my hospitalization my dad's diagnosis comes along and knocks me down again. It's going to be a little while until I'm sorted again at all. I'm grateful to know what's going on with my physically. I've become quite aware of how I feel and I monitor that a lot now. I feel like if the same thing were to happen to me again I would be able to recognize it and would be able to seek attention before it got to the point it did again. There is a definite sense of relief that I am feeling myself again. For too long I felt like a zombie. So there is some relief that I can think straight and I'm not passing out or feeling as tired as I used to. As weird as it sounds I am both somewhat grateful and relieved in regards to my father's passing. I'm grateful because I knew a man as great as him. He taught me a lot about being respectful and respecting others. He taught me a lot about being honest and trustworthy. You couldn't ask for more. After seeing the pain and trouble my dad went through right before he passed there is a sense of relief that he isn't in pain anymore. It was a difficult time. I was under a lot of stress. I didn't know when he would go, it was only a matter of time. I felt a great relief when I knew that the suffering on his part was over. I know I've got a lot of things to sort out. But what both of these experiences have taught are that life is fleeting and dwelling on the past or getting caught up in resentful hateful or negative thoughts can consume you. It's shown me that life needs to be lived and experienced. I may not be living life to the fullest right now. But I'm doing my best to start feeling like myself again and will eventually get to where I need to be in life.

I began singing, first in a gospel choir and now in a soul ensemble. It is the best thing ever. At times, it's actually ecstatic....singing grooving music w/ a bunch of voices and instruments, the vibrations of it all. It's often the best I feel all week.

This summer, I got in a very minor car accident while going to study for a physics test. My mom came to help me deal with the insurance aftermath. However, after the insurance was handled, I asked my mom to leave the coffee shop so I could finish an assignment with an approaching due date. My mom could not leave me alone. She had the best intentions but continued to pace back and forth between my table and the door asking me "Is there anything I can do to help?". I persistently told her "If you want to help, you can leave". An onlooking bystander watched this whole experience. When my mom finally gave up and decided to leave I went to the bathroom so I could clear my mind and focus on finishing up my assignment. However the bystander decided to give me some advice. The stranger told me I should really try to be more respectful to my mother. "God forbid she got in a car accident or you found out she had cancer and that is how you treated her ". I was shocked, offended and upset. My mother and I have a very personal, complicated relationship. I cried, had an extreme emotional reaction and could not study for my upcoming test. I failed the test, and dropped out of the course as a result. What did I learn? I have no desire to be pre-med because I am such an emotional being that I am too easily persuaded and distracted by the daily events of life to dedicate all of my energy towards a professional medical education. Also, I no longer judge individuals by dissociated events. Just because you witness a specific event, you do not know what fueled the actions or reactions of any individual. I need to mind my own business or else I cant be shocked if strangers prod into my own life.

My daughter Maya was born on 5/1/2010. This has been and continues to be a significant experience. I am deeply affected and have learned a new type of love, that I did not know existed. My life is now centered around being a good mom, and taking care of her. I love seeing her grow and smile!

My middle daughter became bat mitzvah. My oldest is old enough to learn to drive. It makes me wonder about the next stage of my life, with all teens.

My Sweet Mama transitioned into her Heaven. I was priviledged enough to be there to witness God taking her breath in this life and giving her the first breath into Heaven with God. I am grateful. Sad. Alone some days. Missing her. Knowing that she will call soon. So strange. I am motherless, yet, I am not. She will never leave me. I am her.

I moved away from my home, my family - everything I've known for the past 22 years. I moved to a different country (granted, I was still on the same continent). It was a difficult transition as I knew very few people and was not allowed to work, something I've done for years now and depending on someone else was not easy for me. It felt like forever before I was officially allowed to work, and even longer before I actually found a job. Things were tight for a while and extremely stressful. In many ways I wish I could turn back time and plan ahead, save more money, be prepared for such a big transition. In other ways it was a good experience, we learned to get by with what we had, that we never want to be in that situation again and in a way it brought us closer together. Seventeen years ago, my family made an even bigger move. My parents sold their house, packed up their belongings, said goodbye to family and lifelong friends and moved across the globe to a place they had never even seen before - all in the hopes that their children would have brighter futures. When I'm having a bad day, struggling with being "so far away" from everything I know, I think of my parents seventeen years ago and what they gave up and why they did it. This transition of mine makes me realize, although I'll never quite know, what they went through and how much of a struggle it must've been. So I am grateful for this experience, without it I'd still only have a very vague idea of what my parents went through, I appreciate everything they've done for me so much more. And of course, I am with my very best friend.

A girlfriend of mine gets along with a guy who I am pretty interested in. And this is not the first time she did it to me. I find myself stupid having known her such a person and still played with her. So a person already hurt you once you shouldn't ever let it happen again.

This past year I decided to start saying no to everyone else and start saying yes to me. I made time for myself, and tried not to feel guilty about having to say no to other people. This enabled me to start working out and a find love of yoga - and my body. I even ran a 5 mile road race. I lost 40+ lbs, changed jobs, got a drastic haircut. It was a miraculous year, and it all started with learning how to say NO. I'd say I'm relieved, grateful and inspired by what I found out I was capable of.

Probably the most significant experience was my breakup with Josh in early June. A breakup is always hard, and I remember crying one night when things were falling apart wishing I could dance with him just one more time. But after it was done and I watched how he reacted (burning every bridge and demanding back my birthday ring.... only to email me crying asking to court me for marriage three months later....) I know I made the correct choice. I feel relieved, free, excited, independent; Im not walking on eggshells or waiting by the phone every night for when he felt like talking about his day.

I discovered what I really want to do with my life. I have worked in restaurants, retail, insurance sales, HR, just to name a few career paths. In the last few years, I have been changing jobs every year for the past few years. After a significant amount of soul searching, I have decided that my ultimate goal is to become an elementary school teacher. I have also decided that now is not a good time to become a teacher in CA so I accepted an opportunity in the restaurant industry that will allow me to spend a majority of time training and developing my team.

I started quilting again. I was afraid I was too old (73 tomorrow) and not strong enough to handle pulling the heavy quilt through the sewing machine. I decided I would try, after 10 years of not quilting at all, and I was delighted to find I could not only do it, but that I was much better at it than I had remembered. I discovered that I could skip all the tracing of patterns onto the fabric and just put the quilt under the needed and draw free-stitched pictures on it instead. I made big swirly sunflowers on some of the blocks to echo one of the prints and more geometric curved lines on the others. The curves complimented the flowers perfectly and I think it may be the best ts quilt I ever made. Not only that, it's great to sleep under. It was exciting, encouraging and just plain fun. I got my creative groove back! Turns out I'm not as old as I thought I was. Yes!!!

I let my self harm get out of control. I covered myself in scars, almost killed myself and got to te darkest point in my life. This time next year, I WILL be better and to future me reading this: don't you DARE pick up that blade again. No blade, pins or scissors. No more scars, ya hear? You can do this.

I reconnected with a friend with whom I'd had a falling out two years ago. It is wonderful to be friends again, and also sometimes scary to trust in that friendship. We are taking it slowly in the hopes of cultivating a lifelong connection. I'm grateful for the opportunity to try again. Life offers so few second chances.

Don't remember when I started my novel but it has really been at the forefront of my life. Challenging, addictive and rewarding. Attended many writing classes, learned lots, kept inspired and heartened by feedback. 47, 000 words to date.

My mother died. I'm shocked by how much I miss her. She was a pain in the neck but she was my mother and a constant force in my life. Here is the poem I wrote... Her Last Words "What are you doing with..." the car? the house? the silver? the anger? the grief.

We moved...my life feels calmer. I walk more. I am more in touch with nature through bird sounds and trees. In this move to a nicer neighborhood, I experienced a level of generosity from another person(s) that I have never experienced before. It has made me examine generosity in myself and in others. I feel grateful in a way that feels overwhelming. I want to say yes more often. I turned 50 and it feels great.

I started the process of coming out. I told a handful of my friends, and so far I haven't lost any of them. I think it's true when they say the first step is the hardest... It took years of battling with myself to tell the first person, but when I finally did it it was such a relief. Bottling up such a big secret for all that time was harder than hard, with all the self hatred and anxiety I was dealing with. Now I just need to tell everyone else!

I got married! It was the most stressful but happy time in my life ever! I am so grateful to have Andrew as my husband, he really does make me so happy. I'm relieved the wedding is over and behind us though. We had a great time, we keep hearing best wedding ever! But there was many stressful late night s before the wedding. I didn't eat for the week leading up to it!

We finally sold the family cottage. We built the place with our own hands 47 years ago. It was bitter-sweet letting it go but so many of our friends had left the lake or had died that the whole fabric of community had changed. This coupled with the fact that it was falling into disrepair and we were always doing maintenance which meant we did not enjoy the beauty of the location or the time away from the city in the same way as we once had. It was time to realize that the place we had loved as children and young adults no longer existed except in our memories.

Got caught having an affair. Well, not so much "got caught." Got told on by the psychotic bitch when I tried to end it. I was scared to death that I would lose my wife, kids, and house. But I was secretly relieved, too. No more lying. We went to a marriage counselor for six months or so, and the last six months have been the best of our marriage.

My parents moved from Fremont to Valley Springs, leaving our ancestral home and being forced to deal with forty years of cruft and crap. I was involved witht he move, and it brought up conflicting emotions of relief and elation that the stuff was being dealt with, but frustration with my parents dragging their feet, and making half-solutions, and I never got to see the house completely empty. I had to bail on the process, but I'm so happy its done now.

I visited my son in Israel. It rocked my whole life. I see my religion in a whole different way now and I can't believe that I already had what I was looking for all my life. I am grateful and inspired.

I saw my ex girlfriend at my 30th HS reunion. We were together for 3 years after reuniting at the 25th reunion. She would not even say hello to me. It was quite embarrassing as it was plainly obvious to all there that I was not the one sending out bad vibes. There are still feelings there I am sure - on both our parts. Just have differences that cannot be reconciled at this time. I was hurt for some time. In the end though (6 mos later) I realized that I no longer *wanted* her as much as I did before. I was the bigger person - I had to be. It also made me realize what it was that I DO want. Someone less selfish, self-centered, and loving.

While there have been plenty of positive events that have helped make this past year one I am extremely grateful for, one of the most impactful events isn't particularly uplifting. As both a new college student and resident of DC last year, I was elated at the openness of LGBT life in DC - especially since I've been out since my freshman year of high school with no real community to embrace. Despite my pledge to *never* partake in unsafe sexual interactions, I met a man online and ended up hooking up with him at his apartment nearby. Midway through the encounter, he told me that he had just found out he was HIV+, a fact he had neglected to reveal beforehand. The naiveté I had exercised with not just with this encounter, but in many past encounters, was perhaps the biggest reality check of my life. It put a lot in perspective, and has helped me approach future situations in a much smarter manner. I'm incredibly relieved that nothing serious to my health came of that encounter, and incredibly grateful that I had this significant learning experience this early in life.

I came out to my family this past Easter weekend. It was intense, and it happened to be the same time as my baptism into the Episcopal Church. It transformed my relationship with my family for the better. We're still growing, but it allowed me to be much freer in my conversations. I am so grateful to have a family that, regardless of religious or political affiliation, truly values family. I can't even describe the joy I felt, I remember reading my father's response, it was almost too much to handle: "We got your letter, and we were going to respond last night, but it was too late. We just want you to know: you don't need to worry, we love you and are so proud of you." I also was amazed by the support I got from my discernment committee for ordination, especially Sally, who pushed me to be brave and live with integrity. I couldn't have done it without them. I wouldn't have changed a thing. I think the extent to which this changed my life will only be fully revealed with time.

exit meeting with people at work...i was rude and didn't realize that i may have still had a chance for a full-time hire. i will always treat people with respect no matter how terrible they have treated me. i will also make some necessary changes that they had advised so i can move up in the future, i just needed to realize that instead of thinking i am perfect

My friend died. We weren't best friends but she was in a couple of my classes and we would talk. She was struck by a car at night. It makes me realize how lucky I really am, and how much one person can impact the lives of hundreds, thousands, even millions of people.

My third and last child moved out of the house. On one hand, I now have a sewing room, and I know that the chocolate milk I had in the fridge will still be there when I reach for it. On the other hand, I hate the emptiness and its just no fun cooking for only me. So much stuff I miss, but I keep reminding myself that there are all kinds of new experiences yet to come.

I had a basal cell carcinoma removed from my right lower cheek, just above the jawline. It appeared to be a very small blemish, however, it took a lot to get it all and it took 21 stitches to sew it up. I was very happy to have it removed, but a bit freaked out at the number of stitches. It is not too noticeable, because it runs parallel to my jaw. My experience of having a scar on my face was disconcerting to say the least. I mourned over having my face changed, while at the same time realized that it is no big deal and could have been far worse. I was able to come up with a few good jokes, give my face some extra love, and know that stuff happens. Such is life.

I've walked in the desert of Israel. It has changed everything in my life. I have been spiritually changed for the better and can't wait to go back.

I went on a date. It was significant because I hadn't put myself out there since two failures last year. I'm grateful because, even though things didn't go anywhere with that person, it got me back out and having a life again.

It's completely dumb, but I spent a night in jail. It was because of paperwork SNAFUS with the BMV and traffic court, and I was only there for 14 hours. However, I was shocked how long that period of time is when you have no privacy, there are no clocks on the walls, and you're not allowed to do anything. There were TVs, but no books, and I wasn't allowed to have my cell phone, and the only place you could lay down to sleep was in the drunk tank. Even though I knew I was going to go home in a matter of hours, it was still unbelievably long, and strange and frustrating, and I was really surprised by how panicked I started to feel after 12 hours or so. I just wanted to get out of that building. And when I got to leave and go outside was one of the most lovely feelings ever. No life of crime for me! I'm not strong enough!

After attending Israel for the first time this past summer, I was inspired to never give up hope and to keep fighting for what I believe in. Whether it deals with religion or not, it is important to stand up for your beliefs and to never lose sight of what you want in life.

My Alternative Breaks trip to New Orleans last year was probably the most significant experience of my year. I'm leading this upcoming year's trip and I'm so excited. I fell in love with the community of New Orleans when I was there last year and am now so much more passionate about the issues facing that community. Moreover, I am realizing recently how much I've grown in the last year as a person and as a leader. I attribute this growth almost completely to my Alternative Breaks experience and to the space my break leaders last year gave me to grow. They (Becka and Asha) created a safe, encouraging space that helped me feel supported, both in our classroom and on the trip. In addition, I've formed close relationships with both of them and I look up to them a lot. They're friends, but they're also role models, and I think this dichotomy has really helped me believe in myself more because I feel like they believe in an support me. I'm so thankful for this experience and for their presence in my life - I hope I'm still close with them this time next year!

After 31 years I signed up to finish my bachelor's degree. Oh, what was I thinking! So much time taken up for a degree that I have no idea if it will help me. Mike finished school and got certified to teach. Of course, with our luck, he hasn't found full time work. He's substitute teaching at Bullard-Havens, and I have no idea if he'll be working after next week.

I went on a summer program this year that was surrounded on community service. I got to work with homeless people and really get to see life through their shoes. It showed me how important it is to be thankful for what we have no matter how small it is, and to lend a hand to those in need and less fortunate than us. I am very grateful to have gotten such an amazing experience, one that a lot of people might not be able to get. I am inspired to do more for my community and the world, and hope to inspire people with what I have learned to do the same and together help to create a better world.

I earned my Masters of Public Health degree and landed an amazing job as a health coach. I worked so hard in school and wasn't sure if I would be able to find a career doing what I love... but I did, and I am so grateful and excited for what the future will bring.

I graduated college a few months ago, and I feel pretty accomplished. I'm the first grand-kid in my family to have a B.A, so it's pretty exciting. I also applied, got accepted to, and began graduate school--for education. Some of my high school and college classes felt like a waste of time, but now in my master's program, I feel like I'm working towards something significant and meaningful. I'm very passionate about education, and I even enjoy reading my textbooks during my free time--which I never really experienced before. I am very eager to be a teacher, as I feel I have a lot to offer to the field. I do like being a student, but I'm excited to graduate with a master's degree soon, and then begin in "the real world".

I visited my ex's house, felt what it was like to be part of that whole family again. I never felt so alive in years.

I started my own business with a great business partner. It has put pressure on both me and on my family, since I am not yet drawing any income. I am, however, more motivated than I have been in a long time, I am inspired, challenged and thrilled to be doing my own work on my own time and not just punching the clock. It's hard, but I believe the rewards will be great.

Within the last year many fortunate gifts and experiences have been bestowed upon me which I am forever grateful for and which have moulded me into the person who stands before you today. The most important is when Anthony got down on a bended knee and asked me to be his wife. I feel so honoured that he asked me and for once in my life I am completely happy. I am inspired to be a wonderful wife and mother and I cant wait to start the rest of my life with Anthony. It's a new start for us all.

Three months ago my mom passed away. She was ill for a while and my fiance and I had planned our wedding for her. Doctors told us she'd make it to the wedding date. Well, she didn't. We rushed to her bedside and had an episcopalian priest marry us (in ceremony only) in her hospital room. Nurses brought me a bouquet, my brother went out and got a wedding cake, hospital staff gathered in the doorway, my dad gave me away. My mom was my matron of honor, with a flower in her hair and a huge smile on her face. She passed away less than 24 hours later, peacefully, with her whole family around her. We recently had the big wedding that we planned for her. And now I have very mixed emotions. I am so thankful that she had the sweet, peaceful ending of her life that she did. But I miss her every day, terribly.

After 27 years, I am marrying the woman I love in a few days. The process has gone through many stages. Initially, I was stunned at the proposal and afraid of taking the step. Its sort of ridiculous in light of how long we've been together. But it terrified me. In fact, I ignored the entire issue for a few days. Once I focused on the process, I've become more excited about it and as we started taking concrete steps in planning the wedding, its become a wonderful journey. I really look forward to being "married." I am touched at the enormous show of love and support from friends and family.

My close friend was diagnosed with inoperable, incurable cancer. It was so recent that I'm still processing how it affects me. I feel devastated, incredibly sad, and incredibly grateful for both my life and having had the opportunity to share a part of it with her.

This year, I was blessed with my son. My whole perspective on life has changed. I find myself to be more grounded and reflective. Seeing the word through my baby's eyes is remarkable and adds new perspective to my life. What is most important now is my family. I am truly grateful.

I graduated! Grade 12 was a ridiculously busy time for me. I took on way too many things and as a result, totally exhausted myself. I was so tired that I never really recovered during the summer. I'm relieved that I got through it all—with good marks of course. Now I'm just trying to get myself feeling whole again. I vow to never take on that much again.

I was laid off from my job; I spent the next 10 months with no routine until I started graduate school. It was emotionally and psychologically trying, and I only realize the extent now that I have a routine again. I kept a modicum of positivity because I knew this setback had a set end time, but it still affected my relationships with my friends and I think contributed to my breakup with my ex.

A couple of things happened. My mom finished her degree in Medical Assisting. She possibly will go on to finish as an X-Ray Technician or Ultrasound Tech. The only problem with the X-Ray Tech, is that there is no time for her to go to class and work. The school is also accepting her job as part of her externship. Another thing that happened, was that I became a vegetarian last February. It has made an impact on my life pretty significantly. I hope it will turn out well, but I should probably see the doctor just to tell him.

In the beginning of the summer, I attended Relay For Life with my BBYO chapter. It was to raise money for the American Cancer Society. I can't even describe the full experience I had without crying... It was one of the most amazing experiences I have had in my life so far. I now look at things differently: I am more grateful for everything and it inspired me to help people with community service and social action. It made me see that we need to end this horrific disease that is killing millions of people all over the world every day. I am really a changed person now... I really want to save the world... or at least one life.

I have gone back to university after a year off with serious mental health problems. I'm happy to be back but very nervous.

I joined my friend (who has had breast cancer twice and is 71) in her commitment to walk the Komen 3-Day for the Cure here in Seattle this year. I was sure I was going to do it, because I was sick a lot this winter and I had foot problems. But I was inspired by her to overcome the obstacles (if she can do it.....) and I also wanted to walk for my girls (fortyish girls) who walked it last year. I am proud of both of us. I have never done such a disciplined training physical training program in my life. I followed the Komen training regime, which involved steadily building up to longer and longer walks (up to 33 miles in two consecutive days) and cross-training. I tried out boot camp and kickboxing and hot yoga and here I am at age 66. I was always the oldest in the group, sometimes by far. We inspired us and now I see us inspiring others. I am relieved it is now done and we did better than fine in the walk itself. There was so much support and sense of strength all the way through and our team of Walker Stalkers buoyed us at the end beyond any imagining. There is also a sense of loss of the regularity of that training and sharing it with my friend. One of the best choices I have ever made!

Getting a job, moving to Oakland, working full-time, living off a meager living stipend, being a world's away from my best friends.... I feel like I'm definitely getting older.... And also more content with what I have and the abundance of love and support in my life.

I had to break off a relationship that I really wanted to be in but realized was very unhealthy for me. I did it even though it was really difficult and painful. It ended up being much easier to deal with than I expected. I grieved for a period of time but gradually was able to orient myself within my new mindset and begin charting a different course for myself. As a result I opened myself to new opportunities and let go of neediness at the same time. I wasn't long before I stumbled into a relationship that, so far, is loving and passionate and has a depth that I never expected or have ever experienced. I'm inspired.

My grandma's lung cancer has come back. It's scary and sad at the same time. She is such a strong woman, who has such a wonderful heart, and it hurts to see her go through the tribulations of cancer. It also brings back memories of my mother and her struggle with cancer. Now that I am in Nursing school, I am learning the importance of the human body, and how vital it is to take care of it. I am learning how the body degenerates over time, and how life is so unexpected. I am grateful to be able to spend time with my grandma, and help her in any way possible. I am inspired to take my schooling more seriously, and really work hard to protect myself and my family in the years to come.

I took a chance and started a new company. It has been difficult on my relationships with friends and family as I rarely have time for anyone besides my work.

It was actually the year before that was the Year of Many Changes. My son became a Bar Mitzvah. My daughter began her freshman year at Bennington College. We adopted our first dog (after nine years of lobbying by my son). Each of these brought stress and relief, in varied quantities. This past year has been adjusting to these new realities. Sarah doesn't live with us much anymore. David is now a high-school football player. We are the parents of older children. I'm exceptionally grateful, when I remember to think about it, for how good our children are becoming. And relieved too, I suppose, for getting through the stress of it all. I have to not let the urgency and the stress of _now_ get in the way of appreciating what each of us has accomplished.

I took in a friend in need as a temporary roommate (no rent). She immediately went about trying to change how I lived (to improve me - in her eyes). I was relieved when she told me she found another place to live.

My oldest son started college. It made me proud. I feel that most of my parenting is done with him. I will always be there for him but he needs me less. The separation has only been good for our relationship. Our interactions are no longer just about me telling him what he should do or solving problems. It is more about finding out what type of man he is becoming. A good one.

In the past year I have been through quite a bit. I've done some reflecting and realized that I am a person that needs to find solutions to problems. I get exhausted talking and hearing others talk about problems without any follow through. Empty words. Broken promises. Never even coming halfway to where you want to be. No more. Never again, not for this cowgirl. I have dedicated myself to following through with changes I have made. It feels good to take control and be responsible for my life. I am my the only person standing in my way. I've learned to push myself aside and jump in feet first. I have never challenged myself so much or been so scared in my life. It feels so good I can't stop smiling.

Our family rented a house in the Outer Banks for a first-ever family reunion-style vacation. As a travel professional, I had some definite thoughts about which times of year we should and should not go. We booked for the week before labor day. Hurricane Irene decided to make her arrival the day we were to have arrived, and we never made it onto the island. While the family DID listen to me where the vacation insurance was concerned, I am surprised at how angry, disappointed and depressed I felt at losing that time. I will occasionally feel a wave of rage or sadness when I think about it...and then I feel shame when I think of all the people whose homes and livelihoods were destroyed. I thought I had learned how to react with grace and flexibility to drastic changes...and I guess that hasn't transferred over to my personal life.

This summer I worked at PEAK6 with Igor (as my boss). Significant because, (1) I maintained an amicable relationship with him, maybe due to living in separate apartments. I got him into rock-climbing, he took me to various restaurants, and was a pretty good boss. Also taught me how to ride a motorcycle, and I showed him some of the cooking methods I developed, as well as got him to eat better, at least temporarily. I also like to think that I made the workplace a bit more interesting. (2) I realized I didn't want to do investment banking as a career option. While it's lucrative, I didn't find it fun, except during mock with other trader assistants, which I was pretty good at according to everyone. It was an inspiring summer in that I realized I want to work for myself, or do something I actually love. And I'm grateful for getting closer to my brother.

In August 2011, I resigned from my job as an Audit Manager at a public accounting firm. I had been with the firm for 6 years. I had started working there only a month after I graduated from college. It encompassed the entirety of my professional career. It was safe. It helped me become financially secure. And... it left life utterly predictable. Not surprisingly, I spent a fair amount of time wishing that I was doing something else. Then, an opportunity presented itself. A good friend was starting an online retail business and had me in mind to help with the marketing aspect of the business -- among the other hats that are worn in a company with only two people. I immediately began researching the industry and quickly decided that if I was going to do this, I was pushing all of my chips in. Within a month, we had agreed upon a valuation for what he had already put into the company and I signed a member control agreement that allotted me 50% ownership. For the first time in my life, I have no idea what to expect of this next year. It's very possible that I could arrive at 10Q next year with no money in my pockets as another Internet startup failure story. Though, naturally, I'm hoping that I can help direct us toward a more steady upward curve of success. Regardless of our success or failure, I feel truly alive. I'm both scared and excited about what the future might hold. The opportunities for learning in the year's to follow are essentially limitless, as are the opportunities to meet new people and experience new high's and low's. And yet, at the same time, I can't help having a slight feeling of regret. Not for having taken this chance, but rather for having left a -- by all accounts -- pretty great job with undeniable opportunity to reach an ownership position and continuously strong pay that undoubtedly would have granted me very stable, long-term financial stability (more of what I already had). Plus, it's difficult to say if I would have started actually moving beyond the doldrums of the day-to-day accounting/auditing and enjoyed a stint with more personnel, operational, and marketing duties, which are the things that I enjoy most. Still, at the end of the day, I feel that the regret would have been infinitely greater if I did not embrace this opportunity. I'm inspired by the idea that I will be able to help create a company from nothing. The future remains incredibly uncertain... it scares the shit out of me. But, that's likely the Type A left brain trying to beat down my right brain. I like my right brain; he knows how to live life. So, for now, I'll just keep telling the left brain to shut the fuck up.

I turned 50 this year. It feels like a big deal to me because when I turned 40 I was in a psychiatric hospital. It has been ten years of growth and change. I am far from being "healed" but I am on a healing journey.

I lost my job. I got it back two days later. But I knew for over four months that I was going to lose it. I walked into my classroom and I taught kids every day knowing that it just might be my last year doing that for awhile. I went about my business and my summer travel, knowing that in the middle of it all, I wouldn't have a source of income anymore. I lost my job in one of the biggest "companies" in the entire nation- the U.S.'s second largest school district. I didn't expect to get my job back. I got it back two days later. Looking back, I am so grateful for that experience. It taught me to not hang onto the things that really, truly don't matter. It taught me that even though it might seem terrible right now, what's coming is going to be even more amazing. I didn't get my actual, previous job back. I was moved from a high school position to an elementary one. I love this position SO much more than I ever loved my high school position! I have loads of fun, just singing and playing games with kids all day long! Unfortunately, for me, I usually have to be forced to change if change is going to happen in my life. This situation was no different. I was forced to change when I lost my job. I am so thankful for that change, though. It's been so much more incredible than I could have ever dreamed!

I moved to Massachusetts and went back to school, taking pre-req's for grad school. I wanted to try living in a new place, and I knew I needed more school to move forward. I'm glad I did it overall, but it's been hard, harder than expected. I'm still lonely sometimes, and I want to be in grad school already.

I changed jobs ! After being unemployed for nearly two years, I was grateful to have landed my previous job. However, that job was a big energy-sucker and made me very unhappy. In my new role, I have new responsibilities and challenges that leave me feeling excited to go to work everyday. I am extremely grateful and inspired every day.

Last November I had to put my dog down. She had large brain tumors. It really upset me, and I was a wreck for about a month. But I've learned that life isn't eternal, and that I'm eventually going to have to learn to deal with death myself. Since then I've been giving my other two dogs ample amounts of love, and spending as much time with my grandparents as possible. You never know what could happen. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.

For two weeks, I was sure I was pregnant. I'd missed a few pills at the start of a pack, and weird things were going on with my body. Things I felt could only be explained with a pregnancy. My boobs were HUGE. I suddenly had an aversion to alcohol. I was exhausted and nauseated but starving and moody... clearly I was pregnant. I started thinking how we would tell people, how our living arrangements might be affected, how a possible new job might not be as easy to take, or how our dream to start our own business might get pushed further back. I researched whether I should continue to go to yoga. We had long talks about what this might mean, how scared we both were, and (to me, incredulously), whether we would keep it. I was preparing for what I felt was an inevitability. I took my first-ever pregnancy test (bff: "well, if it took you this long and 2 years of marriage to ever have a pregnancy scare, you're doing pretty good!") one day before my period was due because I just couldn't wait. It was negative. Two days later, my period came. Then went. Then came again. I'm not pregnant. It seems silly now, but there you go. I'm somewhat relieved, because we really weren't ready financially. But I'm also somewhat resentful, that the thought of it wasn't as happy/scary to my husband, and that his fear was losing the opportunity to start a business. It's a feeling like we might never start a family. Which is probably how he feels about starting our dream business. But it feels like soon we'll miss our chance. I used to never believe in the ticking clock, but being so close to that inevitability has made me wonder if we'll just keep saying 'someday' about, well... everything.

I had a baby. His name is Diego and now he is about to be four months old. When he smiles my inner sun shines happily. He means everything to me. How did it affect me? It's quite simple, the way I see life changed one hundred percent after his birth. Now I am fully aware of the things I do because I know he will be affected by anything I decide. And his birth did not only mean a change respecting my predisposition towards life, but also strengthened the relationship my couple and I have. He, Carlos, was with me during labour, and that plus the pregnancy process and the posterior period meant for us like five years of relationship. I couldn't be more grateful. Diego is joy in my life, and I feel completely fulfilled. I didn't know how much I needed their presence in my life till I got them with me. Carlos and my son are everything to me, they're my family now.

i got an offer to move across the globe for work - to be in an entirely different culture, where - again - i would know no one. unlike the last time i moved to a place where i was alone, i was met with so much love, kindness, and humanity. i am so grateful, and moved - both emotionally and physically! the experience has brought me closer to the people who mattered in the place i left, and has introduced me to at least one person who matters, and will continue to do so for a long time. also - i'm so glad that it's sunny and warm here!

I forgave someone. People do change. I'm grateful that I was given an opportunity to better myself in the process.

Becoming a world traveler. When I was younger, my mother bought me a globe and a map. I wanted to know everything about the world and where places were and their capitals. This year I went to some of those places, Costa Rica - February, Montreal - June. It was beautiful and humbling to achieve those dreams and it has inspired me to go for many more. I plan to tackle a few more countries in 5772!

I got my heart broken by Mete. I am very hurt by this. He is from Turkey and the chances of us being together in REAL were very slim, but now they are nonexistent. I loved him sooo much! I spent 3 years loving my turk <3 Now - nothing but memories and dashed hopes.

I had a major conflict in a group I've been in for a decade or more. It took a long time to reach any resolution, and there's still a bit of walking on eggs, but some stuff that really needed to be talked about has been brought out into the open, and the group is in deeper connection as a result.

After much thought and hesitancy, I decided to quit therapy at the end of the year- I am ready to go it "alone" (not really alone as I have a family with me). The realization that I have the tools and ability to work out my problems without the directed help of a therapist is relieving and energizing. My life, directed by me, delving into the past as I see fit/necessary, and taking charge. So, an experience that leads me to feel "empowered" and optimistic for the future.

I started knitting again. I enjoy knowing I can create something from nothing and that I'm able to give something homemade to loved ones.

I went to CLTC 4 at Bethany College over the summer. It may sound cheesy, but I became more faithful and was truly inspired by the people there to do great things. I hope that faith and inspiration never fades.

I fell in love for the first time, was pretty cool. The whole complicated experience helped me realise who I am and who I want to be. It has definitely changed me for the better. Must do it again some time ;)

My dog, who I have know all my life, passed away while I was on summer vacation in Europe. I knew he was going to pass soon, but I wasn't expecting it then. Now it's nearly October, and I'm nearly ready to get a new dog. RIP Ozzie I love you.

I suddenly and almost completely lost my hearing in my right ear. Just gone. Sudden Hearing Loss. The late afternoon when the lovely audiologist told me the result of my hearing test, I was devastated because I'd assumed it was fixable -- isn't almost everything? I cried all the way home. But as time has gone one, I find I'm adapting. I'm not happy, but I'm adapting. I have been pretty honest about it with people, and most are wonderful in trying to make adaptations. And I have to have a sense of humor about it too -- make some jokes. So I don't suppose I'll ever say I was grateful for it (maybe, who knows), I find I can adapt better than I thought I would.

I lived in Israel for 10 months. Many things happened over the course of the 10 months I was there: dating someone, dealing with my roommate dating an ex boyfriend, getting mono, simply living in Israel. But one significant experience was my trip to Poland. My grandparents are holocaust survivors from Poland and no one from my family had been back since 1945. I was able to express my emotion quite outwardly at a death camp in which several members of my family were thought to be executed. Also, it was there that I finally found an appreciation for my middle Hebrew name, Pesel (after my grandmother's sister, which, until then, I had never really liked.

I was burned by a startup this year. Having worked with them to build their product with my expertise, experience and devotion, they unceremoniously severed our relationship after I discovered the founder was having an affair with an older, married man.

I fell in love, and had my heart broken by the man I had thought was a strong man of God and a gentleman. He turned out to be cowardly in all the areas that needed strength. But God brought me through healing and wholeness. I am so thankful that I have learned who I am in Christ, and am no longer hiding or deflecting or diminishing the strong parts of me. I am sad that because of how he handled the last 6 months, I don't think we will be able to be friends. And now I know his character and the character of people I believed to be friends that watched me in my pain, knowing the truth, saying nothing. I feel like I am more myself than I have ever been.

I was promoted to be Head of a Department of a subject which is NOT my specialism! I felt proud that my Head Teacher and my Deputy Head had faith in me and I felt rewarded for all the hard work I had put in over the past few years. The role has been challenging and I feel it will take time for the changes I want to implement to happen. I 'feel' like a manager now of both systems and people. I also feel confident in my teaching and inspired to continue to be as successful as I can in my chosen career path.

After agonizing for more than a year over it, I decided to leave my company for which I am 50% owner, partner and manager. Once I told my partner my plans, I felt 500 pounds lighter and once again empowered as the driver of my life. I struggled over this decision because I felt compelled to fulfill my commitments and try to make things work. Ultimately, I had lost respect for my business partner and felt miserable having to build a company side-by-side with him. I am proud that I spent ample time thoughtfully considering my decision and jumped!

Succeeded in losing 10kg. Still 10kg to go, but for the first time in a long time, I feel like I'm on a good track.

The most significant small event was going to NY for a funeral, and meeting a cellist at Penn Station, and getting to play his cello. This was significant for me because it was a new experience of playing in public, and making up music on the spot, and totally having fun doing it. It was a touchstone experience for me, which I come back to as I reflect on my musical journey and my musical intentions. The bigger event was finally going to the Music for People workshop in February. This was such an overwhelming event for me that it's hard to sort out how I feel about it. Inspired, yes. Massively anxiety producing too. I still haven't recovered, and I have another workshop scheduled for the next two weeks. I would like to think that I've grown musically in the course of this year, but my experience has been a musical step backwards as I've processed my anxiety. I think I've actually played less cello this year than last year. Maybe I'm not ready for this step, and it was too big for me at this point in my life. Maybe this is just the hesitation before the next big leap. Regardless, I will still go to the workshop in October. I will have faith that if I do the best I can do, even if it's not sufficient, it'll still be sufficient.

My boyfriend proposed! We've been dating only about a year right now. But as I've told everyone, when you know, you know. I feel so grateful and lucky that I've found my soul mate so early in life and I can't wait to spend the rest of my days by his side.

My boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me this year. I had to move out of our apartment and back home with my parents. I was devastated, confused, lost, and terrified. I am still afraid that I will never get married, or be in a healthy sustainable relationship...ever. I am, however, grateful to have experienced this challenge because I was able to realize more about myself, the things I want in life, and in a partner. I was able to realize how fast I had been running and how my anxieties affected our relationship. I was also able to better recognize the qualities that I loved in another person and the beauty which that person brought to my life. I also got into birding, which was weird, but cool.

I traveled to Rome and Israel with a group of 28 Catholics and Jews, including Bishop David Zubik. It inspired me greatly in the sense that Bishop Zubik recognized my spirituality. May it always be apparent to people.

Let's see....I was laid off in 2010 for 8 months, moved to CA, got a new job, laid off of that job in spring 2011, and find another job with a better company, more in line with my professional skills, and I am now managing a national level project. So....the effect of these shifts is learning that I am more relaxed about a lot of things and have the ability to really let somethings, I have no control over, go. I am relieved, in a sense, by my new sense of strength in standing up to and not being ramrodded by debtors who want to make me feel guilty over my late, lack of payments.

I decided to stop even pretending to do a whole slew of the things I was officially pretending to do. I stopped having them as goals, as looming obligations. I don't remember what triggered this decision, but the motivation for it was that I had so much shit in my head, competing for CPU cycles, that nothing was getting done -- it was 100% thrashing, and I knew that if I was going to succeed in school I had to drop the rest of it. The results have been very good; I'm finally making progress at my one remaining goal. More generally, I've come to really value information hygiene; taking in info, and having goals and aspirations, has a cost, even if you aren't conscious of it. You've got to pick your fights, no matter what anyone says, no matter how much you wish it weren't true.

Professionally, I was asked to give a number of presentations on topics I'm very passionate about. In one presentation I was able to mobilize some people to rally around a cause for our profession. I'm grateful for the opportunity to have influenced an important next step for our profession and inspired by the commitment people have to make things happen.

I moved to Bolivia, and it has been a beautiful, challenging experience. New foods, culture, vocabulary; less oxygen, convenience; but so much color and friendship. I have so many things I want to dig deeper on, and I know I need to keep strengthening my community here.

This past April, while driving home from work, I heard a story on NPR about the death of Juliano Mer-Khamis. I was touched by the story of this half-Jewish, half-Palestinian man who ran a theatre program for Palestinian children in the Jenin refugee camp. A few weeks later, I found a copy of his film, "Arna's Children." Seeing this film profoundly changed my life. For years I have been a supporter of Israel who also supported civil rights for Palestinians, but was willing to turn a blind eye, or just did not want to see or know, the extent of the abuse of power and inhumane tactics employed by the current Israeli government. Understanding the journey of Juliano from Jewish Israeli citizen and IDF member to Palestinian refugee camp resident helped me see that we cannot let one part of our identity overwhelm our sense of justice. If Juliano could risk his life on behalf of "Arna's Children," I could also act, integrating my Jewish identity and my sense of justice and compassion.

I started playing bridge every Tuesday and joined a group called New Neighbors. I am really grateful because it opened up a whole new social world for me and i made a really nice new friend.

I got my braces off. I know it sounds selfish, but it really boosted my confidence and helped me get on with my life. I also turned 16 and am getting my licence tomorrow. I'm ready to go out and do shit.

Mom died August 1. She had been having significant health problems for a long time but we thought she was getting better from the last situation. Her heart just finally gave out. It took me all day to drive down and I had time to process everything before I got there. My brother, who lives much closer, went down that evening so Dad would not be alone. I was amazed and grateful that I have so many wonderful friends who supported me with words and actions. I am grateful to the funeral home staff and Mom's lawyer for explaining everything and making sure that what she wanted to have happen, actually happened. I keep waiting to feel the overwhelming grief, but I just don't (yet). I know that who she was still is, just that she is somewhere that I cannot contact her. Things I learned: Keeping busy is good. Having a joint bank account with the executor is a really good idea. Keep track of all your investments and keep them up to date. The funeral home will leave all the flowers at the grave site unless you tell them to take them elsewhere. Not nearly as many people bring food as did when I was a child.

I moved out of my mom's house. It made me less stressed and more happy. I am grateful for my dad letting me move in with him. I am relieved that I got out, but I'm resentful that she stole my childhood.

I lied to my dad and went to a party in march a week before by festival. I wa sleeping over at a friends house and he wasn't supposed to find out. He went over to their house to thank then for everything, and he found out. I got grounded for a month and couldn't go to new York festival. I learned not to lie because in the end it won't be worth it. I missed an opportunity with the guy I liked and with becoming a closer part of my dance group. I am not so grateful because it was a bad mistake, but I'm glad I learned my lesson. Even though it was a once in a life time trip, I forgive myself and wish I never did it.

Having to leave the Uk because my visa ran out, made me really embrace "go with the flow". Lucky i came home when i did as my grandma got ill shortly after. It made me feel like all this was meant to happen that I return home when I did. I am grateful to be there for my family.

I took a job and hated it. I learned that loving my work and feeling appreciated is much more important than how much money I make or how prestigious the work seems.

In early July we received notice from the IRS that we are being audited for the first time ever. It has not been resolved yet, but I have resigned myself to owing money. I jst do not have the documentation any longer that would show many of our deductions.I addition, I learned that several items I honestly thought were legitimately deductions, are not deductable. Thus, even more money that we will owe. We do have access to fiunds to pay off our final bill, and are anious to get it behind us. I found out that the IRS is far from efficient though. Therefore, we are still working through this. We have gotten a few more letters from them. i am so glad I purchased Audit Defense as having a CPA consultant devoted to our case has been an extreme boon! I have really learned a lot about the tax process and myself.

We changed our Diet to gluten free. We found out that Nezzi may have a Thyroid issue. I wish I could trade my thyroid for hers. I want to protect her. We met the Reform Rabbi. We may dedicate more time to Judaism - visiting Shul

1. La campaña política para ser representante de la facultad, me llevó a conocer un mundo totalmente nuevo, multiplicó mi capacidad táctica y estratégica. Aún así tengo que decir que nunca antes había sentido niveles de estrés tan altos en mi vida. Aprendí a no luchar guerras pasadas y que la mejor respuesta no necesariamente es el ataque con la misma arma. Vi también cómo, aunque he mejorado muchísimo hablando, faltaba aún más, mucho mucho más. Aprenderse a expresar es algo verdaderamente apasionante. Definitavemente pasé penas y glorias, y gracias al apoyo de las personas logré acceder al cuarto puesto de la representación estudiantil, cosa que me ha hecho ver las cuestiones universitarias y sociales desde un enfoque totalmente nuevo; una experiencia renovadora y que me lleva a un nuevo ciclo en mi vida profesional. 2. Por primera vez experimento un sentimiento que sobrepasa el mero gusto, ¿cuántas veces no me sucedió, que sentía gusto por una persona a lo lejos, pero una vez hablaba con ella encontraba tantas cosas que me disgustaban? Y no lo digo por sus imperfecciones, soy tan humano como ellas. Simplemente sus imperfecciones no encajaban con las mías. Este año, me he aventurado en el sentimiento de haber encontrado un alama gemela, de encontrar alguien que siento que corresponde perfectamente a mi manera de ser, y es muy raro, cómo he comenzado a hacer cosas simplemente porque m i instinto natural me lleva hacia ella y a comportarme así; èsto que està màs alla del gusto hace que mi energía se vuelva impetuosa y busque unir la lucesita de mi alma con la suya. Hablo de Natalia. Y así es como he aprendido poco a poco muchas cosas nuevas en el amor, muchas que me eran desconocidas, -situaciones antes inencontradas- tan sólo estoy entrando en un mundo totalmente nuevo! y lo disfruto tanto! 3. Partirme el pies y estar en muletas fue algo que verdaderamente me puso en una situación de aparente dependencia. Durante momento llegué al fondo de lo desanimado que estaba. Así fue como definitivamente debí llegar al fondo total de la piscina para poderme impulsar con mucha más fuerza y salir sobre las olas. Nunca en mi vida había sentido "depresión", la sentí y la superé, como me dijo mi papá un día por teléfono: Mijo hay que ponerle el pecho. Comprendí también el estado en que se encuentran las personas que permanecen en ese estado o con cualquier condición de incapacidad, viendo pequeño mi problema la verdad. Pero como el ave fenix reviví y de mis cenizas nacieron hermosas alas de fuego. Dispuestas a luchar con todo el corazón y así lo he hecho desde entonces; con la vida entre mis manos, haciendo lo que me nace hacer :) :D

I reached out to my mostly-estranged father and his wife. I did it as a Father's Day gift to my husband, who has a much stronger sense of familial for-better-or-worse obligation than I do. He insisted that spending Father's Day with a worked-up emotional wreck of a wife was what he wanted if that could possibly bring the family back together. So I invited them for dinner on Father's Day and they came. It was indeed awkward, but not as bad as I feared it would be. Everyone was on their best behavior. The adults drank enough to take the edge off but not so much that anyone let any of the elephants in the room rear their heads (particularly my anger and resentment about basically being abandoned by him my entire adult life). My kids don't really know them, and won't call them "grandpa" and "grandma" because they have never filled those roles to them, but they were polite and quiet. We showed them short videos of the kids' performances. Since then, I have not heard a word from them, (not on my birthday, not any day) which, surprisingly, I feel kind of neutral about -- it's what I have come to expect the past 25 years. But I go into the high holidays with less guilt because I know that I did the right thing by reaching out and if they fail to take advantage of the possibility of a relationship with me and my family, it's their problem and not mine. It's their loss, as well.

i developed an eating disorder. it affected me ALOT. it pretty much ruined my eighth grade year. it made me more unhappy than you could ever imagine, but i'm so glad i'm getting help and doing better. i'm grateful for the help i've gotten, and while i guess it doesn't make a lot of sense for me to be mad at myself, i am for having an ed. i felt like it was self induced and vain alot of the time. but getting better has made me so much happier.

I won aym-ha chaverot for my chapter! At first I was so nervous but I new it would be a great expereince so I took it.

This past summer was my first year as a summer camp counselor. Although it was very exhausting taking care of 2nd graders, I think that I'm better off because of it. While spending time with my campers, I learned not to sweat the small stuff. I'm a lot more lighthearted now. The bad things that happen to me don't seem to linger as long, and I'm hoping that because of this I will be able to build a better relationship with my brother this year. I'm hoping to take this experience to the next level next summer with a job at a sleep away camp!

I became a mom and found a great job. Being a mom has been the greatest and most humbling experience. There is no greater love than this. My job pays me well, and it allows me to balance work and family. My boss and colleagues are understanding and wonderful.

I broke up with someone who I had been dating and intimate with for four years in the month of December. There were increasing issues creeping up that we were unable to talk about. Her last email was very hurtful. My peers at work were very supportive and encouraged me to move on and I did. I have had many and varied feeling and thoughts about this person. Even though there were increasing numbers of issues and problems i still cannot get her out of my mind. I have been seeing this one person for around 9 months now.

My mother decided after many years to move closer to her children. At age 78, this is not a decision made lightly. I had to deal with how I felt about her possibly moving in with us (as we were about to become empty nesters) and how resentful that option made me feel, which in turn made me feel guilty... she has decided to move into an Independent Living condo, which I think will be the best solution for all of us. But I continue to struggle with the balance between caring for "my" family and my mother's expectations and obligations of what I should be providing for her.... overall I think her move will be a good thing.

I fell and broke my femur. Found out that I was not invincible. Not grateful for the fall, but grateful that I am able to reflect on accident and learn from it. Not relieved. Yes, resentful that the fall has made me feel (at times) like an invalid. Resentful for the 6 months it has taken out of my life. At this juncture - 80 years old - each minute, hour and day are important to me. Yes, I am inspired. Realized what a gem my children are to me. A daughter that put her life on hold for several months to care for me; a son who traveled 3,000 miles to be with me for 2 weeks out of his life. Inspired to thank whoever is looking out for me and illuminating how much people care and want to assist me.

Early August, I was home as usual visting my family before school. My dad took too many pills and was steping in glass, barely breathing. There was blood all over the kitchen and all over my dad. My brother and I decided to sit my dad down and keep pressure on his bleeding feet. There were shards of glass, huge, stuck in his foot. I had blood stained hands. This image will always be in my head. Forever and Ever. The ambulance came and took him to the psych ward. That is the last I remember of my dad. Because after that, he was never the same. I did not know this "impostor". Affect? This affected me deeply. My heart was completely broken dn I am still trying to fill that hole with God, family and friends. I am grateful/ relieved because I now feel free of his demons. I no longer talk to him. He had to leave the house and my family is safer. I no longer worry. I would rather him harm himself then kill himself later. A little resentful because he is suppose to be my dad and protective. I have always been taking care of him. I am inspired by my brother and I. God gave us the ability to handle the situation and I know he will use this later in my life. God gave me strength. I am thankful.

In just the last few weeks, my last child has left for college leaving my ex and me home alone, so to speak. We have two sons, fourteen months apart, meaning last year we had the first child depart for school, and so had a year to spend thinking about what it would be like this year. We are proud of our kids, they're at challenging institutions, and they have made really good starts, but it is so hard to not have them to talk to each evening.

When I first moved to San Francisco, I had accepted an offer from a startup to manage their online community. Going into it, I already knew there would be problems as one of the investors was seriously gunning for me (and made an effort to make my work life pretty miserable). After working officially in its San Francisco office for nearly a month, I realized just how terrible the environment actually was and understood that I deserved much more than what I was getting. I stood up for myself, left the startup in one of those stunt-resignation type of deals (which I don't regret), and now work for a tech blogging site that is 10x more rewarding. I refuse to be talked down to and treated like crap anymore -- I know my worth, and I'm glad I went through that awful experience because it's taught me what I should strive for, rather than what I should settle for.

The band I was in broke up. I was devastated. I felt blindsided by it and felt stood up by the way it was handled... in fact I had been stood up. Instead of being direct about the situation, there were unreturned phone calls etc.. even when I asked for a more direct approach I couldn't get one. I was resentful and hurt for a long time. It was hard to shake. I felt silly for being so upset. And yet, I kept trying to fix it. When I finally stopped trying to force a resolution I was able to see just how much of my identity had been wrapped up in the situation and how I had let other things that were important to me be pushed aside. I'm now in another band where I don't have to be the cheerleader and marketing director, an already established band. I get to show up, be a worker among workers and simply enjoy the music. It's a part of who I am, a very passionate and important part, but it isn't taking up all of my energy. Because of this I recently have felt motivated to put more effort back into my family, my painting and my marriage. My ego feel right sized and I feel more at peace about my life, my passions and my mission here.

We celebrated my youngest child's bat mitzvah. It was wonderful, horrifying, inspiring, joyful, and nearly destroyed my marriage. Although my husband and I have faced significant challenges, the death of a child and parents among others, working together with our daughter to create this event was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It revealed all that is strong and weak in our family. I was inspired by my daughter's spiritual ease and her steadfastness. And finally, I was so relieved and overjoyed to be embraced by our family and community.

It is a long story but I finally landed gainful employment. I have been drug free for over 7 years but the wreckage of the past can be pretty unforgiving. It allowed me to move, catch up on child support, and has given me a great deal of validation. The new employers are thrilled with me, since you cannot fake motivation for very long. I am as grateful as the day is long for this job. I was honest on my background, especially since it is a federal civil service job. The background check was thorough but there were no surprises, I reported all the trouble I got in during a drug binge after my mom's death a decade ago. What a second chance!! Drug free for 8 years and making amends have finally paid off! Or so I thought. The Office of Personnel management has decided to remove me from the position. I have 30 days, paid, to appeal. The only thing that keeps really bad thoughts at bay is that the Almighty has a reason for this and it will all work out. The timing is that I found out my mom's family were non practising Jews a couple months ago and have decided to follow my heart and become a practicing Jew.

Throughout the course of the summer and beginning of the fall semester, I began to reevaluate my goals in life. I questioned whether metalsmithing was right for me, and whether of not I had the passion and drive to continue. I considered focusing the last year and a half of my undergraduate education on Higher Education, and possibly going into the field of Academic Advising after having been an assistant for the advising department throughout the Orientation Process at school. I'm so glad I questioned my future, because it really helped me to reestablish my love for metals. I rediscovered my drive, and even started looking into MFA programs throughout the country. I've never been more excited to make!

My first grandchild, a boy named Wyatt Zachary, came into my life March 23. I had been told this would be a life changing event but did not truly understand its impact. It is amazing how many things you thought were important turn out to be only time wasters in the light of your grandchild's smile. I am incredibly blessed and more tuned into the future that will include his future now.

We moved this summer. Not just across town, or across the country, but across the world. After living a pretty idyllic life in New Zealand we returned to the United States and moved to Arizona for my partners job. Part of me is just really sad. I miss my homeland, and while I had lived in the US for many years prior to NZ it is still a slow, and at times sad adjustment. I miss the familiarity and comfort of the known. I keep reminding myself that is has only been 10 weeks which is a huge comfort. As is the new community we have joined here. I'm grateful for new beginnings, and the promise that a new home can bring.

The most significant experience this year has been fighting for my marriage. My husband had been distant for some time and when it all came out, the flood gates exploded. There was a great deal of anger toward me and me as the root of every problem. Couple's therapy felt like I was being beaten up on a weekly basis - and I felt everything he said was right. As a result, I have been working a lot on myself to correct what I contributed, but I now see that it was not all me alone. A marriage is made up of two people, two contributions. I am grateful as it forced my hand in dealing with many issues that I was just not getting around to - avoiding. I believe I will become a better person for it. I do feel resentful in those dark moments when I feel it isn't going to work out. It's still not a definite, but for the most part, if we survive, our marriage will be stronger for it.

My father's Altzheimer's has declined rapidly and he is no longer able to converse with anyone. I miss him terribly and am very conflicted about my feelings about his remaining alive yet unresponsive. I am very concerned about my mother, her health and especially her happiness.

It sounds stupid, but I got a decent job. It was the first one since my thirteenth, when I delivered flyers and newspapers. Now I finally have money to do fun stuff. I have less free time nowadays, but at least I'm doing something useful. This job has also helped my to become less shy.

I qualified for the state wrestling tournament, something i did not believe i would do. This made me feel incredible; an intense adrenaline high that I feel very rarely.

I'm starting to accept my oldest son abandoning his family, especially leaving his brother Jared, who is profoundly disabled, on the future care of his youngest brother, who has accepted this. Grateful for what we have, not what we don't have.

I started graduate school this year, after a year in the workforce post-graduation. It's still early in the school year, but I am absolutely overjoyed! I feel deeply blessed to be able to devote nearly all my time to something that brings me so much happiness! I walk through life with a huge smile on my face and find it easier to be kind and giving to others. Baruch Hashem!

I became a mother! The most significant event of my entire life.

I started my first full-time job, as a file clerk in medical records, after a year and a half of job-searching after college. I am so relieved to be employed, and my job is a lot better than the horrors I imagined I might have to face in a less-than-ideal position. I'm disappointed though because I wanted to use my intellect and I miss studying psychology.

A lot of big changes have occurred over the past year; I moved to the U.S. from living in Thailand, I started college, and I gained a new boyfriend. All of these have been scary, big changes and figuring out how to cope with them hasn't been easy. The most significant experience for me has to be when I realized that I am an adapter. I was astounded by the fact that I cope. I thrive under adverse conditions. I can do this.

I moved across the country for a new position within my organization. While the job is a good opportunity and will help my overall career progression, I'm a bit resentful. Several of the people who interviewed me and sold me on the position left shortly after I was selected. I'm finding it difficult to connect with my new coworkers and my responsibilities are unclear. I've been unable to keep up with my favorite hobby in my new town, but continue to find inspiration in the beautiful parks near my apartment.

My adult daughter and I (plus her 3 children) moved into a house togetehr. I have been all of the above and more. Melissa is a (now) recovering narcotic addict - and I have been thru this before so I know the 'recovering' part can change at any moment - and it has been a roller coaster ride. The swings are narrower but still there... I long for peace and calm. The one truly good thing is that her children have blossomed and feel safe and loved on a consistent basis.

Completed graduate school, moved to New York and started a new job in the industry and role I was seeking. A lot of change in a short period of time, but I am excited and inspired to make an impact in a new place. The amazingly talented people I have met in the past few months make me incredibly excited about the things I will experience and the amount I will learn in this next year and beyond.

I graduated from college. I was the first person from my family to do so, making it a big deal. Unfortunately, I am now in the process of trying to find a job which isn't going well. :(

I had my first non-tumultuous relationship this year. I feel really grateful for it. It gave me some confidence that I can attract and sustain a relationship with a nice, stable, giving person...and therefore different kinds of people from who I have in the past. I also realized that that wasn't enough, and I left despite it not being the worst thing ever. I broke my pattern and I'm excited to see what happens next.

After years of searching for a meaningful job, I finally found one that is equally grateful to have me.

Practicing yoga on a regular basis has, as trite as it sounds, changed my life. It changed my body, it changed the responses my mind generates, and it changed how I approach life in general. I'm grateful - incredibly grateful - for giving myself the gift of this practice - the time that it takes, the endurance and focus, and the effect that it's had on me as a whole person.

My parents and a sibling finally showed up to an event that was important personally, which I thought would mean a lot to me. And it did, but not in the way I had imagined. Realizing this deep wish freed me from childhood demons, which I realized were just no longer relevant to my life. Indeed, the pain of rejection fizzled when I discovered being accepted by them no longer mattered to me. Thus, I can now just accept them for who they are as people, not dwell on who they should have been as family, and feel deeply liberated. The perceived slights were not in proportion to actual payoffs, if that makes sense.

I feel like so much and so little has happened in the last year. In reality, a whole lot of little things have come up. I actually started exercising semi-regularly, and as a result, I've only been sick once, and it was just a mild cold. I went to a large singles conference with my church that pointed out a lot of issues in my character. I just quit my day job, so now I'm doing temp work, and I started acting, something that I never thought I would actually pursue as a career, but is exaclty where I want to be. Go figure.

I joined the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, a teen-led Jewish youth group. Being a member and a B'nai B'rith Girl has completely changed my life. I'm connected to so many people across the country and have made so many amazing friends. I've found people who understand me and whom I can make amazing memories with. Most of all, I've started to become a leader and find myself. I've never been more grateful to the girl who inspired me to join.

I got married. It was a woseruful experience, and began a new and exciting chapter in my life! In that we moved to a new city (only an hour away) and both started new jobs. I hope for more ,new and exciting opportunities and adventures for US this year!

This summer, I went to Europe. We traveled to Italy, Germany, and Austria and it was an experience that some people wait their whole lives for. The trip really affected my life by opening a while new door to me, I now want to study abroad or go to school in Europe for film. I also hope to travel the world and capture it all to show everyone what this country is like. I was grateful to my parents for allowing me to go on this trip because I would have regreted it had I not and while I was a little nervous I could not believe I was going to Europe, by myself. When we got there it was everything I wanted it to be and more and I hope to travel back in two years to London and Ireland and see more of what Europe has to offer as well as where my ancestors are from.

I decided that it was time for me to get grounded and participate in a family/community SYSTEM. I wanted to meet someone who would ground me in that goal- so I took an emotional "pause" in the month of december and literally withdrew from EVERYONE I KNEW. I decided what I wanted out of the universe- asked for it- and got it. I met an amazing man (after being single for 7 years) in the beginning of January and our relationship has shaped my priorities and attitude for the rest of the year. I would say I feel more caught off guard- I'm trying to learn a more centered approach- and i'm finding just how off balance i'd been. Finding a center is definitely something to be grateful for- but there are certainly growing pains associated with it. Overall I'm grateful for all of it. I've spent my adult life being very self-centered and it feels good to be part of something larger than just myself.

The experience I will always remember as significant is the first time someone dear to me died. On the first month of this year, 2011, I had to deal with this and I remember being in shock, in pain and watching others suffer made me consider even more how short life is. My heart is still broken because is a part of my life that as been affected but memories of that person will remain. Everytime I see an image of a funeral on the TV or on a film I can't stop to associate with the personal experience I had in my life. But any experience in our lifes make us stronger and that's what I hope, to become stronger with time!

I received my Associates in Arts Degree with a 4.0 GPA. I felt so proud that I made it. I was the first in my family to get a college degree. During graduation, I could see my mom in the crowd. I've never seen her smile so big. I'll never forget it.

Our home was destroyed by fire on January 16th. I am still reeling from the layers upon layers of loss of our home and most of our belongings, the guilt from having caused such devastation and the loss of our dear sweet kitty... I am grateful to still be here, for my daughter's safety and the countless acts of kindness -- from the first waves of clothes, the endless shower of gifts from friends and the many ways my friends have stepped up to help me build my new dream home. I am anxious to see it finished and move back home! I am enormously grateful that such a tragedy will yield such an amazing gift.

My boyfriend moved into my Brooklyn Heights apartment with me and I suddenly feel like a legitimate adult, in a good way.

Falling for Jim. Being in love. I'm happier and think about him too much. Yes, I'm grateful. What's not great about falling in love. However, He lives in Pittsburgh and I live in Chicago. A little apprehensive about the future and the relationship.

I never thought it could happen to me, but...I've been laid off twice in the past 18 months. Am I relieved, resentful, or inspired? All of the above! Being unexpectedly unemployed brings up a range of emotions. It really depends on the day. It hasn't been easy, but I know that whatever happens next I'll be okay.

I was fired from my job. Well, half fired, half resigned, I was ready to leave anyway. It felt liberating, scary and heartbreaking all at the same time. I'm now far happier, living a simpler life, doing the things that I want to be doing. This is what life is all about/

I had a child, an adorable little girl. Just last week, actually. It's sort of an awkward situation though, as she's getting adopted. It worked out okay, I guess, the adopting parents are a smart, young couple that can't have kids of their own. I've been pretty scared for the last nine months, but I'm kind of relieved now that everything has seemed to have worked out.

I returned back to the U.S. from Ghana, W. Africa and moved back to my family home. I did not have any money but took on some credit to prevent my family from living in poverty. I have now created a few streams of income (sub-teaching, Zumba instructor and voice-overs) and am very excited about all of the opportunities ahead. I am looking forward to the children attending the Performing Arts High School next year and to me expanding into my Godself even more!!!!

