Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
Watching my oldest step daughter buy a house and grow exponentially closer to her mom, my wife, has me quite grateful this year!!!
Se me ocurren varias... por ejemplo, el ultimo año de mi abuelo y sus complicaciones, y por supuesto despues su muerte:(... al mismo tiempo, mi diagnostico, tratamiento y todo lo que ello trae aparejado para todos. La venta de la casa de Pinamar, un golpe bajisimo para el animo de todos, lloramos mucho pero nos dio la posibilidad de viajar todos juntos. Y independizarse del lado B de la flia, escuchando lo que realemnte deseabamos e indetificando la toxicidad de la gente... haciendo de esto un laburo profundo y en equipo. Crecimos mucho en varios sentidos.
We bought our flat. How it affects us, long-term, is yet to be seen. The situation is so new, it almost hasn't sunk in yet. But definitely a milestone.
My spouse is being recruited for a job across the country and we will be away from each other for a couple of years. We have been together for 13 years and I feel strong in the relationship, but am anxious to see how the details of this transition will transpire.
well I got engaged with my long term bf. it makes us think about wedding and buying a flat
My mom died and it sure revealed the intentions and personalities of my siblings. I want nothing more to do with them after all the drama and poor judgement they displayed. I don’t really have family any longer as a result.
My father is still working on sorting out his estate and the clock has started ticking with his aging. He's on the right track, and my trip over was important to help him sort things out and understand how he wants things done when he eventually passes. That was a big deal, as those are uncomfortable things to discuss and he tends to avoid them. We also struggled some right here in our own household. Raising a new puppy has been equally rewarding and stressful, though he brings us so much joy. My husband finally went to the doctor to get a formal diagnosis and start dealing with depression. We don't know what will happen with that, but now that it's finally out in the open we can address it. He seems pretty open to my helping him as much as I can, because he doesn't want to be on medication (it makes him feel completely dopey), and finally asked me to push him as much as I can to do the things we both know will help him. Especially on days he doesn't want to. That's a huge step for him.
My dad and I have had a pretty up and down relationship in the past few years. A lot of butting heads and disagreements about different values and ideals. There was a big turning point in which things were actually really great between us. I can't really pinpoint what caused it but it was really nice to just live in the same house with everyone and not have any real issues with anyone. I was really happy with it all. In the last few months however, things have more or less gone back to the way they were before. It has made me realised that perhaps my time living at home is coming to an end. That's a thought that I'm not actually upset with, it might be the perfect time for me to cut the metaphorical chord and start creating my own life.
Victoria getting married is the major milestone. And she also got a masters degree in special education a month before her wedding - and graduated Magna Cum Laude. We are so proud of how much she has accomplished this year. Katy has been doing so much better in school and has the support of a loving boyfriend. We are so very proud of her too. This all has affected me by realizing my kids are all growing up. I feel older not only in my body but also my mind.
With my family I'm not sure. My mum, brother and I went on a camping trip in the South Downs which was instigated by me for the first time ever because I felt less close to my mum and like I was unable to talk to her about what was going on in my life. I still feel that way somewhat, like she minimises what I say. She told me that the depression was just stress. To be fair I haven't told her enough of what I was going through for her to understand, but I always feel like when I talk about it she thinks I'm over-exaggerating or making it up. I need to tell her.
I became a mother! Life is slower (I have to walk everywhere, ugh) and I've come across some unexpected differences in pedagogical ideas between my husband and I, which has already been frustrating, but right now, everything seems to have fallen in place. When I hear my son's laughter, my heart fills with the purest of happiness.
Allowed my Dharma to flourish
Both my daughters are now officially adults and left boarding school so for the first time since they were children we are all living together full-time. At first it was stressful sharing my space and putting up with their mess. I’ve since found that the daily rituals around cleaning and housekeeping have been good for me. Less time in my head worrying. I’m loving my new roommates. I’m honoured to be a part of their lives and able to offer my support and share my experiences while remembering it is their life. If something I say helps them, I feel over the moon to be of service.
My stepmom’s brother died, a cousin was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my younger brother graduated from college and moved in with my mom. There isn’t one specific thing, but I’m becoming much closer with my dad and his side of the family, and my mom doesn’t even have anyone on her side. I have essentially no relationship with my brother for many reasons. I’ve finally realized that my dad and his family are my true family.
Tessa's graduation. I feel like my years of active parenting have come to it's natural conclusion and now it's my turn, again. I'm excited about the next chapter of our life. I'm thinking about the future and all its possibilities. It feels a little like starting college and feeling like the world is opened up before you.
In December of 2018 our son was born. His birth changed everything in our house. We loved from an apartment to a house with a big backyard. We chose where we would live based on the kinds of schools in the area. Everything revolves around our son, but not at the expense of me or my husband. We still make sure to take care of ourselves and one another. The birth of our son has helped me grow as a person and find the patience and trust I lacked before his birth.
My father getting sick made me tealize how life is really short and we take things way to seriously.
Mom’s unveiling was a major milestone. It was absolutely awful. It was like reliving her funeral. I continue to miss her more than words can say. I think we did her justice at the unveiling. Mackenzie officiated. We had Judy and Lesley, Bernice, Ronnie, Randi, and Corey, Jess, Uncle Harry and Aunt Ellen... I don’t think I’m forgetting anyone. Nancy and Adam were there via FaceTime. Evie didn’t come. Aunt Carol didn’t come. Lianna didn’t come. Those hurt. But it was a beautiful ceremony. Mom, if she was there, would have been happy...I think. I love her and I miss her so much. I want a hug from Mom so badly. We used “Never Been Gone” by Carly Simon as her song. It’s true. It feels like...how could she have been gone a year? I am not supposed to be able to be without her for a long weekend let alone a year.
My family asking to meet Vail at Easter and then pretending like my relationship doesn’t exist beyond that. I’ve started the work of more detachment. Watching Vail’s parents with him and mine with me shows me more what real love looks like.
I gave birth to our first child- a baby girl- this June. It has affected me in more ways than I can count. I feel both elated and scared. Excited and depressed. I love my daughter, and it's changed our family dynamic for the better, but I still miss my old life and wonder what it may have been like if I put myself first for once...
I was thinking about the decision to rent out the house we've been living in and finding a smaller townhouse to live in. So far, it has made me feel freer and lighter. The idea of not having to maintain that place relieves a burden.
My relationship with my parents is constantly evolving. This year, I moved away from my home state. I am no longer near them, and can no longer come home at a moment's notice. This hit home when my dad went to the hospital with pulmonary embolisms and a TIA shortly after I left Colorado. I am starting my own adult life, which is something I am embracing. I am beginning to think through how my partner and I can support ourselves financially, emotionally, spiritually. These experiences were a brutal reminder that some day, I will not have my parents to go to for guidance. I will not have them as two people in the world who love me unconditionally. I will only have their values and wisdom as they live on in my own heart. What do I do with this newfound knowledge of my parents' vulnerability? I should appreciate the time I do have with them. I should learn from their wisdom and traditions, really listen and understand their concerns. I should be grateful to them for how they've helped me get to where I am, for all of the lessons and memories they've given me. I should think deeply about how I can, someday, love and support my own children and they've supported me. I hope this year will be one where I can continue to hug my parents, if infrequently, call them and describe details of my life that no one else would care about, and rely on them to share my excitements and sorrows. I am truly lucky to still have them in my life.
So much of this past year has been centered around the wedding. My family became bigger, we felt love from people near and far as they all clamoured to be a part of our big day. Everyone was happy and excited for the occasion and I was ecstatic to be marrying my true love. But another big over arching feeling was the regreiving of the loss of my dad. His lack of presence was all too heavy in the months leading up and even now as I struggle with my identity and the loss of my last name, my father's name. I'm excited for my new last name, buy I can't help but feel this grief all over again for losing him. As much as I felt it leading to the wedding, this name change feels like another step walking further away from my dad and yet another lost connection that I won't get back. I will keep moving forward, I have to, I want to keep moving towards this shared life with my husband. But the grief has been difficult to process in a time when I'm supposed to be happy.
Tom was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Not too long ago, his wife (my cousin) MaryAnne was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. And then my aunt had her own scare with an abnormal mammogram. They always come in threes... But thankfully, my aunt ended up in the clear. MaryAnne had her surgery and is recovering. I'm not sure what the future holds for Tom, but I hope he makes it through ok.
My sibling was hospitalized for drug use and mental health struggles and it made me realize how short and precious life really is. There was a period of time where I thought their mind would not come back from drug induced psychosis and it terrified me. I am looking forward to helping them achieve their greatest potential in the coming year, whatever that may look like.
CJ and I got married. I am trying to commit to toleration, to love, and to fighting to be myself in this relationship, all at one day.
Martha again has been the center of our family. She is beloved by all of us. Being a vital part of of her life continues to engage all our family members: Naomi of course, Holly and I, Ben, Steecia, Sarah even Lesley. Martha brings so much joy to all of us - her love of life, her interest in all things, her exciting development, and our hopes and expectations for her future. We are blessed.
I went back to work. It was been wonderful and difficult. All the things I did daily around the house so not necessarily get done now. I have difficulty accepting that others do not step up in how I think they should.
My grandmother passed away. It brought me a lot closer to my parents showed me how the aging process can affect you. It also is the first time someone incredibly close to me passed away and I've never experienced grief like that.
Last November, we lost David, my first-cousin-once-removed-cum-uncle-cum-surrogate-dad. Despite his flaws and foibles, he was a good man, and was such an integral part of my successful adjustment to life in California. I might not still be here if not for him. I wish I could say that his death has brought my second cousins and me closer, but it hasn't. Our relationship remains largely the same as it was - we see each other once or twice per year, and they remain hard to get a hold of, though, I suppose, it can be counted as progress that our meetings, when they happen, are of our sole design. We met on Father's Day, in the absence of both of ours, which was a nice meeting. One decision I have to make is how much effort to expend on that relationship with them going forward. I would surely like to continue having it, but I need to be wary of throwing time and energy away that I won't get back.
My parents moved from Florida, where I lived all my life, to Tennessee. This was a difficult process for me. First, they sold the house* and I remember the first drive from the airport to their condo. Now, they are in a completely different city. It feels not having a sense of roots anywhere as I move to a new city myself. I know it is equally difficult, if not harder, for my parents, but it's somewhat comforting to be on this precipice together.
My daughter had three surgeries this year spending nearly 2 months on and off in the hospital. It was very trying for everyone, but I felt like we did it with about as much grace and poise as is possible.
My kids are both now old enough to walk to and from school on their own. Even though I don't see it, I can tell that when they are on their own together, they work together in a completely different way than when I'm with them. It's refreshing and hopeful to see that their relationship can be different than the constant fighting and bickering. For them, it's independence. For me, it's freedom and the ability to stay at a meeting until 3.
No way to under estimate the effect the passing on my mother had on the family. It brought my sisters and I together and getting along. For at least 24 hours...
Jacob started kindergarten. It has been a great transition for all of us as he establishes independance and has his own world. It has also been nice to have 3 days a week to accomplish all the little things I just didn't get done before! It has been hardest for Kris as he misses having Jacob home for lunch daily.
The biggest milestone was my wedding. It was stressful and the day did NOT go as planned, but I learned a lot from it. I learned who will be there for me when the storms roll in, and who may say they're there, but with complaints and snide remarks. I know who to turn to when the chips are truly down and who will support me through all of life's ups and downs. Funny how bad weather can bring out people's true colours...
My sister got engaged on a trip to Belgium with her boyfriend, and then a few months later, they married in San Francisco! I'm very happy for her and her new husband is so nice. Her last boyfriend was really grumpy all the time and I always wondered why she wanted to spend time with that guy. He never beamed with delight when she was around... only glowered at her like he hated her. He was very selfish. Now... her new husband smiles when she's around, he tries to do nice things for her, he wants to spend his life with her! It's like night and day.
Beverly Lou, my amazing grandmother and true friend, passed away in January - a few days after turning 91. Her children sold the house she had lived in for over 60 years. They were all raised there, I was raised in that space. I couldn't go there after they started moving furniture out. I didn't want to see it any differently than she had left it. I'm sad. I know we're all sad. She was the last tie my cousins felt towards Kansas City - they say they don't feel like they'll want to come back here and hope we can all meet in other places. It feels like a monumental family shift. She and Fran had kept us all together and with both of them now gone it seems we won't ever really be all together again.
My grandmother died and my parents got divorced. Taking care of my grandparents I think kept them together because they could focus outside of themselves for a few years just like taking care of my brother and I did. I’m glad that they both have a chance to make something of their lives now but I’m scared for them because they needed each other and I’m worried who will take care of them now.
Amelia is now walking, talking and in general being a tiny human instead of a baby who needs help with every little thing. It's been joyous. I love her so much and I think she is wondrous. She has a sweet, wonderful personality with some stubborn fire to it and she wants to conquer the world and she's not even 2 yet.
My mother in law lived with us from last August, to this September. It affected us in different ways depending on the day. It was burdensome at times and not so much other times. I was often surprised at my own reactions to it. I would grumble and think nasty thoughts and then I would ask if she needed anything. I felt sort of divided in my own head. I felt a lot of resentment at times. Frustration with her inability to do things. By the end of her time here, I was becoming aware of her actual frailty, not just my perception. She needs help and cannot live independently anymore. That was a difficult realization for all of us. And we had to practice kindness when we did not want to necessarily.
My daughter graduated high school by the skin of her teeth. The graduation has sent her into a tailspin of confusion and role identity issues. She is making horrific life choices and has cut off contact with all three of her parents. I'm grieving the loss of her as a child and all the interventions that i should have put into place but didn't because I really thought her difficulties were phases she would outgrow. Now that I'm faced with the reality of having an adult child with severe mental illness I have a lot of fear of what her future holds and what it holds for me, as her only responsible parent in terms of her caretaking. I'm having to let go of my visions for her future and reframing what are successes for her. Right now the biggest success is that she gets up every day. While her choices horrify and scare me, I take solace in the fact that she chooses to live each day. The other major milestone I'm experiencing is the dissolution of my family as I knew it. I've lost my marriage, my relationship with my daughter, and 50% of my time with my son. It has given me a lot to pause and to think if I'm a person capable of having close emotional relationships. Maybe I'm meant to be alone and find worth in my work and my friendships and in raising my son. That is a big shift as my goal for the past 20 years has been family creation. I didn't get to choose to have that goal ended, my age and my divorce forced my hand. Maybe it is time to shift my focus and find other worth and meaning.
Again, not enough family to have a milestone.
Grandmom Faye turned 97 years old this June, and I missed her birthday for the first time in a few years. I know that the older she gets, the luckier I am to still have her as my grandmom, so I do feel a little bit guilty for not seeing her. Yet I do recall that it is very expensive to go see her, both in time and money, and that it is always an exhausting experience. I could technically do it during one of my breaks, but I don’t know if I would need to take out a loan for it, and I know that I wouldn’t get a true break then. She is living history for which I am eternally grateful to have her as my grandmother. If Sadie and I have our child while Grandmom Faye is still alive, we will make sure to fly directly to her so they can meet one another, at least once if not more times!! I should also mention that Poppop finally opened his boozy cupcake bakery on Tuesday 27 August!! His food is absolutely delicious! He supplied the cake for Brayden’s 2nd birthday party, which was delicious & everyone loved. Uncle Curt said it was so good that he should open up a bakery! Haha!!
I'm 67 & the only major milestones my family is looking at is more of the next generation dying off. I'm perfectly content for us to putter along with small changes & accomplishments: Jackson's first day of kindergarten, JT buying a new house, Varda getting a new job. Small milestones are where it's at!
My mother's been reaching back out. I'm terrified because she was never a good person/parent and the fact that she's being better to me in particular won't change that. More anxiety, grief that I can't have the kind of relationship with her that most people have with their mothers, unwillingness to let her in a little, because when I do she angrily resents my having boundaries.
My brother came out officially as bisexual, and I could not be prouder of him. He is such an incredible person, and he inspires me every day to be better.
We had our 5 year anniversary a week ago. It was really nice to spend the weekend together, we so rarely just get to hang out being us anymore. I really miss living together. Day to Day it doesn't seem that bad, but looking back on it, it's really hard. We're so busy, so many social obligations on those days that we do get to see each other, that we basically never have good quality alone time. But our anniversary was nice. And this weekend we played a game together. So that was good too. Also trying not to read last years answers before answering, but this answer drove me crazy because I wrote effected instead of affected and it's really the worst.
My half brother and I have found common ground without discussing our shared father. We met on Facebook and live in different countries now.
I went back to work full time after being on parental leave for 6 months. My partner started taking care of our daughter full time and this completely changed our view on how we operate as a family, and the give and take involved. Now, as I look to making a career change that might involve cities, I'm more acutely aware of that give and take, and where I can give of myself more fully.
my last child started school ... and I had thought this would be a major leap forward simplifying life - and it turns out it's making things rather more complex. I feel stressed, not enough as a mum, helpless and anxious sometimes.
HA. An entire generation died off in a single month. This one. I feel like I'm dying after them. This shit fucking sucks. It put me on a depression autopilot so bad I moved to another country to shake me of it.
My sister who I have a hate-hate relationship with had a child after MANY years of trying. I went to see her out of state when the baby was born. This has had an incredible healing effect on the whole of my dysfunctional family eco-system. It's not a perfect relationship but babies def make things better.
We got some long needed landscape maintenance performed on our property. The place looks very neat and orderly. We were able to write a check to payoff the entire amount. It feels very comforting to have the resources to get these major projects done. Nice not to have major debt hanging over our heads.
My husband retired. I retired 10 years ago but everything is new with him now at home. I feel that our relationship has deepened because we have more time to spend together. The flip side of the coin is that sometimes it feels harder to be independent. In more practical areas, we have had to change our health care resources, how we think about budgeting our money, and continue to lead lives that matter.
My grandparents health has declined. It causes stress on the entire family and in the past year I've been used as a resource because of my experience working as a CNA in home healthcare. It is weird to be treated as an adult when I'm used to being one of the kids in the family.
I got married! It's affected our finances, how we pay healthcare and student loans and taxes. It's affected how we react to each other emotionally and how we handle issues like sickness and medical scares. Mostly it's been happy, but it's also been so tough in so many ways. Also my wife had surgery, which resulted in time off work, so that affected us financially negatively. BUT the pain relief was worth it in every way. It's reenergized her and us and opened life up to more fullness.
My first niece was born on August 31st. After 2 huge deaths of family members this year, her birth was the joy our family truly needed.
Alex left for college! I forget that he's gone, then I see his bedroom, or I shop for too much food and we have too many leftovers, or any little thing that reminds me, and then I miss him again. I'm wrapping my brain around the fact that he'll never really live here permanently again. Deeply sad about that.
The most significant item that comes to mind is my encounter with my dad at my brother's 40th birthday. I've been processing some disappointment and sadness that my dad is not capable of being the dad that I wanted and needed him to be. I want to accept what is without shutting him out, which has been a challenge this year.
Since the last time I answered this question, I have had a bachelor's degree conferred upon me, I have donned a hood and gown, and I have walked across the stage at the Barbican centre to the applause of my family and hundreds of strangers. It is the longest-term self-improvement project I have embarked upon and completed, and I am so, so proud of it. Completing my studies has given me a tangible piece of paper to show to the world - and more importantly to myself when I am feeling like an impostor. I earned that degree, and no one can ever take it away from me.
My stepfather has become wheelchair bound, and my mother has lost a lot of weight as a result of the strain. I have been grappling with the fact that my parents seem to be entering into the final decline. It's hard to think about. The uncertainty is particularly difficult, as well as the fact that I am the child who is geographically closest, and also the oldest and most responsible. Between my daughter's issues adjusting to college and my parents, I sometimes feel like I don't know where to turn.
The year before, both of my sons went through major medical issues, and this year, it's been all about recovery. The emotional fallout is still going on, and or me, it's being supportive without being intrusive, all the while feeling right along with them.
Our move back to the East Coast was easily the most major milestone. It has excited and depressed me at the same time. Excited for new possibilities and adventures. Depressed as I wait for government bureaucracy to grant me permission to work in my chosen profession again.
This year it's actually my extended family, the family you choose and not blood relatives. The big milestone is that I'm back with them and I'm very happy to have been able to come back home. Finally moving back to NYC made me feel grounded and content. I am surrounded by the people who love me and whom I love. There is really nothing as feeling like you belong and you are where you are supposed to be with the people you're supposed to be with!
We are pregnant our first baby. We are so excited, nervous and overwhelmed with the prospect of finally becoming parents.
My grandmother has had the biggest milestone, moving from the apartment she's lived in her whole life to a retirement community. It's accompanied some mental declines, which is difficult to witness, but also allowed her more social connection than she's had in a very long time. It's been a major burden on my mother as her caregiving role has increased and the changes have caused her to think more about her relationship with her mother and her own mortality. I don't feel like I've been as good a support to either as I could be - although it's not really expected of me, there's still more I can do at least to acknowledge my mom's burden and appreciate her efforts. I feel guilty that I have no let myself be more affected by what is a momentous change.
Sister got engaged, but I don't think it affects me. Can not really think about any other things.... everything is still same like always with my family. (don't live with any of them together)
This year there were no major milestones...(interestingly) we have done a lot of AMAZING/interesting things like a trip to Russia, a trip to Mammoth, a week in the pacific Northwest, my daughter cutting her hair short, me staring to work more full time+ hours but no milestones - other than my brain being healthy 2 years post surgery.
My husband has just retired, so it will be this coming year that we will really see how this plays out.
My not-quite-brother-in-law killed himself on my birthday. My sister-in-law was the one who found him. It was not only (obviously) emotionally traumatic, but also threw off a whole month's worth of scheduled work and personal travel because my husband needed to go be with his family. I'm grateful that we are now at a point in our lives where we're able to just absorb emergency plane tickets and trip re-structuring, but it was very stressful and upsetting for all concerned, and I'm sure my sister-in-law and her kids are never going to be the same.
Realizing that it was important to me to finish my Bachelor's degree.
On June 9th, our son became confirmed at our synagogue. It could hardly have been a worse day. Saying he had half-heartedly finished the school year would be kind, but worse, his behavior all weekend was erratic. We found drug paraphernalia earlier and later that weekend, and we have begun to deal with that issue. With all of that swirling during the weekend, and trying to hide the behavior in the moment from my extended family who had come for the supposed simchah, it felt like being in a bizarro world being at the synagogue and taking happy family pictures. Neither mom nor I have looked at those pictures since that day. One day we might, but that day is not now.
There is no more major a milestone (though it is protracted) than watching your husband slide into dementia and begin to lose him while he is still alive. The effect is global--there is no area of life untouched.
Sadly, I can't recall a major milestone for my family this year; other than the fact that every child that has been born in the last 2 years, has continued to be healthy and each have such unique and distinct personalities. So gratitude to that.
My mom got a serious diagnosis that we're still trying to gain clarity on, but pretty surely is going to be how she dies. It's made me feel anxious for her and my dad, and brought into focus the fact that I'm living on the opposite coast from them
Moving out of my parents’ house has been a big milestone and a source of distress. I have had to learn how to navigate adulthood in a new way. My family has had to figure out how the relationship has changed and there are been pain and stress in that. It’s the biggest constant source of stress in my life right now.
In April of this year, I turned 50 years old. When I say it out loud (or even when I write it), I can hardly believe I'm talking about myself. Me. 50. Hm. Go figure. And then I notice the wrinkles that are settling upon my face, the color of my hair (I'm still a redhead, damn it!), the distance I am holding objects I'm trying to read (why exactly is the print on everything so ridiculously small?). And, yes, I am 50. And I am so much more: the mother of two, the bonus mother of three more, the grandmother of 15 (which includes Skyler's two "step"children), the foster grandmother of an ever-changing number who bless our lives briefly and then go, the wife of one, the girlfriend of another (ahem), the daughter of an amazing man, the sister, the aunty, the friend. 50. Yes, I am.
Cheddar and I grew closer this year as I dealt with a very difficult housemate situation and had no one else to talk to in the home for several months. It was hard, but we're closer than ever now!
Everything has changed. Many drastic changes happened, all right within the same time frame. Overall, I am far better off and much, much happier; at the same time, my daughter has moved out, disowned me (due to her own mental issues) and started a terrible smear campaign against me. Also my 16 year old started running with a bad crowd and going into serious rebellion... I had to send him to live with his adult brother/sister-in-law in a different county to get him away from the bad influences here (moving is not an option for various reasons...not the least of which is bankruptcy and lack of $). So in one swoop, everything is magical and fabulous, and terrible and heartbreaking and depressing at the same time. I fell into the worst depression of my entire life and have barely made it through each day. I'm just trying to survive one breath at a time...one Jesus Prayer at a time, moment by moment... Just...keep...swimming.
My family moved to Illinois, I couldn't be more excited for my mom's new job and the beautiful community they're in. I'm looking forward to thanksgiving in the new house and running a 5k in naperville!
Dad died and it pulled a lot apart.
Older niece is a big little kiddo now. Kindergarten! She drew me a birthday card that involved wry humor and sequential art: sad face, coffee, happy face. An appropriate portrait of me. I worry more than I feel hope for her, and I know this reflects on myself. The more I unpack the hurts women have faced in and outside the family, the more I fear for the girls. But I love the chaotic energy of these kids. Not all the time, but sometimes. When they pull your heart in a direction that's orthogonal from anything you were just worried about. I wish I could give them everything. I think the change is--I'm willing to realize I'm of an age and stage of life where my job is to preserve the world, to hold something in trust for the little ones. I've had a good run. I'll continue-- But it's not going to be about me anymore. They say you become a conservative after you turn 35. They say all kinds of things about maiden aunts. I have no idea how much really applies. I just wish all the best love in the world to these little guys. I would put them ahead of myself in an instant. Is that a change?
I already talked about moving. The other big milestone, albeit one that's harder to perceive, is that my kids are growing up. My daughter is a teenager, with all excitement and difficulty that entails. My youngest, my baby is six, and suddenly seems so grown up. My middle child is changing in dramatic ways too, and I struggle to keep up. Am I getting in enough cuddles? Am I supporting their development into the people they want to be? Am I building them a childhood full of good memories? Will I run out of time before I do?
Makala coming home. There have been a lot of ups and downs with this one. I was able to get her a job right away that she is doing really well at. I think she is struggling with school and I am afraid she won't talk about it because she doesn't want us to think that she isn't trying. My brother is not supporting her as our parent did in going to school in fact he is struggling between his current family and his wife and daughter not really getting along. He is picking his wife and their kids over his kids from his first marriage blaming everyone but himself for the damage done. He thinks Makala has a lot of emotional issues... I think she has some but she is not as fucked up as Mark thinks she is. She is trying to please everyone and herself as well. Its a one day at a time thing. I am rooting for her but fearful of what could happen to her. She is 21. So young.
I patched up the fractured relationship with my sister. It was a difficult conversation but ultimately it was positive. It made me re-think my past actions, and I came to the conclusion that I made some poor choices in the past. I don't accept total responsibility for what happened, but I do understand now that I should have put more family before friends.
Road trip vacation - more fun than anticipated!
Dérangement! Tres très dur! Grosses angoisses abandonniques , peur de l inconnu
I suppose probably the biggest thing this year has been Sam moving back home. After quitting school and squatting with friends for a while, he finally came back home. We thought it was temporary, but he seems to be staying. He and I are getting along good, so I'm okay with it. I really need to push him to find work, so that's the next big step. It's not that he doesn't want to work - he just has such a fear of the unknown. It will be interesting to see where the next year takes him.
I don’t know about a major milestone for our family. Our daughter started high school last year and our son is starting middle school this year. I was really nervous about my daughter moving into high school, but she has really thrived (as far as I can tell). She’s making friends and getting good grades. Teachers love her. She makes interesting choices in her class work - taking Japanese and theater were unexpected. My son seems to be adjusting to middle school fairly well. There are some hiccups with writing and a strong desire to be successful, but he’s so thoughtful and open about his thoughts and feelings that we are able to rally as a team and support him - and he’s the captain of the team.
No major milestones like in the past years... Here are some minor ones: (1) Mom - Patience is a challenge and it's tough to balance relationship with mom and structure for mom that includes space for me to live. (2) Dad - I've been calling him to keep some for of relationship with him. (3) Monique - Seems pretty good overall with just minor bumps mostly related to mom. (4) LRH - Ran into him in the parking lot of a wedding; he said Hi to everyone but didn't acknowledge me; I felt empowered that I could have so much power over someone like that!
My cousin got married this year and my partner was her wedding official. My partner and I met the bride & groom a couple of times, talking about the wedding, the ceremony and how the relationship of the couple evolved throughout the years. It was really special to have these deep conversations. I’ve learned a lot about my cousin and her fiancé, and felt closer to them than before. It also made me think about my own relationship and appreciate it even more. Lastly, I realised how special it is to have all these loving people in my life ❤️
My mom got a new job in NYC. I think she's living a dream she's always had. I'm able to see her so often. We were apart for ~8years and now I see her every week.
A major milestone in my family this year was when my grandpa finally stopped being able to drive. We always said he would never get old. Yes- he was living in an independent living facility and he was 92 years old, but we all refused to realize that he was aging. When he lost the ability to drive, it finally forced us to see that he wasn’t the same grandpa that we grew up with. It was definitely hard for me- I’m not home often, and it felt like he was getting worse each time I saw him. First the hearing aids, then falling asleep mid conversation, then walking with the cane... the worst was that he is losing the spark that made him so bright. While it’s incredibly distressing to watch, it serves as a further reminder to take advantage of our relationship while I still can.
We have a few. Daughter graduated high school after a fairly tumultuous year. We bought a second home in Montana. Bought a horse. I am grateful for all these things. Grateful to have the means to get my daughter the help she needs, to buy a house in a place I've only dreamed of, and having our own horse to learn to ride and possibly compete. So a good year.
My daughter finally got her driver's license at age 26. She has two children and a husband who declines to drive her places when he gets sulky or thinks she is. And she has a stronger "need" to go places than many people do. We spent years helping with transportation for groceries, the children's preschool, medical appointments, to and/or from work when their schedules didn't mesh. etc. And, invariably, any time we agreed to take her somewhere, once we were on the road she would request additional stops. In the final 3 months before she got her license, she work a 7:00pm to 3:00am shift; and to save our son-in-law disrupting his and the children's sleep to go get her, my husband and I (both retired) would take turns on the 3:00am runs on weekdays while letting her husband take the weekends, regardless of the messed up sleep schedule for all of them. When she passed the test, it was a huge relief to all of us! We didn't fully realize how much driving we were doing until we no longer had to. Probably a denial mechanism to protect our sanity. And, of course, it's not just the license but also access to a car to drive -- otherwise we'd still be on the hook for some of the transportation needs. Miraculously, she received the gift of a car from a birth brother who works at a car dealership and whom we didn't even know she was maintaining a relationship with (as she has pretty much disowned the rest of her birth family). This is indeed a milestone and has freed us to be able to come and go locally and to schedule trips without having to work around the transportation needs. It's been a huge relief to have her function independently.
My older brother has been seriously ill, for the first time in his life. Due to a number of things, we don't have a close relationship, but I feel like I have to do things to help him at this point. One part of this ill health is that he seems cognitively impaired; I can't tell if it's due to the pain medication, the trauma of his having fallen at home (and reportedly being on the floor for three days before being found and sent to E.R.), or whether it's something that's been occurring gradually. He has a long history of major mental health problems and has been on antipsychotic medications; people with that often become demented sooner in life than non-afflicted people. To add to this stress, he gave someone his bank card to pay her bills, not realizing that he might need the money himself. Nothing I've said or my other brother has said has persuaded him to ask for the card back. I've called Elder Protective Services twice, but nothing appears to have come from that. It has affected me by creating even more stress in my life, because I don't think I can control anything, really. I did call him a few times and sent him two get well cards (one for each of two different n.h. stays), but that seems really feeble.
Both of Bobby's parents have had major health issues. It's strange because with Mama's illness, I considered them the "healthy" set of parents that are going to be around for a long time and be the grandparents to our children. I mostly though of it in comparison to dementia, meaning that I thought of them as the parents who have the mental clarity to be proper grandparents. I did not consider that they would ever have any physical ailments that would prevent them from playing the role of parents/grandparents. Also, both play their issues and surgeries off as not such a huge deal. Almost like it's a small price to pay from having a "western" lifestyle. But both issues and surgeries were and are potentially life-threatening, and there's not that much we can do. Bobby has spoken to them a few times about changes they can make to their diets and exercise, and I do think that they make some efforts, but they tend to fall back to what they are more accustomed to. I think it has affected me in that I see them as a little more vulnerable than I had assumed at first. I also kind of realize that making changes to your routine when you're in your 50s and 60s is not that easy. Either because change is hard at that age, or denial is stronger at that age... or giving a shit decreases at that age. I don't know. But it does remind me to strive for a healthy lifestyle now while I'm open to changes before the unhealthy habits turn to stone. One thing that has strangely and surprisingly affected me was Brian's promotion. More specifically, his salary bump. He now makes about 92k, which is threateningly close to a little over 100k, which is what I was making before I left EY. I am happy for him, but that's a secondary feeling to that competitive feeling. I don't know why I feel that way. Maybe because I'm the "older sibling", so I feel like I should always be making a little more, or maybe because I'm jealous that he can move on up in the world while I stopped to be a housewife and support Bobby in Edgewise. Bobby did mention the other day that I put a lot of my worth in how much money I'm literally making in the market, and I do. So, this is just another example of this silly notion I have that 1, older siblings should be more successful, and 2, success is tied to how much money you make.