I left my home school site of twinty years because of a bully director that took over. It took awhile to adjust but have stood up for my rights and still have a job, I am grateful and relieved!

The most significant experience of this past year could be considered a negative one. The Center that I have been the pastor of for the past year went through dramatic changes, leading up to a survey which pointed out that almost 1/2 of the people did not like my talks on Sunday mornings. Some of the responses on the survey were cruel - some even felt I should be fired. However, instead of letting myself be pulled down by this, I decided it was my own call to greatness -- and focused on the 1/2 that really liked me. I did and am still doing, the work on myself that had to be done - and things are much better now.

About a year ago, I filed bankruptcy. It marked a turning point for me. I was able to be shed of about $30,000 of debt. It also means my credit record now is marked with a label that could make it hard for me to get credit and do things like buy a new car or a home. Although filing bankruptcy was a difficult choice to make and a stressful process to experience, I know that in my case, it was a necessary step in my financial life. And I consider the time since the bankruptcy went through a fresh start.

Coming to terms with my son's ADHD/Anxiety diagnosis and trying to determine the best treatment plans. I am grateful to be living in a community with such wonderful resources that can help us all. I am grateful to have friends to share this journey with. I am grateful that the community where I live does not stigmatize children with these challenges. I am somewhat relieved that I have some answers into what makes him tick. I wish that he wasn't dealt this hand, but I know we will make the best of it.

I won a big project contract that has let me use all my talents and experience that I've been building on over the last few years. It's been scary at times, not knowing if I'm up to the various challenges along the way, but I found out that I am -- and then some. Pretty cool!

Spinal Surgery for scholiosis. This surgery has effected me in more ways than I can describle. On the positive side, it has shown me that I am resilliant, that the human body can overcome tremendous impact and heal. However, while the worst is behind me, at 4 months after surgery, I am nowhere near healed. In this way I resent what I have had to go through, angry even. Physical pain is terrible and living in this chronic pain has made me harder to world, less light and careless. I am trying to learn how to make it effect me less.

My grandpa died. My grandpa was my best friend and the most amazing man alive. He always knew how to make me smile. He was so beyond amazing. I am very grateful to have had him in my life. A good thing that happened was my sister had a beautiful baby girl.

I fell in love. It was way before I ever expected to feel this way for anyone ever again - but it snuck up on me and now I can't stop thinking about him.

A significant experience was going to see my mother-in-law after not speaking to her for around 5 years after falling out. It was even worse than i thought it would be. She made no effort to get to know me at all -- and even worse, she was awful to her lovely son who really doesn't deserve her crap. It made me realise I should trust my judgement and not allow myself to be talked into things I know are wrong!

I severed the tie to my parents. It was something I should have done a long time ago. I only realised that I was always looking over my shoulder, making sure everything was ok and seeking approval before I went ahead with things. I now stand on my own two feet. It's very very scary at times but I love the independence I get from it.

I learned that my cholesterol was high, my bone density was low and that my blood pressure was wonky. Health wake-up call! I'm now more honest with myself about what I eat and how much I exercise. I'm also improving my awareness of how I am dealing with stress.

My best friend's mom passed away this past year and it has shown me to not take life for granted. In just the matter of a few days, hours, minutes, or seconds everything you have can be lost. I am so honored to be living the wonderful life that I have.

I left my wife. I feel both shitty and relieved.

I married Mike on 1/1/11- was certain he was my forever--separated in July and he filed for divorce in September---should be divorced in November- Completely devastated--deeply hurt--searching for God --worried about my kids especially Logan--I am hurt, scared for my future--lonely and worried I will not have a husband ever again. Very sad--taking meds--don't want to get out of bed or face another day.

Only one? In the past year I lost my job, lost a friend to cancer, developed a blood clot in my femoral artery, and started my own business. The cumulative impact of these significant experiences is the feeling that I don't want to wait on happiness. Before I lost my job, I hated who I had become. Leaving the toxic environment and shortly after, watching my friend die clarified for me that the time to be happy is now. Joy is ours to seize in every day, in the ordinary circumstances of our lives as well as the relationships that feed us and the dreams that compel us forward. I look to grab happiness and give it a "squeezie hug" (as I say to my five year old daughter) whenever I can.

The most significant experience that has happened to me in the past year was getting a personal record in cross country. It was junior varsity states, and after a long, hard season, I PR-ed at 26:03, a two minute improvement from my starting time.

My father died this June after being really sick for only 9 month. I tried to help and be there as much as I could. I thought he was doing better, at least stable at the best what could be achieved, back at home and settling in and managing ok even driving his car again. And then the day after he visited the doctor he just fell asleep on the couch and never woke again. I wasn't there, I didn't find him....it was the day I told off the doctor for keep quitting meds on him...I tried...really hard.. I couldn't be there since I live and work abroad....I still feel guilty I didn't notice way earlier he was sick...and I feel sad, but life doesn't give me much time o grieve...I miss him no matter where I am. I hope it gets better...will still miss him but maybe the hurt eases which I keep locked away...

My role has changed at work. I've gradually morphed from being a project manager into a search engine marketing executive. I now deal with pay-per-click advertising and search engine optimization. I'm really grateful because I enjoy this kind of work more. I've got a better chance of keeping my job and providing more value to the company. I'm earning a reputation as an expert within the company. I love running Google Grants for clients and optimizing their campaigns because I can see the results and report back on them.

my 17 year old cousin gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was tough dealing with a teenage pregnancy in the family and at times embarrissing. However it taught me what not to do and it matured me. I had to help care for the baby and it helped me grow up.

I have been living with depression and really struggling to get help. Though I talk with my friends they seem to want to avoid or downplay the issue. I thought I could get through this on my own but just recently made the decision and acted to get professional help. I am hopeful and feel I am moving in a healthy direction.

This year I fell in love with the woman with whom I plan to spend the rest of my life. I'd known her for awhile, but in May we reconnected and by July I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is the one for me. The idea of getting married and having a family with her is a long-sought, and nearly-abandoned, dream come true. I'd been in and out of long term relationships and had just given up looking for a partner, had just begun to accept that despite my deepest desires to be partnered I would instead live a single life. Then, when both of us least expected it, we found ourselves completely in love and willing to make some of the most significant sacrifices one can make to be together. Our love and our relationship are not without their complexities, but I love all of her and every single part of her life unconditionally, as I know she loves me. I wonder by this time next year, when I read this answer again, how things will have changed for us and how they will have stayed the same. Based on how close we have become, how committed we feel to one another, and how many changes we have made to our individual lives in the interest of being together after such a short time, I can only imagine the depth and connection we will feel in another year. We have found so much in one another, and in our life together, that we never imagined we would have in this life. We have passion, laughter, trust, and adventure. If I could wish for one thing I want more of for both of us, separately and together, by the time I read this answer again it would be peace.

I gave birth to a sweet baby girl. Being a mom is an amazing role, and worth the hard work. I'm very grateful for this opportunity to bring a life into the world. So far she has taught me the value of patience, which will be useful for the years to come.

My husband got a job after being unemployed for 8 months. We moved to a new state. I left behind a wonderful job and wonderful friends. It is a very difficult transition. I'm thankful he has a job, but I'm really sad that for him to move forward I had to lose so much that was meaningful to me. I hope I get move through this transition quickly because it hurts.

I got really ill, and I almost died. It frightn=ened me enough to make significant changes in my habits, and the way I treat my health. I realised for the first time that other people depend on me and by NOT taking proer care of myself, I am letting them down. I'm not 100 percent healthy, but I am far from where I was.

1st experience - depression coming back it had a profound effect on me, pretty much as soon as i moved back into the flat after new year, my mood steadily got worse to the point where i couldn't get out of bed for fear that i would commit suicide. it took a long while to recover and fight back against it. am i grateful? at the time, no, i lost friends, my personality, i retreated so much into myself and fell far behind on uni work to the point where i had to submit and extenuating circumstances form just so i could pass my coursework. looking back now from a more positive mindset, i'm proud that i overcame it and it has made me a stronger person and i appreciate good days so much more now. i'm more motivated to achieve my dreams and goals now and have more drive. significant experience 2 - moving to USA getting accepted onto an amazing Internship and moving to Florida for 10 months. i've only been here 3 weeks but it's amazing, exactly what i want to be doing. working with amazing horses and people. yes i get homesick and still have bad days but they are so far and few between that they don't have much of an effect anymore. i am SO grateful for this experience, to Lee at Kesmarc, for my referee's for my family's and friends support in my decision to go and the process of leaving. I owe them all so much. It has made me proud that i can accomplish what i have always dreamed of and i'm reminded every day of it when i wake up and see where i am.

I started my new job. It has proven extremely challenging, often frustrating, and very obviously not a good fit for me. But it is also something I am incredibly glad I've had the chance to do-- I am learning a ton about what I want and need and what I don't. Over the next year, I will make decisions to act upon these lessons.

I got a job that I enjoy doing, in the field that I am beginning to explore, and that I have been longing for for a long time. Moreover, I was awarded this position over many others who, arguably, had an easier road to travel than mine. Still, I succeeded because I did my best.

In the last year or two I've begun organizing my life according to my deepest values and dreams, and responding to barriers that come up on my way to attaining them by simply forging ahead, around, over these walls. Sometimes it's exhausting, but mostly it's been deeply inspiring. This month, I got accepted to speak for a speaker's bureau in my field, and also made a trip to my hometown to put on an incredible Parking Day event to celebrate green space. Wonderful things are beginning to happen, and I'm learning a lot about myself.

I became active in BBYO. It really changed my life. My true personality began to shine through and I met so many amazing people who I know will always have my back.

Seeing Shelby was something I waited a year for, and was well worth it. I had so much fun with her. It was as if we weren't ever separated. Except now in Senior Year, I'm reminded all the time that I don't have a friend. Finding out that Matt's mom legitimately thinks I'm a slut was interesting. I messaged her on Facebook and she never replied. I haven't been to their house in...3 months? Seems so much longer. I just could not believe she judged me without ever knowing me. My pap had a stroke about a month ago and that was really hard to deal with. I never had to go through the experience of losing someone forever. I cried a lot, because I look up to my pap. I hope to talk to him more often and hear stories. I want him to be around when I'm married and have my first child. It's hard to just pick one. Oh, did I mention ALMOST cheating on Matt TWICE?! I'm a terrible girlfriend sometimes. Those thoughts and those events always go through my mind.

I landed a new job. Not just any job. A place where I am respected, valued and cheered for my accomplishments and successes. Meeting new, intriguing people and working for and with this organization that believes in forward motion, forward thinking, compassion and change is inspiring. Humanitarian work is at the core of everything I do and everything I believe in. I pursue it relentlessly. This new place has given me the opportunity to change lives and make the world a better place. I am eternally grateful.

I got to spend the entire summer with my best friend who I haven't been allowed to see for two years. I thought it would be awkward between us, since it had been so long. However, we picked up right where we left off, and it's because of that, that I know she truly is my best friend.

I lost my job. I felt relieved but also resentful, remorseful and scared. I have been unemployed for just over two months and I'm starting to get worried that I won't find another job.

My daughter and I participate in community theater and this summer we did Annie..this is significant because she just entered High School and I felt that we really needed to spend some significant time together. Doing something we both love was the perfect thing to do. I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend time with her one on one and seeing her with her friends and making some new ones myself as a result.

My aunt died. She was 96 and full of life--and opinions on current events, outrage (at times), activism (to the end), and loving acceptance. Although she thought she had lived long enough, and then some, she never stopped being curious, being as active as her body would let her, and keeping in touch with the people around the world--literally--who loved her and whom she loved. I miss her terribly, although having been close to her is a never-ending gift.

My baby daughter was born. My life got changed turned upside down...

I was given the responsibility of running a large scale theme camp operation at burning man, having been to the festival before, I knew the catalyst for change that is is. i was curious as to how it would effect me this year. it came off as a huge success. I also organised for my 2 best friends from Australia to join to party, a 3 week adventure with my brothers to a place that could only exist in storybooks...i networked with amazing people that i have only ever dreamed of meeting, Met an amazing girl, and my life has changed forever because of it. I am so grateful and so lucky to have what i have in life right now, and incredibly excited about what the future holds for me.

I decided not to move to live near my daughter and her family, but rather to stay in the house I have lived in for the past 19 years. I am relieved and inspired. At some point it will be prudent for John and I to move but that time has not yet come. We cannot "hang up the towel" and give up our lives. There is still LOTS to do, see, experience

I was elected vice president of membership for my Jewish youth group's region. It's a lot of stress in tandem with school work, and it makes me feel guilty when I know i'm not fulfilling the promises I made to the organization.

I took the bar exam this past July. Studying to be admitted into a profession that you are not wholeheartedly sure is what you want to be doing with your life is pretty disheartening. Especially because in order to pass you have to basically devote the better part of 3 months to it--not sleeping, barely eating, stressed out, etc. Putting in all that time and effort for something you don't even know you want... wow... you have to be a fucking masochist (sorry for swearing). Or just desperate. I guess that's what compelled me to do it. What motivated me. Desperation. I had nothing else on my plate. Or so I convinced myself. I just spent 3 years of pretending to be a law student, so naturally you have to go through the motions of studying for the bar exam so you can pretend to be a lawyer. God, so pathetic. Basically, the plan now is to hope that I passed so I don't have to go through another two/three months of hell, then pretend to know what I'm going to do with it. Sweet first question. This is gonna be fun. #moremiserablethan...

I moved to Los Angeles, with very little money, a few friends, and the possibility of freelance working in the film industry. For several several months I worked for free, slept on my friends' couches, and was put in uncomfortable positions of asking people for help and wishing I was more stable. After a few of the right gigs, the right kind of work, while meeting and networking with the right people I managed to get enough momentum to afford my own room in an apartment with other individuals. Through out my 6 months or so living out of my car and on couches, I realized the importance of having your own space for you to be mentally stable, happy, and ultimately successful. I am tremendously grateful for my friends who helped me, and now I am extraordinarily grateful for the room I now have, where I can think, create, sleep, work, read, relax, and do whatever I want with privacy. I am very grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I think I will forever look at living spaces differently, and never take advantage of them again.

I became close to several people that I have nothing in common with. I learned what it means to connect with another human being on a mental, philosophical, intellectual, and emotional level. I learned what it means to love your friends and love yourself. I used to think that things like hometown, race, and political affiliation were determining factors in how well I'd get along with someone. I learned that there is such a thing as chemistry, and it's wonderful.

The whole year has been a year of major growth. From doing a 19 hour fast for a year then transitioning into a mostly raw food diet. Rerouting my career path to not include UCLA but to apply to Maharishi School of Management. A new dream to create my own university in teaching professionals to effectively educate children with autism. Being married for almost a year and how I have grown more in love with my husband. All of these significant experiences have created a new me and I am very lucky to experience them. Everything has been flowing together to complete more of the puzzle of life.

the first significant experience i can think of right now is that my dad had a stroke right before Rosh Hashana last year. i was talking with him on the phone while he was in his pool and i commented to him how his speech was slurred. He said he was just tired. i questioned him being in the pool while he was so tired and he just replied he was fine. the next day my mom (or maybe it was my older brother?) called to say that dad had a stroke. he was okay. the stroke changed his speech, the look of his face and some motor skills. i went home across the county on yom kippur, just a couple of weeks after the stroke. my dad, who can get emotional (just look at my wedding video) would cry very easily. It is like when you want to put just a little salt on and the top comes off and it gushes open. Dad would cry. His stroke has not changed me too much. The family tries to be optimistic and not make a big deal of it - he is recovered for the most part. I think my brother and I don't want to think of Dad as anything but the strong man that he always has been. I am incredibly grateful my dad is doing okay. I wish in some ways there was big change - that maybe we'd all do something different. Somehow we could stop the clocks and not let my parents get any older. We can't speak about the inevitable. I spoke with my mom today to wish her a happy new year. She didn't even remember I was home for Yom Kippur for the first time in over 10 years last year.

I graduated college! Finally! I'm very very VERY relieved to finally have a degree under my belt. In my time off, I've been able to read a lot more (like all the books I missed out on because I was too busy "studying" haha), I'm working at my job more, I'm less stressed, and I have SO much more free time on my hands.

My business has had a really significant year in terms of new projects and opportunities. I'm gotten to work on some incredible consumer facing projects that reminds me why I do what I do. I'm grateful for the ability to learn and grow and enjoy doing at along the way.

I met a boy. I met a boy who has nothing in common with me. He doesn't camp, hike, snowboard, dance, laugh loud, go out, drink, find new music. He doesn't like patios. He is walled off from people. He doesn't play well with others. He doesn't trust easily, he is guarded, he is withdrawn. And I fell in love with his intelligence and his childishness, and his heart and his generosity, and his humor and his sarcasm, and his darkness. I resent every minute of our friendship because I am clearly not allowed to love him recklessly and I clearly can't let go of him altogether. So our friendship is this strange limbo bird that in theory is awesome but really can't fly for shit. Have you ever been in a supermarket and just watched person after person paralyzed with the feat of making a decision. It's like they were put in a mirrored maze instead of a chip aisle. That's what I feel like. Which consolation prize do I want? I want friendship. I want nothing. I want friendship. I want nothing.

Anne's depression this year was an incredibly significant experience for both of us. It was so scary to think that she didn't want to live at points. I was at times resentful, but mostly so grateful to be with her and to help her get through it. While sometimes I feel like her depression pushed us a part, at its worst points I think it brought us together. We have learned that we can weather a storm and get through some very serious challenges, together. We are still working on getting her and us back to "normal" but I think it has inspired both of us to find greater meaning in our lives and in our relationship.

I graduated from college. I am very grateful for my experience at GW but am sad that it´s over. I´m sad to no longer be living close to so many of my friends now that we´re all spread out. I miss being able to wake up and go to bed with people around and always having something to do. I could not be happier with my college experience, but am sad to see it in the past now.

I've been sober for almost 18 years. This past year I've had a great many physical challenges. I sprained my neck and tore my laveter scapula in a surfing accident, it required a great deal of physical therapy and muscle redevelopment. I had my knee repaired, more physical therapy. Then one morning I work up and the pain in my chest was so intense I thought I was having a heart attack. I could barely stand up and the pain was shooting down my left arm. But I had a lot to do. So instead of going to the hospital right away, I spent the day shooting pictures (I'm a photographer) and then took a week end long workshop on shooting high def video with my digital SLR. On Sunday night the pain was so overwhelming that I went to the emergency room where it was revealed that my left lung had collapsed. They shot me full of morphine and told me to lay still for 8 hours to see if my lung would re-fill on it's own. Instead, I left the hospital at about 2 AM, bummed a cigarette (after having quite for 10 years)! from a stranger on 10th Avenue and walked home. The following morning the radiologist from the hospital called and asked, "are you crazy? you could die from this!" What could I say? I answered yes and returned to the hospital where I was confined to a bed for a day and a half. Thankfully my lung did refill but I was told that I had a 40% chance of it happening again. I'm still smoking. I'm grateful however to be reminded of the power and allure of addiction. How strong it is in me and that somewhere, deep down, I have the desire to kill myself. All this in spite of the fact that I have a wonderful life, a loving partner and two beautiful children. I'm an adult who has still not transcended my own brutal upbringing and find that unless I'm doing something I'm ashamed of, I don't feel comfortable. I tend to confuse familiarity with comfort. Life is truly a work in progress.

We were transferred to Japan for my hubs job. It changed everything ! I left my job, but am really enjoying being a housewife. I am grateful that it turned out to be a positive move for my health, wealth, and marriage. I was sad/mad about not being able to see my family as much. I have moments of intense homesickness.

one of my closest friends was diagnosed this summer with a terrible cancer. he is finishing chemo now and will be having major, life-changing surgery soon. i am still crying 3 months since his diagnosis. i feel so useless. i can't believe how much it is affecting me.

I've been ill this whole year. That's not a separate experience but a continuous one, and it's been awful. A diagnosis has finally been made, and a treatment plan is solidifying -- surgery. Again. But if this works, I will be able, finally, to get on with my life instead of waiting, always waiting.

The most significant experience in the past year was becoming a father for the first time! I was the proud daddy to three little girls, all born three months prematurely. Unfortunately two of my baby girls passed away, one three hours after birth and another 16 days later. Too little, they were not ready to be in this world. Our third daughter, however, is doing fantastic! This has been the most significant experience not only in the last year, but in my entire life. It has been such an emotional roller coaster. The extreme highs and the rock bottom lows.

So many significant things have happened to me this year. Moving twice, births of (friends') babies, exploring endurance running, new job, redefining home, etc. The single most significant experience this year was probably losing my 16-year-old puppy, truly the love of my life. Besides being tragic, his loss really taught me a lot about grief and my family. The ups-and-downs of this journey have been eye-opening. I'm sad, but incredibly grateful that I ever got to experience the undying, no-strings-attached love of a canine soul mate. While this loss was a very impactful event, the most significant development of the past year was my first foray into the world of dating. Hadn't been single in a while and certainly never "dated" in the traditional sense. Have explored matchmakers, set ups, online dating as well as just random meetings on the street. It was TERRIFYING at first, but I think I've become much better at it. (Although I'm still single, so maybe not?) The biggest revelation was how surprisingly UNpersonal dating is. Lack of interest isn't rejection, just a difference of opinion. I'm trying to always see the fun in dating and not the stress. Although I'd prefer to not be on this same journey in a year's time!

I recently got into music that not only sounds good but has more meaningful lyrics. It's more deep/ spiritual and makes me think about my life. I feel such a connection between me and the singer. It's inspiring.

my dad died. it was sudden and painful. i was shocked at how much it broke me. my brain is usually in charge, but the brain is incapable of understanding the permanence of death. it is very sad and hard. at the same time, this brought my family together in new ways, and pushed me to think really deeply about my life and what kind of person and partner i want to be. it also pushed me to think a lot more about the role of faith--and god-- in my life. it's gonna take me a while to work this all out.

There have been several significant experiences this year--the few major ones that come to mind this afternoon are the meditation weekend, the trip out west, and the recent crisis. They all kind of affect each other--the meditation weekend helped direct and shape how I want to be prayerfully and how I want to be present in the world; the trip to Sedona showed me where I want to live; the recent crisis brought home how difficult it is to maintain a prayerful connection, be present in this world, and how unlikely it is that I will live where I felt so alive and connected to earth and spirit. I have felt relieved, resentful, and inspired throughout this year and I have remained ever grateful. Maintaining a sense of gratitude has helped me remain hopeful, or, more precisely, helped me regain a sense of hopefulness when things seemed so very dark.

This year, I had the opportunity to go on a program called March of the Living. Walking through the camps where my ancestors and people were murdered and then days later walking through the streets of Israel was very impacting. I am grateful to have been able to go on such an inspiring program.

This past year, my friend's dad passed away. A few years back, her mom passed away as well. I wasn't friendly with her then, but during this tragedy I was extremely close with her. It was hard to experience the funeral and the aftermath, because she now has no parents. At first I didn't really know how to respond. I cried for a while, out of sorrow and worry. Afterwards I just felt numb. The event made me so thankful for my parents and the loved ones in my life. It was a real eye opener to me, and I realized that I need to truly appreciate everybody and everything in my life because I'm one of the lucky ones. I now tell my parents and the people I truly love that I love them, every day. In all, I became aware and grateful.

I had my first long-term relationship (longer than 6 months). It definitely taught me a lot about what it means to love. I learned that people can love and show their love in very different ways. I showed my love through affection and giving (I liked to give hugs and kisses and come up with fun surprises and gifts for my girlfriend), while my girlfriend showed her love for me through sacrifice and compromise (she showed her love for me by sacrificing what she wanted for my needs, and by giving into my preferences). This difference between our approaches taught me a lot about the importance of honest communication. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that although we cared a lot about each other, we were just incompatible in too many ways for our romantic relationship to last. Overall, I am grateful for the experience and feel more prepared for my next relationship. (I also graduated from college this year, but that wasn't so different from graduating from high school, except that the horizon was a little less pre-determined.)

I became a retired person. It was an offer from my boss ( who was also retiring) to get a good severance package. It was good and bad. I was burned out after 26 years. I am now taking art classes at a local college. It is wonderful. BUT, I AM ONLY 61. DO I HAVE ENOUGH MONEY? THIS IS THE SCARY PART.

My daughter went to kindergarten this year. It affected me greatly and was such a bittersweet experience. In some way it made me stop and pay attention to how fast time is flying past. I'm so grateful that she is happy, healthy and ready for this big step, and I'm inspired by how excited she is to learn new things.

We moved into our OWN place together. It's not perfect, and it's definitely not the last, but it's ours. The LAST roommate I will ever have... ;-)

Now in my Medicare year, I've launched a new career -- casting for feature films. It has been so uplifting and encouraging and forced me to learn so much and feel engaged in a collaborative effort. It's also been wonderful to be in a position to give others work -- especially in this dreadful economy.

My boyfriend lost his job in April and then his dad passed away early in September. It's been a very stressful summer with money and then his dad's illness and subsequent death. I'm just hoping God would give us some more positive events in our life soon...

I got a part time job in my field after being unemployed for a year. I am grateful and relieved and so very happy. I'm an older worker (55) and was having a really challenging time finding paid work to do. Many companies practice passive discrimination and find reasons not to hire older workers...I'm in human resources so I know that older workers are often seen as less desirable for many reasons. I am so used to being the decision-maker that it was humbling to be on the other side of the interview desk, especially when I kept striking out. So when I responded to a Craigslist ad for a part time HR person, I jumped at the opportunity...got an interview...cinched the job in record time. And it is the perfect job for me at this time of my life. How lucky I feel.

I went to Happiness and its Causes conference in Brisbane. The Dalai Lama was there and many other wonderful people including Jane Goodall. It was inspiring and had a lasting effect on me. I began keeping a gratitude journal and learnt ways of handling moods and depression. It reinforced my understanding of what is important in life.

I felt like I was floating on a cloud the day I married Stephen Matthew Schauder ... and I will work to continue to count my blessings so I continue to feel this way for the rest of my life :)

My son was born!!! I am so grateful that he found us. We have had lots of ups and downs in the 5 1/2 mths since he was born, but it has been the most ground breaking experience in my existence so far. Never have I been so in the present moment. Right now is teething and doing a lot of crying and wanting to be in my arms a lot. It is not easy... I know it won't last though.

This year I bought my first house. I feel extremely lucky and proud, and a bit anxious as well. Our payments are pretty big, and it's become pretty stressful making ends meet while planning our wedding. It is so wonderful to come home to my new fiance and the home we've created for ourselves. It's crazy to think that this will be where we bring our babies home from the hospital, share Thanksgiving, and create a life together.

My trip to the American Southwest. I took my 12 year old son there, while my husband stayed home. I planned the whole trip by myself, where to stay, the schedule, which parks to visit, etc. There were days that were absolutly magical. There were really hard days. Some life changing decisions were made on that trip. And, I'll never take that area for granted again. I am still in awe of it's beauty.

Met an old friend I became very happy, grateful and inspired to keep meeting others who were important in my adolescense

Miscarriage Love for my husband is stronger, sweeter. A reminder of his tenderness & strength. Affirmation of choices made. Especially to lavish my beautiful daughter with all my love & attention and give her every opportunity to thrive. And to feed my soul by traveling the world. Life is harder and more dangerous than you ever imagine.

I joined Roller Derby! It has been an amazing experience. I have made a ton of new friends and been to lots of places I never would have gone to if I were not in derby. There has been some drama along the way but being a part of the building of a new organization has been a rewarding experience that I will never forget and will be a part of me forever.

The most recent significant experience I had was last Saturday when I took part in a Zombie Chase Game through the City Centre where I live in the UK. It was probably the most fun I've ever had, an exhilarating and exciting experience. It made me feel proud to have done it and it inspired me to do more of the same. As a result, I've decided to travel to the US this time next year to take part in a Zombie chase 5K Obstacle Run to celebrate my 55th Birthday.

Significant things... Well, there are three things that come to mind. My grandfather died, I graduated from High School and a little over a month ago my Uncle suddenly died. 42 days ago. He got sick when he returned from his vacation to Cuba, he fell into a coma and 12 days later he was gone. Of course, my grandfather's passing was hard too, but we saw that coming for years. Ever since I was twelve, we've had to say goodbye to him and now he was finally free to go. I'm glad he doesn't have to suffer anymore. Graduating was nice! After I had to redo my fifth year (I'm talking about the Dutch version of Highschool) I was happy to finally hold that little paper that told me I had graduated. I've tried to get into medical school, but I didn't get through the lottery. Now I'm an official biology student and I love it! At the moment I can really see myself becoming a biologist. We'll see how I think about this next year. Uncle Ruud. Well, I'm gonna miss him. I wasn't really close to him, but those twelve days have taught me a lot about the way a good life can be over in just a few moments. I'm enjoying every minute I can spend with my friends and I try not to forget what an awesome Uncle he was. I still can't listen to Orinoco Flow or Angels without thinking about him or his burial, but I know he is safe. I'm not exactly grateful to have lost two members of my family, nor has it relieved or inspired me. I think I learnt a lot the past year and looking back on my answers from last year, I have grown. (I haven't even used any emoticons yet! I still love them, don't worry :P) Graduating has shown me that I can do things, even though I might have to do things again if they don't work out the first time. I'm happy to be studying biology, although it certainly wasn't my first choice. We'll see what the future may bring, at the moment I am happy with my life.

Last August I joined BBYO, a Jewish youth organization, and fell in love with it. I have realized that a name or position does not mean anything. The only thing that matters is who you can inspire and what you can make better in the world. I have been inspired by so many amazing boys and girls that I have met and I have learned so many new things. I don't know what next year is going to bring me in BBYO, but I hope I can help make a difference in both my community and the world.

This summer and this past year I was extremely busy. I kept up an amazing quality of school work while having a job in parts and pursuing every extracurricular under the sun, and i handled it all. I realized, though, how important it is to try not to stress and to try to enjoy life as it happens. I've instituted a no stress policy for senior year, and I am going to try to hang out with friends outside of any structured activity at least once a week and to have a successful romantic relationship where resentment doesn't build up on both sides because I am too busy.

I got my first kiss. Two weeks after that I went on my Spring Break trip with my old best friend and the boy I got my first kiss from was there. I liked him and she betrayed me by hooking up with me in front of me and behind my back. I'm resentful over it, but I have learned much from it. Part of me is rather happy that it happened that way.

BBYO's International Kallah changed me as a person. I spent 3 weeks re-examining myself and my faith and I came out with a new outlook on Judaism in general. I learned that it's ok to accept the parts of Judaism that you agree with and find meaning in but not all of it

In the past year, I was elected to be Central Council Sh'licha in BBYO. It definitely gave me a lot of new responsibilities, such as being in charge of 11 counterparts (girls AND boys), planning Mitzvah day, reinventing services, and running Stand Up. I am grateful to be given the opportunity to impact the world with my fellow BBGs and AZAs. I will not go so far as to say I am relieved that I was elected, because I knew that everything happens for a reason, and if I wasn't elected, that's jut the way it was supposed to be. At some times I am resentful, regretting putting so much work on myself when I should be worrying about applying to colleges, doing well in school, etc. but in the end I know it is going to be worth it. I hope to take the inspiration I have from BBGs who came before me and pass it on to those who will come after me, so I can spread the passion I have for being Sh''licha and just being in BBYO in general.

I want you to imagine a vessel filled with rocks and pebbles and dirt. Now picture that vessel being dumped out and filled with the purest water that exists on Earth. That is what my trip to Israel did to my soul. The time I spent there was hands down the most powerful 15 days of my life. Every sight, every smell, every emotion has helped to shape me not only as a Jew, but as a person. You only get to experience your first time to Israel once, but that first experience can stay with you for a lifetime.

I have been on a spiritual journey for the last 5 years, and still consider myself continuing it,but have come to realize that I have been living Judaism all these years. After attending monthly meetings with our rabbi at temple, I feel ready to commit myself to judaism. So i plan to make that commitment this month. I do feel relieved in some way because my family is happy for me but also grateful to my rabbi who has been respectful of my journey.

I went to CLTC 6, 2011. Without a doubt the best 12 days of my life. It really changed me as a person. In the best way possible. I am beyond grateful. I would not trade those 12 days for anything in the world. It really inspired me to be a better person and changed the way i look at myself.

This past summer, I went to Israel. It has changed my views of the world and Judaism. As I have always had a strong Jewish Identity, this trip was a lock down on my religion and how I must always be passionate about it

I have matured greatly. I think before I speak and a lot of times I put myself into the shoes of others. This has made my parents trust me more, and the relationship between us has flourished. I also think that maturity is essential, especially with me leaving for college in less than a year!

I fought through a difficult math class my first year of college. I had never taken a class that was so challenging to me, and it drained my time and my mental resources. Despite my best efforts, I would fail, time and time again. Though I ultimately passed this class, one thought does prevail: I am humbled.

I started grad school this year after five years of working diligently in jobs that I don't really care for that much. I was unhappy with where my career was going and needed something to spice things up. I am finding it challenging but invigorating. I am super busy and there is always homework and reading to be done, but I really feel like I am learning and thinking.

After a year of significant relationship disappointment, I encountered a truly open-hearted, kind and fascinating man. I had decided that I needed to be okay with being single after a long marriage and two relationships that didn't work out but I feel thrilled, hopeful, scared and grateful to begin this new journey.

A friend of mine was killed in a car accident. I felt so many different things at the time: depressed, sad, lost, angry...I'd never lost a friend before, someone my age, someone filled with such joy and potential. Most of the anger and grief has passed. I feel grateful for having known her and lucky to have been someone she considered a friend.

I traveled my homeland, Israel, for the first time ever (at age 17). I immediately fell in love with the country and now I'm very interested in serving the army for a little bit, and this is one of my goals. I would also love to eventually study and live their afterwards and possibly make an aliyah. I'm so grateful this happened to me and it inspires me to try to fulfill my goals. The affect Israel had on me was indescribable, I cant wait for my return. עם ישראל חי

My eldest son bacame a Bar Mitzvah this year. It was a transforming experience for me as I re-kindled my spiritual fire over the process of preparing for this Life Cycle event. I feel like I've also achieved a level of maturity that has increased my self-confidence and self-assurance. I am so grateful for the experience and the love & support that most of my family expressed.

This year, I ran for a very prestigious honor, and I won! It made me realize that if you put the work into what you do, it really shows, and things will always come back to you! (in a good way of course)

I realized I am not alone. We're all alone to some extent, but I realized that an acquaintance I have always overlooked is one of the few people I can connect with honestly and not fear judgement. It was a relieve, it spurred me to further honesty, and it has improved my life. Not having to hide is a wonderful thing.

This year was a completion for someone else that saddened me greatly. When my dance ensemble was dissolved, even though I knew it was coming, a deeply satisfying part of my life ended. The question now is how to fill that creative and exciting void. I trust that it will be filled, but I don't yet know how. Even though I am doing creative things, they are not exciting me in that way. And I know I will be facing other losses this year with my daughter going to college. I hope I will be graceful and accepting, but I feel sad and deprived right now.

I found out my partner of 4 years was carrying on an emotional affair with an old girlfriend. I found an instant messaging log with hundreds of messages back and forth- many that I know were sent while I was in the room. While they have not seen each other in 17 years and she lives on the other side of the country I was still devastated. He told her he didn't know if he was in love anymore, and then talked about how their love was still strong and how emotional he gets when talking with her. I didn't say anything for 2 weeks, trying to wrap my head around what it meant. I realized that I do love him and that our relationship was worth fighting for. We are still in the middle of it, and I don't know how it is going to turn out. The upside is that the stress has affected my ability to eat and I am down almost 18 pounds!

Relationship ended February and I still don't understand why. Was too busy with work to deal with it for 3 months. Don't know if it helped to deal with it. No longer friends with her. Lost a good friend. Feels sad, but not as sad as I think it should. Feel like I understand myself better.

I got an internship over that summer at Boulder's Dinner Theater. I loved this chance to do theater outside of college. It was an amazing experience and I loved every minute of it.

This past year, I moved to Berkeley. It effected me in a big way, because I had a lot of intention moving here. I wanted to learn how to listen better to my heart, and find work and surround myself with pleasures in life that make me happy. It has been both a big struggle and rewarding at the same time. I have had to struggle since day one, when I couldn't find a place to live. I was blessed with the most amazing apartment in Berkeley Hills, right by the Rose Garden, but then the next struggle was learnign to live on my own. When I am an extrovert, and love being around people, it's difficult to live alone. Another struggle has been my desire to move out of my job. One of the reasons I wanted to move to Berkeley was for more opportunity. I definitely have more opportunities out here, but that means harder work, and a constant effort to find a new job. Again, I was very lucky to have gotten my job as an art teacher, where I can balance 2 jobs, and do what I love while also doing what pays the bills. One of the hardest things about moving here is that I am working very hard to manifest everything that I came here for. This requires a lot of focus and dedication, but the part I have forgotten about is the letting go. I have held on so tightly to all that I have desired, that I feel I am missing the boat on just enjoying the ride. Recently I had a car accident, which woke me up to the fact that things could really be a lot worse than I have them. I truly became grateful for all that the Universe has rewarded me with this year as I have settled in Berkeley. When I take a step back, I am very grateful and inspired by all that I have accomplished over this past year. In the grand scheme of life, one year is not that long. But when you are always forward thinking, a year can drag on. Currently, I am working to manifest an energy that keeps me in the present. I am happy to say that I believe that I am exactly where I had hoped I would be at this time last year, when I decided to move to Berkeley. I am excited to see what is in store for me this coming year - and I am commited to my intention, while also trying to let go and enjoy the journey!

I was elected as regional president of my youth group. At first, over the summer, I was wishing that I hadn't run and I didn't want all the responsibility. But now I'm very glad. I'm even glad it's taking over my life and making me really busy. So that's good.

Am so grateful to God,Fate and circumstance for enabling me the ability to exit a stressful job for the sake of my health and wellbeing.Learning that my husband is my best friend and the person that I thought he was and more.Being inspired by necessity to being the change that I want to see.

Biked from Seattle to San Jose along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route. Amazingly scenic route, with great stops for food, exciting new friends, and stories to tell for years. Inspired to ride more, get others touring, and continue to be challenged.

I helped to elect a new counsel person not endorsed by the political machine--and we won!! I proved to me the power of the people--that we do not exert as often as we should!

My partner and I found out we were expecting...at first we thought it was just one then on second ultrasound discovered it was twins. We are so grateful and feel so lucky to have been blessed with this gift x 2. We are overwhelmed, thrilled and everything just feels so unreal we can't imagine our family going from 2 to 4!

I lost my job about a month and a half ago. I am running the gamut of emotions however I feel overwhelmingly relieved. I am inspired to find something different and enjoy the time that I have to myself finally.

This past year my father passed away. I pretty much shut down in most aspects of life; however, my jewish youth group really kept me going and gave me a positive light on life. I couldn't have survived as well without it.

Past year of 5771. My mother died 19 days before her 86 birthday, on December 6, 2011. My first service dog (Mulder) became paralyzed on Wednesday and I held him as he was euthanized on Monday, March 15, 2010. These two events contributed to severe stress resulting in recurrent severe bouts of Fybromyalgia & elevated temperatures. Salt added to the wound: my 2nd service dog, Teal'c, (chihuahua/dachshund ) stopped alerting me because he went into depression upon loosing my first service dog. I am relieved Mulder is no longer in pain. I am relieved my mother was released from the horror of Alzheimers, but very sad she never got to see in person & hold her 1st great-grandchild. My youngest son is Izabel's Dad. Two major positive events: my oldest son earned his doctorate & I adopted Samantha for training as my 3rd service dog (lab & possible herder mix). This past summer my brother is fighting cancer, again, & different from previously. My Dad is depressed & complains he misses my Mother I am physically & emotionally exhausted from these events in 5771.

I had a very painful relationship experience. I thought perhaps I had finally found a partner that I could have a lasting, healthy, loving relationship with and it turned out to be a disaster. I painfully learned a lot about myself. I have been hurting most of the year and my memories of last Rosh Hashanah are of us together when it was really becoming clear how bad the relationship was. I feel more resentful but think I "should" feel grateful for the learning. Really I mainly hurt.

My elder daughter got her degree as Doctor in Medicine and Surgery. Grateful

I really can't think of anything significant. I'm grateful, i suppose, since the significant events in our lives can also be the painful ones.

The experience that happened to me this year was that I finished up working out bush and came back into Sydney. I also got to play for Eastwood Rugby Club. I also moved to Bundaberg QLD. I am grateful with all experiences i have gained over the past year

BBYO has changed my life. I have been moved by the effects my broth alephs and sister b'nai brith girls have had on me.

I finally told my mom that I'm engaged. I was relieved to finally have her know and she was so happy for me. She's really accepted Michael and Rick definitely approves, which is also a relief. Now she can help me plan and she's even gotten me a silver dress for when we get married. More recently I've decided our theme and looking online has inspired what I see our wedding being like, which has made me feel more relaxed about the whole thing. I had been stressed and ready to say no reception ever, but now I'm getting excited again and happy to look forward to it.

Just a year ago, I finally became a tax-payer. It came after a year of job-hunting after finishing university. No, it wasn't what I was 'qualified for' and no, you didn't need a degree for what I was initially doing but I learnt so much that a school could never teach. I have had opportunity to grow and be creative and contribute and feel valued. It's not perfect... But a year on I am still so appreciative of the experiences I have gained, the skills I have learnt and the simple thing called pride connected to having a job. I was in a very different place a year ago when this wasn't the case.

I had my first experience dating, which was really exciting. Being a part of the LGBT community, dating in high school just didn't seem like an option for me, so once I started college, it was like a world of possibility just opened up to me. I definitely did not have the most positive first experience, but I am grateful for it nonetheless, because I realized that I have options and I am not alone. I also realized after that I am worthy of respect in a relationship. I did have a positive relationship last year as well, and that made me feel incredibly happy. I feel lucky to be a part of a community where I can be out and proud. It can only get better.

I had my Bat Mitzvah with 7 other wonderful women. Our Nashot Mitzvah was on June 18th. It gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about prayer and Judaism. I am grateful and found great joy in reading from the Torah. I am still studying Hebrew and topics.

What didn't happen this year? This year I saw my entire foundation collapse right from under me. After a lengthy affair and attempts to resolve it, my parents finally called it quits. My long-term boyfriend broke up with me because he couldn't handle the stress of my emotions. My friends got engaged. And I worked the worst job possibly imaginable. I've felt awful and continue to feel so. I'm angry, damaged, hurt, sad, hopeless and listless all at the same time. I'm searching for reconciliation with my father and my ex-boyfriend, but at the same time, I don't want it from either of them. They don't deserve it. I feel unresolved and I worry the damage is permanent.

I spent the summer traveling, farming, beaching, falling in love in central america (costa rica, nicaragua). It's made me deeply grateful for the privileges I have in the US, as well as self-conciously aware of them and the implications this has on my personality, values, and lifestyle. I use a jet hose in the kitchen to wash dishes and stand idle under a shower of hot water, I eat to the point of glutton (which is making me fat) and I've lost my sense of slowness that being in the jungle and not being perfectly able to converse had given me. I'm supremely grateful for the experience, inspired to live, really just live, in another land, resentful of the disillusionment in which I was brought up in a beautiful little american suburb, but still, now more content with my own self. I'm more aware of my happinesses.

I am still affected by the mugging of myself and my husband while travelling in Mexico.I have become much less willing to travel to a country where I do not speak the language. I am very grateful to a very kind Mexican that we had met in the local produce store prior to the incident. After the mugging, he spent the afternoon with us going to two different police stations and translating our story to the officials. I have learned that there is good and bad wherever you go.

I proposed, and she said yes. The amazing thing is that going through life you come across many moments of uncertainty. Sometimes around the smallest of decisions and sometimes around those massive decisions. From the moment we started becoming closer what was the biggest and most life changing experience in my life (choosing the person to spend the rest of my life with) was the easiest if ever had to make. I feel so comforted to know that I will forever have someone to not only savour the great times with but also to make those not so great times seem...not so bad. I feel I've gained perspective.

I went to to CLTC 2 2011. It was the best 12 days ever. I not only learned leadership skills and things to bring back to the chapter and region for BBYO. But I learned that if you open up your voice and speak, you might be surprised but people will actually listen.

I moved in with leah. It has changed me in so many wonderful ways. I love that we spend our downtime together. I love talking about our day together. I love cooking dinner together and doing dishes together. I love making plans together. Living together takes openness and work every single day, and I feel so glad to put in the work. It has reveberations to all parts of my life

I really can't think of any significant experience. And thinking about that, I feel sad. Although I suppose someone who has had a significant negative experience might want to change places with me. Maybe the lesson is that it's okay to have a year without significant experiences.

After having surgery Jan5, 2010...removing a medinstinal mass from my chest, spending 6 months recovering and in rehab I must say that I've come full circle, embracing the new me. The scars and scabs do not bother me at all when I see myself in the mirror. However, the internal scar tissue and rib cage tend to display periods of discomfort and tightness. I'm grateful that iam ok, able to do and live my life fully and journey on. Being well is priceles!.

I started working in a 'proper' job four days a week. I was extremely excited and have learnt so much from the experience. The most important concept that I learned was that in order to sustain full time work I am going to really need to enjoy and get satisfaction from my job. It has given me the confidence to go after what I know I'll love to do rather than what I feel I should be doing. I hope that this confidence sticks around!

I turned 60 years old this year. It completely changed any notions I had of how "60 year olds" should behave. I didn't feel any different than before though I am more aware of body aches and pains. I realize that I need to stop talking about getting healthier and just do it. My husband's health is precarious, and our daughters still need one of us available for the next little while

I got my license, and my first car! Having the freedom to drive has impacted me so much more than I thought it would. It really is a huge responsibility and a privilege. Having a car and a license has allowed me to form so many crazy memories this past year, and I'm just as thankful for those memories as I am for the car and the license itself!

Forgiveness: Although it took me years to gather the strength to do this, I forgave my brother. And the timing was perfect because he was due to move back in with the family. I just had to open my heart and let go of all the hurt and anger I had and forgive. I forgave a friend I haven't talked to in almost two years. I still haven't spoken to her but in my heart, I forgave her. It brought me a huge amount of relief. I got over my fears and my urge to want to control everything including rejection. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and with the encouragement of my ex-boyfriend, went to a photoshoot by my most favorite photographer who I looked up to for years and it turned out to be such a great investment; Not only did she produce an amazing picture that would lead me to many auditions and entry into amazing acting classes, we became friends and she continues to inspire me greatly. She also introduced me to another great friend P who I know I will cherish forever. Being able to do things I never thought I had in me to do brought me inspiration to do more than I've ever imagined. I met my financial goals which brought me great relief. I quit Amex which was a job I dreaded and found a new position that paid 8% more and has amazing peers, allowed to me acquire experience in a different field and gave me the freedom to pursue my dreams. This has made me so grateful. I fell in love, real, true, earth-shattering love with someone who drove me insane. It didn't work out but it was nice to know the lengths I was willing to go to for someone, how much I could really open myself up to the right person, how much love I had in me to give. This love made me beautiful and miserable. And a mess when we broke up. I'm grateful, inspired, resentful and relieved. Losing someone that you're convinced is the One is the greatest loss and teaches you a tremendous amount about yourself. I'm still learning. This love brought me to London, a city I've always dreamed of going to. I'm going to run a marathon for Breast Cancer in 3 days and I cannot wait. I don't know how much good I'll be at the running part but it's always been something I've wanted to do and I'm grateful to be doing it. Going to a basketball game and a comedy show were two great experiences. It shows you that almost everyone is a performer and it's not as easy as it looks. I was inspired and in awe. I visited my first psychic which was very significant. More so when I found myself relying on them after my breakup. I was moved by the strength I showed to stop frequenting them. The greatest thing about 2011 is that there have been plenty of experiences that have shaped me. And they made me realize all of the great things I have going for me. I've fallen in love with God and I've never felt such faith and strength. That is the most significant experience of all and it keeps paying off daily.

My cousin, age 61, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died within 4 months. It was a whirlwind of bad news, little hope, and sadness for her immediate and extended family. I'm still shocked to remember that she is gone, forever.

This last year I was forced to look and accept my aging body and realized that I needed someone to help me in living my life to the fullest. I had met someone in Temple who was quite a bit younger than I am and she was looking for lodging while writing her dissertation. It is working out so beautiully and I thank God for her every day. She is a loving giving person who enriches my life.

Realised I was making a credit average in my marks at University. If I keep this up and God helps me in other respects such as being able to study the full normal workload in 2013 I will be able to go overseas at the end of my degree. Praise God!

Crying hysterically in my bosses office because she was pulling me up over not understanding an email. I have never felt so humiliated. It made me look at why I reacted in this way and looked at her reasons behind why she felt she could do this to me. Everything I read for a long period of time was related to this incident. So in a way it inspired me to look more deeply into how I reacted and behaved to criticism.

I spent a month away from home this summer, longer than I have ever been away. It was amazing and I learned a lot about myself. I was inspired to go change the world when I got home.

I broke my ankle last November, while riding a dual-sport motorcycle out on a trail with my husband and his uncle. I learned that I didn't want to get back on the motorcycle for one thing. I also learned what a wonderful loving husband I have- he really took good care of me through my recovery. I had to drive myself to work and back, 30 mi. each way, with that cast on, and it was super frustrating (and tiring!) to hobble around on crutches. I felt sorry for myself at first, and even cried on my way to work one day but then felt really humbled and grateful and thanked God for the opportunity to change my outlook and about learning new things.

I got my driver's license!! My car is a piece of crap though haha. I have already been in one small accident and my car was stolen once, but really I am doing great! I am so blessed to have this car it is amazing <3

A significant moment that has happened this year is that I became stronger. I learned how to take on responsibility, know that the world does not revolve around me, and that I can make a difference. I am important. the choices that I make will affect me in ways that I may not ever imagine. I have been inspired to do more, and go after what I believe is good for me.

I moved in with two of my best friends. While at times it has been difficult, these are few and far between. I feel so safe at home, there is absolutely no pretense and we have the most hilarious adventures.

I started and finished my second serious relationship. All that can really be said is that I enjoyed it while it lasted, which was only a few months. I am grateful for it - I have learned never to rely on people too much. I am slightly resentful for the way it ended. Although she did nothing wrong as such, I felt the relationship came to an untimely end. Not sure if inspired is the right word for me to use, but I have definitely learned a lot from you Indie.

There were a few. I got accepted into uni, and I've had to rethink my work ethic because there's no longer anyone I can turn to and ask to look at their work, and there's no one to kick me in the butt and tell me to work. I'm ecstatic that I'm there, and I'm so glad I'm on my way to doing something worthwhile/helpful t the world. My best friend was diagnosed with epilepsy, and it's made me rethink many things: the way ads, games, tv shows, etc., are designed. I think about what I post on my blog, I think about what other people post. I'm incredibly grateful to have witnessed her first seizure, and that I was there to basically save her. She started recovery for an eating disorder, and it struck me that this is stupid, that it's deadly, and that I need to stop. I resented her for a while, whilst she was in hospital, because I couldn't spend any time with her and it was so painful not to be able to see her that it eventually turned into resentment. But I'm so proud of her, she's inspired me to be healthier.

My business has taken off in the past year, and I feel... both relieved and resentful, because although I love having enough money all the time, deep down, I hate working. I have never found anything I love to do that also pays the bills.

I went to International Convention. I was so grateful that my parents let me go and that I made it through. Definitely the best weekend of the year.

I left my work of 7 years. It felt very freeing to work for myself and I am grateful the money is coming in. I do feel lonely though.

I've had many significant experiences in the past year. I was offered a job for the first time ion 1.5 years & moved halfway across the country. I was without my wife for over 6 months until we could figure out how to get her here too. We were lucky as her job offered her to work from home & keep her job. We are very grateful for all the opportunities that have come our way & we love the state we're now living in.

My house was struck by lightening last year and was completely renovated, upgraded and redecorated. I am extremely gratefulthat no one was hurt, just inconvenienced. It was an interesting experience -- being separated from all of your "things" you really focus on what is important in life and how little you need to be happy and content.

That comedown at Seth's New Years Morning. It was terrifying, but it's put me in a healthier direction I perhaps wouldn't otherwise be in.

My daughter was arrested for murder last November, she was defending her life as he was beating her, strangling her. For so many years we begged her to stop going with him, but she loved him, and the beatings, cruelty, vandalism, etc., continued as usual. What this experience did for me, is inspire me. It has inspired me not to try to "change the world", to let nature take it's course. What will be will be, we can't change what's in the course. This inspired me to worry less about what could've, should've, knowing I really really did do the right thing. I will say this ongoing ordeal has inspired me to accept life, and not worry about every one. If they stumble, they can pick themselves up. I will learn to stand on the side-line, just in case.

My parents meeting my partner. They never really new my last partner and this affected my relationship with them and with him. So, after he and I split and I met my new partner, I decided that things would be different this time. The meeting went surprisingly well and my family took to him. It was a big step forward towards rebuilding the relationship with my family and I am grateful that they made the effort and have been much more open than they previously were.

I kept a 4.2 my entire junior year! It made me realize that I am capable of great things, and that all I need to do is give myself a little push, and there is no limit to me and my abilities!

I separated from my husband in July. It was a relief and affected me in surprising ways. I had spent the last 2 - 3 years grieving the loss of our relationship and preparing myself mentally to be single again but did not realize how bold the final act would make me. It's as if nothing can phase me because I lived through the decision and survived. I love being single and living by myself. I didn't realize how much of myself I had lost and how much I enjoy my redsicovery. How I have changed! And for the better. Things I never thought I could do I have done. Successfully. Situations that seemed confusing have been figured out within the silence of my mind and soul. All I had hoped to become, once upon a time, is with me now in the peace and tranquility of my home.

This past year a girl I grew up with has become my best friend. We have gone on spur of the moment road trips bringing along just our cameras, late night bare-foot walks, and rocked out to music more times than I can count. It has shown me not only a lot of who I am and wish to be, but also the kind of people I love to be around and that it is good for me to surround myself with. I feel so grateful to have even just that one person to always have adventures with

I suddenly lost my beloved dog, breaking my heart. Then my two dear aunts died, just a few months apart. My cousin went back to Australia and I may never see her again. It's been a year filled with loss, and I'm trying to be strong, look ahead and hope for a happy future.

My house was foreclosed on. I got the money to save it six days after the auction. I have bitter sweet feelings about it. But I did come to realize it isn't the end of the world. I still have my beautiful family, and my marriage survived this very stressful event. With this huge disappointment also came some victories- I was accepted to nursing school, so I am eddied about what the future holds.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 4 years. The first and only long term relationship I had ever been in. It was a great learning experience. The issues that we were having forced me to work on myself. I am a better person. I am grateful to no longer be in a relationship that made me feel trapped. I have been so much more open to new people and new experiences that I feel more like myself and happy. It has given me a chance to learn to stand on my own two feet and know that I am just too awesome to settle for spending the rest of my life with someone less than awesome.

In the past year I was a state finalist for the History Fair Competition at my school! It was so much fun to work with my friends on a topic that we felt so passionate towards, Grease the musical! Also, we met some amazing people along the way. We were able to meet Jim Jacobs, the writer of Grease and even see an awesome performance of it downtown. I am so happy that I was able to partake in the competition because I found a new love for history. I also met some great kids from other schools around Illinois who I still keep in contact with. I feel pretty grateful to have made it all the way to the state finals and I hope to work even harder this year and make it to nationals.

I got pregnant! It's affected pretty much everything. Eventhough the baby isn't here yet, it is the basis for many of our decisions. I am grateful that we didn't have to go too far with infertility treatments and that so far I have had a pretty healthy pregnancy. I am relieved that we could conceive our own child. I am a little resentful when I look at what's happening to my body. I am calmer (mostly). I am shifting my focus to another being. I am keeping myself out of other people's drama. It's kind of nice to kick back and say well I don't think I should do that because of the baby. And no one seems to be bothered.

I moved to my husbands home town and I have been able to build a real relationship with my in-laws after 40 years of marriage. This has been a wonderful experience and I am bothe grateful and inspired!

Not sure anything significant happened in the past year -- two small things were that I refinanced my car and called my OA sponsor almost daily during the year (stopped 9/10/11 as she went to grad school in California). I also did yoga at least once a week, and re-enrolled in Spanish class. I am grateful for my sponsor's sticking with me in a non-judgmental way, and giving me SOMEONE to call daily, even when it was painful to do so. I'm grateful for having had help, through D.A., to refinance the car. And I'm grateful for the YMCA providing yoga classes so regularly.

I got accepted into a course that is one of a kind. This made me realise what I was worth and it gave me time and space to see who was treating me right and sadly my boyfriend, at the time, wasnt. So the confidence it gave me showed I could be independent and not need his attention to keep me happy.

My oldest son was placed in a class that I feel will meet his needs, and I am GRATEFUL beyond words! It's working out great so far.

I completed 1 year as a Foster Care Case Manager. In the beginning I was worried I wouldn't last a year. The job never gets easier, I just get more comfortable with it. I never imagined such a low paying job would require so much of me; physically, mentally and emotionally. It's the hardest job I have ever had. I don't know how much longer I will last here but I know that this job has changed my world view forever, I''m just not sure if it's for the better or for the worse.

I went to an incredible BBYO summer program where I learned so much about myself and my Judaism. I want to get back that connection to my faith that I had before, and that connection to the people I had there. I've never had such a moving experience.

I graduated and was out of work, I had no income and my husband told me we were in huge debt. It was a huge struggle but lead to me getting my own bank account and starting to earn my own money. Now I no longer have to ask him for money if I want to buy a coffee.

My girlfriend Jean and I bought a condominium together. It is the biggest commitment I have ever made to another person. I feel a much more solid citizen than before, grounded, responsible.

I was elected to be a Sh'licha in my BBYO chapter! I felt extremely rewarded because I had worked very hard to earn this position. I'm so excited to help my chapter become even stronger than it already is!

I had a falling out with my youngest brother. He said he didn't really want to spend time with me and he struggled with how easy he thought I had it vs. how hard he had it. Basically he said there was nothing I could do. It is difficult to spend time with his family because it seems like they don't want to spend time with ours. I hope we can overcome this, but it's really my brother's decision. I hope we can re-connect.

Teaching at a very difficult school with many students who were refugees. The experience opened my eyes to the issues that face many people, and my issues seemed to pale in comparison. The students were so grateful to be in a safe country and taught me the value of truly caring about everyone else.

Discovering my husband did something which he promised he would never do again. The first time he did it I said if it happened again I would leave no questions asked. Five years later and with a new baby to consider things aren't as black and white. The betrayal upset me but it also scares me to think that at the end of the day I (and my baby) can't rely on but me now. This makes me extremely sad as I wanted more for my child.

I got rid of an old client and got a new one. My life is so much better and the new client is much more successful

I transferred from Ithaca College to Hofstra University. I wasn't sure if it was the right decision, but I have recently realized that it was indeed the right move for me. The teachers, overall, are better, and I'm generally happier, and much more inspired to become a teacher than I ever was at Ithaca.

My father-in-law passed away. To be honest, I'm grateful. He was very ill, and my sister-in-law, who had most of the burden of care for him, was manipulating him and causing him to think badly of other family members. I'm angry at her, and I probably will be for a long time. After his death, she caused a huge rift between the siblings of my husband's generation. It's very sad, but in another way I'm almost glad it happened--we see her true colors now, when she hid what she thought of everyone in the family for decades.

This past summer I had my Bat Mitzvah. It was a very spiritual time for me, and I felt all my work pay off for that one day. I now learned to read torah, but more importantly got a sense of the connection I have to Judiasm. I am so greatfull for all that helped me reached that day. I would do that day over again, but ofcourse I am relieved that is done. I am inspired to keep reaching for my goals and perserveering.

I broke up with my ex boyfriend John. I am very relieved. I loved him, but he was slowly destroying me from the inside. Breaking up was the best thing that I've ever done. And I met Milos, the most amazing guy on earth. I could not be more grateful.

I graduated from unc. I'm 26 and its been a long, hard, 8 years! But I did it with 3.9 gpa and the highest distinction. I am grateful and inspired and damn proud of myself

I broke up with my first boyfriend. It was hard-of course- and I felt awful. Everytime I think about it I feel like a bitch, but it showed me I was strong and how much independence I crave. It was horrible, especially the aftermath-I know I hurt him badly-but there's lots of things I learnt about myself.

My husband's and my 9 1/2 year old Golden Retriever died suddenly while my husband was away. I was alone when I rushed the dog to the vet in an attempt to save him and I had to rely on my dog's caretaker for support and company. Sadly, my dog died and the caretaker was so traumatized that I had to offer support to her. I still resent not having my husband's absence at that time, even though his absence had been long planned and the dog's illness and death happened suddenly and unexpectedly, within hours. I felt lonely, sad and put-upon and a small part hasn't recovered. We've since adopted another dog who has healed most of the hole left in my heart but some sadness and resentment lingers.

I celebrated my 55th birthday along with my eldest son turning 30, my middle son turning 25 and my youngest turning 21. All of these birthdays are milestones...I think back to what I was doing when I was each of those ages...and how can my children be those ages when I often think of myself as being only 21, 25 or 30? The flow of time becomes more defined and then less significant as I find 55 is a very good year.

I'm finally starting to apply for colleges! I can see my friends' and classmates' mindsets and goals clearly now that we are all rushing to get applications in early. Both good and bad parts of their personalities are showing through and some of it scares me. I'm thankful that the process is almost over so I can enjoy my Senior year.

I discovered that the girl I was seeing was faking her terminal cancer, and also slept with my best friend.it broke my heart, but they are both gone now and Im glad is that way, is better for all of us

I launched my own business. It has been a continuous journey. I am learning a lot along the way. Learning about how I work with other people. How I work in general. What work I can do versus what work I want and should do. Learning about the people to include in my work world and thus world. Trying to stay focused, but so excited by so many ideas at the same time. I am really grateful that I've been able to create my own business and manifest a version of the vision I am passionate about, letting it evolve with me along the way.

This past June, I ran into a situation where I had to start my business over, from day one, after ten months of hard work. I hadn't drawn a salary from my first company, so money was tight, and the thought of beginning a second time at square zero seemed unbelievably daunting. There were a few mornings where I couldn't get out of bed because I was so crushed by the idea that everything I had worked toward for the past 10 months was gone. I didn't feel finished with the company or with the women's space, but I was terrified of starting over. That was when I received some of the best advice I'd ever heard: Start small, with the 3-5 things you would need to feel comfortable taking just the next step. For me, those were: (1) knowing my business partners were on board, (2) identifying great technical talent, (3) having at least three months of financial runway, and (4) finding a name for the new company that I was excited about. The last one seems silly now, but I can't overemphasize what a huge emotional and psychological hold-up it was at the time. Listing those out, and then systematically tackling each one, gave me the confidence I needed to take the next step. At that stage, I figured out what I would need to know to take the next. And that makes all the difference. I'm still a little resentful of my former cofounders, but what they did has really pushed me to work twice as hard towards success. Ultimately, I think it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I love my new company even more than the old - and I wouldn't have thought that was possible!

I lost my oldest dog and beloved companion of 16 1/2 years. I spent most of the year caring for her before her death and I'm extremely grateful for that time and for the love and intimacy that she shared with me during that time. I think of her every day and miss her so much and feel her with me in a concrete, palpable way. But I wish I could see her look into my eyes just one more time.

My business partner and I sold our business, effective 10/1/11, three days from today! We worked together 17 yrs and owned the business 14 yrs. Luckily he randomly met the buyers two years ago at a business conference, told me about them and for the next year I did my best to convince him we should sell. I'm very excited to no longer be a business owner and even more excited to no longer work with him. I'm grateful he met the buyers and I'm grateful I stuck to my guns. Very excited and looking forward to deciding what I am going to do going forward.

I went on my first backpacking trip in the San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles. 14-miles was definitely challenging for me, and one of my friends had a difficult time finishing it, so I hiked slower with her. I was grateful and inspired for the opportunity to connect with nature, and to learn the lesson that no matter what, one has to look out for others.

I turned 15 over the summer, and I got my driver's permit. I'm so happy that I got it, because I can see my freedom opening up. I'm learning how to become a better driver, and what I do behind the wheel can impact my entire life. I'm super excited for what lies ahead of me.

I bought a house. I started therapy and yoga. I got more comfortable in my job. I developed a raging crush. But the one thing that has really turned the lights on and the saturation up in my life is letting my doctor prescribe an antidepressant for me. I've felt more feelings and learned more about myself in the last two months than I had for the whole rest of the year combined. And considering how much work I'd done in therapy, that's saying a LOT.

A couple of experiences: I have lost about 43 pounds and that has made my life so much better and easier. I still want to lose more, about 10-15 pounds, and I feel confident that I will succeed. I feel so much better about myself, but I also feel older since my skin is not as elastic as it was. Also my increased activity level has made me see how limited I am in terms of energy and capacity, compared to my younger years. But I keep on. I have spent a lot of money on this weight loss program (I couldn't have done it by myself), trainers, gym membership and new clothes. It makes me feel resentful, since I have spent much of my immediate savings that I was going to use on travel. Almost back to square one on saving for travel. I try to tell myself that I made the right choice in the long run and that I will be able to have some great travel adventures in the future. I also was appointed to the Civil Grand Jury for a year in my county. It is like being given the key to the city, and it has opened many doors to all us jurors. We get to see the good, the bad and the ugly in local government. It is at once inspiring and also depressing. But overall, I feel grateful for where I live. I have met some wonderful people.

I went on a weekend with three friends from high school to celebrate turning 60. We had not all stayed in touch but cooked up the idea at our class reunion almost 2 years earlier. It was wonderful to learn how their lives had progressed. We had great fun and tried new food and wines. We reconnected so deeply that we are committed to repeat events. I was honored that one friend in particular, who is immensely talented and successful, finds me a worthy companion and has sent several follow-ups hoping we can get together again.

Oh! A year ago I wrote that the thing I most wanted to change about my life was getting a new job as a Director of Religious Education. In late June, I interviewed for and was hired for my dream job. I started in August, and although I'm finding the work challenging, that's definitely not a bad thing. People rely on me to do things--no one else will save me if I don't do what needs to be done, and I'm not finding that overwhelming at all! I'm taking on new challenges every day, getting myself organized to do the job the best way I know how, and figuring out how to make this and the rest of my life all lie comfortably together. I am relieved and grateful and joyful all at once. I feel completely and uniquely blessed.

A new opportunity and a new friendship have pulled me through the eye of the needle growth-wise. Painful, enlightening, wrenching and fulfilling all at the same time. Growth always is, I'm finding.

I met my all-time role model this year. Tina Fey. I still can't believe it. Part of it is just like pure excitement, but there's this obvious part that's super emotional about it. I mean, this woman is responsible for everything I aspire to be. (And she was super gorgeous in person!)

Realizing that I can't save and fix all the problems in the world in but I can take little consistent persistent conscious steps every day to make a difference while practicing daily mindfulness which leads to personal lasting inner happiness. Also realizing that less is more. Both these simple realization have translate into personal philosophies which I put into practice which has made me grateful for my life, relieved from worries and unnecessary wants and inspired to act.

In the last year, I got divorced. It's strange to think of my life at this time last year. Going into the new year looking for a new beginning, a restart to life, and an end to my pain. Looking back now, I am grateful to my ex for having the courage to be the one to pull the trigger and end a relationship that made us both unhappy for so long. I am relieved that we got out of that at a young age with no children and no serious baggage to sort through. It's amazing to think of the difference in myself and my life from then until now. I have lost 40 pounds, gotten in really good shape, taken more responsibility for my adult life, developed more of a sense of myself and who I am, more independence, and I am much happier than I was even before the divorce. It is a bit of a coincidence that last year at this time, I was grieving my marriage, and today I am grieving the end of another relationship that I just recently ended. It was my choice, but not what I truly wanted because I loved him, too. I have to be proud of myself for being mature enough to recognize what wasn't right for me and being able to walk away. I know that my previous relationships and marriage and divorce allowed me to have that maturity that let me walk away. And now even though I am in pain, I have to recognize that there is space and possibility, and return to my sense of peace and happiness with myself.

I was elected as Director of my University's Drama Club called the Lion Players. I found out I was being nominated the very day of elections. I was flabbergasted when I won. I became more confident and more opinionated. Before being elected I kind of kept to myself and didn't really associate myself with anyone. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity. It allows me to connect with people not just as a friend but as a fellow artist. I am relieved to know that I'm not doing a terrible job and that the people under me are enjoying themselves immensely. I find that I am inspired to pursue this type of direction after graduation. I am leaning towards theater and drama rather than literary analysis. I am so very glad that this happened to me. I now have the chance to grow as a leader and influence fellow students.

This past summer, daughter and I took a road trip to Indiana (900+ miles one-way) to visit family the week before the Memorial Day holiday. We decided to start our return trip back to Nebraska on Sunday (the day before Memorial Day), so we'd have a little time to relax before heading back to work. The car was packed and my daughter decided to check the upstairs bedroom at my dad's house one more time for any overlooked item. We left northern Indiana about 2:00 p.m. on a stormy Sunday afternoon. We had to stop in Chicago to wait out a severe thunderstorm and tornado watch, but we made up the time quickly enough. Nearly 15 hours later, at 4:30 a.m. MT on Memorial Day, we were home. As I unpacked and sorted laundry, Lorna finished up her college paperwork that was due the following day. She had been accepted into a nursing program earlier in the summer and would be relocating in a few weeks. Lorna finally "mentioned" she was having a hard time breathing. She had noticed it when she ran up the stairs at my dad's house in Indiana. Lorna said she was so winded by the run up the stairs, she had to lay on the bed to catch her breath before she was able to come back down. That wasn't easy for Lorna to admit. Lorna is calm and practical, an everything-is-fine kind of person. I am, well, to put it mildly, a supreme mother-hen-worry wart-always-take-symptoms-seriously-overly-concerned-with-my-health kind of person. Lorna is unruffled, while everything stresses me. I found my stethoscope (yes, I have one, I know, big surprise) and blood pressure cuff to check her vitals. Lorna's heart sounded funny, sort of banging, like it was working hard; she took gulping breaths after a jog up a short flight of stairs. I was ready to take her to the ER right then and there. Her reply was, "no, I'm fine, I still have paperwork to complete." I knew she was worried even though she was doing her best to ignore it. I slipped into Super Mom mode. I haven't done that since my kids were little. I felt calm and knew what had to be done. I helped Lorna complete her paperwork as best I could-- most of it was online, but I retrieved forms from the printer and fetched a pencil or found a birth certificate, anything to help. After everything was completed, I insisted on going to the ER. The ER was 80 miles away-- neither one of us wanted to get into the car again, but I wasn't taking "no" for an answer. She might be 25, but I'm still the mother. Ninety minutes later she was being evaluated in the ER. The ER personnel were not concerned, they thought I was an overprotective mother and shushed me when I tried to tell them my observations. A D-dimer blood test confirmed an embolism. After that, the hospital staff were all assholes and elbows. A chest x-ray was ordered, followed by a CAT scan that confirmed not one embolism, but multiple embolisms in her lungs around her heart. Lorna was admitted to critical care and the next day, an ultrasound on her legs revealed large blood clot behind the back of her knee. She was hospitalized for four days and will remain on blood thinners for six months. I am grateful that part of the new healthcare law went into effect so I could add my daughter to my insurance for one year. Without intervention, my daughter may have died or had a stroke. Without insurance, I may not have been able to convince her to go to the ER. Her college dream would have remained just a dream; hospital expenses would have wiped her out before she ever got started. I am relieved and grateful my daughter is alive.

I got into a really bad car accident that totaled my car and injured my neck and back pretty badly. And, although the accident has caused me a lot of pain, stress, resentment, and anger...I am thankful and grateful to still be alive.

I took a new job in a different state, had to pack up and move. Tried selling my house, after 6 months of sitting empty I signed up with a realty company to rent it out. I am not entirely sure of how I feel- I miss my friends and the networks I have there, I am sad because so few of my friends come to visit (it is a 5 hour drive that I have made numerous times), I am grateful to be employed, to be learning new things, I have a multitude of feelings. It is yet another state to which I have moved alone, knowing no one, but this time is further from my family. Since it has not been a year yet, I will see how it goes. It is pretty here and I am learning things about myself. In addition, I went to Haiti to do a little volunteer work as well as be a much needed tourist (Haiti is SUCH an amazing place with so many extremes- the majority are horrific, but certainly not all). I want to go back so much. I would love to go at least once or twice a year I think. From this experience I would like to continue to focus on humanitarian endeavors and influencing. All-in-all, I think the year has been positive.

I finally left a terrible job where I was yelled at constantly, unappreciated, paid peanuts and had to sit on a broken chair...I now have a new job, where I'm yelled at constantly, unappreciated, paid less than peanuts and sit on a broken chair....now I'm looking for another job but all I'm getting offered are commission ONLY, which pays NOT EVEN ONE peanut! On the brighter side, we're getting a bit ahead very slowly on the finances, I've joined Weight Watchers and have managed so far to get 9 of the 20 pounds OFF my body, so by this time WAY before next year, I'll be back to my normal weight of 138 and can even go back to work as a WW group leader...so it's back to the future. A publisher requested to see the full manuscript of my 3rd novel "Undercover Reunion", there is hope there, my agent is a looney-tune, but who knows? Three steps forward, two back, but at least I'm making PROGRESS!

My husband who suffers from non-combat related PTSD went off his anti-depressants over the winter (without telling me) when we were already having a hard time, emotionally and financially. There were fights, arguing, crying, threats. I felt like I was constantly monitoring him, like suicide watch. In some of the darker moments, I thought of what it would be like if we weren't together. (We've been married 10 years.) But we eventually made it through a very tough couple of months and now I think we have greater compassion and empathy for each other and, funnily, it brought us even closer in the end. He supported me when I had a serious bout of depression a few years ago, so I had faith we'd make it deep down in my heart. And we did. And we're still in love.

I moved to Massachusetts. Honestly, at first I was pretty pissed at my parents for doing such a thing to me. My freshman year at my old school was pretty good. I had my friends, was active in BBYO, etc. Then came late October. I was put into a new school knowing no one. All the kids there had known each other since fourth grade. I made a couple friends but, not many, the school was, and still is, pretty cliquey. I joined BBYO in my new area and to be honest, at first, I hated it. Now I'm starting to find my way again, getting my bearings on my new life. I wouldn't say I'm grateful or relieved because, to be honest, I would have been content with my life in Wisconsin. I knew what I was supposed to do. Basically had it all set till I was like 25. I don't feel resentful either. I do have new opportunities ahead of me which are wonderful things that I may have never gotten to experience. I wouldn't say I'm inspired either because my life is pretty average at the moment; nothing extraordinary. I guess the best way to describe it is that I'm content with the decisions that were made. I'm no longer angry, I understand what had to be done. I feel like this whole experience has made me mature and humbled me a little bit. I realize that there are things that may be out of one's control and the best thing that you can do is just let it be and live life to it's fullest. So with that, L'shana Tova! Here's to a sweet new year!

Draw Near Conference in Albuquerque, NM. I was blessed in so many ways.....fantastic teaching sessions, wonderful fellowship with deeply spiritual women, just being in Albuquerque! I met some powerful praying women who prayed that I be delivered from the devastating and dibilitating spirit of sorrow and sadness that had come upon me in February 2009 upon the sudden death of my beautiful daughter. The next morning, upon awakening, I knew that spirit was gone. When I hurried down to tell the women, they could see it in my countenance. Because of the strength of their prayers and their faith, I was able to rebuke that spirit when the enemy tried to put it back on me. That was over 4 months ago, and I am free of that spirit. Praise Yah and the wondedrful women of prayer. I am so grateful, relieved, inspired and my faith has been increased immeasurably.

I will be finishing my masters in the next 2 months and am moving to a place I have only visited twice. I don't have a job lined up or now anyone besides my godmother. I am excited/nervous/hopeful for my future.

I completed my final teaching practice and received the highest possible mark, a double outstanding. It was the best ten weeks of my life. I felt happy every single day I was teaching, I was blessed to work with supportive and lovely people and I was able to try new things without fear of failing. It gave me the confidence to continue over the next six months and finish this degree. It also confirmed for me that teaching is my vocation. I -never- get top marks in anything, so the results I received are really significant. The experience has inspired me to go forth and be the best person that I can be.

I turned in my phd thesis. it was cathartic. I felt really good, that i had done something that mattered.

Spent a month in India which re-sparked my passion to work and live abroad. Met some inspiring people who are doing wonderful things to help those in need in India. I am extremely grateful I was able to afford this trip and that I took the opportunity to go on this trip with my fellow MSW classmates. Great experience!!!

My two uncles kicked my dad out of the family business. He has worked there, with them, ever since he was old enough to work. My grandpa who owned the dealership died about a year and a half ago. It seems like they waited for him to be gone, and then they forced the issue. There was some kind of buy out agreement and my dad had no choice, though did some negotiating with lawyers. I am still in shock. I haven't seen anyone from those two families for 5 months. My family was always very close. I never would have imagined something like this happening. I can't really understand it - the motives, the implications for the future...etc. I have no idea what my family will be like now. I think we will be close with my two aunts and their families, but I'm not even sure of that. My family really needed the support of the rest of the family. Now we will have to see if whats left of the family is enough. Maybe those of us left will grow stronger having to work through this. Maybe.

My sons were diagnosed with Autism. And my family and I have been entirely changed by this experience. Diets, programs, school systems, politics...the world of Autism is incredibly taxing on the family and everyone involved. The roller-coaster of Autism is also incredibly rewarding and trying at this same time. Today the boys had amazing days both at home and in school at the same time we also had a disheartening meeting with my older son's school - because the politics of the education system get in the way of him getting provided the best program for him. We'll fight. And we'll win. But holy cow, you can't imagine the pressure and politics of making his program come - and stay together. We work so hard to get him the services he needs - and deserves. This entire experience has taught me patience I never thought I had. And an incredible amount of respect for my wife who faces the battles of Autism head on - every day. A lot is supposed to happen this year - a move (a major job change?) a baby #3 about to arrive. It will be interesting to reflect on all of this in 2012.

Both of my sons have started college and are living away from home. I am grateful that they are persuing their degrees and are at great colleges where they should excel and meet their goals. I am looking forward to the next phase in my life, that of an empty nester yet concerned that I will be lonely. I am extremely resentful that their father is not pitching in enough financially but proud that I am able to do all that I can on my income and that both boys completely understand.

I had a spiritual experience for 5 days without Internet. My GPs (Greater Powers) put two songs in my head, "River of Love" and "Hold On My Heart." As I didn't know the latter, I was hooked on the two lines, "Hold on my heart/just hold on to that feeling." I was so happy to be hooked on such great songs and I felt hopeful that I didn't have to graze through this "drought." I met Tutu, my Loving God. Tutu is a combination of CoRe (Cooperation and Rest/Relaxation/Recovery) (Step 2) and the Group Conscience (Tradition 2). I met Tutu less than a week ago at this point, so stay tuned...

Separation from my wife of 15 years. It hurt and left me angry at her, more every day for the way I had been treated by her over the years. Very resentful

I was assigned to a large, important, and impossibly scheduled project at work. I'm proud to have been given responsibility for a critical piece of the very large puzzle, but overwhelmed by the difficulty of managing a team remotely, resentful to have unrealistic expectations put on me, and regretful that I let my job steal my summer from me, and me from my family. Just very tired this year.

My dad died. Left me wishing Id had more time with him. Made me grow far closer to my mom. Grateful that I was able to spend time with him before he passed. Relieved that he didn't suffer. Inspired to do things that need to be done but weren't getting done. I think about his last breath several times a week. I miss him.

I found out I won't have a job by this time next year due to our new hospital wide computer system change which is being undertaken to comply with the healthcare laws being implemented. I'm resentful that the healthcare initiative by President Obama is putting me out of a job due to mandatory reporting and meaningful outcomes. I feel this is akin to the No Child Left Behind act that left every teacher behind. Of course everyone wants every child to have a good education, of course everyone should have affordable healthcare but this is NOT the way to achieve it. Start with the insurance companies that control the healthcare industry through their payments or nonpayments which make no sense at all and vary from company to company, contract to contract. Its ridiculous.

I met my boyfriend. We haven't fought even once in the year we have been together. He has made quite a difference in my life. We talk multiple times a day. I also was diagnosed with a tumor, most probably benign. They won't know until they cut me open. I have yet to agree to this because my parents both had botched operations and I don't trust doctors. My doctors haven't helped in this regard. I have seen three and all give different a different diagnosis (though all say probably benign tumor). It has impacted my life because I always wonder if this will be what kills me. I never thought about that before.

I let go of a floundering friendship that had been hurting me and confusing me. I told the truth, as much as it hurt. And not surprising, I realized the friendship was not what I had been striving for it to be for so many years. I am saddened, but grateful for what it has taught me: to learn to listen to others more and create safer borders around myself and my family. In a effort to get closer to my friend (and others), I often release more information about myself than I need or want to. That has finally clicked, and I feel like I am on the road to a new self-awareness.

I started my senior year in high school. It's been quite a roller coaster so far, but I know that good things are in store for me in the next few months. I hope I get into all the colleges that I apply to and that I end up in the best place for me!

My oldest child graduated from college in May. It made me feel older, how did my son get to be a college graduate? It also made me very, very proud and a little in awe of him - what a lot he has accomplished! It was such a wonderful weekend and so special because my parents were able to share it with us, despite all they have been through lately. I also was so delighted to hear from so many professors and friends' parents that my son is not only very intelligent but that they are in awe of his being such a thoughtful and caring young man who makes a difference in so many of his peers' lives. I have learned so much from him as he has learned along the way, and we have such a very special relationship, too.

Wow, I had an incident with my back last June that sidelined me for most of the summer. I felt like I didn't really have any fun during the only time I get to take off due to the school year schedule that I work. And the pain was intolerable. Since it was so unexpected, I was flabbergasted. Now I am so grateful for my health insurance, the Spine Center, the friends who helped me get to treatments, the relief of the terrible pain. I am also a little worried now as I have the knowledge that anything can happen without warning. I think I appreciate releatively good health more now.

I started dating Dave. I feel more grounded in reality being with him. For all the frustrations that come with being in a long-term relationship, I feel like I'm more self-aware, more stable, and have a partner in life. I'm working on residual issues from past relationships more than I've ever been able to do. I don't know if he's the one I'll spend the rest of my life with (should I know? does not knowing mean no?), but I'm glad we're sharing our lives now.

I attended my 50th high school reunion, which I helped organize. It was a bittersweet, mostly sweet, weekend and in the end I felt satisfied. It was a labor of love, inspired by the death of my best friend the previous year. She would have loved being there.

I got a new job in April. After graduating from college, I moved abroad and taught at a university for three years, so in a way, it was like I never left academia. Only working 16 hours a week and having 3 months holiday every year spoiled me to the point that I was actually bored! Now at my new job, it is 40+ hours a week with much less vacation, but it is much more exciting and interesting, and gives me much better opportunities for the future. This job has affected my life in expected and unexpected ways. I'm busier, which I expected. I miss my boyfriend because we have so much less time together, which I didn't expect. I am grateful for this opportunity, and am relieved that I was able to find an interesting job here, since the only option is to leave my boyfriend and go back to the US (he's Chinese, and can't get a visa). This change in my life has also greatly affected my future goals. Since graduating college, I have not really known what I want to do with the rest of my life; where I want to live, what field I want to work in, where my place is in the world, etc. This new job has shown me a whole new world of careers that I never thought of, and I'm more excited for the future because of it.

I got married to the love of my life in July. I have found a friend, a lover, a partner for life. I am blessed with love, caring, support and happiness from one man, and am excited for our future together. But with that excitment is also fear - I have seen relationships become sour, and unfortunately there are also accidents and illnesses that can't be predicted, and I don't know what I'd do without him. My focus is not on my fears, but on our happiness.

A significant experience of mine this year would have to be starting at university. It was in a different country, well away from home and from the local hospital. I wanted to go far away so that I could prove to myself, and others, that I could survive on my own. People kept trying to stop me from going overseas to university, my doctors, my parents, my friends... Nothing though could keep me from proving to myself that I could do it I have done it, I've survived. I've survived being on my own. I've survived. I learnt how to live on my own, how to be on my own, be independent. I am so grateful to my university life for giving me that.

I spent three minutes try to think of something and I couldn't. At all. Womp womp. I mean I turned 21, but I don't think that's very significant.

My boyfriend moved in. I'm happy.

New job! I was at a deadend job for 6 years. I am now employed under two nice guys that own a market and catering business. Even though i took a paycut, I am greatful to have a job where I respect the guys I work for. It's nice to stare my employer in the face and know that they appreciate my hard work. Hopefully it pays off.

My youngest child has set educational goals. Among them to attend NFTY EIE this year in Israel. I am excited for her! Oh how they grow up so fast.

I had to change job locations. I was scared, nervous, upset, angry, and eventually happy and inspired.

Finally sold my house in Jamaica! Incredibly relieved as it had been on the market for over two years with no prospect of ever selling. Selling it has allowed me to have closure with Jamaica. I thought I would live there "til death do me part " and put my heart, soul, blood, sweat & tears into making a home there. Obviously it did not work out, but I am in a much better place now. It has taught be to let go, Let God.

I know this is cheesy, but I had my first real kiss this year. It was truly special, and I know that I'll remember it for the rest of my life. I also contracted mono, and after getting healthy again, I definitely think I have different priorities in life. I am grateful for everything that has happened this past year, I know it has changed me for the better

I had an amazing holiday with 3 of my best friends. It was an incredible experience, brought us closer together and formed a special bond.

My son was circumcised. It was scary to see him suffer, and difficult to cope with the recovery period alone. It did bring me closer to God, and to Judaism, and I hope that it will do the same for him (albeit unconsciously).

At the very begining of the year, my Granddad passed away. Just recently, I found out I was pregnant. I still miss him a lot and wish he could be here to meet my child. I hope my Grandma will be able to meet my child so that when she goes to meet my Granddad, she can tell him all about my baby.

I started dating an old high school friend. It came very unexpectedly, as neither of us knew our true feelings for each other, but this is the happiest I've ever been. We plan to live together once I finish this last year of school and I'm so excited to see where that takes us.

I joined bbyo. It made me feel special and got me to who I am now. It built me more confidence and lon lasting friendships.

I graduated from 7th grade and entered 8th. I'm not scared for it, but I miss 7th grade and all my old teachers. Even though I still see them every day, it's just not the same thing and I'm so nostalgic. I'm also really scared because next year I have to go to high school and I'm already missing my teachers, if that makes any sense. But I also am very grateful for the time I have. My school is wonderful and I feel challenged and inspired every day. So I just have to try to be happy every day and soak it all in before I leave forever.

I was able to gain more work, by showing my ability. I'm both grateful and relieved. I'm hoping to get another promotion by the fall.

I have lost 90 lbs on a nutrition plan called Thrive. I feel so much better in so many ways. 45-50 more to go! I can do this! I am empowered.

Significant experience, hmmm. I guess all the nights where we stayed out past sunrise here talking about all the things we want to do and kareoke and ramen. It was a good first 6 months I am happy they happened and at the same resentful they seem to be over. Now that summer is over everything has changed. It feels like all the people who I called my friends just want to party and I can not blame them, this is home for good for them, exploring seems obsolete when you live here. I feel like I am just wasting time with that side of life. They don't want to explore. This is significant becuase well, I guess it is making me realize, I just need to keep exploring and I need to get used to doing so on my own.

I quit my job in Kansas and moved back to Oklahoma. I got a job and a girlfriend and a good place to live. I really feal that I am starting my life over again and I want everyting to happen 'right now'! I have to step back and realize that everything happens in it's own time and that I have to trust in God to guide me and advise me in the way my life needs to be. 2012 will be an interesting year!

Last winter, I was working about 4 jobs-illustrator, designer, brand developer/researcher, and as a server which all and all was taking it's toll on me. Everyday was a hustle and to top it off, I literally didn't see the sun for a couple of weeks due to my work schedules in affect to match the Minnesota 4 hour timespan of daylight during the winter. I remember one day, stressed, exhausted, maybe fragile, while heading somewhere with my boyfriend a car horn honked at me while driving. For some reason, that completely shook me. When I got home, I immediately started crying because I was so stressed about my life. I thank god that my boyfriend was amazing during that time and was there to comfort me. Later in the winter, my hard work paid off as I was able to be flown to Chicago for work and be respected for my hard work and practice in as brand developer (one of the four jobs). It felt amazing to be taken seriously in the field by those I admire, but at the same time I still wonder to what end. 4 Jobs and working months at a time without a break? I am still a server (at a better establishment now and for much more pleasing work (catering)) and I still work from sun-up to sun-down, and I love it, but I still wonder, will it ever stop, should I always expected a stress induced cry every month or so? And will it ever really be worth it?

My son turned one year old on July 12. He's the love of my life. I've never known anyone as beautiful as this little kid. He lights up my day, every. single. day. Even when he's throwing a tantrum and screaming in my face, the second I lay him down to sleep, my heart melts all over again. I am eternally grateful for every second I get to spend with him, and I only hope the next 17 years are just as good as this first one.

I got pregnant! I am very grateful and inspired but also wonder what it will mean. I pray that next year at this time I have a healthy happy baby. It has forced me to evaluate what kind of person I am and who I want to become. It is pretty miraculous, he is kicking as I type this. It has also brought me closer to my husband. Family is wonderful.

After recovering from cancer and being reminded that there are no guarantees of time and no excuses to put things off anymore, I fulfilled a 30 year dream of touring Europe this past summer. I visited some of the great cathedrals and works of art that I had studied so many decades ago and discovered even more that I never knew existed. I was humbled by the majestic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, fell in love with the personalities of the Irish and the Brits, and had my ire raised by the Parisians. I ate a variety of great and varied foods, shared in political discussions of change and discontent, and basked in the melodious sounds that articulated the variations on a theme of the English language. I touched the land of my ancestors, felt the pulse of the millenniums running thru the architects stone, and ventured thru a crypt whose remnants dated to 50 AD. I am extremely grateful that I have made it to a point in my life where I could carry something like this out. I learned that it was easier than I ever imagined and even reachable within my budget. I also felt a little regret that I had put it off for so long. Now that I have walked through it, lived the journey moment by moment, I know that it is something I could have done a lot sooner. I am inspired to continue traveling and exploring whenever I have the time and funds. The process of travel itself continually opened and expanded my mind, as each new environment and each new situation brought with it unique problems to solve. Embracing them as challenges rather than stumbling blocks shifted the experience into the realm of adventure; something missing in my life for many years and something I have literally come to crave.

This has been such an eventful year. I started really diving into the world of tea, I had been tea blogging but I started attending tea events: Northwest tea festival in Seattle, First Flush Tea Festival in Charleston, SC, World Tea East in Philadelphia. I am grateful to get to experience the world of tea, and to even be considered by some people as a resource. I also slowly waded into the BDSM waters from theory to practice. I attended wicked faire as a minion, The Aviary play parties, Libertine Ball, and Diabolique. I am finding out more about how BDSM fits into my life. I quit my job, without having another lined up. I trained my replacements. It was a tough decision in this economy, but it was the right one for me. When I quit, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and underwent surgery. I then got offered a new job, which required me to become a resident of a new state, for the first time, far from friends and family. This is also y first apartment alone. So much has happened I am not yet sure how I feel about it.

The birth of our son. He lights up our lives! We are so grateful for him each and every day. Watching him grow and change each day is eye opening and inspiring. I'm proud to be raising him.

This year my youngest son turned 13 and became a Bar Mitzvah - the event occuring within a couple of weeks of my 50th birthday. I am very grateful for both events. My son did me proud, but really shined for himself, showing all his talents and intelligence. I was grateful for all those who were there to share the occasion with us, and that I was there to see it and enjoy his accomplishment, to see him growing up. I have been greatly blessed.

I went to COSTA RICA! I am very grateful because unlike most of the other kids who went, my parents had to work REALLY hard to be able to afford the trip, and I'm so happy that they love me enough to do something like that for me. I had an amazing time, it was my first time out of the country. The scenery was beautiful and the teens were awesome!

The first two that pop into my mind is about my job and relationship. I recently got a job a KTS as a teacher assistant. It took a while to confirm my offer and it kept me in limbo in the middle of my summer. I was hoping to give my current clients of that time enough time to deal with my leave. During that same time, Robert and I decided that we would move in together therefore I would be moving out of my parents house and living on my own. I can say all these three experiences are major and the fact that things actually took there time and some are still happening (organizing my things before moving forward) is pretty relieving. I am relieved on how well my transition towards my independence has come. I Am paying for all my bills and now I am living on my own and working in a job where I have multiple bosses always around me. I am inspired right now as I look at the situation with more clarity. Wow I have gotten myself towards a life I desire. I am not as compulsive to have everything done but see myself taking bites off the large elephant and being grateful, proud and satisfied for the work I put in everyday. Even those days when I realize I need to back off and relax. I am learning about doing what I can and problems CAN take multiple steps to resolve. Another aspect of my job is that I am very excited about working with the DIR FLoortime model and seeing how much more I will be able to help myself rewire my thinking to allow me to be the best me. And I realized the greatest part of this is how much my self interest helps others as well. Its a win win situation. I am grateful to be able to help others as I help myself.

My partner (domestic and business) and I bought a failing business. We thought that we were helping the people who worked there by buying it - that they would be able to continue to work together. They did want to work together, and they agreed to the terms we asked (could they pay this much rent, sell this much stuff). They didn't come through, and we later found out they didn't intend to - they moved along to another place, together. I am resentful, but I feel we learned some lessons about other people, about our relationship, and about ourselves, so, for that, I'm grateful.

Finally having the courage to quit full time day job, work from home and focus on family & other aspirations. Having the courage to ask for husband's support in doing so. I feel both relieved and inspired, but quite frightened as well.

I went to my first Shabbat service and dinner at Hillel (in March). Hearing everyone pray in the old, holy language of Hebrew was a transcendent moment/time. I don't think I can ever forget how connected I felt. I was connected to everyone throughout the world and throughout time who prays or has prayed in this wonderful language. And I, of course, felt connected to G-d. Shabbat is now a regular part of my life. So, yes, I am extremely grateful for that first Shabbat experience. Each Shabbat my love for Judaism, for G-d, and for life grows and intensifies.

I got my first piece published. I am a published author! It gave me an intense feeling of gratitude, relief, excitement and validation - like maybe all this time writing, fretting over writing, worrying about whether I'm in any way qualified or capable of doing it in a professional way is not in vain. It also inspired me to work harder, produce more, keep going, keep trying. It made me feel like I have something to work toward, a life goal to pursue.

started a new business.alot of work.no free time and i dont have much money.im grateful for the chance to do this and it has brought erik and i closer.

My former husband died earlier this year, quite unexpectedly. I had made sure he was financially provided for after our break, and was a good friend. I assisted my daughter with the shiva and funeral and other matters and others could not believe it.This was also the case for the rabbi, up to a point. It was the sadness of the situation itself, and the fact that Inever had thechance to say that maybe we should get back together. At least I was there for him, he always needed me to see him through.My daughter was grateful to have me there for genuine support and guidance. I will always be sad about the situation, but know I eased his path , from the point of view that his soul, his neshama could make its path gently, with dignity and respect. A most important lesson for both my daughter and myself. I am so glad I chose to do this. Yesterday, eruv Rosh Hashanna, it rained heavily , non stop. It was his tears from heaven, sad not to be here, and the tears from other loved ones. It is for my daughter and I to carry on and learn more and try to make the best of every day.

I fell in love, twice. And had my heart broken.. twice.. But it's okay, i've learned a lot. And now i think i may have found the right guy..

Going to college was probably the most significant. This crucial beginning of my journey has marked an end to something great (a fantastic relationship that truly changed me), but I now realize that life has much more planned for me, and college has provided that inspiring and encouraging epiphany

I would have to say going to Kripalu for Jen's retreat, and realizing very deeply that I did not have to keep telling myself and others the same story--the story about my brother's death. I could decide what story I told. And from that I learned that I would have to deal with my sadness as a place inside myself that just was there. It would not go away. Although, now, a year after Henry's death, I feel that it is a place more out of the way than it was before. A shelf in the closet, perhaps. When I turn on the light and take it down, the pain is as acute as ever, but then I can put it away and do other things. So I guess I have experienced the gift of time this year as well, and how it can rub off the sharp edges of grief.

My mother-in-law cheated death and was discharged from hospice. Unfortunately, she was left with severe dementia. I do most of the visiting. It's one of the few things that brings her pleasure, but it's time consuming and difficult. My feelings are ....mixed.

I don't think I can pick only one. I have had several very significant experiences in the past year that have really affected me - emotionally, intellectually, spiritually (?) and in my academic career. I had my heart broken into a million little bits. This was one of the most negative and devastating things that happened. Perhaps it was inevitable, in some ways, but I felt terribly wronged by the way it happened, even though I'm not angry at the person who did it. It was one of the most staggering conversations I have ever had, and so horribly flecked with little shards of tenderness. Somehow we have come through this and remained friends, but I can't say I'm over it inside. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about it that I'm not really sharing with anyone, and it's all mixed up with other life stuff I'm trying in some roundabout way to resolve. At the time, I was completely annihilated. I spent a week or so at home, alone, sporadically crying with the pain it caused me, and in the time since then (six months) I've been trying to work myself through to a better place. I completed my degree, which felt like a great achievement as my road to settling into a course I liked at a university I liked was a long and fraught one. I achieved the result I wanted to, and completed a work of three formative years. I feel satisfied at a job well done. I applied to Masters programmes and got into one of the best universities in the world, to continue my academic journey in a subject that has become increasingly important to me. I feel very pleased, and more confident about my ability to achieve what I aim for. Sometimes I've found myself feeling very negative and having grave doubts about what I can do in life, but this helped to remind me that my perfectionism can distort the picture. I visited Israel for the first time. I had been intending to go for a while, and I finally found the time and the wherewithal to take the plunge. It was almost a feeling of relief to see the country I had learnt and read and heard so much about, and that contains so much meaning for me. It was a wonderful experience, and really strengthened my feelings about its significance, though it also further raised a few complicated feelings about identity and belonging that I can tell are going to inform at least the next year of my life.

I broke up with my boyfriend of 16 months. It was fully my decision. I really needed to (re)discover who I am as an autonomous, solo being on this earth. I needed to find within myself who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I needed to be able to breathe. I wanted to make decisions without feeling like I was going to hurt his feelings or leave him out. I do love him very much. Its been a very private, complicated pain. But I'm growing and changing and learning. In lieu of losing one relationship, I have rekindled my romance with G-d and my faith... We'll see how that goes....

Getting into the University of Newcastle. I never thought I'd ever be able to get into uni and now I'm going to start studying next year! I'm a bit scared about it all since I'll be moving up to Newcastle by myself and won't know anyone else. That is unless Richenda moves back up with me since she might be going to TAFE up there next year. Anyway I'm really excited that I could actually get into Uni at all! I guess I'm not so stupid after all and my dreams can finally get on the way to coming true.

My youngest started kindergarten. As she gets older, I have to accept that I am getting older. It won't be long before I can contribute to the money the family earns, and I am scared. I am needed as a mother but for my own sanity and for the comfort of my family, I need to consider earning some extra money. I have four hours each day to do something, but at the same time my 15 year old decided to home school. It's overwhelming because I know I am needed but even my kids act as if I am freeloading off their father, my husband. I think that once I work they will see what I actually do!

I got a job! A real one! And my god, am I ever grateful. It took six long months -- well, I say long, but thinking back they seem to have flown by -- and while I was initially frustrated that it was in my hometown and reluctant to stay, I'm glad I did. And, magically, I've covered a vast amount of ground in terms of what I want to do with my career, at least for the next few years (and maybe longer?). I love, love, love working with students in this mentor/coordinator/advisor capacity. I like the non-profit community, despite the constant budget worries. I love feeling like I'm making connections and doing good things with my life, for other lives. My only regret is that it isn't full time, but for my next job, I expect that will change for the better.

I've been meeting with a Rabbi and working on converting to Judaism. It's been an interesting time, for sure. Done alot of reading and been going to Temple. It's been emotional for me, surprisingly so.

Graduated from college, got my nursing license, and landed my first job! I knew I'd get something eventually, but this is a tough market, and I'm really relieved to have found a good job. At the same time, I'm a little... I don't know, intimidated? worried? about the prospect of going to work and doing a job like this five days a week for the next forty years. Forty years? That's a long time! On the other hand, there are plenty of opportunities for nurses in all kinds of settings, so I'm sure I'll be able to switch it up and keep thing interesting when I need to.

I had the privilege of being elected Regional Mazkir of my region in BBYO. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity as it has allowed me to open up, meet new people, experience an incredible role as a leader. But most importantly, it has put me on my way towards becoming a better human being.

All in late July-early August, the time of my 38th birthday, I had to upheave the contents of my entire apartment due to overcome bedbugs, broke up with someone I love but isn't the right fit and renewed my commitment to a fit, sound body (and to surround myself with people who feel the same) all in the same month. I feel like I've started over again, again. A bit sad, and unhinged, with a tinge of optimism.

I decided to leave my marriage. Now I am not as resentful of my husband's treatment of me and not as sad about the emptiness of our relationship. I am relieved and feel that I have alot to look forward to.

This past summer I went to my summer camp for my last year as a camper. That summer was the closest I had gotten to any of them. Girls that I never talked to became my sisters. The last night and day were crazy because boys that are stereotypical jocks were crying. They were crying that they were gonna miss everyone! They actually are sensitive and compassionate and it made me realize that you should never judge anyone without getting to know them. Although I know that I will not stay close to all of these people, camp will always be an amazing memory that I will have.

Had surgery twice on my sinsus. The tumor not cancer but don't know what it is. And now it has grown back. I am simply frustrated and somewhat resigned to the fact that life has hit me in the fact. And you know what I don't care. Is that wrong? I don't know. I guess it is just what it is.

I don't know if there is just one single event that is super significant. My children experienced some illnesses and that was hard, my mom had surgery and that was hard, but what made it harder was how my husband Joel handled it. He made things complicated because of his reactions. He doesn't try to make things easy on others but rather himself. I remember being extremely frustrated. I feel like I need him to grow beyond just putting his stamp on everything.

In the past year I walked away from a broken and unhealthy relationship. That in itself wasn’t a new experience or something I feel especially proud about. What followed this break up was an intensive amount of soul searching and a dramatic shift in my approach to relationships. In a way I guess I am grateful, relieved and yes obviously inspired – to be a better person, friend and partner.

A friend of mine that I used to have feelings for, and was intimate with has been accused of raping a woman. I am still trying to understand my feelings about it, and its very confusing. I am looking for more ways to express myself besides voicing my thoughts and emotions. I think this may be the best time to get back into art.

Last year, I quit my first job out of school. I was miserable every day which was nit good for myself nor anyone around me. I quit without having another job in place. It was really scary. My husband did not have a job either and we were living with my in-laws who were going to be moving in 2 months. Although it was a scary time, it made me see how wonderful our family is... Both sets of parents offered us their support, love, and homes. Things worked out. I got a job right when I needed it. We found an apartment. Faith and perseverance go hand in hand.

This has been a good year . We are being busy and useful which is necessary for happiness . We moved this year . We live in a fifth wheel which is very nice and is pleasant for retirement , but this year we came out of retirement when my husband got a job , so we moved out of the retirement park to a beautiful lot near where he works.The scenery is lovely here , huge old oak trees draped with Spanish moss , verdant lawns , a space for a small garden and fruit trees . The neighbors are friendly and sweet natured , country people ,always ready to help. I am thankful God put us here, He did because we did not plan any of this ,it just happened.

After 10 years, I finally wrote about my 9/11 experience. By doing that I finally learned how much that trauma affected me and my life choices in the last decade. I'm sorry to say that there were as many negative results as positive. But it's been good to finally work through some of it.

I divorced my partner of 9 1/2 years and began a new phase of my life. I am so relieved and renewed that I know leaving was the right thing to do. I have learned a lot about her since leaving though, and am dismayed (to put it mildly) that I will have to deal with her for the rest of our son's life. Nonetheless, a positive!

I got married in May and spent the summer traveling. The wedding was essentially perfect, and we loved traveling together after. I savored every minute. From our "official" honeymoon in Alaska to eight weeks in India and everywhere in between... we were very fortunate to have the support of our friends and family, and the financial means to pull it all off. Now that my husband is living in the same place as me, and the whirlwind has calmed somewhat, I am reveling in this new chapter of my life.

Signed divorce papers. I'm relieved, sad, happy, grateful, proud, grateful, stronger and at peace.

Am going deeply into debt to pay for my two kids to go to college. How did it affect me? I am so proud of both them, they are both bright, capable young adults. I wish they thought as much about me. At this point, I don't think they think that I can walk and chew gum at the same time. They don't share any part of their lives with me. When I ask a question about school, roommates, social life, I get one word answers, or worse, they ask why I want to know. Last year Parent's Weekend came and went. I took time off from work to go to both colleges, I was told that there was no need for me to be there. It hurt. This year, not even mentioning it.

I graduated from university a year early. It was a complete shock and caused me quite a bit of grief wherein I had to run around my campus looking for the right people to help make sure I graduated at the right time. At the same time, it freed me to leave my adoptive state and find a brand new place to call home. It's given me a plethora of time to devote to other things and perhaps it will be the reason why I stay where I am now.

The first experience that comes to my mind was International Kallah 2011, a summer program through BBYO. It's no exaggeration when I say that Kallah changed my outlook on life, friendship, and Judaism. I'm attending Shabbat services nearly every week now, and I feel great. I feel much wiser after attending Kallah. I hope to come back in two years as a Madrich. I also discovered I have a hidden talent for poetry recitation and playing the ukulele.

I found the most amazing organization in the world, Safe Haven Family shelter. Watching kids play shelter as opposed to house will change you. I am so grateful and I now know my passion in life...changing the world.

I started my last year of high school. I think I should be happier than I actually am. Truthfully it scares me more than anything that this is my last year really living at home. I don't think that I am ready to move on from everything I have now and go off on my own.

I survived the first year after my father's death. Time really does help you adjust to a new version of normal. I'm grateful that year is over. Nothing is happening for the "first" time after his death anymore. That is a relief.

Got engaged. I am happy, very happy. I feel in some ways more complete. We are pledging our commitment to one another, and it's a renewal of our promise to take care of one another. I am also a little relieved. We have been together for a long time. I have never doubted that we would stay together and support each other. However, I have been aware of how others perceive us, living as partners rather than spouses. This applies to my family, to some extent. Though they are supportive, I think they have always been quietly wondering whether we would progress to having children, and being married is implicitly an interim step for us. This concern with others' impressions also extends to our professional lives. Telling clients and business colleagues that you have a boyfriend or a partner sounds very different than a husband. Even if you have been together for longer than many of the married couples around you. Anyway, we are now excited about planning our celebration and surrounding ourselves with the people we care most about. Though it makes me feel a little shallow to admit it, I am now more confident about discussing my family life others, with an engagement ring on my finger.

A significant experience in my life this year was definitely attending a BBYO summer experience in CLTC. It taught me so much about basic leadership but it was the people who surrounded me that taught me the most. I gained extreme confidence in myself and my abilities to affect people around me. I was and still am inspired and I plan to continue to grow further and stronger with the help of the foundations and people that I found during this experience.

Got promoted. I'm in a new position where I can make a difference, have a boss who trusts me and lets me work at my own pace and style, gives me new tasks and really supports me. I have to make split-second decisions that can cost my company a lot of money if I'm wrong, but I'm right a lot more often than wrong. Edit: after I answered this question... turns out I did make a massive error. Could have cost nearly $8000 but some magic by my boss got the erroneous trade cancelled. Everything seems to be ok and nothing per my responsibilities or duties have changed.

I recently started school at UCLA. Up until I started, I really wasn't looking forward to college because I felt that I would be wasting all of my time doing homework and I wouldn't have any time to pursue business ventures. However, I've been having an absolute blast since I've been here for a week and a half. The past two years I was alone most of the day, while working at home between local community college classes. But now I'm always surrounded by awesome people, have one of my good friends from San Diego only a 5-minute walk away, and am learning about subjects I am interested in. It certainly won't be easy, but I'm glad that I am having the experience opposed to working during the young, beautiful, years of my life.

I moved to college, I guess that's pretty significant. We had to leave a day early due to hurricane Irene, so Mom wanted me at the house early in the morning. I said goodbye to my Dad, and the dogs, and Mom, Grandma, and I headed off for Ithaca. It was a pretty quiet ride, cramped in the backseat with the contents of my soon-to-be dormroom. We got there, did all the sign-in paperwork and junk like that, then we found my room and unpacked all of my things. When we were done, we had some homemade pb&j's, then they set off, and there I was, alone by myself for the first time in my life. I wasn't as sad as I thought I was going to be. Then I went to some events to kick off the new school year, made some friends. It was great to be there. I think I was always afraid that I would somehow change when I went to college, like I would stop having that wonderful passion for life, or being able to just dance around singing showtunes. But nope, I still flipped scarves, laughed, watched movies, and procrastinated on homework. It was a different place, but I was still me...

I hate to sound cliche, but there were some guys I was involved with this past year...Two in particular. They were the same age(younger than me) and ironically had the same name. Boy#1 was a guy I fell for and dated for a bit. A few months after the break up I realized that if I didn't end it when I did then I could've had to deal with being physically harmed. He was showing signs of being abusive. He would try forcing me into doing things i didn't want to do and he would pursue his advances even after I would say 'stop'. Boy#2 was a guy I had met before #1 but only thought of as a sweet friend. When the break up happened, #2 came to my aid and comforted me and didn't make me uncomfortable or anything. Apparently he liked me. A few months later we met up and we started having a "thing". Then when we saw each other again he made out and was all over this other girl on my birthday, right in front of me, and the day just after he was all over me. He ignored me the whole weekend. Also, he never apologized. I, oddly enough, am actually really grateful that these two guys came into my life and screwed me over. I have learned from this experience- I have grown. I still don't talk to either but I don't need guys like them in my life. This is my year to regain strength and let myself trust guys to the full extent that I used to.

I graduated from law school, and I went to live in Austria for 4 months. Both of them have helped me to grow up and gain perspective on my life, what I want, and who I want to be. I'm grateful that I had the resources and ability to both attend law school and then live in Austria for a while before I started working. I also started working- and given that the legal market is so tight, I'm very grateful to have such a fantastic job doing what I want to do.

I went to France this summer for a total of 18 days. It was my first real away from home experience and I loved it. I really hope that I get to go back to that country later in my life again. It's changed me to be more careful with my money and has made me independent and more aware of my surrounds and possessions. (I lost my passport while over there so I now keep a much closer eye on everything I have. I was so depressed because I bossed my own birthday party because I couldn't leave France to come home in time. I'm still aggravated with myself about it and will probably forever be.)

During the past year I passed my canidacy exam and officially began work on PhD. While I was relived by passing, I have found it hard for me to step up my game into my new role and I am not really sure what that new role is and have found myself sinking father into depression. I love my project and am very excited to watch it get off the groud and to really be the one steering the direction. I had thought that life after comps would get easier, but it seems to be getting harder and more stressful, but I don't really understand why.

Well, I suppose the fire which burned me out of the apartment I loved would qualify. I am now living in an elderly housing complex which was built in the '50's and looks it. Instead of the water as my backyard I have the commuter rail literally feet from my back window with trains a constant source of cacophonous intrusions. I feel as down as I ever have and know, realistically I have no way out. It will be to a nursing home or crematorium. Thankfully I have Puppy who comes out at night and spends some time with me until the morning. The last few days she's been staying a little longer so maybe I'll have her company more regularly. I am sequestered, have not been out since I moved in a little over 2 months ago and have not socialized with the other residents. It's the computer during the day and the television at night. For the first time I really feel old and like my father, just waiting to dye.

Fainting at work. It made me realise that I have to make sure that I don't get too tired or do too much. I'd been working more hours than normal just before, and so was very tired. It made me remember that we work to live, we don't live to work. I'd forgotten that.

A significant experience was the change of my job. I believe it is not what I expected. However, due to this situation, I am working on achieving what I really want. I feel a mixture of emotions. Sometimes I feel disappointed. Sometimes I feel mad. However, I am thankful for what I have and for what I have accomplished. Hopefully I will feel happier very soon, as great opportunities seem to be coming.

I ventured into a new job, and achieved great recognition of competency from my peers. It is my first serious job since becoming a stay at home mom 17 years ago.

I graduated from college. Which I am so happy to have completed with such wonderful friends and such great grades. I feel blessed and terrified at the same time. I know what I want my life to hold and I know that planning life doesn't always work out :)

This year I gave birth to my little surprise Emma. I am grateful that everything went smoothly with the delivery. Shes a little angel that God sent because He knew I could not take much more. I resent that have had to raise her and her siblings alone. I know God will strengthen and continue encouraging me as I continue to do His will.

I went to a weight loss camp, and I lost 20 pounds. I feel extremely happy and inspired to continue on my weight-loss journey!

I found out that my husband has been lying to me about almost everything. He is destroying my financial reputation and credit. My car is going to be repossessed. He insisted on buying me the car last year because he said that his business was doing exceptionally well. I have not been able to find a job since I lost my job almost two years ago. Now for the positive: My 12 year old daughter and I have always been extremely close, but now we are closer because of this change in our lives. All of our friends have been loving and attentive to us and we are staying with my Dad in his beautiful townhouse with our two dogs. I am looking for a new career to train for. I am so grateful for all of the love and caring we have received. I am relieved to be away from an abusive person.

I began seeing a great therapist who has helped me understand that despite the vision my parents had of me, the one I internalized, I really am a very interesting, fun and intelligent person. I might even be creative. There are not really good words to describe how amazing this experience has been for me.

I have gone to University. It's day 6 late at night after a night clubbing @ Oceana. I'm feeling tired, on a down from an exhausting night, yet still very excited to get my Psychology on. People have been very friendly, however that's exactly how they have to be as freshers. so i'm still iffy as to the reality of my situation. Things look positive, however. I'm staying healthy (ish) by not drinking too much and having lots of water. i just can't wait for it to be 6 months on and for me to be used to my course, my flat, and the world of Nottingham.

I moved away from home to NYC. I felt scared but excited. I broke up with my boyfriend which made me sad, but I had to push forward to enjoy the adventure ahead. Looking back on this past year, I can say that I have truly inspired myself.

actually nothing significant happened this year-still at the same job, same salary, same friends, same home..perhaps the answer is the real question. why didn't anything significant happen this year?

I got a square job where i wear a shirt and tie (on tuesdays) My friend who I wasn't sure liked me got me the job. All of the words with question marks are pretty close. I am super grateful. I'm a little relieved because it looks like the owner likes me and it's going to stay a sure thing for a little while. Resentful? I don't know about that. I'm somewhat inspired. Let's see how much they let me Artist now that there are artisty options. I was getting a little sick of waiting to hear from anyone who might be willing to pay me. So all of this, no matter how occasionally upsetting, is worth not having to worry.

I worked at camp and I met an incredible little kid. He made such an impact that I wrote my college essay after him. I am so grateful that I had the chance to meet him.

This is intense. What *didn't* happen this year? I guess, getting into college. Being here has made me realize that I have to back away from cloistering myself up with a brick wall of halacha (which I didn't even know I'd been doing). I get to hang out daily with someone who's totally into hasidism. It really makes me rethink things. I thought I'd come here and get in and get out, but everything's changing. It's quite amazing.

I got married and I'm now in the process of getting a divorce, all within the past year. The marriage and impending divorce have changed everything in my life. I'm happy, sad, broken, full, relieved, mad, angry, hurt, free and so many more things. Where I sit right now it still hurts more than words can describe. No one can ever understand the pain that comes with the divorce, even if I was the one who initiated it, it still hurts. It's like a bomb went off inside of me and no one can see or feel the pain but myself. I know it was the right thing to do and I know it will get better, but right now it hurts.

I met someone who I thought would end up being the love of my life...and now I'm not sure. He has nearly everything I'd want in a life partner and he loves me dearly, but for some reason I'm not feeling as deeply as I should. So a part of me feels burdened by this...by feeling like I need to figure it out...by worrying that he's not the right one, which would absolutely break his heart and be a deep and sore disappointment to me. I wish I had the perspective that comes with time to help me resolve this and know what to do.

My daughter moved out and emancipated herself. Meaning, she divorced her family before she was 18. That simply broke my heart. And, I know it was the best thing for her to do. She needed to spread her own wings and try life on her own terms. While I hurt for the path she has chose, one that is not as easy as I would have wanted for her. I know it is, in the long run what will be a catalyst move in her life. I pray for her protection every single day and weep to the soles of my feet for our family to be restored. God is bigger than this and I am grateful I have my faith to hold me up!

I was hired at a new job in January. I had been unemployed for 4 months and didn't do anything productive. However, after 9 months at my new job I have been more productive than 2 years at my last one. I feel exhilarated that this job has opened me up to new experiences and challenges and helping me to realize dreams and passions I want to explore more fully.

I found love. This happened more than a year ago - but this year we decided to build our home together. We found the perfect apartment, opened a joint checking account, arranged our furniture (and built some furniture), put up pictures - and created a space to share together. I never used to believe that I would ever find a partner or even deserve to be loved, and yet somehow I found somebody to share my life with. It is amazing to think about just what can happen in a year. I am so grateful and happy - and I finally believe that this is right. I love and am loved. What a blessing.

My first (And only) niece was born in June. She has changed my WHOLE life. I've realized that I didn't even know what love really was till she was born. She is a handful, But i CANNOT imagine my life without her now. I am so grateful.

I canceled my wedding this spring. I was in a relationship with someone who was good and kind, but didn't fulfill me. Every bone in my body ached with the wrongness of the situation, and I felt deep in my heart that there was something else out there for me, somewhere. So, after lots of tears and doubts, I left. And I haven't looked back. I've learned that I need to go after all the things that make *me* happy. Everything else will work itself out. Never settle for anything that is less than what you know is right for you.

So many things have happened this year. So many significant things. I accomplished so much professionally and personally, and feel as if I am only continuing to grow. It is the most beautiful feeling. I think that I should break this down into specifics. So professionally, I got 350 Greek students in a room for Passover. Just for numbers sake, thats a big deal. I also (recently have found) that the relationships I cultivated with students are... working. There is a real need for what I provide, and to me, that is significant. Personally, the most significant thing this year, was falling for someone and allowing my heart to break. For about 2 years now, I haven't allowed myself, put myself out there, whatever... to open up to a man. And this year I did, and when it ended it broke me a little. But-- I feel that it was an important for me to take that step. Something I needed to do to move forward.

I lost my brother -in-law to cancer. He was 58. He had his first bout when he was 20. I have reconciled myself to realize we were all blessed to have his presence in our lives for an additional 38 years instead of crying over the fact that he was ONLY 58. Since 2004 I lost my father, mother, uncle brother-in-law and father -in - law ( 101 years old). I am resently about my parents and Uncle, grateful about my brother-in -law and inspired about my father-in-law.

I quit my job to start a business with my partner. I am terrified and inspired and scared shitless and slightly neurotic. On the other hand, it's absurdly freeing to let go and give an idea to the universe. I've never done anything like it.

I bought a house!! It took me awhile to think of this which is crazy considering this is my first house. I've been here since June and I guess it is just starting to feel normal. What an adventure - it's exciting, new, scary and alot of responsibility. Problems come up all the time but each one is a great challenge and I feel wonderfully confident when I solve it all myself.

I learned that I love the college that I'm at even without my friends, but that it's so much better with them. In the semester that they were abroad, I became a better student, I grew closer to my boyfriend, and he became my best friend, and I experienced a kind of positive independence I've never really had. I'm grateful that I had this experience, even though I resent sometimes that we seem to have grown into our own a little without each other, and our new selves don't match as perfectly as they used to. It really gave me hope that I can live for the rest of my life without them, but also that I'd so much rather have them in my life forever.

This year I finally ran for leadership positions in school and out of school. It was great to finally show others how on top of everything I am and that I'm not that "quiet girl who sits in the corner" anymore.

I applied to and started graduate school. I feel so grateful for the support of my community--and amazed at how much they have enriched my experience thus far. I am inspired by their never ending curiosity and supported by their never ending love. I feel so lucky that an amazing program for my field is right in the city where I live, continuing to live with my extend0-family of roommates has helped me stay grounded and happy, I don't know what I would do without them.

My niece got married in June. She is not overly demonstrative and neither is her husband. When they danced their first dance together, it was beautiful and awe inspiring. It was a vision of love that no one in the room will ever forget. I told my own children "that's what love looks like".... I wish that love for everyone.

We moved to New York together! I am really glad to be back in the city, but we're still getting used to it together - she's only been here a couple of weeks, while I've been here for months. I feel like it's the right place for us, or at least the best place so far...

First my cat was diagnosed with lymphoma. Then my Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Wow, what a shock to have my Dad so sick. I dropped everything and made my self, my kids, my dad and my cat the priority. It really made me want to be healthy so that I don't get sick. I realized how many people depend on me. It just is shocking to imagine that one day my Dad will not be alive. And somehow it makes everyone's life seem so tenuous so uncertain. It is crazy that my every day I have to give my cat steroids and three times a week I have to give her chemo medication. And I can't quite believe it is happening. On the one hand I am grateful that he is a candidate for treatment giving us all hope that he will be okay. But on the other hand, it's really, really hard. I can't believe all the things that were so important that seemed completely irrelevant once he got sick. Changing the world became really low on my list of priorities and being healthy and taking care of my family became my only priority. I dropped out of school realizing that I couldn't do it all.

Plenty of momentous things have happened this year, although I don't know if I'm quite able to judge their significance. My partner and I broke up and got back together after a few miserable months. I got fired at a job I worked hard at and took a pay cut at a different place, but was able to continue working at two other jobs so I know this puts me at a lot luckier than some. What comes to my mind as my perhaps most significant thing was a dream. A friend and I jump off the pier I swam at as a child and throughout my life into the freshwater Lake Superior. It was a dark night and so amazingly full of stars. The feel and sound of the water was vividly clear and so was the sound of a pod of Orcas swimming all of a sudden behind us. The pause in my realization that Orcas were the fatally scary killer whales, and the helplessness in trying to get up the ladder so my friend behind me could also escape, were so real and terrifying. . . but at the same time the dream was so beautiful.

I discovered yoga. I feel so blessed to have found a medium through which I can be so honest and open and vulnerable.

My friend died. Short and sweet, yet long and painful. It feels like it just happened, even though it's already been over 3 months. The people who I went through this with, well we are closer than anyone can imagine. This tragedy bonded us in a way that it feels likes no one will ever understand. My current boyfriend went through this with me. Everything feels different though. I came back to school after this happened over the summer and all of my friends (with the exception of a few) seemed so immature and shallow. They get mad and start drama over stupid, pointless things such as homecoming. I can't help but feeling that they sweet the little things WAY too much. There are so much worse things in life that can happen that not having perfect pictures for your Junior homecoming. The last part of this question is did it inspire me. The event itself did not inspire me, but I was inspired. His family has been and still is the most amazing people I have ever met. They lost what I consider the absolute perfect child, and there top concern was my peers and I. I can not wait to fill out a college application and the essay be about who my hero is, because it is undoubtedly this family.

The most significant event of the past year would have to be losing my grandmother. She was 93 years old and wise beyond her years. I loved her so very much and she meant the world to me. She taught me many very important lessons in life. Her love of gardening and of giving are two of her many traits that I share. I miss her everyday and love her very much.

I had to go back to Philly after my brother had died, my wife had left me and my family and home taken away from me (great year eh?). It was probably the scariest and toughest thing that I had to do seeing as all my family and the majority of my friends were back in London. But I had to do it. I had to try, try and save my marriage, propose the notion face to face with the Mrs. She was adamant though and had started seeing someone else, you know, just to rub salt into the wound. I had no one and nothing, I was starting from scratch in a city that was in essence, alien to me. But eventually I flourished - I made new friends, I realised that I'd actually been living in the shadow of myself, that my ex was detrimental to my overall outlook and way of being, that I was creatively and emotionally stunted by her. Do I resent her? Sure I do. She is he textbook definition of a cunt. More so because never in a million years did I think she'd act in such a way. But I am focusing on me, on moving forward, bettering myself, and living life in incremental beauties, for myself and on behalf of my brother...

I graduated from college in May. I was a pretty surreal experience and I felt very proud of myself. When I began college I had certain expectations for myself and when I got to walk across stage graduating with the highest honors, I felt so proud of myself for accomplishing those goals that I set so early on.