Zack going to College. Happy. Sad. Excited. Nervous
My son was accepted into the NBS. I am SO PROUD of him and it's teaching him discipline and fitness. It's affecting me because I have a lot less time to myself and my bills are a lot bigger BUT I wouldn't change a thing.
Per usual, ignoring the prompt and will share some updates about the kids. Margaret is almost 2.5. That sleeping in thing I mentioned last year lasted about 3 days and then we never saw it again. We finally broke down and got the OK to Wake! clock a few months ago, and after a couple weeks of them getting used to it, it’s working really well (most days), and Marg stays in bed till 6:14 on the dot. She’s a caterpillar at TSEL and loves her teachers and classmates. She barrels through life head first, fearless in the face of physical challenges but still shy with new people. When she’s especially afraid she says “I’m scaredy” in the most adorable voice. Wants to do everything by herself without help, and often actually can figure out how to do it. Her favorite thing to do is often whatever Ramona is doing, but when she’s on her own she does a lot of imaginative play with her toys and can entertain herself for quite a long time. Dinner time is less of a challenge than it was last year but not always super fun. She spends most of the time playing with her food or running around the table. Favorite food is still fruit, maybe soup. We still give her milk at bedtime which seems like a habit we will never break. Oh and we transitioned her to a real twin bed a couple months ago, been going well. For Halloween I got her a minion costume at the kids stuff sale, but we will just let her pick something from the costume box on the day of. Ramona is almost 5! A lot of the stuff I said last year still holds true, especially the color green (but now she adds blue as a second favorite), but she doesn’t watch PJ Masks anymore. Her favorite show varies by the day but we’re watching a lot of Doc McStuffins, Wally Kazam, My Little Pony and Umi Zoomi. She’s not as crazy for mac n cheese anymore, which was a shock I’m still recovering from, but soup is still popular. I think her favorite now would be a breakfast burrito. She wants to be Rainbow Dash for Halloween and we already got her costume so hopefully she still likes it in a few weeks. She continues to be a very kind and helpful kid for the most part, a great big sister, very into arts and crafts but also science experiments. Says she wants to be an astronaut when she grows up. Still has Big Feelings moments that we’re all learning how to get through. Been trying to teach her about race/racism but I don’t think we’re doing a great job on that front yet. I hope I can report more success there next year.
I became a great grandmother in February to Noah. He made 5 generations in our family. Grateful to still have both my parents.
Not having babies anymore... the boys are in REAL school now and are getting so SMART and their needs are changing - we are in a new phase of life. I'm a little nervous to see what this brings, but I know that we will adapt and grow accordingly.
The major milestone was me telling my sister her diagnosis and my mom going apeshit about it. It has made me jaded and distrustful because I was trying to help (she's 17 and needed to know soon anyways) and the reaction I got was beyond painful and sent me into a downward spiral where I was going to kill myself had Lexi not intervened. It has sent my relationship with my mother to a terrible place, not sure I'm going to come back once I move out in January. I may just cut them all out of my life.
My nephew started his first year at uni...with the backing of army bursaries and a wonderful career in engineering in his future. He'd worked hard for it. But then he quit university after failing his first year. So shocked and I have to admit I was very disappointed... in him as much as for him! That in turn made me feel like a judgemental arsehole!! Anyway... Truth is that I wonder if he's afraid of trying and working hard only to fail. That mixed with a touch of laziness! Just like his aunt!! Ha!
My sister got into a drug study and she's much healthier than she was before. She doesn't have fevers every day, less bathroom issues, much more energy for the kids and family and taking care of herself, etc., less self-judgement and more spaciousness. More enjoyable for me and less crisis. Less time spent providing home/kidcare and more time spent connecting.
My younger sister had a baby. At first it felt like a really bad idea and I couldn’t come to terms with it. The idea of my baby sister having a baby at an age that I understand as young. I haven’t been able to follow her pregnancy because I had to make peace with this idea. Since then, she had the baby and everything is better. I feel genuinely happy for her, for the baby and for her new family. Reflecting on this on my own has brought me to two main things : 1) my own frustration of not being able to settle down and have my own family. 2) the intense love I feel for my sister often makes me overreacting and over protecting of her.
My granddaughter got married. We are all thrilled
The milestones are smaller this year, just little cairns of cumulative improvements and changes. Even moving seems small compared to last year! I think getting a puppy was a marker of our readiness to take on new responsibilities. Although I said in an earlier day's answer that it was stressful, it has also been lovely to have a dog: uncomplicated and unconditional love, walks, belly laughs every day, all the things a pet brings to our life. Otherwise, I guess I would have to mention taking our first real road trip (to Mom's memorial), the new house, husband walking with a walker and driving, him working again....
My husband and I bought a condo and moved to Midtown, Memphis. Adjusting to a smaller place has had its challenges. For example, we have just one small bathroom. I’m proud to say that we’ve managed to be considerate on one another. Moving to midtown has affected our waistlines, because there are so many good restaurants! However, we are spending more time together and enjoying our new outings.
My husband and I suffered our first major loss together. Our infertility journey is going to make up the answer to a lot of these questions, I think. It's been exhausting for our marriage, and I wouldn't necessarily say it's made us stronger, because it doesn't feel that way. It's battered us, but we're still standing -- we're like the post-Katrina New Orleans of marriages.
Both of the kids celebrating wedding anniversaries fills my heart with gratitude!
My brother and sister-in-law are pursuing IVF. It's nerve-wracking on a lot of levels – currently, they are awaiting test results on embryos – but I am hopeful that it will work out for them. I am comfortable and happy without children of my own, but I would be a very fun aunt!
My sister and her family moved back to Michigan, 45 minutes from my parents. For a long time I didn’t think of my family as being close or that I’d ever want to live where I grew up, but all of them being together has me strongly reconsidering. It’s amazing how much my parents help with the kids and how that gives them a relationship with them. They all see each other all the time. I imagine we could have the extended family-oriented life I envied but didn’t dream was possible for us- now I’m the missing link and the one missing out. More immediately than being home, it’s rushed my desire to have children. I want my parents to get to have a relationship with them too and for me to grow closer to my parents through it.
My family and I moved to SC. We’re happy, but we’re still far away from the rest of our family, but my parents are closer to my school.
My fathers health problems have become more diverse. Not necessarily more severe but more things are becoming apparent. Makes you even more aware of their impending elderly age and mortality.
Ugh. I think our milestones are more around the fact that Kent and Jane have agreed to stay married, even if it isn't happily. It definitely frustrates me, stresses me when I'm heading home, and when I host Kent. I'm not afraid to be in a relationship myself, but I'm certainly aware of how some things change, but other things are permanent.
Spending time away from each other (me and my parents - 7 months apart - because they were changeing the kitchen and toilets at summer house) and then i spent some of my summer holidays with them. My brother was very nervous and speaking loud and being very stubborn with my Parents. I had to stand up for them. My brother went away but for the first time, my Parents saw the reason in me. I felt sad for my brother but happy because i was recognized.
Dad entered a memory care program. He has been declining into dementia for several years, and it's been hard to figure out how to best handle his changing personality and emotions. With Mom having ankle surgery, the need for Dad to get help and care was more urgent. Mom started him in a daytime program as a trial, and he took to it very eagerly. She's super excited to have daytime hours to herself (and she's healing well from surgery!) and we're all thrilled that Dad is enjoying the program. He's entering into a new phase of his life, for sure - he's not the Dad I remember. He's changing. But his positivity is still there, he's still ever the optimist and loving warm person. I went through a few months of being extremely upset and depressed about Dad's decline, largely because I hadn't really acknowledged it was happening for a long time. But I finally am being honest about it, with myself and with friends and with Mom and my brother. That honesty and open communication has really improved my connection to my entire family! And I'm more at peace with the trajectory he's on. I suspect he will be in full time residential memory care by this time next year.
I learned from my sister-in-law that my brother's health isn't as good as we all thought. I decided to start reaching out to him more than I usually do (they live very far away so we never see them) in the hopes that if he needed more support, I was there. He has never shared that his health has declined so I am choosing to honour his privacy rather than ask directly or say anything further to anyone. He's an adult, and a smart one, with a support system. I just pray that he feels he CAN talk to me. And I pray that he will be with us a very long time!!
The girls have started High School, but it's in the 8th grade center, so they're segregated from the rest of the high school population. That said, some of their friends are interacting with High Schoolers, dating has started. This is it, this is the turning point, they're young adults now, and that was a fast transition.
My daughter got married and my step son got engaged! The kids are grown up! Beautiful!
This month, my ex's grandmother passed away. She was my daughters' first great-grandparent to die and it was her first experience with death. My ex-mother-in-law asked me to write the eulogy for a family member to read, which was an honour and also terrifying. I feel like the fact that we could be there, with my ex's family, in their grief, and that my daughter could be part of the funeral and part of the grieving process with them was incredibly sad but also so important and so special, and it feels like evidence that I'm doing the right thing and that all the hard work to keep the relationship going with her dad's family is worth it.
Both grandchildren are now attending school for the full day, marking the end of their babyhood. For my daughter, this means recalibrating her own life. For me, it means renewed gratitude to be their grandma and to have played a warm and joyful role in their earliest years. And, of course, I'm reminded of the limited number of years left to me, to watch them grow and, please, thrive.
This year, my last grandparent died. Grandma Miriam lived to 97 - for the past 18 months, exploring the relationship she had with my mother, with me, and with my extended family has taught me a lot about how to live a life of inclusion and generosity.
Not sure if this qualifies as a 'milestone' but it sure was a life changing event. My husband of 35 years died last July. So yes, life changing, grief, sadness, yes for sure. and also an awakening to an appreciation of my own company. To discovering what life is like when I am now at the center of it. The milestone is the surprise of how much I am enjoying life now. (true, antidepressants help too...)
My cousins are both having babies and my brother and sister-in-law are struggling. I have so much hope and a feeling of justice when it comes to them being able to have a baby. And when I have an issue like that I talk all about it to everyone. She is very different and a bit more private so I am struggling to keep it in/contained. This is her journey and she will be in the driver's seat and I will continue to hope.
So this is immensely recent, but I can't imagine anything else being the answer to this--I found out a week ago that my mom has breast cancer. I was gutted and confused and terrified. I was overwhelmed by how immensely I love my mom and how truly and completely impossible it is for me to envision a world in which she doesn't exist. Shira and I have been talking every day. I have called her multiple times. I want to be with them more than anything. I've been cognizant of the fact that so much of my communication with my mom is just practical--asking her about paying for this, or faxing that, etc. Because she's the one who handles everything. But I love her, and she's an incredible human being, and she deserves more than that. B'ezrat hashem, it looks like she will get through this incredibly shitty experience and be okay on the other hand.
My brother got married and now he’s expecting a child. The other brother is building a house and has a step son. I live in a big city abroad and work in a call centre and am still trying to figure myself out. I feel weird. I feel odd. I feel different. And I feel scared about what my position in the family will be going forward. As my brothers settle down and build their families it becomes so much clearer how my lifestyle is and always will be different from theirs. What will I be to their children? What will I be to them? What do I want to be? I don’t know. And I’m scared to find out.
The dissolution of my sister's marriage, which is still on-going. Things have been bad between her and her husband for years, but also good, and so they just kept going. But every time there is a problem between them, it becomes everybody's else's problem, too. My parents and I put everything else in our lives aside to focus on my sister and give her support, and many times she just goes back to him. She claims she's finally had enough, and actually rented a truck and moved everything out of his house last Friday. But I worry that she will go back to him again. I really just want them to each find balance, peace, and happiness, and if that's not going to be with each other, then to let each other go.
Gretchen graduated from high school. I guess that affects me in that I'm now not the only sibling who is an adult and trying to make their way in the world. Also I got a dog (Yoda) who is a member of the family <3 she's very sweet and likes four things: sleep, cuddles, walks, treats.
Gosh, aside from getting married and introducing my son to his son??!! Maybe it would be my son’s engagement to Tina. This is a huge milestone for a person who thought he would live his life alone, that he wasn’t good enough for anyone and that he could never make a commitment to anyone. She really, really loves him and he, her. It’s a very good thing but his new (to us) addiction to pain killers is putting a terrible strain on her and I worry about that.
It's barely happened, but with both kids at the high school I've begun to really think about my own life - what will it look like with my eldest gone in a year? How will we afford to send them to college with me out on my own?
While there was no single major milestone for the family,there were a good many minor ones - anniversaries, graduations, birthdays, yartzeits and others.Cumulativly they served to remind me that time is passing, to treasure each day, each moment, each year becasue it's a gift. We can't know how many milestones still await in the future.
My oldest graduated from high school and started college—with two states between us, and about a nine hour drive, so we're not talking like Maine to Rhode Island or anything. It's strange not having her present every day, especially in terms of how her siblings react to her absence. I feel, though, like I always had this successful launch as a goal of parenting. It's wild to see it come to fruition.
We finally got to lay my father to rest and have the ceremony. It felt weird doing it a year after he died, but it also felt good. It was the first time I really cried about it.
My dad turned 75. His surprise bday party turned into a funeral luncheon when my Aunt Maria passed a few days before. It's been a sad year for my family as far as people passing. That generation is just getting to that age. It has me apprehensive about how long my parents will be around.
My daughter changed jobs in very difficult circumstances which required a lot of support but I'm glad it happened in retrospect.
My sister published her first novel to great success. It changed our relationship in a wonderful way. I'm still not exactly sure how or why. She was so happy and I was happy for her. She loves the limelight and I think that getting all the attention she did made it easier for her to be emotionally generous with me - less critical, less prickly, warmer and more open. I loved it!
Since starting immunotherapy Cher has been in remission/disease free. I can't remember exactly the date she started but it's about a year now. This has allowed us to feel less anxious and plan for our future. Assuming all goes well in the future, Cher may be able to go off this therapy in another year. Additionally, there are several other drugs/treatment regimens for people with her condition. We are so very thankful for the advances in cancer treatment. This may end up being more like a chronic condition rather than a dire diagnosis. Thank God!
I can't think of one. My dad is in a solid place, my daughters are coasting along. I was promoted at work, but I wouldn't consider it a major milestone. Definitely an accomplishment.
My dad has started converting to Judaism, and both of my parents changed jobs. It’s been hard to have such stressed out parents- snappier than usual- but i’m glad they’re moving into new fields.
One week before Dave’s 50th birthday, he had three stents placed in two arteries. His diet is completely plant-based, no oil, salt or sugar. He eats to live, while Nina, Nigel and I still live to eat. This has created a lot of tension in how we eat together, which we don’t really do at all. When we do on that rare occasion, Dave makes and eats his own meal, while the rest of us quietly think that what we are eating will eventually kill us. So lies the message he has imparted to us. I hate it.
My parents got divorced. Not a fun milestone by any means. You'd think at 48 years old, it wouldn't be that big of a deal, but I found myself reacting like I was 13. As much as I understand the dynamics between them, it's still my "mommy and daddy." I acted out. I pulled away. And now, I'm just trying to stay out of it. There's no right or wrong, it's all just sad.
My parents divorce continues to affect me, sadden and anger me, but at the same time, I feel like it's making me more mindful of my relationship with my husband, more fiercely protective of it, more committed to still enjoying each other and enjoying life, even with the hardness of infertility. Another milestone of this year is that I've decided to convert to Judaism - I'm not just "interested" anymore, I'm committing to this, and that feels right. I still have a lot more learning to do before I can make it official, and I know this learning will be a lifelong process, that will extend far beyond this year. I feel like this decision will have rippling impact, not only on my life but on my family's life, our children and all those who come after them. Even though the growing antisemitism in the world scares me, I still feel that I'm making the right choice.
My mom got into an automobile accident in January. A drunk driver hit her car. It was bad, looking only at her car and her initial medical injuries. She wasn’t hurt too much though in the end. It’s been slow going but she’s made an almost complete recovery by now. I still remember how my dad frantically called my sister to meet them at the hospital, how I informed my other sister because we were too far away to go to the hospital, and then the wait. I just remember thinking I’m not ready for my mom to die. Fortunately, she didn’t so yay! That thought though pops up a lot since then. Anyone I love is a drunk driver and frantic phone call away from not being in my life. Makes me want to get my family more involved in my life.
Mike's parents offered he and I (and his sister and her boyfriend!) a trip to Prauge with them. It prompted me to go back to my roots and find out where my Czech ancestors were from on my Dad's side. My grandmother came through with the locations of where her great grandmother and grandfather were from. If it's not too much hassle I might be able to visit their villages! It's been wild thinking about the places I've come from as I do ancestry research. At the beginning of the year I did a DNA test and got REALLY into it, often staying up hours past my bedtime to find out. But exchanging letters with my grandmother has been fun, and I really appreciate the time she took to find the answers for me. I'm sure it wasn't terribly easy. I would love to share some pictures with her when I finally do go!
Again, this will be Carl's passing. It was completely life altering. In every way possible. As a result Marianne and I have grown much closer. My relationship with Jorge has also grown so much.
My mom went through a rough surgery that resulted in my parents finally selling their house and moving into independent living, something they’d been talking about for years. I’m no longer worried that their house isn’t safe, that they might fall. It’s a huge relief.
My brother has/is thinking about changing careers, moving from engineering into business. It hasn't affected me that much but has brought us together a bit as he asks for my advice on job materials, etc. It's nice to feel respected in that way, it's an easy dynamic for us to settle into.
My mother turned 60 this past year, well now 61, and my parents celebrated their 30th anniversary last week. With this there is a lot of joy, however seeing them age has brought about feelings regarding the finality of life. There are pros to being closer to them, and not seeing the jarring age changes from time spent apart, but noticing memories fading forces me to turn inward. At the same time, I feel so lucky to have them both around, despite the cycles they maintain. I used to be really afraid of losing my parents, and while it’s not something I want any time soon, I feel more in touch with the natural progression of life. I also feel implicit pressure to help them fulfill whatever things they have left to fulfill.
This year was relatively calm as far as family milestones were concerned, which was a nice change from the dramatic ups and downs of the last few years. I enjoyed the stillness and peace.
Maia moving out officially was a pretty big milestone. It’s impact has been to get me to really start thinking about what I want to do post-mom phase. I have taken a part-time job with the Montgomery Farmers’ Market and have not needed to feel guilty that it was taking up too much of my time. I really enjoy the job... lots of compliments have been coming my way on my performance this season so that’s really wonderful. Feels like a great fit.
my son and i hit a family milestone this year. i guess we could call it that. this was the year the power differential between us shifted. he’s 10 years old. and he has so much more power than i thought possible. at the end of this past year, i have found myself shrieking or sobbing or boiling over with fury in the wake of his actions. i cannot believe how much power he has to derail a day or how much a rare kind gesture can fluff me up and make me feel indestructible. i expected to have more years, if not my entire life, to be the captain. but this year i more often felt captive. i am fully and totally utterly exhausted by parenting. oh my fucking stars i hope something changes for the better. soon.
My brother getting married had its impact in large and small ways. Our family has grown and we are SO happy for them and there was also stress and growing pains along the way
We lost my father-in-law, whom we'd seen robbed of his physical and mental agility by Parkinsons and Dementia - two cruel thieves in the annals of villainous diseases. Witnessing his demise was inspiring - how on earth he never lost his dignity and gentleness in the face of such offense remains beyond me. But more than that, it was devastating - to my husband's entire family and to me. Finally losing him in May felt like a great release, a kindness. And the "after" of this event feels both freeing and untethered. And trying to reconnect ourselves to a fixed point of common experience and reference as we move forward has been difficult. I'm hoping that the new year helps.
I had three. First, I came through a heart procedure which seems to have alleviated a scary condition. That is frightening to go through, but gives me some confidence so far about moving on with life. Second, one of our sons is filing for divorce, has a new loved one, and with all the strain this brought, he is happier than he has been in years. I am glad to see him get some well deserved affection and get out of the controlling and unhappy life he was leading. Finally with our daughter's marriage to a caring and nurturing person, we feel somewhat better about the time when we will not be here to look after her.
This year, my family pretty much all moved around the country. I moved to Atlanta, and my parents moved to Chicago. Moving to Atlanta has definitely been a huge life adjustment, from adjusting to living in a city after living in a rural area to learning to live in an environment with people who are drastically different from me. As for my parents moving to Chicago, there has not been much of an affect on me, other than the fact that they're not here in Atlanta.
Visiting colleges with my eldest daughter. I am so much more aware of the time period/ age I am in. I am not a mom of young kids anymore. I am a middle-aged woman.
The milestone from the last year was definitely Rikki's Bat Mitzvah. It was stressful and expensive and a relief when it was over, but it was joyous and wonderful and I have no regrets and am so proud of her. If anything, it has made her and I more involved in Jewish life instead of feeling like we're 'done,' which is the way it should be and I'm so happy about that.
I’ve experienced several. One milestone is the death of my sister. It has been difficult for us, in very different ways. Grief seems to be ongoing and restarts for my dad every time someone contacts him. I struggle with anger around it, but the memorial certainly helped bring me closure and is a good way to reflect. I think at some point it will sink in that I will never get the chance to talk to her again, and we won’t have a good relationship. A lot left unsaid. Another change was a job change. That was very refreshing. I stayed within the same company yet am working on something totally different. It was good to get a break from somewhere that was limiting my success. So that means less stress for me.
I got married and we're having a baby. I can't even think about it without getting teary. Honestly, I just hope I don't screw it up.
This past year, Dad got super sick (luckly it was h.pylori and acute rather than chronic), but it made me think about how I prioritize travel, work, and family-- that time with them is so limited, and that I should go out of my way to see family more often. Mandy got married and I realized that getting married can be low key.
We traveled on the second ‘bucket list’ trip for/ with my dad. This one was on a cruise ship along the coast of New England and into Canada. Final destination Quebec City. I was not interested in cruise ships or that mode of travel but after this trip I realized that it can be a fun and relaxing way to take a trip. The ship was on the smaller side of this mode of travel ( 1200) people - I’m sure a bigger ship with twice that many people would not have been fun for me. In fact, I’m hoping for an experience on a ship that has five hundred or less one day! It was a great way to relax and have fun and spend time with my Father and my sister and her husband and their daughter. My sister and her husband and I have been looking after my dad, loving and living in the same house together since 2015. Going on trips with my dad is a sweet break in the daily routine and creates additional memories for all of us to enjoy into the future. I love our family life even tho it has curtailed my personal life and that of my sister as well. I feel really good about looking after my Father. He is a good man and I love him very much.
My son started high school. It’s amazing how grown up he is. Time has truly flown by. I’m so proud of him.
We now have 2 kids in school all day since Xavier started all day 5k! This has made Jess's life busier so far with real estate.
My son was born. It was a truly amazing experience. What I was surprised by was how bonded I feel to him. I knew I would love him, but I didn’t know exactly what that felt like. It’s so powerful. I’m also surprised by how much I want to spend time with him. I have no desire to be away from him, even for an evening or a few hours. I’m back to work and he is in day care, but if he wasn’t close by and I wasn’t able to see him every 3 hours it would be really difficult to handle. I never thought I would be a person to say this, but my world revolves around him now, and I love all of it. Nothing about my ambition or goals has changed, but my day to day has changed a lot, in great ways.
My family has not experienced a major milestone this year, so far. We have each been living our lives, watching my nieces grow up and coming together every Sunday for family dinner.
My sister is pregnant. We are very close in age and grew up like best friends, but everything changed during our teens. She cut me off and bullyed me and it really hurt. When she said she was pregnant I finally realized that she isn't that mean girl she was ten years ago. I held a grudge for so long and in the end I was the only one hurting. I'm trying to get to know my sister again, this time as adults. And I want to meet this baby so badly.
My 28-year old son moved back home with us. It hasn't affected us in any serious way, but it is frustrating that he doesn't take more responsibility for household things. He mostly minds his own business, and is helpful with the dogs (sometimes). He is working, but not full-time, which is frustrating. He is very talented, but I fear he is "stuck," and I wish he would seek help to make sure his life is moving in a healthy, forward direction.
I'm now a married woman! I love it and feel so grateful for my wife.
My husband retired from his job at Stockholm University. I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop when it comes to impact on me personally -- I have noted that he has considerable anxiety around the transition, though in my eyes not much has really changed, since his job mostly involves going to the library, reading and writing, which he will continue to do. We'll see!
We're moving on, the kids are growing and growing older. And we've gotten a bunch richer... No real milestones... just older and richer.
Other than what I've already talked about, I do feel like the conversations I've had with my partner regarding the status of our relationship has been a good milestone, though it wasn't one discrete event. I just feel more confident about the expectations of our relationship now and what it will likely look like in the future.
My grandma died in August. She was my last living grandparent. I’m not really sad that she’s gone, because the dementia took her years ago. She didn’t really have a life anymore. But it is a bit strange that she’s not here anymore. We never have to go visit Spring Arbor again. The situation with Grandma continues to make me grateful for Omi.
My mum came and stayed to look after me while I had chemo. We’ve never been close but she was amazing and we grew so close to each other through it. In a dark and sometimes desperate time, she was an absolute lifeboat of positivity, grace and love. Thanks mum. I love you and I hope I’m still here next year to read this to you x
I honestly can't think of a major milestone. My husband and I are great, we got thru the winter and many feet of snow, while I was gone. Family is all good. Dad got married. Weird but whatever.
My grandmother's cancer returned this past year, so that has been pretty dramatic to grapple with and pretty influential in how my family has related to each other and been a community. We talk to each other more often and are more comfortable talking about uncomfortable topics and are more vulnerable to each other. So, even though it's tragic and I'm worried next year she won't be around, it's brought our family back together in a really beautiful way.
My estranged daughter has started to have a relationship with me again. Her withdrawal caused me a great deal of distress and heartache. All I've ever done is support her and love her. It was losing my mother that woke her up to realizing how important a parent is. The relationship is not perfect yet but it is a new beginning.
Mum and dad turned 70. That was... small in some ways, but still, also big. They are 70. They really aren't getting any younger. By the end of this decade, they'll be old, by any measure. My dad's parents didn't reach 80, they died at 78 and 79. That's a scary thought. I got kittens. I didn't think it through enough. I don't look after them well enough, I think they will entertain each other, and while that's true I should also look after them more. But I do love when they sit on me. I don't like the bits where they poo and wee out of the litter tray, and there's a definite smell of cat urine in the hall that I really need to get to the bottom of. And I need to impose order on the house, which would be easier if I didn't have to worry about them. But still. They are lovely and I love them, and I feel better coming home when J's not here because of them.
cancer! It has given me a tremendous respect for my husband and 10yo daughter. they have been so strong. It has shown we can work as a team through any challenge.
We had a baby! She is our first, and it has affected us in literally every way possible. I knew life would be different, but wow- there is really no way to prepare for how unbelievably life altering it is. Growing her, bringing her into the world, and caring for her is the hardest thing I've ever done. I'd love to say it's all been smooth sailing, but honestly the adjustment has been hard. Not necessarily being a mom- I really do love being a mom, and feel like I'm doing a competent job. The struggle is more so in figuring out how to fold my old identities, especially as an employee, around this new one that requires so much of my time, attention, and heart. In the day to day it still feels hard- but I hope when I come out of this a bit I'll have learned to give myself grace in new ways that I wasn't good at before. My heart is fuller than ever, but so is my plate. It's okay that it feels hard in addition to rewarding.
My little sister got married and wants to start a family. So I moved back to California to be closer
I don’t think that there were any. No one was born, no one died, no marriages, no divorces, no one went to jail and no one came out of jail.
Our church family was able to move debt free into a much larger space. Now we will be able to do more community outreach and grow even more! It's been awesome!
Our big milestones this year have been my five year anniversary with my husband, successfully toilet training our three year old, and our youngest’s first birthday. Our life is busy and often chaotic, but those three people bring so much joy.
Our eldest moved to sixth grade/middle school. It's definitely made some changes in how we handle after school, drop off, homework, etc. Their sister is both happy and sad to be at school alone.
Kiddo started pretty-school He’s getting to be big to pick up safely and carry. It’s amazing and sad.
My brother moved back in with my parents, and it has impacted our relationship. It's been a number of years since we lived in the same city (I live on my own), and it has been tough to navigate. He shared a lot of opinions on my relationship with my parents that were quite hurtful to me, and while I know much of it comes from his own insecurities and needing to project those externally, it caused a rift in our relationship. I reacted without thinking to some of the things he said, he told me to leave him alone, and we essentially don't speak anymore. We've both changed in recent years, and co-existing has become challenging. While I live on my own, have a full-time job, and have a community of friends I am close to, he is much more of a homebody and happy to stay at home with my parents. Unfortunately, that has manifested in his sharing that he thinks I am selfish and not a good daughter and that I don't spend enough time with my parents, none of which I think my parents would agree with but which have left a mark on me. I hope we can repair our relationship, but we both need to go to therapy and talk through some things on our own first.
We went to Croatia and Slovenia
The death of my grandmother unexpectedly in December. I hadn't seen here for a while. My mom was devastated and I heard the news doing the menial task of putting bagel bites in the oven. I remember wishing I was closer to her in the moment and I still wish I was. I wish shed called when I moved but I could have called too. I just realized the impermanence of everything and need to remind people you love them.
I feel like I have been so consumed with my cancer fight that I have lost touch with my husband and son and that our relationships are the worse for it.
My brother started driving this year and it is now easier to get to places.
A major milestone is having both our kids in high school. It definitely feels like I, as a parent, and us as a family, have "crossed over." The parents at back to school night at a high school are noticeably older than those at an elementary school. And so many of my friends are now empty nesting. I definitely feel the shift in my demographic and it's wild! We still have a 14 year old, which is pretty young. But to be done with elementary and middle school feels like a big deal.
Started blended family coaching! Harmonize our families and work on opportunities
My brothers turned 60, which is somehow more of a shock than when I turned 60, since they're my "little" brothers. I adore my brothers. I am lucky that at this stage in life, with all the mom-aging management, that we tend to agree on issues surrounding her care. We work well together, we support each other and mostly we are kind to each other in spite of a certain amount of sniping that is habitual and reflex and usual feels loving and humorous. When my kids were little and angry with each other I used to tell them that they were they only people they'd be able to talk to about "how it was" in their family. That's certainly true for me and my brothers. I trust them implicitly and always. I was so happy to be there, to give a (too long) speech, and spend time with them. So how does this affect me? Aside from all the practicalities in my life made easier by one or the other of them, my answer is Gratitude.
1 year alcohol free. Mental and physical health so much better.
the unexpected death of a cousin's son-in-law rattled their family and caused the rest of us to think about mortality once again. elderly aunts and uncles are really showing their age, and my other cousins are discovering how difficult it is to take over many things for their parents without continuous conflict.
My little brother is getting married. That is so insanely cool and it’s also been interested watching my mother react to having to cede control over his life. It has been kind of humorous for me, given how controlling and opinionated she has been my whole life. I shouldn’t be so amused, but I am.
Basically me deciding to get married. I was taken aback by just how excited and happy my parents are. I really really hope it lives up to all of our expectations!! (oh yeah, and I am married in the US!)
My brother and sister-in-law turned 40, my sister and brother-in-law turned 30, and most importantly, my dad turned 70. My dad turning 70 hits me the most... a lot of people are having kids when they are older, but at 35 and we haven’t even started trying, I really hope it works out for us soon. I want my kids to have the pleasure of knowing my parents when they are getting closer to adult age. They’ve both been instrumental in my life and my dad and I have a very close connection. I see visual signs of my dad slowing down and that hurts because he’s always been quite vibrant. Hopefully he takes care of himself so he can live another 30 years (to 100 like 20!)
My dad passed away from a long battle with dementia. His passing was sad but grieving him while he lived was harder. I am glad he no longer suffers!
My mother was diagnosed with cancer. We all chipped in to take her to appointments. I took off time from work to fly home and assist. It brought my core family unit closer together. It also made us realize who we can depend on during challenging time in our extended family. may people that we supported over the years disappeared during our time of need.
There haven’t been any major milestones. This might sound boring or bland, but after the “exciting times” of the last decade, boring is very welcome. Life is calm, peaceful and magnificent.
My daughter moved to Reno, in with her partner. I am Grammy to their little boy. This makes me so so happy, except - I do not live in Reno, and I miss her so much. I want to be with them, or near to them, to fulfill my Grammy role and be part of their lives. Additionally, my dad finally know my daughter prefers women as relationship partners. This was kept from him for a long time, as my daughter (whose job is is to tell her own life-story) was hesitant to tell him, because she didn't want him upset with me. That's his pattern. He's invited me for dinner tonight, less than a week since he found this all out. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
this year there were none. which is quite nice. big changes in other people's lives -- Saul died -- but we are stable and keep moving forward. I am very blessed.
After moving to Georgia over 25 years ago, I decided to move to Florida with my fiancé to help care for and support his aging parents. That meant leaving my daughter and my 3-year old grandson, and 25 years of close friendships to start over. On the one hand, it’s been challenging not seeing my family regularly, starting over and establishing new friendships, finding places to shop for the types of food and products that I prefer. But on the other hand, I’m enjoying life with my fiancé (we’ve been together for over 10 years, but living together for the first time), and more diligent about working out, which we do together.