I started seeing my eating disorder counselor again. It was either that or go to rehab. Rehab is a long ways away and a LONG time away from my family. It's been an incredible blessing. She'd stopped practicing to spend time with family and finishing her doctorate. She reminded me of my prior success and that I'm divine because I exist -- not because I have to earn it. She reminded me to trust my instincts, listen to my heart, and follow my guts. I'm feeling healthier and stronger than I have in a very long time. This week, I've started running. I haven't tried to run since I was in 10th grade. I can only run a short distance -- just over a city block or so and a fast pace. Thirty seconds I guess . But I'm running and it feels amazing. I'm writing like there's no tomorrow. I got an essay published. I'm speaking my mind more than ever and speaking my truth. I'm so very thankful to have someone there for me -- to remind me of who I really am.

Well, a lot has happened. I mean, I graduated high school and started college, I had a new baby niece, I went to prom, I student directed the musical, I wrote a play, I questioned my faith like never before, and I experienced an outrageously emotional last band concert. I'm thankful for all of these things. All of these things have made my life better and have made me happy. At the same time, there was the whole ordeal with Mr. Orland which I am still very uncomfortable with. So, yes it was a very eventful final year of high school for me. It definitely was not all fun and sunshine, but it wasn't completely awful. I grew really close to some friends, and drifted farther from others. There were times when I just felt so lousy, even now I still get those feelings. But I'm not too worried about it at the present. I've grown up a lot in the last year even if it was very subtle. Oh, I guess I should mention how I'm becoming a feminist and how I am more than willing to wait for kids. That's pretty big, still goes into the whole growing up thing.

This past summer, I went on a roadtrip across the country to California, accompanied by just my brother and sister. Seeing as it was their last year before entering the real world, we wanted to go out with a bang. After all the memories we shared in a short twenty days, I realized that childhood is the best part of life, but we don't realize just that until it has slipped from our grasp forever. This realization allowed me to come to this conclusion: Each day, I want to do something that scares me, or something that is out of my way, or something I've never done before. In doing this, I learn to cherish each and every moment I have been given on this Earth, for I never know when it could disappear.

This year I promoted from Emt to Paramedic. It has been a life changing experience. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point. The responsibility, the pressure to do the best work I can and the challenge to stay true to my self and my beliefs have been central themes this year. Taking care of people is hard work. People try your emotions in many ways. They make you smile, they teach you lessons without realizing, they make you angry and frustrated or they break your heart. I have had the privilege to witness many moments in the lives of people this year. My goal is not to lose my faith or my integrity in this process.

"My parents found out i'm bissexual" It deepened the gap already existed between us. It's like they don't make a effort to understand. "And I come to terms that I'm a person who love people regardless the gender" And I feel relieved and with the guts to embrace and live my life. It's liberating.

One day while watching my son who will be 2 in Dec, I found that I was grumpy and didn't have the energy to really get down and play with him. I was frustrated and angry with myself for not taking better care of myself. I decided I'd get in better shape and to help motivate me I made a plan to participate in a Warrior Dash ( a 5k with obstacles) and signed up for a twice a week exercise class. The race is in 2 weeks and I'm feeling so much better. Life can be so good when you put in the work.

I enrolled in graduate school again. I feel as though it's a new lease on life - it's exciting, interesting, difficult, and thought-provoking. But it's helping me become a whole different person - not of course down to my core, but in terms of how i identify myself, how i fill my days, what i think about, and who i am becoming. it was a transition that i thought would be so difficult to make, yet...

we moved from the west coast to the east coast. had to find work, and it was time for a change. it's been a struggle, and will be for a while. but we're in "a safety net" right now and I can't begin to describe how grateful I am for that. glad we made the move, it feels right.

I graduated from college this past May, which was a pretty significant event! Definitely relieved, but also a bit lost as I have no plans for the next year. I didn't get into graduate school this round, so I have to reapply, but the motivation just isn't there. So that's scary. For the first time in my life, I don't have the security of school and everything that comes along with it (such as student discounts and financial aide!), so I'm learning to work with that. Welcome to the real world!

I became pregnant! I am deeply affected, inspired, reflective, pensive, apprehensive, grateful, relieved, and excited. I'm due November 28th, and it will be a boy. I'm still very much processing this whole "parenting" idea and the concept of being responsible for raising up a life, a soul, a man. Gosh, what an awesome responsibility!

I got accepted into the master's degree program I wanted. I didn't even thought I'd be accepted because of the job experience it required. So when they called me I was ecstatic. Now, I'm almost in the second semester of the program. Things are going well and I hope they keep on coming like that.

I got married. It is a lot of things and feelings. Many unexpected. It's fun and happy and secure. But it's also deeply humbling and causes me to face parts of myself that I don't normally face for that long or at all. I'm learning a lot about who I am which illuminates who I could or would like to be in the future. I have a new perspective on what time is like and what forever is like and what commitment is and maybe most of all mortality somehow. I'm afraid of dying and excited for the rest of our lives together at the same time. It's cool to have a long view on things. To think "Will I care about this in 10 years? If not, forget about it. Let it go." And also to think "I better talk it through and feel better about this situation. It's not going anywhere and neither are we."

This year I had an IUD placed. And by this year, I mean today. I was scared. And it hurt. A lot. And it still hurts and will for the next few days probably. I did this because I want to be shed of filling my body with hormones, having to remember to take a pill, and mostly because I want my sex drive back. I'm 34 years-old. Sometimes I think I want a baby. Sometimes I wake up late on a Sunday morning, hungover, wanting nothing more than hot coffee and a fresh cigarette to magically appear on my bedside table. My head hurts and I roll over to hug my boyfriend and this thought emerges, all on its own, "I could never do this if we had kids." And I am happy. Eight years ago I lived in San Diego. I had no reason to move there other than it was a place I had never been, it is warm, coastal. I was lonely and worked a terrible job as a cocktail waitress in a club in the Gas lamp District. I lived sort of the same life I live now, few friends, a job I don't like. The difference is that then I would have been the same age my mother was when she was pregnant with me. I don't know if I would have wondered what it was like for her if, when I lived in California, she were alive and I could call her and ask, "What was it like being pregnant with me?" Instead, sometimes, when I walked to my car after work, or stood in a line at the taco stand a few blocks from my house, I would imagine a watery weight in my belly, the excitement of a new life, mine and the one developing. I felt an intense sense of missing, both for her and a life I wasn't leading. One I felt I should be at that time. Why wasn't I settled? Married to a good man? Working a job that meant more than putting on sexy shoes and avoiding the men who hit on me in a way that made me feel filthy? I have been in committed relationships for 13 of my 34 years of life. I have never been pregnant because I've taken my pill when I was supposed to or because I've been lucky when I was careless or because I'm (possibly) infertile. Right now a baby would be irresponsible. I'm a waitress with no benefits. My boyfriend's in grad school. We are all living in a recession. I'm vain about my flat stomach and lack of stretch marks. Still, I hated taking that fucking pill every morning, would hold it between my fingers and think of it as poison. Went on internal rants about the burden of being a woman and how my boyfriend didn't have to take a pill that messed with his weight, mood, libido. He called me today to ask me for lunch. I told him I couldn't make it, I felt like someone had punched me in the vagina. I lay in bed watching insipid reality television (soothing myself with other's dramas) wishing a glass of red wine would appear on my bedside table. Who walks in with a bottle? Who went to the wine shop after class and asked the guy behind the counter what to get for a girl who doesn't like Merlot but likes the bottle with the white label and the bomb on it? My boyfriend. The man I eventually, probably want to have a baby or babies with. Am I grateful? Hell yes. Relieved? After many mediocre, uneventful, absolutely damaging relationships, absolutely. Resentful. Only at my weakest moments. Inspired? We'll have to wait and see...

I became seriously committed to staying true to my faith and placing God above myself, above my relationships, and above my ego's limits. God is working in my life- as He always has been. When I let go and be, just be, I become more grateful for the little things in life. I continue to be inspired by small movements in every day life. Meditation helps me rest for work and not work for rest. It also is the key to cultivating better relationships in love and joy rather than in distrust and judgment.

I caught my dad watching porn on my computer during my child's birthday party. It made me feel betrayed and ashamed.

My wife and I gave birth to our first child. It has changed my entire life this past year. Everyday, thanks to the birth of my son, I feel: elated tired happy hopeful scared busy proud silly secure frustrated (namely when I feel I fall short in my parenting skills)

My wife got pregnant with our second child. It was exciting but also filled me with a surprising need to create more stability and permanence in my life and career. I wish I was doing more about it but it's been difficult to do more than just keep up with my daughter and now pregnant wife. But I do feel like I will break through and make more of a change in the year to come.

I had an experience where I was badmouthed by people whom I thought were friends or kind acquaintances. I realized how some people who can be so childish and myopic that they will go all length to undermine or destroy you. I thought this behavior only happens to children or in TV dramas. This experience taught me to be more guarded towards people and to listen to my instinct when I feel that the person is up to no good intentions or harmful to me. It saddens me that I cannot trust people so freely and relationships have become so complicated. While this have been a sad experience, it also make me more grateful to friends who truly care about you and will stand up for you.

I went to UC San Diego for a three-week neuroscience program for high school students. I was nervous, having not been away from home for three weeks before. I was scared because I didn't know anyone. I got there, was scared, but, by the end of the first three days, I had already made friends. I didn't get homesick. By the end of the three weeks, I had conquered my fears of being away from home and flying on an airplane, and I had never been prouder of myself!

I was finally honest with someone I love, about the actions taken between us that somehow spiral me off into turmoil. It was scary and it was hard, and every moment of it terrified me. But I was true to myself. I did it. And it felt, freeing.

I switched to a new company. I am so relieved, happy, thankful. I am doing what I love, around people I like, and am able to spend more energy making myself feel better by keeping my body and my mind healthy and active. I hope I will be able to continue this for years... staying in a positive and interesting environment, and keeping myself young... so that when Leo is 12, he will be inspired by what David and I can do along with him. The same way I was inspired by my parents. I also lost one of my dear friends, Gabriel. I'm so sorry I haven't been able to help you enough. I love and miss you and hope you're happy.

Entering college and experiencing my first time away from home was pretty amazing. From meeting all the amazing people, to pushing myself beyond what I thought possible, I feel like I've really expanded my own boundaries. I'm proud, content, and excited for the future.

Starting and quitting a new job within a six month period. I am relieved that I followed my heart (and quit) because I am so much happier now, having returned to my previous position. I am grateful that I had the strength to know what I would and wouldn't accept (and not just stick with it out of fear of what others might think of me). I am inspired by the reminder to follow my heart as it will always lead me in the right direction, and I am beginning to recognize this more and more.

I went through a period of depression. Too much sorrow, anguish, doubt and regret. Today I realize that it was part of a maturation. I know there are times that these feelings are present, but they are part of being human. Today I feel good and hopeful.

One significant experience in the past year is I reconnected with my former boyfriend. It has been beautiful thus far. It feels great to be appreciated, loved beyond measure, valued, and cherished. I was so happy prior to us reconnecting. However, it brings me so much joy that I am able to make his life so happy, bright, and beautiful everyday. I feel grateful to be blessed with characteristics to help someone else. I hope I can make a difference in his life and he can pass it on.

I moved in a house, by myself, and have struggled making it on my own. I'm finally to the point where I'm doing ok. I live across the street from an old friend. That's been nice, although we haven't really made good on much of anything we said we'd do as far as neighbors go. Maybe one days soon, since it's been almost a year since I moved in here. Wow! Time and flying.

I got engaged! I feel excited, grateful, loved, and a bit overwhelmed. He is the best thing ever.

One of my turning point moment last year was when I joined my current company. When I was at the end of my postgraduate year, I kept wondering what it would be like if I work at Talavera (the building which my current company takes place). And 7 months following my postgrad graduation, I was accepted in one of the company at Talavera. Dreams do come true, so they say. I was happy, and up until today I still feel grateful & enjoy how esthetically beautiful the building is. :D

I thought about this for a minute--graduation, the fire, beginning law school--all huge things. But I think the fire that took my parents house is the biggest. I recently listened to an NPR story about families who lost their homes in the fires in Texas due to the drought. One lady in the story remarked how much of a head game a fire was: all you can do is be realistic and deal with it. You have to have a good attitude. And that is so, so true. So I think it taught me the importance of being calm but determined in the face of adversity. It's the only way to survive. I am not grateful for the fire--the very idea of that is absurd. But it wastes too much energy to be angry about it. Perhaps it's best to say I'm resigned to it. At least in addition to taking most of my stuff as well as my childhood home, it brought me closer to my immediate family, taught me who really cares about me, and showed me the kindness inherent in most people. Those are good things despite all the bad.

I started rabbinic school. And lived with my sister for the first time since I was 18. And then lived with my boyfriend Matt. Living with Tatty was a mix of emotions because we were both so much in transition (and have never shared a room before) but it spoiled me and now I miss her more than I did before I got to see her every day. Living with Matt was much more pleasant than I thought it'd be and it DEFINITELY spoiled me. As for rabbinic school, maybe I'm not processing it properly or something, but it's kind of seemed to flow by me in a (relatively) positive-learning-experience kind of way. I was MEANT to be here, it's been my plan for a million years, and it feels natural, normal. Some days suck, but that's mostly because I constantly consistently overbook myself, not because rabbinic school is inherently over-the-top difficult.

I ended my relationship (and a 10 year friendship) with the man I thought was the love of my life. The result is I trust myself a little more, but others less. For the first time, I feel bitter and jaded about love, marriage and the idea of forever with just one person. I am starting to believe that there really isn't "a lid for every pot", but for the most part, I'm ok with that. Now that the anger and sadness is starting to wear off, I feel motivated and inspired to be the best person I can possibly be, single or not.

I got so sick, I could no longer breathe. I thought I would heal myself and not have to get help. I was alone. But it got so bad, I finally called someone who had never been there for me in the past, but she picked me up and took me to an urgent care place, where I had two breathing treatments, and had to take eight different medications - something I never had to do before since I don't trust doctors. However, in this case it helped me and now I'm back to treating myself holistically. I learned that you never know who you can and cannot trust. Sometimes the ones you dislike the most help you the most.

This year I fell in love and had my heart broken. This taught me the value of making myself vulnerable in order to open myself up to new experiences. It also taught me that I am my own greatest strength. Though I may at times feel unworthy, through those experiences I arrive at a greater sense of my own worth. By learning that I cannot accept being treated badly by someone else, I learned that I both need tot love myself and act towards myself from a place of love, and that I need to be in a relationship with someone who shares that sentiment. I am grateful for having experienced love and I am grateful for knowing the beauty that type of emotional connection can hold. I am inspired by my own strength to remove myself from a toxic situation and carry myself (obviously all of this was made possible by the incredible support network that is my family and friends) to a better place. I want to seek love and live my life from a place of love.

Nothing really significant happened this year... Sad, really.. I trudge back and forth to work, home, and that's about it... The only thing that might be considered significant is that I started working out... Lost about 80 lbs... Yay...

I found out I have 6-18 months to live. I am grateful but very miserable due to side affects of disease. Thus finding it harder to be active and be grateful or the happy go lucky guy I have always been.

I got married at the end of May to the most wonderful guy who I have known for the last two years. We met and live in Australia but my family and old friends are in the UK. We travelled to the UK for the wedding along and another twenty five people from here came to join us in Scotland. The day itself was incredible and everything I could ever have wanted. Before I met my partner I was single for many years, and I dreamt about meeting a partner so was so happy that I met one who is someone so perfect for me. Since then I had a miscarriage and I have been a bit down and homesick. I hope to get back to the feeling of gratitude I had in the lead up and at the wedding itself.

My youngest maternal aunt died from cancer on June 21st of this year, after two years of fighting cancer She had just turned 60. Now 4 of my maternal aunts have died from cancer (all different kinds) and my Mom and her remaining living sister are cancer survivors. All of them lived/live healthy lives, exercised, ate a good diet, maintained healthy weight, no smoking, drinking, etc. etc. It makes me feel very sad, and I have to say scared. This Sunday, I will be swimming for the 8th time in the Swim a Mile for Women with Cancer. I see Swimming each year as part of my High Holiday observance, part of the Tzedakah (it is a fundraising event for the Women's Cancer Resource Center in Oakland, CA so they can continue to provide free services each year) and the tradition of remembering our loved ones.

My mom was involved in a serious car accident. It made me realize how I would react in a stressful situation that was not work related. For a short time, it put family priorities ahead of work priorities. I have an issue with priorities.

I went on the March of the Living - one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I explored my identity, my Judaism, and gained insight about the history of my people, the Holocaust, and Israel. I am more proud of my religion, the past of our people, and the creation of Israel because of this experience. It is not something that I am ever going to forget.

I graduated university. I was relieved, and glad it was over. However, now I'm scared that it's me V my future and I don't know what I want to do long term.

I attended a series of lectures that made me remember how important it is to me to feed my mind and soul, how alive the intellectual stimulation makes me feel, how it energizes me. This lecture series got me back to doing what is meaningful to me and I'm really grateful because I know this is my natural dimension.

Our dog was brutallyattacked by two pitbulls on our front porch. The incident was terrifying--and was the motivator for us to move to a safer neighborhood. We had been talking about moving for at least five years--and it has been powerful to see how much we had been in our own way. The incident changed our belief from "we are just stuck here" to "we will move to a better neighborhood soon". I am inspired now to examine other beliefs (stories) I have about myself and my limitations--there are many things I can do with my life--it just takes commitment and faith to realize them.

My father died at the end of January. He had been diagnosed with Parkinson's a few years earlier and had slowly lost his ability to walk, to get out of bed, and finally lost his ability to sit up. His mind was still sharp, but he was very depressed and did not want to continue living. My father stayed at home and in bed for over a year. Mother was his primary caretaker, and she wore herself out trying to keep him engaged and interested in life. She had lots of wonderful support from the hospice workers. Hospice is a lifeline for those of us left behind. I spent every weekend at their house, bringing feasts to tempt Dad's tastebuds -- creampuffs, tiramisu, eclairs. Not very healthy food, but lots of delicious calories so he wouldn't starve. Both Mom and Dad were losing so much weight; Mom from tension and worry, Dad from lack of interest in staying alive. It seemed there was nothing we could do to convince Dad that life was worth living. In January he caught a cold and decided that was it. He grew weaker and stopped eating. We gathered the family and friends in his room to say goodbye. On our mother's birthday Dad lost consciousness and quietly slipped away a week later. Part of me feels that Dad was trying to be helpful by dying before my Mom had completely worn herself out with his care. Another part feels resentful that he didn't fight to stay alive. And then I look at the lessons I learned from being with Dad through his time of dying. Every person Dad knew had a different story to tell. I did not know him to be a risk-taker, but several of his friends had great stories about their adventures together. I learned facets of his character that he would never have shown us, his children. In many ways he approached the world with a childlike sense of wonder. At the time of his death I felt that my Dad was afraid to try to live, but gradually I came to see that he was simply ready to move on to whatever comes next.

I feel like I am ready to shift my priority from being a performer for hire to being an artist for the sake of my own work. This is a very recent change, and scary since I have enjoyed some success as a performer for hire, and times are tough... but it comes at the end of a burnout period, then a long, intentional break from hustling and training for for-hire work. I am somewhat relieved as the competitive nature of my industry becomes more acute, and as I am now in my 40s I started to become very anxious about aging out of marketability and currency. My hope is that as I affirm and define my own creative voice, that any work for hire I get offered in the future will be based on the contractor wanting me to do what it is I actually do instead of having me mimic someone else or a predetermined style. Or maybe I could even get writing gigs. Meanwhile I am already enjoying the new rush of inspiration that seems to be coming as a result of choosing a direction for my creativity and passion.

Dad passed away after six months of a painful cancer. No need to add more.

I quit my job, packed my bags and went overseas. I came home after only two months. This experience really made me realise what is important to me in my life, and what I want in the future.

The shooting of bin Laden. I am grateful, and relieved. Though conflicts will continue, little victories are very heartening.

This year has been the most significant year of my life. I think I say that every year, but it's true this year. Let's just start with January. I hooked up with Aaron and that was just a bad situation. In hindsight it's funny. I'd even consider us friends on some level. For a while there,it was rough. January 1 was the most depressed I had ever been. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn't change a thing though. Also in January, David passed away. The funeral was a day that still breaks my heart when I remember it. I wasn't aware how much that would affect my life until a few months later. I was always friends with Andrew, but this brought our friendship to a whole different level. For a while, we were best friends, and maybe more. Later in the year, I began to realize that maybe "my" plans weren't the best plans for my life. That's why I always say that things are "meant to be". God has a much better plan for me. Alabama didn't work out and that ripped my heart out. I cried a lot. It all came together though! In August, I faced my worst fear- leaving Memphis,my family,and my friends. I found a great room mate at orientation and I was kinda excited. However, as the date approached, I panicked. I cried everyday, all the time. Idk why though, I love it!! I joined Tri Delt and I have a zillion friends. I'm in LOVE with this place.

All this year I have struggled to adapt to my new family -- having two boys instead of just one. We adopted an older child, so there is instant joy and there is also instant arguing. I am learning to be less reactive and more grateful. I am learning to look for the positive. I am learning to deal with a lot of noise and turmoil. I feel resentful often, because I feel as if I have too much to manage. I feel overwhelmed and angry, and I often feel as if I am failing. I am trying to learn how to choose acceptance instead of struggling all day long with the universe and the way things are.

This year, I said goodbye to many people who I have gone to school with for most of my life. Until recently, it didn't hit me that that was the final goodbye for some people. And even for those who I do keep in touch with, it's not quite the same any more. I don't live in the same town any more and I have had to start over in a sense. I really do miss my friends from back home. I miss being around the people I love the most. And truthfully, I'm a little worried that the people I love the most don't love me nearly as much. I'm worried that people will forget me. However sad it had been to end that chapter of my life, I truly am grateful for the opportunity to branch out and receive an education at one of the best universities this country has to offer. I am inspired by my fellow classmates to do good in the world because I know many of my friends will do amazing things in the future. I would love to keep up. At this moment, I am not resentful. Instead, I am grateful and amazed for where my life is today.

My little sister and the youngest of our family graduated. It made me sad and proud at the same time. It made me realize that things are finally going to be different. She's my best friend and I feel like I've lost just a tiny bit of her. I feel like she will go on to do big things (she already has, being a freshman at OU) while I am just sitting over here trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I can't compare our development, though. I can only applaud her on hers.

Valentine's Day, 2011… Bekah called me while we were on rounds in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. My cell phone buzzing is in my pocket, as I flip my attention from my wife’s plea for my attention and my fellow intern droning on about the ventilator settings on some poor old man who had been found unconscious, not breathing, in his nursing home last night. I probably had a taste of anger in my mind at my wife for buzzing me at this time. I don’t like being disturbed on rounds. Still, somehow I must have sensed it was important, because I actually remembering ducking out into the hall and taking the call. Her voice was incoherent on the other line. She sounded like a wild animal consumed in some state between laughter and crying. Somewhere in the incomprehensible, raw noise language emerged. “We’re Pregnant!” I don’t remember if I laughed or cried or somewhere in between. I remember returning to the Intensive Care Unit very stoic, not to let on to any of my colleagues that I might actually be a human among all these life-giving machines. We made a plan for me to sneak down to the hospital lobby and meet later that afternoon. I bought some purple and yellow flowers from the gift shop. I lied to the gift shop owner, said they were for Valentine’s day, not that we were having a baby. I didn’t want to tell anybody. And then I saw Bekah. She was radiant, more beautiful than I had ever seen her. We didn’t speak, we just hugged each other deeply in that hospital lobby; smiling, laughing, crying. And here we were, among the florescent lights, the white coats and the blue scrubs, the cheap chain store coffee, and a hundred other strangers, sharing our most intimate moment together in a hospital lobby. How many thousands of people must share as deeply initiate moments in hospital lobbies just like this every day, crying or laughing or somewhere in between? How many mornings had I just plowed through here on my way to work having never realized? I told her not to tell anyone. My outward excuse was something about wanting us both to be there when we told our families. My inward truth was fear. Deep, raw fear, something I had never felt, but something I imagine was quite similar to the experience described by the Bibical scholars as they chose that word to express our feeling in the presence of G-d, that fear had gripped me. And it was very precious, this fear, and I wanted to keep it just between Bekah and me and the baby. Yet, it was a cruel thing to ask of her. Something, to this day I ask G-d to scrub from my few lines in the Book of Life. The shift was scheduled to last 14 hours, she’d called me on hour 2, and I didn’t get home until hour 16. For 14 long, lonely, cold, February hours in this wintery city, Bekah sat alone with her child unable to talk to anyone, not her mother, not her father, not her sister, not her brother, not her Uncle Danny, nor her grandma or grandpa. Not Randi or Gil or Lena or any of the girls. Not even me. She huddled alone in our barely furnished, poorly insulated old house we had not yet had time to make a home, while I hid in echocardiograms and ekgs and ventilator settings and central line placements and the code. I stayed late for a code, hospital speak for Death. I didn’t need to stay. My resident even said it. There were other residents there, but I stayed any way. It was in the dialysis unit. It was a very sickly woman with multiple cancers, kidney failure, dementia, and a myriad of diseases I never stopped to find out about. She was not breathing. She had no heart beat. I did what I had been trained to do. I put my hands on her chest and began pumping. I had done this before, but it had never been as gory. I will spare you the details. It is enough to say death is not pretty. Especially not a hospital death with an intern compressing your heart with his hands, the very same hands that should have been gently resting over the heart of his beloved and the brand new heart of his unborn baby. Her daughter was called in. She asked us to stop. This is not what her mother would have wanted, if only she had known to put it in writing. And there I was standing over a dead body, watching a stranger’s most intimate moment in a hospital lobby. I have never known what to make of this juxtaposition of new life and death G-d laid out for me on Valentine’s Day. “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse… choose life.” (Deut 30:19). My beloved asked me to choose life that morning, to choose the blessings of joy and the blessing of sharing of joy, of new life, of childhood laughter, of becoming parents, of becoming grandparents, of becoming aunts and uncles and great-aunts and great-uncles, of becoming great-grandparents, of the intimacy that brought that new Life into being. But I chose death, and the curse of fear and the curse of loneliness and reclusiveness and hiding and futility and spoiled intimacy. I chose to spend my time voyeuristly watching a moment in the eyes of that poor dead woman’s daughter, that perhaps one day this new life in Bekah’s womb will feel for me. But this was not my time for this. This was not my time to be a doctor, this was my time to be a father. G-d, this High Holiday, inscribe my name in the Book of Life so that I may be a father to this new baby. That I may show this beautiful new child, who is to be born in this new year, this spark of Your infinite Light, to choose life.

Growing spiritually. Learning about living daily under guidance of the Holy Spirit. Realizing there are rewards for hard work. I am grateful and relieved that my work does not go unnoticed by my creator. I am so thankful for the thoughtfulness of my creator.

I visited Israel for the first time on a Taglit Birthright trip this past June. I am incredibly grateful to the philanthropists who made it possible--I don't know how else I might have been able to take a trip to Israel. The experience solidified my feeling of place in the world community of Jews and gave me the understanding that I, too, have a home in Israel. I am incredibly inspired: to be a better Jew and to be a better advocate for Eretz Yisrael. For the first time in my life, I very intensely felt the presence of Gd/Hashem in the Negev one starry night.

So many significant things have happened to me in the last year, but the most significant has been the discovery of what I truly love to do. I'm very involved in the Jewish community in Las Vegas and want to find more ways to help. I believe in Jewish education and the importance of it for children. I'd like to find a way, over the coming year, to further my Jewish education, and in turn helps other further their own education.

Last year, my answer to this question was that I had started an online-only friendship with a girl and that helped keep me above water after the worst years of my life. Well, I began an actual relationship with her in October of that year (after answering the question) and this year that relationship ended (just recently.) Ugh, to be heartbroken again. But, on the upside, she taught me a lot about myself, helped me find a more spiritual (not religious) side of myself I didn't know I had or I had forgotten existed. Just having her in my life helped me jump over the hurdles of self-doubt and low self confidence that attacked me post-divorce. If I am being truthful, it didn't work out between us because it never would have, all the little important details like our interests and life goals and whatnot were different. But when I met her she was going through a dark time of her own and we both helped each other out of our own prospective hells and get back on our feet. I am grateful I had her in my life, regardless of whether or not we are friends now, in the future, or not at all. I am better for having met her, been with her and loved her.

I gained a new job as a Communications Officer. It was a dream come true for me because I had finally found a job that involved writing - and it was at a not-for-profit organisation too, which has made the work so rewarding!

This past year I came out to my friends and most of my family as gay. I'm not comfortable calling myself "gay" yet, but that's the label I feel that I fit most. I've dated two girls since then, and I'm more comfortable in my own skin now then I ever have been

I developed bilateral pulmonary embolisms after a long haul flight. That is I had blood clots on my lungs. They manifested themselves after about a month of unexplained sickness, and I was hospitalised, then put on warfarin medication for six months. I was very lucky, as other people have died from this, without even realising that they had developed the blood clots. It changed what I could and couldn't do for a time, and I occasionally think it has changed my outlook on life. I do feel resentful, because I was in a very good place healthwise before this happened, and it really threw a spanner in the works, and I haven't been able to get back to the routines and head space I was in.

My brother went to rehab. It made it very difficult to focus on school work and hanging out with friends became very hard, I felt like I was hiding my life from people. I resent that i let it affect me so negatively, but I am grateful that my brother is sober and safe and that I know I can get through tough times.

I landed my first real job. Ya know, the kind where you work 28-30+ hours 5 days a week. Grateful? Yes. I like being able to pay my bills without draining my savings. And the co-op isn't as bad as other places. The pay is good and I might get full-time in the next 6 months. Relieved? Definitely because I needed to do something. As much as I love to laze about, it depresses me. And, again, money. Inspired? Probably not. But I don't seem to be inspired by much these days. It's changed my life. Things are different. I have structure. I need to sleep by a certain point and most of my day is taken up with it. That kind of sucks but is sometimes what some people need. And I know people I wouldn't've known otherwise. And some people I genuinely like. I feel like it's another example of how my life falls back together when I need it to. This job is such a hard one to land and I've landed it. I've even excelled at it. People like me. The higher-ups like me. I enjoy it, even if it is so stressful sometimes what-with being understaffed. I plan on being here as long as I'm in town.

I spent 6 weeks in israel and poland on a school trip. This allowed me to really come out of my shell as well as further strengthening my Zionist views and actions.

D. was diagnosed with breast cancer. This shattered me in many ways, and I am having trouble finding ways to let the light through my brokenness. I am working on this, and my goal this Rosh HaShanah is to open myself up more to G-d, heal my relationship with G-d and move back towards my natural optimism.

My mom got cancer. It reminded me of how present disease is in my life (with my dad having Huntington's) and that time in precious. Now she's cancer free and I'm so happy. But I'm going to value the time I spend with my loved ones a lot more.

we bought a house in the countryside. it is old and needs a lot of work. the previous owners left all of the personal belongings in the house. so part of the process of moving in was sifting through a century of another family's history. It struck me how we are really in the flow of time. a continuation of humanity with war death birth school....maybe the next family will sift through our lives? i hope the house is with our for a long time though.

I finished my masters in Forensic Mental Health with a Distinction average. My MBBS was a pass average. The significant thing is that my 84 years old dad came to the graduation. He missed out on me graduating from medicine 25 years ago, and I always felt a bit resentful and ..yes, incomplete that my dad was not there watching me graduate in 1986. But there he was in 2011. Same university, same Faculty. Closure on that one, Finally!

Well, squiggle puff. Clark college has been AWESOME! the classes, the knowledge, the people, the time. I'm about to join a band with some of my friend and some people I don't really know too well. SUPER STOKED about being part of a band. Learning so much about myself, about life, about Graphic Design. Right now working on improving my writing abilities, blogging, my artistic skills, reading skills, life skills, communication. Learning a lot about interacting with strangers and creating new relationships in the real world. There is no one significant experience just the year as a whole. Tremendous amount of personal growth, AHHHHH I love it. Ah I know the Significant thing. Social media. Getting a Facebo0k, Twitter, a Blog, Tumbler. Oh man that has been and incredible experience, so much good has come out of it. Incredible what these tools can do. Mind blowing. I've met new people, improved my writing, got out of my comfort bubble. Learned an enormous amount about Graphic Design, and learn a lot about those around me that have blogs and twitter account. My friends and such. Social media has allowed me to connect and create closer relationships to those I know but was kind of far from. I came to 10Q through twitter, pretty awesome.

A significant experience was getting into yoga. I am excited, inspired and grateful that I found myself there. It has affected me so positvely. I have something to do that I do not need other people for, I am going to study Architecture, I am going to become something and 'grow up' however most importantly, everyday I am learning about myself, who I want to be and why. I am also allowing the people around me to not influence who I am by being open and honest. It has been a big change in my life. I miss my Bobba Baila though, perhaps I am just trying to make everything ok so she will come back. I know she won't. I miss her a lot. I wish I had gotten to know her better.

I am incredibly grateful to have a new hip and be out of constant pain.

I had my first real job interview. I didn't get the job, but it was a great learning experience and taught me so much about myself. I'm disappointed that I didn't get the job because it would have been an awesome experience, but I'm ready for anything that comes my way.

My mother and her long term boyfriend broke up. Im grateful as it was not a healthy relationship, im scared because she is 60 and alone, im sad because im not sure she fully understands why and how to learn from the experience, im disappointed because it is further evidence that relationships are incredibly difficult to navigate. Im definitely resentful, as it puts more pressure on me to be there, i feel guilty because i live so far away for her and cant fully support her. Finally i am trying something new ... i am trying to practice loving detachment. its hard, i hate not asking "how are you" even more than i hate asking it and being told "not good" i hope a year from now when i read this, that things are better .... 2011 was not a good year

I had a baby! I can not describe all of the emotions this has inspired....in the immediate aftermath of his very difficult birth, I simultaneously felt joy, sadness, anger, pretty much everything....but after I recovered I found that having this wonderful little person in my life just brings me such happiness. It's hard, to be sure -- being a parent is the hardest thing I've ever done or will do. But it is already so incredibly rewarding, and becomes more so every day. Each day he becomes an even more fascinating little human. I adore him.

Standing up for myself in a workplace environment. I hadn't realised the negative impact it was having on my general wellbeing until I'd made myself heard and that action gave me a sense of empowerment. I am grateful that the situation occurred because it taught me a lot about myself and my responses but I do regret not having spoken up sooner.

I had an experience of being held, embraced, loved in a way I never felt before. It was something I cherish.

Hahaha ohh my god. I regard every year with the same level of amazement at how far I've gone. In all my years in this damn high school, I haven't had a single uneventful year. So many things are always happening at whirlwind speed, and whenever I'm asked these kinds of questions (significant experience, most interesting experience, etc.), I'm absolutely stumped. I don't even know where to start. Hmm. Well, it would be too easy to point to that play. It was kind of a turning point for me, a kind of punchline - a finishing blow, if you will. It punctuated my eternal fear of plays and put a halt to that inner voice telling me I can't perform in front of an audience. I can. It's my fucking specialty. Give me a script (preferably something comedic) and some time to practice, and I will lose myself in that role. But I don't think the play did everything for me. It wasn't just a snap, or a quick 180-degree turn. No, it was years of slowly building the eroded self-worth and damaged ego. It started small, with presentations in front of my fellow play group-mates, progressing into skits for the whole class, and then eventually performing in front of a packed auditorium. The thrill of being on stage, of delivering line after line and getting the audience's approval and laughter, is pretty damn unforgettable. It makes me feel all warm inside. Will I ever get to experience that feeling again, I wonder? I have illustrated this experience countless other times, because it's one that easily stands out to me. I don't know. In my opinion, every damn experience in this life is 'significant'. It could be really small things that eventually mold a person, like how the pitter-patter of rain weathers great big rocks. Something that could trigger inside you could be caused by a really big event such as an epiphany or an A-ha! moment, or it could be just as small as a failed test, a joke that fell flat, or a ball that whizzed past your face. I can't fucking get across what I'm trying to say because I'm not poetic and I can't write, but I do hope that you're getting what I'm saying. Unless you're Morty Lefkoe and you know of the belief system, every single event in your life will affect you, in one way or another. There is no one 'significant' event. There are a billion and one, all converging and diverging as we live our lives. No event is ever insignificant.

on the 14.02.2011 oran and I left Israel and came to New Zealand. It's been 7 and a half month ago! I love New Zealand! we traveld a lot, worked& lived in Moeraki for 4.5 month, and now we live in Queenstown. Oran went beck to Israel on 14.09.2011 now i live alon and wait for him to come back! this year was amazing for me, I had a lot of fun and did amazing things!

I got an eating disorder. It was horrible. This might have been the worst year of my life so far. In June, when I had to revise for finals, I cried. Days at a time. I'm still not completely over it, but it's going the right way. I feel grateful, that I have people around me who support me in my recovery. I feel surprised, that I have the strength in me to make a change. I feel a little scared, still. Because I don't really know how long it will take me and what I'll have to give up to reach peace of mind.

My whole department, (of two people including me), was laid off this year. It was a politcal move on the part of one of the owners to get his way, but it gave me a chance to re-evaluate my life and what I was doing with it and what I wanted to do to really be doing with it.

I got laid off along with the entire staff including the CEO and MD ; the collaborative way - and in style . Then I got fired from my next job for working so hard that the start up CEO felt so threatened. Was a big learning experience on how to survive in a start up world. Learning the fine nuances of office politics. How leadership plays such a critical role in taking forward a company's vision. Was shaken up a bit in the beginning but eventually found out that I emerged stronger and tougher. The lessons learnt were immense. Yes extremely grateful. I always believe that whatever happens in life happens for the good. And there is an opportunity in every blow that you get. Today before age 30 I am exploring and following my dreams. I am inspired and rejuvenated. I feel free. I feel happy. I feel unbonded.

My daughter came into the world! It has been the most incredible ride of my life. I hate to sound cliche, but everything they say is true. It is at the same time the most wonderful and the most intensely difficult experience I have ever undertaken. And you simply can't be prepared/understand until it has happened to you. I feel incredibly blessed to be having the opportunity to raise my daughter with my incredible husband.

While showing the kids how to zoom in using Google maps, they taught me that I could REALLY zoom in! We found ourselves standing on a road in the middle of Africa. THEN they showed me how to turn 360 degrees! I literally felt the ground shifting under my feet (both from the spectacular view, and the realization that this use of technology was a game changer). I have now answered two questions (I did number 2 first, and think that the lens through which I am going to answer all of this years questions are - how has my teaching been changed over the course of the past year).

I finished a major project in the week between Christmas & New Year's eve (actually with 24 hours to spare) that required complicated logistical responses and altered my ongoing financial situation. In one area, the completion of the construction of a floor lowered my monthly costs, while it took up an enormous amount of my time going into the holidays, with several false starts and some moments that could have given way to panic. In the end, I triumphed by perseverance, resourcefulness, and an absolute unwillingness to accept any alternative but complete success. I am hugely grateful to have accomplished my task, and relieved to have 'beat the devil' so many times in a row - including some last-minute near-disasters that might have scuttled the entire undertaking.

I met and fell in love with Nancy. I am the happiest I have ever been, and look to stay that way for many years to come.

My workplace became untenable. The program I work for has chosen to fight back and become independent. I'm grateful and inspired by my bosses, resentful that in such an important industry money can become the focus, and relieved that we're doing the right thing and that our reputation will continue to speak for itself.

I had an amazing eight month long affair with a man that made me grateful to know that such intense passion, romance and human connection can exist. I was relieved because one spends all this time wondering if there is a person out there that fits well with one's life/personality/desires, and he pretty much fit the bill. It also made me realize that we have to be happy with what we get, no matter how long it lasts. I think we often have these unrealistic romantic expectations about a soulmate, the "one", eternal love, but sometimes those words and ideals have an expiration date and we must accept it with grace.

Raising a teen aged exchange student from China. We realized at the end of the day we would have been great parents and we worked well together as a team.I am grateful for the experience.

A lot of really positive, significant experiences have happened to me this past year. Obviously, the biggest thing to ever happen to me is my job. After finally leaving a career that made me so unhappy and left me so unsatisfied, I was so blessed to find a new career that is a perfect fit. One year after I began my career in special education as a tutor, I was again blessed with a new opportunity to become a teacher. Through this job, I have found what I am truly passionate about doing, a community that I love, and some of my closest friends. Gratitude only begins to describe how I feel about this new life of mine. I suppose the bigger event is meeting Michael. Michael has been a very significant part of my life this past year. I thought he might be the one but I have been second guessing the strength and certainty of our relationship. He is the most wonderful, caring person I know. He loves my puppy (also a significant experience this year) and it's hard to imagine breaking up our little family. He lives in Akron making our relationship a Friday - Sunday relationship. This is proving more and more difficult to me because I don't want to go to Akron. I want to live my life here, where my house is, where my job is, where my friends are. I may not have social plans every weekend but I don't want to be excluded if I'm in Akron. It's not just that, obviously, but there are a lot of little reasons that I keep thinking of that make me wonder...if these little things are bothering me so much, then this can't be right. If it was right, the little things wouldn't matter at all. I'm in a tough spot right now and I have no idea what I am going to do.

A girl I loved, loved me back and then stopped. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this and being sad and trying to figure out why. It hurt me a lot. But in the end, I guess I need to remember that I'm glad she was part of my life, and I'm lucky to have had her love for the time I did. I don't love her anymore, and I'm hoping we can rebuild our friendship someday.

I would say my trip down to London in April, it opened my eyes up to what I want in life, that I want more than this little island, and that I am brave enough to move and get what I want! I also learnt from the feedback from the interview that I need to be more confident, that I have the skills and I am good at my chosen career, but I just need to believe in myself and talk myself up instead of down...

I took the plunge to become a local until PTA president. There was always someone else to do it, so I stayed in the shadows. Now I am front and center. I love being in organizations. I love being a leader. It inspires me to keep going, it is something that makes me happy.

I met Scott. The man I'm certain will share the rest of my life with me. I took a chance on an online profile that caught my attention, and I have NO regrets in doing so. He is remarkable in every way, brings out the best in me, and to make it all the more amazing, he loves me, and I him.

I finally walked away from a not so great relationship. I started to take care of myself and found the strength to do something i wanted but could not manage to do for 4 years. Im very thankful i took that step though because it opened up many doors for me, one of which was meeting the true love of my life!

I stood up to my best friend. I love her, but sometimes she can be very controlling and demeaning towards me. I needed to let her know that it was not okay and that I was strong and could stand up for myself. I am relieved because I said something and feel better. I am also grateful to have a friend that is understanding and listened to me when I stood up to her.

My grandfather got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Since then he has lost a ton of weight and looks totally different then he did even a year ago. I am somewhat thankful that something so horrible could happen because i am so much closer to him now. I know that sounds horrible but when you get the chance to rebuild a relationship with someone like that it means so much to you

I reconnected with Derek, my best friend from college and turns out, the love of my life. Every moment of this year has been changed because he found me. We've travelled together, we're engaged, we're living together in Kentucky. I have a new home, a new job and an entirely new life. I can't believe where my life is compared to this time last year. I am so very happy and grateful for his presence in my life. I've waited my whole life for this man to come into my life. I didn't always wait patiently and honestly, never imagined he would be the man of my dreams but he is. He inspires me, he strengthens me, he loves me and I am, for once in my life, excited to see where my life will go.

I took the plunge to set up my charity and was able to launch it (successfully) in July in Zambia. It was inspiring and a reminder of the importance in taking risks.

My medical school graduation was a significant moment for me. It was the culmination of many years of hard work. I was relieved and excited and sad at the same time. Relieved because it was a stressful time, and it was good to know that my "schooling" was behind me. Excited because I was about to begin a new chapter in my life, an especially significant one - being a physician. Sad because I had to leave Israel behind and move back to the states, and I didn't want to leave and still am sad that I am not in Israel.

I went back to work part time. It has been such a blessing to have some extra money and some time to feel like "me" again. I didn't appreciate how much I enjoyed my work; well, I had stopped enjoying it before I had kids. Now I treasure my time with the kids and with my work.

I was told I had the ovaries of a 42 year old - i am 36 and that they looked dormant. I was shocked and saddened. I'd always been so proud of my good health, felt smug about my healthy eating and fit strong body. all this was shattered. I felt like my very femininity was in question and that I was less of a woman than before. I was angry at the doctor, how dare she put it so bluntly. I didn't have a period for 3 months after that day and I blamed her for traumatising me and my ovaries. I'm no longer angry, if I try then I feel grateful that this has spurred me on to look at assisted reproduction options as we've been trying for a baby for 3 years...

This year I got engaged. I've now experienced the gamut of emotions being that I can't deal well with transition. I've gone from over the top excited to scared to death. But through it all, my love has not stepped away from me or turned his back to me. He only wants to help me be a happy person and be myself. I love him so much and I can't wait to spend my life with him. He's not Jewish. He has promised that we will keep a Jewish household, our kids will have Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. He restores my faith in people and continues to inspire me to be a better person and to have trust and faith in those we love.

I became independent from my parents. At first it was a little stressful, and it took a while to get use to supporting myself (both financially and practically). But I am grateful that my job allows me to do this, as I think it empowers me to be my own person.

The death of my Aunt Rebecca. It was a major loss, because she was very supportive and she was my mother's sister and the closes of the siblings. She had a spirit for living and teaching. Sharing her profound knowledge of Judaism. She taught on the college level until she was 91. She loved teaching and her students loved her. There is a void that is hard to fill now. I am very thankful to have had in my life. I often think of her beautiful smile.

This year I went abroad, and studied at the university of kansas. Though I look back and have some absolutely fond memories of the experience, I know that there were a lot of times there that I felt uncomfortable, and was pushed to my absolute limits. I am very grateful for having had the experience, and was inspired to be a less rigid, 'colour within the lines' kind of person, but was resentful to come back to my surroundings at home, in which I have gone back to my old rigid, introverted ways, and wish I could go back to my old, overseas self.

I moved from Colorado to Oregon to return to my first love full-time: teaching. I was hired teach human services at a community college and am overwhelmed with gratitude.

I visited the Grand Canyon. It moved me no end. But I lost my phone two days later due to drinking too much in Vegas and lost all 60+ photos. I was absolutely devastated to lose them and also angry and frustrated at myself for being 100% responsible for their loss.

My college science courses over this past year actually challenged me on a level that I'd never encountered before in my academic career, and the entire experience really made me reevaluate myself and both my personal and scholastic habits. Although it was a struggle and illuminated as one of my great weaknesses, I think it was an important, sobering experience to have. Life can't always be easy, and certain things will be a struggle, but alot of effort and determination can aid in overcoming those obstacles.

I bought a size 10 pair of jeans and thanked God.

This past year I lost a very close friend to suicide. I had lost contact with him, but he was always such a happy, giving person that I didn't see this coming. It hurt so much that I couldn't help him, but he became deep in depression without my control. It took me a while to stop thinking to myself that I could've stopped this from happening, that in some way it was my fault for not getting him out of depression. Being at his funeral and carrying his coffin to the grave really had an impact on me, that I was with him for his last moments above ground with us. After all this, I decided that I need to be more sensitive to my friends and family and that I will do my best to keep them happy or at least content. On the other hand, I value my life more now that I see that it can be taken away so easily. I try to look back on this all and smile at what a great human being Justin was and how I can be more like him every day.

I am grateful that I was finally made permanent at work and ranked as an assistant professor. Finally, I belong! I am grateful that I became closer to someone I can consider becoming a life-partner with. I am grateful that I was ranked #2 in the Students' List in the previous school year. I am grateful that I was able to travel outside my country for the first time and alone at that. I was also able to encounter the amazing elephant for the first time in Thailand. I am grateful that I have finally acquired a place of my own, and have shifted from tenant to landlord. At the same time, I am bombarded with a new set of responsibilities. I am grateful that I have begun to formally learn a new language, Hangul. I am grateful that I have been given more opportunities to help deaf students learn, in the Southeast Asian Institute for the Deaf and in the Higher Education Unit. I am grateful to begin working as a volunteer teacher in the Miriam Adult Education program. I am grateful to be back in a Roman Catholic parish after a decade, serving as a reader. For all these things [these that I have named and those that I haven't], I am deeply grateful because my scope and perspectives have become broader.

This year has been hard. First, the sweetest most adorable dog in the world died; Grizzly (Gwi-able! Gwi-ability!) I miss him terribly but I didn't have a chance to grieve. It was so surreal. While I know it happened and I accept it, I don't think I ever will grieve and that weighs on me. Worse still, I had to give up my horses and that kills me. I loved my boy so much and I didn't want to let them go. I feel like I let them down, more than I let myself down. What's worse is before I let them go, I detached; I visited less frequently, I stopped saying 'I Love You', I stopped standing and just petting them... I stopped singing to my boy. And I know they felt it, they felt abandoned and unloved and I do not forgive myself for that. I kept my promise when I went back to them, but at the cost of Grizzly's life and for what? They're gone now too. But I do not cry, because I know I did the right thing for them when I let them go. I know they're healthier, and maybe happier too. One day I'll visit them to find out. In the mean time I have made peace with my decision, because I know that they are well fed and vetted; in fact, I know that if I had not given them up when I did, Freedom would certainly have gone lame and likely would have needed to be put down. It's hard to do, but I can live with myself. I just feel bad for holding onto the dream, that one day I'll have horses... I'm not sure I deserve that.

I published my first book of poetry in January and am continually blown away by the healing affect it's had on me - and others as well. I am so grateful to have been able to take the painful experience of leaving my long marriage and turn it into something that is helping others navigate similar waters. I'm more inspired than ever before and have been writing quite a lot this year...collecting more material for my next book!

I became really good friends with a lot of people who make me happy. Im very grateful, and im inspired to be as happy and wonderful as them

Significant changes in the Organization I work for have saddened and concerned me. I sense a loss of mission and belief. It has depressed me since we can be so much to so many; but it has also inspired me to seek out and instigate my own solutions.

I was able to visit New Orleans, meet the people and view the damage from Katrina. It was a true eye-opening experience about natural disasters, race, and the way we treat each other. I am more grateful for all that I have.

On Sept 4th 2011 I proposed to Lana. We were in Big Sur when I asked her, and it was the most significant move in my life thus far. Although nervous about the decision, I was sure that Lana would make an amazing life partner and I'm looking forward to spending my life with her. I'm grateful to have her in my life.... just a year ago - July 5th we met. My life has changed completely since meeting her. 2011 will be a year to remember!

My grandfather died just this week. I can't seem to be sad enough about it. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm alright and I really truly am but no one believes me... All the things I will miss about him I've missed for years now... They are things from my childhood and I was never going to get them back. And he went in such a peaceful setting... I can't be sad because it WAS his time and he is definitely in a better place.

I just read through my answers from last year and in some aspects not much has changed. Unfortunately the addiction that I wrote so much about and hoped to have kicked by now is still a problem, but less of one and I haven't been experiencing the same sense of urgency to quit because of the sense imminent consequences. I'm not sure if that is good or bad, but I have been able to slow it down a fair amount. I was studying for my comps this time last year too, which is probably the biggest hurdle to obtaining my PhD. I passed with flying colors and I am so relieved and proud of that. Both my partner and I received our second Master's degrees (we are both working on our PhDs but the department decided to give us a masters as well because we had done all the work required to be awarded one). I guess that will make us MAMA Phds. So in terms of academics and career, things have been going well this last year. Also, I've begun teaching a class (Methods in Political Research) that I never thought I would be capable of teaching. I'm scheduled to teach it again next semester. It will probably be a significant bonus point on my CV and may even be one of the major factors in getting hired at a decent university.

My job responsibilities changed dramatically at work and I'm grateful and relieved. Finally I'm writing fun, creative pieces and I'm able to plan out my schedule more. I'm not nearly as stressed out as I was before and I feel much better about coming to work everyday.

I started working at a psychology lab. Although it doesn't seem like much, I think I've changed a lot since I started there. I've always been really shy and avoided people in general. Immediately before starting at the lab I realized that I was becoming more introverted. I would only go to school then come back home and I would avoid contact with everyone. I would spend entire days without uttering a word. Working at this lab has forced me to face these issues head on. Now I find it easier to speak to people and am more confident in myself. It has also given me insight into what I'm going to do in the future.

Reaching a point of maturity when I can actually have a decent conversation with my sister where it doesn't feel weird. We can laugh and agree about family issues and talk about boys/girls and just be friends.

I went to Turkey. It's the closest I've ever been to iran and all the similarities, and just a general sense of familiarity in this place i've never been kind of vindicated the constant feeling of not totally fitting in that i've felt in the US all my life. It also made me realize what true hospitality looks like, and that I have it within myself, to use towards whoever i want -- including strangers I've just met if i feel the urge to do so. i also saw firsthand the connection that common language creates -- what a powerful force for me. the trip opened me up quite a bit -- i know now that i have something that not a lot of others -- even my own friends -- don't have. it makes me more comfortable in my own skin, regardless of what situations are thrown at me. am i grateful? definitely relieved? i mean.. there's still a lingering sense of angst and nervousness. where does this all leave me? resentful? not at all. inspired? definitely, and trying really hard to hold on to that.

I got a DUI in June. Mostly I feel ashamed and hypocritical, as drinking and driving is not something that represents the kind of person I feel I am. However, drinking, was something that was defining me more and more as a person. I often thought of myself as having these two very different personalities: a sort of Jeckyll and Hyde. I think now though that the two personalities, at least in the way they came out, had to do with the Drinking Me vs. the Non-Drinking Me. So now I'm no longer drinking. There are some specific issues, some thoughts and feelings regarding the incident itself and dealing with the DUI itself, but they are really peripheral to the change of simply not getting drunk any longer.

It was experiencing spirit. When my 17 year old dog passed away, I received his parting message. He showed me how all living and even nonliving objects are connected through an energy that exists like the wind, it can only be seen if we feel its movement and then watch it's effect.

This past year I dropped acid with my new friend Courtney, and I now understand much more thoroughly. Our relationship blossomed into a beautiful love and knowing, and we now plan our lives in tune. Also, my friend Anthony and I moved into a very nice, cheap place in Louisville, KY, and I'm employed at a health food store where I happily earn minimum wage working with good people and get all free groceries. Existence is a lot of fun. I'm extremely grateful for every day of it.

I shot a movie with a production company that was difficult to work with. It was no fun at all and extremely difficult. However, I knew I was getting into a tough situation, but I wanted to do it anyway because I know I won't always work with pleasant people...especially in Hollywood. It brought out a lot of stuff in me, and still is. I'm bitter and trying to get rid of it. I'm also weak and insecure, which caused so many problems. However, I was reminded today that if God is for me, who can be against me? There's no reason to not act in a spirit of power, with the Spirit of power backing me, helping me transcend this situation, allowing it to make me more like Christ.

We got a dog! Something I swore I'd never do, after losing our dog when I was 16, and seeing all the work it required to have a dog. But our puppy, however naughty he can be, is a gift of love to all of us. There are times when I wish I could send him away and make him someone else's problem, times when I wish we could just go on a day trip and not have to worry about what we're going to do with Buddy, but most days, I just love having him around.

Began, participated in, and ended the most painful, most long-distance relationship of my life. I am grateful, relieved, a tiny bit resentful for now, and a lot smarter than I was at the beginning.

we found out my husband needs a kidney transplant. we're sad. surprised. worried.

Andy's knee surgery has positively affected both of us. I personally am relieved, inspired, and feeling that there are more possibilities open to us as a couple, and for me personally now.

My dad getting cancer was very significant in the past year. It has been a scary and worrisome process. It has forced me to think about the reality that my parents will not always be in my life. I have tried to take more advantage of every opportunity.

I got a job and moved out of my Mom's house to a new city. Before getting a job, though, I had to work really hard and discipline myself to continue to look and not lose my motivation to find something inspiring to do in my life. I learned that taking chances and being confident in myself was the only way I could improve my well-being. Once I moved, I learned what it was like to be an independent adult, and that being responsible not only means taking care of myself but also paying attention to the world around me and managing my priorities. I am grateful for the experiences, especially for the challenges it brought me to face, and also for showing me that I can really be the person I want to be if I just stick to my guns. I hope to remain surrounded by people and activities that inspire me, make me laugh, and encourage me to be the person I want to be.

I got a new job. It's challenged me like my old job never could and allowed me to really get up to date, earn more and money and feel like I achieve something in my work. I am still confident it's the right decision and a great progression.

Ben and I bought a house. We are in the process of sorting out a mortgage, solicitors etc. It should be six week before we can move in. It's terrifying and exciting in equal measures. I keep wondering if we can afford it and if it's a big mistake. But Benny and I get our own house, I never thought that would make me so happy.

I bookended the summer with two long bicycle rides, the Five Boros ride in New York City (44 miles) and the MS City to Shore ride from Cherry Hill to Ocean City (79 miles). Before both rides I doubted my ability to complete the course. Both were farther than I'd ever ridden before, and both included long, steep bridges at the end. And in both rides I surprised myself by continuing to pedal, no matter how tired I got or how much I hurt. I can do anything.

In the past year, I found out that my father had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I had never really been close with my father; ever since my parents divorced when I was 13. I always held the way he went about things against him. I felt abandoned by him, and he never took the time to actually explain to me what was happening. When I was 14, due to circumstances in my life, I moved out from my house in San Juan, Puerto Rico, so that I could go to school in Miami, Florida. The distance between us made it worse, and we barely, if ever, talked. Now I am 25 years old, and I am trying to be a better son because I know my father might not have too much time left. A part of me doesn't feel like he deserves it, but I feel it is something I need to do if I want to have some sort of closure with him before he passes. In a way I do feel like I have forgiven him for the past, but that does not mean I can forget how I felt. No matter how terrible this may sound, I am grateful (in a way) for the dire circumstances he currently faces. Why? Mostly because I feel like it has closed a wide gap that had been between us.

growth in career.

My granddad passed away this last spring. We weren't very close -- he was a retired Southern Methodist minister, and I am a henotheist. He was 98 years old, and perfectly healthy until the heart-attack that led up to his death just a week later. He lived a great life, and as far as I know, without regret. He really felt it was time for him to be back with the Lord. I have some regret about not spending time with him. I don't know that he ever really truly knew me. I often censored myself when he was around so as to not offend him. In fact, when he friend requested me on FB, I posed the question to my friends. They were pretty much in agreement to be myself, so I added him and didn't censor what I said there. I don't know how often he looked at my profile, but if he ever spent any time on it, he would have definitely gotten to know me better. The one good thing that came of Granddad's passing was that my mother and I grew closer. She went down south to be with him after the heart-attack and it was a pretty rough week for her. I called her almost every day, and have continued to call her almost every week since then. We have always been very open with each other -- she knows just about everything -- but I haven't always done a very good job of keeping in touch. Now I do, and it's been great! I will be most grateful later on in life when we have passed. ♥

I got engaged. I am grateful to have someone in my life who wants to be with me despite my flaws and tendencies to be difficult, and someone who really challenges me (in a good way) to look at those things. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to learn through relationship because I think it's a powerful teacher. I would hate to say I'm relieved, because I had struggled with the possibility of not finding a partner whom I truly wanted to be with, especially while I can still have children, but I also hate the fact that so much of a woman's value/self-purpose is placed on that. Part of me is also worried (worried is too strong of a word) so I guess I'll say cognizant of the fact that we don't know what the future holds and we can't control for it. I am going into this relationship and commitment with my eyes fully open, with the deepest of intentions to grow and learn from it, and to be receptive to what it brings.

I decided to follow my heart instead of my family's religious beliefs. At first, I was depressed. Devastated. But, I am finally working through all of my pent up anger and fear as a result of living a previously inauthentic life. I'm finally feeling free! It's a confusing time, but as I move forward, I'm learning more about who I really am and what I believe in.

In my own little world, my life partner has become a part of my business. It is interesting to see the emotions that I feel as I learn to share control and take direction in my business. I am grateful and relieved for the help, though sometimes I am surprised by our different approaches to business.

Getting married. Very greateful - made our family complete

My father died 11months ago. My rabbi boyfriend turned out to be an emotional fraud and left me 32 days after my father's death. I am grateful that I had 5 weirdly wonderful days with my father, that he did not die alone. I am grateful that I did not marry the schmuck.

I moved to Ghana!! I am grateful that I have had this opportunity - and to Jens for supporting me between jobs and providing me the opportunity. I'm excited because I've just found a new job which can support me independently. It takes my thinking from the present into the future. I still don't know what I want to "do with my life" yet, but I've got a solid path under my feet for now.

I travelled to Syria. I've never been anywhere in the Middle East before, let alone anywhere on the brink of a revolution; it was an incredible experience, people were so different, so generous with their time and only a little bit lechy. Fascinating country, amazing culture - so very different to everywhere I've ever been before. It made me simultaneously want to try new things and utterly grateful for the creature comforts that I already have. We managed to get into the country literally days before it became unsafe to travel there, so I'm really grateful that we made it. And I managed to avoid all the Turkish style toilets, thank god.

I took up bike commuting. It has made a difference to my health and has brought a strong sense of freedom, power and creativity to my daily routines. It's a small, repeated sort of experience but it has made a strong impact. So I would say I'm very grateful for that. And inspired.

I got accepted into medical school and got A*AA in my A levels, a lot better than I expected. It's given me a safety net for while I go travelling but I'm not sure that I'm as excited about it as I should be.

My father had a medical scare, and I realized how the roles have shifted. No longer am I the generation that looks to my elders, but now I have to be the one who is strong, calm, capable. It is time to look inward, find my inner strength, and step into that adult role that despite my age I'd not previously fully inhabited. I guess I feel a combination of grateful and fearful. Am I ready?

The whole year was significant! The reconstruction of 2209 Glen was a total pain. It was mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically taxing. At one point I lost faith in the goodness of people because it seems that Andrew Puchkof is a crook. I also wondered what I had done wrong to have all this happen to us -- or had WE done something wrong? The saving grace was when I realized that we would have to sell the house and then I realized that I really was ready to leave Berkeley. I still believe that the Universe just had to use a pry bar to get us out of our comfortable nest.

My amazing relationship ended just as I was self-publishing my first e-book. It took me completely by surprise. Puzzling over it and figuring out things to be rueful over became exhausting, so now I'm trying to move forward and focus on my creative endeavors.

My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. After she endured 6 weeks of radiation and chemo she decided to spend the rest of the summer at our family cottage. I was able to get time off for a month to stay with my parents and be the cook and cleaner. I felt very grateful to have had the opportunity for the extended time with my parents and to be able to do something for them. I also enjoyed swimming everyday, kayaking and visiting with the family.