This year, we had to deal with Reese being sick for the first time, and having the surgery to remove an anal gland and the cancer. He's been such a good boy but had such a tough recovery, and it was really hard to face losing him. I'm really thankful that he's alive and (for the moment) healthy, but now that I know what the anxiety of having a sick dog feels like, I'm definitely afraid of what will come in the future.
My parents are starting to live more in Florida. I'm getting to see then more often. At times this brings us closer offer times they need to learn that I'm an adult and have been living in my own and make my own descions.
My son and daughter in law bought their first home. It's lovely and it allows my husband and me to visit more often because there is now room for us to stay. Unfortunately, the purchase of the home and everything we've done to assist and celebrate the move hasn't really moved the needle of our somewhat strained relationship with our daughter in law. She's still hurting or unable to move past a conflict we had several years ago despite profound and sincere apologies and actions to back them up. We're hoping over time the rift will heal, but it remains painful for all of us so far.
WE. ARE. ADOPTING. A. NEW. BABY. GIRL. AND. I . AM. SO. EXCITED.
2018 election results and young women in Congress! Proud to be an American
Aside from the actual move: the biggest thing that's happened is that Alex has gone back to full-time singing! I have LOVED seeing him in performance mode again. He took a little bit of a pay cut, so that has affected how I manage our money, but so far, I think it's absolutely worth it. He also has to travel more now-- that was one of the things that drove him away from full-time music in the first place-- and that's challenging, of course, but again, worth it.
Hmm. No major milestones as far as births or deaths or weddings or big news. I suppose it depends what one means by a milestone! I spent a few weeks in Australia with my brother and his family and he and I had a fairly meaningful breakthrough as far as our relationship and understanding of each other and ability to communicate. That means a lot to me. OH! I thought of a milestone. We sold our house in Whistler. Which was really more of a home than many other places we've lived. I had many coming of age experiences there and it holds a special place in my heart. It feels like the end of an era to let it go. That kind of change is hard. There is sadness and nostalgia for a time that was. We filled that home with love. I hope the new owners feel some of that.
My mum got cancer, but I'm in Australia. I was worried, tried to conjure a plan but she had a simple operation and is seemingly all ok right now. I have nearly completed my graduate diploma in psychology but I struggle to finish my last assignment. It's like my head becomes muddles full of ideas and nothing I can do shakes the words from my consciousness. I met a girl, briefly but she had to return home to Brazil. I've been on dates and swiftly been cut off from communicating on online dating apps. We are all so intolerant. A product of at your fingertips knowledge and communication. I'm not really sure I can look at my or my families life in terms of milestones. I haven't worked for anyone else for most of the year but I have transitioned. Evolved, accepted and forgiven.
My wife and I renewing our vows at the beach was definitely a key moment this past year. It showed our willingness to double-down on ourselves, commit, and show we are two new people creating a new path for our relationship.
It’s been a fairly quiet year.... no births, no deaths, no major illnesses, no separations, no moves. Our wedding probably the most major milestone this passed year.
Another baby. Third child. Final child. I can finally free up some space, get rid of some stuff. Never have to risk childbirth again. Going to get easier from here. But then again, it's pretty tough right now. Draining. And I'm still worried about my career.
Our granddaughters second birthday made me realize I want to be sure she knows me as she grows up. Therefore the use of FaceTime is more important. Trying to do this weekly.
One of my cousins had her first kid. It didn’t really affect me though. But he’s adorable and seeing his picture on my Facebook feed makes me smile - especially since it’s one of the rare non-political posts that pop up
I got divorced. It's changed my family life completely; I now look after my twin daughters while doing a full time job and running out household. It's been a very tough but super rewarding experience and we are settling nicely into our new 'normal'
Nearly a year ago, I came out to my family. It was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I was dating Gaby. I spent the whole weekend so nervous that I couldn’t speak or breathe. Finally, I told them that I was dating someone, and that it was a woman. Rita began laughing hysterically, Evan looked away, papa said “okay!” and walked off, and mama asked if she was Jewish. They said they weren’t surprised, but mama was obviously hurt that I hadn’t told her earlier. She added that no one else should know, and we’ll figure it out if a wedding comes. No one in the family has mentioned it in the 11 months since that day. Rita disengaged when I asked for support while breaking up with Gaby, and mama has stopped asking questions about dating altogether. It feels like they’re pretending it didn’t happen, although it obviously did because I look so different now. I’m sad, hurt, and feel distanced from them. I worry about how they will react if I date again. I wish they could be proud of my queerness, just as they seem to be of the folks not in our family, and just as I am of my own sexuality and identity.
Mazel and I are starting to draw Social Security which vastly improve our cash flow. This in turn will lead to less stress.
my cousin Gary's PAC (a lot of his own money he created it with) and hard work got a law changed in New York state about sexual abusers, and then another law about sexual education in schools as far as awareness of this issue. It has made me very proud of him
I finally got to visit my sister and met my lil niece and nephew! It was so joyous and wonderful to reconnect after all that time. I had worried that it would be awkward since we hadn't seen each other in years, but it was really supportive and wholesome.
Having Miu live here has been the biggest change this year, I think, because it brought so many challenges in itself and so many possibilities for the future. Now he's getting ready to move out (though I expect him to be back sooner than later), which brings its own set of challenges. Throughout, he's shown a precise spotlight on all the places where who I think I am or want to be differs from who I actually am. Of course, that's super uncomfortable, and I have striven (and often but certainly not always succeeded) to respond by becoming more the person I want to be. Having him here has also taught me a great deal about the realities of being homeless and young in this town, and that's just purely depressing. One of his friends who stayed here for a night (because they were suicidal and would otherwise have been outdoors) described themself as "second-generation homeless" and said that the major problem with that is that "all the tweakers know who I am." Even providing housing isn't really enough, but the pride normal to young adults coupled with the certainty that housed people don't even begin to understand what the world looks like to them (we don't) make it really hard for them to accept non-material help. This has all made me slow down, pay attention, and practice humility.
My sons decided to convert to Judaism. When I first converted several years ago, I had made up my mind that it was a choice I was making, and that I wouldn't push or pull them into it against their will. Fast forward to this past summer, when they asked me if they could convert! I was blown away. Their interest and spiritual love were sparked by the synagogue we belong to, and the love they've found in our community there. I couldn't be prouder! And now my eldest son and I are planning his bar mitzvah. I never even dared to dream that this would happen in my life, and I'm grateful that it has.
We entered sandwich generation territory. My parents started to need more help than they could give each other. Over and over, my sister and I have had to find the balance between telling them what had to happen next and allowing them to be autonomous adults making decisions we weren't confident about. It continues, although not as dramatically as at the beginning of the year. I'm proud of the times when I was able to be both firm and compassionate at the same time, and I'm drained by how hard this is.
My elderly father and my precious dog's health both began to fail. This has made me reevaluate how much time I would like to spend with my family.
We made it through the year with no deaths. Is that a milestone? I'm entering my "junior" year as Bryan starts his senior year. Looking towards retirement is both exciting and stressful. It's going to be hard to get through this year at work knowing there is yet ANOTHER year. Stressful because, what's next? I want an adventure, but that's not happening for a while. Things feel pretty dull - or maybe just I feel pretty dull.
Hmm, I mean several major things have a happened this year. My mom graduated Yale as a Doctor. My brother got engaged and he and his now fiancé got into top grad schools and have started classes. My dad has lived his first spring/summer in Wisconsin. And I have started back up in school again. Lots of things to live up to and get excited about I guess.
My grandma passed away. I haven’t really processed that yet, that she won’t be at Thanksgiving. I was out of the country for her death and funeral and so I haven’t gotten the closure that would have provided.
Both of my twins graduated from college this year. Since they are my youngest children, it means that all of my kids are now officially launched. My job here is done, more or less. It is bittersweet. It’s hard to believe that their childhoods are over, but there is also a freedom in knowing that they are now responsible for themselves. With the whole family together for both graduations, it also made me realize that I can’t really spend time around my ex-husband any more. He is too difficult. So that was a confirmation that the family as it once was no longer really exists.
I don't think it was a year for major milestones in our family, but there were a few along the way. We watched our son go through security to get on a plane to fly to Europe for his semester abroad. That felt big. He's traveled big before, but this was the first time he's gone completely alone. It's been exciting watching him plan for it and seeing/hearing his stories from there. We will get on a plane to see him next week...that will be a big milestone for next year, I suppose! I had surgery and have worked hard at making both my body and my mind healthier...neither is there yet, so not really major milestones, but these are all big parts of my year and the good days are good and something for which I am proud of the work I've done.
I can't really think of anything this time. It's been a peaceful year.
This past year my grandpa had to have open heart surgery - it honestly went better than expected and he recovered very quickly for being 83 years old!! He is the heart, soul, and glue of our family and I had some anxiety about what life will be like when he is gone - because sadly, he can't live forever. It made me even more appreciated of the fact that I live so close to my entire family and that I have such great relationships with them!
Not certain this is a milestone, but my soon to be 32 year old daughter decided to go to graduate school. She left a very well paying job in the arts; I am paying her tuition, which hurts because I need the money to fix the house. I have confidence that this was the right decision for her and hope she will gain mastery of the field and especially that it will improve her self esteem.
A major milestone was when I went to give Eric one white rose and one red rose and tell him I am so very grateful he made me a mom of our three kids. It was a very emotional experience and I'm glad I did. He has always been a good dad to the kids and I wanted to tell him that and apologize for any animosity I show him throughout the years.
My older daughter spent a month in Israel during the summer. It was the longest and the farthest that she has ever been away from us. My younger daughter was away at camp for part of the same time, but she was home for the second half of it. It felt like a test run for when my older one goes away to college. We texted every day, but she had to handle anything that came up mostly on her own. She had an amazing experience and learned a lot about herself. And it gave the rest of us a taste of life with only 3 people in the house instead of 4. While I was super proud of her, I also missed her like crazy and was so happy to see her when she got off the plane. It made me realize that I'd be perfectly happy if she didn't go far away to college. It also made me realize that I have to trust her to take care of herself more and more.
I don't feel I have a family. I suppose those related by blood count, but I don't know what's going on with them. I'll try to think of who feels more like a family than my relatives? It all feels very distant. It's weird that I can objectively see how lonely I am, and be sort of clinically worried by it, but also not deeply motivated to do something about it. I suppose I'm dissociating.
Two milestones...My son did study abroad and it changed him. He is more mature and happier. We visited at the end of this semester. My mom took a major fall in June. She has needed constant care since then. Why did we not expect it? Our hope is that she can get back to where she was before the fall, but it has been three months and is seeming so much less likely that she will get better.
Again, there are two. My oldest granddaughter graduated from college in 3 years. She worked a job and was on the dean's list. I'm so so very proud of her. I want to do all I can to lift her up and support her. She absolutely deserves it. The birth of my second granddaughter has been a timely reminder of how life just yearns for itself and cannot be denied.
Before this year I never considered my parents and I to have a working relationship, I never even considered them as family. I don't know when the switch happened, but somehow this year that slowly started to change. Maybe they realized that this was the last year I would ever live at home, or they realized I'm an adult, but what ever it is they talk to me now. They value my opinion, and seem to trust me for the first time ever. When I talk it isn't met be screaming and yelling, or flat out ignorance. I enjoy talking and spending time with them individually. We still aren't to the point where I enjoy handing out with them both at the same time, but I have hope that someday they will work out their own issues in the same way they both did with me.
There has been death, new doors and opportunities. These have taught me that I should stop wasting time and It’s my time to live my dream. It’s my time to control my destiny.
There's been no major milestone for my family this past year. Jacque and Courtney are getting married next April. I continue to thrive in my relationship with Johnnie. Jill and Luke may have to move out of their home after next summer when Robbie graduates. Robbie is a senior in high school and has recently found a deeper voice and has grown several inches taller--puberty hit late for him. He is more talkative and engaged; it's nice to see. My father and mother continue to age but they do well overall. And I continue to grow into myself and appreciate where I've been and who I am now more than ever, and I intend for that to continue. Johnnie says I'm "evolved". I'm not so sure about that, but if it is true it is certainly a milestone.
I was able to come home from my dorm and actually look forward to it! Having my own space and my own place makes it so much more enjoyable to hang out with family.
Ira was fragile, vulnerable and needy and so I did my best to "be" with him and listen deeply. Selfishly, I need him alive as my last family person but compassionately, I need to "hear" him and support whatever decisions he makes, even if that causes him to die. I'm deeply afraid for his sanity.
We didn't really have any milestones. It's just been an endless slog the past couple of years.
My partner and my best friend reunited. I am the godmother of my best friend’s son. The last time I was with this partner, my best friend was a brand new mom. My partner and best friend are my Queer Chosen Family, and it was touching and lovely that they reunited with so much genuine excitement. We have all gone out on family outings and spent significant days together. My partner (who is Jew-ish) also went to shul with me for Rosh Hashanah, which was a big step for us, as a couple who intends to have a Jewish wedding and raise our children in a Reconstructionist household.
Well this year my dad lost his job and it actually has brought our family closer together. We realize how hard it has been for him because it was not a clean split and he felt maltreated but my family and I have stood behind him during this tough time and it has been a rewarding result as my father still feels confidence.
My Dad, Conner and I spent time together that felt good and renewing. Also, my family has spent a lot of time together, which has been a really good thing. We celebrated my dad turning 60. It has helped me realize how sacred to me my family is.
My dad hurt himself earlier this year--they were visiting me at the time, and I found myself in the position of taking my father to the ER, and then driving them to their home and to and from doctor's appointments and surgery. He's ultimately fine; this wasn't a big deal. But, still, it was a taste of the future as my parents age, and I start to take care of them, as much as they take care of me.
My husband left his job. He had been commuting 3hrs to work overnight. We are all getting better rest now. I feel much more supported and I’m even getting control of our finances. Overall his choice has greatly benefited our family.
I gave up trying to be a "good person". I have no idea what that means in the context of a relationship in which a person is transitioning. I had thought that anything that my partner was going through was so much more important than what I was going through -- struggle means importance, right? But all I did was create a dynamic that resulted in anger and frustration and the addition of an abuser in our lives. I now do not hold myself to a "good person" standard, because it's unrealistic. I am a person who has negative feelings and thoughts an impulses, and I try to not impose that on my family. That's all.
we got pregnant! and we experienced miscarriage. it has affected me in so many ways. I am deeply aware of how much I learned about grief, joy, the contours of grieving and being interested in those valleys and canyons carved into me. But I also felt such hope and joy and connectedness during the time we were pregnant. I feel aware of my body in new ways. I wrote to Lox: "I got to be pregnant for a little bit in a way that never included perceiving the baby physically. I never felt a kick or something. So it was really about me and my own body sense, without the alien-inside sense, and I feel kind of.. not grateful, but thoughtful?... about that and its way of teaching me. I loved those weeks of bring pregnant and loving my body as I watched it soften."
Benji was born just before this past year, so the major milestone was getting past the desperate, frantic shock of caring for 2 kids under 2. Now, either Richard or I can survive on our own with both kids. We can handle a double bedtime or double dinner and are even planning some trips away where one of us will be home with both kids for a few days at a time. Our confidence has grown and the kids have gotten easier. Potty training mostly accomplished for Arthur and Benji walking and pointing to make his needs known have both helped.
My father passed on 5/15/19. I feel alone, as though I have no family left.
Our daughter & family decided to move to San Diego. It's been a process - When they first mentioned it, I was devastated. How could they kidnap our new Granddaughter? It felt cruel. As the months rolled into the eventuality EREV RH - I realized that all I really wanted was for them to be happy. After all they're not ours - we give them their wings. They'v been there less than a week but I'm happy because they seem happy. That's all we want and we have the opportunity to visit them as much as we'd like - for me the anticipation is always worse than the reality - (I just have to remember that)
My sister has had a horrible year. Her husband has Alzheimers and they finally got help for him that comes to the house. then just recently the dog that has been part of their family for ages died. She herself is not well and needs more surgery sometime this year. She does not live close to us, so it is difficult for us to visit there and offer to help-.
Having a child suffer a heart attack and require open heart surgery is about as major as I want things to get. It scared the dickens out of me and the rest of the family. We all suffer crises and we all suffer losses, but when it is a child (an adult child) it awakens us once again to the fragility of life. It makes me want to be closer to everyone that matters in my life.
The major milestone in my family this year will be the death of my grandmother. I don't know how it will affect me but I have an idea that it will give me more empathy and more loving presence.
We hit the 1 year anniversaries of our dead. My husband, my mother, my cousin. We survived. The anticipation of the anniversaries were far more difficult than the actual days. We survived, and are stronger.
For the first time, my partner and I started merging holidays. I actually thought it was going to break us up. His family did NOT want to let him skip a single holiday. Normally this wouldn't matter, as he's Christian and I'm not, but it really hit home around Thanksgiving. We've since been trying to have conversations about what traditions are important to us and why, and how we can try to merge our lives together while still staying connected to our respective families. One way we're attempting to make this work is with Passover, where we decided that in the coming year, we'll be hosting the first seder so we can take ownership and do it our way. It's tough to make compromises on faith, the one thing I thought I'd never compromise on, but learning to make room is an important part of building a relationship.
Publishing Aunt Jodie’s Guide to Evolution has been a big milestone for me. Becoming a published author, all the support from my family and friends, learning so much in the process of publishing, then actually holding my book in my hands, and knowing it’s going to help parents teach their kids about science - it’s been a big journey with very positive feelings.
This year my husband and I met with an attorney to explore if we should have a Trust or a Will. We finally decided on setting up a Trust. Then we needed to have discussions on how we wanted our assets to be distributed, who would be the executors, and all of the issues around how we wanted to leave our assets. I had been thinking about this the last few years but this was the first time Bob had to face his mortality and determine what he really wanted for his relatives, friends, etc. Since we don't have children, we talked about who should be included, how to distribute with the least cost to the receiver, and what charities really deserve some monetary help. It was enlightening, created headaches, and showed us both who and what we value most.
My dad celebrated 20 years in his job. He started when I was in kindergarten not really knowing how long he would be there and here we are 20 years later. It has not really affected me but has made me appreciate the magnitude of his accomplishments. How much longer will he stay?
A major milestone in my family this past year, happened this past July. I am honored to say that I was able to take part and celebrate in the patriarch of our families 80th birthday. It may not seem important to some, but when you get the chance to talk to and listen to the fascinating stories that my grandfather has told all seventeen of his grandchildren, would blow you away. Everything from 1983 when he was running for mayor of Boston and the odds were against him, to 1993 when President Bill Clinton wanted him to represent the United States as being the US Ambassador to the Holy See. Even though I was not around for these years, I feel as though it has made an impact on both his and my life in terms of spending countless days and nights having conversations with him, and learning important information on how my family became my family. Some of the stories I have heard about the people he has met and what he has done to try and better our city and even our country are truly remarkable. Many times I find myself the last one at his house at family parties because this is when I know he will tell his most important stories, secrets and lessons I could ever learn. Many of these contain important ways of how to think and how to treat others, even if you are not a politician because our character is one of the most important things we have. I feel as though many people take for granted what they can learn from their Grandparents, which is why I try to visit and check up on mine as much as possible. Especially when people get to a certain age, we have no idea how much time they will be in our lives, and I am extremely grateful that I have been able to spend this valuable time with him. I pray for many more educational and loving years with my Grandfather and am proud to be carrying on his legacy each and everyday.
Oh my goodness, what a question. My family, being me, mum and dad have been brought back together from over seas moved them moved apart again to different states. They are great, family is an amazing support. However sometimes to grow you have to have some distance between you.
This last year has been a hard year for my family, lots of ups and downs in my relationship with my children. I think that the biggest change/challenge is the transition of my children from their being Teens and Young 20 somethings who still need mom to now full fledged Adults with families and obligations and stresses of their own--and the general need for me to view them and our relationship differently because of this transition/milestone. It's been hard stepping back some and giving them the room and the respect they need as full adults, and it's been difficult dealing with an empty nest and an empty schedule with kids that need me less and less and having a lot more time alone and on my own. But I am starting to build activities and interests to fill that time.
Oh man - I got pregnant! And not only that - before this year is ACTUALLY over, I'll be married again, too. I remember the first time Tyler told me he wanted me to be his family - he said it just like that, "I want you to be my family." He didn't ask me to marry him that day, or even that year, but he was so earnest in saying it with absolutely no agenda that it melted my heart. Now here we are, creating an actual family of our own from "scratch" with a daughter (Louise, after my late grandma) on the way in early 2020. Though she's not even here yet, I can honestly say nothing and no one has affected me more. We are already in love with her and more in love with each other BECAUSE of her every day.
I got a new job (at Murmuration). More regular hours. More money. I think it has relieved some stress on all of us.
I guess this counts as a milestone... We have a standing invitation from friends to join them for Thanksgiving and Easter. We stay over (they live in MD and we in VA) and another family we are all friends with come down each year from CT to stay over like the big extended family I always dreamed I'd have. This year with Passover overlapping with Easter I asked if anyone was interested in my "hosting" (at their house) a seder. The other 2 families are not Jewish but they loved the idea. We ended up with 4 kids and 8 adults at the seder. They (especially our hosts) loved it so much they want me to do it again this year but with another group of friends added to the mix as well! I'm really looking forward to it. We founded a new tradition. I feel like it makes up in so many many ways for the lack of involvement from blood relatives.
Our old nanny share family moved away and we found a new family to share our same nanny with. It was a bittersweet goodbye as our dear friends who we saw every day moved out to the country and had a second child, but it has been a joy to welcome a new best friend into my kid's life and get to know another great family. Watching my kid grow up continues to be one of the greatest joys.
One brother got divorced and another brother moved to a new job that is likely to be his last before retirement. These two milestones basically solidified the situation as it is now: I am in Cleveland taking care of my mom full-time, my brother and sister-in-law are now in Oklahoma and adjusting to a new job and new life so they don't have time for pretty much anything, and my other brother is in Utah figuring out custody and money with his ex and now in an apartment - again with no room for my mom. So I can't depend on either of them for respite of any kind, not for the foreseeable future. It's depressing. But on the other hand I only have maybe another three years or so with my child - less than that, really - and so I don't really want to go away this year anyhow.
My grandma passed away on the secular New Year, and a month later my niece was born. It was a reminder of how quickly time passes. How I need to cherish all the moments. My children are getting older, and I am getting older. Time doesn’t slow down, and neither should I.
I went on a road trip with my dad. It's a milestone because he came with me, did something different, and took a break. I feel bad that he's so stressed all the time and it's nice that he has these memories to fall back on. It affected me well. I mean, I feel closer to my dad now. And am paying attention to my relationship with him, what I learned from him, what we have in common, how he can surprise me.
The only major milestone I can think of would be that as of a few months ago, Nepal surpassed Brazil and Canada to be the country that I have spent the most time in other than the U.S. I have lived here for over three years now. It is a strange thing to be an expat. I live here, but I am a visitor and feel like I always would be. It is like I am on permanent vacation, but I go to work almost every day. I think it has affected me in quite negative ways in that I feel fundamentally alienated from most people around me. However, I think that was true when I lived at "home" too.
My 70th birthday - how affected me- mostly with humor.
Dad died. This has been much much harder than I expected. He was so helpless and so unhappy. He never wanted to be 'bed ridden'. I expected a little relief, but instead I am still hurting seven months later, really overtly hurting. Still edging into tears, still just plain crying at the tiniest provocation. I feel disconnected from my StL family and very lonely. And I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to tell G-d how very big (S)He is, making kaddish painful. And I don't want to be in big groups.
Two of my cousins (in their 30s) had babies and it made me hope that there was still time for me. But I think due to health and circumstances it won’t happen. I feel a sad longing, but also a freedom. Now, it really is my life and I don’t have to take into account anyone’s future but my own. So can I? That’s the question for next year.
Two things: 1) My mom retired. It has been inspiring to see my parents in retired life, living it up and making the most of every minutes. 2) My grandmother passed away. This was really hard but also it was powerful to see how she accepted her death and was really ready. She said her goodbyes, went to sleep and didn't wake up. We had a nice family reunion and I think the money she left will also create some opportunities for additional family time.
Margo's apartment! Made us real empty nesters, and it's much sweeter than it is weird. I remember longing for our two-ness when we could barely arrange date nights, never mind stay awake long enough to not risk the kids still being awake when we got home. Would it ever again be like it was before children? I feared it wouldn't, and I was right, of course it couldn't; but I was more wrong: I didn't dare imagine better. This kind of sweeter is so sneaky; impossible to describe, impossible to depict onstage or onscreen or in novels, impossible to really see in other couples. It's a smoldering secret glee.
Poppy graduated from high school this past summer and Viola graduated from elementary school moving into middle school. I continue to address my business as it happens and all the moving parts with money, people and my relationship to it all. I find my awareness deepening into explorations of how I choose the things I do, immersed in my intentions and motivations behind those decisions. I seek self discovery and understanding and look into the people relations as well as the experiences I find myself facing as an indicator of my human progress. Watching my children grow and evolve into functioning people in our culture brings me to address issues of aging, lessons from mistakes made, and my stories about it all. I seek peace. I look for joy in the tiny bits, attempting to teach my daughters what it means to work hard, live well and be happy, I don’t know if I’m successful but I do know my girls love me deeply and seek my counsel. This gives me hope that I am moving in the good direction as well as making a bigger impact in the world by teaching the kids integrity to lives their own lives by. I want to walk well on the red road, the traditional term for living a good life by solid principles and grounded actions.
My sister and I (90% my sister) figured out Dad’s involvement in the liberation of Dachau. It has helped me process him in my mind. I just wish I could thank him.
My dog died this year. I miss him so much. He was our first child, really, and his absence is so keenly felt in our house. I didn't know how much I could love until my Toby taught me. He made me want to be the best provider, protector, doggy daddy I could be. I wasn't always great. I could be impatient and short-tempered, but my love for him was deep. Losing my Toby was the first time I really prayed for forgiveness. When I found out he had lung cancer, and when I knew it was terminal, I laid my head in his fur and cried as I asked him to forgive me for every time I had ever been short with him, every time I had eschewed his company, every time I was frustrated. I think he forgave me or maybe he saw nothing to forgive. It was also the first time I really wanted there to be an afterlife. We've lost many family members and several friends over the years, some way too soon, but for some reason Toby was the first being that I really wanted to be in heaven. I think it's because everything about him came from love. Even his grumpy growls. While I grieve and will never ever stop loving my pooch, I am also incredibly grateful that he opened up a place in my heart that I always wanted, a place for unconditional love of animals. Our home is full of fur babies because of him, so in this way, he's never far from me. It's so amazing to live in a house over an extended time. The layers of love, loss, joy, sorrow, sadness, and happiness push together to form a rich melange of memory.
I missed dad. We've grown apart bc of politics and the fact that all of a sudden he's a boomer like everyone else. And it was sad but in a detached kind of way. But then I was going through a thing that I needed his advice about and realized I hadn't talked to him in months. Which is shit. And I cried about it. And then I called and it was fine. And talking to him made the bad thing better for a little while.
I don’t know if this is a “milestone” per se, but it is a major event in the life of my family which has affected me greatly. Tonight, my grandmother is probably on one of her last few days of life. I will most likely see her for the last time tomorrow alive. I have barely seen her at all the past year. Her health became bad enough earlier this year that my brother took her in. Unfortunately, I’m not on good terms with my brother and this has kept my family and me away from her ever since. We only managed to go see her once during this time. I’ve been all over the map emotionally, from hatred of my brother, to numbness, to acceptance that I would never see her again, to terror, and everywhere in between. Right now, I’m mostly at peace.
The only major milestone I can think of is that my stepsister and I both graduated high school and went to college. Obviously, this has affected me a lot; I am now living in a completely different part of the country, going to a very different kind of school, and living with very little formal supervision or caretaking, at least relative to what I had for the first eighteen years of my life. This has forced me to be more independent in lots of ways - financially, time-management-wise, etc. - and given me a lot of new experiences.
My part-time job became full-time, at least for now. This was amazing, and means I'm now making a salary I can feel good about. Even when the job feels overwhelming, it is so much better knowing that I'm making money that's closer to commensurate with what I'm worth.
My last great grandparent passed away. After she died, I found myself considering death and the slippage of time in a much more visceral way.
In November last year, my uncle passed away. It was really hard on my family, particularly my Dad. Now he's the last one of his immediate family left. I still miss my uncle a lot. I started tearing up when writing this answer. It still feels weird that I'm never going to see him again.
Asher starting school! The thought of him crying has overwhelmed me but I’m also happy for the break and him learning some independence!
My ordination as a maggidah, and our son’s getting new siding and a new roof—which could change his life if he wants it to.
The most major "milestone" was a death--my ex-husband died on 8/8/19. It was unexpected, but he had been ill for a few weeks. Nobody knew HOW sick! It changed so much in so many of our lives!
My daughter got married last August. It's made me start thinking about how far away I am from my kids and how I want to be close to them when there are grandkids. Lots of choices ahead- for them and for us.
Personally, the most substantial family “milestone” that occurred to my family and I had nothing to do with college, extended family, achievements or finally getting that dog that I will never stop asking for but also never get. My favorite family moment over the course of the past year was when we ventured to Canada. In the thick of the “Junior Grind” with the Term Paper and various other draining projects was February break. During the break, my family and I were not only going to Canada to witness the beautiful country, but to ski. Some families have hockey, others basketball or soccer but for our family, skiing is an activity that never fails to bring us closer together. My sister and I learned to ski at two years old, and we have never looked back. While we are lucky to own a small condo in New Hampshire, we had never traveled extensively to pursue the passion which roots deep into our family’s heart. We were going to Mount Tremblant in Montreal Canada. I lacked the time to research our destination and all it had to offer prior to our vacation, but it failed to let me down. Never mind the daily sub-arctic temperatures, frostbitten faces and toes and the lift lines weaving throughout the mountain, skiing with my family and constantly being surrounded by them was one of the best experiences of my life. Everyday I would wake up looking forward to what the day would hold, wether it be learning new phrases in broken French, discovering a new glade or just bonding with the people I cared for most. What I failed to recognize until now, however, is that trip to Canada will most likely be the last time I ever go away with my family together. In less than z year, I do not know what state I will be in, what I will be studying or what my plan is for the rest of my life. Reflecting back on our trip to Canada, I wish I savored the moment more. Next time I go away with my sister and parents, the circumstances will most likely not be the same. We will all be adults who have to worry about a job, a mortgage and all life has to offer. My sister and I will never have the innocence and ignorance we did as children. Next time we travel together we could have our own families, spouses, pets, children. While I had the preoccupations of the Term Paper and what was going on in math, I still had the mindset and heart of a kid. The trip that my family and I took to Canada was the last time I could enjoy being a kid.
My son, Jesse (my only child) at age 25 moved to L.A. last October from Brunswick, the town in midcoast Maine where my husband and I live and where Jesse lived since 6 years old. He went to university in Maine and then after graduation he rented a house with others for a year in Brunswick and then lived 5 months with us before he drove cross country to live in L.A. So, moving to L.A. was a step towards true independent living and creating his own life. This was a bold, courageous act that he has been waiting to do! And, he sure has done just that! He made his own friends and professional connections and found a place to live. I moved into being a support and being there when he wanted me to be. In other words, I sent him the message which I continue to do that I honor and respect the way he chooses to live his life and that he knows how to access his inner knowing and act upon his inner truth with honor, love, courage, compassion and joy. It has gotten easier and easier to deeply love and celebrate Jesse and our relationship with more healthy detachment, love and ease. I know L.A. is his vibe and even tho he is living across the country, I feel closer to him now and so happy for him than ever before. Of course I miss him at times, but we stay in fairly close contact so I feel very connected to him. He continues to inspire me! He claims the truth of who he is and acts upon that truth!
This year my parents have been adjusting to their life in their new New York City apartment. They sold my childhood home and downsized. This was a major milestone affecting every member of my family differently. Overall, I think we were all affected by the sadness of saying goodbye to my sister and my childhood through that house. A home that we all knew very well.
Daniel coordinated his move from Rancho Cordova to Springfield, MO almost entirely on his own. He is one stubborn and independent young man. I helped him get the car running. Donna helped him navigate the FAFSA system. We also suggested he contact his brother in CO to ask for a stop over point. Other than these things, Daniel coordinated the entire relationship with Drury University. I felt proud to be the father of a child who showed so much independence and ability to survive.
David and I just put an offer on a house, and it was accepted! That's really within the last week. It's really a whirlwind. But it was the right time. I'm happy that we really did "know it when we see it," which I had been saying we would but wasn't really sure. I'll be happy to stop paying rent and to feel more comfortable in a home. I feel ill at ease here on Franklin Street. And so far, we're working together really well on everything...it's tough, and I'm sure I'll get annoyed (maybe justifiably!), but having this is a really big deal to me. Not that I always wanted to own a home--in fact, I think I crave freedom and instability more--but I want to work on something with David together, and I think this will set us up nicely for the future. I'm happy we were able to pull this all together, and grateful for our family's support.
The biggest milestones this year were the birth of my third nibling, and my father-in-law's brush with cancer. Whitton has brought nothing but joy to our family, though I wish we saw him (and the other nibs) more. So much fun to snuggle a baby again! I steal him every chance I can get. With Jeff's cancer, that was such a rollercoaster, and so hard for Matt. From diagnosis to finished with treatment was only 8 months, and they caught it very early, so he was able to do a few rounds of chemo, then scan clean. Still, it was a huuge weight on the whole family. One memory I have from that time was voicing the fear that our kids would never know their grandfather if the worst happened. Matt had the same fear, and talking about it brought it to the surface, but it was good to be able to support each other through.
My mother died, and then my father died three weeks later. So we had two funerals in a month. It was the month of October. Spooky Season and Hallowe'en seem a little less fun this year. Maybe that won't always be true; I hope it won't always be true, anyway.
My father-in-law passing away was a "changing of the guards." My husband is struggling which is having a major effect on our relationship.
Oh Mom - I am grateful for the my close relationship with my mom. When she said to my sister and me that she wanted to move at 88 years old - all we could do is find a way to support her. So she moved. And we have done what we can to support her. Luckily she moved within the county, and is now closer to my sister than me. And luckily my sister has stepped up to help more often. What has surprised me is how hard the move was. Shortly after the move she kept texting us with things that she thought were stolen by the moving company. She had sleepless nights and had a hard time walking and standing. My sister and i talked constantly about what level of care did she need? This has brought me closer to my sister, as we have had to work together to solve the most recent "mom" challenge. This has brought me closer to my mom, giving me infinite patience as I help her through the current "mom" challenge. Ultimately it has given me pause - and reminds me that my time with her is short...and every moment with her is precious.
(Technically this was 2018, but I missed 2018 and this is bigger than anything in 2019.) The biggest milestone was selling mom's house, and her committing to move to Arizona to be closer to my sister. I wonder if that makes me feel more confused about whether to stay in NM. I have considerably less to go back to in Maine, and AZ is less familiar and less appealing, so I'm more likely to stay put. It's also just been sad to watch her brain diminish. It's hard to see her ability to see the big picture diminish. She's not as smart, she needs more help, and it is just sad. It's hard that she has less to draw from to be my support, and rather needs my support more. Her spirit is joyful, and I'm so grateful for that. That's the dominant thing. And underneath it there's a sadness of course, and it seems apt to share it here.
This year was focused on launching our child. The transition from 10 years of home schooling to a selective liberal arts college was expected to be challenging for her, and for her mother who administered her education. What none of us expected was the effect this change has had on me. Due to a confluence of events (my mother's death, unwinding a 20 year business, financial aid processes) it's really not imperative for me to earn all that I can right now; moreover, the reason I was previously focused on earning a high income by using all my time on work was that my child's needs were unknown. So I've lost my job, my link to my own childhood and my reason to care about work in one turn of the road. Who am I now? What do I want from the next third of my life (assuming I live to the ages my parents did)? What does making money & spending it mean? I'm stunned to learn that what I thought was a pivot for the two people I owe everything to is also a pivot point for me.
Mace had a 50th birthday. It was a fabulous celebration with her friends and many family members. I was so proud of her and how much of a difference she has made for so many people. So glad that Scott was able to be there. Mom turned 102 on 12/1 and did not die - I wish she had - she has not functioned in many years. Paige got a great job and is doing well.
Working on overcoming of the separation and continuing our lives making the best of every moment. Seeing my daughters graduate school, be accepted in undergrad and medical school. Be as healthy as possible and alive. See that we all have the ability to continue to strive and dream for a better tomorrow.
My youngest brother had a baby. Blows my mind. In my mind he's still a little kid. He'll be a great dad. He and his fiancee have no idea the commitment a baby is. I kind of laugh. My oldest brother encourages him. Any birth saddens me in a way....that my child's birth wasn't celebrated. That during my pregnancy, no one stared lovingly at my belly and anticipated with the same wonder and awe as I did at the amazingness occuring. I'm very excited for them. They may be in the best position to be good parents in comparison to the rest of the sibling set, sadly. I am an amazing mom. I guess I just mean traditional family success, a little family with all the "right" pieces. I am excited that it seems they won't have to traverse the relational hell that me and the eldest did on our way to parenthood. Every generation deserves and fights for better. My little one has a kick ass Mom who has intentionally shaped a world of kindness, strength, intelligence and intentionality.
On the negative side, family friends of ours lost the Mom in their family to cancer, and her husband has since been battling with his own cancer. To know and see such good people going through such demoralizing pain and toil—physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual—not only puts life in perspective but it leaves me wondering why life is this way, why such bad thing can happen to such good or healthy people. On another note, my grandmother met my girlfriend for the first time. Even as she continues to battle type II diabetes and now also takes on dementia, she recalled enough to ask about her by name when we've visited her since. To know that they've met—even if I don't know what will come next—is one of the most beautiful, authentic things I think I've experienced to date.
My cousin was killed in a car crash back in November. A drunk and heavily drugged driver hit the car where my cousin was in the back seat. It really hit me hard as guilt overcame me; he had mental disabilities and we weren't always patient with him. Even my aunt mentioned that she couldn't die in peace without knowing if he would be in good care after she leaves; she even asked God to take her son before her. It may sound cruel, but my aunt didn't want him to suffer and be around people who wouldn't really care for him. I truly believe that it wasn't a coincidence that the car crash happened, that it was God who decided that it was meant to be. I think it was to teach all of us a lesson to never complain about loved ones nor take them for granted. As a result of my cousin's death, I've learned many secrets about my family as the tension between many members have unraveled as well. I just pray that everyone can find peace and live without resentment. Another uncle of mine died last month, and I've learned again to not take anyone for granted as well. I went to the shrine of St. Jude, asking for the restoration of my other cousin's health and of my cousin's wife's health (they were both in the car), for the spiritual safety of my cousin and hoping that he was in heaven, and for justice in catching the perpetrator. Thankfully my other cousin and his wife are safe and alive, and the police finally caught the guy. So I can only trust that my cousin is finally at peace somewhere out there. This experience has strengthened my faith and my belief in the Lord; he has shown me that everything is meant to be and that it all comes together. There really is something greater that this current life, and I'm thankful for that. On the other hand, I'm angry: there were many hypocrites at my cousin's funeral, and not one person openly apologized for ignoring my cousin during is last year in life. It makes me worried about my own funeral. My biggest fear is no longer death but what will happen after I die, that my enemies and other haters will spread lies about me at my memorial service or say how much they've "cared" about me or "loved" me when in reality was never the case. I refuse to have hypocrites at my own funeral, but unfortunately I won't be there to defend myself, which is fine. I can finally say that at least I no longer fear death as I used to when I was a teenager many years ago. One thing that I'm thankful for is my real family: my parents and my sister. I still live back home with them, and I couldn't be any happier. I'm finally where I'm supposed to be: HOME.
My 52 year old got married for the first time. I am thrilled for him and love my new daughter
I am not sure how to answer, so many many things have happened. We received so many signs to keep going and be positive and happy, even in the hardest times there was always light.
Surviving the first year of Eli’s life was no easy task! I am proud we made it this far with (knock on wood) minimal damage. Becoming a mom has changed every aspect of my life, but now I need to find myself again.
My parents moved to the island. I visited in August and am really happy to be able to spend time with them & my sister again all together, which hasn't happened in...um...none of us could remember the last time. And now it'll happen almost monthly!
The growth of my second granddaughter from tiny infant barely aware of things beyond a foot or two to someone who works diligently to stand band walk while carrying things of interest to her and most of all who recognizes me with a smile awakens me to the incredible patterns of growth and progression and replacement in our life.
Funny- the first thing that came to mind was Amanda getting her degree! I felt nothing but relieved!
One of my dad's best friends died. I suppose that's a milestone because he drinks more now. I turned 21, so I drink more now too. And my little brother is meaner and angrier, which makes my mom meaner and angrier.
Nori was admitted for the first time for a CF tune up. This was a slap in the face reminder that this little girl does, indeed, have a life shortening, degenerative disease that is damaging her lungs and for which there is no cure. It threw me and Nori into a depression. But then, we actually had a wonderful time together in the hospital. My work was so supportive and they encouraged me to take the time off to be with Nori. Nori and I mastered Rummy and we had some wonderful visitors and gifts. It was a very positive, bonding time in the hospital for a week in late August. I even had a period, on account of being in such close contact with my menstruating 14 year old for an entire week. We were both menstruating that week.
Nephews and niece getting engaged and married. Happy for them to have found their partners.
Biggest Milestone this year for this family and tens of thousands more, was the Paradise Fire Storm, November 8, 2018, which precipitated for me the deepest depression suffered in 50 years. So bad I finally asked for some help, and had prescribed a new drug this summer for depression and anxiety, Cymbalta, that has really made a huge positive difference. The decision by Robb and Emma to sell the Outpost, and then as quickly to move to Chico near us, is the other major milestone this last year. Acquiring Jackson, "Jack or Jackie" two years ago as our rescue dog, now 16 years old, miniature schnauzer , with all the same problems as me, back issues, bladder issues, and general decrapity needing naps alot. Millie our other life long and my son's dog who is "mostly labrador" is dealing with cancer and showing her age, now 13, and wisdom. I love her with all my heart. She also visits twice a week and sometimes weekends. Both take much of my attention, concern, and love. The Paradise Fire, among things, wrung me out emotionally in so many ways, and continues. So much could be said about this tragedy, that greatly affected, even killed, friends, family, colleagues, and so much more. I can say that with lots of joy and simple happiness just watching and being with the dogs and grandkids, and wife when we can just be alone, and not to forget that new drug, I am better at this time.
I set clear and strong boundaries with my family effectively changing the dynamic between my siblings, mother and I.
1. Aunt Gretchen's Death, her memorial, and the after party at our house. 2. Best Christmas in a long time at Rachel's house in Nevada. What a joy just to relax and have a truly fun holiday with cousins and everything. So amazing to feel supported. 3. First family reunion since we moved back - held at my house. It was amazing! Almost everyone came. Harrison stayed at our house. I was completely out of my mind with anxiety, but it was a lovely time with music played and good food and everyone happy to be there. I was proud of all of us for making it happen. (But it makes me tired to think of doing it again.) 4. For our little family, we made it up skiing this winter for the first time since RI. It was so much fun for the boys, and such a triumph for me to get back up on skis! Little by little I'm pushing through and getting back to the land of the living. 5. Ilan became a tween at the end of the summer at Kee Tov. He became part of bunch of kids, including girls that like him, and he even had a little party at our house with girls. Totally frightening to me, but I am happy that he has friends.
My dad got married. I've never been so broken. I spent hours crying and so much time denying that it was going to happen. It was the absolute worst day. I remember only getting out of the house because I had my best friend talking to me on the phone. And taking the worst kid of pictures. Crying alone in the sanctuary. Showing up late to the ceremony. Listening to Anna Akana's "Not My Proudest moment" over and over again. I went to therapy for two months. I've gotten over now i think but the anticipation and idea of it kills me. I hate his new wife. Her entire family makes me anxious and the only reason I've been able to move is that school is a bigger stressor for me. I wouldn't speak to my dad for a few weeks. I hope that one year from now I'll be able to look back, remind myself of the lessons I learned, and be able to smile at the journey.
My mom’s retirement, my wedding. Affected me by actually having more family!! And by my parents moving into a new stage of life and of being old. I have really felt a changing of the guard, a renewal of generations, an awareness of the reality that we only have so much time. <3
A major milestone this past year with my family was my grandparents moved out of their house. The house was built by my great-grandparents and has seen my grandma grow up there; my dad, aunt, and uncles grow up there; and all my cousins and I grow up around the house. There were so many things in the house I hadn’t seen in years, or even at all before. There were pictures of my young grandmother as a flower girl at my great-aunts’ wedding, photos of my grandparents’ wedding and engagement photos, photos of family members I never had the chance to meet, my grandma’s half-uncle’s Purple Heart, an antique coffee grinder that was my great-great-grandmothers’, almost anything you can think of as the house hadn’t been cleared out in probably close to 50 years. It was so weird to be cleaning out a place that had been a major part of my life after my parents divorced and I lived with them and my dad half the time. I practically matured into the woman I am today in that house, but it also was a lesson in letting go. Houses and things are just houses and things. The people and memories are what truly matter. I’ll always have those amazing memories with my grandparents be they sleep overs, baking Christmas cookies, coloring eggs, Thanksgivings, Easters dinners, or Easter egg hunting with my cousins in the the back yard. Though the house was a place to facilitate these memories for our family for almost a whole century, I know we will make plenty more wherever we all end up.
We moved my Father from Washington D.C area back to Texas after 30+ years. He was confined to a mental hospital wing and could have visitors in a open room for short periods of time. Now he is living in an assisted living facility with his own tiny apartment! He is so happy and so are all family involved. He is becoming more aware and coherent with each passing day. He now has and uses a record player and iPad! He has even made a few calls from his house phone. I am actually looking forward to visiting my family more over the holidays and seeing his improvements and spend quality time with him while he is alive and free to come and go with us in public!
My nephew's birth was a major milestone. His health issues have been the focus for the family as a whole, but to be honest, it's also been bringing up some heavy losses in me. The loss of my stepchild, the probable loss of my ability to have a child who's mine by blood, the fear of losing any child I might hope to adopt, or that I'll never have a relationship secure enough to co-parent. The young clients I help can't be my kids. The young friends I mentor can't be either. My dog will probably be gone before I'm 40, and I'm afraid there won't be anyone who's mine to take care of. I see the stress and pain and exhaustion my brother and sister-in-law are going through, but more than anything I feel envious of them.
My husband and I celebrated a year of marriage! My daughter has a lovely boyfriend (Jewish!) and we all went on a vacation to Denver by train. Most importantly, we moved my husband's mom to assisted living nearby, so now he and I can see her a lot more often (mostly him). I also helped the family to initiate hospice care for her. I know that my husband is distracted by his mom's decline. It's sometimes a challenge for me to get his attention, but I am grateful to lie down with him in the evenings.
My brother Kenny had to secure long-term, full-time care for his wife, Merry. I have not supported him the way I should; I look forward to engaging with him and supporting him emotionally more so this year.
My son got his driver's license. He's beginning the process of emancipation... its terrifying for me and thrilling all at once...to witness his becoming his own man, standing on his own two feet...less and less dependent on me and his dad. I feel sad when I fondly remember the days of nursery school, elementary school, trips we took, memories we made. Lots of love, but I am afraid. Afraid I'll miss something really important or say the wrong thing, or not notice something I should have.
We bought our current house & its been interesting. The previous owner (over 30 years since new) died within a month of us moving in. He left a huge presence here & we are gradually making it ours. We like it more& more
Last year I had major conflict with my dad. I really felt like our relationship had been irreparably damaged. Then, in the winter, my grandfather died. It was a planned death using prescribed life-ending medication, and we were all there. There was something almost transcendent about that day. Almost instantaneously my anger towards my dad, which I felt very entitled to be holding on to, evaporated. I can't fully explain it, but part of what happened is that I was reminded that some day my father will die and I don't want to be mad at him forever. My anger was important at the time and I still know that it was justified, but I'm so grateful that it left me.
A major milestone is Dad fully entering retirement. While he officially retired a couple of years ago, he freelanced but has since stopped taking any more cases. Mom fully vested her pension last year, and so can comfortably retire at any point, but she chooses to work because she enjoys it. They're at the ends of their careers, having made seriously positive impacts in their communities where they lived very comfortably, and I'm 30 and haven't started a real career yet. As they enjoy their well-deserved retirements, I'm looking on with a terrifying, nagging thought that I won't do as well as them, let alone better than them. With all the privilege afford to me, I still might end up as one of the 50% of Millennials who don't do better than their parents. I really thought that at least by the time my folks retired, I'd be well on my way, and I'm nowhere close. I have friends who grew up much less fortunate than I did who are killing it, and while I'm thrilled for them, I can't help but wonder what’s wrong with me? Why can't I join them on their success?
My younger daughter's first child was born. It is such a pleasure to see her and her husband become loving parents and their daughter, after a bit of a rough start, grow from newborn to smiling baby.
What comes up for me, although it's this year - is Mum's 60th birthday. I felt so touched when collecting the videos and realised how special and what a landmark it is. And how much I love and appreciate her.
A major milestone is my dad's strokes. It's been so hard on my mom, and it's been incredible seeing how she's able to pull through and support him while still supporting the rest of us. It's sad. It's really really sad for me, to see that he really can't take care of himself or resist those simple temptations of eating food he isn't supposed to eat. And it's amazing that everyone's been supportive in their way. It's been hard not being there.
My grandma turned 90 years old! It wAs a joyful day. I can remember my grandma kissing me and saying how sweet I am, and how much she loves me. Ilana and I got to walk with her outside and experience her joy of simplicity, nature, optimism/present moment awareness. I wrote her an amazing card and she started to cry and also just laugh and share that she remembered the memories (or at least loved that I remembered them like teaching me to sew); it was really a highlight to hear some high holidays music/prayers/concert by a visiting cantor and hold grandmas hand and be the loving grandson she always wanted and feel her love back. I love her kisses and how much she always looks at the bright side, shares nostalgic memories of her childhood and sings in Yiddish and is aware of her heritage and how lucky she is to live in a Jewish senior home and how proud that she helped on the founding committee to find the plot of land it is now built/thriving upon. She is a reminder that devotion, attitude, staying active and smiling and being grateful and sharing joys all lead to health and happiness and meaning, and she is a role model who I’m so lucky to have in my life! Maybe I’ll go visit her this weekend!!
Returning to Low Contact with my parents. It hurts so much less this time. And I am so much better when they aren't in my headspace.
The milestone would be... I talked to my sister from the heart. We had a quick chat over breakfast last week. I shared with her my thoughts. She was open to hearing them and sharing with me her own. She is now starting therapy as well. Sometimes a little help is needed, and now seems to be the time for that!
My father turned 95 in February and I didn’t think he will make it to my mother’s 90th yet when the day come he was in his best form, got up joined all the family at a restaurant for dinner. It was a very good feeling to have both reaching such a milestone.
Youngest kid started middle school (right before last Rosh Hashanah) and has embraced the new community and new freedom. Very proud of her initiative and independence. It's also liberating for us as parents, both because she takes on more of the burden of planning and because she's able to get herself places without relying on us so much.
Our first grandchild, born a boy, had already declared himself transgender or beyond the binary. Now the name has been changed and the pronoun is ‘they’ or ‘their’. This is going to be the hardest part to remember. Still love you the bestest, my lovely.
My son got married! It’s like he’s a stand-in for me, in some way - like I’m legit because he is. But it was also joyful in its own right. He and his beloved made a beautiful event for themselves and enjoyed it despite much stress leading up.
This past year, our oldest child graduated high school and left for college. I’ve never felt more proud of her! At the same time, I’m feeling the passage of time in an acute way that leaves me feeling sad and with a sense of loss.
My sister is 3 months pregnant! She's been trying for some time now so I feel excited for her and for our family. It's bringing up a lot of feelings around home and distance.
The engagement of my son to marry and my daughters success at her job has made it easier for me to get on with my life.
We moved out of my mom's house, my significant other realized he doesn't like them, and I realized my relationship with my mother isn't healthy. It's been hard. I still can't accept it most of the time
The death of my wife's parents. Made me more aware of need to care for & look after my wife.
I got engaged! This has made me realize how hard it can be to blend families, and how grateful I am for the people who love me. Also, my grandmother's condition has gotten much worse. I now treasure every moment I am able to spend with her. I'm so scared...
Milestone with Sarah in her 2nd year in college. Good to know she will make it. Matthew signed up with the Marines. I think he might make it too.
My wife and I became parents. It has had its ups and downs, with arguments about feeding and his weight gain. It has been great though--I've never loved anyone as much as I've loved him. It puts everything in perspective with how I want to make him proud and make sure he is well taken care of.
The most major milestone has been my divorce. Everything has seemed to revolve around that. However, my nephew coming out of rehab and reentering school has been a big deal too. A year ago he was so dead inside that it was too much effort to get up and get a plate for holiday dinner. Now, he’s back in school, playing in the band and bowling with our little family league team. It’s a wonderful thing to see him learning how to enjoy the little things and taking an interest. I think our family rallying around him helped him get back and I know it’s made us closer.
Our move across country has been a massive milestone for us, because it changes the trajectory of our family and the growing up "story" that our daughter is living. So far, I think it has been a good choice, but it has been scary, expensive, stressful, and exhausting along the way.
My son quit college and moved to Israel and joined the army. Not sure this is a milestone but it’s related to graduating high school and taking the next step, although there was a brief college stint in between. I’ve had to deal with a whole set of new emotions— the grief and loss of not having him close by, my pride at his dedication and maturity and of being a gift to Israel, and my natural worries that any parent (mom) would have with her son voluntarily potentially putting himself in harm’s way. I think it’s caused me to grow as a person, it’s humbled me, and has shown me that, clearly, our children will find their own paths and we are here to support them. What a gift that i have three children who are all so unique.
Grandpa died just a few months ago, so unexpectedly. I knew he was ready to go since Grandma died but somehow thought he'd keep going for a long time. He must have missed her so much. I miss him. I wish I'd spent more time with him, as always. I wish we'd gotten more of his stories down. I wish I could kiss and hug him one more time.
My daughter passed her 'A' level exams with flying colours and has just started university. Relieved, proud.
My dad's wife passed away, making him a widower again. It was very sudden and I'm still dealing with the grief. It's been rough.
I brought my dad to a therapy session and we were able to talk about where there was miscommunication and how we could move forward.
I left active military service in February. While my lifestyle and life satisfaction improved immensely, my finances have been disastrous. Just this morning, I was offered a civilian position at the USAF Academy that should solve that issue and enable to maintain a more fulfilling lifestyle while paying a reasonable wage. Let's hope.
I wanted to mention a good milestone but instead I'm thinking about my mom breaking her hip and how that situation is evolving.
I don't really have milestones with my family anymore. I still have my aunt in my life, and I love her a lot, but my Dad and I don't talk. He didn't even reach out for my birthday, even though I sent him a card. Oh well. It's disappointing, but probably for the best. He can't dad very well.
My thyroid cancer was a surprise but the treatment and the regular thyroxine has made me feel more healthy than before. Oddly though, I have lost my drive. I no longer have a desire to do anything. I am not working. I go kayaking, coasteering, go on holidays which is all very nice but I don’t want to achieve anything anymore. My family are all doing the achieving and I am happy to sit and watch.
It made me realize how time passes quickly and we need to cherish the moments when we can. It also made me realize the importance of letting go so others can grow - difficult but necessary - and I am still working on it.
We celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday. Still going strong and living on her own for the past 15 years, everyone loves Nanny. I am most amazed by her attitude and what it shows me as to her quality of life. She doesn’t complain. She takes each day as it comes and is always ready to go home. I’ve considered going up to north to stay with her awhile. If I get the call to go, I will.
My wife and I have begun marriage counseling. The last three years have been difficult as I retired from a job I loved, we sold a house I loved, and move across country to a state with which I have no connection. This has very difficult for me -- as if I had three deaths in my family. We are out of balance and the relationship is teetering. I am trying and hope the 33-year relationship can be healed.
My parents just moved out of Beijing, where I grew up, back to America. I've never been the biggest fan of the states, but it's so weird to me that I now don't have a home in the place I was raised. I feel incredibly transient, like I'm no where. Beijing was my home, and I guess New York is now, but how can D.C. be my home? It's just where my parents live now. But now I feel like I don't know where I'm from. I've never liked D.C., I never want to say I'm from D.C. just cause that's where my parents live. I was born and raised in China yet I feel so separated from it now, 2 years after going to college. I'm so happy and grateful for my parents being closer to me, but I just don't feel like I have a place where I come from, a home.
My mother was diagnosed with full-blown dementia this year - and started showing all the classic behavioural symptoms. It brought me and my two sisters closer together at a very sad time.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year. It has affected me in a positive way and is helping me to take a deeper look within myself and how I want to live life.
My husband was diagnosed with cancer, and we were naturally deeply concerned. He was able, thanks to his doctor's acquaintances, to end up in the care of the world's leading expert on the particular kind of cancer he has. He was evaluated by the doctor, who concluded a rigorous study that was only published less than a year earlier that indicated that he doesn't need, given his age, the current state of the cancer, and his own , unless certain factors change, to get treated with chemotherapy or radiation. He now is getting quarterly full-body scans as part of his treatment from this ground-breaking specialist, and nothing could have been better news to us than that for (the doctor assumes) at least ten years, barring major changes, this slow-moving (and within the bodies of people with my husband's health profile, sometimes non-moving) kind of cancer may require zero treatment, something doctors did not know until very recently. If we had not ended up in this man's university medical center, another doctor would have likely followed old protocols and would have likely taken more invasive methods to battle the disease. I see the hand of Ha Shem here. How could I not? I believe He heard my prayers and answered them. Baruch Ha Shem!
No major milestones occurred with my family this year. The closest is that my little brother turns 60 in a couple of months.
My husband started winding down his business so he can retire. This was something of a unilateral decision, so I was a little surprised and a tad put out that he didn't really discuss it with me first. But that's basically how he's done things. And while I realize that I may have been foolish to not insist that I be kept in the loop, I do trust him, I don't want to micromanage him for his own sake and mine, and I've come to realize that a this point, the business is such a small part of our overall financial picture that it doesn't matter. Nevertheless, we've had some serious conversations about his needing to communicate with me about the business, which I'm reasonable confident will change nothing. So after 14 years of working 6 days a week, which I wasn't happy about, he's not working on Saturdays anymore, which is disrupting the rhythms I've developed over the years. It's nice and fun to have him around, but I had gotten used to having that time, and he's getting in the way of getting things done and participating in the activities and relationships I've cultivated over the years that don't involve him. Since then, we've been able to spend more time with friends and do some things we've wanted to do, but I wish I were happier about having him around more. Despite having put aside much of my resentment, I wish he had spent the last 14 years doing something that contributed more to our life at the time and to our long-term security. I also resented how his commitments left me my own, left little ability for him to support me while I was the primary (and sometimes sole) breadwinner providing for both us and his business. And now having him around is sometimes bothersome. I'm really sad about this.
My sister moved to the same city as me. This has been the source of some guilt as i worry i am not looking out for her well enough and helping her adjust and enjoy her life and time here.
My daughter got engaged last December, a month before she turned 20. I think they are too young. I was relieved when they pushed the date out to 2021 though. I wish them good luck and happiness, but they are so young and I am afraid they don't know what they are signing up for. They have not lived life enough to know what they want. I just fear at this age they will only end up divorced or miserable later. They do not have much dating experience at all either. I don't think they need a lot, but I am worried their total inexperience will cause issues down the line. I also totally wrote off my middle sister. We have no real relationship and she did some things that just make it very difficult to entertain the idea of speaking to her and I really don't want to see her either. My youngest sister isn't really in a much better place in her life either and we don't have contact very often either, certainly no real relationship. That house down there gives me a feeling of stagnant turmoil and I don't even want to go down there. I have pretty much distanced myself from the whole family except my daughter. I can't get caught up in their mess. I do talk to my mom, but I limit what I tell her. I refuse to be part of their dysfunction.
The two major milestones for me were turning 50 and buying a house on my own. I feel old and not much else. My mom lives with me so I don't really decorate the way I'd like since she'd hate it so it is just another place. Shrug. I did start an exercise program, hopefully to get rid of the menopause pounds my body has somehow accrued. Other than that, nothing big happened to me this year.
I imagine every one of my answers to these questions will relate to my husband's cancer. Is a cancer diagnosis a milestone? Surely, his death will be a milestone but as yet we don't know what day that will be. Maybe not even this year. One hopes. Do milestones happen every year? What if I say there were no milestones this past year for me? Yes. That is my answer. No milestones this past year.
Corey and I were *about* to buy our first house when I was fired without notice 13 days before our Settlement. We had to completely pivot and it left us reeling. Backing out of a home purchase, dealing with a separation from work without notice and thinly-veiled threats from my former bosses, then deciding what we were going to do next has strengthened our partnership. and somehow our faith that things seem to happen for a reason, and it was not the right house for us or the right time to be buying a house.
So, this year, my mom died. I did not expect to grieve in the way that I did. I sort of expected for my mom to pass away and for me to move on with my life immediately, because our relationship has been so strained for so long. What happened instead was that I became a little lost. My grief was not for my mother, so much as it was for the relationship that we could’ve had and the person she wasn’t. I was missing what I never had, and I spent a long period of time lost in that grief. And as a result of how muted I was in the past and in possibility, I lost a job that I liked. So, right now, I’m trying to think of myself as being in transition, but I’m not 100% sure what I’m transitioning to. I think this used to be known as a midlife crisis. And I think I finally get it: your parents get old and die and you confront your own mortality. So you sort of want to make sure that you are on the right path in life. It makes sense. I’m doing that now, conducting a gut check and making sure my path is the right one. I’m course-correcting. I would like to think I am on the path back to hope.
LOL so many foster dogs. But I still can't stop talking about our move. It has forced me to grow in so many ways I never imagined it would. So many ways that it really shouldn't, but I guess bravery is contagious.
I turned 70 and my kids gave me a skydiving certificate! I actually jumped out of a plane! It has shown me that you can do just about anything you put your mind to. It helped me realize that I am attracted to things I fear and that I have a need to conquer them.
Probably my Mum's hip replacement not bring straight forward. Whilst she's starting to recover, it's taken over six months already - she's been in a lot of pain, and it's affected what she can do - and what we (including her grandson) can do with her. It makes me see my parents as old, pretty much for the first time. Even more so than my Dad's illness being diagnosed a few years ago. And it maybe even feels like there's a bit of a countdown, even - wanting to do slightly active things with them (eg going away together for a weekend) whilst that's doable and still fun.
The grandsons' swimming competence took another leap forward this year; neither of them use "floaty" devices anymore! Their parents took them to swim lessons, the Maui trip saw great progress, and the end of Summer swimming in our pool saw great confidence in the water! Karen has put on two amazing art shows this summer, and she sold an aluminum print, a beach piece and a video this year! After having the lead in the last Spring musical, I had the lead in the next Spring play, and a featured role (the one I wanted) in the farce we're putting on this Fall! The effect on me has been one of great pride in my family and gratitude for the opportunities to perform!
This year we went to HK, but it was also the year the HK protestors were storming the streets, defending their freedom of a speech from the Chinese government and later on the HK policemen. I learned a lot about how my dad felt about his roots in HK and the impact this event had on him. I think him being openly honest about his feelings even if it made him vulnerable brought our family closer and more open with each other.
Vanhemmat jäi eläkkeelle. On ihana nähdä, kuinka ne nauttii harrastusten parissa. Samaan aikaan huikeaa, kuinka ne pysty luopumaan aiemmasta elämästä totaalisesti. Nostan hattua.
Having been homeowners for the past 9 years, my husband and I sold our home and moved our family of 4 into an apartment of half the square footage. We did it to mentally regroup after a stressful year, pay off debt with the equity, and see if we could handle living in a smaller space. It has been an adjustment, for sure, but I honestly kind of like the more minimalist lifestyle. And it is nice to have a break from the responsibilities of home ownership, and to be able to focus on other areas of my life.
Milestones: One of my brothers (technically) graduated from Undergraduate (he's finishing two classes now). One of my brothers completed Basic Training and Intelligence Training as part of the Army National Guard, and started his bachelor's degree. My parents sold their house and bought a new one less than 15 minutes away from my house. My younger sister-in-law had a second child, and everyone is happy and healthy. One of my older sister-in-laws announced that she was pregnant with her second child. My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. My husband started his second and final year of his master's project. Two of our best friends got married, on my birthday. And I had a baby - a beautiful and healthy daughter. All in all, it's been a tumultuous year, but one completely full of joy and celebration. And while my anxiety has been difficult to manage at times, I am constantly surrounded by reasons why I have a spectacularly lucky life.
My mom's cancer, again. We spent a LOT of time, not physically together, but in different configurations of relationships than we had. I keep thinking about my dad in particular, how much he took on, and how different my interactions were with him this past year than they had been in the past. Also, we found out S is allergic to basically every venomous insect and that had its own share of trauma...
My parents finally came to visit me. I hadn't seen them in months, partly because I was too busy to go visit, partly because I was being stubborn - they have more time and money for visiting than I do, and I felt it was unfair that I always had to do the visiting. They finally came to see me, and I'm so glad. (And I was right!)
My father-in-law had three hospitalizations and is now living in a long-term care facility. He won't be able to go home again. This has affected me in that my wife doesn't talk about her parents so much anymore, we don't call them together very often, and I haven't been to see them with her in a very long time (her choice, not mine). I miss them.
50th/70th birthdays. A time of reckoning, but also an occasion to have the perfect party: family & close friends who are like family at dinner, weekend with family and plenty of time to enjoy everyone's company
A mile stone for my family was becoming caretakers for my mother my mother moved to Austin from Denton Texas I think I look at this as a mile stone because it’s a huge change in our roles we are now responsible for someone who was responsible for us it has been a joyful and painful change for all of us
My mum retired. This means that my parents spend a lot of time together going on holidays and days out and I ache to be there with them, to share this precious time. I think it's because I remember my grandparents doing the same, when they were retired together, and well, my granddad died over 10 years ago now. I want to treasure them both as much as I can.
Picking one again is tough - I would say it was the decision to move - from our house to a condo in the market area. It's reminded me again that things are just "stuff" and that my husband doesn't see it that way. However, I have no doubt it was a great decision for us - space now to entertain, or, put differently, to share good times and good food with friends and to create new warm memories.