My grandmother has gotten very sick and moved into a nursing home. She's still incredibly sharp in her mind but her body is failing her. I've been thinking about which would be better - to be cognizant of your decline towards death or not? We love that she is still so with it, still joking and remembering, but maybe it's harder for her that way. The significance of this for me is accepting the mortality of someone I thought that, while old, would always be independent and self-sufficient to the last. I don't want to just wait for her to die. I want to embrace her in this stage of her life.

Robert broke my heart. At first, it was the absolute worst thing that has happened to me. Now, it is the best thing that has ever happened. Not only did he break my heart, but he broke my trust in his friendship and love. I felt used and abandoned, like my love had gone to waste and I was left with an empty heart. That is until I opened my heart to the people around me and to the beauty of the world. In my friends, family, and the people I encountered daily, I discovered myself. I made new friends and became closer than ever with those of the past. I make an effort to keep in touch with most of these friends through handwritten letters. Through photographing my mornings I found love and gratitude for this life. I am now full of more love than I was ever capable of feeling with Robert. It is love for myself and it comes from within. I share it every day and am open to receiving it in return. My life has turned around and I feel alive. I often wonder what would happen if I were to ever see Robert again. At times I still feel angry but I hope that I can look at him and feel gratitude. I hope that he can look at me and see the woman that I have become.

My wife of over 15 years decided that she didn't want to be married anymore and left. It wrought havoc on my life and on the life of our daughter. For a while reconciliation looked like a possibility, but after she met a 24 year old soldier, that possibility ended. Now she is married to him and I am left wondering what the hell happened to my life.

I fell in love with an astounding man and I'm just barely a freshman in college. I used to scoff at people who "found the one" but now I think I understand. I am so unbelievable happy now and I can't imagine my life without him.

I had a hysterectomy and a cancer scare. It has taught me how important it is t listen to your body and not take things for greated. It has taught me to appreciate my family more and lookpast some tings I have held on to for solong. It has taught me to learn more about my body.

GUATEMALA. Swimming in Lake Atitlan: feeling small, but very much a part of everything, and trying not to think about the great monsters that could have been swimming 3000 meters beneath me. Meeting Scott and getting to know Alex better. Doctor Who!

In the last year I came into some money. I was supposed to save some and spend it on moving forward. But of course I spent it all traveling. I was always in the 'one more trip' mindset and ended up not having money to re-invest. When my investments come back this year, I'm gonna go on two trips. I will have to plan them out in advance and stick to a budget for each trip. This way I wont be spinning my tires year after year and will finally move on to bigger and badder things.

Finishing my stop motion animation,"cat WACO." Finally! A student project that was vastly harder than I had imagined it would be. It challenged me mentally as well as physically. And to be honest, there were points I almost gave up on it. I am grateful and relieved that it is done now. I am proud of myself for pulling it off, even if there are always going to be parts of it that I will wish were "better," tighter, smoother, etc. I learned a lot about (and struggled with) my own limitations and time management, but kept true to my own creative vision and direction. It was also accepted into the Stop Motion Magazine Film Festival out in L.A. this year! http://brookeduckart.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/cat-waco-accepted-into-stop-motion-magazine-film-festival-2011

Filing Bankruptcy. This allowed me to move on and continue to grow. There have been some perceived challenges, more so for my family. I am extremely grateful, because I know that I have a wonderful, Blessed Life.

I began a new job at a new clinic. After spending six years in a university practice I was unsure whether I could cut it in private practice again. I'm so much happier here and grateful for the change!

Last year in February I went to London on my own. I went there to find myself a placement and I would be sleeping at someone I had only spoken to through the phone. This was the lady that offered me a place in one of her studenthouses. I took the train and went there all by myself. I have never been anywhere that 'far' from home on my own. It was the best experience I have ever had by far. I was walking around in london on my own, finding my own way and talking to people I had never spoken to before. I grew so much thanks to this experience and I now know that having some time out of Holland would be the best experience ever for me.

So many, which to choose? Making Aliyah though would have to be the catalyst for all the other experiences... It has changed so many aspects of my life. Most for the better, some for the worse. But that is the see-saw, the compromise, that I expected, and so far it is leaning in the right direction. I am grateful for the opportunity, both historically - for many generations I couldn't do what I've done - and personally - for family and friends that supported my choice.

I got married this year. I am very grateful to have met him. I feel he is someone with a good heart, all the way through. It has made me realize that people can like me for me . He makes me want to be a better person.

I am happy to say I'm pregnant. They say things change when you have kids, but I feel things changing now--parenthood is starting now for me, especially, as the mother and one carry the baby now, and for my husband, too, but probably in different ways. We are grateful, excited, anxious, and a little worried about if we are doing what we need to to prepare ourselves for the real big change (and gift!) to come.

i have fallen in love again, and it seems like i have found the right person for partnership, even if the timing feels a little bit off. this time i enter into the relationship with much more confidence. i am ready to fall in love with my work with that same abandon, passion and life-long commitment.

My 92 year old Mother passed earlier this year. I was able to be with her during the last three months of her life although we live miles apart. It is a significant milestone; it has helped me prepare for my own aging process.

Moving to the English department where I feel loved and supported. Terrific boss, colleagues. I'm profoundly blessed.

I suddenly had people giving me work, without much effort on my part. This was after a long period of being unemployed and stressed out. I was grateful, relieved and awed that people have more faith in me than I do. It's helping me get started on having my own business (something I have always wanted). But, the change also really stressed me out. It made me set up the right things in my life to really make this work on every level (for me, my family, my husband, etc). So far, it's actually happening.

Almost exactly one year ago I took a badly injured stray cat into my care. She quickly got better, but I just as quickly discovered I could not keep her. My name for her will always be Amschelle, although her new family calls her Elsie. Amschelle brought to a head several thingsthat were at that time kind of boiling in the undercurrents of my life. I am grateful for my time with her, grateful for the people who have taken her in, relieved that she is better, and relieved also that we are all in a better place, even though so much pain was both given and received. I am working through the resentment I still feel for my family.

Having my son. I am inspired and my priorities have all changed. Two years ago, I had not even planned on having children, let alone letting them affect my career. Now that I have one, I would do whatever I needed to do to make sure he knew he was loved.

I reconnected with my sister, my cousin and helped my mom. I tried to reconnect with my husband but it did not work out. I am grateful for the support I get from the people in my life.

This past year I was force-transfered out of the Elementary school I was teaching at for the past three years. Within a month I ended up back at my old school thanks to the efforts of my principal and close friend. The experience left me realizing how valued I was, and also how much I love what I do. Many days teaching is extremely draining and thankless- but there are those moments when I realize how I could never do anything else but teach.

I put in a bid on a house with my new wife. I was so happy that I got to a point in which I was just open to whatever property was going to come to our lives would in fact come. I am so grateful and it is requiring that I have faith in the process and the exactly what is suppose to happen will happen. I feel so blessed and happy to have this house come as a possibility. I believe it will be our house and I am so inspired to set down the beginning of our roots. I'm excited to building a home together.

I want to list two--losing my grandpa in March and getting pregnant in April. I feel like they are linked somehow, just through the idea of the continuation of family and the generations. I know it's meant a lot to my family and my grandma during a difficult year to have a new baby to look forward to. Mostly I'm grateful.

After my father and my husband's mother lost their respective spouses, they decided to get married at ages 77 and 84. They enjoyed 6+ years of companionship. My mother-in-law (stepmother) became ill this year, causing a short stay in a rehabilitation facility, and while preparing for her return home on a Saturday, she passed away on Thursday at age 90, leaving my father alone. I have felt great responsibility for occupying my father's time since, reassuring him that he did the best for her up until she died. We all felt great sadness, and also a sense of peace when she left, because we knew she was ready...however it was sudden, so everyone, mostly my father, was shocked and felt they were not given a chance to say goodbye. I am at peace with her death, knowing I did everything I could for her while she was here. I also said goodbye to her and mourned her loss long before she passed, as she was (in my daughter's words) the "shadow of the woman she once was." I ache for my husband, who was very close to her and cared for her greatly, especially after her first husband (my father-in-law) died. I know his pain is difficult to bear, but he is a strong man, and I pray every day that he will find peace. My husband has also been extremely attentive to my father, feeling that he is OUR remaining parent. I pray that my entire family may find peace in her death, and can embrace and celebrate happy memories of her life! Her memory to me is one of the family center, worrying always about her husband, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She embraced her family with great passion, always placing them before herself, and I have felt that encompassing love moreso this year, perhaps more than when she was able to share it with us herself. I will dearly miss you, Blanche, for you were a significant part of my life; you always told me I was the daughter you never had, and it was my privilege and honor to fill that place in your heart!

I just realized I can go back and answer quesitons I've missed! Okay, so this is actually Day 2, but I'm answering this question because I missed it yesterday. So, I don't want to repeat myself too much from my answer for Day 2, but I'm so grateful for the Pittsburgh trip I took with Paige this summer and for going on my first date last week. This is a really short answer, but I'm just grateful for both of these experiences (probably the Pittsburgh trip more than the date) because they are both significant events in my life. I definitely had more fun in Pittsburgh with Paige than I did on my date with Nick, but nonetheless I am grateful (and relieved...for the fact that I got asked out on a date...proof I'm not a total weirdo) for both experiences.

Last year I was in an adiction to porn. I was really messed up. So I take a decission. I call for help. God provides me a good friends to make an accountability partnership and I renew my life. Now I'm grateful and inspired to be a better man, a better friend, a better father, a better me... My real version.

moving to LA based on a dream, glad , it seems to have broadened my emotional landscape.

Summerstock. I was the assistant director for my local children's theater summerstock production of The Music Man. The summer was extremely busy and most of it was spent at practice but it was probably the best summer I've had since high school. It was nice to be a part of a theater production again. Those kids, all 55 of them, are some of the best people. I can't wait until next summer!

I got pregnant for the first time after 7 years of trying. And then when I was 6 weeks along, I lost the baby. The moment and the feeling of that baby pulling off my utering wall is so painful and so crytal clear to me still 5 months after it happened. I am hopeful that since I was finally able to get pregnant once it can happen again. But I am also terribly sad that I saw the baby's heartbeat as it made things that much more real.

I traveled to Europe for the first time -- stepped way out of my comfort zone, saw amazing things, experienced incredible events, and met lifelong friends. there's nothing like living in your Stretch Zone. Can't wait to do it again!

My daughter was born in June. It is so wonderful to see her growing and learning every day. I love to see the big toothless smile on her face when I come home from work and she recognizes me.

Marriage equality passed in New York State and I was a part of the movement that helped make it happen. I felt so grateful to that I had the chance to do something of real meaning and to help change so many people's lives for the better. Getting to stand on the steps of city hall the first day same-sex marriages were legal and cheer as happy couples emerged legally married after 50 years of life together was one of the most meaningful and beautiful moments I've ever experienced. Then getting to go to the governor's reception and share the experience with my friends from Broadway Impact and HRC made the whole day even more surreal and special. Truly witnessing that my voice can make a difference has galvanized me to continue working for marriage equality and social justice in other less tolerant states.

I lived with 9 other people, worked at a youth arts organization, did art, wrote, theorized, made friends, got in a relationship, lost 40lbs, relationship became unhealthy, broke up, emerged a new person.

I gave birth to a baby boy, late in life and unexpected. It has completely changed our lives. A blessing for sure, but not without some sacrifices. We were at a comfortable place in life, free to come and go, travel, pursue fitness goals, etc. The baby has changed all of that. Sometimes I am resentful for the loss of freedom. But mostly, I am grateful for the experience of raising another child. He is bright and happy, makes me laugh A LOT!

I passed my NP boards. I as so relieved. But now I am torn between finding a new job and spending time with my family. I am scared for the life changes that are going to happen soon...

Returning to Nicaragua after 5 years and visiting with the family I lived with there previously. It was incredibly heart warming to see Kevin and Nicol growing up and how much Claudia has learned and gained from her work in the coffee world there. It was interesting to see what I remembered, what I hadn't, what was different, and what was the same.

Last year I moved in with my boyfriend. It was a very big deal. I had lived in my same apartment for nearly 20 years; nearly half the time alone. The move was significant on so many levels -- saying goodbye to me 'single-hood', packing up (and getting rid of!) 20 years of stuff, living with someone... but ultimately, moving in with J and growing our partnership outweighed any fear or doubt. I took my time packing, and purging and recalling the life I had created for myself in a new city - and generally, single. I realized how well I took care of myself despite it being hard and lonely at times. Now being in a relationship -- something I always wanted -- I feel somewhat protective of my single-hood. Fortunately I have a very supportive and independent partner who allows me to still enjoy my own independence.

In March a house fire broke out in my now in-laws place. Everyone evacuated safely and thankfully no one was injured. It was an electrical fire and the house was inhabitable, so we all had to move out. We were homeless. The feeling of powerlessness was so tangible I could taste it. The same week of the house fire, I suffered a sudden relapse with lower back issues and sciatica. My fiance and I were living out of a hotel and I found myself in more pain than I can describe or even care to remember. I have never endured so much at one time. In the months since the fire, my back is on the mend, my fiance and I moved into our new apartment, and we have gotten married. A lot has happened, and it hasn't been all bad. 2011 has been very bittersweet, with actual physical endings and beginnings. I still sometimes cry, but I now know what it's like to lose everything and move on, that life doesn't stop because bad things happen. Overall, I count myself as grateful; it was a bad patch but not nearly as bad as it could've been.

My grandmother passed away on Dec 6, 2010. She was my favorite person on the planet. Everything shifted into focus when she passed away. I am much more aware now than ever about what is important and what is not as important. I started to think about my own mortality and what I want from my life in a much more meaningful way. I know she lives on inside of me too, I got a little sassier when she left the world of the living...

In times of suffering my friends and I became Closer. I am greatful for them to be in my life and know that they will always be here for me to help

There were several significant experiences this past year. Maybe it's a pattern. While I believe there is an intended lesson in these experiences, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be learning. A little over a month ago, after an uneventful day, I suddenly became very ill. There was an extreme heavines in my chest and I had difficulty breathing. It was a very quick onset asthma attack. I looked for an inhaler but only found one which had expired months earlier. I used it anyway and spent the night in my comfortable easy chair fully dressed. I wanted to be prepared in case I needed to drive myself to the ER at a nearby hospital. In the morning the symptoms diminished somewhat as often happens with daylight. The episode developed into a classic case of bronchitis. I was surprised because since retiring from teaching three years earlier I'd not had even one sick day. I used my usual remedies certain I could overcome the virus. When a severe sore throat presented itself I went to my physician for a throat culture and antibiotic. My chest discomfort had improved greatly. He, however ordered a chest xray and sent me home with an antibiotic. Two days later his nurse called to tell me they'd found something in my left lung and a CT scan was being scheduled. Although I felt that I was ok, as a cancer survivor, news like this was a little frightening. I got the ct scan and was told that I'd get results in a few days. Twelve holding-my-breath days later I called my doctor's nurse. She said, "Oh everything's ok. It was nothing." They hadn't notified me because the office was on vacation. I lodged a small complaint about this from the perespective of the patient, cancer survivor thing and hung up relieved and grateful for good health. Last week late in the day I began to experience bright light flashes in the corner of my left eye and a brownish web shpe floater started moving across the same eye each time I moved it. It was approaching the weekend, so I tried to ignore it and waited for it to disappear. It didn't. I decided that on Monday I would see and eye doctor. Before going to bed, however, I scared myself silly researching lights and eye floaters on the web. The information convinced me I was suffering from a retinal tear or detachment. All sites advised immediate medical attention. Monday afternoon found me at the eye doctor's office where I went through a thorough exam complete with a double eye dialation. The result was that my retinas are very healthy as is the rest of the eye. And that's good. Aging retinal fluid causing a coagulated bit to dislodge resulting in a reflection in the eye is the floater. The flashes are gone. What's the story? I'm never preoccupied with my health. I don't even watch medical shows on tv. I resent the time necessary for yearly exams, dental checks. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be paying attention to, but I will keep looking for clues.

I left a housing/job situation in which I was being mistreated. It was hard because I don't give up. I had to reframe it as not giving up, but actually succeeding by protecting myself and having boundaries and expectations for how people treat me. I am relieved, grateful and inspired in my courage. I wish I had been more graceful, positive and reflective during the process, but I recognize it was hard and i've grown a lot from it.

I lost a baby at 16 weeks. I was completely devasted. My doctors never thought I would get pregnant so my boyfriend and I were always careful. Then I found out I was pregnant. I was shocked, happy, scared, grateful, just about every emotion ran through me but most of all I was excited about having a baby. My boyfriend didn't seem to sure about it and that caused some problems between us but I was determined to be a great mom even if I was going to go at it alone. I knew I could do it, I had the support of my family (at least most of my family) and my friends. I knew I had the love in my heart to provide for a child. Then I went in for an amnio and they couldn't find the heart beat. I was just there a few weeks prior and got to see the baby on the ultra sound and hear the heart beat. I thought my world ended, I was sure the world stopped moving. I didn't know what to do except cry. Its been a long road and I am still not "recovered". I have come to terms of the miscarriage and realize that God has a reason. I still cry about it and think about my baby boy, Jaden, in heaven with the Lord and my grandma. I know I will see him one day and be able to hold him in my arms and tell him how much I love him. The father is no longer in my life so I am healing in more ways than one. I am grateful for the 16 weeks I had Jaden in my womb. I felt love the instant I was told I was pregnant, that kind of love is something I dreamed about. It is the most intense, unconditional, deep, overwhelming instant love I have ever experienced. I am also so grateful for the experience because it has brought me so much closer to Jesus. He works in the most mysterious ways and I have given my heart to Him to hold and protect. I have such a sense of peace in my soul where a crater existed.

In this past year, I celebrated my bat mitzvah with my twin sister. I am now a Jewish adult, though not a secular adult. It was one of the best days of my life. I was surrounded by everyone I loved and who loved me, and I got to celebrate my coming of age in a religion I am proud to be a part of. I grew from the experience in a new level of responsibility and I will never forget that milestone in my life.

We just opened "Connected" in theaters. It has been incredibly surreal. Feeling grateful one minute and overwhelmed the next. On a constant ebb and flow of emotions.

Traveling to Israel... what an amazing, affirming experience. It really solidified my Jewish Identity and encouraged me to stand up and be proud.

my cat george died, i was very sad for a long time and i still am. i loved him so much, and i miss him dearly. i lost a best friend, and i will never forget him, he was the best cat ever.

I worked as a volunteer in a "working camp". It was a really great life experience!

I broke up with someone I had dated for over 2 years. It hurt to end it. But after it was said and done I realized how imperfect it was. And he was a great guy. And he tried. Hard. All the time. But we were never on the same page. I know it's cheesy but we broke up a little before the How I Met Your Mother episode about demolishing a building and there was a line "sometimes things have to fall apart to make way for better things..." It was a good time. But we can both find someone better for us. And now on the other side I find all these things I forgot about myself. And I hope he feels the same way. I'm grateful i had friends to support me and say the hard things. I feel grateful we could end it as well as one can end it. And I'm so happy to have learned so much. But I'm sad that we each had our hearts broken a little. But I think I fell for someone recently... and I'm grateful for everything that came before it because all that experience prepared me for the next part....

Early this year, my wife and I began trying to get pregnant and have been humbled by how out-of-control we are of the process. Even after beginning infertility treatments, throwing tons of energy, money, and time at the problem - we have made no head-way. We have endured some very low points and experienced heady optimism and hope. As I reflect back, I realize that the only thing I can control is my attitude towards the process, yet am inspired by that alone.

I broke up with my boyfriend. I'm grateful to not be with someone whose happiness in the relationship depended upon him feeling superior to me. But I'm sad to be single again.

This last year I was proposed to by my best friend. I never in my life would have ever thought that I would be marrying a boy I knew in high school - I mean I was such a different person back then. I am so incredibly lucky that he loves me for exactly who I am. He is perfect!

I went to Israel and finally started to connect myself with the Jewish homeland. I am so grateful for this opportunity, it was like no other experience I have ever had. It has inspired me to want to go back and study in Israel next summer.

I spent some extended play time with members of my family, with whom I have only had limited visits since moving to Seattle. It filled me with joy, and made me want more connection, and also made me sad not to have that with my other brother's daughters/family.

I changed "careers" for the first time. I'm only 3 years out of college and still figuring out what I want to do. After a season of discontentment, it was interesting to attain something I wanted only to be hyper aware that it wouldn't actually "fix" anything. I love my job now, and while it's probably not forever, I think I've gained a new perspective on life. Circumstances are never going to make things better. People will disappoint. This world is flawed. Life can be beautiful & substantial & life-giving, but ultimately Jesus is what gives my life significance. HE is my purpose.

I fell in love which is always inspiring and it has led me to make other changes in my life to keep and find happiness.

I started college. I believe that this in it of itself is a significant experience. Leaving home was difficult, however I think that it has caused me to grow and develop in ways that I would never have been able to do at home. I am both grateful and inspired. I am so extremely thankful to be in the place that I am now and relieved that everything has worked out the way that it has. Finally, I feel inspired every day; this place ignites my passion, inspires me to do my best, challenges me in every way and excites me.

I made New York my home. While it is the place of my extended family and family history, it is far away from those I feel most connected too. Moving here has made me aware of how precious time is, of what real connections look and feel like and how important it is to be around those I love.

My nephew was born. I am so proud to know him and to be a part of his life. It also makes me incredibly aware of values and judgements both of my own and that I see others with. He is the light of my life and it has made me view the world in a different way than would have been possible had he not come into the/my world

This year I got very sick. I became anemic from blood loss due to colitis and the anemia very suddenly and unexpectedly sapped my energy to the point where it was difficult to get out of bed. I had to stay home for a week and get weekly intravenous treatments of iron for eight weeks. It was scary. I had to take incompletes in my classes and completely reprioritize my life around doctor appointments, treatments, lab tests, etc. I am SO grateful for this experience. For the first time, in a long time, I felt so vulnerable and I needed my friends and family in a way that I had not needed people in a long time. I needed people to make me dinner, to help organize my various medical bills, to take me to the doctor, and to just listen when I felt frustrated. Needing people is so scary but also such a special thing. I felt so taken care of by my people. It was such an important reminder that it is OK to fall apart and that the people who love you will help put you back together again.

I worked at a really large, international organization that is making a lot of changes in the world. It affected me because at the time, it gave me meaning to be part of something larger than myself and my ambitions, to be part of an organization that was changing the lives of so many people for the better in a real and significant way. It also made me relieved to have a job and to be able to show off where I worked.

My oldest child completed her education and started her career internship. My wife & I have tossed her out of the nest to force her to become an adult. My youngest two children transitioned from being young children to being pre-teen/teenagers. The relationship changes between me and the children have made my appreciation of them much greater. I'm greatful that my children seem to be well on their way to becoming productive adults and good citizens.

I feel that all I write about is me. It's been a me year. However, what the year has really been about is over coming the conditions of Non-Hodgkin disease using only herbal remedies and diet. It's exciting to believe that I have found a way to help a great number of people.

My marriage ended (not at all my choice) after a brief, two years. Although it broke my heart, I found the strength to accepted. The closest choice on its affect is "inspired", as it allowed me the opportunity to affirm my strong capacity to love and my strength to be able to empathize and forgive with a minimal amount of judgement.

My Mom died. It was a relief and shocking all at once. The Death of either of my parents is the one thing I dreaded all my life. It made me feel naked. It turned my center of being onto a new course into uncharted territory. Even though my mother was not totally herself because of the dementia that had taken hold of her, she was still here. And the Mother I had remembered was still here and is here still with me. It made me feel again my own mortality and that is something I try not to think about. I don't know anyone who sits around thinking I could die today. I felt it when my first child was born. From nothing came something, ergo this something can/will go to nothing.

I went kayaking in Alaska. I was a bit nervous at first because I was to get there on my own, but I surprised myself by being so willing to take on this adventure. I felt that my independence was strengthened and that I was able to be present in spite of the fear and anxiety I felt about being on my own. I was grateful that, at 61 years old, I was able to prepare for the kayaking part of the trip and, that after some practice and pointers, I turned out to be a strong kayaker. I was relieved to learn that kayaking was a good choice for me in terms of maintaining my strength and challenging myself physically without having to worry about my balance. It inspired me to come back to NY and to continue to kayak and think about making it a regular part of my life.

I left the army. Yay! Never felt quite as bad as I felt when I was in the army ever since I left it... So that's good, cause I no longer sit at nights planning a suicide attempt. Not that I don't have any thoughts about suicide anymore, but it's still better, I guess... Yup, it is. Still a long way to go with the psychotherapy treatment, but I feel better.

During the past year, I completed saying 22 months of kaddish for my parents. My mom passed away first, and then just tem days after the 11 months of mourning was over, my father passed away. It's changed a lot about how I see myself and really made me reflect on the kind of person I am and want to be. Saying kaddish for so long brought me much closer to my spirituality and to the community in my synagogue.

My beloved and I separated for a short time. The pain went deep, into young feelings of abandonment and fear. I kept my eyes and heart open and moved through the pain as it rose in waves. It turned out to be more of a "wake-up" than a break-up: we woke up to ourselves and our strengths as individuals, and came back together into a more conscious commitment, dedicated to each other's evolving and unfolding. As a result, I learned how to be a seafarer, journeying on my own in a vast ocean of emotions. I am grateful. I am relieved. I am a seafarer!

This past May, I completed my first year of training to become a spiritual director. After a challenging three years, this was a boost to my confidence. I am grateful, both for the experience and for the new relationships I am cultivating through the program. And the cherry on top: Going through the program with my husband.

I had so many significant experiences this year, both positive and negative. Reflecting on them reassures me I am on the right path with my life because I was able to learn from the negative things that happened and maintain (most of the time!) gratitude for the good. I have a faith in the natural ebb and flow of life like never before.

A significant experience was I got accepted into this really good boarding school and I love it! Not everyone got in and it is really academically and physically challenging with sports and classes and it is really good. I love all of the people and it is amazing!

I had a vasectomy, and 11 months on, I'm still not sure how it's changed me, though maybe it'd be more accurate to say that I'm not sure how I feel about how it's changed me. Physically, it means I've got small pieces of titanium permanently implanted in my body, and there are regular physical reminders of the change: occasional discomfort while cycling, say, or differences in the shower. Psychically, I'm not capable of fathering another child, and while a second child's been out of the plan for a long time, certainly since my daughter's disabilities started to become clear, there's still some mourning about this change - and about the permanence of having a child with disabilities.

Bought a "forever home" with my soon-to-be husband. Moved out of the place that I had once shared with my first spouse. Being in this wonderful old house--a place that really, really feels like "home," with a partner I am so, so lucky to have--it is a joy, obviously. I do, however, have pangs of guilt and anxiety, not to mention feelings of unworthiness, over the fact that I've stumbled into such a charmed (not to mention affluent) life.

i got my first official/salaried job in 6 years. I feel relieved and grateful that not only is it a job, in my industry, in my city, but it's my dream job! I hope that a year from now I haven't taken this for granted.

Well.. just twelve days ago my father passed away. I don't know how it has affected me, whether I am grateful, relieved, resentful or inspired... But somehow, I am looking forward to the future. I can't justify that statement right now, but I am.

The whole year has been a really difficult learning curve; first I took my CBT and DAS assessments and passed them both (in February and July 2010) allowing me to become a fully certified motorcycle instructor. Then I completed my Diploma in Teaching English in the Life Long Sector (DTEELLS) this April. I was really enthusiastic about the m/c assessments, I suppose this was because I was motivated to do something different from being a teacher. The DTEELLS course I initially resented, as I felt I was forced to do it by my employers, though I did get into the swing of it later on. Finishing all of this really made me feel great.

I had a (few) big breakthrough(s) in therapy about my relationship with my family. It was not until I deeply examined my relationship with my siblings and mother and father that I truly was able to feel and express resentment, frustration, compassion and love for them. The effect of talking things through with my therapist is that I have been able to set better boundaries, feel myself getting triggered and then try to calm down, and give myself the right to be pissed off. All of it has been liberating.

5 years clear of breast cancer. I was relieved, happy, sad, grateful... a whole rainbow of emotions all at once. The part that surprised me was that I felt a little sad. It was a kind of a graduation from one of the most intense periods of personal growth in my life. The sadness was for letting go of that period of growth. But I know that it's just the beginning, and I am no longer in need of a wake up call like cancer in order to shift and be aware and stay true to my self.

I find that many things in the economy are affecting my students in very negative ways. While I am relieved that my family is insulated from the distress, I am resentful that the powerful people in this country cannot come together to find solutions to fix things for the very poor. This may not seem like a significant experience, but we must be forced to remember the poverty of our ancestors living ghettos; and doing so without the help of their government!

It's been a process of picking my Ph.D. committee and defining my work. It has focused me to really think about what I want my future to be.

I came face to face with the fact I was post-poning my dreams. It was okay/understandable when I sacrificed some of them for my relationship with my wife, but since she left me, I no longer had that reason. And now, here I am 3 years later, still in the same place, with few friends and fewer connections and not moving forward, stuck in a dead end job because it's the first one I could get after 2 years of no work. My destiny is waiting for me and I'm too busy just getting by. It's time to make a change. Inspired.

I let go of a program that I have developed and brought to where it was in the fall of last year, it meant turning it over to someone I had had difficulty with. I am grateful and relieved . this freed me up to move forward not looking for justice, or recognition but letting go and no longer being in the position of supervising someone when there was not infrastructure to support that. I was able to move into a role of developing another program learning new and exciting things.

I quit my job. And then went back to it. I'm a career woman. I thought maybe I wasn't. I thought maybe having a nice, easy job close to home would make me happy. I could leave for work at 8:30 in the morning and be home by 5:30 in the afternoon. I would have plenty of time to garden, to think, to hike, to feed my loved ones. That experiment showed me what I want to do, what I love to do, the kind of work I need to be engaged in in order to be fully engaged as a human being. At my company, we try to help people be better, to act in the best interests of stakeholders, to be a little kinder and more compassionate. I love that. I can't just sell widgets. I need what I do to help me feel like I am part of something greater than myself.

I met the love of my life on Dec 31 and I've never been happier. I also got the BIG promotion at work. I really worked for it, deserved it, and plan to make the most of it.

I got a good job after two years of job-hunting. I feel secure, relieved, and also inspired.

I started a year long sabbatical in Israel. So far I feel all the more committed to this holy land but all the more cynical as to what the future holds for all the residents of Israel. I am at the same time forever hopeful that 5772 will be a year for peace and positive, meaningful change.

We (my beloved and I) lost our daughter 26 August 2010. She was stillborn at 8 1/2 months. I didn't participate in last year's 10Q because I could hardly see straight ...I was deeply buried under the grief of the experience. A year later, I'm just beginning to understand that her death has changed my life forever. Moreover, I'm just beginning to accept, and like, the person I am now becoming. Am I grateful or relieved to have lost my child? No, not even in the least. I have been resentful, angry, torn ...but that time has past. As I wake up from the nightmare of losing her, I am finding that I am inspired, more passionate about helping people, more determined to live my life in service, and more committed to giving 100% of my effort to living my best life to honor our daughter and all that she means to us.

Forming and participating in the Happiness Club and been significant for me this year. It helped me focus on my happiness- and to do something about it. It has been deeply gratifying to have inspired others to work on their own Happiness Projects, and they have in turn inspired me and held me accountable to my identified goals. It proved to me that I am capable of creating change, movement- even micromovement- towards being the person and living the life I want to be. I feel hopeful. And happy.

I was matched with my new service dog, Mario. I am now more comfident, compedent and happier. I am a better prerson. I am incredibky grateful and thankful. I am able to do so much more out in the world. I am getting more exercise and enjoy my life much more than before.

The most significant experience that has happened to me was being diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I flowed through the diagnoses, lumpectomy and treatment without feeling sorry for myself and working through it with a positive, optimistic outlook. It's almost a blessing - as it made me really look internally into myself, taking time to just "be", rather than constantly being in motion. I learned that I need to allow people to care for me, not becuase there was something in it for them, but just because they wanted to. I also learned that I needed to allow them to care for me. I think that was the hardest part of all. For their love, compassion and friendship. I am eternally grateful.

My husband Frank passed on the 2nd of Tishri. It affected me profusely. I try to cherish the little things in life like, looking at the sky, enjoying the outdoors, appreciate the people and four footed critters I have in my life and the things I do have. If you have your health then, you have everything.

In a matter of one week in July I got engaged and got into grad school. I start next week. If I let myself, I get terrified. After this, there is no more easy. I will be working full time, going to school full time, and planning a wedding. While i'm really looking forward to it because I've also felt such depression because of a lack of focus and direction, I'm scared of getting overwhelmed and not being able to handle it. My entire life will change after this. I will always have something to do. When I doubt myself, I doubt that I will have the discipline and confidence to handle it all.

My brother died suddenly. I was so grateful For the times that we did have His death inspired me to appreciate Him, those I love and cAre about. Even though we spoke almost every day, We lived so far away.

Walking the Peddars Way with a good friend. It has inspired me to get back into hiking...

Well, certainly the most significant experience (or non-experience) is that I didn't graduate on time. Not only did I not finish my schooling, but I did so in a completely self-destructive manner, resulting in the loss of a dream job, a weakened relationship with my parents, and a feeling of failure. In general, and on the surface, this experience makes me feel horrified and embarrassed. I let down my family, friends, university, and myself. However, I believe it also led to a period of intense self-reflection that I would have otherwise not experienced. Although I'm not sure what the results of this reflection will be and I am still currently floating in this intermediary stage, I am grateful for the opportunity to thoroughly examine my life and consider my options.

I stopped being friends with my best friend of 17 years. It was the most difficult thing I've ever gone through. We had been through everything together, and I thought we would be friends into old age. It changed my perception about the permanence of love and friendship. I miss her, but I miss the old her, from when we were younger. I don't miss the person she has become, and I doubt she misses me. In the end, I feel relieved not to be friends with who she is NOW, but I am sad that this is where it had to go. It enabled me to make room for other people in my life, and more rewarding relationships.

I took 5 weeks away from New York and traveled to Sri Lanka. I've never been to Asia, so everything was new and refreshing to me. Even the public bus system was exotic. Traveling alone through an unknown country made me realize what a resourceful and courageous woman I am. I am grateful to know this about myself.

My wife got pregnant! I think all my 10Qs this year are going to be related to this...I am inspired, scared, excited, frightenend, awed, overwhelmed and capable...all at the same time.

I fell in love, for the first time in my life. After more than a decade of dating, moving around the country, and generally emphasizing the "young" half of "young adult," I've suddenly become... grown up. Took long enough. Seattle is full of lonely people with a vague interest in staring at each other's shoes (never make eye contact), many under-used degrees (my love life's all history), and a lack of rhythm (see any Slackers show). I am so fortunate to have met Lucky. It's almost unreal. I feel that I've learned enough from my past exploits, being generally unlucky in love, to really make this work. I am bursting with optimism, realism, and a new found appreciation of life. Hopefully, the next few decades will pan out to be just as fruitful and twice as sweet.

I got the job back that I gave up to try something new. I appreciate the opportunity to get back into doing something I loved when my former boss could have easily have turned me away. Now, I want to keep moving up in the company. I feel motivated!

I've had two majorly significant experiences in the last year, both of which have been quite life changing: 1) I got married 10 months ago, and it has truly been the best year of my life so far living and growing with my wonderful wife. We have worked hard at our relationships and have had a few tough moments, but those are largely outweighed by the good times. It's a huge change in mindset and relationship being married, as Natz becomes my immediate family and my priority and my parents and brother and sister now come second to her. It has been an interesting but outrageously positive experience so far as we've learned to live together, love each other more each day and try and live in a way that we believe to be right. 2) On my wedding day 10 months ago, a family friend asked me if we could have a coffee when i got back from my honeymoon, so 2 weeks later i rang him up and went down to town to meet him. A few days later i had a new job, in a field i never expected to be in. I had been looking for a job for quite a while and this one just came out of nowhere, it was incredible. I have loved my job this year. I have been challenged, inspired and energized. I still have a lot to learn, but am looking forward to moving ahead and learning more in this career.

I leased my very first new car. It gave me a slight case of guilt and buyer's remorse, but then I recalled that I could totally afford the terms of the lease and that as an act of financial responsibility, I had pretty much played it as safe as one could while getting a badass new ride.

Holy shit!!!!!! Where do I start! Well, having fell head over heels in love in the summer of 2010 this year saw all sorts of fall out from that. The most significant single experience was leaving my wife and children to be with another woman. Impossible to imagine 18 months ago and scary as fuck both at the time and indeed now. Heartbraking to tell my little ones and it still pains me to think of the impact it has had and will have on their sweet innocent lives. As I type, I am still in the process of a divorce. A messy one at that! Stressed to hell from being continually poked with a sharp surgical instrument by Emma. Scared shitless that she'll turn me over financially with her fat cat city lawyer. Petrified of her trying to reduce my access to the children. She is a right bitch and I think her bitterness will haunt me for a long time to come. I hold no affection for her anymore and want rid of her agitation. I'm eternally grateful for the continued help from my mother, and long to be able to pay her back some day soon. God I hope she is healthy this time next year. I'm not relieved at all. The stress I'm feeling is beyond my own comparisons. Surely it can't get any worse? I don't resent Emma. She's been dumped and she doesn't see the 2 most important things in her life for half the week at the moment. I'd be pissed off too! I don't feel inspired. Probably just scared and anxious. I'm coping well under the circumstances I know, but I'm not comfortable in this place. Oh, and Michelle and I are no more! So all this ball ache and no dream.

My father passed away and my mother developed dementia. Sad. More aware of the preciousness of life, of death, and of change.

I submitted myself to an agency and they said that they liked my look. This has made me hopefully that my dreams of actually being an actress have an actual slim chance of being realized. This gives me the encouragement to go to other agencies so that they will hopefully like me and want to represent me. I am now extra inspired to continue reaching for my dreams whether or not I have the support of my family.

My father died. i am relieved, regretful. he was so often a tyrant and monster. mom has changed so much for the better. but i still miss him. i want to tell him small things that make him smile. he is not there.

Losing my job had a big impact on my emotional well being. I wish that I had lived in the moment and didn't spend so much time worrying about something that I can not control.

Last December and early January, i did a bad thing. I was caught "sexting" a boy from my church. I have never felt a stronger sense of shame, guilt and worthlessness in my life. It took me months to get over. Today, nearly 8 months later, Im close friends with the boy, and his family. But most importantly im way closer to God and in better control of my self.

This past year I joined my youth group, BBYO. It completely saved my life. I went from being a troubled kid heading down a path of self-destruction, to the president of my chapter. Looking back, I am so beyond grateful that this happened. I honestly don't know where I'd be, or if I'd even be here, without it.

My mother's stage 3A breast cancer was discovered last December. It was shocking and difficult to learn of, making me question my own mortality. And of course I have been constantly worried about my mother and her treatment: surgery, chemo, and radiation. It was endless. I am still confused and waiting for the other shoe to drop, though her treatment is done and she is well at the moment. I am a little resentful; the year has been dark. My daily life is very entwined with my mother's and we (my husband, 3 year-old daughter and I) have been in the darkness with her.

Trying to find a way to heal from the trauma of being deserted without warning by my 8yr partner last year, I volunteered to go to Haiti with a mission team from my church in May. The whole experience---from raising funds to gathering supplies to the actual mission---brought me back to life. I was inspired, fulfilled, & awed every day, both by the warmth & resilience of the Haitian people, & by the warmth & camaraderie of the other 10 people on my team. Since then I've done more volunteering & training for disaster relief & early response work. I'm hopeful I'll be able to do more....possibly find a real job that will allow me to be of service to others.

I graduated college, which was a lot of fun, seeing the culmination of 5 years hard work, and 13 years before that in K-12. It makes you feel like an adult, but at the same time you're like, no, no, I don't want this, give me more classes that aren't in the mornings, and staying up late drinking because we can skip class tomorrow, and having your parents help support you. Then there was a long 3 months where I didn't do anything all day, since I couldn't work for the college after I graduated and I was in the process of job searching. It was nice, but boring, because I couldn't do anything, I was trying to save money. I was relieved when I found a job, in my field, that I thought I might like. Turns out, I do, mainly, but knowing that it's a starter job, and I'll move up in the company in a year or so (or else I'll go insane). It's a lot better than what some people have, settling for a non-field, part-time job. I was totally willing to do that, but thankfully I found this one instead. I'm looking forward to being more immersed in the position to the point where I'm not asking a fuckton of questions and messing things up because I don't know otherwise.

I made the honors list in college for the first time. I am 41 and went back to school last year to change my life. It felt amazing to work so hard and have it appreciated.

I took that Peruvian drug, Ayahuasca, with a shaman who seems to have really impacted my insomnia. I can't believe how much more sleep I am getting on a regular basis. It gives me hope that maybe the next time I do it we can have that kind of dramatic shift in the area of weight loss. Everything is in my head anyway, so why not.

This past summer I lived & worked in a new city that was quite different from my own, both in terms of scenery and culture. My dad-to-day life was quite different in that I spent nearly every day working on real problems as opposed to pursuing theoretical textbook problems. Even my sleep schedule was different in that late nights didn't necessarily usually to late mornings, and isn't that what summer's supposed to be about?!? I was working on a tech startup as part of a program that provided mentorship and other resources in exchange for equity in the company. The idea closely aligns with a passion of mine to help passionate people find others that share their interets. Yet the changes described above definitely pushed me mentally, physically, and emotionally. At first I longed to return to the familiar - my bed, my community, and my friends. I'm glazing over most of the story for the sake of time/space, but I would come to find that optimism and perseverance would be the keys to overcoming the challenges and thriving during the good times. In doing so, what I took away was an amazing experience that tested myself and in turn caused me to grow personally, and I even took away a great new network of folks that I'll keep with me for time to come. As I reflect back now on this first question, I realize I undoubtedly felt frustrated, sad, and exhausted along the way, despite doing something I loved. But the benefits outweighed the costs, and I'm better off for it.

I was finally able to leave a miserable job when I found another. After months of being depressed and slackerish, I found myself totally panicking because I hadn't challenged my brain for so long. I'm so grateful to have found the new place in this economy. Grateful, relieved, and almost free of bitterness toward my former employer.

I think I fell in love. I'm grateful that I had a strong emotional connection with a man. I had never felt that way about someone before. I know that I have cared about people and loved others, but I fell deeply in a different way. I was constantly inspired and turned on by him. I am proud for letting myself go there. I am inspired to seek it out again. I am not resentful of him. I miss him and I wish it could have lasted longer, perhaps forever, but it didn't.

I reunited with my college boyfriend. It was fun, exciting, unbelievable, romantic, and ultimately, a terrible and devastating disappointment. I realized how much fun it can be to have a partner and it has inspired me to try to find one who is a better match.

I started doing yoga. I love the way it makes my bosy and mind feel. Wish I had started it sooner!

i ran the nyc marathon to celebrate my 40th birthday. it was the first one in seven years and i was very grateful for having the opportunity to compete. i also had the opportunity to run it for charity, something i had never done before, and in so doing give back in a very personal way to someone who got me into running to begin with.

Jack died. I am still deeply sad about it. I don't actually think that feeling will ever change.

I got my AS level results, i didnt revise for them or even try and passed with 3 C's, i did the exact same at GCSE, but i know it won't cut it at A-Level. I've been inspired by this, because looking at different universities i've found that C's and average grades are going to get me no where, i need A's. I need to put the effort in and stop being lazy or there is no way my life is going to be worth anything.

My stepson and I had an argument that resulted from my getting sick of his teasing my other stepson, and teasing him back. At first it was horrible. But when I apologized to him later it led to a wonderful discussion and him opening up to me progressively more and more over the next months. Our relationship is so much better now. It was a HUGE risk to take, and I didn't realize I was taking it, but it really brought our relationship to a whole new level. The apologizing part of the equation was the key!

I've been struggling for the last few years with my work. I love what I do but I'm not sure that where I work is still a good fit for me. About six months ago, my work got a new "head of operations" and it's made a huge difference. I remember why I love the work that I do and I feel like I can be myself and continue to grow at work. I am so grateful for the chance to love my work again.

I finally got pregnant. It took so long to happen I was in disbelief for a long time. Now, even 8.5 months in, I'm in a bit of disbelief that in four weeks we'll finally be parents. Also, David quit his job. I feel apprehensive. It's going to be an adjustment for awhile as we learn to live with less income and soon, 2 babies.

We finally moved back to California. It has been nothing but the most positive experience ever. We are so happy to be back in the place where we met, fell in love and met all of our wonderful friends. A change of latitude and longitude can really affect the trajectory of your life.

This Past year has been full of important moments. I fell in love and he gave up on me and I learned how to be strong when I need to be. But ik when I'm upset I can cry if I'm all alone.

I got accepted into grad school. If affected me because now I have an extra year to figure out my life. I'm very grateful that my parents are paying, but I'm not relieved just yet. I still don't know if I'll find a good job when I'm done (praying that I do of course). Definitely not resentful, but hearing all of the things that my fellow classmates are doing as far as work/accomplishments/etc definitely inspires me to want to do well for myself in the future.

I did two major things in the past year. I became involved with our congregation's Chevra Kadisha and had an adult bat mitzvah. With the Chevra I am able to grow closer to my yearning to live up to the standards set forth in the Talmud, those deeds that cannot be measured, such as performing tahara and being a shomer. Chanting Torah is such a powerful experience. Everything else goes away and it is just you and the Torah there. An experience rooted in those who have chanted before you for many generations.

I got out of a bad marriage and found my soul mate. It has made me stronger able able to love with all of who I am. I found with grandma's dementia you have to go with the moment. I found that through the death of a loved one that they are never truly gone.

going back to court for sole custody i sold my car n furniture to pay for it. registered for art college but have been to stressed to draw changed model status to paid only started an LLC I will skip trace as an in home biz still with my BF after 3yrs living together for 1yr began an online self improvement class with Mr. Fire.

The only experience of significance has been my steady fall into the deepest depression of my life.I feel as if I have washed up onto the beach of life and the waves of despair are eroding my body slowly but,surely.I need to get up but,I can't.No one knows but,me or maybe they know but,don't care.Weak me is easy to abuse me.I'm tired and ready for an ending, any ending.

In the past year, I began dating Tom Kreisman. Yes, we've had our ups and downs, not to mention being 3000 miles away from each other, but I love him. You can see a future in his eyes; the kids, playing catch in the backyard, doing homework together, teaching them how to ride their bikes down the street. You can imagine your entire future with him, and he feels the same way.

My beautiful, healthy, vibrant daughter Maya was born. I'm so happy to be a mother for the second time to an amazing child. I'm beyond grateful that she is here in our lives and grateful that her beautiful big sister is happy to have her. The natural birth process was so inspiring for me. I think about giving birth to Maya almost daily, reliving the lighting paced delivery. My children are the most significant thing in my life and I'm so fortunate to be their mother.

I got my License! I love it, I feel like I have so much more freedom.

I spent a semester in Israel, a rare opportunity for a high school student. I owe more than I can describe to this experience. I now an extremely well-educated Jew, I am aware an informed on the many issues of Israel, its people, and its neighbors, I made friends that I will always be connected to, and most of all, I developed an unbreakable connection to Israel, both to the land and its inhabitants.

There are two major events that happened this year - I got married and I started grad school. They both happened within a week of each other and in January. I have had some time to settle in to these new routines as wife and student, and some things feel really good, and some don't. I think the best thing I did was doing both around the same time, because my husband is so supportive of my education and is bending over backwards to keep things together while I work and go to school.

The most defining experience of this last year was the foreclosure on a little bungalow that I loved. Though I loved the house for many reasons, it was never to be my permanent home. When it was time to sell my house, I was mortified at how much the market adversely impacted the sale. I was also shocked by how difficult it was (and is) to find a job. So I'm still unemployed and just mad that I made the choices I did that led to this outcome. If someone had told me two years ago I'd be bankrupt and unemployed at 50, I would have laughed in their face and changed the topic of conversation.

My son finished his 1st year of college - am very proud of him.

I got high marks for my uni subjects, inspired me to do post-graduate degree once I've finished my under-graduate and re-think my career path.

Our daughter was born in March. What an amazing experience the last 6 months have been. My whole world has changed - I am so grateful most of the time, sometimes a little resentful at having to let go of some of the alone time that I covet....but the trade off when she smiles at me makes it all worth while.

My family took a tour of Rome with a man who was so passionate about Rome and it's history, it made me fall in love with the city. We walked for eight hours. We finished in the Jewish ghetto. I had no idea of the history of Jews in Rome. It was fascinating and touching. I learned that the Romans protected the Jews during WWII among so many other things. I am grateful for having had this experience.

I stayed at my job for one whole year. I can't believe it. Moving jobs was tough, but I'm glad that I made it through the change, and that this company has decided to keep me. I also moved into a new house. The experience of buying a house was tremendously difficult. It pushed me to the limits, and forced my husband and I to do more than I thought we would. I'm relieved to be living in it, and though there are still boxes to be unpacked, I feel like we live in our home, not just some house.

something that happened to me this past year is me beginning the 10th grade, i am so far having a great year, if not feeling a bit challenged. i believe i have discovered a new passion, photography, and ill see how that turns out.

My 33 year old son died of a pulmonary embolism. It made me humble and realize that a lot of the things I thought were important were of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. I miss him terribly and want to savor all the time I have with the ones I love because you never know how long they will be i your life. I am not mad at God or anyone. I realize that life has random shit in it and we must learn to deal with stuff without falling apart ourselves. I also have learned to take a shit sandwhich and try to put whipped cream on it whenever I can. i.e. look for the little blessings, they are there.

Ash died. Just like that. And I had put off going to see her before her operation because of stupid money, even though I had a really strong feeling that I should go and see her. Lesson: listen to your intuition.

I have attempted to change my assumption that I cannot trust that a person's feelings for me or about me will stick. I am relieved that I am starting to make this change because this distrust prevents me from being myself in relationships.

Grateful to be working in this economy and having a position that I look at it as a mitzva

We downsized our business significantly so we could pick and choose our work, and thus have more personal time. It was hard to do but I am very glad we did it.

My mother went into a nursing home, at first for rehab, then to stay. Its made my life more stressful trying to visit more often and slowed my decluttering. However, it got me to finally quite procrastinating on having a Bat Mitzvah and I had it at my parent's congregation rather than my own. The clergy I worked with there made it much more personal than my own would have.

I gave my first sermon to a youth group and I passed out... It was discouraging but it made me stronger as a person. I still got back up on the stage and gave three more sermons.

Joining a dance crew has been a big deal. I feel part of a team, I'm improving my dancing and just getting to do it more seriously- and have more fun too.

a significant experience that happened last year were my grandparents dying. My grandmother was first, and it was a huge surpise. no one saw it coming. then two months later my grandfather followed her. My father is sort of the leader of the children so he took care of all their possesions, so for the past few months, eveything has been hectic with this relative wanting this of my grandparents stuff or that. But after you think about it, this stuff doesnt matter! the thing getting in our way was greed and hunger for something new, but what was wrong with what we already had? This experience, even though a sad and grieving one, opened my eyes to what's important in my life and what i couldn't live without, like my family.

Our region experienced the worst flood in over 100 years. We were out of school for two weeks and everyone was sandbagging every day. On the last night, it rained all night long and we had to leave our house at 1:30 in the morning. That night our house flooded with a foot of water. The next day they blew a dam that released the water and it all went back down. If they would have blown it one day earlier, a ton of people's houses would have been saved, including mine. We moved in with my great aunt for two months. The positive side is that FEMA gave us $24,000 and we were able to redo our entire house and now it is gorgeous! The whole experience seemed and still seems, surreal. I can't believe it actually happened. I never cried and or really got upset, it was just something you had no choice but to deal with. My room and my home makes me very happy and there is no place I'd rather be. I hope to buy this house from my parents within the next year and finally be on my own. :)

A significant experience that has happened to me was going to Carnegie Mellon for their Pre-College program. I'm grateful that I got to go and that I got to learn as much as I did. I got challenged so much and its inspired me to go forward and try even harder to be a better designer and go out of my comfort area more.

This past year I took a coaching crash course and intensive with the Handel group. This has changed everything for me. I know that I can make and keep promises and I know how to change my life for the better. I am tremendously grateful!

In the past year I became certified to train on the SMART board, accepted a position as a contract trainer with the SMART company, and have become a SMART Exemplary Educator. The SMART board has opened a lot of doors for me and has gotten me to explore various other technologies for the classroom. I have trained a good number of teachers in Kerrville on how to use the SMART board and I'm the resource in the school district to train teachers. I hope at some point, more districts begin contacting me to train them. I guess I'm hopeful, rather than inspired, relieved, or resentful

Over the last year, I've come to realize - with extreme reluctance - that the promotion I didn't get in August 2010 would have eaten me alive even faster than my current job does and that, on balance, I'm better off without it. That grinds me: I needed that promotion to be able to leave my current employer and move on to something better/higher/making more of a mark, and I knew - and still know - that I'd have been good at it to boot. As it stands, however, I think I'm saner and more centered in its absence. So I'm some combination of grateful and resentful - and in dire need of ideas for how to move on usefully and successfully without that job under my belt.

After a year of dreading my job in Pittsburgh, despite the tangibly positive impact I was making in the lives of my students, I quit. I took a leap of faith and moved back to Los Angeles and now, I'm ridiculously happy at my new job. What a blessing to find my 'career'.. something I can be naturally good at with great growth potential and the type of money I need to live the life I always envisioned for myself.

I finally got a full-time job. I am relieved.

I began teaching college composition a little over a year ago. I have enjoyed it beyond expectations, which were admittedly high. I am grateful to have the opportunity, but I've worked hard to make the chance for myself. I feel fortunate that I have a wife who has supported me, financially and emotionally, through the process of graduate school and teaching.

I had twins. I'm so grateful. Happy. Lucky. Thrilled. Blessed. They are amazing.

I started teaching yoga this past year and it has been an experience. Quite humbling and harder than I would have thought. Also have kept up with my early morning Sadhana so that now I feel I can't do w/out it. It somehow clears the palate to face the day.

The only thing I can think of is that Robert joined Marching Band this past June. This has had a very positive affect on me as his mother and a person! I am having fun helping out as a "band mom" and watching Robert and the other kids march is so cool! I love being part of this organization.

We moved to a new apartment and the process of getting rid of things and creating a new living space feels like a new beginning.

My father, 86, lost his driving license this year. He and my Mom decided to sell their car. This is the first time in maybe 50 years that they have not had a car. It has been a real milestone and not a particularly happy one.

I think the most significant event of this year was the lack of the event that was on the way to take place. Shelly and I had decided even before we got engaged that we would get married on June 11th. Also, before we were engaged, a deposit was sent to Lake Forest College for use of the chapel. Once the date was known, I did share it with several people in my life who were also getting married this year and all of us needed to take each other into consideration for planning purposes. Matt started with an April date, and because I would have been a groomsman, traveling to NC would have been in the plans with an effect on our date. Cousin Rick was getting married too. I remember telling him ahead of time that I would be standing up in a wedding in April as well as having ours in June. He and Kellie chose August. Shelly and I were back together by June. I remember that day when it hit. I remember thinking this would have been the day. I never said anything about it though. For the most part, I have let it go about getting married, but I admit that lately, it has felt much more important to be more officially headed in that direction with regard for our relationship. I still have questions about whether or not she can really commit. I don't doubt her commitment to our being in a relationship, the doubt rests more along the lines of her having the confidence and ability to take the steps necessary to be cause in our getting married. I do wonder if she can get past the feeling of being overwhelmed she allows herself from the normal everyday stresses. I don't resent not being married at this point. I don't resent the roadblocks our relationship has endured. I do find being in this "tentative" place can be awkward. I find myself weighing and debating the application of patience, compassion, and love for both of us involved. Present the story to someone else, they'll have an answer; but realistically, I'm not sure there is a "right" answer to the question of the application of those actions/traits/characteristics.

A significant experience that happened to me this year? Well I got attacked by some of my 12 year old campers and defended myself and got fired because of it. I was very adult and took full responsibility and because of my self-accountability I was given a sign/reward from G-d. I was E-mailed about a summer program for B.B.Y.O. I went on it and not only did I have the most dramatic change of my life, I also had the best time of my entire life. So in a way although I miss that camp I'm grateful that in growing up I got to experience what many beleive to be the best summer experience at C.L.T.C 4 2011.

My best friend died. It made me old. She rescued me when I couldn't help myself and I couldn't do anything to save her. She was a gift in every life she touched. I lost more with her loss then I can explain. And yet I cannot stop my life and mourn. I take care of too many people...

My sister nearly died. What it made me realize is that I feel better when I'm worrying about something that is worthwhile...that near tragedy gave me a new perspective in many ways, but now that it's been nearly a year, I am already forgetting to cherish life as much as I did for awhile there; hers, mine, everyone's. It's so short, so ephemeral and so beautiful! I wish I could keep that in mind.

I started dating someone I hadn't seen since way back in college. It's challenged me to unlearn old, harmful relationship habits and replace them with healthy ones. I'm elated!

I got a book deal. It is something I've been seeking until I wasn't. It's like looking for a boyfriend—the smell of desperation keeps the guys away. It's when you find security and inner peace with what you have rather than what you don't that the best kind of rain begins.

A woman and friend my age passed away from cistic fibrosis. A couple days later, I read an article about stress and how people just need to take deep breaths and relax. While that is true, she ultimately died because the one thing that is supposed to be so calming, the breathing, couldn't happen. Ultimately, it makes me think of her, every time I take those deep breaths that she simply could not take.

I kept up with school in Colorado. It hasn't been to bad really. I might not even move home now... We'll see about that. I'm pretty happy about it all. I also changed my major! Goodness. Library Information Science here I come!

Most significantly, I've gone from luke-warm feelings about someone I was dating to agreeing to move 750 miles away and proposing to her. She means the world to me, and while I imagine I could have gotten along without her, I don't want to imagine the amount of regret that would have come with missing that opportunity.

I feel in love. With the most amazing guy ever. And our story is one of "timing is everything" - it took me three tries to recognize him as everything I never even knew I wanted. I am grateful beyond words that G-d brought him back into my life, and that I was finally ready for him. Loving him has filled my world with color and light and peace.

Well, I'd have to say this experience is still continuing , as I'm still trying to discover all of my feelings about something this personal. I've finally established at least part of my sexuality because I've finally started feeling more free and open with who I am and accepting the fact that I CAN actually be myself, and myself is different from the norm. Different than what's normal in society, because not everyone accepts people like me. Then again, I wouldn't even be here, happy to discover more about myself, if it wasn't for my close friends and incredible role models that got me through my depression. I still struggle with it, but things actually do get so much better. I can finally accept that I may be bisexual, but then again, I never really like labels. So I guess you could say I'm more pansexual. Of course that's only half of it, seeing as I'm attracted to whoever I fall in love with; doesn't matter if this person is male, female, transexual, transgender, whoever they choose to be. But the thing is, I'm still trying to figure out who I truly feel like I am, and if I'm at home in my body. I . . . I think I might actually be a boy. I've never truly loved who I am, not only because of the bullying, my appearance, or my flaws, but I think also possibly because of my genetics. I'm somewhat sure, not quite definite, because I'm scared to accept something that big about myself if it is true. Some people think it should be a definite obvious answer but it's actually so confusing that I need more time to figure something as life-changing as this. So I guess yeah, I have had a significant year.

I got a job in the legal field I don't hate.

My first Grandchild was born. My daughter and I are estranged and so I have not yet met my grandson who just turned one. I am saddened by the circumstances surrounding his first year and also concerned about his future because his mother is a single parent not able to care for herself let alone raise a child. I am unable to reconcile with my daughter as she will not speak to me because I insist we first talk about our relationship and her continued attempts to manipulate me and deceive me. She wants to pretend everything is fine and just move on without discussing how we got here, which I can not do in good conscience. So I remain isolated from the daughter I love and the grandson I have not met because I refuse to accept her avoidance and delusions. I accept responsibility for the estrangement and prefer to pay that cost rather than the cost of enabling my daughters dysfunction.

Ben and I got engaged! It's been a wonderful feeling for us and our relationship. I feel safe and content and happy and excited. I definitely felt a bit overwhelmed at first and I think at times just slightly startled at what it actually feels like to be at this point in my life - I guess some sadness about the ways in which it means really being a grown up - the emotions of transitions but it has just been so happy and I just love knowing that I get to come home to him for the rest of my life. He's going to be such a good partner and we're going to be such good partners. I'm quite excited about that journey and consistency and building a life together. I feel relieved to know I have a life partner who is so loving and so perceptive and so attentive and so patient and so kind and caring and hardworking and shares my values and makes me laugh. I feel so comforted to know I've got someone by my side who will be so good to have there no matter what we face and what comes our way.

My mother passed away. It was quite sudden. I had just spoken to her and then hours later she suffered a massive stroke. I found her on the kitchen floor. The brain damage was massive, and my sisters and I made the choice to not put a feeding tube in her and to allow her to die peacefully. We got Hospice involved. The doctors said she would live for only a few days, due to her weak heart. She lived for another 17 days. I had to become very assertive in regards to the care she was receiving. My mother could no longer communicate, so I became her advocate. I made sure she was not in pain and treated with respect. Some family members disagreed with our decision not to keep her alive and put a feeding tube in her. My mother would have hated that. I did what I know she would have wanted. I loved her that much, to let her go. She is now with my father. I am comforted by that and have quiet, private chats with them, in my own way.

i guess at my point in life, it's a time when you just think about yourself and how you'd get to where you want to go. you'd work hard, save up, dream. a year ago, my parents asked me for financial help. i wouldn't budge. after hearing guilt trips everyday and my conscience being tested, i gave in. it was in this instance that i realized many things about myself, my parents, and money. but i had to go through anger, resentment, forgiveness, and the ability to let go in order to get past it. after many discussions with friends, the consensus was no, i shouldn't give. but ultimately, in my heart, who would really benefit the most of the money i've saved? i logically thought that if i gave, it would be money well spent since it was going somewhere useful. at the same time, i wanted it for myself. to travel and see the world. to spend it on electronics. but the strong sense of protecting my family kicked in and i gave it. at the time i thought it was only to stop them from annoying me but it was def more than that. i think i was able to garner the respect i needed. i think i got them to shake off the image that i was still a kid. it was an expensive way of doing it but it got through to them. also, at this time, my mom was desperate. we actually sat down and cried together. it was a surreal moment of weakness but at the same time, to be able to share that was so relieving. she was as much human as i was. alas, as much as the issue was over, i was not over it. i grew resentful. hated my parents for awhile. then, i found some reasoning through God. sounds cheesy but it's true. God doesn't forsake or forget--he gives. he never gives us more than we can handle and he's given this instance to me for a reason. it's all a learning process. even tho i'm out a certain amount, i've rich in experiences and gained so much more in return. as much as money is important, it is also material. i mean heck, i bought tickets to hawaii for my family after all that. at this point, protecting my family is what matters. and it was worth every penny to see how it all unfolded.