My Grandmother's health has declined swiftly and dramatically, she needs our care constantly now. She is dying slowly, it is very sad. We are a small family, I am the oldest and the rock its HARD.. I wish I could do more, fix this but I can't. We are not OK.. but coping as best we can.
I moved out of the house after wanting to for years because of my sister dropping out of college and remaining at home for years. So far, I am not entirely sure how it is affecting me. I am liking being independent so far, however it is so different from the norm that it is overwhelming. Also, I want to see my sister grow and change. I feel as if she is in too comfortable of a position and needs to be pushed a little into being independent enough; since she is 22 and still at home with no solid plans.
My mother got into a huge argument this year and both her and my sisters haven't spoken for more than 8 months. This has only made my belief that neither love nor loyalty do exist, but it saddens me to the point of believing the idea one could dissapear without a trace and without mattering is more than true.
My dad died. We survived the first year after losing my nephew. I think I am more compassionate towards others. I try to acknowledge my feelings and not judge myself. There is no normal in grief.
It's hard to pick one milestone - they've been less obvious ones this year, as the kids grow gradually. I think overall I'm just totally enthralled by watching these two small people grow up, and I feel honored to play a role in that. I want to be more tuned in to the gradual changes.
Mike's grandma Mary Ann died just before Christmas last year, while he was out of town. It was devastating for him, for his mom, for Maggie, for their entire family - & it has stayed with him in ways neither of us could've predicted or expected, in ways neither of us is quite sure how to deal with. I have tried to be there for him, but it's particularly difficult when he doesn't tell me he's hurting, & when he doesn't take action to try to cope. I have encouraged him to see a therapist & he is, I hope, finally coming around to the idea & actually taking action. It's been hard. But that's marriage, isn't it? That's life, isn't it?
We passed the one year anniversary of my mother-in-law's death. In a sense, it meant that I got my husband back, because he was so stressed over her continued decline due to Alzheimer's for so very long. In April, our remaining cat was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and we were told she only had weeks to live, but she's still with us. Her decline, however, is adding to our stress again. Then yesterday, my mother said she has skin cancer for a second time. More stress.
Dad's accident. I don't know that it brought us closer together, we were already very close. But It helped snap me back to reality and to focus on things happening here and now. And it reminded me, though I definitely already knew, how lucky I am to be a part of all the many communities I can count myself a part of. I have the best friends. My family has the best friends. And my family is the best family. I am so beyond thankful, and we are all so lucky, that dad's injuries weren't permanent and that he is on the mend.
I think Truman going to Kindergarten has been the biggest milestone. Now, we have all three going to the same school at the same time. Everyone has homework, everyone has more responsibility, and everyone's schedules are the same. For the most part, this has really helped things. Especially since Trevor got his new job. It is also exciting to see the kids grow and what they can accomplish. At the same time, I am sad. I'm sad that my "babies" are gone. Even though Truman hasn't been a baby for a long time, it was nice to know that I had a kid in preschool. Now that everyone is in regular school it is kind of sad. But we are on to this new phase in life and I'm excited to see how it plays out. Something interesting that I've found is that for almost 9 years I have had children in Jewish education. This year is the first year that no one is full-time in Jewish education. Unexpectedly, this has changed the way that I think about the holidays and my motivation to do things. We did not go to Rosh Hashana services and I'm not sure that we'll go to Yom Kippur services. I think that this is for a variety of reasons, but not talking about it everyday and not being immersed in it everyday has definitely made a difference. It seems like I'll need to really start making an effort now.
My oldest step daughter got her driver's license. We don't see much of her anymore. At first I was upset but as time goes on I really like having more time without the kids.
My mom turned 70! And it brought the family together. I got to see her hanging out with her sisters and I learned more about their family dynamic through observing them. My dad has a stroke. He’s mostly okay, but it has slowed him down a lot. My mom has taken on more of a caregiver role for him and it’s put a strain on their relationship.
My step mother died a week after Thanksgiving and my father died in the middle of January. My year, before that point, and after, was filled with grief and a deep sense of hurt. I was so destroyed by them both before they died and in their passing, my life was filled with pain because of their insensitivity and selfishness. I am still not able to grapple with it.
My last child left home. I have been for almost 20 years the primary caregiver to my kids, a stay at home dad with an executive wife. With my youngest graduated and living, mostly self-sufficiently, on the opposite coast a part of my identity has left, too. I also turned 60 and the combination has me knowing for the first time a real foreboding and awareness that life is finite.
My husband's family moved to SW Ohio from 2000 miles away. Some of their decisions and values can be different from ours that it is hard to see how they come up with them. My husband and his two other siblings have been "second fiddle" all his life to the much younger sibling. Seeing this, and how his parents treat him as regards to how they treat the sibling has been very painful for me.
Chris and I are divorced! I'm relieved that it's done. I didn't really realize how much it was hanging over me. Now I have to address the ongoing money stuff, which I'm working on; and - I'm divorced! I feel free-er.
My sister, who has always been super picky with guys, finally got a great boyfriend. He's smart, funny, and really cute, and if I had been single, I would've been super jealous. Thankfully, I have Craig, so I'm able to be genuinely happy for Shuba and appreciate the fact that now she's in a much better mood than she was during her single days (knock on wood).
My son suddenly getting the hang of reading and discovering the joy of a good book - both reading on his own and having me read the entire Harry Potter series to him!
My brother has changed a lot in a positive way. I used to believe it wasn't impossible for us to ever get along or that he would become a responsible, kind and generous adult. For such a long time he was so angry with the world and dependent on others to clean up his messes. He seemed too full of rage, entitled and convinced that he had been treated wrongly to ever think of others or truly care about them. But this summer while talking to him I realised he had changed, he had turned into someone with empathy and warmhearted and like someone who can laugh about himself and give without expecting anything in exchange. It was like a miracle and I was so proud and impressed and full of admiration and respect for my younger brother. I now feel as though - if I really needed help - I could depend on him, he would help me out. I feel more safe and supported weirdly and I am also completely convinced that I would do the same for him, help him out if I can, without feeling exploited or annoyed (before he changed into a likeable person I think I would have supported him financially f.e., but begrudgingly). Strange and magical this happened.
Mom is going to become a grandma, and my grandma is going to become a great-grandma. It reassured me that they're still human
All financial matters surrounding my dad’s death were settled. Within the context of the family, it means conversations that once made people feel defensive or tense no longer take place. It also means that we have each retreated to our respective emotional corners to grieve. In time, we will see whether our relationships will survive or grow beyond tasks of obligation.
Sonya and I adopted a new guy, Churro, into our family. It was much sooner than I expected, and I'm happier than I expected! I was worried that I wouldn't have the new found freedom to take trips and stay out late, but I find myself so happy to have this new little furball to wake up to and fall asleep with.
This year I marked my son Daniel's 20th yahrzeit. I have more big picture perspective than I was able to muster 20 years ago. All of our lives are indeed brief, just a moment in time. But I still fight tears as I write this. The sadness for a life that ended at 15 will be with me always.
My mother recently obtained a new career opportunity in Virginia, and she gladly has taken the opportunity to work with a new hospital as a chief nurse. This has affected me because she has been working there in Virginia, leaving our home in Massachusetts to the choreography of my father, brother and me. Because she has taken this job at a new location, I have been upholding many of her household duties to prevent any sanitary issues. Life in my home is difficult for my entire family, due to the mental and physical pain that it brings all of us. My mother being alone has faired physically substantial for all of us, but this new occupation is truly taking a toll out of all of our mental capacities. Although I am very happy for my mother, it is very difficult for her to be away from her family for a long duration of time. This is a mutual feeling between her, the rest of the family, and myself. However, I have managed to conquer many insurmountable skills that I had not thought that I could have accomplished. My family has not been the closest recently, but we thrive when we are together, as we bring out the best in each other. My life may be a continuous whirlwind, but it shows each and every day how getting through it is not a difficult task, just a tedious one.
I just had another kid pop up! Misha is only a few weeks old but growing stronger (and cuter) every day. Helena is struggling with the adjustment and is super demanding and bossy these days. Hopefully these temper tantrums don’t last. Also moving homes has been a ton of work and would not have been possible without Solomon and Rosa moving to Atlanta at this same time. We didn’t even have to take everything out of the old house and it was still super time consuming. We also became landlords with this move. All of these things make me feel old....more responsible and living with higher stakes. Shit costs more now, life and life insurance....not that fun, but at least I have that set up now. On the flip side, Helena has been my greatest life accomplishment at this point and I’m hoping Misha can help me grow as a person.
Milestone: I gave birth, added a new baby to the family, toddler became a big sister, (YES these are ALL separate milestones), toddler changed preschools, my sister gave birth, I have my first nephew, watched my parents smiling together
I moved out of the house for the last time. I feel like I’m thinking about my parents and their influence on me more this year, but I don’t know. Sometimes I feel terribly homesick for the fact that I can’t go back to being a kid again. Sometimes I feel guilty I don’t live with my brother. I feel terribly proud of him in a new way, and I can feel the beginnings of our adult relationship. I feel less animosity towards my parents about the things I had trouble forgiving. It’s not all perfect when I go back to visit but I do always want to go back. I wonder how my parents feel.
My brother's oldest daughter gave birth to her first child. His first grandchild. The baby was born about 2 months premature. I guess if I had had any children I would be a grandmother myself now. It is showing how my choices have affected me. It is too late for me to have children so I will have no grandchildren.
My big milestone for this year was moving to Texas in August. I lived in Austin and Houston in the 80's and 90's so I'm no stranger to Texas, but it was a big move from Washington State. I have a new job here, and so far it has been going well. I look forward to many years at this job.
I left my wife. This is just something that's going to permeate every answer, and it has affected me profoundly. I'm terrified, excited, exhausted, devastated...every feeling imaginable, usually within the same day. I learned finally that I'm worth more than abuse and infidelity. The decision to leave has impacted my emotional health, my financial well-being, my physical state...every part of my life that was once certain is now uncertain. And the fear of that is sometimes paralyzing. Thankfully I wake up grateful every morning that I have Erin, who has helped me find myself and supports me every single week to getting back to who I am at my core. I also wake up grateful for my family and friends, people who have shown up in more ways than I ever could have imagined throughout this year. So while there has been so much pain and grief, the impacts of this have also included immense gratitude for my community. On a happier note, Jeff got into business school this year, and I am insanely proud of him for it. He worked so hard over so long to get himself to this point, and I admire more than anything his tenacity and vision for the future he wants. He's someone who has grown so immensely from the time we were kids...and the strength he's shown to pursue the life he has now is just really admirable. It's something I seek to embody in my own life. I'm just incredibly proud.
I have seen my daughter begin to learn to read! I am so proud, and I am so excited for the doors it will open for her. She'll be able to read for herself and not depend on me or someone else. For me, it's one more bit of freedom I've gained.
My Grandson was given a Bar Mitzvah date-- It is just around the corner. I was concerned this would not occur. One because of ability, one because of a lack of desire by his parents But I am very proud and very grateful that he was given the opportunity to reach this milestone. He is preparing and seems to grasp that it is a special event and his family are supportive and are embracing and growing also.
Everyone was healthy. Mark and Alexandra really settled into their apartment, Ellen and dad gardened away as usual, my Keith was stable and so was mom, surprisingly. It was a year where we spent a lot of casual time together, and my sister and I became close friends. We ate sushi, we talked about my life, about hers, I helped her pay of her student loans with my personal interest-free loan of 20k. It was a year that allowed me to settle into the goodness of the Katich's. To share them with my friends, and have them fully embraced. Dani cut my dads hair, Jack, Kyle and Juan laughed about politics with my dad, my mom held Sarah through some really difficult moments. My family became everyones family, it seemed. So, the milestone is that we just loved each other and became FRIENDS.
I became the oldest member of my immediate family this year. Burying my father’s ashes in the gravesite that already bears the marker for my mom. I was profoundly sad and also painfully aware that I am next in line for death. It felt like burying both my parents because I wasn’t present for my mom’s death, her cremation, or the informal internment of her ashes. Being present with my 3 siblings, wearing a torn black ribbon, reciting traditional prayers, listening to Rabbi Black’s remarks about our dad, talking with people who cared deeply about him and came to honor him. And the Shiva gathering at our house in California. This milestone deepened my appreciation for Jewish mourning practice and inspires me to stay more in touch with distant relatives.
I honestly can’t recount any family milestones. It continues to be a constant source of stress and frustration. But my path into the Jewish life has inspired me to cherish family, no matter how dysfunctional, and to live according to the Mitzvah. So I am calling my parents more often, to make them happy. And that is something significant, even if I feel strongly that I’m mostly invisible even among those who love me most.
Maybe not a milestone but a definite turning point. I feel better and more confident with making my points in conversations with my mother. I think I've found better ways of saying things so that she listens and in turn she understands or at least I feel understood and/or heard.
I think the biggest milestone this year has been my grandfather's cancer. He is the centre of my family and has always been so strong, so to see him so weak and depleted has been very sad and also soul-crushing. I do hope that he is able to now beat the lung cancer he has developed, but I am very scared for him and don't know how to support him not living in Sydney.
Eh. Again, this is the move. It affected me way more than I expected. I was devastated to leave the house, and I remain skeptical that we will again find or create such a perfect place for us. (OK, it wasn’t perfect. But it was a lot closer than just about anywhere else. This rental townhouse definitely doesn’t flow with our vibe.)
Wow, there have been several milestones. 1. Miguel and I are still together after coming back together. Very shaky, but hanging in there. 2. Miguel's father passed away on 8/18/19, 1 yeara and 2 months to the date after his mother passed away. 3. Angelica turned 21 4. We moved after 8 yrs in Beech Hill 5. Angel started traditional HS and is a Sr at Central HS now. 6. I am working FT after not doing so since 2008 7. I was chosen for Leadership Greater Manchester 8. I am alone at TLC now, bc Tom and the leadership, except J. ALan, did not reach out to Miguel when his Dad passed away. All this has been very overwhelming. i have had to rely on God so much much than I ever have, but He is giving me the strength and I am not only surviving, but i am thriving.
Family milestones..... ? They did get their wills written. (Now we need to populate the trusts!) Joan Darlington died - the service (in Randolph church, reception at Hwerwyll) was lovely & made me wish I had known her better. And Alice Dean Daniel died last Christmas. So sad! I went with Susie & Sara to Kona in July to help Tom do some cleanout; whole family to gather there Xmas 2019. Yet more awareness of the closeness & immediacy of death; it seems to be all around, and I know this will just intensify as my peers & I get older.
My husband publishing a new book that was years in the making, and it was wonderful seeing the pride his school-aged daughters had in him for doing so. This year, his career trajectory and success has, for I think the first time in our marriage, clearly and more publicly trumped mine. I'm happy for him and our family, as it feels more balanced somehow. It takes some pressure off of me in a way I don't really understand yet.
My nephew went to college. It really made me think about how quickly time passes. It also made me reflect on my own departure to college and how different it was than my nephew's experience.
Graduation! Cai and Jenna graduated from high school - after all the time we spent worrying about Cai, it was strangely anticlimactic. Cai is living at home now - though I'm proud he has a job, he's not exactly an adult. By that I mean he's not taking many adult responsibilities on. But I guess that's what I'm still for, eh? ;)
I think this is a little more about me, but it affects my family too, so I think it counts. This summer I moved to a city several hours away from my family for med school. I haven't really ever lived alone before, and it's been a while since I lived away from my family. (Even a couple of years ago, when I moved out of my mom's house to an apartment, it was with my brother and it was like 5 minutes from home.) I think my family misses me a lot, but it's nothing compared to how much I miss them. I like living alone, but I'm anxious too. I get scared at night, and I have bad dreams almost every night. I'm lonely pretty much constantly. I want to get a pet, but I'm worried I couldn't care enough for a dog or cat with my schedule, and if I got something more low-maintenance, i.e. my dream pet which is a snake, several people in my life would be in it a lot less. I don't want to lean on my friends too much, because I know I should be independent, but there are nights where I just want to yell because I can't stand being alone. I hope that by the time I read this next year I'm much more comfortable spending time alone. And in the meantime, I'll just really savor the times when I'm with my friends, and when I can visit home.
Being basically alone, I am my family, and I got a new full-time, permanent job. It's changed my life in a very positive way. It's forcing me to live up to responsibilities, being an adult is annoying.
My dad retired from one of his jobs. It was arguably his favorite job - he was a coach for a high school baseball team. He's been doing it since the year I was born, but he retired this year... he's getting older, and he has to have knee surgery this fall, and I know it was the best decision for him... but it's really the end of an era for him. Seeing him retire from a job around sports - something he loves more probably than life itself - I can see how hard it's been on him. He'll be 61 next month, though he doesn't quite look it. In addition to retiring from his favorite thing in the world, he has a bad knee and needs major surgery this fall. Since he is getting older, he's afraid of getting surgery because he's afraid he's going to die under the anesthesia. I think it's just hitting me now how hard it is to watch your parents get older, and to watch them grapple with their own moralities. I know that's pretty dark, but I'm really close with my dad, so watching him go through all this is heartbreaking for me. I mean, it's not the end of his life, but it is very much the end of an era for him, and that's difficult.
We got through the first year following Dad's death together. That feels pretty profound. I think that our presence for one another made all the difference-- we allowed ourselves to feel both all of the pain of his loss, but also the joy of spending time together, and just being alive. I know that this healing is a process that will take forever, but I feel comforted seeing that we're doing in general pretty well a little over a year after he passed.
Julie had surgery for a Brain tumor. It helped me to face my fears about failing Alex as a mentor. I was able to provide a kind listening ear even though I had no answers for him. I realized I simply need to be present for my loved ones and offer loving compassion.
I quit teaching for the school district this year and it had a major impact on insurance and medical bills have gone through the roof. I've since begun a different form of teaching career and we're beginning to recover. But had I to do it over again I wouldn't change a thing because my health and mental health are much more important to me and my family than any job and the job I had previously was damaging to both.
(I wrote this once already, yesterday, on my phone, only to accidentally close the tab and lose everything I had written. Trying again. Down but not out.) This past year Sarah and I began trying to get pregnant. (Strange way to put it, but the alternatives aren't much better: "Sarah's trying to get pregnant, I'm helping?") We've only been trying in earnest for about six months now, but no results yet. They say that it's normal to try for up to about a year, and only after that to call in the experts, but last month I went to the infertility clinic to get my sperm tested. It was a deeply weird experience but the outcome was positive: I've got plenty guys down there and they're good swimmers. Part of the reason I got tested was to settle some anxiety Sarah has had about cannabis and sperm count/motility, and I think that this quieted her concerns. It's also because we are both 37 and want to move quickly. the test, in that regard, represented a shift toward a more "activist" phase of trying. Sarah meets with her OBGYN right after Yom Kippur, and we'll see what we can learn from that appointment, too. There have been a lot of life changes during the past year-plus: for one, we're currently in the process of buying a house. But having a baby is not the same as buying a house, even though both are major developmental signpost moments. I don't want to think about them in the same way, but I notice it happening when I get jammed up, busy, uptight. The parsha and haftarah over rosh hashanah offer a different way of thinking about pregnancy, fertility, childbearing, and it wouldn't be a bad idea for me do think more about holiness, about god and prayer, in connection with this journey. I'm not a very good theist, but I am moved by Hannah bearing Samuel, by Sarah and Isaac. Procreation is a powerful act of faith.
A sibling got married and for me this ended many years of emotional abuse. It's brought personal space back into my life , privacy and most of all relief
My sister had a baby!!! It was v. intense. I have never felt this way about any organism I have ever met lol - I feel so drawn to her. I miss her right now even though she's just a dumb baby. The baby was the first grandchild of our family and so needless to say, we are all upset. She has completely reorganised the family and changed our priorities. I want to go home so much more frequently now to see her!!!! We all try to do what's best for the family I think, because we want to keep the family intact. everyone wants baby time.
When my grandma died. Honestly its heartbreaking, she should have outlived us all. But it made me realize how much I got from her, how much I learned. How I treat my friends and how I live my life. I can hear me complaining about my mom to her and her saying "who listens to her" I realized that she saved me. That she protected me so much. Allowed me to ignore what my mom was saying and just try to be the best person I can be by ALWAYS thinking of others.
My grandmothers 80th birthday. It was very bittersweet as she has Alzheimer’s and cancer. The length of her life and how close we were makes me sad about how long we’ve been apart these years after college
My mom, my mother-in-laws, and father-in-law all turned 70 this year. My dad turned 70 a couple of years ago and it didn't effect me as much as having three other family members all turn 70 at the same time. It caused me to pause and think about how much time we have left to spend with them. I am a terrible communicator when it comes to family. Its an unfortunate family trait that most of my family seems to have. I see notices from friends about family, or even notices about celebrities that have passed away at the ages my parents and in-laws are now and it terrifies me. I'm not ready to not have those people in my life any longer, and you would think realizing this would spurn me to reach out and call or spend more time with them, but it hasn't. I suppose this all ties back to part of my answer from question #2 this year ... work becomes the driver and all other things fall to the way side, and I know one day, I will regret it. I will be spiteful of my job and myself for having let my work be my priority rather than what should be most important to me - the people around me that I love.
Definitely brought us closer together and has made me appreciate my parents more than ever
My oldest child decided to graduate a year early from college. So now I have a college graduate and I'm saving a bunch of money in tuition. For most of the past four months he's been financially independent, which is nice, but every once in awhile I need to remember that he's still only 21, and his job only covers a portion of his expenses. While I'm proud of what he's accomplished, I'm also bothered by the fact that he seems a bit unsettled. All of his friends are still in college, and he doesn't seem to want to go on a grand adventure for a few months. I'd hate to see him squander the year before he goes to law school next fall, but he's reluctant to spend money on himself. I worry that he didn't think through what this year would look like, and I just want him to be happy and successful.
Sam and Casey were married. Joe moved out on his own for the first time. Madeleine was accepted at UCLA and started seeing Spencer. She moved out. We moved from the big house in Ventura. Here's the milestone: our family as we knew it for those many years, the daily contact, the dependence, the roles, the home life, dinners, the house we were a family in, the home we built together, now is in the past. We have shed the one skin and now we are separate, for good, for bad. Sad for me. When Donna and I came home from Nick and Amy's wedding on Tuesday night, no one was waiting for us. We returned to an empty house we do not own. That is the way we would have wanted it. And it will take some getting used to. This seems to be a transitional phase. We are not on solid earth, but in between things. I think what comes next is in a different physical place. This is an intermission.
My parents were fighting a lot because of certain problems but besides no ones life is perfect. It affected me because seeing two people that you love not getting along its the worst.
My brother's bar mitzvah is coming up and my whole family and I are very excited.
In my personal family, it would be going to couple's counseling. It has helped up figure out places in the structure of our relationship that we need to work on. It has given me hope that our relationship will be uplifting and fun and the space we both need.
Both my oldest son and my daughter have moved home, and my youngest son joined the Army National Guard. My house and my heart are so filled up, but I am really missing my youngest son.
My grandfather turning 80 years old. An immeasurable influence on my life, papa reaching this milestone signifies both his longevity and his relative youth. This year saw me shift my priorities from globe trotting solo adventurer to family, friends and community. I now have a stronger desire to start a family and share that joy with my grandfather and my parents while they are still here.
My sister got the kind of job she really wanted and as her probation for that job ended she went from maintaining 2 jobs to just working 1. I think this has brightened her outlook and caused a more relaxed feeling in the household. Also it has been a good push for her to pursue her heart's desires which is also uplifting.
Well, right now, I am awaiting a diagnosis from my left breast biopsy. I'm pretty certain it's cancer. So, I see that impacting us pretty heavily this year. It is what it is. There's nothing I can do to change what it is, I can just do my best to rid my body of it.
We are facing change in our relationship. It is not a one time event, it has been a deep process. Never is too late to learn how to communicate and engaged without feeling compromised.
I think the most significant experience of the past year has been my husband's diagnosis and treatment of severe sleep apnea. I am so grateful for this diagnosis. For the past three years, and maybe many more years than that, E has been severely oxygen and sleep deprived. When he did his sleep study, the doctors said it was the worst case they have ever seen. He was waking up over 100 times per hour. For the past several years on the site I have lamented his behavioral changes. He was depressed, unable to complete tasks, and had little energy for daily life. I can't say that everything has changed. I am still a much more organized person and much more task oriented and thus get more done. But I also think it is possible that he has been suffering for as much as 10 years. The recovery is going to be long because he has been sick for years...but the person I married is back. It is a wonderful rediscovery of all the things we used to love doing together. Who knows who he might become?
I don't know that I like calling it a milestone, but maybe it is. The death of my Grandmother and moving my Grandfather into a nursing facility has affected my family (of origin) deeply. I believe we all took their presence for granted as well as their constant support of us in multiple facets. I am personally left with a feeling of loneliness and longing for times that I spent with them doing the simplest of things. My father (somewhat to my surprise) has taken these changes particularly hard given his often contentious relationship with his father in law. I have seen the cracking of his protective armor he wears because of his life experience and though I am hopeful it leads to good things for my relationship with him I am fearful of the flood of denied emotion behind that armor and what it will do to him.
Sense of being closer to family members after death of my mother in August 2018
oh jeez. I don't do family. I have been in text contact with two of my nieces. that feels like a lot of contact.
Josh's mom retired, and is quick to qualify that she retired *from teaching only* but is still doing other stuff. It makes me envious that she's already retired. I want to do that! She's only 57.
No major milestones - other than having a "normal" year - which is a milestone in itself, given the dramas of recent years.
My brother landing a job out of college was extremely important. I am really proud of him. His job is extremely noble, I just hope that he knows this.
We doubled! It’s made me weep, be silent in awe, ache so hard in my heart for them. And feel such gratitude I could burst.
No milestones; everything is...sometimes unfortunately, pretty much the same.
Today is my twentieth anniversary with my wife. We have been through incredible ups and downs, lost love and trust and found it again. Our family has changed and we have grown stronger and more loving, though have more to learn and improve.
Very intense interpersonal conflicts and behaviors that have adversely impacted everyone. Like walking on eggshells, never knowing which version of a person you will encounter. Has made me stressed, distraught and very very sad.
My father was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. The whole experience rattled me. Thankfully, he kicked a narcotics-addiction, and he is on medication to help manage heart health. It made me realize how I need to work on my own health, now realizing that I have such a serious genetic disease, lying in wait.
Getting married in and of itself is not a milestone, but having 7 new siblings, two more fathers, a nephew, and several more uncles and aunts and cousins totally is! I have a late mother-in-law whom I will mourn for the rest of my life. I have more people to love and care for and who love and care for me.
Both of my aunts being diagnosed with cancer at once and again realising that life is fragile and not guaranteed. But both have worked hard on their health and made miraculous recoveries! A lot more warmth and a closer relative has been born out of that experience especially with one Aunt!
My daughter turned 16 and is legally eligible to drive. Due to finances and her general lack of interest in learning to drive we didn't start the license process yet. I didn't learn to drive until I was 25 because I'd lived near cities and public transportation most of my life. Then I moved to New Mexico and got motivated to get my license. I worry that my daughter's lack of interest is an indicator of some difficulty she might have leaving the nest. We live in a rural area, so driving is mandatory. But she has grown up with computer and smart phone and is happy in the virtual world. I wonder what I would have been like growing up with today's devices. It's a struggle to get her motivated to move out into the real world. On the other hand she is doing well in school and socializes, so I try not to worry about the future too much.
For the first time in years, we had an official family reunion. Everyone from my mom's side of the family got to ether. There were about 40 of us in all. It was wonderful being together and learning about the family history. It reminded me how important it is to stay connected and to continue the family legacy.
My parents turned 50 this year. It really put into perspective how much time I potentially have left with them and how much longer I have on Earth myself. It's weird to watch your parents age. I worry about how I will look after them if I can't even look after myself.
I have been able to become a lot more calm and less critical in my reactions to immediate family and bio-family at large. It makes the world a much easier place to exist in. Husband has needed to rely on me a significant amount more because of his health, we've had to make some major financial and medical decisions together, and I feel like we have fully slipped into "adulthood" through all of this.
We started going to family therapy, and it's been great overall. It's a sign that everyone wants to try and improve and that is really awesome to see.
It is silly but the end of the Red Trolley Show at Disneyland California Adventure really affected me. I have seen that show at least thirty times with my kids and watched them learn the show in greater detail, which helped my oldest be able to describe why he loved it so much. We were there the last day of shows and it was the day after I turned thirty, the day after I had an epiphany that my relationship with my husband was far from where it should be. It really seemed to mark the end of an era of innocence.
No big major milestones. Just the same of them filling in too much about me, and not asking me enough.
Major milestone is that Jason got a new job and raise. Honestly I don’t feel like we see the pay increase at all, but definitely feel the workload. His work hours maybe have made our daughter more clingy? Or is that just daddy/daughter relationships? Or her age? I also wish she slept more but we all come home late because of this. We gave our nanny a raise and want to make plans to pay off my rental house as well.
My mom lost her job - she had been at it for 20 years. The COO of a major healthcare company in the state of Oregon. No one expected it. And the worst part was, it was a rude and spiteful way of pushing my mom out. I was heartbroken, angry, and worried. But - being the superwoman she is - she overcame that. By herself. She didn't need us for any of it. Infact - she approached the whole dibachle so gracefully and positively that she created for herself her own job. She has her own company now - shes her own boss. Maybe one day she will expand her company. But more than any of that, she is happy. Happy in a way I don't think I have ever seen. And it makes me so happy. My dad is happy, everyone is happy. It was a blessing that she lost her job. I now know her in an entirely new light and I thank God that she was strong enough to take this horrible scenario and turn it into an even better situation than before. So inspiring.
I started my new job at Synergy! This was huge for me and has completely changed the way I move through my week and through the school year. I am happier and healthier and even though there are some tough parts of working at Synergy, on the whole it is such a better fit for me both in terms of how it feels to be here and in how it feels to get here and get home.
Nothing has happened with blood family, but my new roommate has become closer to me than anyone. He was completely delusional when he moved inn - I had no idea beforehand, and I was terrified. He thought all women were witches and he was a victim of satanic ritual abuse as a baby. But he is getting treatment, back in reality, and moving forward. We've been through joy and pain and fear and it's been tough, but I realize that even if he disappeared from my life right now - after knowing him only 4 months - it would be a major blow. He's made me miserable and frustrated but I love him and I'm grateful I kept with him despite his troubles.
My sister announced that she was leaving for Washington at the turn of the new year. And, while I was sad at the time I found out, I smiled. It struck me as appropriate that one of us was due to take the leap from the nest at some point and I couldn't be more excited and proud of her growth into a young woman. It was a bit unsettling at first, and my mother was not pleased initially. But...I do think it is time. It has encouraged me, if only slightly, to not discount the time I have to spend with her and Brett, as well as being a nudge to putting myself outside of the comfort zone I have constructed for myself. Obviously, I will be in tears come January, but it will be a bittersweet moment. And, until that day comes, may there be plenty of Sunday adventures.
Our daughter left her part time job as a children's librarian to be at home fulltime with the kids. This was in large part due to the fact that our son-in-law's mother, who had been living with them to help, moved out. Tied to that was the inability of our son-in-law to cope on his own with twin toddlers and a first grader. She misses her work very much, and is super stressed by the 24/7 demands of trying to be Super Mom. The effect was to make me feel guilty that there was nothing I could do to alleviate the situation. Knowing that our retirement plans put us closer, but yet still too far to be of daily help increases my guilt.
I got to visit with my parents for the first time in a couple years, and we all went out to see a movie. It was great to see them in person after so long, and we got to support the opening week of a female superhero movie. All in all, one of the best times of the year.
My transgender daughter moved out of state and I'm finding I miss her more than expected. Our relationship is complicated and we didn't see each other often, but knowing now that we can't makes it more difficult to accept.
In the past year I've worked really hard to draw boundaries with my family and be explicit about them. I am thinking specifically about when Dad came to visit and told me that he misgenders me when he talks to other people. I got so upset and I told him exactly how I felt about it. I have been holding them to the same standard I hold others to, and I have not been afraid or ashamed to say my boundaries or my feelings when I need to. I am so proud of myself and it has allowed me to feel like I can say "support me" and also say "what you are doing is not what I have asked for, please do this" and then leave if it is not okay. It is hard and painful to understand that my family doesn't fit the ideal of what family is supposed to be, and it is even more sad to want that for myself and know that I can't have it in the way that others do. And yet, I am trying to make family and build community and I am proud of that, even if it doesn't fit into a nuclear/blood family model.
I turned 50 this year, but instead of have a big celebration, I was away doing field work. I have mixed feelings about it, because I feel like my wife would have pushed more for me to do something big with friends and family if she wasn't preoccupied with reconnecting with her old flame and initiating an affair. I was unaware of what she was doing at the time, but her distance was certainly out of character. Anyway, I instead made plans to be away for work, which was in Yellowstone National Park during winter. The snow covered landscape was truly amazing, so I enjoyed it as much as I could. I guess I'd rather focus on how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful place doing something I love with a good group of people - not a bad way to celebrate half a century on this planet!
I came out to them! When I was younger I never thought that I would, even though I knew they would be supportive. However, this has improved my relationships with them because I can be more open and honest about my life and not feel like I am hiding around them.
I think accepting that I will have no family once my mother is gone has made me see that it's nice to have milestones, but if you can't, you can be okay without them.