My husband and I decided to try to get pregnant. We've been married for over a year now and do not want to be one of those couples that "waits until we have enough money". If we keep waiting for the right time it will never happen. I'm stressed which might be the reason we haven't gotten pregnant yet, but I'm also excited for this next step.

Helping Mom get through chemo. I was worried, scared, unsure, but I had to put all that aside so I could be present for her. I also had to step far out of my comfort zone and it really pushed alot of buttons for me. But I feel like I grew tremendously as a person and Mom and I are even closer than ever. It was an honor to be there for her.

My daughter got her driver's license. A huge letting go. I feel excited that she has this growing independence, scared that she could get hurt or hurt someone and grateful that she is 16 and so capable and resilient. It is watching a miracle as she becomes more mature.

In the past year, I have lost 41 lbs! It radically changed the way I feel about myself in all areas. I have regained confidence and now feel open to having a new romantic relationship. I have also begun rigorously exercising since losing the bulk of the weight...because I can! I am inspired and happy about my accomplishment and am now helping others to do the same@

My beloved husband had an intercranial hemorrhage and was hospitalized for 41 days...he never regained consciousness and passed away. I was and am devistated. He was the most precious gift I ever recieved; he was the other half of my heart. Hashem chose not to restore his health. I am not sure about what I feel...Hashem is perfect so this must be the way things should be, but I feel like a boat tossed about in the sea without a rudder. I suppose I need to put my faith more securely in Hashem.

i decided to get a divorce after 14 years of marriage. it is so new i donot know yet its effects. but i feel relieved, renewed, scared, lonely and hopefuk

My sister-in-law passed away in March only 10 months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. It has had a profound effect on my sense of mortality and the preciousness of each day. Besides the incredible sadness I feel daily, I also find myself more patient, understanding and compassionate in some of the more difficult relationships in my life. To me, this is how her memory will always be a blessing to me.

I changed my hours at work earlier this year, due to recurring stress, so I have an extra day off a week. It has been positive in SO many different ways: Gardening my own vegetables, persuing my photography more seriously and broadening my life generally. I have a wonderful job, but it has also made me feel more positive about that too :)

Last year, in August, I had a really hard time. I almost committed suicide. I was so depressed, and had no one to talk to about it. I didn't really have a "best friend" and didn't trust any of my so called friends to tell anything to. My parents were going through a hard time, and fighting a lot. This added to my depression because I felt like there wasn't any "safe place" for me. I am extremely grateful that I didn't go through with it. I realized that suicide is a permanent option and after seeing the devastation in my town after a teen killed herself, I promised I would never do that to my family and friends

You are still stagnant this year, no change. Not as sad as the year before, but waiting for something to happen. Realizing the past 4 years have all been the same with no progress is terrifying.

I was accepted into the Peace Corps and am currently living overseas in one of the poorest areas of the country. To say that the next two years here will change my life forever is an understatement. But I'm hoping that it will be changed for the better and that all the hardship will have been worth it. My time here so far has really made me re-evaluate what is important in life and what a person really needs to be happy and what they can do without.

My mother, who is 88, suffered two significant health issues - one required hostpitalization. I realized how temporal life is and how one day soon I would be without her in my life. Her forward-looking attitude inspired me to enjoy every day as it is presented to me - a gift that needs to be unwrapped. Like she says, some days you get the "boobie" prize, but most of the time you get the opportunity to do good and help others. I want to grow old like her - loving, kind, and forever giving of herself. What an example.

Over the summer I got the opportunity to travel to one of the most holy places in the world, our home land, Israel. I went on a 28day trip with my bestfriend as well as 41 other people that share my love for Judaism. This trip renewed my love for Judaism and gave me a sence of pride in my Judaism. It made me feel utterly fortunate to be able to travel over 5,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to spend a month in Israel with some of my favorite people in the entire world. I felt alive and at home their and I would never give up that experience for the world.

Potentially life-threatening health issues and turning 54 have shifted my perspective on what is important and what I want to do. I am grateful to be alive and feel compelled to find out what my purpose will be. I am turning inward more and talking to God more. I feel as if I am bringing the lost child in me forward into this time of my life. There is great hope in that.

There are several.... Although personally - I think it would be completing a quilt and sending it to my daughter. This is something that I set as a goal and wanted to/was very fearful of achieving. ("Is it 'good enough'?" "After I complete the quilt, THEN what?" It kind of symbolized a lot of things in my life that I really wanted/was afraid to strive towards for fear that what I wanted wasn't 'good enough' or that my achievement wouldn't be good enough even in my own eyes (the "what then...." and the feeling that I had to be constantly striving and defining myself in terms of others' eyes.) At any rate - the quilt WAS completed and sent off to my dd who did a FANTASTIC job of doing the final quilting - and it is now a work of art - but mostly it is a journey of self-belief, of love from my children (adult) who believed enough and encouraged me the whole way.

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer this year. I was terrified that my daughter would be growing up without me. It felt overdramatic since my cancer was caught in an early stage, but it's hard not to feel positively MORTAL when you are told you have cancer. My cure was strictly surgical (for which I am grateful) and I recovered fast - but I will never assume the best at a pap smear again.

I got into a Ph.D. program! I'm happy and relieved and proud and anxious that I picked the wrong career path or won't be good enough at it. I got engaged! I'm just really happy about that. I know I'm spending the rest of my life with the right person. I wish we were just married already, though. I don't want to plan a wedding.

Interesting. Well, there's my Mussar practice. And there's writing this blog. And there's getting a new job. And there's the adoption falling through (so far -- I'm not giving up.) And then there are all the smaller things I wrote about all year long. I rode the Ferris Wheel. I bought Colgate. Mich moved away. I went to Germany. I introduced two friends and they fell in love. I completed a triathlon. I tried karaoke. I saw Book of Mormon. I started Brooklyn Soup Swap. I painted my fingernails blue. Significant experiences happen every day. And yes, I am grateful. And relieved. And resentful. And inspired. And tired. And sad. And hopeful. And jealous. And scared. And unsure of myself. And proud. And surprised. But most of all, I am happy I am paying attention.

My mother took a delirious trip to Miami and wound up in a mental hospital. She's been properly diagnosed and is now in a secure ALF, where she belongs. I relieved that she's getting appropriate care, apprehensive about the facility, and angry at her previous psychiatrist for neglecting his duty to fill out paperwork to move her closer to me.

Almost getting jobs but coming in 2nd place. I've never had this much disappointment in a year. I've been so lucky to have a back up plan but working so hard to change careers only to have every effort just barely slip through my fingers has been both humbling and tiring. But I suppose nothing good ever comes easily.

The most significant experience that I've had this year was having my best friend leave the country to go abroad to study. Well, initially I was alright with the idea, but as the days drew closer, I dreaded d-day. I cried buckets when she finally left.. though I did pick myself up in the end, I think I learned to treasure her much better. In a way I'd say I'm kinda thankful God brought her back to Singapore cos she couldn't adapt well there - and.. well, we're still, and will always be the best of friends :)

Like Q3, my son graduated high school, and has moved on to college without so much as a glance backward. It's hard to see the baby I gave birth to, the happy, bubbly little toddler, mature into a young man and move on. But this is how it's supposed to be, and he's taken life by the horns. I honestly couldn't ask for anything more as far as he's concerned - it's better than the alternative: no college, or really homesick, etc. So while it's hard for me sometimes, he's right where he should be. I am grateful I brought him up right. I'm relieved that the empty nest is near, at long last. I'm inspired by his brains and his ability to think things through at a young age.

We lost our first baby when I was 29w 6d pregnant, almost exactly a year ago. It was devastating and fractured my entire world. In the past year because of this I have changed a lot. I'm stronger, and less willing to take crap from people. I'm not sure yet if that's residual anger acting out, or if it's a permanent change. I have experienced tremendous loss and survived, I can live through anything. I also experience a much deeper fear when it comes to the idea of losing my husband or the baby I'm carrying now. It can be debilitating.

I got pregnant - and then had to make a very hard decision about whether to continue the pregnancy or not. This was very challenging for me and my partner, and ultimately we decided to not continue it. I am still upset by it, and though we are still together, we still have a lot of steps to take to be able to move past this.

4th year of medical school, for the first time, a patient I was helping to take care of passed away from a massive GI bleed. She was bleeding profusely and trembling anxiously in the ED as many health care professionals were in a frenzy around her, pumping her with fluids, blood, and pressors. For a few minutes before she was intubated and sedated, she was fully conscious, looking around the room anxiously at all the activity around her. Feeling unimportant in the grand scheme of things, not wanting to get in the way of people doing the "important" work, I stood near the back of the room. In my heart, I wanted to introduce myself to her, hold her hand, comfort her in whatever small way I could. But again, feeling so small, I didn't want to trouble her with a name, a face, that couldn't do anything to help her. So I just watched. For the next several days, she was kept heavily sedated, and she never opened her eyes again. I can't help but think that offering her a hand to hold in the ER would have been one of the most valuable things anyone could have given her, and I withheld it from her.

I went to university! And I am very grateful, and relieved to have done OK. Resentful to have lost money and definitely not inspired. Having said this, it's been the most amazing rollercoaster, I never realised I could cope in the big wide world (even if my now ex-boyfriend had to hold my hand the whole way) and I'm so pleased I'm doing it.

We got pregnant for the first, second and third times this year and lost each one. I realized how incredibly painful miscarriage is - both emotionally and physically. It is a bit of a taboo subject in our society but it is more common than we realize. I grieve for the babies that I will never hold in my arms on this side of heaven and a little piece of my soul died with each loss. The losses helped me understand how important having a child is to my husband and I. I also understand the importance of hope - hope for the future. We just found out we are pregnant again! We are praying and believing for a healthy to-term pregnancy and a happy healthy baby at the end of this one.

I graduated from college. Finished a thesis. Moved two 2 new cities. Started a job in Chicago. I feel a mix relief, but definitely some resentment. Maybe that's weird. Things change so quickly and sometimes you want them too, but I miss a lot of people and I feel like I could have done a lot differently.

A memorable experience was spending time in London with a hot Spaniard. I think it was great I let myself have that experience and be irrational. It was relieving, if you know what I mean. I am inspired to meet more people and it raised the bar for future partners. Romantic and fun!

Our 2nd child turned one and has sped from being a baby into a full-fledged child. I'm sad but also inspired, as it's a new chapter for everyone - especially me.

i became vegan and lost 30pounds. It feels totally natural and easy, except in restaurants. I'm not rigid about it, but it's definitely my preference. who knew the suffering of animals could move me so much more than my own suffering? It's done me a lot more good than them, though.

I got elected to be s'ganit of my region. i'm really happy about it but i also feel extremely stressed out about it. i sometimes doubt what i'm doing it for but then i remember again.

Every year seems to have a lot of significant experiences - this year my mom got sick, my son started kindergarten, i quit a job, started a new job. separately, they all make me feel good, because mom is doing better, son is starting school (and liking it) - i am definitely grateful for the small graces. collectively, i feel exhausted.

I just got married a week ago! I am so happy that it happened and so happy that it is over! It is very much a relief to have the wedding over with, but it is also somewhat of a letdown not having this big event to look forward to. I am so excited to start our married life together and see where the future takes us!

There were many significant experiences this past year. Most significant was surviving another year of cancer treatment while conducting a productive life. (It is my 15th year surviving, and my 4th year on continuous treatment.) I am grateful for the many blessings and opportunities in my life, but resentful that being in my life is so very hard, just all of the time.

I began my final year of university after being away for 8 months. It was really hard to settle back in to being home and I think I lost myself a little.. I have struggled with many personal realisations this year and am not sure where the next year will lead post-uni. Excited and apprehensive I think

My girlfriend lost battle with her family in obtaining permission to marry me. I lost a good life partner, who understands me well and cares in every aspect of life. It has been almost six months now since this happened, but I am still trying to cope up with her loss. I am just wondering the design of everything, where you don't get what you want and you are introduced to surprises, which may end up in good or bad.

I think the most significant experience that has occurred this year is sort of an accumulation of many small events. I have slowly begun learning to accept who I am as a woman and a person and I find that I am loving who I am. I have hated my body for so long and through the discovery of the fat-acceptance movement, I'm finding that I'm beautiful and that I can love myself no matter what. Although it may seem strange, I feel rather proud of myself when I look at myself in the mirror and don't automatically think: "How ugly can I get?". This is has been a long journey, and it's nowhere near over; but I am hoping that my progress, so far, will inspire me to accept myself more over the coming years of my life. To my future self: I hope you are getting better. I know it's been a tough road, but it is So. So. So. Worth it.

I got a new job in the city and relocated. I'm unsettled, but hopeful, grateful, relieved, and on the verge of being inspired.

I recovered from Major Depression. It's a nice change to wake up in the morning and thank God for life.

I lost my virginity at age 19 to someone I had just recently met. He actually gave me my first kiss, my first experience with a guy. It had a tremendous impact on me as a person - up until that point I viewed sex as something that should be kept sacred and between two people in love. It was a taboo topic that I could not talk about or explore because it still felt shameful to even think about outside of a relationship. I soon realized that sex can be a positive thing even if you have it with a person you don't care at all about. I came to be sex-positive and realize that sex is natural, it's a human need and desire, and that it doesn't always have to come emotionally-invested. Having sex was a huge confidence booster for me. It was like thinking, "Wow, I'm totally naked and vulnerable right now - he can see every patch of unsightly skin, every mole, every hair...and he STILL wants me! He's turned on, and it's because of me and my body." I kept that confidence with me, and it turned into a positive body image. I didn't look anything like the actresses in pornos, but I was sexy to SOMEBODY. I don't regret losing my virginity, and I don't regret losing it to who I lost it to, even though I have a negative opinion of him now. I'm grateful that I met him, actually, because he gave me experienced that changed me as a person forever.

My oldest son's Bar Mitzvah. This brought me closer to all of our already close friends by sharing our joy with them. Everyon'e generosity was unbelievable and made me realize I should be more generous myself.

Obviously, I've started university. Just being away from my family, being responsible for myself, has helped me to realize that I can be independent. I've found myself to be less emotional, more outgoing, and just a better person. Not meaning that my family makes me a bad person, it's just that being responsible for myself instead of relying on them to take care of me has made me a stronger person, more ready to face the world.

my husband all of sudden decided that he didnt want me back in his life. It was a shock for me because everything was going fine. His mother,brother and sister created a lot of misunderstadings between us (i was only gone for 3 weeks). I felt like somebody stabbed me in the back and i didnt even get a chance to flinch.It has affected me emotionally,physically ( i lost a lot of weight, don't have any energy to do anything, am always laying around like im lifeless). im in disbelief because he has taken a complete 180 degree turn,he's become such a cruel monster. and i still love him? how?why? am i really such a weak person that i could let someone treat me the way he did?

I continued to be estranged from my niece. It has shown me that abandonment has been a theme in my life. I am not sure if we will ever be able to repair our relationship. I am not sure I understand the purpose of it all.

I guess as of now it would be moving away from home. Living on my own is a lot different, occasionally stressful, and just a huge learning process. You have to manage your time and money by yourself, you have to be responsible with your time and studies, etc. I'm still very shaky right now, but next semester it will be better.

I went to CLTC 4 with BBYO this past summer, an experience that has changed my life in so many ways. First of all, I learned invaluable leadership skills that I am now putting to good use at home. In addition I made some of the best friends I have, and I know have connections with other Jewish teens all over the country, one of which I had Rosh Hashana dinner with. But most of all, and the least describable, I evolved as a person, a Jew, and a Jewish teen. I learned so much about myself, who I am, who I want to become, and how to do it. There simply are no words for what happened and what it meant to me. I am simply not the person I was in the spring. If you are in BBYO, take the invaluable oppurtunity to attend a CLTC. I promise that it will be the best two weeks of my life. Without exaggeration, it was for me.

We have been blessed with visits from our two daughters and their families. Especially, we were delighted to have a visit from our older granddaughter and her fiance. I am so grateful they all care enough to call us and visit.

At the end of last October I had a miscarriage. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through, and the weeks afterward were incredibly difficult. Looking back on it now, almost a year later, I have conflicted feelings. I got pregnant again 3 weeks after that pregnancy ended, and now that our daughter is safe with us, it's hard to know just how to feel about the previous pregnancy ending. If it hadn't, we wouldn't have her with us now, but it was such a hard thing to go through and I also can't see the loss of that baby as a good thing, even if our baby was conceived in the aftermath. I wonder who that embryo would have become and how our lives would have been different if things hadn't happened the way that they did.

My husband lost his job July 1st through no fault of his own. He then lost his battle for unemployment, as any company w/ less than 4 employees in SC doesn't have to pay it. His company was at large university in Missouri. They did away w/ remote recruiters. Missouri won't pay his unemployment, neither will SC. We live in a world that just doesn't care. We even contacted a state representative, to no avail. Our state of SC prides itself on TURNING DOWN GOVT MONEY and NOT PAYING UNEMPLOYMENT. We are living on only my income now, could lose our house and do not have enough money to visit my husband's parents and a child & 2 grandchildren in Indiana. But who cares. No one. We are disappointed & angry, but we just have to focus on surviving.

I became divorced after almost 20 years of hanging on to the lies, the abuse, the hope that somehow it would get better. I am relieved of the stress, but find the stress of moving my life forward comes with its own set of challenges. Especially where my children are concerned. I am grateful to have survived and I am most grateful to the people who helped me get to a place where I could believe I could make this incredible leap and survive the jump.

I started high school this year. Almost no one from my middle school goes to the same high school as me, and I've had to get used to the entirely new social setup. I've never been good with change, so this has just been another difficult transition for me. Sometimes I feel like the new environment is better than what I'm used to, while other times I feel like a fish out of water. But then again, I've never really felt like I've had a place.

My (now) fiance proposed to me after we had been dating for 6 years. It's one of the first steps I've taken to becoming an adult (or accepting that I am an adult now). He's wanted to get married for a while now, but I had been hesitant because I really wasn't ready to grow up. I'm excited to spend my life with him, and so grateful I have someone as amazing as him to be my companion.

I got married on Jan 29 and thought I was going to start a roller coaster that I would never want to come down from and then... a week after my wedding we find out that I that BTW that could not be pregnant, was carrying a baby. I was beyond shocked and my first reaction was I'm not having this baby but other plans my husband had.

I moved in with a girl whom I was dating due to financial difficulty. I discovered the terms and conditions we discussed were not what she had in mind AFTER i moved in, which quickly turned into a trap in her wanting a partnership with me. I broke off the relationship when I discovered living with her was difficult. I quickly learned she was a manic depressive woman, her home was on it's 22nd month of foreclosure (information was not shared up until after I moved in) and she lost her job. I saw a side of this disorder that can debilitate a person and how the system failed as her meds were over $400 a month. The lessons learned here were never move in with the person you are dating no matter how business-like the agreement is, how helpful the person is. People who suffer from mental illness are good people. They want to be productive, but can't do it when medication is so expensive it exceeds the household food budget. I'm grateful for this person to allow me to live with her after our breakup remaining understand and respectful. Well, up until I moved out. Things got ugly. She is very ill. I'm relieved because I recently moved out (was forced out by the home owner's bank) and now looking for a healthy housemate and a safe place to live for which I will find. Though I'm homeless and living between friends, I'm happy because I have a good job, a warm house waiting for me to choose from. I feel there is promise and opportunity.

This past year I got divorced. It was not what I wanted, but I am grateful that we have avoiding making it nasty. That serves no one, least of all our kids.

My sister hurt me in a way that I may never recover from. She has always been difficult and manipulative, but she crossed a line in trying to poison my niece's opinion of me. I am angry and resentful, but also somewhat relieved, because it did give my niece the opportunity to see her mom in action. I hope that ultimately, this may help her come to terms with her own difficult relationship with her. My niece may now be able to see that the challenges are not just with THEIR relationship, but rather that my sister creates chaos in ALL of her relationships.

I lost 25 pounds. I feel really good about it, and I feel so much better about myself both physically and emotionally. But I feel very conflicted that I have to lose weight in order to feel confident and be happy with who I am.

I fell in love for the first time and I also had my first broken heart. That relationship was actually a lot of firsts for me and it really helped me learn about myself. I never really thought I was cut out for love, I just wasn't sure I had it in me to want to commit my life to someone else or that there was even someone out there for me. While things didn't work out and he certainly wasn't the one for me, it helped me to realize that maybe true love is out there waiting for me. I'm grateful for that part of the experience but also maybe a little resentful because everything I thought I knew about him turned out to not be true and the person I fell in love with was merely a dream, not the actual guy that he was. I felt duped and used. I'm also very, very relieved to have figured that out before it was too late and to have gotten out of that relationship when I did. I did love him for a short time and I'll always look back on some parts of that relationship with fondness, other parts not so much. I've always put up a wall and kept people at arms length but now I know I'm capable of letting someone in, or someone is capable of knocking that wall down. It gives me hope that one day it will happen again and hopefully be a bettere experience than my first love.

I went sailing and fell in love. I am determined to buy a sailboat..It makes me feel free..to know that one day I will be more in control of my destiny again. Right now I struggle with the weight of caring for one year old twins. It consumes my life. But when they are older, and we can have family adventures together, I find hope and peace in raising a family.

I was finally officially promoted to the position that I've been doing the work for for 2-3 years. I am torn between being grateful for finally being recognized and resentful that people didn't realize what I was doing before! But mostly I feel relieved - I am finally clear on my responsibilities and able to take charge of my projects. And a little overwhelmed, but in a good way!

Well, I feel like I am going to write a lot about these two people. I got engaged to Ross in June...he is so special to me. I am grateful and inspired by him everyday. I love him so much! Also, I have a niece! Avery is the greatest thing. It is so amazing to see a child come into the world and having such wonderful parents. Its truly a blessing!!! I love her!

I changed jobs in 6 months of having started. I am proud of myself for having honored myself because the job had not turned as I expected.

Began to hike again, after hip surgery. Grateful, but overwhelmed by the difficulty involved and where I am at now in terms of ability versus before my hip problems.

Kallah was a really significant experience. I really grew, changed, developed and thought. I liked talking to Rabbi Bruce and telling him where I had questions but then also helping him grow in the long run. I learned how to find the right questions and how to answer them. or to find the right answer. The question why do you do came up often. Why do you say what you say, feel what you feel, do what you do? and i think that at times its really important to sit back for a second and really answer these questions. Im greatful it happened- Kallah. I dont know where I would be without it and though I had a very difficult time starting school, i really grew and changed from it.

I started a local environmental group. I stopped holding meetings last month aafter I lined up speakers for meetings for a year and nobody came to two meetings over the summer. I feel very disappointed, and frustrated. I listen to the news every day, and I just want to scream. So much apathy. So many unrealistic expectations. I feel like opur country (and planet) are falling apart and nobody cares, unless it affects them personally.

my husband and I separated and decided to divorce. I was quite sad at first. Then angry and resentful as i dicovered that our marriage was even less than I realized. I am now relieved to be out of it and moving in a very positive forward motion. I have started taking charge of my life and responsibilities and started seeing someone. I haven't been this happy in over 5 years.

I moved out of my parents house, living on my own for the first time since university. I felt... almost ashamed, in a way. Ashamed that it had taken me so long to do something so standard. Ashamed that I had been delayed by something as simple as heart break. At the same time, I've realized that I wasn't really missing that much. My life hasn't changed substantially, except simplifying the logistics of sex. Maturity isn't about milestones, is the lesson I've learned. Not about age or place or what you are supposed to be doing and when.

I had gotten a job that only lasted one day. I had applied to be a baker in the back at a Tim Horton's but the employer put me at cash in the cafeteria. (The lady was in charge of all the food places in the building) During the interview I had said I'm no comfortable doing cash because I dont like handling money, aand my only experience was with a small cash box at the local Legion, selling tickets at the Sunday Breakfasts. not only was this a fully automated cash, it also was a way overcrowded cash. every button had 3 functions to it. there wasalso al the seperate addtions or substitutes for whatever a person ordered. To make it worse, they didnt train me. they just put me at the cash and said 'good luck'. I went back te next day to quit. I couldn't handle it. The other employees there said the weren't surprrised I had decided to quit, especially after I had explained why. My parents were disappointed n me for giving up so fast, but I don regret my decision (especially after my mum said it was unprofessional to expect a kid whose never done that sort of thing before, to toss them in and hope they swim). Safe to say I havent applied at any food service establishments again.

My husband finally met my father. I was anxious to the point of sleeplessness and depression before it happened, then irritated afterwards due to my father and step-mother acting as if we were a completely normal family who visited all of the time. (It had been over 14 years since I had seen them.) Overall, however, I am grateful. Grateful for a loving, supportive, understanding husband that I cannot believe I found in my second half-century of life.

My husband and I started focusing on paying off our debt. We still have a ways to go, but have gotten rid of two credit cards and several dinky bills. It has been empowering and amazing to watch our overall debt level shrinking and even though that money might be fun to play with, knowing that we are being responsible and fulfilling our obligations is an amazing feeling.

I took a part-time job, in part because it is somewhat related to what I want to do professionally and in part because it is a job that pays (not much). I am grateful to be doing work that is important to someone, but I feel kind of crappy that I am making so little and not able to provide for family more fully. We rely on my wife for the bulk of our family income. I feel like I am not pulling my weight.

Definitely the most significant experience that has happened to me this year is that I got a new job. I've been trying to get a new job for the past 3 years or so, and it finally worked out this year. I feel extremely grateful; my old job was in a problematic environment where people were not really dedicated. I felt stuck and I felt like my hard work went unappreciated. My new job is much more meaningful! My department is cohesive; my fellow faculty members are really dedicated to their students. I finally feel like I'm part of a *community*. I also feel empowered. I wanted a new job badly and I did everything within my power to get one, and it worked! I feel like I have some validation that I am indeed good at what I do.

I became involved in theatre at my school. It made me feel involved and gave me great memories and experiences to share with others.

I sought help for my depression, anxiety and, ultimately, ADD. I feel relieved that I finally pulled the trigger in getting help and feel inspired by therapy.

My sister died. It gave me a heightened sense of my own mortality. I am saddened, relieved in that I don't have to worry about her, guilty that I didn't do more when she was alive.

At the end of June I decided I was brave enough to end a 3 year relationship I was in. I was ok being with him because he was the safe option, but we weren't really happy as a couple any more. I was more or less resigned to staying with him and making things work somehow and we thought for some reason that moving in together would help us work things out. It didn't. It took a lot of guts and it was terrifying leaving him and everything that I knew and felt comfortable with for the great unknown adult world. I had only experienced the city with him and didn't really know how to function on my own. I had always been reliant on a boyfriend or similar figure in my life and can say that by the end of September I have been able to become more independent and spend time discovering who I am on my own without a guy. That's not to say that the guy thing has been easy to figure out. Two of my best friends are suddenly crazy about me and I like both of them, which makes it insanely hard to figure out what I want to do.

My beloved Golden Retriever, Max, passed over from a tumor next to his spleen. We used to walk together every day and all my neighbors have asked where he is. He still walks with me. I feel blessed that he was in my life for 12 and a half years. He was everyone's friend. He inspired me to be more open to life.

Jury duty. Yes, I was annoyed that it happened during my vacation (so I 'lost' two days of vacation time), but I'd never been on a jury before, and it was very interesting. It was a civil case, for which I was grateful. I was the first person called and the first person seated (and I just knew ahead of time that I would be). The other jurors were nice (and people I'd probably never have met otherwise)... we went out to lunch all together the second day. And the judge was FABULOUS. I loved the way he handled the courtroom, and he came to talk to us afterward, and was hilarious. So, I was resentful, but ended up being grateful. I felt sorry for the plaintiff, because she had a LOUSY lawyer, but was grateful that we all seemed to see the case the same way-- from the moment we walked back in, we all were basically in agreement. Confirmed my belief that professional jurors might be something to look at, and I'm relieved I don't have to do it again for a while, but glad I had the experience.

I was a Bat Mitzvah tutor for the first time, paid and honored as teacher, and it was awesome. I kept calling the student my tutor until a respected teacher of mine pointed out that she was my student... oh yeah, maybe I do know a little something and am 'worthy' of respect. Recognizing my own accomplishments in learning is slow in coming to me, and honoring myself for my hard earned skills was an amazing gift to myself.

I met Dr. Caroline Wheeler and participated in her program, The Way Beyond Diets, which changed my life and, at 42, my dreams of having a balanced and peaceful relationship with food and exercise are becoming my reality. I feel as though I am in a transitional moment in my life. Its exciting, scary, reflective, and happy. And of course, I am utterly grateful to Caroline.

I have been unable to find work this year and have gone through all of my retirement savings. I have had to humble myself to the unthinkable state of borrowing money from family (with not much hope on the horizon for repayment) and selling off some treasured possessions. Things i worked hard all my life to be able to acquire. But, they are just things. After a period of reactive depression, I took myself in hand. I have discovered with introspection that the main pleasure was in acquiring a lot of the things, since i haven't used them in several years. All the crystal, china and silver is of no real use, since i don't entertain in a large or formal way anymore - so out they go with no regrets. Collections of craft and art goods are gone and don't require the clutter space they were taking up and plying guilt on me for not dusting often enough. Clothes i hadn't worn for years - or ever - are now covering more needy bodies. I have gotten into the "fling shui" mode and am continuing to play save, give, discard on a weekly basis. Seems cleaner in the house and clearer in the head. Still poor, but managing a reevaluation of wealth.

We sent our daughter off to college -- wow! -- what a big thing in our lives. We are grateful, relieved, relaxed (being empty nesters) and proud of her recent forward-strides.

I had my first boyfriend this year. It has changed my overall experience as a person, in living life. It's hard to share your life with someone, and i have just started realizing it. I am grateful that the relationship happened, because i have learned from the experience. It also makes me feel a bit disappointed because it wasn't a completely successful relationship, and it did not end so well. I am also relieved to know that i can actually get a guy, and a good one at that! Lastly, im glad to know there are good guys out there - even if i ended up breaking his heart.

My most significant experience was probably me graduating from law school with a really good result. I felt relieved at first, later grateful - it was, however, hard for me to feel: proud of my achievements.

I was offered a new position that would be a complete change and it turned out to be wonderful in many unexpected ways. I am grateful for the opportunity and realized that unhappily staying with something familiar is no longer an acceptable stance. Change is good if you are not happy. Discontent eats away at you.

I lost my grandmother. I had grown up with her always in the house. It was the first major loss of my adult life. She took care of my brother and I while my mom was at work. I still will randomly start to miss and think about her while driving, at the mall, in my apartment. I had the realization while missing her one day that losing her finally taught me what real, true love feels like. It feels like missing something that you had gone so long thinking was a foundational, elemental part of your self that and needing and wanting that to be a part of your life so badly.

My relationship with "I" changed my life. It was the best relationship I have ever been in. Unfortunately, he decided he didn't want children, and I do. So we broke up. I'm grateful for having had him in my life, and for having such an incredible relationship. But, I still miss him, and am trying to move on now.

Successful cancer surgery on my tongue. I'm mostly relieved, and rarely think about it any more. Certainly I changes some habits, am grateful to the doctors who helped me, but mostly I've just moved on.

I changed jobs twice this year and both times were for higher salaries. The pay increases were a relief after working for little money for two years. I'm grateful to my friends who helped me get both positions. After years of not seeing the good in people and not trusting anyone I believe in friendship again.

I quit my job in CT and moved 3000 miles across the country to San Francisco. It was something I wanted to do for a while, and when I finally decided to do it, it felt great. Now that I am settled, it still feels great. I am so thankful I was given (or really, I gave myself) the opportunity to do so.

This past summer I went to Israel. It was actually my second visit. The first time I went with my family, but this time I went on a teen trip. I can honestly say that this was the best experience of my life so far. I am so inspired to be proactive and to advocate for Israel as much as I can. I have never loved something so much in my entire life. It gave me a new passion!

Finally realizing that I had the ability to choose my own friends and spend time with who I wanted to spend time with. That was a huge part of this year.

Emma's Wedding and all its preparation. It was the most intense winter and spring as we prepared the house and yard and garden, built Earl's deck and much more, and made our place the best it has ever been in 40 years of living here. It felt good. The Wedding went very well, and it just all clicked and was very beautiful. The bride was stunning, and her Dad was so proud.

The past year. Wow. After last year's heartbreak, I've broken someone's heart and had mine broken again. I feel guilt over the breaking of someone's heart, but I'm too close to the latter to make a call...

My wife and I decided to have our second child. It was a conversation we've been having for a few years, with never a clear answer. I am so relieved that I was able to get beyond the fear of having two kids and what it would do to our family. I know that together - all three of us - are going to welcome the fourth addition which is already on its' way! I am also so excited that I can give my wife another child, since I know that she always wanted more than one, no matter what she was willing to accept.

Gus had her bat mitzvah February 19, 2010. It was incredibly inspiring. She raised $3000 for the American Foundation for Equal Rights through her pillow project. We had a real torah, a magical outdoor service in a lightly misting rain, music with brian beattie and beth, Johanna still liv ed her and was a brilliant rabbi, Roy and Betsy came, Gus sang like a bird, the minyan pulled out all the stops. I was so proud of her. But it wasn't just her. I had a lot to do with everything I just mentioned. The pillow project was my idea, 4 years ago. I made the minyan and I kept it going. I planned so many things about the bat mitzvah. I played the music. I was determined not to let our Jewish life derail when we moved here and I didn't and this was proof. AND I managed to let other people take credit wherever possible, especially Gus, who deserves as much credit as she got. It was once in a lifetime, the whole thing.

I was accepted into the VCU rehab counseling program and it has had a tremendous impact on my self esteem and confidence. I am extremely grateful and know that it was an answer to my prayers. It came at a time when I desperately needed the boost.

This past May, I made friends with two people who have changed my life forever. I didnt think it would be possible to make such good friends with someone who you've never met, but i can safely say that they have changed my life. I will be forever grateful for them.

i finally found a new job near my other's home in bussigny and could start a new lie

On May 15th at 2:15 or so, my husband fell about 15' off of a ladder, while trimming a tree, and received a head injury. During that time he was a very difficult patient. My heart went out to him in his suffering, but I also saw that he had such a hard time cooperating with the nurses and doctors and that caused him extra suffering. During the month he was not home, the kids and I were "free" to be ourselves with no one telling us how to do every little thing. Because he's an out of work architect, he micro-manages us. Mind you, we were stressed because of him being hurt and worried about his progress, so we tried to have "fun" to relieve that. People gave us so many gifts too! They knew I was homeschooling and only working part time--not at all during the summer as I am a tutor. So many friends, acquaintances and even strangers handed us cash (for parking), gift cards (food, gas, Target), and one sweet family gave us a few thousand to pay the bills all summer. Another friend gave me her medical center parking pass so I rarely had to pay for parking at all. I am relieved he is better now, but he is still on the mend. He broke 10 ribs some in two places; he broke his scapula and L3 is chipped; he lost hearing in his right ear. All of this causes him a lot of pain. And his family is struggling to keep compassionate as he is quite grumpy. Head injuries are tricky things--usually intensifying one's personality...

I took my family to the States for the first time. First trip for me since 1988. It wad a very short but very significant experience for all of us. The kids got American citizenship thanks to my mother, and the trip itself was made possible thanks to my inlaws. Unfortunalely, the main reason they could afford it was due to the fact that each one of them went through heart surgery so they couldn't travel. I feel very grateful, relieved, inspired... My grandmother-in-law passed away when we were in the States at the age of 97. We all felt sad but not shocked, and mostly relieved because she had been drifting away gradually, mainly mentally, for the past few years, especially since she hurt her hand and stopped embroidering. So if you have a hobby or occupation that keeps you going but is dependent on a certain part of the body - start practicing an additional one and/or start practicing doing it differently while you can! That was also part of what I learned on myself after breaking my wrist a year ago. I started using my other hand, and I made a shift in my occupation.

My first year of marriage. Was tough at times! But ultimately great, we are so close now and we both felt that if we could make it a year, we might really make it. I don't hold with those who pretend it's all a fantasy fairy tale - if you marry a real person who has opinions and aspirations of their own, it's not straightforward to fit your lives together. So much stronger and so happy.

I met a wonderful man... and I am so grateful for this! It woke me up to all my emotions and beliefs that I had unknowingly suppressed for the past 2 years. Whatever comes of this meeting... I now know who I am, whats important to me and confident that everything works out the way its supposed to.

The significant event that happened in 2011 actually happened on 12/30/10. I was absolutely blindsided by being replaced as manager of my Real Estate office. I had no idea the change was coming and was really thown off balance for several months trying to decide if it was time for me to leave the business or change offices. It was really unsettling but in the end, I stayed where I was, started to pay a desk fee again for the first time in about 6 years, aborted by plans to begin my MA at the University of Chicago and took got a coaching certification. I am relieved to not have regular office hours or what I saw as a vulnerablity as the manager.

My solos pieces have been significant achievements for me. I'm so grateful I found David Ford and the Marsh. I'm aiming to have a full length show by the fringe festival this time next year. It is my absolute dream. I will do anything for it.

I found love of my life. It was like a revelation that I want to spend my life with a person who is beautiful and has a caring heart. She brought wonderful things in my life. She enlightened my vision of real love. She simply transformed me. I felt blessed and thankful. God is really kind.

I have been communicating with the man who is still married to the woman who brought my marriage down. I am relieved to learn that she is NOT all of the wonderful things that my ex says that she is. My ex would brag about how loving & kind she is (compared to me I guess he must have meant). In reality she is an unemployed alcoholic who was recently arrested for animal cruelty. When you have been lied to repeatedly (which I was by my ex about this woman), the truth is good to know. I guess she & my ex deserve each other since they both have issues with addictions, lying, and narcisissm. Relieved to finally know the truth.

We sold our beloved home/sanctuary of 9 years (since we were first married) in an effort to simplify our lives, and instead purchased a condo. It's been approximately 6 weeks since we've moved and, frankly, things still feel somewhat chaotic. Because we are still painting, organizing, updating the place it just doesn't feel like home yet. And the verdict is still out on how much this whole transaction will help our financial picture. No regrets, and I don't actually miss the Pennwood home -- just the sense of place and identity it provided me.

I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am frightened, worried and confused about treatment options. I am determined to change my eating and exercise habits. I will do yoga frequently and work out at work. I need to trust God to guide me in my decisions and I need to control my fears and be grateful for what I have.

My mom injured her back. She was in a brace and needed a lot of care. She is doing much better and I am grateful for that. But the injury left her less mobile and more dependent. She seems "older" now and I am left with a different picture of my mother will be able to be involved in my life.

My son got engaged. I am thankful that he us in a relationship with a woman that truly loves him and is a respected part of our family.

My first boyfriend and love of my life left me. He could not cope with his divorce and the distance from his children. It made me stronger. I realized how resilient I have become over the years. I miss him almost every day, for the last 7 months I've tried to move on. I am still convinced that he is the one. I still love him. I cannot forgive him.

I lost a person I trusted. Someone I thought I would be friends with forever. I guess in life when you know someone you really know nothing about them. Or that you should be more selective in the character of the company you carry. I learned my lesson. Also brought me to an epiphany that Drinking is something i may have relied on to much, and at the same time as losing my friend, i lost the crutch of drinking. It's made my mind clearer. I'm more in touch with who i should be rather than the image i wanted for myself. I trust my own decisions more and cherish my family at the value i should have always cherished them with.

The court case which happened along time ago. It finished only 22 months ago. Though, I was relieved when it finished but it made me more stronger and how deal difficult situations in life.

Just a few days ago I my partner of the last 4 years ended our relationship. This has the potential to completely change the trajectory of my life. It's been devastating, and I'm still not sure if it's really sunken in yet... In a way I'm grateful, because if we don't want the same things out of life then it's better to know now then 5 years in the future. This will give me the chance for some new and different experiences, and has inspired me to do more things for myself. In the end I'm sure we will remain close, as we care for each other massively. Hopefully we will both move on to a happy future.

A friend lost his house in foreclosure. I'm sad for him and glad I could help him by storing some things. I wasn't angry at the bank until they listed the house for a ridiculously high price after it failed to attract a single bid at auction for much less. Now it will sit vacant for who knows how long.

So many significant events....the biggest two being the birth of a new granddaughter and the marriage of our youngest daughter. Life altering for them and us as well. I am so grateful for the connection to my children and so happy for these good things for them.

Again I have to choose The Rock. It has had a major impact on the way I look at homeless people. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve them on Wednesdays and I'm looking forward to continuing in this capacity indefinitely.

Allie stealing the book. I still can't believe she did it. She's my best friend. I should have been looking out for her. My baby girl almost got arrested. I'm thankful for the female staff (the male wanted to throw her in jail without a second thought) at the store. They were so understanding and saved her butt from the police. She may not be allowed in the store anymore, but at least she's not in jail. And I'm thankful for her mother for understanding and not hating her for it. I love you Allie, and I always will and I'll always be there for you.

I feel so very grateful for my perseverance around my home, work and love life. For years now, I've been crying, fretting and feeling very afraid of success - professionally, spiritually and in relationship to a lover. Staying single helped me focus on my business and home but it also kept me closed off to love. This relationship with my new girlfriend has been a painful reawakening. Seeing her across the table from me, knowing how much she loves me and I love her, it is overwhelming in ways I have never experienced in my life with a lover. Every day brings a new challenge on how to react, listen and really how to simply love her and myself at the same time. I'm still learning this. I am grateful to the universe to be given this amazing opportunity to grow in a way I haven't ever done before.

I jumped headfirst into a freelance graphic design career, and it gave me the ability to finally find my confidence and overcome my social phobia. I've dreamed about it for years, but was never provided the opportunity to start until I lost my job this spring. Suddenly, my world changed. I could no longer hide from meetings behind my computer or avoid socializing due to shyness. I had to put myself out there. I had to now run those meetings, to debate with corporate executives, to give my opinions with intelligence and persuasion. And a funny thing happened—people responded. People looked up to me. They realized my worth, and in turn I realized my own. I shed the image I had previously created for myself: that I was a bumbling, stuttering, airheaded idiot who couldn't speak correctly or understand verbal communication; that my social phobia would forever keep me from success; that I wasn't a natural born leader. I am now unstoppable. Still incredibly humble, but also incredibly confident. It takes little to intimidate me, because I know my self-worth as well as my weaknesses—even my weaknesses don't bother me, I embrace them! That's the true sign of confidence. Knowing who you are and accepting it fully. It is not cockiness or arrogance, and it is not meekness or passiveness...it is the beautiful in-between spot of "everything about me is just alright and I couldn't give a shit less what anyone else thinks." I feel like I have found the secret to happiness. I have since left the freelance business and taken a full-time gig, but that matters little. What matters is who I've become. My career, and my life, will never be the same. And all I needed was to believe in myself.

This year I met leon on march 27th at a wine tasting and got engaged on sePtember 8th. I am blessed and inspired by him and his entire family I also turned 31 and have been struggling with this new series of life.

Each of my daughters gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, making us grandparents of 4 fabulous grandsons. The sense that I will have the opportunity to help these wonderful children grow into whomever they will become gives me a sense that I will continue on and on through them after after I am gone.

My husband's job crisis. Company confused and decided after out source hubby's dept after he told them it wasn't wise to do so. Now they find out he was right. We'll see what happens. Saw Bill Maher and was too shy to say hi.

In this past year I got divorced, lost my mother and my ex-wifes grandmother. Three important woman in my life. With the loss of my wife, I feel several things, Relieved due to the stress that our marriage had become and how it was affecting my boys. I am relieved at the same time to have less stress in my life and the boys life. I can now again spread my wings and fulfill what I want, need and am Inspired to do. The loss of my ex wifes grandmother last November was both a shock and blessing. She was 99. We had spent Saturday nights with her for the last 3-4 years of her life. What a blessing to have know such a special person. She has inspired me to become a better jew. Finally, the loss of my mother. I am still resentful that she was taken at her early age of 75. I am relieved to know she no longer has to suffer with her breathing and heart ailments. I miss her so much. I do regret I hadn't seen her more often during the last few years as I moved to Colorado. She has inspired me to continue to be better. Over my adult years I saw that she had inspired me to be better and be happy. She was not the most educated woman but her life experiences spoke loudly in her actions and her loving kindness. So, this year has been quite difficult but I have also been able to grow through many losses of important woman in my life. I look forward to the next year as I continue to grow and live live to its fullest.

Going on OTZMA has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me in all kinds of levels. I never would have imagined my life could be so enriched by just experiencing another culture, and discovering my own true personality. My volunteering, the friends I made, the communities i became a part of, have all shaped my present and future.

My step-mother, a woman who was cold and often cruel, died after a prolonged illness. It has been almost a year and it feels like a ray of light has dissipated the heavy, dark cloud she brought to our lives. My father, who is now 70, is playing music again and he goes fishing every weekend. I heard him laugh out loud for the first time in ages and it brought tears to my eyes.

I guess just passing my first year of graduate school! I knew I would because there really is no other option, but I am still proud of this accomplishment none-the-less. It's been a great experience where I've learned more than I ever anticipated.

Meeting Jim was definitely a significant experience. Prior to meeting him, I had resigned myself to never getting remarried, never having kids, etc. Now, those things still might not happen, but meeting him rekindled hope in my life. I didn't really realize that it was gone, but I think I felt like my life was no longer in my control in any real sense. Certainly I made my day to day decisions, but it felt like the big things were essentially out of my control. I appreciate that they are still out of my control to some extent, but I realize that my future is still mine, and it is okay to wish for things.

I was married this year and while it took a loooong time to get to this point it made it all the sweeter for taking the time to know it was right not just for me and my husband but for his family and for my family. We each have children and we also wanted to make sure it was as good a decision for them as it was for us. 6 years to get to this point and worth every minute of it.

My marriage split up. I am relieved and feel that I am back on track with my life and my relationship with G-d.

I argued with my boyfriend a few days ago. I've been struggling for 23 years to find a way to feel strong, independent and trying to reach a higher level of self-esteem... I felt so strong and confident for the first time. I could see myself feeling so loving and lovable, feeling confident about who I am and feeling free to express who I am and what I want. I could recognize fear in both of us and I shifted from the level of the problem to the level of the solution. I felt that I'm in the right way... all that I've been willing to learn.. i'm learning it... step by step... I am so greatful, I feel relived and I feel definetely inspired.

Started taking medication for depression and PTSD. Such mixed feelings, still hate the pills 10 months later, believe I am weak and have somehow failed bcz I am taking this medication. It saved my life; I don't know how I would have managed to keep going, I was on the verge of psychosis, the depression and flashbacks were so bad, therapy alone was not enough, I had my death completely planned. I resent the pills and still want to crush them every morning and every night. I hate my brain for failing me and me for letting myself fail and be so weak. I was open with my close friends about the depression and PTSD and with some other friends about the depression. Doing this opened my heart to accept and feel the amazing love of the beautiful and mighty village around me. I had no idea how long I had been depressed until I did not feel depressed. I'm still learning how to feel normal. I have become a softer person. I pray each morning and evening, over the pillbox, to change my resentment to gratitude for medication that saved my life and my self-hatred about my weakness to love for myself. I get today to see what I can do with it.

My sister Bobbi died. I am sad and lost without her, but I am grateful that I wrote and sent oodles of poetry and remembrances that she was able to read before we lost her. You lose a significant part of your memory when you lose someone like that. I contacted her grad school and got a copy of her dissertation, which I remember reviewing for her before its submission. What a great mind she was.

Well, a lot of stuff. So let's start with my standby writing topic: a met a boy who completely changed the way I saw the world. I felt appreciated and valued again, and we were really great friends. I told him to ever let me know if something was ever wrong. I'm now blocked on Facebook. I got a license, and with it, a lot of freedom and responsibility. I love not having to check with my parents if they are available to drive me, I only check that I'm allowed to go. The flexibility is great too; I take myself to and from wherever I need to be and there's no hassle. I'm applying to colleges. It's weird to be doing what I saw some of my friends doing a year ago. Last year at this time the whole idea of college was still very evasive. Now it's almost a reality (almost, but not quite).

I worked with a really good photographer for a day. Turned out she was new to photography. She reminded me why I got involved in this field. She also helped me see that I could overcome the obstacles that were keeping me from making the camera see what I see. It inspired me to take some classes. And to be more bold with my shots.

We survived a month overlanding Mexico. 90% of our peers were not ashamed to tell us we would likely be hurt or kidnapped at best. What ensued was a wonderful cultural emmersion with zero dangers or threats. We were relieved when it was complete and took from it a valuable lesson: when you don't follow the norm normally rational people will come out of the woodwork to discourage you.

I got married this past year. after 39 years of being single, I finally met a great match. I am grateful every day that I'm blessed enough to have this partner in my life. I'm inspired that if you set an intention for something in your life, it can be manifested.

Auto accident. Thankful we four survived due to my Husband's quick response.

I let go of a very old wound that I recently revisited in a new light with an important person in my life. It has been a very worn and long road that I have had to navigate, for the most part, on my own. My hope was to get through my own pain and keep this person in my life but in a new way with a new understanding. I feel I've succeeded. There is relief, gratitude to be released and a freedom from the weight this has had for so many years. I'm free of it.

My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. My parents decided to come to the Cleveland Clinic for diagnosis and treatment, so they have spent a lot of time with me and relied on me for help. I have been grateful that I've been part of it, because I've been well informed and been able to help them understand and make decisions. It has made me very aware of how much help they need in this area. I'm relieved to see her improve, but at the same time it's clear that they are both limited in what they can do and understand now. I always feel that watching them gives me insight into what awaits me in 20 years. I feel really sad when they leave.

I had my third child. Incredibly grateful and inspired to make the workd a better place for her to live in. I'm also inspired by the infinite wonder of sharing in this act of creation and by the amazing human being from whom I hope to learn so much over the course of her life. It is also an awe-inspiring experience and the responsibility is almost too great to bear.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer. It made me really appreciate the time before she got cancer. I am so amazingly grateful for every day with her and thank g-d she is doing better.

I lost my second baby to miscarriage. It's been the most devastating experience and even months later I still feel as though I'm spiraling out of control inside. I wish I could see the silver lining, but it's hard to keep hoping that it'll happen.

Seeing the older Antwerp man in the Rivierenhof talking to the North African descent boys of 15 or so, and instilling life lessons (or so it seemed) upon them. Was very inspiring to see what one person can do in his surroundings when he is free of fear and speaks his mind. Other thing, Avraham Fried dinner at Chai center, mainly because he's such a self-effacing person. Both of these were inspiring.

I got in trouble at my work. I recorded a child I really care about dancing on my phone and played it to my coworkers because I thought it was very sweet. Another coworker was really uncomfortable and went to HR (it is a violation to have client identifiable info such as photos on my phone, even though I had tons of pictures and videos of the kids, as did most staff). The day after I was awarded Employee of the Month, I was put on administrative leave. I showed HR/my bosses the video and was allowed back at work, but not without repercussions - I was written up and given a strict warning (which I signed) saying what I had done was extremely unprofessional and inappropriate. The experience had a huge, significance and long-lasting effect on me. I felt like I wasn't good at my job anymore and was extremely moody while I was at work. My unhealthy behaviors spiked up and I started to feel more and more depressed. And the coworker who "told on me" and I had quite a difficult and tumultuous working relationship, up until she quit our facet of work abruptly to work somewhere else within the agency. I did learn a lot from the experience, nonetheless - the importance of professionalism and confidentiality, especially in my work (mental health). I overcame a really tough period and I can get through other situations that make me very uncomfortable.

I moved to Israel with my husband and 2 young kids to begin rabbinical school. It has been the hardest year of my life so far, but I am so thrilled to finally be doing what I really think I'm supposed to do with my life. If we can gut out the logistical challenges, I know it will end up being an incredible and formative experience.

I found my calling as a write rof weird and horror fiction. For a long time I thought of myself as an aspiring film director, but grew bored and irritated by the heartless beaurocracy of the whole process: the paperwork, the organization and the rigid structuring of scripts and cameras. To me, the process of filmmaking became stale and lost it's magic. But writing, to me at least, seem a lot more insular and magical. I can sit and mull my idea for as long as needed - I have, more or less, total control over what I do. I don't need teams of producers, executive producers, designers and editors breaking apart my idea so it's sellable. I feel that will happen a lot less in my new chosen field as an author.

Just before the start of my junior year in college at the age of 20, I moved into my first real apartment with one of my best friends. Our other best friend lives with us on a part time basis and I couldn't be happier with the way my life is going right now. Sometimes its stressful when I remember that I now have bills to pay and a house of my own to take care of, but I feel like I'm finally on the road to where I want to be.

My son has begun what we gratefully hope is his last year of college. He has overcome obstacles that have effected his forward momentum over his life. The last year he seems to have been able to address them in more positive ways. I am anxious about the next 2 months that lie before him. He will have senior projects, homework on top of the challenges of his job and his ambition to pass a test that will enhance his job skills. I am proud of him, and very inspired by his tenacity. This is a young man who has had his tough times. His graduation will be a milestone that will lead him toward the next challenges that await him as a young adult. I have great faith in his will, his intelligence and in him as a good person.

I decided to apply obgyn. Big decision in life. Really tried to like other things but this just feels right....

I got accepted into college. It truthfully overwhelmed me, and then eventually I reached a point of gratitude. Obviously I was relieved, but that's not the emotion I felt at the time. Right now I'm wondering if applying early decision was the right choice. I wish I knew what other options I may have had. That's something that's really hard for me to admit. I'm grateful, though. I really am.

I left a yoga class on a Tuesday with a sore hamstring and came home to do a Hip Hop class with MHP (March 8th). My leg got increasingly worse over the next few days/weekend and by March 15th, I couldn't even get out of my bed to shower/get dressed. Turns out I had a herniated disc between L4-L5 (low back). Through 6 weeks of laying on my back and 5 (yes, 5) cortisone shots, I was able to have a (mostly) normal summer. Physical therapy, no running and a lot less walking than I would have liked, but still semblance of normality. Then, on August 26th, as I was heading up the stairs of my (new!!) house, to grab my shoes to go to the gym, I couldn't make it. Fast forward a few days to the emergency room and a few more to me having a discectomy on that same disc. That was two days before Rosh Hashanah. I'd say that's pretty significant. And I also feel all of those things - grateful that I survived, relieved that the surgery is over and was (hopefully) successful, resentful that my body betrayed me despite me taking care of it and inspired to live life fuller than ever before now.

Well I finally lost my virginity. I had always planned on waiting until marriage, but for some reason, I changed my mind. I wouldn't say I regret my decision, but I do regret not being safe. This experience has taught me that even though I might not wait until marriage to have sex again, that I at least want to wait to have it again with someone I deeply care about.

I lost my best friend. I should have said no to being a part of a board that I knew from the beginning I shouldn't be a part of. I suppose ti opened my eyes to he type of person she was, but it still broke my heart a little bit

So much has happened in the past year, that it is hard to choose just one, but the obvious significant experience was getting married. We've been together nearly five years now, so I wasn't sure how different things would feel after getting married or how important the actual event would feel. Every day I declare my love in small and big ways, some private, some public. Getting married was such a huge declaration and so hugely public. A lifelong commitment of vast magnitude declared while surrounded by many of the most important people in my life. Wow, how did I *not* know how life-changing that would feel?

I got really depressed for the first time in my life and was unable to care for myself. I stayed in bed, did not work and was unable to pay my bills. I was so sad and filled with old grief. It was terrifying and confusing to be in this situation after a life of being self-sufficient and capable. It taught me that it is ok to need people and that people will be there to care for me if I am unable. I have a deeper sense of trust in the world. I also have a new and humble appreciation for the interdependence of people and life.

I was hired on full time at my job. I feel relieved because I will now be able to save money and not have to live paycheck to paycheck. It will be nice to be financially stable again.

Being told I had to leave my employer. Seemed like such a disaster at first but has turned out to be such a blessing. I felt frightened, angry, resentful, hopeless. Today I feel grateful, relieved, hopeful.

A major event this past year was in buying a new car. There was alot of planning, alot of recognition that I am an adult, and alot of saying goodbye to the car that figured so much into my identity and lifespan.

...One morning in March, 2011, I read the news that a professor, who was also a climber, had died in a climbing accident near Moab, Utah. His rope had slipped through his belay device. Although I had only one class with this professor, the impact he made on my life was profound. I decided to attended a public memorial service. I remember walking into the loft where the services was held and signing the guest book. I don’t remember how long the service was. I stood there, watching the slide show, listened to family and friends. The love and pain were palpable. It was obvious that Louis had a profound affect on many lives. I feel grateful and thankful to his family and friends for letting me share in their grief. I was inspired and moved by a poem his brother wrote, "Cairns". I will always keep a copy of this poem, it is one of my favorites. I left after the service was over. I did not stay to speak with Millie, his wife., or other family and friends. I felt like this was the right thing to do. I understand that memorial services are not for widows, or the family, but for everyone else. I learned this planning my husbands memorial service. Even after learning this lesson, I left without talking to Millie, or the family, because at that time, I felt like I was intruding. I know, not the most logical argument. I am grateful that the Cicotello family had a public memorial service for Louis. I am glad that I went. I received the gift of celebrating a life. I cannot explain fully the impact that this professor made in my life. I just know it's there...and it's HUGE. I understand more fully now, how someone may have felt at my husbands memorial service. Now, I feel like I know what people meant when they said that David opened a whole new world to them. That is part of what Louis Cicotello did for me.

I went to Israel for a month this summer. Although I lived there for 6 years, going back this summer to visit really changed me. It showed me how much I actually missed my family and how much of a home Israel really is to me. I became a lot more appreciative for speaking Hebrew, being Jewish, and having an Israeli background.

My job changed and I readjusted well for the first time in my life. 2 coworkers I really liked who where nice passed and it did hurt I turned 55 I never reached those milestones I no longer care what a sense of relief I may be somewhat resentful but I am happier I learned that not all people are alike I always knew that but I really experienced it I realize how much of a parent I am to my mother and the influence of the war I didnt loose my temper I don't go off anymore like I once did I'm calmer more self assured

I went to my 40th high school reunion. I had not been to any reunions, but a classmate tracked me down on Facebook. I was not at all sure I wanted to go, but after waffling for two months, I signed up. My reunion was in Connecticut the last weekend of August, the same weekend Hurricane Irene came roaring up the East Coast. I went anyway and saw several teachers who were extremely important to my high school experience and my career choice. I reconnected with classmates who I hadn't seen since graduation. And I was taken in after being stranded by Irene by a classmate and her husband, who had not been a friend in high school, but has now become a friend. I feel very grateful.

I think for me it would be getting sick, so sick that it affected my everyday routine, my outlook, my kids, my relationship. It forced me to take a look at myself and to make a change. I am very grateful for what happened to me because I am now trying to take charge and be better to myself and to the ones I love.

My father, after having major heart surgery, has found his physical and mental situation deteriorated. I am not concerned or upset about the frailty of my father - but have a better understanding of how quickly things can change. I have a better understanding of how much I need to plan and prepare for my aging.

I broke up and got back together with my boyfriend. The three months we broke up for were seriously hard, I'm still not sure whether it's the right thing or not. But at the time, getting back together was everything and meant everything.

After looking and praying for a job for the better part of a year, my significant experience would be getting four job offers in one week after finding it difficult to get even an interview for months on end. The odd (aka providential) aspect of it was interesting: All four were wildly different from each other (distance, dollars, duties). The nearest also had the largest dollars and best-suited duties. After accepting this near one, I was reminded that it was INSIDE my ideal commute range and HIGHER than my ideal salary range and MATCHED my desired duties to a T. Providential indeed.

Spent a week with my wife and granddaughters at Virginia Beach. Glad to have had the opportunity to spend the time with them and relax and enjoy the opportunity

My conversion to Judaism on September 20th was both a momentous event and something so natural it almost made no difference in the way I feel about myself. Strange to think I have such a divided feeling about it.

In the past year I've come to believe more and more that those who hold most of the power and money in our society are actively opposed to sharing it. It reminds me of a line, from Mark Twain perhaps, that to be happy it's not enough to succeed, others must fail. I see the absolute resistance to a fairer tax code as a low point in American politics, revealing that it's naive to imagine that such values as fairness and equality truly are shared by most of my fellow citizens. The effect on me has been a growing resentment and pessimism, as well as a somewhat greater desire and determination to do something about it. Unfortunately, the pessimism and cynicism are usually stronger than my idealism. Sometimes I'm inspired to such actions as writing to my representatives or donating to a campaign, but more often I just delete the request.

I made a job change. I had some to give up, but much to gain. It's created a new way for me to enjoy my family and life. Learning the new job has made me anxious at times, but the benefits have far outweighed the negative aspects of a job change. I am grateful to be employed and also to show my children that a woman CAN be a mommy, a wife, and an employee. (And at the same time, I couldn't have done it without the amazing support of my family).

The year has been one of growth in the most unexpected ways. It has challenged me and strengthened me. I honestly can't recall a specific moment but feel like it was one long ride. Looking forward to taking that strength into the new year and being a really powerful son of g-d.

Spent six days in the hospital due to a staph infection. Fortunately, caught in time and cured before it became systemic. Strangely enough, it happened to coincide with the death of Clarence Clemmons (aka The Big Man), from the E-Street Band. I decided that it was the right time and the right place to start fixing a whole bunch of things about my life, to ensure that I won't end up there again. Fortunately, I had a doctor who was very much on the same wavelength and gave me the tools to address things. Now lighter, fitter, healthier. Coincidentally also in a better mood, doing better socially and professionally and just generally feeling good about myself in a way that I haven't in years.

My wife has, in spite of our basically dead marriage, managed to find a neurosurgeon that will operate on my ruined back. It's been 10 years of steady deterioration of my life from the inside out--I turned 30 the year I caught pneumonia and had the slight injury that was "the straw that broke the man's back." So I've just turned 40, I'm about to have the surgery I've wanted for many years, and my oldest daughter is beginning the process of finding scholarship money. This may be my best decade yet!!