My father in law's transition from living in Illinois to living in Tucson and Oakland ... still in process, but I am inspired by his commitment to building, not a new life, but a new stage in his life. If he can leave the small town he lived in for the first 65 years of his life, change is possible for all of us!
I told my parents I wouldn't come home anymore because the house is too hoardery/out of control. It was actually really good. I think everyone handled it like adults, I made sure to convey to them that it had nothing to do with them - I love them and want to spend time with them - but I just can't do it in that house. And that's ok. We can all have different lifestyle choices. We'll figure out how to come together in other places and in other ways.
My wife shared that she thought she had depression and had identified a desire to try medication to relieve her symptoms. It helped her so much and it makes me so happy to see how much she's feeling like herself and finding a community. I can't even express how happy it makes me. This was a milestone to me because it took bravery to admit she couldn't manage alone and that there was something wrong beyond her control. She's such a strong person and I'm so proud of all she's achieved.
My husband and I both had bariatric surgery. I cannot believe that it has changed our lives so much. Everything from the way we shop to the way we eat. We’ve each lost over 100 pounds. He and I are both able to do so much more and we are both learning to not think like fat people anymore. I’m so glad we did this and I’m so glad that we BOTH did this. Our quality of life is so much better now. Our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner.
I think a major milestone for my family this past year was my dad's decision to remarry. I think everyone had a difficult time with this decision. Not that we do not like my Dad's new fiance, but rather that we are worried about my Mom's wellbeing. She has suffered from chronic depression a vast majority of her life and I have been worried how she will retake my Dad remarrying. It has been hard for my Mom to find someone else. Alot of that has to do with her attachment to emotionally unavailable men and alot of that has to do with her low self-esteem. I tend to feel guilty spending time with or getting to know my Dad's fiance since she and my Dad began their relationship while my parents were still married. (Though their relationship had been broken for a long time.) I guess a major milestone for me is to forgive my parents and my Dad's new fiance. Forgive my Dad for straying outside his marriage and hurting my mother. Forgive my Dad's fiance for starting a relationship with a married man. Forgive my mother for dwelling on what happen 4 years ago and not really being able to move on with her love life. With my mother, I find it difficult to empathize with her toxic love life because she chooses again and again to be with these abusive men. I wish she would just take time for herself and really work on herself, improve her self esteem, love herself more, and not be so hard on herself. I feel she often is a broken record with the men that she dates. And I feel guilty for feeling that way, but I just wish my mom was stronger and it disappoints me. That has also been something I am working through. All in all, I must acknowledge my complicated feelings about the situation, acknowledge everyone else's complicated feelings about the situation, respect that everyone will deal with the situation differently and at their own pace, and understand that I am not in control of the situation and I just have to accept things how they are and see the positive in them. In the end, my mother and father are both alot happier regardless of the circumstance and the woman my dad is marrying is nice to us and takes care of my dad in ways that my mother was unable to because of their toxic history. So ultimately, things played out the way they needed to play out.
My grandmother died. She was my last living grandparent, and now I have none left. I found out in a brief email from my dad, to which I think I did reply eventually, but mostly--I felt sad and lost, not knowing how to react, and assuming trying to attend a funeral was out of the question (I wasn't invited). I talked to Scott about it and ended up looking up her obituary and crying over it, and he reflected that it seemed to affect me strongly, or that I felt strongly about it, or was attached to her--I can't remember what he said, but it kind of validated my feelings in a way I hadn't considered. I also felt guilty for not being connected to her in her last couple years (during her dementia, I guess, but also for a little while before). Calling or mailing her had been on my mental to-do list for months or even years, so I felt like a bad granddaughter, with absolutely no chance to redeem myself and improve our relationship. (I am glad that I connected with Uncle Dave and Aunt Carolyn this summer though! And we talked about Grandma; they had visited her toward the end, and didn't directly cast any shade on me for not being around, though I did say I felt bad about that. I don't know. That conversation was okay.)
I don't know, I called my sister... which I hadn't done (spoken to her) since 2016 caused I was pissed at her for trying to get between me and my friends - or something. My parents made a really big deal of this, my calling her; its annoying - how much they seem to obsess over my relationship to her. I think they are making up for lost time.
Colleen moved back to the Northwest to give support to mom and Erin. It's been wonderful to have her here. I feel a little guilty that I'm not doing more and most of it is falling on her, but realistically I truly can't. I guess I want to protect her - which is a form of boundarylessness isn't it, wanting to create boundaries for her instead of letting her set her own? OK! Not where I expected to go with this answer, but a very good place to end up: acknowledging my sister as a human able to take care of herself, woo-hoo!
There have been a couple of big family milestones this year. First, my cousin got engaged. She is the first in the family to get engaged so it has been pretty exciting. They got engaged at her fiancés newly opened restaurant and the date is set for memorial day 2020. The same cousin also for a new job this year helping to create menus for a restaurant that is opening. Probably the biggest milestone though is that my sister and her long term boyfriend broke up. It has been really hard on her and has illuminated some cracks that have formed in our nuclear family. It has been odd situation on my side as I don’t talk to her often so trying to figure out what is going on with her is like playing telephone. It feels a little like the whole family took one big step in the windy non-linear path of maturity and I feel like ultimately all of these events will bring us closer.
My parents turned 70. It was sweet and hard. I can feel their souls moving forward in their journeys, away from their role as my parents. Bittersweet family life.
For me it was the job as a positive. But also the spouse losing his job. We came halfway across the country for this job. The job was a dog from day one. We bought a house that we didn’t want in and area we didn’t want to be all because of the job. We threw one child’s education under the bus for this job. On the plus side one child’s education flourished because of the job. Missing friends, community, the West Coast, because of the job. And to be publicly fired by this awful community. To have now nearly a year of looking, facing ageism, depression, uncertainty, is demoralizing. No more severance. Not sure how much longer the search will continue. All because we left what we knew to try something else. Ultimately it’s not a single milestone (except for the job loss) as much as an accumulation of littler ones.
My Mom getting her hip replaced. She's getting older, but damn, she's still spunky.
I do not want to write about it. I thank God that my family is healthy.
I got engaged and will be starting a new family (of two for now) and this has profoundly affected my sense of happiness and hope.
My younger brother got married last year. And we attended the wedding on video call. The wedding was in Sydney. Being in spread out in different continents, Asia and North America, is a beautiful thing but when milestones such as union of two people, it becomes something else. In moments such as this, technology becomes a vital part of life. The platform allows connection that transcends space and time.
my mom and steve broke up. i’m so glad bc he sucked but i’m sad for my mom bc I know she loved him and it’s important to her to be in a relationship.
Mum was told that her tumor has begun growing again. That was in July and she's still to receive any treatment for it. We were waiting for this day for years but it still came like a hammer-blow. I wish things were different. I wish she weren't sick. It shook us out of our complacency, though normality always tries to reassert itself. I hope and pray she gets treatment soon and that it is effective. Fiona bat Vivienne (she doesn't have a hebrew name) if you're the praying kind.
My mother moved in with us almost six months ago. It is not something I ever thought I could have done but it hasn't been a terrible experience. Her living with us has allowed my daughter to have a little bit of a relationship with her.
My sister is in a nursing home. It was inevitable, but is still dispiriting. While I'm powerless to change her situation, I feel like I'm able to give a measure of comfort... just by being there - no expectations.
I finally showed my mother particularly, how much I love her. I am loving her now in an easeful and expressive way. It is incredibly liberating, and moving, to be able to show her how much I care, how thankful I am for my life, while she is still alive and well.
Hayley got her driver's license. It's affected me in that old anxieties -- the ones that cause me to catastrophize -- have returned to a degree I didn't expect nor do I like. I freak out on a daily basis about her being solo behind the wheel of a car out in all that traffic in all weather conditions (save for snow; we haven't had that one yet since she became licensed).
There haven't been major milestones. There have been challenges but we have faced them as a strong family. The challenges are no different than what any family faces. I feel happy that we are a united family.
My brother-in-law got married. My father-in-law and mother had their first full years of retirement. And my mother-in-law *just* retired. These were all positive changes as they helped have our family be available for help with the kids. Also, this year was my 10th anniversary and the 15th anniversary of my wife and my being together. We definitely have had extreme highs and extreme lows in all these years and I suppose that's natural of any relationship. But for all of it, I don't know who else would befit putting up with some of my michigas.
My oldest child left for college and my youngest was born. Both have been incredibly stressful, and I worry about them both so much.
Both children are enrolled in college. I was looking forward to having an empty nest, but that didn't work out. I am a bit disappointed. I am also a bit fearful for Ethan--he is young and I feel like he is rushing to get out and be an adult. I am hopeful that everything will work out in the long run.
I let go of the anger about helping out my mom when in my mind she was not trying to help herself out. By treating the relationship as one where I know she will not be around for forever, and others I love will be deeply affected by this, I choose to just be kind. And when I get frustrated, I step away without guilt. They are who they are, it is what it is, I won't change for them so why should I expect them to change for me.
The only major milestone was my father falling and breaking his hip. It was a real eye opener, beyond the grey hair and wrinkles, that my parents are aging. It's inspired a few conversations with D about their aging, and what we will do as life progresses.
My brother in law has succeeded in passing the 18 month mark after his diagnosis. I am hopeful that he can live a comfortable life and hopefully get many more years with him in our family.
There have been few milestones and much just holding on. A lot of waiting—for things to get better or for things to get worse. I think they are getting better. I hope. One big change was getting our puppy. He is six months now, nearly seven, and going through the terrible twos. He is so much work and nearly all of it falls on my shoulders. It's hard, but goodness, I love that dog.
My daughter became a trained mine clearance operator & works for a British charity that clears mines around the world, giving people back a future after conflict. I'm so proud of her
My son turned 18, graduated from highschool, started college. Those are biggies. Also "big" is finding out a lot more about his social circle, his "practices"--finding vape pens and dab rigs and cannabis oil and torches. How is it that my three year old is smoking weed? It's a tough one, mothering an adult who is still living with you, who you still support financially and send to college. What is the best way to handle that? I'm trying to give good advice without lecturing, being stern about potential impact and repercussions, respect his voice and reasons and explanations. I love this kid and I'm worried about him being immersed in bro culture . . . but I DO trust his value system, tendencies to be self protective. Now I have another one coming up the pike, 10th grade, and I am not sure any of my current approaches will even work for that very different kid. Me . . . I still mourn every time they move out for a week or two, I still crave their company. I suppose that will never end.
The only major milestone I can think of from the past year is that my parents came to visit me in DC for the first time in forever. And that's not even true, my dad had been here just a few month prior, but my mom's visit was quite exciting. I think I even wrote about it in a 750 from a few months ago. We got to spend some serious quality time together, just her and me, walking and biking around DC, hiking the Shenandoah, visiting the Capitol and the National Arboretum. It's funny to think of this as a milestone (not a wedding / birth / death / etc), but it does kind of feel like one. It had been 7 years since mom last visited, and it felt so good to be able to show her my new DC life, complete with car and guest room. This of course did not stop her from saying she's worried about the fact that I'm still living "a bachelor's life," (single, childless, living with roommates, etc) but so be it. How has the visit affected me? It reinforced what I already knew - that my mom obviously loves me. But it also helped equalize us, put us on a slightly more even playing field, in that it's not always me visiting my parents -- I can expect them to visit me and I'm perfectly able to host hem.
the primary milestone for my family is my brother finding a medication that actually makes his voices go away. i don't know if it's affected me yet, as it's only been 1 month and i'm still in the stage of it feeling too good to be true. in other words, i'm afraid to get excited about it out of fear that it won't last.
Tali moved away! It sucks and I hate it, but it pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. If Tali hadn't left, I never would have moved into Moishe House and I certainly wouldn't have immersed myself so deeply with this amazing group of people. I also never would have discovered that Atlanta is bomb af! So as much as I miss her and hate not seeing every day, it has led to a lot of good.
I had a family vacation with my sister and her family for the first time, ever. It was amazing to make the connections more deeply than I have in the past!
My son left Seattle after ten years living there and moved to St Paul, Minnesota. There were several reasons, the extremely high cost of living especially for a creative, the unbearable traffic and the lure of a new love in St Paul. While I wasn't living full-time in the Seattle area, I was there enough to enjoy meeting up for coffee, or for theater or dinner dates. I miss seeing him and being able to attend his performances. But I fully grasp his reasons for moving and support his move. Six months along, he seems to be settling in and happily the romance is thriving!
We sold the house we thought was our dream house, our forever house. By the time we got to the closing, it had long since felt like I was in some kind of psychological horror movie in my relationship to this house. It had never felt like my house, because I had been trying so hard to make it the house I thought the person I should want to be would live in. Perhaps it took having that house, having people come to it and tell me how lovely it was and feeling that their compliments rang false, to discover I wasn't the person I thought I should want to be.
Hard not to see the move as a major milestone. I was just thinking today that I feel like my hard drive has been wiped clean. It almost feels like I don't know how to feel -- as in, I need lessons in "how to feel things." I see it has affected the kids. They are reaching out more, and seem to feel the separation. It has made opportunities for my mom and me to spend more time together. But it has also made me feel that I'm constantly letting her down by not spending more time with her, by not being always available when she has time. It has made it so I can see Sam and Jack on a regular basis. I feel they are starting to know who I am. But they are still shy and unsure around me too. Developing those relationships will be a major benefit to this. That is a Good Thing that I'm glad to have for myself and to be for them. The move has made me question almost everything about myself. It has made me reevaluate what path I'm on, has made me ask what I'm capable of, what I find fulfilling, what I would want to do. It has brought out so much self doubt that I thought was behind me. It has made me wonder what my worth is. What can I be now? It has made me search for what to respect about myself. It has broken me down into pieces and challenged me to put them back together again, to see if I really know how this thing I am is built, or not. The move has made me exist in a place where I have only questions and not even the beginning of an idea of how I will discover the answers. It has made me face fears and showed me that I am not always equal to that. It has been so humbling. I am reaching, reaching, reaching for gratitude. I know that will be what saves me, when I find and feel the gratitude as I should, as I did before.
I flew back East to celebrate my aunt's 95th birthday. Then 6 months later I flew East to celebrate my dad's 93rd birthday which was the same time as a Passover Seder. I surprised my dad. Spending time with my family is very special since I live far away. & I really love it when I can surprise my family! Of course, somebody has to know so I can get picked up at the airport.
No major milestones. Everything's been pretty balanced. I appreciate the contentment.
When melissa moved out, it hurts, i wish she took me with her
My parents hit 60 this year and it’s made them contemplate their own mortality and future. It stresses me out because I’m 25 and know I’ll have to live more years without them than I wanted to and also because I have no prospects for a husband or anything and I want my parents to be young at my wedding and to know their grandchildren.
My mom and I have become closer and have found more of a mutual respect and understanding. Nowadays we do fun activities together and talk about life candidly. This year I individuated in a way that I never have from my family and that has been so AMAZING and healing.
The only milestone that came to mind was my wedding anniversary, June 23. It was the first anniversary since my husband’s passing, and for the first time in a very long time I truly missed him. So many anniversaries in the past 18 years were missed, not celebrated and felt very sad, but this one was different. Not sad as all the others had been, but emotional because of the reconciliation that had taken place and that we no longer had the opportunity to build on that. It was a time to reminisce about all of the good that we shared and the wisdom gained through trials.
Still is about Mom dying 2 weeks ago. I was pretty sure she would not be inscribed in the 5780 Book of Life; I never imagined she hadn't been for 5779. That is part of her death that has affected me greatly. None of us know when we will die; hard to get used to.
In my family not a lot has changed. I thought my parents were going to finally move on from there to Moltres relationship with each other. But they have kept up the same cycle of separating reuniting arguing and then separating again. on decide of my girlfriend's family, there was a lot of drama surrounding the first grandchild of the family. Our holiday visit their turned into an episode of Jerry Springer. But now is a parties have separated and a second grandchild is on the way from a different spouse. I'm not so sure how I feel about the latest spouse and newest additional baby to the family. Everybody seems nice but the whole situation made me a little sad. I was also sad that my girlfriend didn't really seem to be hit by the emotional impact of it so much.
Three milestones for the three most important people in my life: My daughter is ten and this summer suddenly hit that gorgeous stage of pre-puberty where she wants to shop for clothes and uses slang and rolls her eyes and wants to have her own space. It is pretty wonderful---and I do NOT mean that ironically. Watching her grow and change is the chief pleasure of my life. My ex husband has had some health challenges but I can honestly say in all the years we were together (13) and in all the years we have been divorced (3) we have never been closer and more importantly never been kinder to each other. I like this place. My lover and I have reached a place in our relationship of complete trust and reliance on each other. I don't question anything anymore. I know he has my back for good and he knows I have his.
My baby sister has become a more loving and thoughtful version of herself. This is a huge milestone in our family; for years she has been the source of much anger, frustration, and pain. She's still pretty rough around the edges, still very bity at times, operating from a place of fear, but thats her. She's real. I can see her traumas and I admire her efforts to grow past them even if she is not entirely successful. She slows down and thinks before she speaks. She speaks with more kindness and love. Shes working hard at not only showing her kids how to be strong, but how to be kind. She puts in a real efgort to stay connected with the ones she loves. In watching her transformation I've become more aware of the role I play in her life. Im more aware of the example I set for her as a woman, a mother, and a human. I engage her in more emotional conversations, try to show her that she is safe with me. Its also made me examine the parts of myself that Im not proud of that I so clearly see in her.
It's so interesting, this question, because I feel pretty family-less at the moment. My biological family are on the other side of the country, and caught up in their own affairs. When I found out about R's overseas job, and my world turned upside down, I turned to my mum for support and well, she was the opposite of supportive. R is my family, but he's moving overseas, and I don't know what's going to happen between us. I think when I called my mum and told her that I needed her and asked if I could fly home because I wasn't coping - and she was so unsympathetic, and told me not to come back because she had her hands full - that felt like a milestone. I felt so parent-less in that moment and the feeling hasn't really left me. I avoided writing a response to this question because I felt it showed what a heartless, selfish soul I am not to be able to think of a single family milestone to write about. Now I see I'm just sad and hurting that my family is what it is.
Major milestone that happened this year was that my youngest son turned 10. Double digits. For one I can’t believe I’m a person who is old enough to have a 15-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. For another it’s a sign that they’re growing up and our time with them in our house is short. It’s made me start wondering what life will be like when they have left the nest. It’s made me wonder whether my husband and I have the means to be a family once they are not in our lives on a daily basis. And it’s made me long for the times when they were younger, and life was a little bit simpler.
Linda's death has shifted the dynamic of Lisa and me, giving us more means to do the things we want to do, and reminding us to use them ASAP before it is too late!
Need I say, loss of Papi was a major milestone. It certainly has brought my daughter and I closer than ever before. We make a great team...most of the time!
There have been several. My sister retired early and moved to Hawaii with her husband, my mom contemplated moving there too (so far away!), and our kids transitioned into new schools and greater autonomy. My sister's prospective move and change in lifestyle (which she didn't want at first) stressed me for months and activated a defensive reaction, but things have since settled into a much better place. From watching my own reactions and their effects, I am now seeing the greater benefits of embracing love as a stance toward family members' situations rather than resistance or activism. Though spiritual wisdom would always be on the side of love, I felt like I needed to defend my mom and sister, but came to see how this stance added to stress rather than relieving it. Love is the way. A loving stance can bring insight into how best to support the ones we love.
I never thought I'd be this focused on the well being of my mother. This year we moved her to a somewhat assisted living place. It takes a lot to enable her to be as active as she wants to be. On one hand, I'm proud, but it's stressful at times. It's also hard not to be resentful because she never did this for her parents and never cared for us this when we were growing up.
My brother got married! I went to California for his wedding and got to meet his wife and see all of my old friends and my family. This hasn't really affected me all that directly, but it's a big deal for him and I'm happy for him. Julian started 1st grade. Oliver is in pre-school still. He starts Kindergarten next year. Julian's been losing his baby teeth, which is cool! He's lost 3 so far. Two were while eating, slightly before they were ready. One was beyond ready and I got to pull it out! So, that was pretty cool.
I brought my dad's family to Los Angeles for a family reunion. Some of us hadn't seen each other in ten years. I got to spend time with my aunt who told me some stories about my great grandparents. I'm now turning one of those stories into a short film. This has empowered me with the awareness that creating the circumstances always leads to the universe sending me gifts along the way.
Well, my family grew! Being engaged to M isn't just about our relationship, it's about being part of his extended life with his mom, dad, stepdad, stepmom, grandmother, and step- and half siblings. I felt welcomed by them before, but it's on a different level now. We're going to be connected for the rest of our lives.
I got a job. I'm glad I did, but it's meant other parts of my life have suffered. Plus I feel inadequate and defensive, more so than I used to. But I'm enjoying it. I hope I still have it next year.
My mom had two major surgeries on her shoulders. It's the first time that something this major has happened since I moved out, and it's been really hard to deal with not being able to help out with her recovery.
My dad died in October last year. It was ... pretty hideous and I felt a huge mix of emotions. Grief, relief, guilt, anger, sadness... and it turns out that when you feel so many emotions at once it adds up to feeling... nothing at all. It took a long time to process the feeling. I'm still doing it.
My dad retired and my mom had her knee replaced. My uncle was diagnosed with primary myleofibrosis. All are just reminders that as much as I might want to remain young forever, I won’t - no more than they have. And yet, seeing my Dad start his consulting business, seeing Mom face her recovery with determination and make swift progress, see my uncle research all kinds of treatments- I’m also reminded how many chances we do often get to keep pressing on.
I would say the greatest milestone in terms of family was not losing my partner's family in the breakup. I showed up for them throughout our relationship and loved them deep and true, and still being family with them means the world to me. This is affirming of who I am, and fills my heart with joy. It reminds me about what is truly meaningful in who we are with other people in our lives.
My oldest sister reached her 89th birthday! My youngest sister and her husband drove their motor home and I flew to Texas to celebrate with her and her daughter! We call our get togethers a sistercations! We had a fabulous time! We talked and talked and laughed a lot! It's hard to believe that we are all in our eighties and heading to ninety! She wants to have a big bash next year! Both of my sisters have very positive, joyful attitudes towards life and we all feel very grateful that we are fortunate in so many ways!
I talked to my Mum on the phone for over an hour sometime in June & my dad (stepdad) wasn’t happy & had a go at my Mum. So I messaged her instead & he even complained about that xx he’s quite possessive but it was in the evening & he probably got fed up of feeling like he was on his own as my Mum was chatting to me from her bedroom xx My dad’s even grumpier now since he’d had a nervous breakdown a couple of years ago & is even more grumpier with my Mum. I haven’t visited them since June & I feel isolated from my family who even live in the same village. My husband won’t visit them now because of the way my dad has been acting. My dad didn’t like me when I was younger but we got on better after I’d got a job and moved away to Coniston, he was more bearable and it meant I could get to see my mother more, but this has put us back a few steps so I’m just waiting for things to hopefully get a bit better xx I lost my Mum really when my dad married her, so it’s always been difficult to have a proper Mother/Daughter relationship xx So we’ll see xx Watch this space xx 😘
My dad started his own business more than a year ago and this is the make or break moment. You can tell by the stress that it's difficult for both of them, with my mom also working full time. I notice there's a bit of distance between me and dad. But we make up for it for mom-daughter long phone calls.
Grandpa turned 90! The whole family came down to Nashville to celebrate, but unfortunately I was working. It made me feel distant from my family because they were all together and I was unable to attend, and it was a reminder of the sacrifices I have made and will continue to make for my career. I was able to see him the next week due a conference, and it highlights how important it is for me to live close to family. (Sooo much easier to drop in and visit)
Hmmm. I'm not sure it's major in the sense of immediate impact, but the slow decline of the elders is :( Learning to (want to) see the vulnerabilities and then deciding what I might want to do about that....
Aubrey's Bat Mitzvah! That kid is fucking amazing. I was so worried that she could not learn any Hebrew and that she would never make it to this juncture--and yet she not only learned Hebrew, she mastered the entire process. Her mitzvah project was a smashing success and she led both the Friday night and her Bat Mitzvah services with grace, poise and a confidence I had no idea she had. As we were planning she kept saying "I can do that prayer" or "I want to do that part" until she literally led both services. And her Torah portions--holy crow. Not a single stutter, mistake, or stumble. Dyslexia has brought us a lot of stumbling blocks and a lot of gifts--I had not idea that it would impact her Bat Mitzvah in such a positive way (I thought it would be the opposite).
One milestone with my family is that my younger son no longer wants me to tuck him in at night. He is my more snuggly child (or had been until recently) and this change is hard for me. I am grateful that for almost twelve years his love for me was apparent and easily expressed. Many children turn away from their parents long before age 12. And yet, since he is my youngest, this change means that the days of a loving toddler wanting to hold my hand while we walk are gone, and gone forever. I loved those days and was aware of them while they were happening (thank G-d) and I knew they would eventually end, but still. There is a sweetness that is gone and cannot be replaced.
It has been amazing to see the village our extended family has become since A. arrived. I've seen my in laws in such a different way and I'm so thankful for them. I have had nothing but encouragement, support, help, and love.
Youngest turned 14. It’s time for me to find my life. What will I Be when I grow up. When they’re out of the next?
One daughter got engaged, the other finished her master's degree. Both are awesome people.
We have a new niece that was born in January and although at first I was concerned I’d be so sad for my own inability to have children, I’ve been able for reframe that and am just so thankful for her new little life.
There were no "major" milestones. My relationship with Sisser has continued to improve. She calls just to say hello. She's invited me to share Jay's accomplishments and not just because I can push a wheelchair.
Sarah got engaged to Adam!!!! We are thrilled. I hope and daven that it lasts for MANY MANY MANY happy years to come. By this time next year IYH they will be married! Also, Maggie died. And we got Marley!!! And also really really sadly.... Aunt Betty and Uncle Bob died about 8 days apart from each other. So so sad for the loss of almost that whole generation.
I moved away from my family, my parents downsize the living situation. I makes me appreciate the time that I get to spend with my loved ones more.
In everything that’s happened, its made me think about what’s important, who I am and what I want to be and dedicate my time to. It’s also made me think about who I want to spend time with.
A couple of interesting things happened with my family. First, my mom made a bizarre anti-gay comment at a gay bar of all places, saying in response to an effeminate guy: "I don't have a problem with gay people as long as they don't act gay." I was stoned and devastated. I regrettably kept my mouth shut and didn't say anything. She was drunk, and now it seems too distant, but I guarantee I will say something next time, because the icky feeling is there still from not saying anything. Second, my aunt Deb posted some horrible anti-gay meme on facebook, and I confronted the FUCK out of her, to the point where our relationship is likely forever damaged. But I want her to feel that damage and know there are consequences to her homophobic actions. Her post was viewable by me, her gay daughter, and her gay grandson. Insane. I want to stand up for myself like this from now on.
Our wedding was an incredibly joyous moment for us and our families. By the day of our wedding we truly felt like our families had been combined in celebration together. It had also been such a hard year for my family, with many of the larger opportunities to gather being sad ones. It was such a blessing to be able to offer to the family a reason to come together and celebrate.
My partner and I have been involved in couples counseling, which has strengthened and deepened our relationship.
My granddaughter, Casandra is expecting her first child May 1st,2020. Wow...she and Lance have been married for 2 years and decided to take their time and get to know each other first. Then they let God take over. I am sooo over the top excited!!!!! I'm hoping to get a photo session with five generations - My mom-88, me-65, Trish -45, Cass 24, baby - new. Wow!!!
omg you're kidding right? Joe ended his life in our home. That changed everything.
There haven't been any major milestones with my family that have affected me much.
Two new baby boys in one year!! I delight in being a Nana. I delight in seeing my children being parents. Like I told my son, becoming a grandparent is the reward of the years of parenting. So now I have 4 grandsons in 2 1/2 years. Miracle of miracles.
I got hospitalized for a vitamin deficiency. It cranked up the ambient paranoia/panic/unhealthy boundary issues already there way past safe operating limits. A whole lot of getting bombarded by AA pamphlets when I needed just a little actual, helpful support plus an over-eager nutritionist. I think there's a Problematic "Prodigal-Son Narrative" Problem here and I don't know if it's fixable.
I had a new grandson! Okay, *I* didn't have him, but he's mine all the same. Unlike with my previous grandson, I don't live nearby, so I am missing all the firsts unless my daughter puts them on FB. It's bittersweet, knowing this new little miracle is here and watching my daughter be a spectacular mom and also knowing that I may not get to see him (all of them) but once or twice a year.
(In addition to Pot and Bee dying this year) I guess a major milestone is that Johnnie got married. I'm 20 years older than he is. I was a full-fledged adult when he was born. And he just got married, but I am still single -- and have never been in a serious relationship. I guess it affected me in the sense that I generally don't think about my single-ness too often, nor my age. But seeing Johnnie get married really affected me. It made me feel really old, really spinster-ish, like I've really missed out on a relationship. I feel sad about this.
Seeing my mom respond to her sense that we probably don't have a lot more time with my grandpa ... she has responded by spending even more time with him in person, flying to Arizona a lot this year, and working with him more actively on his memoir. It makes me both want to spend more time with him too -- and also talk to my mom more, and spend more time with her. Andy & I are her favorite people I'm pretty sure, and it would be nice to honor her love with more time to spend too.
I guess it is now a little more than a year ago, but I came out to my father, my brother, and everyone else I had delayed telling. I told them all in person before I went on my 3-month silent meditation retreat.
I'm happy to say that I feel as though my sisters and I have grown closer! Especially the youngest and I -- we're not best friends by any means but I feel as though we've established a much better rapport and I feel more mutual respect and love between us.
My step daughter has moved out. First to a shelter for homeless adolescents, because she was desperate to leave the house. A few weeks ago she found a small appartment in town, that she's happy with. Our relationship with us is still strained at times, but her not living in the house makes life for all of us so much better. My partner is more relaxed, which does wonders for our relationship; we can sleep uninterrupted by someone barging into the house at 3am, then stalking upstairs at 5am; we're no longer direct witnesses of her (rather poor) life choices. And on her part: she can finally beat her wings and discover that she does need to take responsability for her own actions, she can make her own mistakes without us there on the sidelines pointing them out to her. I wish her well and hope she'll learn that the world is at her feet the moment she decides not to be a victim any more.
I honestly cannot think of an answer to this question. The only few significant things that have happened are my brother buying a house and my uncle passing away. I wasn't close with my uncle and he was sick for a long time so it was an expected death. As for my brother buying a house, I don't feel one way or another about it, but I am proud and happy that he's so established at a young age.
Grace turning 12 is a huge deal, since she's always been a bit of an "old man" stuck in a kids body. But more so now, with puberty & dealing with her emotions. It's been a struggle trying to find the right balance of treating her as a child, but letting her spread her wings and make decisions for her self. All I can say is that I have a lot more silver hair this year than last year.
We lost my father on September 5th. Losing him has changed my level of concern for my mom. I feel the pending responsibility of caring for her more that I ever imagined.
Our oldest daughter moved away and started college. It changed our family dynamic, but in a good way. It was exciting to see her grow as a young adult, and we became closer to our younger, high-school age daughter.
Undoubtedly this year has been one of immense changes. While T and I battled through A Levels, the older ones were finishing their degrees! It's hard in such an instance to not feel small and, though intellectually you know you're being cared for and valued, pretty insignificant. Given my nonchalance about my studies it's difficult to see why I should feel a need to ask more of other and yet, I do think it hurt... Chuffed they graduated though!!
My mom turned 70 this year. As she gets older, the more I feel myself clinging to her. I worry about her- making sure she’s safe in her environment and stays physically and mentally active. I want to help her fulfill her bucket list while she’s still able. And, I want her to know I’m happy. I want her around for my wedding and grandchildren- whenever that might be. I really just want to pause time and savor every good moment with her.
I lost my mom from a fire and am working to recover her estate. I can be cautious/careful & reckless. I'm coming to terms with my ability/character more alone than every and have never experienced this type of terror.
Alan started Kindergarten about 2 months ago. We worked for months to find the right school for him, not to mention years so that he could function in a typical school environment. Finally, all the pieces fell into place and he is in a wonderful environment with teachers who understand and support him. He really seems to be thriving- he is so happy to go to school and learn new things and is developing his Jewish identity with so much joy. I am incredibly relieved and optimistic!
I graduated with my MBA. It helped me to understand my value in the workforce but also helped me to further break down what I call my “Broken Model For Success.” There were old habits and beliefs that I had that no longer serve me. They had to be confronted so that I could show up and be different in my every day life and in my marriage.
Both Sharon and I got engaged this year! Neither of us would have been able to predict that these engagements would have happened - for her, because she and Gio have been together for 15 years, and for me, because it happened so quickly after being single for so long and quite happy about my life. This has shifted everything; I moved to the states, and now Sharon and I get to be sisters but also part of two couples learning how to be friends! I love this so much, and it makes me happy for my parents as well, as we'll all take care of each other. I feel full in my heart.
A major Milestone is probably me moving to London and my sister quitting banking, getting accepted into a great Masters program, and eventually moving to London as well. For the first time in 7 years, we live in the same city and things seem to be going pretty well!
My relationship to my family seems both more estranged and yet somehow closer as I grow older, as I guess, we all grow older. I miss being young and not having such a nuanced relationship with my parents. The dynamics have shifted so much and I miss the simpler relationship we had in my youth.