Mom was diagnosed with cancer--a fast, scary cancer. She has outlived her prognosis and done incredibly well...though following none of what I thought of as 'the right things to do'. I have been reminded that my way isn't the only way, and that, though I love her, I have distanced myself from her for decades now. I hope that changes, I hope we can change that; I don't know how.

Daughter was born. Relieved, inspired.

Errr well I went to the Piel Morena summer intensive, and it was so fun and i learned so much!! I also found my best friends. Jane, Jack, Bomi, Peeds, Livvy, Simona... idk what I'd do without them. and Carly and Emma too, they're great. I also dated Ian, which was a big deal. He was so mysterious and hot! It was a good experience, I just cant believe that it actually happened. We're so bad together. Like we don't fit together at allllll. I WENT TO CALIFORNIA. IT WAS SO FUN AND I LOVED IT AND WANT TO MOVE THERE. I also got my eyebrows threaded.

I had breast cancer. It inconvenienced me, but I am grateful that I had an easier go of it than many. All is well. Also, my daughter came out as a lesbian. Hope she's happy. The vacation with Jen and the girls, well, I enjoyed the girls, but I didn't get a moment with Jen without Kate, and it was annoying and left me feeling like the odd man out. Whatever. Things change. I do hope she's happy. And life went haywire at work after the earthquake, hurricane Irene and the 9/11 anniversary. Things may be getting back to manageable. I had a 3 hour nap on this cold, rainy day. So maybe things are getting back to an easier pace. God knows I needed that nap.

I found my birthmother. It filled a gap in my psyche and healed a great part of me.

I finished writing my memoir. I was grateful and inspired. Life has meaning.

I'm grateful that I met the love if my life this past year

I moved away from home. At 17, and living in college dorms, I was truly on my own for the first time. Through the thick and thin, I have always had my mom to help me. Not anymore. While I enjoy the freedom, at times I'm still scared and unsure of my decisions. I have to remember that it's normal to make mistakes and I can learn from them.

Last year I was sending CV's just like crazy and nobody was ansewring them back. just until I found an announcement from Ryanair. I never thought I would make it but I gave it a shot. I actually passed through all the phases and even learned how to swim in 1 single month!!!! a great achievement for me (or two!!!). how it afected my life? it just turned it 180º . I moved from my country twice already, I have a stable job with possibilities with progression, I have met dozens of new people, I have loved, I left and was left too. overall I dont know how happy I should be but one thing I can tell you for sure: I lived. a lot.

I fired my 96 YO mother's caregiver, despite knowing that this would cause a big ruckus with my brother, who had believed said CG could do no wrong. But, because I actually spend time with my mother --- 1 week a month --- I caught on quickly to the fact that she was all show, no heart, and not good with my mother. It took courage to do this: my brother is verbally abusive, threatening in the I respect myself for finally stepping up; feel shame that it took me so long. The consequences were indeed dire as far as several months of fraternal hell which just barely avoided ending in court. However, the consequences were wondrous indeed in that we found a caregiver who truly loves my mother, cares for her heart & soul, & is in and of herself, a remarkable woman. "I feel so loved!" my mother exclaimed yesterday. I am so, so grateful to this woman. And had I fired the CG from hell when I first became aware that I would have to & put it off out of cowardice... this lovely woman who is now part of our family would not have been available. Miraculously, even my brother, who she handles with the skill of a trained negotiator of diplomat, likes her! The whole thing feels me with a panoply of emotions, perhaps wonder being, at present, the largest.

I retired. Although I knew it was coming, it was not by choice. It was the first time in 30 years I had a summer off, but I found myself at loose ends. However, I began to view retirement as a "gift" and I spent time thinking about what would be meaningful ways to spend my time. The result is that my days are filled with exciting, fulfilling, enjoyable things--a college class on Mass Media & American Politics, volunteering at the local senior center with memory-impaired seniors, freelance writing for a local newspaper, being elected to my condo board, and days to explore the local area and have fun with friends. What could be better!

I became active in my synagogue. I learned how to read Torah and chanted at a service. I joined the religious school committee and then joined the Temple Board. It has really opened me up to a life and experience outside of work. I feel more inspired and more connected to the rest of my life. Before I would work, come home, interact with my family and repeat. Now I feel like I have a connection with a larger community. And I think it is making me a more well rounded person.

The most significant experience that happened this year was graduating college. although i do not feel that something big was changed inside me, it has caused the greatest change in my lifestyle. to go from living in a place i had been for 4 years, with people i knew really well, to being in israel for the year, with many people i didnt know previously, living in a place that i was not that familiar with. at the time of graduation, the experience has quite bitter sweet, i didnt feel ready to leave. but now, a few months later, although i look back on college fondly, i do not miss it the way i imagined i would

Building my own business. Grateful, angry and inspired.

After years of being misdiagnosed for ADD and super sensory conditions, I learned that three years ago I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. Despite feeling relieved that I finally knew what made me so different than others, the resentment I held for my parents from keeping this from me for three years far outweighed the little relief I had. It's been a challenging year for me as I've tried to adjust into a different lifestyle and getting the help I needed back when I was younger.

I passed my LCSW exam. While it allows a lot more doors to open for me professionally, it did not give me the confidence in myself that I thought it would. I am still grateful and relieved to have passed. It took many years to get to this point. I graduated h.s. early and after 3.5 years of college, I left on academic probation with just over 2 years of credit. I went back to college at 40 years old to finish my undergrad (this took 2 years), then completing my masters in social work (advanced track - took 1 more year), then passing my LSW, then acquiring over 3000 clinical hours to sit for my LCSW. I did pass the first time, which is not always the case from what I've heard. (By the way I must mention that I entered a 12 step program of recovery at age 23, and I would NOT have arrived at this point in my life if I had not done so.)

I was finally hired for the FAA! I've wanted this so long that it's both exciting and scary. I'm currently at the Academy in OKC, just began radar classes, and will hopefully graduate in less than a month. I'm so grateful that God has given me this opportunity to pursue my dream.

I found a job I really like that I've been with for awhile (after being in two jobs that were really upsetting and not a good match). I guess it's been one long experience, and it's lead me to feel a whole lot of things--appreciative, reflective, stressed, contemplative--it's an experience that really has allowed me to grow as a person. Aspects of the job as well allow me to keep developing who I am and keep making changes.

I was asked to serve as director of our (new) Teaching Center. I'm grateful that someone has noticed the good work that we're doing. This is good for the university, and probably me, but I'm anxious and afraid. I'm continuing to work towards making this happen--despite my fear of increased paperwork, meetings, and reports--as it is good for the community. Besides, it might be good for me.

This year I bought my first car. I had barely driven for five years since I left home for university and was quite used to walking and using public transit. However, it was stopping me from visiting friends out of town and even traveling across the city I live in. I was hesitant to look for a car because I was overwhelmed by the choices and didn't want to make the wrong one. Since I have bought my car I have been out of town many times and have been able to keep in better contact with some of my friends. I have also been able to accomplish more at once, just because I can get around town faster and easier. I am so grateful that I have been able to visit places such as a hiking trail just outside of town that I hadn't been able to do before. This purchase was well worth it! I realized that what matters is I'm happy with my car, and other people will always have their own opinion but I have to make my own decision.

I had a health issue this year. This has helped me to re-member that I can be healed and that I need to take time for me. I am working on this each day and it really has inspired me to do a better job. And to love myself more.

I let a bad doctor at an emergency clinic give my two year old daughter stitches by her lip. I had already sworn off such places and, especially, concierge practices. I don't know if she needed stitches at all, and it was incredibly painful for her. In a panic, I failed to be the advocate my children deserve. It has caused me shame, and I can only move on by being absolutely vigilante (esp. in medical settings - my weakness). Even though I have nothing more than a GED, I must be the strongest voice when my children need help. I can't dismiss myself because of my lack of education. My instincts have guided me well so far. Ignoring them has brought tremendous suffering. I am grateful to have a good set of instincts and that my children are rarely in need of medical care.

I got accepted into Michigan State University.

After an frustratingly uneventful first year in the Peace Corps, I finally found an activity the community was interested in, a women's exercise class. After two months of 5-12 participants, I began a month-long fitness competition. Over 100 women registered, ~60-70 participated regularly, with 25-40 women per class. At the end of the competition many women lost between 4-6 kilos. During the competition I also gave nutrition classes, the most memorable one being on sugar, where I demonstrated that the juice they were drinking, either the store bought or homemade with sugar added, was no better than a coke and has a much sugar per serving as a small candy bar. After the competition we had an awards ceremony to celebrate the winners. Dr. Luis attended as the master of ceremonies, and was quite taken aback by what Julia and I had accomplished. As a token of their appreciation, the women gave Julia and me next exercise clothes. We frequently rewore the same clothes to class, and I suppose they must have noticed. What was additionally awesome about the gifts was that they weren't in the tight spandex style most of the women used, the pants and shirts were the same style of clothes Julia and I usually wore to class. It was one of the first times I felt like they recognized but didn't judge our differences. The competition itself made me feel incredibly satisfied from a work and personal perspective. I believed in the importance of what I was teaching and amazed to see the women actually taking what I said to heart and sometimes changing their behavior. Big Rosa became Not So Big Rosa after she continued walking regularly after the class. When the competition ended, women I didn't know continually asked me when we were going to start the class again. Unfortunately I moved to San Ignacio before I was able to get the class moving again, but when my replacement, Taylor, arrived in Campo 9, the first thing the women started to do was asking when she was going to start the class again. I'm one of the few lucky volunteers who gets to see my project carried on through another volunteer. Side note: a women in the class told me her husband died several years ago and since then she has been fighting depression. The exercise class was one of the only things that helped get her out of her house. I started the class to keep myself busy and active, I never realized it could be such an important part of someone's day. It was humbling.

I got older, and I'm (finally) realizing that no one is going to discover me, no one is going to make my life the way I want it to be, no one is going to "save" me. I need to save myself. And because of that I'm looking at my life a little differently-I'm starting to "discover" myself, hear my own voice, and value my own opinions. Scary but inspiring.

In the last year I met my boyfriend Gregg whom I have fallen totally in love with. We met each other walking along the street at night and our paths crossed. It has now been just over a year since we have been together and we have now moved in with each other too.

The most significant experience that happened to me was the unexpected death of my mother. She was my best friend, and the kindest, most generous person I've ever known. Life without her (as an only child) has been extremely difficult. I miss her love, laughter, and encouragement daily. Whenever I think of something, or accomplish something, or even when I see something funny, I want to call her and tell her. Not being able to do that really hurts. Sometimes I'm bitter and angry, but I'm consistently grateful for the 25 beautiful years we had together. I know many people whose mothers are still living who don't have the great relationship that my mom and I had. Now that I am six months out from the actual tragedy, I try to focus on the beauty in life. As a result of my mom, I try to be kinder to, and more patient with others. I'm also trying to get in shape and live the kind of life she would have wanted me to live.

Moving to our first owned house. It has made me feel very grounded. I love it.

I was accepted as a counselor at Coble Waterski and Wakeboard Camp. THis experience taught me too be a good worked and mature. I am incredibly greatful for this experience because I had a ton of fun and gained so much from this opportunity.

Shlomit took me to the mikveh with her before her wedding. I had told her long ago about how excluded I felt when Charlotte went and she had remembered and invited me to join her and to immerse after her for the segulah. I was so touched by this gesture. I joined her, her mother and mother-in-law and a few other women beforehand. We all spoke and gave blessings to her. I was hesitant to speak as I was pretty emotional and also shy of my Hebrew. Nissimi's mother pressed me to speak and I told how much it meant to me, that she had invited me to join her in this moment and what kind of person it showed that she was. Everyone cried. Afterwards I went to the mivka which was a private one in someones home and was truly beautiful - like a spa. I went in after her and dipped. No need to be checked, No brachot. It was bitter sweet as I had longed for this, but thought my first time would be before my own wedding. I prayed- I can't remember what I said. Afterwards everyone embraced me and was so supportive and loving. Nissimi's mother and Shlomit's reached out to me. They both said they expected to be at my wedding within the year. I doubt it, but somehow that night I did not. I felt embraced by the supportive presence of other women -some good friends, and some I had never met before that night. And for a while at least I believed it was within reach.

Wow, I went broke...Didn't make me happy, but did make me humble

my husband was fired from a crappy job. i was immediately gripped with fear, but then relief that he didnt have to suffer through that anymore., then joy knowing God had something bigger and better in store. and He did.

I packed it all in and decided to travel the world this year, I have been on the road 9 months and has open my mind and made me mature in ways i never imagined. I am so grateful for the experience and inspired to uncover my true purpose in life

This past year I cut ties with most of the people I once considered friends. At that point and time, it was hard to just alienate the people that I had known for years. I thought that I would no longer have a life and would have live with the stigma of abandoning the people close to me. I sit here today and know in my heart that it was something I needed to do to progress as person. The friends that I left behind were egocentric, unmotivated, selfish, and failed to keep my trust. Although I have many fond memories of each of them, they contributed little to my life and actually made my life more difficult than it should have been. At times I feel resent but I know I tried my best to do the right thing. If I had kept certain people in my life, I would not be able to focus on my own goals and dreams without one of them trying to get something out of me. Today, I have a small circle of people that I trust and respect. Although they are small in number, they fulfill my life in so many ways and I am thankful to each one of them. I love my life! :)

I got married and became a step-mom. I am all of the above--grateful, relieved, resentful and inspired. I am grateful to have found the love of Jesse, to have had the wedding of my dreams, to be able to try and work at building my own company (and work from home) & to finally have a partner in life. I am relieved to have the searching, jdate days and wondering if I"ll ever get married behind me. But, I am also extremely resentful of his past with another woman. Of her constant intrusion on our lives, of her bitchiness and of being a step-mom. (Which is the hardest job there is--yes, harder than being a bio mom!) The situation has inspired me to write better than I ever have and I am confident in this upcoming year I will have an article worthy of publication in a national magazine and someday a book of essay's.

I was elected Council S'ganit. I was ecstatic at the time and even though it takes a lot of work, I still love it just as much, if not more. Sometimes it can be demanding or stressful, but I always enjoy what I do.

I refound my ambition. I used to be driven, motivated and determined, but even if accomplished many things, it always felt unsatisfying because instead of working towards a clear objective, I was rather driven by a constant fear of failing. When you do things because you think that you will otherwise fail, or that in any event you are never doing enough, you are bound to become unhappy. Recently I asked myself what had happened to me - and I realized I had lost my ambition - the inherent reason- that always drove me. But just as I realized that I had lost it, it appeared again. In fact it was always there, I had just failed to see it. With that in my pocket, Ican't wait to get started on this new beautiful year!

My first proper relationship - with Jeremy - my first love. I became a different person. I experienced different things. I gained an intimacy I had never had with anyone else. An emotional and physical intimacy. I told him things I hadn't told anyone else. I gave him what I will never give anyone else - my virginity. I made myself vulnerable. I'm grateful. I know what it is to love and be loved. I had the incredible experience of being close to another human being. Yes he broke my heart. Yes it hurts at the moment. But every now and again I can see through the pain and reflect on how wonderful it was just to have what we did while it lasted.

I went to Maimo for high school this year. I am relieved that I am able to have this opportunity but it's very hard considering the Talmud and Chumash that I haven't done in the past 9 years which all the other kids have. I am inspired to work even harder, if that's even possible..

Being with Grandad through the final days of his life. An incredibly sad time but I was grateful to have been able to be there with him and that the end came at a time when he was still fully independent. Brought me much closer to mum too.

I had a near death experience and i learned that not to take small things too seriously.

I met my Beloved Patrick just before New Years. The deliberate choosing of him as a partner, going deeper with him than I ever have with a man, of loving him through the hard parts when I have wanted to run, to protect has been terrifying, difficult and so very fulfilling. I am deeply grateful. I am wildly excited about our future and the depth of who/how we may become to one another as we go even further. I feel like I have found the partner I was looking for. And I have become the partner I want to be. So so grateful.

I got completely overwhelmed by life and everything that I had to do, but I was able to pull through with some help from everyone around me. Grateful and resentful are definitely words that I'd use.

This year I finally had the courage (sense?) to get out of a relationship that was doing nothing killing me. Ever since then I've felt better, looked better (lost 22lbs!), gotten more accomplished etc. Im incredibly grateful that I finally found it in myself to stop being afraid and get away from something that was not good in any way. shape or form and I'm inspired to continue pursuing happiness.

Having Mrs. Brand as an English teacher is probably one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Just having her in my life made a huge difference. Having her believe in me makes me believe in myself. Her encouragement means so much. Making her proud is one of the things that inspire me and encourage me to write. She is one of the best people I know.

Well I happy experience that happened this past year (one of the few) was I got to go to a Josh Groban concert. He was amazing!!!! He stood no less than 5 feet from me it was incredible. I was so happy that night, happier than I had been in a long time. I released I have to keep this feeling going I have to enjoy my life, I can't let other things get to me. I have to have fun.

I left a job I had been doing for 6 years, that I was very much wrapped up in. It was time for me to move on, and I had already applied for social work school for the fall. It was still a difficult transition, particularly in terms of questioning what my work was going to look like moving forward. I was able to spend 4 months not working, getting to know my little niece, spending a lot of time with my girlfriend whom I had just met, and spending a lot of time outside. This provided lovely space and I am very grateful for the time.

I've taken and stayed in a job with a very difficult boss. It's been incredibly painful, but also helped me learn more about myself and to start focusing on other people who are really important to me. Significantly, it's caused me to seek help through counseling, and my counselor has been a huge blessing!

I got accepted into an amazing grad school program which I felt was totally out of my reach. It really made me reevaluate my abilities and possibilities. I felt inspired to do more!

My Aunt confirmed she has stage 4 cancer. I feel sad, but happy to be visiting her more. She has been a positive influence on my life and is a special person to me. I am going to enjoy her while she is alive, and miss her when she is gone.

My father-in-law passed away from cancer in May. I am sad, but I am also extremely grateful and inspired by watching my mother-in-law's love and devotion to her husband after almost 36 years of marriage. They were in love more on the day he died then ever and he even said that she was one of the greatest things in his life. I'm inspired by their marriage and their conviction to not just enjoy the good times, but to stick together through the bad. It is an amazing example of what a marriage should be and I feel so blessed that my husband comes from a family like that. It just shows me that no matter what comes in our way, my husband and I are a team and will work on anything that needs to be worked on.

I had many. This one kicked off a new career for me. I was bored, driving into to town on a Saturday morning. To get the papers. I visualised meeting someone who would be significant in kick starting my career. The first person I'd see ( and who I knew) would be the one I'd sit down with and have a chat. I walked into the local caffee and saw my current business partner with his family. I had met him briefly before. So we said hi, shook hands and started a conversation. An hour later, we both knew we were in business together. And we never looked back!

This was a monumental year. I got divorced. I walked away from a marriage that on paper, looked just about perfect, but from the inside, felt horrible. And in the process I discovered that I am stronger and braver than I ever knew. And that happiness carried me through the challenges of moving three times, from the house I bought with my ex and spent last summer remodeling, to the house I claimed as my shelter in the divorce and finally to the new house I'm renting in Burbank. I have mixed feelings about this new house. I love Burbank and I wanted to live here for a while, even when I was house-hunting a few years ago. I love the feeling of home I have here but I hate how small this place is. I know I'll get used to it, but transitions always frustrate me. Secondly, I changed jobs. I'd been at the same job for almost 10 years. Even though it drove me crazy, I just couldn't seem to leave. And then a new school opened that felt like the right place for me and I jumped ship. I love my new job. It's so much harder than I expected and also much more fulfilling. All the perks of my previous job like making an impact on students' lives are much easier at my new school. I feel valued and like I have something genuine to offer students in the way of my own skills and ideas. And that makes up for the insane workload and stress of teaching all new material. Third, I met Eric. I'm totally in love with Eric. And there are lots of things we do well together. But the thing that makes me so crazy about him is that we give each other the space to be ourselves while recognizing the challenges of being a couple. Both of us we're married before and both really battled with not communicating what we wanted. Being with Eric makes me realize that I had a lot of growing up to do to be successful in a relationship. I'm not sure I'm entirely succeeding, but it feels good. And lastly, both my sisters battled their health this year. Christine made it through a mastectomy and aggressive breast cancer. It was a long and scary process. Tami struggled with her partner being sick until she got sick too with so many pains she finally agreed to a hysterectomy at 31. And then spent 2 months in and out the hospital with many unexpected and scary complications. She's only home from the hospital today so it's too soon to say how long the recovery will take. I want for both of them to be in great health and get back to the joy of life. I love them with all my heart and it's been so hard worrying about them and being far enough away to not be able to help them in their recoveries.

I got a new job! However, it is has been somewhat an awful experience. I thought this would be an amazing move, but a part of me wishes I had not left my old job. I have to be more cautious with the decisions I make to avoid being so miserable.

I participated in the Hazon/Arava Institute Israel Ride from Jerusalem to Eilat. The experience was meaningful on more levels than I can easily summarize. From the time I arrived in Jerusalem (just in time to participate in Kabbalat Shabbat at the USCJ Fuchsberg Center), I experienced innumerable moments of inspiration. Observing the Nativnicks immerse themselves in Jewish living, observing the changes that the city of Jerusalem had undergone since my previous visit, not to mention the remarkable experience of taking in Israel at 12 to 14 mph instead of 60+ mph was truly inspiring. Although I have long been intellectually aware of Israel’s vulnerability to attack (I have relatives who are Kibbutzniks whose Kibbutz is in Northeaster Israel on the banks of the Jordan and base of the Golan) visiting Siderot really made my appreciation visceral. Watching both sunrises and sunsets over Makhtesh Ramon was truly awe inspiring as was spending six days with a group of the more than 100 cyclists with whom I shared the ride.

I had a daughter. My whole life is changed, and I am profoundly grateful. I feel lucky every day.

I visited aunt Leah, our cousins, and our dear friends on the East coast. I felt such a sense of deep love and connection with all of them, after feeling so alone for so much of my life. I feel so immensely grateful to have come to a place in my life where I can experience those connections , and take them in, regardless of the many differences in lifestyle and values.

So many experiences this year... My best friend of over 18 years died in August and I miss her drastically. I saw her every day...I had always been there for her as she was for me, and now my days are so different, I can't yet figure out what I'm supposed to do without her. Additionally, one month later, my husband and I, after 13 years of marriage, are separated. We haven't been happy for several years and tried to end the relationship a number of times in the past, but neither of us was strong enough to be honest that that step was what we both needed. I feel such a sense of loss...no more friend, no more husband. At the same time, a feeling of calm and relief comes over me as I see the future is waiting and I can determine what it will hold for me.

I began working full-time again. Prematurely, as it turns out. I have two young sons, and my spouse was on leave the past year, but now that he is back at work, it all seems overwhelming! I'm often late for work because dropping off the kids takes so much time, and I feel like I don't get enough down time with my family or for myself. I feel like I should be more together, that I should be able to handle it, but it's too hard.

The most was my divorce. It sucked and was a relief to finally be out from under all that negativity and financial stress. At least now my financial stress is something I can control and get out from under. But I'm also very resentful about how much my ex misrepresented me and could get myself in a tizzy if I let myself go. I remind myself how lucky I am to have what I have though.

I got married! It has changed my life to be in constant relationship with someone I love and to balance our lives and needs. And to have a partner who is my best friend. And it is so different than when we were engaged or dating - so much better! It has made me a better person and a better rabbi. And I hope a better husband over time. I hope - I have my better and worse weeks.

Yes. My child received phenomenal SAT, SATII, AP scores and grades. He also excels in other school activities, particularly sports. I feel utter delight and pride in his perseverance, motivation, intensity and pride in the quality of his work. He is a wonderful kid and I am so grateful that he is mine.

I stopped eating wheat. Not the most significant, in-your-face experience, but it has been an underlying factor in so many things as well as a symbol of my ability to survive without certain things which I always thought I could never live (or be happy) without. I am healthier and more free than I have ever been, however at the same time I feel like a person with restrictions, which I have never been before. Another symbol of growing up.

My sister died in March. I am the remaining of my generation standing in my immediate family.

38 years old and voila. Emergency Brain Surgery. Frightening. Life Changing. Humbling. Life Affirming. Really scary. But I am 99% fine. Which is probably miraculous. This has both empowered me and scarred the living shit out of me. Has both emboldened me and made me timid and afraid of my own mortality. I'm grateful to be alive. I am relieved sometimes, more with time. I am resentful, though less frequently with time. And as for inspiration, let's see in time.

My husband was retrenched. It was awful seeing him in so much turmoil, he was lost, confused, angry, bitterly disappointed and felt worthless. It's still hard now as he is studying full time and about to re-enter the workforce, with confidence at a low. I think in time we might be grateful, but right now it's just hard work on a minuscule income.

My cholesterol went way up despite eating well. It turns out Hashimoto's hypothyroidism caused it. So, I switched to veganism. I am resentful that I have yet another health problem to contend with, I've had more than my share already. Sometimes life really sucks!

I made a 5000km solo pilgrimage by bicycle from my home in Amsterdam to Santiago de Compostela and back again. I still can't quite believe I am capable of such a huge undertaking. Crossing the Pyreneees left me extatic, crying and laughing and feeling that there is NOTHING I am not capable of. I believe that everything is possible if I: 1. I take one step at a time and don't panic. 2. Allow for changes of plan; go with the flow and accept possible obstacles not as frustrations but as directions to alternative options, sometimes even better than my initial goal. 3. ENJOY the ride. Life is beautiful and people are amazing.

My second trip to Scotland was wonderful, a real gift. Loch Lomomd only made me want to go back again someday...

I reconnected with an old school friend whom I had been very sad about our estrangement of 15-20 years when we had been so close - the result of life going in different directions. Sadly it took cancer to bring us back together and now we are business partners in an entrepreneurial venture. I wouldn't have had the courage to do what we are doing now on my own. So I'm grateful, inspired, relieved, excited, hopeful and a little bit scared all rolled into one.

All our kids were in our home again for the first time in a few years for few weeks - before they started to go to their new respective places as adults in their own right. It made me feel proud to see them as adults but sad to see that they were leaving our home city to make their own way in the world. I was filled with trepidation at their venturing out into a harsher world than that which I went out into at their age. I was remorseful to see the break-up of what is a family made tiny by the Holocaust and made tinier again by Globalisation.

Living in an abandoned office for 6 months after getting kicked out of home and deferring from Year 12 was without a doubt the biggest thing that happened to me this year. At 16 it was quite daunting but I don't think I'd change a thing as it really pushed me to become even more self reliant. I fell into the trap of wasting my newly acquired spare time but I'm definitely pushing myself further now.

August 1st will be a day of reverence with me since I went through both stunning highs and crushing lows. At the very zenith I connected with a girl of which I've only wanted to get closer to. At the very nadir I was so exhausted from that conversation that I got into a horrible accident at work, and was promptly fired from my most favorite job. What do I feel. I mean, in a sense this turn of events has stolen something from me; I no longer look at day as being overall joyful or sad, but rather a more multifaceted view must be taken of the life I lead daily. Things can take sudden, almost arbitrary turns for the worst, and the only thing I can do is adjust. I do wish to feel more optimistic again, however.

A friend's mother passed away. She had been stricken with Alzheimer's and it was taking a tole on the family. I know it may sound bad, but it was the best thing for her and the family. I saw the stress that a terminal illness can put on a family and I was glad to see it end and the healing start.

February 14th my highschool/college boyfriend found me. since then it has been whirlwind to say the least. we are even closer than we were back then. we converged who would have thought it? but, he is married and very unhappy in his marriage. so do i cut it off till he has decided what he wants? we could have been one of those couples that met in highschool and had thus happy life together. oh well. we will see what happens.

Well, I have a 21 Month old son who has become the center of my world. I have a feeling that a lot of my answers are going to focus around things he has done. His acquisition of language skills continues to amaze me. We are up to the level of conversation, and he expresses his likes and dislikes, wants and needs with increasing clarity. Watching him grow from a lump of flesh that pooped and ate into a human being is just amazing. It is awe inspiring to see the seeds of the man he will become.

Delay in graduation from college. Resentful, yet taking it with a positive mind. Believing something good will come out of it.

My husband and son's car accident. My son was driving and crashed and flipped the car. He was not hurt, but my husband was seriously injured, sent by helicopter to the hospital and had 3 subsequent operations on his scalp to repair the damage. It is amazing to all of us that his cognitive abilities were not damaged and that ultimately the injury was surface loss of hair and scalp. I am amazed that I am still a mother and a wife because in one moment I could have lost both my son and my spouse - but I didn't. Life is a fleeting gift and we must take care of the gift for in an instant it could be gone.

After many years of trying, I finally did what I needed to do (in my case, count calories) to lose some weight. The wonderful thing is that once I started, and saw small results, I began to believe in the process and this lead me to try even harder, and see even better results. Just as importantly, my success has helped me believe I can accomplish other goals that have been lingering for a while.

I fell in Love with Edith, a precious and beautiful gift from God. A person with whom I will be able to share the joys and struggles, the exitement and disappointments, the exhiliration of life for the rest of my life.

My husband died, suddenly and unexpectedly, in February, at the age of 34. It has really made me look at my priorities in a greater sense. What really matters? It has shown me that I truly am not 'done'... I have so much more living to do. I am not going to let his death take my 'life' and my 'living' away from me. It has been difficult, and will be (I am now left to raise two children on my own), but I will make it. I will survive his loss.

My mother had been battling illness, off and on, for quite a while, but she always managed to pull through and be okay. It wasn't until August that her condition worsen, which required hospitalization, that it really took a toll and led to all sorts of emotions. How would I go on without my mother? How would we manage all her affairs and take care of things that we've been asking her for so long to sort out? Could I start a family without a key member of my family missing? I was resentful and angry, hurt and scared. Though I knew we may have to deal with something like this, the timing just threw me off and I realized that no amount of intellectual discussion can prepare you for when the matter arises.

I became more focused on exercising, rather than dieting as a solution for weight loss.

I failed in my quest to make and finish Resonance by the time of the London Olympics (I know they haven't happened yet but the critical path is such that the initial proposition cannot be achieved). I felt that I'd let a lot of people down and it shook my unswerving belief that I was doing the right thing. I also began to get some perspective of what we have achieved and I'm beginning to feel some momentum again

I shared a secret that was holding me down my whole life with a person I love dearly. It reflected a new image of me, one I expected. I felt resented for sometime, but always knew it was the right thing to do. Now I am grateful I shared. Not relieved and not inspired. Maybe somewhat relieved after-all, just not in the way I expected. I would do it again.

This summer in DC marked a significant turning point in my life. It was a wonderful experience that taught me several things, including the byzantine nature of bureaucracy, the pain of networking, and the fact that I do not ever want work there again. I am grateful for the friends that I made there -- and how quickly I made them.

Uncle Bob died - he's the family patriarch on my husband's side. There really is no patriarch on my side of the family, although Uncle Ed and Uncle Jack are still both living. There is a definite void with Uncle Bob gone. It affects all the Jewish holidays we celebrate together.

We refinanced our mortgage and paid off five credit cards with the cash out. We now have $2300 left to pay off on a personal card and $4000 to pay off on a business card. This time next year, I hope to report that we have paid those off as well. Being beholden to credit card companies can keep you up at night. It's a tremendous relief to know that we are well on our way to telling them all to f**k off.

One of the most upsetting events in my personal life happened over Shabbat lunch at my friends Elyssa and Robert's house. I put my foot in my mouth and ended up offending one of the other guests and also the hosts. It had to do with how I used the phrase "Halachically Jewish." It was totally unintentional, but I absolutely humiliated myself. I walked home in the rain, crying so hard a stranger stopped me to ask me if i was ok. She thought someone had died! I know I should probably do teshuvah this yom kippur and apologize to Elyssa, but I'm still so embarrased that I don't think I can approach her. I'll have to wait until she approaches me. It still hurts so much.

Every day is a significant experience and one for which I am ultimately grateful. My arthritis pain ebbed and then mysteriously disappeared after years. My dizzy spells turned out not to be part of a previous serious illness, just some innocuous organic debris floating around in my head. My ex husband did not call me from jail nor threaten to burn down our home. Margot's 17 year old cat did not die from a thyroid condition. Obama turned out to be a disaster and yet the world did not end (at least not for me). A hurricane did not destroy OUR house. A tsunami didn't drowned MY family. Fires did not rage across my town. We ate from our own garden and no one got sick from infected cantaloupe (or spinach, or chopped lettuce, or peanut butter). Perhaps most significantly, today, October 3rd, 2011, I'm watching Gulf Fritillaries, Sulfurs and those butterflies that mimic Monarchs but for which I can't remember the name. The breeze is blowing, the cicadas are chirruping the end of a long hot summer. The golf course maintenance equipment and pool pump are purring in the background and all of me is here to witness it. Grateful. Yeah.

I finished my first year of absoluteLEIGHtv. It was such a fun experience getting to be a talk show host! I was in my a-game whenever I was on that show. Every moment was a highlight for me!!! I was in, as Quiana calls it, my zone of genius!! I am SO grateful for such an amazing experience. I cannot wait for this to be my FULL TIME JOB!!!!

There have been a number of significant experiences this year. I successfully wrote and defended my undergraduate thesis and I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and History and was invited to speak at my convocation because of my academic success. I found myself in the first serious relationship that I have been in since high school. I was honored to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of my oldest friend. I am challenged to stay in touch with close friends that are no longer physically close to me. This past year has been one of significant change. I am relieved to be out of school because I was beginning to feel burned out, but I feel lost and ungrounded because I have no clear path of what I should do now. There was no question that I would go on to college when I graduated high school. Now that I have graduated college, there are nothing but questions about the future.

I failed and then passed my qualifying exam for grad school and am now offically an Ph.D. canididate. When I first failed my exam, I was really upset and felt like a total failure however when I finally passed the exam I was relieved and felt like a giant weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

Went back to work as a therapist full-time, after a major family team meeting grant was ended after many years. I was initially very upset, but now I'm quite grateful.

Two of my three sons moved away to go to university. Wow! what a different stage of my life.

My daughter (the younger child) graduated from college. Of course parenting never ends, but it's a milestone in independence; from here on more and more of her life and choices are mostly her own. Parenting was entirely different from whatever I imagined: I _did_ much less than I would have imagined. I never felt that the kids were something that I made in any sense; so pride and joy in watching them was unadulterated by ego, I think. And it was all infinitely shorter than I could possibly have imagined!

I moved home from college in Arizona, to be with my boyfriend, and became pregnant. I feel very close to him, and to my unborn baby. They are my soulmates. I feel empowered carrying around this life inside of me, and when she kicks and prods at my stomach, I can feel her personality, as well as her physical being. She is such a blessing already, and I also feel blessed with my boyfriend, who is over the moon about becoming a father. I feel loved.

Well....I got a new job! Finally. My previous job was so rough, and I came home crying all the time, and I knew it was time for a change. And I finally found a new job! It's been a great new challenge, with new coworkers, learning new information, new schedules. And it gives me lots of opportunities for interacting with my community, so I've met a lot of new people and been a lot of new places within my city. Most days, I am both grateful and inspired.

I moved! Found my dream place in Kensington Market it, secured it, got tons of free stuff (mostly thanks to Bernice Rebuck, and Howard for the bed, and still getting things, like curtains from Jenny), and started to party! Offered workshops the second week, hosted four 12-hour parties (one house-warming and three fund-raisers), and made it over in the spring for my Fringe play in the fall. I am so grateful! This has changed my life, for the better. It has matured me. I am learning how to live on my own, how to think, act, and look independently, and the confidence to know I can look after myself. I am shaping my world the way I want it to be, with friends dropping in almost every day, and getting social support for solving all my problems (from pot lucks for food to handy friends for things like curtain installation -- thanks, Phil.) Inspired? Yes, ma'am!

I got into an accident and totaled the car I've had since I was sixteen. It was terrible. That car was amazing - he was there for me through so many things. I'd been in an accident with him before, and what could have ended very badly for me only needed minor physical therapy. I'm still sad, even though I have a new car (for which I'm very grateful) which works just fine. I miss Elijah, and I probably always will. I do feel a little resentful, even thought it was pretty much my fault.

I won a handful of important writing-based scholarships and fellowships this summer that allowed me to travel and grow in my chosen craft, after a two year slump in my career due to the recession. Profoundly grateful and humbled, I took it as an encouraging nudge from the universe, against all the naysayers and the lugubrious job market.

This is easy. I had a baby boy, our first, exactly one month ago. I describe the experience now using the same words I would have thought to use before he got here--overcome with joy, a deep love and appreciation, exhausted!--but the words mean something different than I thought they would. I'm as grateful as can be, both for my son, and for my wife and family who do so much for him. I used to think you should wait a long time to have kids--I'm 35. But now I think that, just as there is no perfect time to have a kid, we might have the caution meter dialed too far in the other direction. Don't rush it, but don't be afraid to jump in!

I finished writing the book that's been in my head for ten years! It has definitely increased my confidence in writing as well as my (already present) desire to be a writer. So "inspired", I guess.

I got engaged. It's made me feel more myself, freer, more comfortable. I knew I wanted to do it, but I didn't expect it to make me feel this way, exactly. I'm sure there are other things that contribute to those feelings too, but it's been great.

It's an ongoing experience, not a single isolated event. I've been getting divorced, and building a new relationship. I am incredibly grateful for the support I've been getting around these two things. Each has an incredible number of experiences, all of which offer joy, or hope, or learning. Overall though, I think what I feel most is a new sense of gratitude in how I handle things. I want to say to myself "Good Job!"

Falling in love. Scared the pants off of me. Caused me to put on a whole extra tire of weight around my middle as protection to not getting left. put my back out, got yeast infections, got more static and then, finally, 10 months in, I realized, I am, in fact, ready to stay. To not pack up to leave at the earliest sign of conflict. I am prepared and excited to be more loving and more compassionate and receive bountiful loving and compassion. Because for the first time in my life, I feel at home inside myself.

My second daughter was born right before erev Rosh Hashana last year. She is amazing, and it is amazing to watch her and her older sister relating to each other. And it has made for a very tired year!

A significant experience in this past year was attending a BBYO program, ILTC. It showed me that I am a true leader and that I am able to do what I need to do as a leader to help and inspire others. It definitely affected me in the way that I can now believe in myself as a leader.

I've lost 66 lbs. I didn't know I could that. I didn't realize I could something so important. Being so large, I started at 368 lbs., I though I would never be able to loose any weight. But I did! And believe me that 66 lbs has made such a difference. I still have my bad days and I still struggle with my food issues, but I have good days now; I didn't have those before. The world is my oyster!

I got into college. I was relieved at first. But then everyone around me started getting into "big-name" schools. I became angry at myself for not applying to more places and not trying harder to push myself to that top tier school. I'm currently at a college I love and I have made the most awesome friendships. Looking back I think it stupid for me to have been upset about not getting into some school that has a better reputation that mine. I realize that deep down inside I knew where I wanted to be and it is the perfect place for me. Now I know it's all about the []_[] !

Learned to Snowboard with Joe and Amital. It taught humility, perserverance and the thrill of getting barely competant at a new skill. I'm grateful and inspired - and getting a new helmet for this year. Last year's helmet protected my head from a serious pounding - who knew you could fall THAT much and still get up? Discovering Mt. Rainier with Dahveed - finally. Love hiking with him, wnat to do more.

Going to acupuncture for the first time and beginning the body therapy process - it has been incredibly healing both physically and emotionally.

I took a test. An algebra test mainly, with some basic math skills and a bit of geometry and algebra II thrown in just for fun. I could be any teenager or college student in the world right? Sure, but guess who I am? A 39 year old single mother of 2 with a MS in Special Education, 15 years teaching experience, tons of self-confidence (and an equal amount of insecurity sometimes), and MAJOR BURNOUT! But back to the test. Attaining the required score was do or die. "Do" and I get to change jobs and teach jr. high math. "Die" and not only is the math job out of the question, but they've given my special ed job to the baseball coach then life really starts to get complicated. I haven't studied so hard in over a decade. I've NEVER studied that hard for math. Come to think of it, I've never even liked math all that much. And I have never, ever, been so scared of failing as I was as that test approached. I all but convinced myself there was no way I had passed it, as I left the testing center crying in my minivan all the way home. How did taking this test affect me? I couldn't list all the ways, but here are 3 important ones. 1) I realized that a very special person had come into my life and made me brave. 2) I had to work HARD and EARN the right to the job I really, really wanted. 3) I get to get up every morning and smile as I head to work, having the most fun I have ever had in my teaching career.

My brother in law spoke to me frequently about his depression....and found my help invaluable. I felt proud that I had attained the skills that were so useful to him. This pride was mixed with a feeling I can't quite pin down....something to do with relief that I turned out to be talented in this area. I also felt grateful for the circumstances in life that helped me acquire this skill.

Definitely my daughter's Bat Mitzvah. In some many ways it brought our family together, and for a joy-filled celebration. I was so proud of Sophia, how seriously she took the process, how much she grew. It was a long, hard process but completely worth it - the expense, the sweat :-) She definitely inspired my renewed interest in Judaism and I am grateful.

I had a stem cell transplant which involved lots of scary procedures including massive chemotherapy doses. I am treating it as an opportunity to feel renewed and am enjoying improved health because of the transplant. I am feeling differently towards life, time and relationships. In some ways I am afraid of how fast time is passing but that is probably a good thing. I am grateful for my new lease on life.

I got into college, and I felt relieved yet excited for the learning I have ahead of me.

I met my wonderful boyfriend and fell in love with a wonderful man. I didn't realize that how magical the right relationship could be. I am very grateful for having him in my life. Life is good, but is better when you have the right person for you to share it with.

MAYANOT!!! Spending a year in Israel was the most life-changing experience ever. Thank G-d!

The past year has been quite stressful and difficult. A bad decission to refinance my home and an income downturn left me in foreclosure and I will be moving this month. I also decided to do semi-retirement, further developing my side work, doing only airplane annual inspections. My retirement has given me a new perspective on my life and is giving me new challanges to look forward to.

I was hurt by my lab professor very much. He absolutely ruined not only my semester but the way I interact with people. I don't feel as safe telling people what I am. I am scared that I will not get into medical because of him.

My knees began to bercome a bit arthritic and I now wake up much stiffer than when I was younger. While I don't enjoy the pain, what I do enjoy is the fact that I have no sense of being older than I was long before aches & pains were a regular possibility. So that was a great discovery. Also, since I've slowed down a little, less of a speed walker, I have begun to see more of my surroundings and really look deeper into the parks, faces and eyes that I see...

In November of 2010 I spent some time at the Cleveland Clinic. They were able to confirm that I have a condition called dermatographism. Essentially, I am allergic to being touched. I was floored by this information, and yet strangely relieved. I could stop searching for reasons of the constant state of hives and focus on reducing symptoms. Although still plagued by hives, knowing that they aren't something that I have caused is wonderful.

I got a job and moved to South Bend. It's the first job that I've had in 9 years that pays well enough. It's in the middle of the friggin' boonies. It proved to me that I'm not old and washed up! I pulled myself out of total depression and despair and arrived here.

The notice of the family business in danger because of the associates. It kind of inspired, especially because I'm taking a managment course that talks all about these kind of problems. It's a resentful experience managed to be inspiring.

I've been turned down for disability/SSI even though the disease has been unmanagable for the last 10 months. I appealed and I'm waiting for the hearing. I resent that I can't work. Why was I trained for chaplaincy if I can't be a healthcare chaplain. I'm sitting in the hallway, waiting for a window or a door to open, but so far... So, I announced that I retired, but would come out of retirement for the right part-time job. Halevai. I think that I'm good at what Ido, how do I let the right people know? I also started studying the Zohar this year, which is a big deal and a great pleasure.

I was married this year. I am so happy to have married the man I did. There are so many great things about him. I couldn't be without him. He is smart, responsible, loving, kind, sweet, generous, and handsome! It is difficult being married and living in such a small apartment. To top it off, he has a very early schedule. The changes have been difficult, but I love him and if I had to go back in time and do it all over again--I would.

I had my second child and fell pregnant with my 3rd! I am beyond grateful. I struggled to fall pregnant at one stage and now I am abundantly grateful for the blessings we are getting in spades. Two years ago RH I sat praying for another child and now for two years in a row I have been pregnant on RH, incredible and amasing and we are so lucky.

My sister Annette passed away unexpectedly on November 6th, 2010. She had been living with her girlfriend during the last few months of her life, a period where we had little to no contact with her. The day she died, she was rushed into the ER in the morning, where she was left by the girlfriend who had to work. That morning she was diagnosed with pneumonia and extensive damage to the liver, and throughout the day into the evening she was resuscitated a total of four times. It was only after the fourth time that the girlfriend decided to inform us, her family, and we lived an hour away from the hospital. She didn't survive the 5th resuscitation. She died without any of us there with her. The woman who was her girlfriend had a hand in her death, this I know in my heart. And that woman will have her day.

I finally got accepted for my Master's program. Most aspects of my life has so far revolved around getting the admission. I am grateful and relieved because I can now move unto the next chapter of my life.

I got married to a man who makes me happy every single day. It was a flurry of annoyances and family fights during the planning stage - don't let anyone tell you different. But the day of, getting to commit to the man I love in a room filled with everyone who cares about us was the happiest I have ever been. I felt so lucky, and loved, and blessed.

I am going to share an experience that happened to me twice this year, the first time I have ever had to do the breaking up in a relationship. What has this taught me, that being Mr.Nice Guy isnt sustainable, that bold decisions of where to take your life are important, that the grass isnt always greener, and that you regret the things you dont do more than those you do do. (Also I became veggie, and feel more like myself for it!)

Dreams, - meeting A. Grateful for the connection that feels very delicate, inward...

I applied to do an M.Div at ANTS. The support and encouragement to do that and, especially, the whole-hearted support of the Director of Admissions has been so important and has buoyed my spirits through the disappointment that I can't just "go for it" - ministry, that is -but I am pleased at the decisions I've made. Wrestling with ethics, trusting my intuition about ChIME and being clear about how I deserve to be treated, starting to confront my difficulties asking for money - these are all good. And I have taken action. Go me! More this year!

For the first time in my 20 years of employment, I was fired. Had been with the same organization for 13 years. It was a HUGE blow to my self-esteem... particularly since there was no reason given for my termination. I have always taken great pride in my work and strive to do my best. Didn't realize how intertwined my identity was with my job as a result. Ultimately, I am relieved as my most recent boss was wretched (admittedly, perhaps a contributing factor to my untimely departure). My belief that everything has a purpose also makes me grateful for whatever new opportunities are coming my way. This has also afforded me ample time to work on needed projects for my home and husband. I do, however, feel terrible that I was fortunate to leave my undesirable situation, but my husband must return to his daily.

I ended my terrible two-year-old marriage. At 32, I've finally learned how to say 'no' and live the life I want.

I was transferred to Ann Arbor, Michigan. I'm grateful because it has been a wonderful experience and I've enjoyed the opportunity to make a fresh start and be a big fish in a small pond.

My dear friend of over 20 years tragically lost her mother and brother within days of each other. I grapple with whether none, one, or both of their deaths could have been prevented. The experience really rocked me down to my soul but it also helped me chill the hell out about death and not be so damn scared of dying or losing the ones I love. This situation, this loss of those two great people, was so absurd and yet, I'm watching my friend, who in some ways I know better than she knows herself, survive. If she can live through this bitter tragedy and get through each day despite this darkness that has threatened to take away everything she's ever believed in, what do I have to fear?

retirement only partially voluntary terrified but determined to make it work I have worked all my life which gave me satisfaction and structure It is hard to figure out how to do this new part of my life. I want to make meaningful contributions especially to the Jewish community but it is hard ot find hte right venue(s).

I guess this year was about me and DBT. There is so much that I have learned. I guess the most important thing I learned is that life is a continuum and things are good, things are bad, but that we never really stay in either place. I learnt that its ok to be sad. I think that was my biggest aha.

I had a baby! It has been an amazing life changing experience, though there are definitely some challenging times when I long for life when I had more flexibility. But she is amazing and I wouldn't trade her for anything, and I hope she has a little brother or sister by this time next year.

I broke up with my first love after nearly 2 1/2 years together. Even though I doubted myself for days, I knew it was better for both of us. He was my first everything, and the decision wasn't easy. The entire experience has made me stronger and I remember feeling as though twenty pounds had been lifted from my shoulders.

I passed the GREs and got into USC! In last year's 10Q, I was talking about how afraid I was that I wouldn't pass, and how if I did I wasn't sure I'd go to grad school right away. Put at Sasha's suggestion, I accelerated my timeline and now I'm officially a grad student at USC. It's daunting and overwhelming, but every time I walk onto campus, I smile and feel the rush of joy at knowing I absolutely made the right decision.

I invited my boyfriend to move in with me and my roommate. Oh boy.. turns out adults don't actually know how to be adults - we're all just big children. The only time our house went really went well was when I assumed the mommy role for both of them. So naturally I hated being the mommy and instead I pretty much made myself scarce. I got really 'busy' in my life (i'm good at that) and they ended up fighting over her messiness and his anal ways. We all still have a good relationship, which is great. She is now moving out for various reasons. I'm grateful for my roommate who is very inspiring as an artist, and I'm grateful for my boyfriend who really tried to make it work. I'm relieved it's all over and now I only have to deal with my boyfriend treating me like a mommy rather than two people (okay, maybe it's only a little relief but it's still relief..) I'm resentful to the universe that 3 really *intelligent* adults could not figure out how to live respectfully with one other. I'm inspired by my own mind and all the people I have in my life who helped me and listened to me throughout the process.

I finished grad school this year. I was glad to be finished with it, but frustrated because I didn't learn the skills I needed to get the job I wanted. For awhile I was very resentful about the whole experience, and very stressed out. Finally finding a job, even if it is at a lower level than I had hoped for, has made me feel somewhat better about it all.

I had to leave the UK after two and a half years when my graduate student visa expired. I felt wrenched from my 'adult' life where I had a flat, friends, a successful music group, and stimulating cultural events to attend. It didn't help that I had no job waiting in the US. I'm unemployed, living with my parents, about to default on my student loans, and trying to find the strength and patience to bear my unhappiness.

We got pregnant. Tres excited

This spring two important aspects of my life broke. First, I lost one of my closest friends through a difference of opinion and horrible argument. Then, my work became untenable and I changed jobs. Both were really stressful, hurtful and difficult. Now, several months later, I can look back and know that I did the right by standing by my beliefs in both cases. Although I am sad that my friend and I were both hurt, I realize that this particular difficulty was coming anyway...if it didn't happen now, it would happen later. In terms of my job, I am proud of myself for taking a miserable situation and turning it around for positive growth.

This year hasn't had any major life changing events for me but I got a job and, for the first time in my life, I actually like my coworkers. I don't dread going into the office everyday and its a relief. On the other hand, that's only part of my job. The rest of the time, I'm working on my own, isolated and unhappy. I'm realizing I'm more of a social person than I thought and that friendships might be more important to me than I was willing to admit.

My daughter had her daughter, and the joy my granddaughter brings me is like no other I have felt in my life. I am grateful and inspired. I wish someone would have written a book, I should have been a grandparent first.

I brought my girl friend Marisa home to New Jersey to meet my family back home. This was very meaningful to me in that it's the first time since Michelle that I've brought a girl home to meet the family, and it's the first time EVER that I know I'm with the right girl. I don't want to ever let her go.

Shortly following my 30th H.S. reunion, one of my classmates was killed by a moving car as she was standing on the sidewalk of a busy intersection after having just rescued an unleashed dog from the street. Her 16 year old son was taking a walk with her and witnessed this horrible ending to his mother's life. I still sit in shock at the loss of her, at the fragility of life, at the suffering we all experience. Her heroism did inspire me.

Finally was diagnosed, after years of suffering through this. A part of me is relieved to know what is going on, and another part of me resents ever finding out, because with it came the news that I may not be able to have children. I'm also grateful to my doctor for fighting for me. Without her, my husband and I would never have had the next two years as an opportunity to try for a family.

This year, my violin teacher's husband died. That sounds like a weird the-cat's-sister's-husband kind of relationship, but I've been going there since I was 5 and we're very close. One day, walking the dog in the morning sunlight, he felt short of breath. When it happened again, they took him to the doctor to see what was happening. The hospital took a sample, and the next weekend they discovered that he had mesothelioma. They were told he had about 2 years, maybe 4 if he had chemo or an operation. The operation, though, was to take out his diaphragm, and as a professional bassoonist he felt that would rob him of too much. So they booked holidays and he signed up for the chemo, but by the time it came around he was far too ill, and everything just got worse and worse. I continued going each week, seeing my wonderfully strong teacher reduced to tears regularly by the tragedy of what was happening, and so fast. 16 weeks after his diagnosis Nicholas passed away, and his was the first funeral I went to. It was incredible, and full of music - his students playing his witty arrangements of well known musicals for 12 bassoons, and even his original recordings. He truly did seem to live on in his music, and that was incredibly moving.

Just this past weekend I was involved in the worst car accident of my life. The car I was in is pretty much totaled, but everyone in it and in the other car walked away from the accident with only scrapes or bruises. It's really made me realize that you can't take life for granted, that each day is a gift and that we need to live our lives instead of waiting for them to start.

I had a bit of a health scare that required various testing. I needed someone to stay with me and drive me home after each session, a somewhat tricky logistical issue for a single person. In the course of events, I found that I did not have any significant problems and learned at the same time how many caring friends I had who were ready to step up and help. I am both relieved and grateful - and inspired, too, I suppose.

I reached a milestone 60th birthday. I got to celebrate it with all of my family which made it very special. I am very blessed but at the same time, it is sobering to see how fast life goes and what you did or did not do with what has been given to you.

I made it through my first year of high school. While it was tough, I learned lots, scholarly and not so scholary. I'm excited to keep growing up and to see what I can do with my life.

I got engaged and I am thrilled to be starting this next chapter in life with my best friend. He is amazing and we are perfectly suited for each other. I truly believe that he's my beshert.

This February I traveled to Utah with some good friends for four days of skiing. The trip inspired me in many ways. I challenged myself to ski terrain I never thought possible, and I came back in one piece. The friends I've made in recent years are some of the best I've had in my life.

I did not get the job I applied for although I was a semi-finalist. I was relieved and it helped me realise I should not take on a new full time job at this time, if ever.

I started going to make-up school & it's made me more proactive. I'm incredibly grateful to be year after a tumultuous two years of not knowing what I was doing, where I was going, what my future was going to be. I still don't really know what my future is going to be necessarily, but I do have some more direction, which I lacked severely before.

I went to CLTC, which is a summer leadership program and it completely inspired me to take leadership and my chapter at home. I am currently mazkirah of my chapter and i do anything i can to show good leadership and help my chapter.

The decision to cease operations at a place that has been sacred and holy for me over the last 16 years has been utterly devastating, but from that devastation I have a frightful hope that something new awaits. It has brought a tangle of clarity and confusion that will only be unraveled as time and effort are given a chance to transform my path. Fearful and wonderful, I proceed.

I graduated from high school this year. I also started college. I'm not really sure which one is more significant. In the big picture, I think starting college is probably more significant. I don't think I fully understand the significance of either of those events yet, actually. I am moving on from childhood, becoming a woman, becoming an independent adult. I'm both excited and terrified.

I had a meeting at a very powerful talent agency. They told me I was great and they loved me and I just needed to work harder and give up more of my life. Something about being on that cusp of success made me realize I didn't even want it anymore. There's gotta be more to life than being on television.

My husband, children, and I moved in with my parents to save money. We're only a few months in to this "experiment," and I'm only beginning to experience some of the ramifications of the decision. I am grateful that my parents had enough generosity of spirit to open up their lives more fully to us and their house to our chaos. I am grateful that some of the financial pressure we would otherwise be experiencing has been relieved, although it's introduced us to the dilemma of how to use the savings we will hopefully accumulate. I am thrilled with the potential that exists for my husband and I to become closer in our efforts to keep our family life intact, and though we're still working out the kinks, it's put me in a much more reflective space about what it means to be a partner. I am disappointed that my parents haven't taken more interest in my children, especially since the possibility of developing a truly intimate relationship with them exists. I am curious about how, already, the move has inspired me to make some bold professional choices that will hopefully take us further away from the family I grew up with and that, up until this point, I have been very dependent upon. Ironically, it's surrendering to this dependence that has given me the insight I needed to take my leave and grow up. More than anything, the move has opened my eyes to how many contradictions exist within me and my relationships; exploring them is allowing me to grow in unexpected ways

I was dumped. It was awful. I'm still trying to get over it, in some ways; I've realized just how many of my triggers it tripped. Someone I loved dearly pulled the rug out from under me suddenly, with no thought for my feelings on the situation. I've had to come to terms with the fact that I simply wasn't worth the effort, that I just wasn't as important to her as she was to me. I officially converted to Judaism. It was wonderful, and maybe the only good thing that happened this year. I've been working towards this for a couple of years, and it was like coming home. I went through a session of EMDR after coming to terms with the fact that I have PTSD relating to childhood sexual abuse. It was really helpful, if really intense. My mother found out about said abuse. It was like having the floor drop out from under me all over again, although I think it'll be a good thing in the long run. If nothing else, I feel a lot more free in terms of what I'm comfortable writing about in public; previously, I had to self-censor a lot because I was worried she might stumble across something I'd written under my real name. I managed to travel back to the UK for the first time in four years. I saw friends I hadn't seen in ages, and I saw how big a friend's kids had gotten!

College happened. Or it almost did. I've had a music school that I always wanted to go ever since the beginnings of my highschool career. I thought I was going to make it, I had faith in my abilities, but unfortunately I was turned down. I didn't know what to do after that, but another opportunity arose a month or so later. A jazz group in a town a couple hours away came to my school to do a concert, and there were auditions being held for the next year's group during the same time. My director and their director chatted about me and I was asked to fill out a form to come audition. I got into the group, but that wasn't the hard part. The school I'd be going to would be a community college, and I didn't have the money or the help to get a place on my own. These factors were stressing me out and keeping myself away from the initial happiness I had when I first knew about the group. Eventually I had to turn down the offer and live with he fact that I won't be in that group for another year or so. Which I'm fine with now. I'm apart of a musical with a local theater in town. I also moved out of my shotty apartment into a nice house in a quiet neighborhood. Life as I know it is progressively better than it was last year. High school drama is over, I can live my own life. This is so promising. I feel like I'm going somewhere for once in my life.

I was fired for the first time. I was going to quit my job anyway, but this way I got severance and unemployment benefits, which gave me a cushion to go on and make the next move I'd been planning for a few years. For that, I was grateful and relieved. I'm slightly resentful, too, because rejection hurts, and I was honestly trying to make good on improving my performance even though my heart left the job when they laid off half of the company. Now I know that my heart matters when it comes to my employment. I'm currently broke, but much happier now than I was before I was fired. I am vaguely worried that it will be tough to make ends meet now that I've blazed through my unemployment benefits. But the lesson that's been cropping up everywhere this year: "role with the punches," has put everything in perspective and prevented me from getting overwhelmed with life like I was before. I'm grateful that all I have to be responsible for are my cats and my demanding boyfriend, and I'm so so so grateful for all the help I've received from my family and my demanding boyfriend.

I read a new earth, and it reminds me to always be awakened, watch less TV, and really find what I want in my relationships

Giving birth to my daughter has given me a year of unexpected emotions and expected joy. Yael gives me the inspiration to do what's right for me and my family. But, it's been an interesting year. I worked full time and spent the year chasing after my life instead of living it. I start this new year off working 3 days a week so I can return to life an live it with my friends and family.

This past year I went to Israel--on Birthright--and broke up with my boyfriend, with whom I lived. Related. I went to Israel with my brother, and remembered how much fun I can be--life can be--people who are smart and funny and well read. Not that my boyfriend wasn't but he was form a different (less privileged, and probably more moral, world). Of course going to camp is going to be fun, but I was also in a genuinely unhappy relationship: neither of us appreciated the other for who they truly were. I am in part to blame since I (as I tend to, when I am exploring something new) chameleoned into his world for some time. When the "true" me, that involves fancy, non-vegan food, alcohol, references to Foucault, and bro-culture and Britney came out, it clashed. This year has been a lot about me accepting who I am and what drives me, and it is not pretty from a liberal arts schooling perspective. Well, it is, but not entirely. So after binging on meat and sex and alcohol the Shana Tova wake-up angel is guiding me to some semblance of balance--I hope. That is what I wish for this year (it's what I need to create--and plan on setting up in the next few weeks). I am relieved to be released into young adulthood to be on my own and really realize what I love: my friends (the Fam), this Fran, linguistics textbooks, nerdy housemates, cleanliness and progressive house music. And i'm ok with bein fancy. I am happy when I am not out of control. It happened a few times this summer, so i know I need to watch myself and my streaks.

A few head injuries in the spring of 2011. Extremely long and painful healing process--terrifying, depressing, sometimes causing me to be utterly determined to drag myself out of anything, sometimes making me think I had literally lost my mind. Now, I don't know. 6 months out, these past two weeks are the first I have felt pretty normal in a while. I've been challenging myself to drag myself out of this funk of depression, hypochondria, uncertainty, and restraint.

I moved to Barcelona to star a small businees that failed in a year. It broke my heart, but made me realized of many different aspects of my life I did not like and needed to see by myself. I hurt a lot, but as I overcome the pain,I am grateful for the opportunity. I will go back home in a few week to start all over again.

Have been sued for full custody of my 13 yr old. It is hardest, most hurtful thing ever, especially knowing that she is behind it. I am grateful that it lead the two of us to counseling. I am resentful that her father doesn't have one ounce of respect for me, the woman who has physically, emotionally and financially raised his daughter since birth while he was out traveling and partying his 20's away. It has inspired me to be a better mother

I went to Camp Ramah and it changed me who I am today. I am very greatful and relelvied that I went to camp Ramah this summer. I made life long friends that are so similar to me. I am more happier and more condfidint. I do not hang out witht the group i hung out from last year. That group made me feel so bad about myself. I went get sad when ever I hung out witht the group.

Felt oneness with love & light. Changed my whole perspective on life. I saw my dark side as well as my light side and realized that i ve been judging my dark side and supressing my "ego"istic nature. Eventhough it sounds like a good thing it s not as whatever u suppress becomes bigger and stronger. I m practicing not to judge my dark sides, rather accept them.i m content.