The move! We've had some ups and downs with it, it's certainly not easy to "start over". especially since this town has such a large focus on W professionally and personally. we're communicating better than ever though, and have been enjoying nesting. building something together feels like it's helped us get to know each other even more.
My father got cancer this past year, stage four. It's definitely terminal, but they seem to be slowing it. Cancer is interesting because life, of course, is terminal. It ends. But there's this sense of it speeding up for some, of them going before their time. I'm not ready to lose my dad yet.
After 4 grandsons, our first granddaughter was born! We welcomed Ruby Belle in June, and she certainly has lifted our spirits! Living proof that life goes on, and good things still happen!
I guess Mom getting sick. It’s made me acutely aware of my parents aging and of their mortality, and led me to want to spend more time with them and appreciate that time more. Secondarily, it’s a reminder of my own mortality and what my relationship with my kids will be like as I age and they grow up.
There were no major milestones in the family this year.
A milestone for me personally is entering into a serious romantic relationship. I haven't been in a viable relationship for 7+ years and it has changed so much. Mom's Alzheimer's continues to decline which is a sad family milestone. It is likely she will pass away this year and she is recently on hospice. Which feels sad but also could be a relief. It's so hard on all of us. I truly believe the universe sent Adam into my life as I'm losing my mom because I needed someone.
This year we finished our basement after it flooding last year. It's an amazing space for the future. But we learned a lot about each other , what we like and how we handle money through it.
Child #1 started kindergarten! I'm so thrilled that he is increasingly independent and able to have his own experiences in his own ways. It's incredible to watch him play with peers with less scaffolding, and heartwarming that he continues to embody curiosity and love learning.
I'm not sure I fully know yet exactly how moving back to the US from Israel has affected me. It might be too soon to tell. I guess we moved back two and a half months ago already. It doesn't feel like it was that long ago. Simultaneously, it feels like we were in Israel SO LONG AGO. Or maybe more accurately, it feels like we were never gone. While moving and setting up a new life in a new place is never quick or painless, being back in the US feels easy and convenient. It's a big milestone to move back from abroad. Especially with a 12 month old. I'm sad to be gone. Gone from my friends, my mom friends, the sea, the amazing life I had. Being a SAHM living two blocks from the Mediterranean Sea was amazing. It was hard of course, as a first time mom (FTM), navigating all the new stuff, including a change in brain chemistry and personality really... and learning to deal with a non-stop monkey baby. But I digress. Life was pretty great and we knew it. We soaked in what we could in our last few months. Took a few road trips. Spent weekdays at the beach (while Jesse worked). Lots of family got in last minute visits. And as that reality now fades into memories, we're back. In a new place, a new adventure, but back in the States. I've really appreciated the benefits of living abroad. Of living in Tel Aviv. And not that there weren't drawbacks - there were... many! But becoming a FTM in a place that values family and mothers and children. My god. What a difference compared to the US. Things like paid maternity leave (although short); a "mothering/parenting hour" whereby you work one hour less each day at work for the first 4 months you are back (NOT including breaks to pump); breastfeeding without a cover anywhere and not receiving a second glace about it; the overall positive attitude toward mothers and children and families... society is just different there. And it was a wonderful place to become a mother. So supportive. So informative and empowering. I'm a totally different mother than I would have been if I had become a mom in the States. I am so so thankful and grateful that it happened there. What a wonderful truly life-changing experience.
Our family grew by 2 more grandchildren. These additions have brought tremendous joy!
My grandpa had a stroke. I stayed with him and my grandma for a little over a week, and he couldn't really talk. There were parts of the visit that were just awful, but I was hilariously firm about him doing his physical therapy. His stroke triggered a family reunion, which was good. There were big chunks of the family that came together for the first time in 5 years-ish. So that awful thing triggered a good thing.
I don't spend time with my family. I want to spend less time with them. I know that isn't kind or generous, but I know what is or isn't healthy for me. I am working on forgiveness still and understanding that I did wrong as well. Though I was a child, it doesn't exonerate me.
We settled into our new life in the burbs, and I fought my way through a 504 assessment and a schoolhouse bully on behalf of my son. It has made me feel that my life has become very small, but no less worthwhile. I have taken a break from "saving the world" (as if that were even possible) to focus on my husband and son's well-being. The reward has been a deeper connection with both of them. They respond to my care with kindness and compassion. Well, most of the time. I think this will prove a worthy investment in the greater scheme of my life.
I'm still pretty disconnected from my family. I'm trying to be better about it. My Nanny was diagnosed with lung cancer, but they caught it early, so she'll probably be ok, at least for now. But it has me worried. It's gonna tear my dad apart when she passes.
We moved. It is tough. We need to get rid of a lot of things. It is hard.
Granny and Popop moved out of their house and into an assisted living facility. Their decline in general has motivated me to step up and cultivate more connectedness, which I took action on by organizing the 2019 Schechter Family Reunion. I also feel an internal shift which is a deeper truer more real desire to build a family of my own, and a readiness to shift my energy and time and love from the past to the future, while ALWAYS honoring the past.
My bubbie died and it tore my family apart because she had been using her money to sooth different people's feelings of insecurity. With her passing different family members are fighting over money and it has torn my family apart. It is very sad. I am sad that she is not here especially as now I am fulfilling some of her highest held wishes for me. I'm dating a Jewish woman and am far more observant of Jewish traditions now than I have ever been. Her death helped to reinforce the importance of community for me. Seeing my family in decline I can't help but mark Bubbie's death as the beginning of this decline. It is a tough space to be in. It makes me sad to see my family in such dire shape. I am working to repair any of the damage that persists.
Although the birth of my granddaughter, Amelia, is a major milestone, the event of my husband dissolving his business partnership and starting to to work at a dealership again, has been the most significant change in my life this year. This change should help us financially work toward our goal of eventually purchasing some rural property to live on and do some type of homesteading. We've both realized a suburban lifestyle is not satisfying. We are currently working on a two year plan to get some land we can live out the rest of our lives on - eventually self-sustaining. We are researching agritourism ideas that we would enjoy and help us live sustainable lifestyle. our leas is almost up on our house and we'll be moving somewhere "cheap" and save as much o f our income as we can and pay off our vehicles. This financial milestone is going to be a positive turning point in our lives looking forward. i'm excited to see where we''ll be next year at this time.
Kamaya Adine Tobias joined us earthside on July 15, 2019. The birth of Lauren and Tony's third child was the first one I wasn't present in-person for, which made me sad. But what was beautiful was that I was with Theo, Sherri and Jay in Oregon when Kamaya came into this world--and something about that feels so serendipitous! It has made me look forward to my future with Theo, kids and all, so much more.
My son went off to college in Philadelphia. And I'm a little sadder than I expected myself to be. I'm incredibly proud of him and wish him the best, but my house is a little too quiet. Even the cats miss him. I need to make myself get out more with friends and actually go see the shows and dance I say I want to see. We'll see how good I wont up being at this.
My baby has grown into a toddler (well, almost - he's cruising, but not quite yet toddling). I continue to marvel at the intensity of each day - everything that needs to have attention paid, and how easily we let go of some things in favor of something else. I am beginning to think more and more that it is truly a blessing to trust one's ability to make decisions quickly. To trust myself to yes - allow for this danger, but no - not allow for that one, dozens of times a day every single day. It's increased my trust in myself and my exhaustion in general. It has caused me to give up a lot of things that I enjoyed but I'm learning were important to me - but not as important as this. Keeping up with thank you notes, staying up to date on world events, making sure everyone gets a birthday message that day, and responding to messages in a timely fashion - those are all former priorities that I've let go of in favor of parenting.
My father had two huge operations this year. On his neck and then more recently on his back. I am reminded once again about the importance of presence. And I feel so grateful that I have the ability to be physically present as often as I can (though it's not much still). But this year I successfully took paid family leave to be home for two weeks and "help" take care of my Pops, and mostly be moral support for my mom and study for the GRE. Being home was so, so sweet. It's the most beautiful, sacred feeling. I know he's still recovering, but I hope his mood, his hope, and his curiosity also grow and recover. I want to see him fully committed to himself, his health, and a zest for the process of achieving all these things. Lastly, both my grandmothers have had falls and questionable health statuses over the past year. Some of them my parents even forget to tell me about. The last two times I saw my grandma Jackie, we both cried when I left. I hope to have a sleepover with her some time soon. Again, physical presence. Last Lastly, my grandma Norma, who is currently in the hospital, was a queen yet again at the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend for Uncle Jayson this summer. It was a family reunion bash and so much fun. I'm so glad I got to sit with her for some of it. <3
My mom saw my in my tallit for the first time on Rosh HaShana. I was really scared and worried about her reaction. My mom grew up in a conservadox household and community, where only married men wore tallit. I was so shocked when she told me my tallit was beautiful, and I could see she was excited. It meant the world to me that she made that moment a positive one.
A major milestone for us that has been both a challenge and a relief has been getting my dad situated with the appropriate care for his health issues. Since last year he has stabilized and even improved, and I am so glad that he has stayed happy at home. It has been a very challenging year with this aspect of our lives but I think we have come a long way since last year when things were very tense regarding my dad's health.
This year my husband and I went to counseling! YAY US! WE DID IT! We have been saying casually for 2 plus years that we should do this. And we did it! Our marriage is very strong, but we struggle with sharing emotional labor, and I am so glad we made this step to strengthen our marriage and our family.
When my second nephew was born last year, my world was turned upside down. I had had a miscarriage while living abroad rurally in the Peace Corps and I was still mourning the loss of that life when my nephew came. When he was placed in my arms, I began to weep for a long time, remembering the life I had lost on a bathroom floor. The promise of possibility and new life was before me and I could celebrate my loss through his new life. It was an amazing and life-giving experience which allowed me to grow through my past. Sometimes people say we do not need to have children to be happy, but we do need them to grow in ourselves at times.
It's not really a "milestone" but Adam not going to college this past year was a big one. I think it has been very tough on my parents, and he has very much been a lost soul. Marty advocating to learn to drive and get his learner's permit has been a positive milestone. He's really becoming more self sufficient and advocating for himself. In the midst of all of this was me getting married, which honestly probably just put things in an even harsher contrast. We'll all get where we need to be, but I think Adam has been a real challenge for my parents, even though they're doing better when it comes to doing things for themselves.
My parents got in an accident at the beginning of the year. It...didn't affect me much. I went and took care of them a little, I did a few things, but I think I should have been more shaken than I was. It did make me think about being the next generation of elders, though. PS: M still can't move.
No big milestones, just being on the other side of the world for 3 and half years already. I miss them, especially my nephews and nieces growing up and my parents getting older. It's hard to keep a close connection.
Finishing the technical APEX course. While I do not want to code it leveled me up professionally.
My family has completely cut me off. For practical purposes, I have no family. It’s not easy.
My sister got divorced. She and my mom bought a house and moved in together, and they seem happy with the new setup. She has discovered dating again and is having a blast. I remember what it's like to unpack aspects of yourself from the dusty boxes in the attic you inadvertently ended up filling over the years; the literal ones but more importantly the metaphorical ones too. It's especially thrilling when doing so through mutual infatuation with a new suitor after a relationship ends. This has triggered a bit more frequent communication between us. I hope she doesn't think it's just because of the divorce - I also decided to call and text more this year. I'll mention this when I visit them this Christmas.
An event in the last year that has impacted my family greatly is that my uncle’s alcoholism became a known problem. Prior to this year, I did not know anything at all about someone in my family having a drinking problem, as I have seen all the adult members of my family drink a few beers or glasses of wine here and there and family gatherings. All of the sudden in May, I woke up with my young cousins at my house one day, and I could hear my mom speaking in hushed tones on the phone with one of her sisters. I thought it was just a normal sleepover that I hadn’t realized was going on, until my mom called me and my younger brother in and told us what was going on. She told us that the kids did not realize what was going on, but that my uncle had taken one of their cars and disappeared last night, finally turning up in Rhode Island, and that his wife, my aunt, one of my other uncles, and my dad were going to pick him up. Since then, the problem has only escalated, as we have tried to get him into rehab, but he has refused to go. My parents have made sure that I understand that I cannot have any contact with him at all, and that if he was to try and contact me, I must tell them immediately. As far as I know, his youngest child, a seven year old son, just thinks that he is sick and does not understand why he has not seen his father in a while. The older two girls have a slight understanding, but nothing concrete. For me personally, this has not had a major affect, except that I have had to babysit a couple of times for them, and the kids have been at my house a few more times than normal.
No major milestones, although we need one! Visiting my brother & sister in law at their home was big for us. My brother was in his glory taking care of and hosting his sisters. My sister in law & I shared some time alone which has never happened in the past. I still don't think I've pushed thru their barriers, though. They have way too many secrets they have to keep....
My brother getting sober. It's improved our relationship immensely, but my dad simply will not accept that he has changed, which is tough. Also, my brother-in-law and his wife's separation (following the divorce of his other brother, and his parents, all since we got married) has made me question if my husband will get tired of me in 5, 10, 20 or 30 years.
I guess I would say that the major milestone has been coming to peace with how I deal with my sister. I feel that I can no more fully see who and what she is...and govern myself accordingly, while remaining neutrally bouyant.
There have been a few family milestones, but I would say the most major one was when I went to Israel for my cousin's wedding. I always loved my family in Israel, but hadn't spent as much time with them as I would have liked. When I was younger my family would take trips every few years, but I was too young to remember them. I was also fluent in Hebrew when I was younger, so it was much easier to communicate and connect with my family. As I got older, life got in the way and I wasn't able to see them. When I went to the wedding I was a bit nervous to see everyone, it had been so long since I saw them and speaking Hebrew was a skill I lost over the years. Nonetheless, I was embraced by my family immediately. My cousins and I tried out best to bridge the language barrier, my aunts and uncles were all so excited to see my family, and I saw my Safta in person probably for the last time. It was overwhelming and hectic, but I loved every minute of it. Since I don't have much family in the U.S. it was an incredible reminder of how important family is and how much unconditional love we have for each other.
All the girls are now on career paths with Elyse starting job with GSK in Maryland and Andra getting Replennibis off the ground and finding position in humanitarian aid space. Laura landed a terrific management position in San Francisco working with pre-psychotic patients and Danna continues to shine in marketing at Anhauser Busch. I am so proud of all of them!
My brother moved back in with my parents and he seems more stable. It seems like he's better for it. N got a job at the library, which has made her much happier. I'm glad to see she has something that makes her more passionate and engages her. I got fired, which has us in a shaky financial situation right now because I'm on unemployment, but I honestly feel like I haven't been worried about money as much in past years. I feel much more at peace even though I have less money than I've had in years.
I got a new dog. I was sad because I had just lost my old one.
1. My sister got really sick, and only untill after our holiday she dared say how bad - it saddened me that she didnt trust to tell me right away - but it also showed how much she wanted to go on that holiday. I do need to protect the bond I have with her. 2. My Grandma had to move out of her house into an appartment. Due to my living so far away and not having a driver's license, I was not abel to help. But got furious when I heard how my family had treated her. Throwing out her stuff without asking - because she didn't need itanymore in their opinions. Not asking how she wanted her new house, just deciding everything for her as if she is a kid. It felt horrible and though I really wish I could speak up, I feel like I have no say since I barely can come over there anyway. She went down hilll fast the last year and I really feel like I should treasure whatever time is left.
It was a harder year than normal. But I am doing good. I am strong and can get through most.
Cancer was definitely a wake-up call. Where do we go from here? What is important? I'm so grateful for my work. I do feel that serving a community is noble, holy work.
Both my wife and I are reconciled to the inevitability that we will probably never have grandchildren in spite of having six adult children of our own. None of them are in any financial position to have kids, and only one of them is married. At this point none of the others are even in a committed relationship with someone. I guess it has made us question the meaning of saving things to pass down to future generations. Seeing as both my wife and I are only children, it appears that our family's legacies will end. I am a bit wistful about it, my wife is very sad.
This last year I told my siblings I needed us to be closer and more there for each other. We decided to have monthly meetings where we share what we need and what we are worried about and plan things to do together. It's been great.
Nothing happened that was major. More kids being born, but that's it. I don't know any of their names and that's fine with me. 🤷🏾♀️
I moved away from home and realized how / that I can be independent and self-sufficient. While that has been nice, I miss being at home w dad and having that support and stability.
Bright side: we celebrated brother Alex’s 75th Birthday at Weedfield. Wouldn’t it be sweet if we get to celebrate Alva’s 80th this April and my 70th in May?
My move affected family a lot as I now live so close to my parents. It's been a big adjustment as I don't see them as much as they wish I did. I am trying to be better about remembering to include them in my social and support networks in person - but it's been 10 years since we've lived in the same place and it's hard work to redefine those relationships.
Losing my grandma put into perspective for me the change in family structure and generations, and made me feel like there’s a new expectation for my role. It has helped to solidify my view of myself as a parent generation rather than a child generation.
My son graduated high school, my husband got a job. Son isn’t doing anything now but my husband is proudly working
Milestone? Not exactly, but a change in condition. Greg has learned that he has Epidermis herpetiformis. He is sensitive to gluten. Not so's his life and well being are endangered, but he breaks out with itchy, unpleasant blisters when he ingests it. We're still learning what the threshold is for a reaction. It has turned my world, well, sideways at least. I love to cook, we both love pasta and bread and so many other things. And now, I have to change things, many in a very radical way. I'm not resentful...Really! But I am a little bewildered and feeling a little lost and uncertain. I can't cook with the same abandon and instinct that I have since I was 9. It takes a lot of planning, and we're trying out new products and recipes. It does take some of the fun out of cooking, though, when I try something new that's gluten free and it works, it is wonderful. Cooking and baking are such an important part of my identity and self expression. Gluten free cakes are just not the same (not going to mention bread). I have to change my expectations. And find recipes that at least make something I can use. We'll see how the Christmas cookies work out. And Thanksgiving pies............ Well, it's a challenge and something to work on.
Dad died. It's taken over everything in my life and is likely the answer to every question in 10Q this year. It has impacted me profoundly. It has impacted my family and my relationships with them. My sister and I feel closer, but it's also a challenge. When I am feeling sad and guilty, it doesn't me she is, and vis-versa. I don't want to bring her down. I don't want to bring anyone down! My dad's death has impacted every single one of my relationships, for better or for worse. It's not that I see who my true friends are, it's that I see which of my friends are comfortable with sadness, humor, and weirdness in the face of sadness. I am used to giving so much to my friendships, and I still feel like that person. But I am also more forgetful now and more self-centered. I forget birthdays. I wonder why people don't reach out more or remember that I am grieving at all times, even in happy, lighthearted time. I know grief is the center of my world, not theirs, but it's hard to feel so disconnected from the world.
My grandmother passed away. It was very sad, I miss her a lot and I find myself wondering if I did enough for her while she was here, is she proud? I wish I could show her how I implement all the lessons shes taught me about kindness and patience.
Both of my daughters celebrated milestone anniversaries. My oldest and her husband celebrated 35 years and my youngest and her husband, 25 years. I feel old.
My family is dead to me. Can you get rid of this question?
The 25th anniversary of my parents. This February marked the silver jubilee celebrations of my parents and this has shown me what love is. The ability to get back up when you face problems, comfort one another when things are not going the way you thought they would. My parents have shown me the power of love, and how to take that forward to the next generation
I don't feel like there was a major milestone this year--it felt like a year of settling down and setting a new status quo....which is not a bad thing.
My oldest graduated high school and is in college! He was the one that really made me see. He told me mom, I don't like the way dad talks to you. And all the stuff, I tried to hide from them, I realized was always there. I let my children live this way because I couldn't clearly see. His father said, then let's divorce, and I took it and ran. Because, I do not know if I would have gotten another opportunity.
One brother had a child that almost died; another had to become a single parent while navigating a devastating divorce and other issues. We drifted apart as an extended family and it was painful for all of us.
Both of my daughters have started learning to drive! They both got their learner's permits and have taken and passed the classroom portion of drivers' ed. Now they have 8 hours of in-car instruction to complete and then my youngest has to complete her 50 hours of supervised driving and turn 16, which will happen in the end of January. My oldest can test for her license as soon as she feels comfortable with driving. We also have to have her eyes tested because she had some trouble with the peripheral vision screening when she got her temps. I have been teaching them how to drive, which I never thought I would be capable of doing. I have remained calm while they are learning and have been, in the worlds of my youngest, "a good teacher." I'm proud of all of us for getting this far. We have one car that they can share and that could be problematic when my oldest starts working after she graduates from her program in the spring, but I am going to not worry about that until the time comes. Having them be able to drive will be a wonderful blessing in the long run for me and a great life skill mastered for them.
My brother aged out of our parents' healthcare this year; not the most celebratory of milestones. It's stressful, and the window to set him up with healthcare of his own will end soon. We need to talk our dad around to the necessity of no longer claiming E as a tax dependent - which he'll also need for the sake of student loan applications. It's hard to help from a distance, hard to keep focused on what they need me to do.
I left my second job. It was great because I could finally be home more and see the kids and hubby. I am not so stressed out about money and I sleep more and am losing weight and all is better.
My granddaughter will be turning Three in December It is wonderful seeing her grow and talking more. Both my children got promotions at work. I am proud of them. But they are busier -- less free time. So I am very happy but realize they have their own lives. So I need to redefine my relationship with my children. I will be part of their lives and milestones but in a slightly different way.
My husband turned 40 and was very torn up about it. We ended up spending his birthday in France, and not marking it in any particular way. The trip was beautiful and was very good way to mark the occasion.
Milestone is Zach engagment to Natalie . Both thrilled and anxious at the same time
My brother graduated from college this year, and has begun the next phase of his life in NYC. My parents are both properly empty nesters now...I won't be sure for a bit how much this will affect me.I hope my brother and I can be closer and he gets older/more independent and further from home.
Eliana's Bat Mitzvah which just happened last month. So much led up to it. I saw her transform right before me. She went through a lot with boraz and was able to rise to the occasion in the end with Rabbi Sarah. Her connection to Judaism came back. The Bat mitzvah itself went amazingly well and she did great. the luncheon was great and the party was great. It affected me on many levels. I learned so much from it. I learned more about the prayers and Judaism. I was blown away by the support that was shown by not only our friends and family but by people we knew more peripherally. An amazing show of support and willingness to help. I feel that a huge healing happened from what had transpired last year with the rabbi search. I have a new love for our Congregation and feel more committed to be involved. I even agreed to be on the new rabbi search committee. The fact that the rabbi left after just a year was a beautiful demonstration of G-d's Grace.
I came out! It feels like a weight has lifted even though grandma didn't respond to or comment on the post :-)
I feel disconnected from the milestones that my family is experiencing since I am the only member that lives and works outside of where the core family lives. It has affected me to be far away, I think. It has rocked my sense of security. That being said, my family has helped me quite a bit this year as I've struggled. I'm very grateful and humbled to receive this assistance.
My little sister went to college. This means that my mom is by herself. It means my sister is by herself. But I feel that we are also more thoughtful and caring of eschother because of this separation, and as it loomed over us, this last summer, when we lived together. Finally my little sister gets a taste of what my life has been like the last four years. With independence can come loneliness. Stress. Accomplishments. I hope her experience is easier than mine.
I got married! Sort of. Mike and I had a commitment ceremony. It's been cool to put all my eggs in one basket
My parents separated and divorced. As a 22 year old, it hasn't affected my life practically. I have lived away from home most of the year, partly as a way to get away from the drama. However, it made me learn a lot about my parents and it put them in a very vulnerable place. This affected my relationship and ideas about each of them. It made me see them both in a new light. I'm not sad they divorced because they were both unhappy. But I am sad that these changes and changes in their personalities (and things I learned) after the separation affected our relationship. It is really complicated. But it also taught me how much I value keeping up a good relationship with my family. There were a few times I wanted to bail and give up on trying to have a relationship with them, because they were hurting me. Their behavior was impacting my stress levels and mental health. As much as I gained independence and understanding, I learned I value family and I want to try to repair my relationships with them.
F went to middle school. He says he likes it because all the stuff he disliked about his last school are improved, plus no PE. We did better about getting the kids in summer camp and that took a ton of driving them here and there. Improvement over last year though...
My father retired, which has changed how he relates to others. My parents have time to travel, they are more relaxed and he can visit me with a lighter heart.
When we got married, I inherited two brothers-in-law and two nephews, and in the year since then two of his cousins had kids and then his brother had a third kid (all girls!). Being surrounded by all these new parents, all of whom happen to be younger than me, is definitely making us think about whether we are ready for that next step in starting a family. The current plan is to wait until January so I can get health insurance through my new job (pending) and we can hopefully get our mortgage on the house!
My first year of retirement was harder than I thought it would be. I am hoping that I have my retirement sea legs now. I feel more centered and I hope it lasts. My ego went through massive withdrawal. I went from many people asking my opinion to almost no one. I am adjusting.
Not actually family, but ,Carl died and I was surprised how I felt. It affected me deeply and I did not know quite how to deal with this. We had not been together for years but the thought of him being gone was unsettling.
Noah's Bar Mitzvah!! It was a joyous occasion that brought family and friends together. We were all so proud of Noah that day, and really every day. He impressed everyone with his terrific preparation, and I mostly loved how the Rabbi called him a mensch in his remarks because of the kindness that Noah demonstrates. It is wonderful to welcome another son to Jewish adulthood and help him learn about the responsibilities he now carries in the Jewish community.
My dad retired and turned 70 this past year. Especially because my parents are now making significantly less money than they were, there has been an interesting re-examining of roles in terms of my sister and I being more equal grown-ups, and actually grown-ups who make more money. This year there was a whole tension over paying for food on our family vacation, spurred by his retirement and the lower income, that interestingly raised some of these questions. Also my dad turning 70 has just made me think about their age and mortality and wondering how many more years I have left with them (be’ezrat hashem, many!).
My brother got engaged. We are SO happy for him -- that he has found his person, and that she's great and that they are so committed to each other, but it's been complicated for my folks, particularly for my mom. She says she feels like she's losing him. He and his fiancee already prioritize her family over his, which in part is because they live closer... but I don't think she's entirely wrong. I wish they would/could talk about it.
This year we found the marked boulder. It has been years since we passed it. It marks our family history of being alive.
I moved in with my partner. This is the second partner I’ve ever lived with (I’m 35 going on 36). It’s terrifying and exciting and is incredibly impactful for trying to build a life and home and family together.
My mother’s elder sister died. My aunt seemed to have reconciled with her estranged children but this was not the case. One child received a larger portion of the estate than the other, and that kicked off a battle where we had to choose to support one sibling- mediation was shoved aside. I backed away from them both. I had never seen such vindictive behavior from my cousins
Question 1 answers this in one way. Focusing on my new family (Brando and me) - we have continued to grow as a couple and relationship. I feel like nuptials or an engagement at least is around the corner. We have our challenges but we both see this relationship lasting much longer than any challenge presented to us. I am also proud of his ability to build both his private practice and his involvement in the Israel program and other leadership training sessions. This has brought a more equitable aspect to our relationship, but has also brought demands on both of us to be more present for each other outside of our focus on work.
Well I had a great talk with the aunt and rabbi uncle before the Israel trip. The sibling has a wedding date set and I have begun cordial proceedings with them. I met their bunny a few months ago. We are planning a trip to Paris. I still have recurring dreams about my grandparents. I see them much more frequently in my dreams that in-person.
My sister got engaged for a second time in two years (different men). She’s only 22. It forced me to let go of judgement. Lead with compassion. When I apply this practice across my life, I’m so much better off.
My parents' separation was more defined this year. I appreciated the settled feeling of it yet found myself avoiding both of my parents more. I felt angry with and resentful with my mother, blaming her solely for the change. I felt uncomfortable and sad for my father, his isolation, his new living situation, and his sadness. I was afraid of being needed too much by him.
A major milestone for our family this year was a culmination of our realization of our son’s academic abilities. He went from not reading at all in JK to reading multiple chapter books a week and we also recognized that he has a photographic memory. It has affected us all as we learn to navigate some of the emotional complexity that comes with these new skills being developed.
We bought a house! It's been a game-changer for my mental health and connection to place. I had imagined buying a house about 5 years ago, but never though it would be with my husband or as beautiful and spacious as this one is. I love the neighborhood, being surrounded by trees, herring run park, having space for multiple garden plots, light streaming into the home, space, space, space!, a garage, kind neighbors, the sounds of crickets and breeze in the trees has replaced sirens and cars whooshing by, no more rats that I'm aware of. I am in love with this home and my family that's in it (me, my husband, and our dog, Saki).
A major milestone we’ve reached in the past year has been deciding to have a second child. I’m grateful that we haven’t yet experienced any health or fertility issues, and I’m now 15 weeks pregnant with our second boy. It took four years for me to become ready for a second child. One is a lot! Parenting is nothing like you expect. Our son is brilliant and energetic and loving, but it’s intense. Even being pregnant has opened my eyes to the depth of love—I worried I wouldn’t be able to adore another child as I do Jamie, but I already love and want to protect the little dude growing in my body, and I haven’t even met him. We’ve also realized we need to get our home ready, it’s going to be quite an undertaking!
I choose to make this about my Intentional Family, because my biological family is...well, it's a bummer right now. The biggest milestone has been learning that I don't need to be lonely. I've been able to grow and deepen friendships - including one with my ex - that have helped me know that I'm not alone ever. I know now that if I fall off the grid, they'll notice and be there to help me through. I don't know how to express how huge this is for me.
My sister recently paid off her medical bills form her surgeries and this was a big milestone for her and my family. She has been working really hard at work and struggling to pay off the bills. She has been scared and trying to handle it on her own. My mother has been trying to help by giving suggestions but my sister either wasn't ready to do it or wanted to do it differently. My dad has just been trying to support her when he could. I could only provide support in phone calls and care packages. When she paid it off I felt a sense of relief for her because this has been such a burden to her for something that wasn't even her fault in the first place. I know she felt free from it and I wanted her to have that feeling for as long as she can.
My son was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in December. Right now he is well, but the progression is unpredictable. Losing the future I had imagined for him was very hard. This is clearly something I do not and can not control. The challenge is to let go and simply be as helpful as I can.
There are a few! - My Mom's retirement in Jan 19' has affected me in a positive way becuase she's now "free" and not stressed which makes me happy. - I got engaged to the love of my life on my birthday May 1 which has been so amazing and really has helped lessen my insecurities and feels like solid family.
Oldest son started his Senior year of high school. I have been quite nostalgic and reviewing how I parented over the past (nearly) 18 years. Hoping I have provided him with enough guidance and support to be whatever is a success to him.
My son started high school. Worrying about the future; paying for college, retirement.
I moved to california to start a new family with bob. it's made massive changes to everything. socially, emotionally, physically, mentally...i'm still learning how to live here and be happy in the bay area.
The loss of my mother was essential to the identity of my family this year. I am in closer contact with my estranged father, which would have been my mother's dearest wish. I am also closer to my brothers, which has been a true gift. Over all, it has been a deeply unsettling experience and has brought thing which I may not have articulated as being centrally important to me to the fore. I have a deep desire to be close to family, especially because my brother and his wife are having a baby soon. I feel unmoored from the place I am living. A psychological anchor let go. I now have to learn to mother myself.
Major milestone would be that our family is maturing. Nothing really noteworthy has happened, but I feel like we fight so much less and are just beginning to really accept and support each other, wherever we're at.
Sherry got pregnant with twins this year! Then had 20 weeks she cost one of the twins, which was incredibly rough. She was pregnant for January to September of this year and who wait on my family the whole time. She wasn't able to come to my wedding because she was a high risk pregnancy, especially after losing one twin. it's been really hard for me to know that my sister has been having a tough time while I am so far away. I often feel pretty helpless and also sad for her. thankfully on September 21st a healthy sweet baby boy was born named Jonas. Got to go straight home from the hospital even though he was 5 weeks. It is a beautiful and bittersweet ending to a long pregnancy and I'm incredibly grateful and relieved that shiri and her baby are both doing really well. Curious feeling physically song, and Jonas is gaining weight and is it healthy and sweet munchkin.
Yeees, the visit of grandchildren and daughters to our new home, something that should be normal in any family, and slowly is becoming normal for us now.
Mom is in assisted living. It's been traumatizing for all of us. I'm so happy she is safe and healthy, but seeing her decline is sad and scary.
Last spring my older brother got engaged...he'll get married in March of next year and I am so incredibly happy and excited for them! At the same time, it's a very clear and official marker that my family has changed...our relationship, as I've always known it, is transforming. Conor will have new priorities, a new family, and a new life that (frankly) he has to choose over us. It will no longer be all of us coming home every holiday together, the 5 of us going out to dinners at our favorite restaurants or having brunch...that period of our lives is over. It's bittersweet - and comes at a time when so many of my friends are also making that same decision - to get married, move on, settle down. Maybe it's the wistful nostalgia in me - that I have always chosen to see my friends and family as they were in my youth. Maybe it's that I am not ready for that stage in my life - that I cannot imagine giving over to another human the kind of love that I feel for my family. Either way, I am thankful for the slow transition and my brother's finance's good taste.
John has a good job. It's got decent pay and great benefits. This really helps with our stability. So thankful this happened, I was worried he wouldn't every have more then a minimum wage job.
Major milestone. Mattea started attending a new school and Charli started kindergarten. Neither girls are at STS. This gives me some newfound freedom. I have the freedom to change jobs if I wish because it won't affect anyone but me. Mattea has new friends in the neighbourhood. Charli even has an invite to a playdate. We have a little more money in our bank account every month. This has been a positive change.