I visited my family for my nephew's 1st birthday. It was very enjoyable, but also tough - the maternal grandmother is a bit crazy. I realized even more that when things get tough, I cut and run. And I really wanted to, but I couldn't. So I was forced to stick it out and talk about how I felt. Then 2 months later, I attended her Xmas party. And I had such a great time. The difference between the two affairs struck me in a few ways. 1. I never know what's going to happen, which scares and humbles me; 2. I have to relax around my family; 3. My family is still a group of old friends with whom I keep in touch regularly, but not often.

I graduated from business school and got a job. I'm happy and sad at the same time. I'm so happy that I have a job and income and finished with the whole recruiting process. I would be 100% more misrerable if I graduated without a job and had to keep looking. On the other hand, I'm not super challenged and lonely at work. I miss going to school and seeing people all day, everyday. I miss talking and interacting with people. I miss the school sturcture where you can take breaks throughout the day. I now don't have a roadmap of what to do next.

Perhaps it is divine intervention that 10Q has come to ask me this right now at a very important event in my life. But I am not much of a "believer," so I'll keep it to "a coincidence" that will greatly help me reevaluate my life. My father passed away 2 weeks ago all too suddenly at the age of 52. The roller coaster that his death has unleashed in my mind and in my family is something I am not yet prepared to solve. But I will. The future is bright.

Co-ording, and specifically not making a good balance between that and life and within it. But learning that enough is ok. I wish things hadn't gone so wrong, but I recognise that I am a stronger person for it, though I have lost some softness and human caring. But I'm grateful for the people around me and I'm more trusting. Getting accepted on to TFI. I was shocked and so grateful. It's made me believe that I do have something in me and that I am capable of something. It's given me a sense of purpose and drive that I haven't had for a while. And a sense of responsibility.

I lost a wonderful friend to cancer. I spent many days with her at the end of her life. Her life and death were two of the most powerful experiences I will continue to learn from for the rest of my life. She lived her life with the most balance I have ever seen anyone have. She was kind to all and if she had a selfish bone in her body it never showed. She accepted her own death with strength and courage. She taught me how to live my days in a richer way, to slow down, enjoy more, love deeper, take each day as a gift.

I had a breast cancer scare in late October at around the same time my dad's best friend was paralyzed. I am incredibly grateful that I am OK and that it was just a scare. It taught me how lucky I am to have the people I do in my life. My parents were amazingly supportive and my dad who was going through a tough time himself took me to the hospital and made sure I got an early appointment. My mom who had breast cancer put up such a brave face and calmed me down through many phone calls. My fiance was standing by me the whole time and cried when I found out the results were clear. It made me realize how lucky I was to be marrying someone who loved me that much. It taught me to be vigilant about my health and to not take anything for granted.

Is it bad that at first I can't think of anything, not one single thing? What has even happened in this year, September 2010 to September 2011? Doing London Fashion Week for WGSN was both exhausting and wonderful at the same time. That was an amazing experience! I guess I feel like I've worked my arse off and I'm still nowhere but at least I have a full time job now, at least there's that. In which case I feel grateful. And perilous. This job feels like it could be taken away from me at any moment. I hope I'm wrong.

I was rear-ended at the beginning of the year. It has caused me a lot of pain, and inconvenience, and trouble. But it was a blessing in disguise, a wake-up call! First of all, it afforded me the ability to get treatment-massage, chiropractic, physical therapy, that was desperately needed any way, and it served to bring so much awareness to my body, and how I treat it. The pain also brought my attention to the things I do that I enjoy, and to what's just a waste of time. In the long run I also hope to get a sizable settlement, that I suspect will exactly match the amount I had lost on fertility treatments (to no avail). Of course, I'd rather have a child, but at least the financial burden will be lessened.

I began my MSW program at FSU just over a month ago. I am nervous and excited about my opportunities here. I see how my fears and insecurities are holding me back from enjoying myself, so I am trying to release those into the Universe. I am dealing with the same difficulties with focus and time management that have plagued me for a decade, so I am trying to come to terms with those. I am grateful for the opportunities in front of me, professionally and academically, and I am trying to stay focused on the trees, not the forest.

Attending Paul Lambillion's Sirius workshops and meditating more. Calmer, more focused in a gentle way, more relaxed and able to appreciate my life.

My daughter's friend committed suicide.It was a terrible shock for her and for all his friends, who had no inkling of the pain he was in. I experienced the difficulty of trying to comfort a grown child who was inconsolable, and the tug of wanting to make everything better and just allowing her her grief. Seeing all the friends pull together and comfort one another was humbling and inspiring.

My girlfriend discovered a lump in my breast this summer and it forced me to consider all the variables of what it could mean for me and for my family. It turned out to be nothing significant but I was grateful for the self -reflection I did during those months.

This year I was made redundant which I am very very grateful for because I didn't enjoy my job and this has given me the opportunity to look at what I really want to do with my life.

Meeting my Ashley, the girl that surpasses my wildest dreams, the girl that showed me I never knew what love really felt like, until I met her, and the girl I will never ever be good enough for. Words can't describe how happy she makes me just by talking to her. I could never ask for anything more than to just know her.

My cousin Leah + her partner Ahren, nine years together, recently split up. They are amazing individuals, artists, and quite a striking fiery duo, each with flaming red hair. I was more prepared to hear about their upcoming nuptials or adventurous travel plans than parting households + going separate ways. This hit me very hard, since I love both of them and feel a sense of loss.

I realized that I want to farm for a living. I know what I want to do with my life! Now, to get from here, to there...

I had back surgery, then my wife left me, then I was fired from my job and then I was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer. What I am left with is a profound experience of life, beyond what I previously could ever have imagined. I have found strength & compassion inside of living with honor, love & gratitude for all that I have and in many ways, all that I don't.

My dad died. It wasn't a surprise. In fact, it was a relief in many ways. I miss him every day and I just got a tattoo in his memory.

I've received the validation from work that I am ready for promotion. This makes me feel really good as I had to slow my career to have my family and all my friends seemed to be better than me. This used to make me feel like the dumb one.

My mother was diagnosed with dementia. I deal with the emotions as they arise. Now it mostly acceptance with a twinge of regret that she isn't fully present in my or our family's lives.

A significant experience that happened this past year was being laid off from my job. In November 2010, I was offered my first post college position. I graduated from college in December 2010 with so much optimism for what laid ahead. I mean, how many 22 year olds get a job prior to graduation? In March 2011, a new CEO was named and laid off my team. In my heart, I still didn't know what I ultimately wanted to pursue. I had doubts about getting a full time job and questioned if I should apply to a graduate school right away. I got a part time position in March just to keep me financially stable while I contemplated my next move. I was once again laid off in June. This time I knew I wanted to get a full time job and be independent. I kept praying for a specific job. When I didn't get it, I was confused with God. "This was the job for me!" I would say to Him, "Why did you give it to someone else??" Unexpectedly, I was offered the position of my dreams. This entire experience was significant in strengthening my relationship with God. I realized I was telling God what to do when instead I should have been asking for patience and faith that he would lead me on the right path without ever leaving my side. I learned that sometimes we cannot know what is coming because it might be so powerful (whether in good or bad) that we might turn around and run the other way. Instead, I've truly been inspired to learn that we must walk by faith, not by sight.

My partner and I bought our first house and have been doing it up since then. It is amazing to have a place to call our own, we feel very lucky. It has been a rollercoaster and a steep learning curve. It's been far more stressful and exhausting than either of us were expecting and at times it has taken its toll on our relationship. I think we are getting past that though, and learning how to support each other and remembering to make time to laugh again.

New editor at work: RELIEVED. I completed the Half Marathon. Would like to do it again, but the family claims it took away from them. PROUD. I also cleaned out much of our house and yard. It was really cathartic to put all that old stuff in the trash. My children deserve to live in a clean, organized house. PROUD AND RELIEVED.

I did a triathlon. It was incredible. I learned that my body is capable of so much more than I ever realized. I saw how disciplined I could be. I made new friends, got into the best shape of my life, and accomplished a huge goal. It made me realize, I can do anything I set my mind to with a plan and the right support.

My engagement!! Ah, what a perfect day. Of course, I knew it was coming because my best friend spilled the beans but it was still a magical moment that was all about the two of us absolutely falling in love. :)

A significant experience that has happened in the last year has been my realization that I am capable and want to be in a seriously commmitted relationship that will lead to marriage one day. I also am glad that I realized that my relationship with Jesus Christ should be first and foremost in my life. I am grateful and inspired and hopeful.

My son almost died. He has a lifelong disease. Spending even more than a minutr thinking your child might die changes you foever. But he is alive and thriving. I am blessed and grateful, Life as we knew it before is forever changed. Now we live a new normal.

I broke up with my boyfriend, which was incredibly painful, but also incredibly healthy. I realized that I AM and CAN BE someone without him. I am proud of myself for instigating this change, stepping back, mourning, weeping, grieving, and trying to understand what I want. I am back together with him and trying to be as conscious as I can be about our relationship.

I graduated! And now I'm terrified... I am currently in an MA program and, although I am enjoying it, I have no idea what I am doing... I am somewhat terrified of failure. And when I fear failure that should motivate me, but it doesn't. I want to do well, but also don't feel like I can. It's a strange combination, and the stress is already getting to me... but we'll see. I have no intentions of giving up...

I developed an eating disorder. I feel so ashamed of myself for letting this happen to me even though I know the problem is bigger than myself. I had to quit school with only three months left till graduation and come home to get help. I'm still working on it.

My best friend died, and I was never there for him, towards the end. I was caught up in work, and justified it with, "I need to do this, and G-d wouldn't take him away too." In the end, I was left with the guilt of a boy who forgot his priorities, and instead of focusing on what really matters, those who you love and can be lost tomorrow, I was caught up with furthering my career. It is my worst mistake ever. So bad that most people can not forgive me, especially not myself. This experience showed me how horrible a person I was becoming. It left me broken. It hurts on a daily basis. It has destroyed relationships, hurt others, and made me aware of how I was straining the rest. I wish things were different with all my heart. I wish I never became that person, but you can not change what is past. It makes me sad that something so big had to happen for me to realize the monster I had created, that I had to lose my best friend. It was a hard, hurtful, and horrible way to learn...The wrong way, but this experience has helped me to realize the truth of my actions, and attempt to better myself so that I never hurt anyone I love, ever again. Who will forgive me; can I? I say I will fix things and better myself, but will I? What can I actually change and selvage? I can only hope for the best, but this experience has taught me to never take for granted. For those things you love can be gone in an instant. I hope I can never say again, for as long as I live, "I wish I had..." I will not lie though, the future and its uncertainties does scare me.

I "bottomed out" on January 1st, 2011. It was the most significant thing to happen to me. It was the most sad, and terrifying experience of my life, but it also served as a checkpoint to recovery. with the support of my girlfriend and my will to persevere, I've been able to kick depression and better myself entirely.

I had a series of seizures that affected my memory. I don't know if I'll even remember taking this survey a year from now.

I broke up with my boyfriend of four years. I am relieved. Although we still talk, it's nice to not have to put that person as a major priority in my life. It's nice to have time to focus on myself, especially when I'm in college.

I connected with a girl I'd been messing around with, in a new way. I made her my girlfriend, and accepted the possibility that she may be the one for me. I opened up, just a little bit more (but even that is very significant), to my family about my relationship. I feel more comfortable just being myself. I am relieved, and feel mature. This is part of growing up.

My daughter had her first child and I became a grandmother. I can hardly put into word how profoundly it affected me. Such a wonderful mix of feelings. I feel as if I have become a mother again, and not just because when I hold my grandson I have powerful memories of holding his mother the same way. It has given me great pleasure to be able to be a mother to my daughter, to be needed, to be there for support, for advice, and just for company. I feel very blessed.

I found an apartment to cozy into! And I surrounded myself with amazing positive people. I've grown a backbone, too, and fewer things bother me. And last but not least: my anxiety meds have minimized my social anxiety into nearly nothing. I can't believe the difference. Maybe I'll sing karaoke in the next year... I am relieved. Inspired. I am myself.

The most significant experience was the birth of my daughter. I am certainly grateful for her, I waited a long time for her. She has changed everything about me. Fortunately, she has made me more patient and made me want to slow down and just sink into those amazing and precious moments with her. She has also drawn out my weaknesses which is good because it helps me focus on what I need to do to become a better person.

Making it through depression, overcoming self-harm, and recovering from a relapsed eating disorder, and dealing with PTSD symptoms from hospitalization. I'm still working on this stuff but I'm SO much better than I was around this time last year. Learning who my true friends are, who I am, how strong I am (putting those pills back took more strength than I knew I had)...I'm starting to accept that I'm not a horrible person and that this disease is not my fault. I'm more trusting and open despite being hurt and betrayed in the last year more than I ever have, because I've seen how much of a difference it makes to reach out to others. Helping people through similar experiences has helped me more than I ever could have imagined. I feel so inspired by those who have overcome these struggles before me, optimistic that I can keep getting better, and grateful to be alive right now, which is a feeling I'm grateful for in and of itself! Things really do get better and there is ALWAYS hope!!!

I met my boyfriend. I never thought that there was a guy out there for me, and I finally meet a guy who gets me inside and out. I had given up on finding someone. I thought I was going to have to settle or wind up alone with cats. Instead I am looking forward to planning my life with an amazing guy. I am so eternally grateful, relived, and excited for our life to come.

I got a vote of confidence and affirmation in the work realm. A personal & professional trip. I was sent to Israel as part of an Artist in Residency Program with the Jewish Federation. I feel both grateful for what I do & inspired to keep doing it!

Being put pn probabtion~ embarrassed and like I needed that kick in the butt to change jobs to what I love. I turned 50. I feel younger already...really.

I accepted a dinner invitation by my now-girlfriend. Walking into that restaurant, I could never have predicted what would have come from that dinner.

I was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer. I had surgery and radiation - all while my sister was in hospice. Made me realize how delicate life is and how precious.

I met a wonderful man and we fell in love. I am grateful and content, and I understand why it has taken me so long to decide to do this, but I wish I had known five years ago what I know now about making good decisions and being in control of my own happiness.

I placed my trust in certain co-workers who were not worthy of it. I am very relieved that they chose to move on to other opportunities.

I moved to Maine, I lived by myself in the woods through the winter. I worked hard. This whole year has been the craziest year of my life. Some of the best and worst, but mostly best. I have loved a lot.

I managed to help myself and raised my income so far that I even was able to go on holidays for one week r in October. Last year, at the same time, I had to pick stinging nettle as food to survive. this year I can pick it because I know it is healthy. Last year, I could never ever even think of being able to earn enough money to survive. I am very, very grateful for that experience.

I was used to being fearful of other people. I had been hurt and betrayed so much in the past that I didn't trust anyone anymore outside of a few very people. But my husband is more open and trusting, He pushed me out of my comfort zone by making me visit some folks in the neighborhood. I was so scared, I was just shaking inside. But I did it anyway. And low and behold, not only did I gain friends from it, I rediscovered my purpose in life again.

I made the decision to leave my job and go to Israel. It was a struggle to get there -- now I feel relieved, courageous, excited, terrific, proud. Delighted to have movement (the opposite of stagnation). Anticipating. No idea what to expect. Looking forward to my adventure.

I got fired. Or as it is politely said "my position was eliminated." So far, I have felt, anger, resentment, pain, melancholy, hope, opportunity, relieved, happy, and sad, among others. I am finding it hard to move on as I loved what I was doing and had worked extremely hard to get the position.

I finally decided to stop being a wimp and be honest to myself about what I really want in this life. It happened abruptly. I was sitting in my in-laws' hot tub with my fiance and sister-in law, keeping way below water level because I don't particularly like the way I look in a bathing suit, then I leaped right out of the water and yelled "I'm going to get my MFA in creative writing and my degree in folklore," splashing everyone and upsetting everyone's drinks. It was the most terrifying thing I have ever said. I am applying for MFA programs. I've never been so scared in my life. And happy. And scared.

I gave birth to my third son! I had him via VBAC. I was scared going into the experience, but I was tough and pushed for almost 4 hours. I've very proud of having given birth to him that way, and my recovery was so much easier than with a c-section.

I started a new position within my company that has been wonderful since it represented a major promotion, but difficult because I work remotely and have limited contact with my co-workers. It’s a relief to be employed but I often wish I were “there” because that’s where everything happens, but love living where I do. On the other hand, I like working from home and don't mind traveling cross country monthly for my job. It is a challenge, but I’m holding up and hopefully doing good work!

Well, my super-rich libertarian narcissist boss decided out of the blue to retire and fire me after 11 years of saving his ass over and over. Ok, fine, no big deal, I KNOW he'll give me an excellent severance package. He tells all of his client to give those they fire one month of salary and health insurance for each year they worked. Ok, great, 11 months, I should be able to find a job by then. Things will be ok. Ummm... no, you forgot the part about "rich, libertarian, and narcissist". He gave me $12,000 (3 months pay) and no insurance at all, then he acted shocked when I was disappointed. He told me he thought it was generous of him. What? I swear to God this guy would be the laughing stock of his field if it wasn't for me. Every day he made SERIOUS errors in his work that could have cost our clients thousands of dollars and I caught them. He wrote like a drunk smug philosopher and I corrected all of it, basically re-did all of his work to protect him from looking like the dumb-ass millionaire who likes to dabble in law- the person he really was and he truly thought that $12,000 was generous. The way it affected me was that I have learned my lesson. I KNEW he was deeply narcissistic. I KNEW he was a Libertarian and I KNEW that the rich pretend to care about the little people but will FUCK you if they think you'll cost them a postage stamp. I KNEW all of that but I convinced myself that he wasn't like that and that he wouldn't do that to me. So, I've learned to no longer go against my own knowledge when it comes to trusting people. I've never been that stupid girl who thinks she can change a man. I never thought "I'll get him to stop drinking/doing drugs." or "Oh, he really loves me, he just got drink and screwed another girl." Nope. I'm, not that stupid. I knew that you need to see the signs and not believe any bullshit from men. But, I fucking fell for it in business. No more. I will not make that mistake again.

Our house was repossessed at the beginning of the year. Although our financial strain hasn't completely lessened since then, I'm hugely relieved that it happened at last, and that we're no longer responsible for a loan we couldn't handle on just one income.

I got married! I feel elated! I am so lucky to have met such a wonderful person and I am excited to spend the rest of my life with him.

My paternal Grandma died. Granny Duncan. I felt huge sadness and regret and pain that I never knew her and never will. I haven't been thinking about it much since, so it's had less of a chance to affect me. I was supposed to 'put it aside' as much as I could and deal with it this summer, when I 'had time' (after finals). I haven't dealt with it, or seen them, or talked about it. It affected me so much at the time, and now I've just rolled back to the status quo. Though I suppose I opened up about it to someone, for the first time. I admitted to someone other than my mum that I needed help, and to myself that I deserved it enough to get it. It reminded me how fragile human life is, how ridiculous this situation is, and now I'm going to bring up things we haven't brought up before and I'm going to know them better next time. Like she'd hoped for us. I'm not going to take for granted that there'll be a next time anymore.

I met David Archuleta and his dad, Jeff Archuleta! I am...blown away. Seriously. Living half a world away from them, I never thought it was going to be possible this year. David's dad is just amazing and truly kind and gracious. They touched me so deeply that I broke down with tears of joy and extreme gratefulness and awe when they finally left Manila. The Archuletas are true inspirations for me.

This year I finally realized what it felt like to completely transform. Through the beginning of the year with my dad struggles, to Brad, to BFFLADs and everything else in between. I know who I am now more than ever, and hope to keep growing. In a year from now I hope I read this and say "wow, I really had no clue who I was. I'm so different than who I am today."

The truly sad thing is, I can't think of anything I'd classify as significant in the past year. I guess that's okay, under the "no news is good news" category.

I moved to China to teach English for the year. I think mostly I did it to get away from everything: bill collectors, being a nanny to twins (which while fun, felt a bit degrading to me), not being in school...basically because I felt stuck, stagnant. I'm so happy that I did it though, because it's been the experience of a lifetime. China is insane, obviously, but the things that I've seen and done no one else I know has seen or done. It's giving me a sense of accomplishment, which I felt was lacking from my life.

I didn't get accepted into a course I had my heart set on. It's a very hard process and I was disappointed. The entry exam was my down fall, and I only have myself to blame for being complacent. After the initial shock and disappointment that followed, I focused on what I had to do at present and planned for the year ahead. Knowing I had other options made me feel at ease. I will try again next year, and this time I'll correct the mistakes I made this time round.

I hate to be "that guy," but this year I met the girl of my dreams. We met while singing together at Carnegie Hall, and, after a long drawn out texting/calling/skyping relationship, she finally agreed to officially date me. WE'll be seeing each other for the first time since this summer in January when she returns from Studying Abroad. I can't wait.

My friend Fred died. My favorite Scrabble buddy. A Buddha. He had spent much of his adult life flat on his back, paralyzed, looking at others using a mirror above his wheelbed. He was extremely active politically, and apparently many people thought he was reachable solely by phone bec he was busy, likely running from meeting to meeting. In fact, he was always home, always flat on his back, in bed. In the wake of his passing, many of us gathered and healed, grew, and loved in ways we hadn't previously permitted. While on some levels my relationship with Fred was incomplete, I'm left feeling mostly grateful, inspired, empowered, and moved. Almost daily I make better choices asking, "How would Fred handle this moment?" allowing him to be the mirror he was and is. It took his passing for me to see the empowerment he offered. Offers. Pass it on.

This past summer, I went on a summer program with my youth group; BBYO. The program was called Kallah and the reason I went was to try and explore my Jewish identity and find out more about myself. I really doubted how I would be able to change significantly in only a mere three weeks, but I have to say that Kallah was one of the greatest experiences I had this past year and one of the best experiences I've had throughout my entire life. My beliefs were challenged like never before, forcing me to finally form my own opinion on life. I made friendships that will last a lifetime and was a part of a Kehilah Kedoshah that I will never be able to experience again. Kallah is very hard to describe in words, but it was a magical experience that truly changed my life.

I've started a mainstream job for the first time in years. I'm grateful and grieving at the same time. Grateful to be working, although puzzled at the reason I suddenly felt compelled to go back to work. Grieving because I've given up my freedom and my precious time with my grandkids.

The last year was tumultuous to say the least - marked by many highs and lows - but to name one experience I'd have to say my break up. I thought I'd found the one. I thought that life was finally falling in to place. Then seemingly out of nowhere it was over. My heart was crushed to pieces. Each day was excruciating and the pain just wouldn't subside. Nearly four months later it still hurts. I'm still lost in a sense, but at the same time I know that the experience will make me stronger in the end. I thought I had it figured out, but now I realize I don't. There's an adventure waiting for me out there and if things hadn't ended I would have been too afraid to take the chance to explore.

There are so many. It seems like 2011 was the year of radical change. I broke up with my boyfriend of 6 years, began a relationship with a life-long love and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Each of these experiences brought a sense of loss in one form or another. Choosing to leave my relationship was one of the hardest but most liberating things I've ever done. It was also the best thing I could have done for both of us, though the loss was and still is immense. I still miss him and the comfort of knowing someone so intimately and thoroughly. Beginning the new relationship also meant losing the relationship that we once shared before becoming involved. Our love before was pure and untouchable - it was innocent. Now it comes complete with all the complications and difficulties of an adult relationship and sometimes I grieve the loss of what we once had. Moving forward has been hard for me and I feel like I'm doing it in fits and starts. Sometimes it feels amazing and other times it hurts. I get scared often, hoping that I haven't made the wrong decision, hoping that I'm not ruining something that might have been perfect just the way it was. My mom's breast cancer has forced me to deal with mortality in a way that I've never confronted before. I feel so connected to her that her pain and sense of loss really affect me. And it makes me accelerate my own life, feeling like I need to get married and have kids before it's "too late". I want her to be able to enjoy her grandchildren and live to be 95. Her cancer has made me realize the fragility and often total randomness of life and it's tragedies. Overall, I'm overwhelmed. Today I'm overwhelmed. I'm in so deep that I can't even see how this will mold and shape the future Sarah Mac.

My father died. I watched him deteriorate in the span of 1 month from a cancer he had lived with for over 11 years. How it affected me? time will tell. Right now I feel hurt, off balance, like something huge is missing. I am grateful for so much, the time I got to spend with him, the relationship we grew to have (growing pains included), knowing I helped him in his final weeks. He will be hard to live up to, but I will try to make him proud.

I fell in love with someone who happens to live 1,220 miles away. Despite our long distance barrier, I am so grateful I met him, learned from him, and shared experiences with him. Now I know what it feels like to really connect and be compatible with someone.

It's been pretty significant to finally put my ego aside and head back to school for the first time in 20 years. Old fears morphed into realizations about how far I've come to be able to now "show up" with an openness and eagerness I never had before. Revisiting my "story" of past regret and the daily rewriting of its new, daily successes, the cultural and somewhat surreal experience of observing late teens and early 20 somethings experience someone twice their age in class learning with them has all been surreal. I'm grateful I'm back and getting this finished. It's healing. I'm relieved to see I'm not as much of an idiot as I thought I was. I'm resentful of how so many certain students fraudulently claim Financial Aid and easily get away with it. "About 40%" said my Financial Aid Counselor. :(

I began to write poetry again, after almost two years of silence, and began a series that felt like a real set of songs in one voice. I enrolled in a workshop with Jorie Graham, and I was able to feel a sense of flow, of poems existing in a kind of muddy aquifer inside of me if I'm willing to sit in the silt. I am coming to terms with the fact that I cannot do that all on my own right now--I need the support of a workshop or community. I've always wanted to be a writer who can't stop herself from writing, but if I love writing, I have to accept the conditions of that magic. So, yes: grateful, relieved, resentful, inspired. I also just this month moved in with my boyfriend of three years, so that will be a question for this year and an answer--or at least an experience--for next. May our love surprise us. May we build a house of joy.

I took on the challenge of removing myself from a viscious cycle of gossip and negative talk at my work. It made me feel very isolated and alone. But through that process, I had the best return to work after summer break in years. I stopped running away from difficult situations and worked on solving them. I still have a long path ahead, but I am feeling more capable than I have in a long while.

Orgasmic Meditation become a central part of my private time with my husband. My husband and I recommitted to the marriage, intimacy and our sacred work together as a couple, after some challenges that began after the High Holy Days last year. We started Orgasmic Meditation OM) in July 1, 2011, the form of female orgasm popularized by Nicole Daedone. I'm thrilled with the results. Who knew that surrender and a 15-minute practice could buoy my sexual energy so powerfully? OM has tripled my vitality as a happy byproduct and I'm far more connected to my husband as a result. I always fantasized that my sexual energy and relatedness with my husband would evolve, mature and blossom over time - now I've got a process that works for us.

I participated in a hook-pull. Piercing the skin in front of my heart and doing the dance of pain in a community of others. Glad I did. I am less closed off, but still integrating the energy I released and wondering if I will gain the courage to spend more time out and about fully as myself.

I've been thinking about this question for 10 days and I'm struggling to come up with one. This is NOT ok! I hope next year I'll have had some sort of significant experience. I am, however, so grateful for the relationships I have in my life. My friends and family have become closer to me this year -- not necessarily because of a significant experience but just in general. I hope to be even more grateful for them one year from now.

I started my masters program at Columbia. Though technically I had already started it last year, this year was really the year that i got into it. I am so grateful for the experience of doing this masters, and so generally very happy with the program, the friends I have made. I am scared though of the next steps to come, of when it finishes, then what? I guess I will be moving to Brazil, but that scares me. Also I broke up with Yosi this year, which was more painful then expected. I still have a knot in my stomach after almost a year after it ended. I guess i felt relieved for finally ending it, but guilty for having hurt him so deeply.

I'm still on a seven month break from work and teaching. It has been wondrously aimless after so many years of intense focus on design, education, and creativity. I'm grateful for this time, even if I feel slightly guilty that it wasn't more productive, considering it is free time I will never get back. Some aspirations and projects have crystalized in my head, though, and now it's time to use this last third or so of time I have left to make them somewhat real.

Finishing graduate school. While having the opportunity and resources to obtain a higher education were absolute blessings, things didn't immediately just become easier after I graduated, which I'd expected. I was so relieved to finish, feeling somewhat like I was just going through the motions by the end of 2nd semester. However the job market made life afterwards very difficult. I started looking for MSW jobs over Spring Break before I graduated, and didn't find anything until about a month ago. While I had distractions and simple pleasures to break things up, the summer months were stressful, frustrating, and financially tight. Despite my sense of resourcefulness, I had to ask and accept help from many sources, including my mother and father. Without my mom, I wouldn't have been able to pay rent or buy groceries as my student loans were spent by the end of May. While I rose to a higher educational demographic, my income level and morale dropped, which was somewhat paradoxical.

I have been able to hike more than 20 miles on a day hike and have been able to do this regularly. Back in 2002, or close to that time, I thought an 8 mile hike was impossible. Doing a 5 mile hike was very difficult. I am amazed with myself for being able to accomplish this. I've grown a lot not just in physical endurance and strength, but also in a philosophical way. I look at things differently. I don't obsess about doing things quickly and/or not being capable. I know I can accomplish other things because I have done this. I understand my body more. I understand how much strength I have and know how to use it better. It is a rather solitary existence that others may not be aware of, but I can take pride in this accomplishment that I never thought would be possible for me. Yes, I'm grateful for this event in my life. Yes, I'm relieved that I have been able to surpass my limited view of myself! I'm inspired to accomplish more. I feel that I have more courage and wisdom now as a result of this accomplishment. Now, I need to start getting ready to do another 22 mile hike planned for tomorrow! See, I'm really living this experience on a regular basis. It makes me feel more happy and successful to be able to do this.

I ran the Bay to Breakers with my Brothers. I trained hard and beat both of them easily. However, I neglected to bring my cell phone and the usual meeting place at the end wasn't there. After looking for them for a while in a huge crowd, I decided I was never going to find them and since I didn't have a phone nor did I remember my brothers cell phone #'s, I decided to head home and call once I reached my car and cell phone. As it turned out, my brother called my wife and they became concerned for some reason that something had happened to me and they stayed and searched for me for quite some time. Afterward, my brother and wife laid a big guilt trip on me, saying I should have borrowed a cell phone and called home. Well, I guess I could have, but I'm not comfortable doing so except in a real emergency situation. My wife kept telling me how mad and disappointed everyone was, that I had "abandoned" them. Even though I could have handled it better, the level of anger and resentment toward me seemed to be too high. I felt a mixture of guilt and resentment as well, but made a point to make sure something like this could never happen again.

My mother's cancer returned, just when it looked like we were getting out of the woods. And it returned because she was misdiagnosed the first time. This is a truly terrible thing, and I'm still trying to work out how to live with it. I'm trying not to give in to hate or despair, but it is very, very hard.

In October 2010 I learned that my son 21 year-old was addicted to oxycontin. I was devastated and terrified. It changed my view of the world. My biggest concern had been "would he finish college in 4 years?" Now it was "Will he live through the week? Will he rob me? Will he ever be happy and fulfilled again?" It made me feel helpless. It became clear very quickly that I could not threaten, cajole, manage, manipulate, sweet talk, or coerce him out of this predicament. It was all on him. For the first time I experienced him as a full-blown adult, no longer under my control, and responsible for the choices that were going to shape his future. He was a rock of integrity in my life. It was like having the rug pulled out from under me. Here was a person I could really count on (to tell me the truth, to keep his promises, etc), and I can no longer count on him. I am sad.

moving back to my parents. it was time. I am eternally grateful for having the opportunity to go back home . It was good to be able to collect myself in many ways and stabilize at least one of the aspects of my life. Even though it's lesss than a year (moved back in Januarty) it seems like longer, and that's a good thing.

I realized how much work marriage is. I always heard that it was something you had to work at, but it was so easy in the beginning that I thought that wouldn't really apply to us. This change of perception changed the way I approach every day with my husband, in a good way!

My mom's last week of her life. This was an amazing week of affirmation that we are all meant to be loving, forgiving and accepting. As mom started to make her transition, this truth become so clear to me - I wrote up the impact of this week on me in an email to my friends and family after she passed. So many memories of the week are emblazoned in my heart, but most tenderly the memory of her telling my sister how much she loved her and everything about her. This was a healing gift she was able to give to my sister, who often didn't feel that love, that she will carry for the rest of her life. My mom's passing inspired and comforted me and gave me greater faith that there is much more "out there" than this life time. Although I miss her terribly, she is absolutely still with me, so is my father, and all of my ancestors. So many things remind me that both her DNA and my dad's DNA resides deeply within. I am so grateful to her and to my father for the amazing values they passed on to us... caring for the greater world, generosity, a desire to have fun, a curiosity about everything and the where with all to do the research to learn more, a value for thrift and frugality, and the value of the importance of family.

One of my dearest friends passed away. I was with her until almost the very end. It made me realize how frail and precious life is.

The death of my Mom on September 13th. I am so sad yet so grateful for having her as my Mom. She was, as I told her, the greatest teacher I have even had and she will continue to be my teacher for the rest of my life. I was lucky I got to be there with her when she took her last breath. I am just starting to feel the impact of her death in some ways but I am also seeing things more clearly. her spirit is still leading me an guiding me as it always has. My Mom's compassion was her greatest strength and I do my best to have that be one of my greatest strengths as well.

My husband (of nearly 25 years) was diagnosed with a progressive neurological disorder. I sought the diagnosis because I believed whatever was going on could be stopped....maybe reversed. But the moment when the neurologist explained that this is a process, and it will occur regardless....that was a life-altering experience for ME. Time became much more precious, and I began thinking ahead. I wonder if I will be up for this task. I am really worried I might not be. Occasionally I believe I was meant to be "there" for my husband, and think I can do this fairly well. But more often I feel burdened, overwhelmed , and anxious.

Out son was born. It's been exhausting to be a new parent but that's the tiny piece. The big piece has been magical, watching him do small things that are by no mean small, having him teach me to be present, to enjoy, to look up, to find excitement at every turn, not to be taken in by frustration. I am inspired by him, thankful that I believe my prayers have been answered. He has given me faith that anything you desire and need will come to you in time.

I spent three months in the Middle East holidaying. I was amazed at the friendliness of the people and lack of violence. Most people were too busy making a living in difficult circumstances to be concerned with government. I wonder what the violent people are trying to achieve when it has such a devastating affect on the level of tourism.

I got my first boyfriend this year. He's 13 years older than me, but he makes me feel special, like I'm the only person in the world. We met for about 2 weeks, and now we're 2 months into a long distance relationship... I don't know how it's going to turn out, but I want to treasure these feelings for as long as I can.

My father passed away this March. He had a terminal disease that he had been dealing with for the past 13 years, and his final stages were not as bad as they could have been, for which I am very grateful and relieved. He died peacefully. I miss him. For many years, especially the last few, I was aware his time on the planet was short... and it kept me in a sort of holding cell with regard to some decisions for myself. It also gave me a structure, I knew I had to be around for him. His passing left me feeling more free to contemplate a major decision: to move to Italy. And this has left me feeling inspired, a little sad and nervous, and a little impatient to figure out how to fulfill this dream.

My friend Angie was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34. The pure terror of the disease and facing the possibility of losing someone still chokes me up.

after a very long year of saying "I don't mediate"...after trying to keep my body still and after trying to keep my mind still...I am able to say, "I do Mediate" (no everyday or week but I can do it) and I am able to keep my body still which means keep my legs still. from shaking and moving, I am also able to sit up and not bend over and put my hands over my head..at times I want to but I fight it...Only about two months ago I had a glimples of a calm mind..It was almost like a dream state, I loved it..I made me feel relazxed and now hopeful.. I am happy I was introuced to Zen Mediation... I said " I DON'T MEDIATE" AND Now I do...and that it is helpful...I am very happy :)

This year my wife sickness has affected our family a lot

I made my film "Incredible Girl". I'm a bigger artist because of it. I'm getting bigger which feels great. I am happy that it's come to fruition:)

I went on a brilliant vacation. I visited my cousin in Maine, then I went to a Harry Potter convention in New Hampshire where I met a wonderful friend from New York and where I met someone from Rhode Island I had spoken to only online. I hope we will be friends forever and that I may give him all I hope. He has taught me a lot already. I saw so many other wonderful friends. Then I went to stay with another special friend in Gatineau, which was magical.

My wonderful Pat died. It has left me grief stricken, lonely, searching, not knowing who I am. I am at 3 months on this journey of grief and trying to get through each day.

My daughter and her husband have a beautiful boy after 3 invitros and 11 years of marriage. I am excited about having Ian live nearby. Our other 7 grandchildren live far away and we only see them once or twice a year. This is exciting. I am grateful, relieved, inspired and anxious and hopeful.

I lost a person that was really close to me, but I was able to be with that person at the end. This person lost both of her children and husband. She always had faith in god, she inspired me that life continues on. She continued to count her blessings and say thank you to the people that were doing any little thing for her.

"Financial exigency," the excuse to eliminate my job, after a decade. Mortified, in shock, ill, terrified, disappointed, resentful, liberated, proud of my own choices, stressed beyond measure -- a single parent and so many responsibilities, relieved to be out from under the thumb, sad to lose a community, cut loose from my moorings. Inspired? Yes -- to find a new way to live. I'm not sure there is a place. Money's tight; too much squeeze. I wish I were brave enough to try writing. Maybe. I am inspired to teach. I need purpose, meaning, art, to laugh, to love ... to keep the work in perspective. Yep. Lost my job. I feel so unvalued. I worry about my kids. (I hope next year much will have improved.) I keep trying.

At the age of 55 I'm finally starting to take my life seriously and to think about what I do and don't want instead of going with the flow. It felt great and odd at the same time, I'm feel a lot more peaceful because I'm taking control and planning for myself. At tge same time it's scary as the responsibility is mine and no one else's

I had a baby and became a mother. It's made me trust myself more. I don't need to get another persons opinion on everything I do. I've realized that those thoughts of self doubt won't go away, but when they do arise I can dismiss them. It's been a startling revelation. Definitely not something I expected to happen.

I took over the role of conductor for my community choir. This wasn't something I had planned or even wanted to do, and I initially found it quite daunting. Despite this, or maybe because of this, it has turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. We recently performed at a nation wide German choral festival and it was a wonderful experience for both myself and the choir members.

The biggest event in my life this year is finally getting to be with the one I love. We have had a fantastic relationship so far, I can only imagine that it is going to get better from here. I am so grateful for her I can't even to begin to describe my feelings for her. I know this sounds cliche, but truly, she makes me want to be a better man.

The Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. I am grateful that I was in Tokyo at the time and was able to walk away unscathed. However it really gave me a wake up call. Until that day I took a lot of things for granted, mainly, that I could go home anytime I wanted and my family would always be there. That day, as I ran from that cafe out into the streets of Shibuya, and felt the ground shaking so violently underneath my feet that I could barely keep my balance it suddenly hit me. "Am I prepared to DIE in this country?" The answer was a resounding no. Yet I am still here. I love Japan and it's people, love working here. I miss my family and living in a more multicultural environment. I left after the power plant explode filled with insecurity and fear. Yet I came back. I struggle with my feelings everyday.

I gave birth to two beautiful baby boys. I am so grateful they are healthy and gorgeous.

I had an ectopic pregnancy. It really threw me for a loop - made me realise how much I take for granted that we will be able to have a family, how much I take my health for granted. I felt so much sadness about losing the baby even though it would never have been able to come to term. I also felt so angry. It introduced a lot of doubt into my life that wasn't there before. I now worry that we won't be able to have a child by pregnancy.

I got my first boyfriend and I'm 21. I´m very grateful.. Someone loves me and thinks I'm beautiful :) I didn´t think I could love someone that much!

Two things I can think of. First, vet school. Repeating a semester was hard emotionally, and then almost failing Pharm II the next semester was even harder. I've never pushed myself quite like that in order to pass a class, but I have learned that my limits can always be pushed, even if it feels like I'm already at the edge. Second, breaking up with my boyfriend Steve. It was the worst decision I've ever had to make and the worst thing I've ever experienced. He/the break up made me feel horrible but I've learned to live with my decision and slowly heal.

My son was born, but I wasn't present for it. The hospital had sent me away to get some sleep but then the inducement took really quickly. Merriwyn gave birth to Eli in less than half an hour. In some ways Im a little resentful of the hospital because instead of having two support people like she was supposed to, M was left with none. On the flip side Im glad M didn't have to go through hours of pointless agony like last time. Im certainly not being bullied out of the hospital ever again.

Realized ex-boyfriend did not cheat on me he was just taking care of himself. He is 72 and feels he does not have a huge amount of time left. As a result of that I have learned I feel inspired to take care of my self. Not as a punishment to hi but as a commitment to my self. It is my job to take care of my self. That is my job.

My husband and I got divorced... i have learned a tremendous amount about myself and about my own goals and ambitions in life. I have learned how to control my anger and my own emotions and i have gained a deeper relationship with god. I feel relieved because i really have not been happy and at the same time i feel sad that Daniel is going through a tough time.

My 28 year-old son was in a one- car accident that totalled his car and yet he only had abrasions and one broken wrist bone. I am beyond grateful, I am furious at him for driving in the rain when he had been up for almost twenty-four hours, and I find myself deeply thankful that such wonderful things, over which we have no control, can happen.I also have realized that I need to be less involved in helping him get through life. Without that he will not learn to take responsibility for his life, although I'm not sure he will actually do that. This will be very, very hard for me.

My husband moved out and I filed for divorce. This experience cracked me to my foundational core. It has fundamentally altered my view of the world, my view of myself, my view of my children's father. It has made me come to a new understanding of what wholeness can be... of finding wholeness in brokeness. that I am grateful for the opportunity to be living deeply and truthfully, I am sorry that it had to happen at the expense of my marriage and not in the context of my marriage. I am relieved to be 9 months in and starting to heal my heart. It will take time, it will take time. I am resentful but I'm trying to put that away and find a healthier space to mentally live in. I am inspired by the wonderful friends I have around me that have become incredible support. I'm working managing the anger and bitterness that creep up and instead live in a healthy, proactive, positive space. Happy Healthy Home is my mantra. I am inspired to create myself whole, to answer the callings from my soul, my gut, that has been drowned out by the cacophony of voices in my home and chasing after a life I thought I wanted, I did want. This is the beginning of a new chapter, bittersweet, but one in which I will bloom.

I was named Citizen of the Year in Togiak in recognition of my work with the Togiak Public Library. A few weeks later I was invited to be the high school graduation speaker. Later in August I was invited to be the speaker for the funeral of one of my best friends. Taken together these three experiences were significant. I was most surprised and grateful, and it prompted me to dedicate myself even more to working in the community.

I went to Israel to study at the Pardes Institute for 3 weeks this summer. I was so grateful to be able to experience Israel outside the Birthright bubble. It was a challenging and rewarding experience. I'm relieved that my love for Israel has remained intact, even as I have come to know some of the grey areas and nuances of the country. I'm challenged but also inspired to continue refining my relationship with Israel.

I went to Israel this summer. It changed my life, and I was able to create a newfound connection with the land of my ancestors. I was grateful for the opportunity to travel to such an incredible, historic, and spiritual place, and I made many of my closest friends along the way.

My dad died this past year at age 95. His process of dying was so amazing and such a gift to me. He went into the hospital with pneumonia and was there for seven days. Every day in the hospital he would look out the window and say, "Look at that blue sky!" And then he'd start singing "Blue Skies," and I'd join in! He'd talk about what a good life he'd had and all the people he loved. He told me he loved me, that he loved his granddaughter and great-grandchildren so much. He asked me at one point if he would recover. I paused, looked at him, and said, 'Well dad, I don't know for sure. But I don't think so." He lay there so quietly for a time and then said, "You know, I've had a wonderful life, a wonderful life." Many times he would look at me and say, "I'm halfway there" or "I'm almost there." He described over and over how he could see people on this bridge. They were smiling and waving their arms and saying, "Marv! What are YOU doing here? We're so glad to see you!" He died at 2 a.m. on February 1. The nurse on duty that night said that when she checked on him at midnight, they had a little chat and that he sang her love songs! When she checked him again at 2, he was gone. My dad was an incredible role model and inspiration to me throughout my life, and his death was a gift beyond measure. Jim Drake and I cosmically were reunited in October, in a way neither of us could possibly have imagined. I am grateful beyond measure for this gift from the universe.

We finally moved out of Mom and Dad's place. It's been a challenge being "real grown-ups" again, but I do love it. It's been a significant experience because we're now living back in the city, and our physical support network dropped quite a bit.

I was sitting in a tedious "professional development" class when my cell phone started vibrating. My son called to say that my husband was in the emergency room at a local hospital with a "sub-arachnoid hemorrhage." That was in February. I'm still tired. I was already tired at the time. The event itself doesn't make me feel more or less grateful or relieved. I'm very happy that my husband is alive. His aneurysm and survival is one more opportunity to remind myself that life is incomprehensible. Also, my uncle died yesterday. I miss him already. He was my dad's identical twin, and now they're both gone. No one alive says my name exactly the way they did.

On June 21st (19th of Sivan), I officially became Jewish. That afternoon, I spoke with a beit din, underwent hatafat dam brit, then immersed in a mikveh. Curiously, the official conversion was anti-climatic. I'd identified as Jewish for so long (i.e., had already undergone the process of psychological transformation) that, by the time the conversion took place, the rituals themselves seemed pro forma (despite my earnest attempt to invest them with meaning and power). The most moving and potent acts of the conversion process were my circumcision (the anxiety preceding it as well as the pain that followed) and, on the morning following mikveh, the first time I wrapped myself in a tallit for Shacharit prayer, a "new Jew." Specifics aside, I am grateful and proud to be a Jew; it fills me with as much joy as it does a sense of obligation.

this past year, wow. so much has happened, the most significant being going to uni. it has been absolutely incredible and i have had so many experiences, met new people, found that friends from home will always be there, discovered which friends from uni are worth keeping and learnt so much about myself, so i am very grateful for the past year, it has been amazing

I lost my virginity. I was relieved but in hindsight it's kinda messed up. Gave it to a guy I barely knew. I don't really regret it though. Subsequently I started dating matt and as of now we've been going seven months. Also moved from flagstaff this year, going to asu. That was a huge change. Me and derek drifted apart, I grimly accept it. It's all so chaotic and I can't really sort out everything that's happened.

The company I was working for was purchased by Facebook. They bought the company to be able to hire the founder. Facebook didn't offer me a job, but I wasn't planning on accepting if they had (probably a good reason not to offer one) so it worked out fine.

I can't think of anything more significant than getting married! It was actually a lot more life-changing than I expected. It made me even more grateful for Kevin, and especially for all our wonderful friends and family. I am also relieved that it's over - it was a lot of work and stress! And inspired to make sure every day has at least a small fraction of the magic that we felt on our wedding day.

My beloved Mama passed away after breaking her hip; it was the classical downward spiral of her health - 3.5 months from falling at K's 2nd birthday party on a beautiful summer day on June 4, to her passing on September 19th, 2011. I'm sad, but I'm also relieved for Mama ... she suffered so much those last months; to see her each day, slowly slipping away, saddened by her existance, not understanding why this was happening. She had never been sick, really sick, in the entire time I knew her ... 54 years. Truthfully, the full impact hasn't yet hit me; I miss her every day, but her Memory will always live on.

Several very significant events: I became a widow, my first grandchild was born, I met a very special person. I was very sad about the death of my husband, but also relieved that his terrible suffering had ended. I am , of course, delighted with my Grand-daughter. I am elated and very grateful that I have met this person.

There have been several experiences that have affected me this year. I think the biggest and the one that set everything else in motion was my grandmother passing away at the age of 90. Her health had been declining for a long time, but I honestly thought she still had a few years in her and would possibly live to 100. It happened a day before I was supposed to get home from Ecuador. I got the news while in the middle of Atlanta International Airport. It shook me up quite a bit. I had a very close relationship with my grandmother. I know that everyone says this, but she was truly special. At her ceremony, so many people repeated the way that I had felt for her as well. For someone who remarked that at her age, she had to read the obituary to keep up with her friends, she had so many people there who cared for her and wanted to pay their respects. It was enormous. I feel like I will never meet anyone else like that again. I am sad that she will not be here to share the rest of my life. Her death made me appreciate the qualities in myself that she had always loved. I have finally taken steps to enroll into a Publishing and Writing program, which I hope will be a beautiful beginning for me. I've become more active in general, joining a travel writing class online, the Juconi organization, Spanish classes, surfing, and pilates. All of this has been in the last month or so. I'm glad I'm finally staying busy. I hope that I become a positive of her life and influence. She has always inspired me very much.

A few weeks ago I would have said my engagement to my fiancée was the most significant experience - and it is in many ways. It is certainly the most happy of the experienced I have had in the past year. However, more recently I have been worried about pending restructuring in my company. I feel certain that my position will become defunct. This a less happy, but more immediate significant experience. In some ways I am excited about the situation; it is forcing me to be proactive about evaluating my current career path. I have been rather lackadaisical about my career trajectory over the last few years, partly because my personal life is really happy, but I have also been conscious of the fact that I will inevitably regret my lack of "pushing ahead" at some point if I continue in the same vein. Lets’ see what happens.

Being the Maid of Honor in my friend Liz's wedding was a significant experience. I was touched to be asked and I really felt respected and admired by Liz and Ian. I had a great time planning and participating in all of the festivities. I was proud to stand beside her, I think her husband loves and respects her deeply and I admire their relationship. Being a part of her wedding also made me realize that the little details that go into a wedding are so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. The marriage is more important than the wedding. I am relieved but also sad that the summer of weddings is over....

My cousin Nick died at age 31 of an overdose. What made it especially tough is that we had a fight many years ago and we never spoke again. The next time I saw him was in his casket. We were best friends growing up. He was like a brother to me. When my mom called to tell me Nick was dead, I somehow had already known he was dead because he was surging through my thoughts the night before. When he left years ago, I somehow knew it would be the last time I saw him. He was in too deep. He was no longer my cousin and friend that I had loved. It's a tragedy that a bright, talented and lovable personality had left the earth so ahead of his time. But then again, it seemed like he knew he would die young. He idolized musicians that died young. So it's almost befitting that he did, like he wanted it that way. I wrote him a one-page letter of all the good things that came to the top of my head and wishing him a peaceful afterlife. I put it next to him in his coffin. When I saw him they had his top shirt button buttoned, and I lost it because he really hated having it buttoned. During that week a song kept coming on the radio and it spoke to me, he spoke to me. I don't listen to the radio much, but for some reason that week I did and heard it multiple times every day. I could hear him reading this: Waiting for the End This is not the end, this is not the beginning Just a voice like a riot rocking every revision But you listen through the tone and the violent rhythm and Though the words sound steady, something empty's within 'em We say yeah / with fists flying up in the air Like we're holding onto something that's invisible there 'Cause we're living at the mercy of the pain and fear Until we dead it / forget it / let it all disappear Waiting for the end to come / wishing I had strength to stand This was not what I had planned It's out of my control Flying at the speed of light / thoughts were spinning in my head So many things were left unsaid It's hard to let you go I know what it takes to move on I know how it feels to lie All I want to do is trade this life for something new Holding on to what I haven't got Sitting in an empty room / Trying to forget the past This was never meant to last I wish it wasn't so What was left when that fire was gone I thought it felt right but that right was wrong All caught up in the eye of the storm And trying to figure out what it's like moving on And I don't even know what kind of things I said My mouth kept moving and my mind went dead so Picking up the pieces now where to begin The hardest part of ending is starting again

This March, my boyfriend of 4 years revealed that he had cheated. I tried to make it work just so I wouldn't have any "what if" thoughts...it didn't work. I thought we were going to get married. I thought, for sure, I would be engaged to him by this year. It didn't work. We broke up. It affected me in the worse & best ways. I had to go on anti-depressants, I had to move out. I developed heart problems from stress. I was at the lowest of lows for a while. However, I have learned about ME. I moved away to Columbus, I made some new friends. I RAN A 5K. My best friend & I became closer. I am okay now.

I changed jobs. I had been serving in the same position for 5 years, and it was a really tough decision to leave that role. The new job is with the same agency, but has opened my doors and my skill sets to a whole new world within public health - a field I never planned to work in!

I was laid off from a job, because the company was run into the ground and I had little control over it. I definitely resent the management for not using better business practices, and for not taking into considering how this would affect their employees. Even though I was laid off, I do feel grateful, in retrospect, for the time off to spend with my family, and to look for another position which was more suited towards my future career goals.

I got my drivers license after having gone several years without driving. I am more independent and feel more free. I am grateful that I can now go anywhere I please. Yes, I am also relieved to not need to rely on my husband, son, or friends to drive me places.

A painful disconnect by my eldest son: relieved; empowered; devastated // released me to stop performing in a way that was not authentic to my beliefs (denial). Led to me admitting there is a serious problem, a problem I did not cause, thus I cannot change. Accepting facts and facing the past episodes, naming them for what they are. Celebrating that I no longer need a second opinion to affirm what I know.

Realizing that this would be the year that we would try and have a kid. It's something I've wanted my whole life and we've planned everything out... but as we approach the start of our plan I am feeling equal parts excited and not ready. Feeling really young all of a sudden. But, can you every be fully prepared for this?

I lost a soulmate--suddenly and with no warning. I'm resentful, angry, heartbroken and filled with the most profound sadness I have ever known. I struggle to get through each day with no one to really share my sadness and grief with. I feel cheated that one of the most important relationships in my life was left unresolved and I'm left wondering, 'what could have been?' I'm looking for understanding and kept afloat by the thought that this was fate and there was some larger life lesson meant for me to learn, and that hopefully in the long run, it will make me a better person. If not for that, I'd be truly hopeless.

I decided to start learning capoeira on New Year's Eve. It changed my life entirely: from a new outlook on fitness and diet (I watch what I eat and I exercise upwards from 8 hours a week) -- to a new social stance. It is a new group in which I am actively seeking out friendships and doing my best not to avoid social interactions; I even went to capoeira camp, and it was difficult psychologically, but immensely gratifying in the end. I could not be more grateful for this new major part of my life, and I am quite worried that once we move three months from now, a great and wonderful thing will be lost to me.

I recently had a miscarriage that required hospitalization. My husband was upset at losing the baby, but I wasn’t. Over the previous 16 months, a fertility specialist had prescribed multiple rounds of hormones to try to bring my menstrual cycle into a rhythm that would allow for conceiving a child, but for most of that time the drugs had accomplished nothing beyond making my body and moods go haywire. I was tired of trying to plan my life around my schedule of pills and the extreme emotions that accompanied them. I was tired of trying to function normally at work under the weight of crushing fatigue and depression, the source of which I was reluctant to explain to my colleagues (virtually all of whom are men and old enough to be my father). I was tired of having sex on a schedule and feeling that I was letting my husband and extended family down. When I finally discovered that we'd conceived, I felt strangely ambivalent. I had long since given up on my body’s ability to carry a baby to term, yet the pregnancy gave me a slim hope for the future. When the searing pain shot through my lower abdomen a few weeks later though, I wasn't surprised, I just hoped the miscarriage would be fast. My husband drove me to the emergency room, where I learned the pregnancy was ectopic. I burst into tears. I had not gotten my hopes up for a baby, but neither had I expected to have one of my fallopian tubes snipped off and yanked out of my body. I was devastated, and terrified. When I woke up from surgery, my husband told me that I'd been under twice as long as expected and the doctor was worried that my heart rate was so low. Even after I woke up, my heart rate stayed low - so low that the doctor refused to discharge me for an extra three days. Throughout my stay in the hospital, nurses hovered close by, checking my pulse with concern. But as I lay in the hospital bed with three open wounds in my belly, unable to eat or move, I couldn't remember a time when I'd felt more relaxed. For those brief few days, my husband wasn't counting on me to bear his child, my parents weren't pressuring me for grandkids, my boss and coworkers weren't expecting me to show up and battle to stay dynamic and hard-working for 9 sustained hours each day, and my friends weren't expecting me to catch up on the 87 emails in my inbox. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to worry about letting anyone down. My heart rate was 38, sitting up. I was utterly relaxed, and it was the greatest feeling in the world.

In the last year I lost 70 pounds. It is something that I have needed to do for a very long time. And it is something that has made me feel so very much better about myself!

My husband started medical school this fall. He left the workforce to go back for prerequisites three years ago (just after we got married), so it's been a kind of a long road already. I am extremely proud of him and extremely hopeful that we will be able to build a better life for ourselves, and (hopefully, one day) our family. But at the same time, I am anxious about how much time apart it will require and how lonely I already feel. At least there's a faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I helped with the Student Volunteer Army in the aftermath of the February 22nd earthquake. I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to help those who were in need following the earthquake. It was a great experience being able to work with people I'd only just met to give back to our city. While we may have had different backgrounds and experiences we were all able to come together to work on this task as one functioning collective. We had people whose houses were damaged and streets covered silt who would be thanking us and telling us that we were doing a great job. It was knowing that we were helping Christchurch and doing some good that really made my post-earthquake experience something I'll never forget. I never got to know any of those who needed help, but recognising and knowing that something good and pure of heart came about as a result of something so horrific is heart warming and reminds me that there is good in the world.

Finally received back child support and outstanding SSI for SC. Changed many things in a positive way: leased a new car, bought LR & K furniture, paid off bills, put savings aside. More than the financial gain, it gave us a feeling of control over our lives again. We didn't feel at the mercy of someone's neglect. We have gained security and confidence and strength to succeed, not just exist.

I had to say goodbye to my Great Gramma Deck. She was 99 years and one month shy of being 100. It made me realize that sometimes you just have to say goodbye whether you like it or not. She showed me there is beauty even in sadness & grief. Our family pulled together and helped each other through it all. I will always want to be the woman she was and I will strive to live up to her.

I started my own business. I feel exhilarated, terrified and genuinely in amazement at myself for doing it...

I got our finances into the black. Took on two ghostwriting projects and finished them in about nine months. Made more money in a twelve-month period than in most two year stretches. Took the family on vacation to the beach for five weeks (though half that time I was still working hard). Made it possible for us to be more relaxed about everything from buying shoes for the kids to taking a cab when it's late and we're tired to spending significant money to see an old friend who now lives in the South. For a while doing all this work, I felt alone, resentful, overweight, trapped in a harsh new life. I got sick and exhausted, fell behind, had that stress. But by the end I was not only triumphant, my health was improving even as I finished the work. It made me think even more was possible.

I had to have surgery to have my gallbladder removed. The whole ordeal sucked away two to three months of my life. The pain started in early June. It was a consistent stabbing pain in my right upper abdomen. I withstood the pain for a few days until I finally decided to go to urgent care. Following that was tests tests tests. First was blood work and an ultrasound, then a HIDA scan, and finally I had surgery at the end of July. It was a terrible experience. I was so sick I could barely take care of myself, and there was no one to help me. It was angering but lethargic at the same time. I hated that I couldn't help myself, and I hated that no one could stay with me for long. But when I finally had surgery and needed to move out of my apartment, I had so many people helping me. It felt amazing to have that support.

I moved back home and am so grateful to have my own home which was refinanced.

I went to college. I feel like i'm finally allowed to be who i want to be. Free from my overprotective parents, i can make my own rules and decisions. I feel like an adult. There is some subtle change, but I feel like I am taking charge of my own life and my own education, and it is allowing me to be my own person. I feel immensely liberated.

3 significant things: 1- I started my first real job after graduating. Not like I went too far from the nest, but anyway. I'm happy and grateful about it. 2- I started my Y--- campaign a year ago this time. I sent him a bunch of very in-depth emails. I'm both relieved and frustrated (at his lack of response). 3- I asked for a raise. Never did that before. I'm pretty excited that I've developed that skill/balls, which has carried over into many other areas of my life (ie. being more assertive in general, not taking people's baloney). I'm relieved and inspired (is it cheesy to be inspired by yourself?), and I feel like I accomplished a milestone.

This was the year that I decided to get divorced after 15 years of marriage and 3 children. It was a huge decision, one that I'd been sitting with for nearly 7 years. But 2011 was the year that I decided enough waiting. Time to live. I felt relieved, but also incredibly scared.

I quit my job to travel the world. It's been a wild year full of ups and downs. I'm so happy I took the time to do this and now I'm really excited to come home for the holidays. The whole experience has made me realize it's not about where you are but who you are with. I miss my friends and family more than I ever thought I would and have now decided to move closer to them.

Something significant that happened in my life is that I moved with my wife and son into an apartment in my parents' basement in the community where I grew up. It am grateful to my parents for so generously opening their home to us and allowing us to save money while we're with them. But it's obviously (hopefully) a temporary move and we don't know what our ultimate destination is going to be so I'm a little nervous. Still, it's relaxing to be in Brooklyn and have two extra sets of eyes and arms to help with childcare and other things.

A significant experience that occurred this year would have to be the lost of my job. I am actually content with the layoff because I was extremely unhappy at my job. The organization's management does not respect or appreciate their employees work and competence. I do miss the money, but this has given me the motivation to move to Charlotte and really take my freelance to the next level.

a girlfriend's intervention after not seeing me in 2 years.... not recognizing me: seeing me withered, like an old woman, no light in my eyes, speech, manner. ( and my partner of 5 years, robust & calm.) she pulled out every coaching, counseling, nvc, channeling she could... i felt like a slap had awakened me. and still i said to him as he boarded the indiana airport bus a day before me, something like: this will be ok, we'll be ok. (a stunned and stunning entre into the pyschology of abuse - i was given. ) turns out it seems we both did it so as not to be alone. i really thought, sitting there, a heap in the bed, that i cd not carry on alone. and truth be it, i can't and i can. how did it affect me: initially: shocked, enraged and devastated. now: all of the above. grateful to be woken up. relieved to be out from under that, to try again to have my life. resentful, you bet. murderously enraged... i still want to kill them both (the man & his supposed best friend woman). and i have more of a chance, again, to live fully alive, to use the tragedies to reorder my life in wondrous ways. to use my suffering for connection. i felt catapulted down the birth canal.... toward a new life, a new freedom... of creation and authentic expression. CAN I remember this again? like when mom was dying... i was hearing, listening and acting on my first voice. i glimpsed that at my first nfnc summer camp. i got an experiential blip at the april 3rd LP07 retreat. please may i continue to learn. please. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ below is in service of such a big life-serving need to be seen and known by my community, my village: i am talking about those disgusting people from long island and how they lied to my face and to our friends and colleagues over and over and over while he and i were supposedly monogamous. how they risked my health having unprotected sex. how he got violent with me just 3 days after i buried my mother because he found me in the middle of the night, sleeping in my mother's bed and not with him... he was so fed up by then by my not paying enough attention