My wife has been working part-time as an attendant for over a year with a very nasty old Jewish lady who just sucks the life out of her. There is very little love left for me and I'm not being cared for the way I once was. Not a great trade-off. On top of that she seriously injured her wrist making life even more difficult for both of us.
A major milestone that occurred is that we had our perfect little baby :) She has completely turned our world upside down in the best possible way. I honestly never thought it would happen for us and I didn't know how I would be as a mom. After losing Penelope, I was anxious but then super grateful but still nervous. part of me was scared that I would forget about her and I felt guilty that I was so in love with my new baby, however, I've realized that was what she has taught us. She helped us embrace life in a new way and I know that I'm a better mom because of Huxley's older sister. We are actually going to walk in her name this weekend for the 3rd time and will take her little sister with us to celebrate. I love our rainbow baby and our first love that we lost and I know I am forever changed and forever grateful for both of them :)
We started the build. And we achieved financial stability. It has affected my peace of mind, I can buy a coat without guilt. I can buy socks. It's crazy how much of a difference in daily life these little things can weigh in on one's mental health.
My father died of cancer in October of last year. I opted to take my mother as my responsibility and brought her to stay with me and my husband since she was elderly and my brother and sisters all live on the main land. I have been delegated the power of attorney over her affairs and I have been doing the best I can alongside my personal life. It has been mentally stressful at times but I pause and step away so that I can get a new perspective and deal with whatever emotion is brewing within.
I had a surgery. My sister retired. Our father died. My surgery brought me to my sisters house for recovery for a month. She got to boss me around and I’m sure she enjoyed it. Her retirement has affected her life not mine per se. Our father passing definitely did not affect me like it did my sister or my brother. Me not so much, except we had to do something with his house, lot and “stuff”. We have completed all of that as of the second week of September. Oh, but there is something great that came from it...we finally, after 45 years have gotten back in touch with our Aunt Doris and Uncle Bill. That was a huge thing for me and I am truly grateful for that!!
My mother died just last month and I am still adjusting, so I can't really answer this one in any depth. I do know that I am more sad than I expected, I feel a loss I did not expect, and I wish I had called her more, not for her but for me.
Our Paris trip opened us to new and wonderful experiences together.
My parents turned 75. It just makes me really want to make sure I am making most of my time with them. Every day with them is a good day and that's what I want to focus on–just loving their presence
We started training to become foster parents, it’s been a lot of very emotional work but I think it will be so worth it
My dad had a fall, and was admitted to the hospital in August. He had a slow bilateral subdural hematoma. I flew down to Miami to spend a week with him, and to get him sorted at the skilled nursing facility. I felt closer to him, and also realized he had more troubles with his mobility than I had thought, with substantial weakness on his R side. It was upsetting, to face this bit of mortality. Also, it was good to be with him.
Having Drake, our little mister baby has made our lives so much sweeter! We are so grateful that he is healthy, happy, and all around just a lovely addition to our family.
A major milestone this past year for our family has to be Danny graduating from college. Although I think we all were confident that he would, there were some moments throughout his college career where things were tense, to say the least. I surprised myself by bursting into tears when I round the corner at Ryan Field and saw him standing there in his cap and gown. I know that my parents and I were so immensely proud of him and the incredible organizing work he started to do in college and continues to do now. In addition to the pride that marks this as a milestone, we are now a family of fully adult children where none of us are still in school - we all have jobs at the time being and are working people. That in itself is a big milestone.
my mom is trying to push me out of our company. it reinforces not wanting a relationship with her. but trying for compassion during the 10
Losing my parents in 10 months of each other has been the milestone, and I have been processing my grief as best I can. Now our family is smaller - and I am not sure how this will take shape. My sister and her family are nearby, but we have not been very close - typical family gatherings revolved around a holiday and my mother. My sister and I did get closer while we were clearing the house... but now that this is done, I am not sure how our relationship will develop.
My husband died and my niece got pregnant. The cycle of life ocntinues.
My father had a heart attack. For the first time we as a family realised that he's growing old. We all considered him almighty and this had a huge impact to each one of us. I'm afraid I'm not spending enough time with him.
I turned 34 this year and it was actually really hard for me. No one wanted to spend time with me on my birthday because it was a weekday and I thought I'd be a lot further in life then I am. I decided to that when I turn 35 if I'm not in a relationship I'm going to go forward and have a baby on my own.
Got dad into assisted living. Can't stand my family. Dad's a narcissist and a pathological liar so it's hard to tell which face is real; sister is perpetually awful to me, hypercritical, and abusive. For 20 years of trying to be tolerant of her insane moods, I can't do it anymore. I called her out on the way she treats me, with acknowledgment (and approval) from my therapist, whom I see every two weeks, whether I think I need to or not. Sis is trying to do better, but I don't have much left deep down. I'm better without these people. I sincerely wish they'd leave me alone. I'm done trying to be whatever it is they think I'm supposed to be. The eye-rolling, the snide comments, the judgement. Done. NO more fucks given. That is a milestone.
My boys have both left the nest. I miss them like crazy but I know they need to take these next steps in their lives. I'm also moving on with my life, spending more time with friends and Bob.
The passing of my grandmother. She has always been such a loving, supportive, wise, kind fixture in my life and I really miss her. I think about her a lot and still wish that I could speak with her about certain things. I'm sad that she's gone. Also, Grace had pneumonia an went to the hospital it March (Bubby died the week she was in the hospital, complicating the grieving process). I learned how strong she is and her body's ability to heal. And also my ability to be strong for her and Mark's ability to be strong and present for both of us. We really pulled together as a family unit and thank goodness she came out of it unscathed. My family and friends were also wonderful during this time. So it showed that we had a super strong support network that I do not take for granted. A lot of people don't have that.
My Husband died. Leaving behind a whole azz girlfriend who wants to talk to me. About him. No. Hell to the No. She had literally up to the day before he died to talk to me. She chose not to. Nothing to talk about now. I am now spending far too much time questioning my dead husband, like, "WTF, Dude...? I thought we were cool..." I am sad, embarrassed and unsure of everything. From what I understand, although I have been with him for over 30 years, I am not his first wife. I know he loved me, but one question is- What if I said, "Yes, let's figure it out. I'll come home or U come home..." Would caregiver/special companion taken care of both of us or what and in which home...???? I call 'Bullshit'. He was 10 years older than me, which means nothing when one is 55 and 65, but was a big azz deal in our community when I was 23-24 and he was 34. I am learning she was the one who wanted him since she was in High school, where he met and married his first wife and has been on the fringes ever since. She worked with his 1st wife for years. I have never met her. She says we have, but I do not recall at all. They have no children together, according to her, but he has been a father/grandfather figure to hers. We have distant relatives in common who are closer to her than to me. I am done. Done and done. I have lots to say and no one to say it to. I write. A Lot. I speak with his Spirit. A Lot. Luckily, I retired just before he died, so I can spend time healing without having the distraction of trying to feed and house myself because I have to do to work just in order to eat and not be homeless while trying to sort through all of this mental, emotional and spiritual mishegoss tossed in my life like a bomb... Thank Jah 4 Favor, Mercy, Gifts, financial nest eggs and safety nets. Not having a good time. Not with this. Might I add, Fun is My Spiritual Path and a Pillar, Tenet of My Religion. Ecclesiastes 2:24 Ecclesiastes 8:15 I have a lot of work to do.
Our son turned two years old in January. I thought hitting one was big. From age 1 to 2 and beyond, there has been exponential increase in communication and ability. It is so very special to be a witness to his growth and learning. I am humbled at by how much happens in these early years of life we don't seem to remember as an adult, but that forever shape us. In part of this milestone, came weaning my son; we were a great breastfeeding team for nearly 2 years and 8 months. I never anticipated we would have any problems, but I never thought we'd go so long. I cherish that time together.
It's not a single event, but the recognition that I am emerging into the senior generation in my family. I only have one aunt left in the generation before me and I adore her but haven't made plans to see her this year. How many more opportunities will there be, when she is hale and hearty and can actively enjoy my visit? The cousins who are around my age have grown children and many have grandchildren. One cousin has died (that I know of) and I have lost touch with many others. It's up to me to build relationships with them and to get to know their children, the next generation. It hasn't occurred to me until now that I want them to know ME, and the only way that will probably happen is if I take the initiative, which may mean planning travel, picking up the phone, skype, etc. It means paying attention to birthdays, holidays and showing up at celebrations when I can. That's what family is about, and as an only adopted child who happens to be gay, I have given myself an out, so to speak, and never really sought inclusion. I just chose another path, and now feel like I am more of an outsider. I want to show up where I haven't in the past, give love, be included. I am not an outsider; it's all self-perception, and I would like to begin my re-entry.
My daughter was born. I found reservoirs of patience and empathy that I never suspected I had.
Last February 27th was the first anniversary of my father’s death. I know his death hit all of us in different ways. For some of us it was in unexpected ways and for others it was almost exactly as imagined – and we all had a lot of time to think about how we would deal with it - horrifying and tortuous amounts of time; for me, nearly my whole life. But the anniversary of it was so strange for me. I’d never really thought about it, about the milestones of the first holiday after, the first anniversary, the first birthday. Most were exquisitely painful in their own particular ways but the anniversary…now that was a bastard. I felt jumpy and anxious and just wound up generally for about a week beforehand. I worked a lot (well, much more than I was wont to at that time generally, thanks to other areas of head-fuckery) the several days preceding and then on the day itself, allowed myself to do nothing. And I didn’t really feel anything. It was almost like I’d built it up so much in my head that there it was just a letdown once the day was finally there. I suffered so much in anticipation that it was as though I’d blown my circuits by the day of. And then…and fucking then, the day after came and I couldn’t hold it together. I leaked tears all day in between full-on sobbing breakdowns. The lump in my throat that had receded over the year to a manageable size was suddenly choking me again. And I was MAD. I prepared for it, I braced against it, I gave myself time and space for it, and it fucked me over. It showed up late, it showed up when I thought I was past it, at least that one day when I thought I knew what would happen. I tried to fight it and outsmart it but I just got my ass handed to me, just got reminded that there is no way to prepare, no way to outsmart, no way to be immune. And, fuck me, but that hurt almost as much as the missing my day. And that I couldn’t talk to him about it, that realizing once again that I would never, ever be able to look to him – actual him, not just his memory - for guidance, or sympathy, or anything at all, that was the most painful and maddening of all. But if I’ve learned anything through this grieving process, it’s that there are no rules to grief and mourning. Truly the only way to get through it is to go through it. There have been tiny things that have set me off into crying jags; there have been big unanswered, unanswerable questions that have enraged me so that I shook with impotent fury; there have been days of forgetfulness that, once noticed, bring a flood of guilt for being forgetful and more fury that there even should be anything to forget, that I should feel bad for the surcease of it. I have learned that I will carry this weight with me forever and it will never really get lighter. I just keep hoping that I’ll learn to carry it with more grace so it doesn’t always feel so heavy. I believe that’s about as much easier as it gets. I’ll take even just that.
My cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery was a major milestone. It brought me closer to my siblings and cousins. It took me to a whole other world. I want to nurture the new relationships, including spiritual ones.
Just a couple weeks ago, my older brother moved to Florida. We've never lived more than an hour apart, and now he's like 13 hours away. It's going to be very difficult. I'm used to having dinner with him fairly frequently, and now I won't be seeing him for months at a time.
Hannah was born! I swear to God, my entire body just glowed with joy. Hannah, my sweet, sweet, stank-face niece was born via emergency c-section on July 16th. She's made me think about the future differently. There will be dance recitals, soccer games, bad poetry, girls and boys and drugs and alcohol. Global warming, almost definitely. Hopefully, more peace. Everything for her will be different, and the same. The whole world has begun again with her little life. How incredible is that? How insane? I am looking forward to being a boring old Aunt who she thinks about only sometimes. I am excited to be a secondary character in someone else's story. She is also going to be my goddaughter, and for that I am speechlessly grateful and thrilled. I cannot wait to watch her grow and learn and become an angst-riddled, uncertain, brave, fierce young person. I can't wait for the world to revolve around her for a change.
For the first time, I believe, I stood my ground with my mother about being gay. She has always insisted that I can change. That I should change. And now that I’m single again she brought it up. It has always been a rocky subject for us to say the least. I asked her to stop parenting me. I’m a full grown man now and I need her to respect me. She would always use fear, as if my life would be a lesser life for being who I am. But I showed her with example that I am a good human being. This has helped me understand that even though I love her for being my mother, I don’t like her as a person. And she has caused me a lot of damage that I am now starting to heal
Getting engaged has made me think about my future and my family. Everything I’ve ever dreamed of is becoming a reality and it made me take a step back and be thankful for where we are right now in life.
My mom started doing plays. She’s acting. She’s busy. She has friends. She’s happier, she complains less, she’s near people who seem to appreciate her. I love seeing my mom have more value for herself. I love that she’s not depressed right now. I love that Julia brought this into our lives. I am watching my mom be a happy lady for the first time in a long time. It affects me because she’s been less worried about my life. She seems to be less obsessive about what I do. She seems to be less lonely so I don’t feel guilty. Also Brenda moves to San Francisco! She’s closer. She’s living with dad. It’s wonderful. My family is strong and our bond is magical and spiritual and I am so grateful.
I found peace with my father and my mother. It is one of the most impressing experiences that I ever had.
My dad got married. I was caught off guard by how (positively) emotionally significant, fun, and deeply energizing it was.
I want to say that I'm ashamed of my reaction to the restaurant and that I know it's important to them, but I didn't want to see them sad and overwhelmed and they needed to hear everything I said. I will not change my mind about any of this, but I want to try to be more supportive.
Nothing outrageously milestonish this year. Both kids were in college as of 2018. Both of us in same jobs since 2018. About the only thing was a lot of business travel in the first half of 2019. Only affect was some hotel points and frequent flyer miles.
My dad had a heart attack in March. It made me think about his/mine/everyone I love's mortality more than I already did. I think I take my parents for granted a lot of the time because they frustrate me so much, but this health scare was a big reminder to 1) stay in better touch (I have not been great about this recently) and 2) take care of my own health as well as B's.
I come from a crazy family. My mom’s one of seven, divorced, and has a boyfriend who is one of nine. This in its entirety could be a milestone but its not. They got engaged this summer on a cruise. I was there. My brother was there. That was it. This engagement does not feel so big for my mom, who has already been married, and at this point, they basically are already a married couple. Ya they argue and we have lived together since fifth grade; but, this engagement really means nothing. Of course it means something, especially to my moms boyfriend who has never been married, but to me, nothing in the house has changed. It was an emotional night for us on that cruise ship. As my mom’s boyfriend got on his knee and proposed to our mo who had no idea it was coming. We knew it was coming; in fact, we gave him permission to propose before we set foot on the cruise. It was an unforgettable night for everyone but from vacation to reality, nothing felt as I thought it would. It’s hard to explain. To be honest, I don’t know what exactly I expected to feel. I mentioned earlier that the engagement meant nothing but now, I think that’s false. This engagement could not only be a milestone, but a stepping stone towards a better life. Better family environment. A tabula rasa. I have no connection with my current dad and I still don't have the courage to call my mom’s boyfriend “step-dad” or even “dad”. I hope by this time next year that I gain the courage to call him by the title I feel that he deserves. Their engagement should mean a lot more to me a year from now because as of now, it’s kind of forgettable. Sometimes, my mom’s boyfriend gets on my nerves but who’s parents don’t? At this time next year, I should be only focusing on the good things that Mike, my mom’s boyfriend, does for us. He is a great guy and this milestone is something I should cherish more and more each year.
My 88 year old grandpa got married! He has been with his now-wife since I was a pre-teen, so in all this was really just an excuse to celebrate him and their relationship. Plus, they did it in a way that still honored my grandma's legacy and her lasting impacts on our family. He's constantly defying expectations of what someone his age should be able to do, and this served as another reminder that it's never too late to do what makes you happy.
We didn't have a major milestone, per se. We took a big family trip to France this summer which was nice though not without challenges. It's hard to spend 24/7 with people, even though they are family, who we don't see that often. I always like the change of scenery and pace from our day to day lives. College is suddenly on the forefront of our minds as my son is a senior. Exciting, actually, and we are taking a low key approach to the whole exercise. My husband's health is the other major thing. Again, something that is there and lurks in the background, not quite in the forefront. Our debt is a challenge and we are working through it. The change in job for me has been significant, especially since it's such a poor fit in nearly every way.
My sister got divorced. Well, I am happy that she is moving on from a relationship that was not going anywhere so she can live her life as best she can. It also made me realize how short life really is...She has gone beyond a reasonable window for having children and is left with sharing her dogs with her ex.
My son graduated High School and left for a gap year in Israel. Time literally flies. I think I am more sensitive now (or at least I hope I am) to how quick life is and better realize the importance of spending quantity and quality time with my family.
My wife and I have redefined our family. I am purposefully choosing to look at this positively. Or maybe it's negative because I feel that we have lost John for the unseen future. Maybe we have lost him forever. I am still processing how it affects me. I am still grieving the loss of him. I am still trying to define who I am and what family means now for my wife and me.
After being nearish to my family for two years, moving away (again) has been a source of deep sadness for me. Part of being an adult is making tough choices that are right for your family, and this was probably the hardest yet. I so desperately want my family in one spot, to live that rich family life that I never had.
Mom and Dad celebrated 25 years of marriage! Though the actual date was Oct 9 (Yom Kippur this year), they went on a trip to Portugal for 2 and a half weeks in September and they planned it for months. I was able to watch Milo for them. It was such a joy to be able to help them make it happen, and to see the happiness that planning a celebration for this momentous occasion. I should get them a cake.
I was married to my Bashert in front of family and friends. It is wonderful to love and be loved. And, as I tell him, third time's the charm ;-)
The major milestone for my family this year - Me giving birth to my daughter and giving my parents & sister's their first grand-daughter/niece ❤
I already wrote about Jon's job in Question 1, so I'll focus on other family milestones here: Ben graduating and getting a job and Sarah starting college. There have been so many moments this year when I have felt so proud of my family, and particularly of how we stayed connected and supported each other through the past year. I love it that our kids are so different from us and that we love them as they are and respect and appreciate the paths they are choosing, even though they are not following the same paths we chose. And while Jon and I are very stressed right now with our jobs, we are also enjoying being empty nesters. He's still very much my "person" and that feels wonderful.
Isabella started high-school. She really is maturing into an amazing and capable young person. I'm so proud of her every day.
Kerry's company was bought out by a Chinese company and the idiot president that had ruined company was fired. Still not sure how this will affect his job, his position or our major source of income.
I literally can't think of any that have happened.. it's all just, same shit different day.
I got engaged! It's exciting and overwhelming. I feel like it changes nothing and everything all at once.
My oldest son graduated from high school! I'm so proud of him, and all he's doing. He's a little lost right now - going to community college at night, working in the daytimes -- I can see how frustrated he is about how money disappears so quickly. He just bought his first car, and paid in cash for it from a friend. Naturally, as a first car, it has "quirks" that needed repairs, and it really bothered him how much the repairs were going to eat through his paycheck. He's really growing into being an independent man, and starting to set goals and question what he wants and where he's going. It's all so important. It's also hard -- I can't answer these questions. I hope I'm doing an adequate job of helping him distance himself and create his own life while still supporting and being available.
My parents fight a lot, but recently it's quiet down a bit since my dad is working out of state again. I saw a lot of similarities in how my dad treats my mom vs Jeff toward me. Emotional abuse is real and I hope my parents can either find peace or separate when my brother is older. Their fights obviously doesn't make me feel at ease and living away from home helps, but I pray that it gets better. I pray that my dad will find God.
My mum had a straightforward operation but the biopsy revealed cancer. We are waiting for further treatment to begin as a precautionary measure but I can't put into words how worried I've been about it. My mum is relatively young and in good health so it should be ok but sometimes it feels like this family never gets the luck. I couldn't do without her. I really hope we can make concrete plans to move closer to my parents in the next couple of years.
My brother who suffered from a bout of depression and had to drop out of school is in a vocational training program that he really loves-hooray! And I had a great, honest conversation with him about his struggle with depression and our family dynamic. Honest conversations are the best.
Hmm, I think I already answered this in question one but I’ll take a stab at a different milestone: I turned 50 this year. Such a big round number, and one that at least twice in my life I thought I might never see. I was a little apprehensive about what this new decade would feel like, but it turns out to be pretty good so far. I am newly committed to slowing down and living my life with attention to, gratitude for and emphasis on all the things that make me happy. And even though my body keeps reminding me that I’m not as healthy and resilient as I used to be, I’m still feeling pretty good considering everything I’ve been through in those 50 years. I am determined to enjoy whatever life is left to me, ideally with a minimum of guilt and “shoulds” and hopefully in the company of lots of people I love.
Maybe they have finally realized that I'm on my own now (after 5 years). And now they listen a bit more to what I have to say. Of course, the excitement at the moment is now above the roof when I showed them the engagement ring I'm planning on giving to my GF (a week from now).
My momma passed away February 7th this year. This has affected me with every aspect of my life. For the most part of the year believe it’s been graceful and heart opening. Yet I have narrowed my relationships. I’m not as open as I used to be in my twenties, I feel overwhelmed in crowds or in intimate gatherings with a defense up.
My father and sister came to visit me for Christmas. It was the first time in 9 years. It is difficult to have a relationship with both of them and it can seem overwhelming when they are together. It was a challenging visit and I disengaged a few times when I should have stepped in and stood my ground and defended my spouse. I hope to be better about that in the future.
I lost last year's 10Q, so I'm not sure if I talked about it, but it might fall on either year, so I will say Jaimie and Anthony moving home. Having my siblings within 100 miles has helped me set firmer boundaries with mom, build my adult relationship with the two of them, who have not lived in state since I was in high school. I connect with them in deeper, more meaningful ways now that I can see them more often and it has made my life richer.
Darling Jonathan is now born <3 Major milestone: Talking with mum about "What if I don't live a life/make decisions you approve of?" Her response: Total acceptance. Phew.
We got another year with Mom, now 92. She’s still going, albeit slowly, and her spirit is indomitable. None of her seven siblings got anywhere close to her age. I’m not sure I want to live that long, but if I do, I have a good model. My daughter has finally made peace with her father, or rather, made peace with accepting him for who he is. She calls it “forgiveness” for his absence in her life and for erasing her from his. Now, she says she may know how to forgive others so she can open her heart to living without this burden. I am amazed, proud and joyful for her. She has carried this nearly 30 years.
Sinc I have no family, I will share the major milestone of feeling as if I found a family at Good Samaritan Espiscopal Church in Sammamish. This has affected me in that I've done more ugly crying in public than I have in a VERY long time, and also that I'm more at peace with myself, and more forgiving/understanding of myself and others.
A major milestone in my family this past year was the birth of my nephew, my brother's first child and my second nephew and third nibling. While it has not drastically affected my relationship with my bother, it has brought my brother and mother closer together, in her role as grandmother. I once called my brother asking how our mom's first trip to them as Nana went, and he said, "Want a better relationship with mom? Have a kid." The greatest affect it has had on me has been a stronger draw to make me move closer to my brother and his family; whether that's all the way to Boston or just closer to the east coast I don't know, but it's taken up a greater space in my mind and in my plans (potential) for the future.
The largest milestone for our family this year was almost certainly our kid's name and gender marker change. Before that happened, I would have said them getting into their preferred high school, but that pales in comparison to helping them through the transition to a new name and breaking their news to the rest of our friends and family. :)
My mom celebrated her 80th birthday! We took a family trip to the beach. It was a lot of fun but it scares me that my mom is getting older. I don’t want to lose her, and I know this will inevitably happen one day. :(
My father died on Yom Kippur and I barely made it to his side for his last 4 hours. He exemplified lifelong learning and was really my first teacher. I feel like I've lost my wisest mentor and the person I most wanted to make proud. I feel like what he gave me is fading away and I only have dry books to learn from now. My most cherished elder is gone.
This isn't really a milestone, but since I'm now living on the other side of the country from my parents and sister, I've learned to really value and cherish the time I do get to spend with them. My parents visited last November, and we went on a road trip. I went on a trip to Death Valley with my mom. I visited for the holidays and Fourth of July, and I went backpacking at Yosemite with my sister. Those were probably some of the best moments this entire year. Friends come and go, but my family has always been by my side. I'm really looking forward to the road trip in Arizona and Nevada with my parents in November.
It's been just over a year since we sold my deceased parents' condo. That has resulted in visiting my hometime less often and therefore visiting an elderly aunt less often. I feel guilty that I have not visited my aunt more often as her health is declining. I feel less stress when I visit my hometown because when I do I either stay at my brother and sister-in-law's or in a hotel near them so I have spent more time with them than I did when I stayed at my parent's condo
I stopped talking to my mom and sister for awhile. It was great, and a good lesson that its okay for me to do that. We're talking now, but the fact that I have no shame is what is good to me, and I felt so much better without trying too hard to include them in my life. I was free of the toxicity.
Marsha is retiring and moving to South Carolina. I am happy for her because she seems to have come to the idea herself and still feels in control. She says she is doing this for David as he will live long after she's gone (she says) As I spoke to her last week , it became clear that she is happy with the prospects of moving while frightened (never would admit) to be making such a big change (retiring). She has always been so emotionally invested in her job that I'm sure she feels like life will be over. She was never receptive to ideas of volunteer work or even mentoring - although I hope this will change. She says they will come up for Christmas (without asking, but that's ok) and stay with us. I am happy for her and I think (hope) we will maintain a good relationship despite distance. It will be a nice place to visit in winter and perhaps seeing her a couple times a year will be a good thing. Maybe we will talk on the phone? We have not been as close since the 2016 election because of her supportive comments about Trump which I cannot handle without response so maybe this is for the best. Big change though, as she has always been nearby throughout our life's events and landmarks. My baby Audrey began to crawl and get into lots of things. She is so beautiful. Cary is asking lots of questions and growing a rich vocabulary it is amazing to see his intellect grow. He has turned into a sensitive funny loving little person. I'm so glad we share such a close bond!
I adopted a dog! Ari has been really the best thing about the year. He’s a tiny, complicated little guy with a ton of personality, and already I can’t imagine life without him.
I guess the milestone is that our two families joined together when we got married! (Why yes, yes I will bring everything back to our wedding...) In other news, Chris's brother Richard moved in with his girlfriend Zoe, and bought a house, and he is so much happier now, which I really like. And (YES I'M BRINGING THIS BACK TO MY WEDDING WHAT OF IT) Chris's other brother Gregory came to both of our weddings and stayed almost to the end of the second AND came to clear up the next day, which just delights me. Not sure these are major milestones, but sometimes the little things in life are what count.
My family has officially grown. I have joined two families together: the Whalens and the Wheares. Have I mentioned that I got married this year? There was a lovely bit towards the end of our wedding day when all my family, the Whalens, got together for some photos in the marquee. It was just us, and our friend, Alex, who took the pictures. All 6 original Whalens, plus Laura's 5 children, her partner, Garry, and my brother Richard's girlfriend, Zoe. That's the first time we've all been together. I hadn't even met two of Laura's latest children. And I hadn't met Garry before. It must have been back in 2013, maybe even 2012, the last time we all got together. I'm sure I could figure it out if I thought about it hard enough. Maybe 2014. Anyway, too long. It was in Bristol at 3 Great Brockeridge, my parents' house. How has this affected me? Life kind of just carries on. I've had an amazing year, but I still get bummed out, still get bored at work, want to leave and find another job, still get grumpy. I feel a bit more grown-up, though. But I think I've taken things in my stride. I can totally see why people get married and have weddings. I get it now. I feel very secure and happy and content. My life is a joy, most of the time.
My parents moved to Montana last December to live their dream of owning property on a river. As proud as I am of them for that, I feel like their move has disconnected me from my family altogether, and I have very little support where I am at now.
The separation had continued. It has been hard and a comfort, all at once.
Nothing new has happened with my family this year. No births, marriages, deaths etc. It's all the same old, same old. But that has made me realise I don't want my life to be like that. I want love and stability, but I don't want stagnation. I want my life to have new and exciting experiences. I don't want to have the same thing happen day after day after day.
I mean...this is question one. My father dying broke me down. But perhaps I should focus on what happened before that. In late October 2018, my father was rushed to the hospital after what turned out to be a heart attack. This may have been the result of an infection of Fournier's gangrene, an infection of flesh-eating bacteria in his scrotum. He received a skin patch transplant to replace his necrotized scrotum, but it ultimately did not take. In early November 2018, my mother called me and told me that it was time for me to come home. Dad was not doing well in the hospital. Little did I know that I would wind up staying home in SoCal for almost an entire month, filling my days with visits to the hospital to see dad. He was only fully conscious for my first week visiting. Then his lungs started to fail him, which ultimately lead to his death. Thankfully, during that time my father was conscious, we were able to mend things between us (we had had a horrible fight that past July, which led to months of not talking). We forgave each other, expressed love for each other. I'll never forget the Friday that my father, intubated and unable to speak, suddenly had the clarity to interact with us. I was keenly aware of the fact it was likely the last time I would ever actually communicate with my father. And all he wanted was to spend time with his wife and son. I feel so, so blessed and grateful to have had that time with my father. For years, I had feared I would miss his final days due to the physical distance. I treasure those days with my mom, treasure the moments of interacting with him. Sometimes, I beat myself up for not spending more hours in the hospital itself instead of at home with mom. But overall, this experience reminded me what *really* matters in life: being there for others, spending time with those you love. Everything else is secondary.
Again it would be the end of my relationship. It of course has had a dramatic impact on me, my family and friends. But it was the right thing to do.
I'm not sure my family has made it to any sort of major milestone. I feel like we're on the cusp of breaking out of stagnation.
We learned my little brother has Hodgkin's lymphoma. I suppose this is a "milestone" in that he was the first one of us to get cancer. Not our parents, not the older siblings. I wrote a poem somewhere between the diagnosis and his first chemotherapy treatment. I haven't shared it with him. Your brain was too big for your body. You galloped, limbs everywhere, catching up with your brain. Your brain created a world and drew species, hunching over papers, turning pencils to nubs, rubbing erasers to nothing. Your brain hurt sometimes. Your body had to rest in the dark. Your brain untangled every computer and video game, using your body to win. Not just your hands--you’d lean in. Your brain snagged quotes and catchy tunes. Your tongue released them at just the right times. Your brain studies movement and the artist’s rendering of movement. You break down the components that make a picture move well. You know the reaches and the limitations of a body. Your brain finds the patterns and imbalances that make humor. You show comedy with your body. Your brain spends little time considering your body, but understands what your body is doing now. Your body grew into your brain. Two hands, four limbs, one two three four five six feet. Kept growing. The cells in your chest and spleen are trying to kill you. The entire world you created depends on you. The beings you imagined are a part of you. Your body will hurt soon. You will need rest. You stuck through every game, your avatar bodies dying, spawning, until your neck ached, your hands were sore, you lost sleep. Your memories will come with you, dance around in your brain, and carry you through. You know the reaches and the limitations of your body. It will break down. You will rebuild it. You know how to. You’ll find the patterns, keep finding ways for all this to be funny. Whatever you put your mind to, you do.
My mother turned 70 this year which is amazing!
Jordan graduated from high school in May, and Mom retired September 30th (on Rash Hashanah!). I am so proud of Jordan’s many accomplishments, both inside and outside the classroom. It was challenging to witness her ED deferral and subsequent rejection from my alma mater, but I must trust that God’s plan is best. I pray that during her college years, she feels safe, challenged, and inspired every day. The stories of appreciation, admiration, and respect shared at Mom’s retirement gathering yesterday were truly beautiful. I am so proud of her and the legacy she is leaving behind!
My Mom finally broke up with her prick of a boyfriend, so that was a nice milestone. I love not seeing his face these days, it's wonderful.
My grandmother's and father's illnesses. I started to realise the time I have with them is short.
The major milestone for our family this past year was getting Shua ready for college applications. Aron and I visited a lot of different colleges with Shua, and now we are helping to review his college essays. He is getting his first college application in tomorrow (for Georgia Tech), but he is also applying to University of Maryland (his first choice), Johns Hopkins, Case Western Reserve, Carnegie Mellon, RIT, Univ. of Rochester, and Northeastern. He will likely also apply to Drexel and (I hope) Univ. of Pennsylvania. Another milestone was Shua getting his driver's license, which he got this past week! He is really growing up and becoming much more independent. I'm very proud of him. I'm also very proud of Aliza, who started high school this year. This is another milestone, and she has made a smooth transition. She is involved in many extracurriculars, and has a nice friend group.
This year I got closer to my parents. We traveled to Poland together and it was fun spending time with them away from home and as an adult. I learned a lot about my Mom's upbringing and it helps to understand her.
Obviously, Dad's illness. It's caused me to grow, and experience the color in life. Otherwise, very difficult. I'm seeing my mom as more of a person than ever before. His illness is hard on the family. I feel like I have a more humane view of people now, though.
The major milestone was that my father and I "met" each other again after 26 years. I have a real family now and I am very happy.
Graduating and starting full time work has changed the family dynamic (as I still live at home). It has put more pressure on my mother and makes it more obvious that I need to move out soon.
In my mind, it is hard to divorce the death of my grandfather and the birth of my nephew, as they happened only about a month apart and both had significant impacts on my life. This year marks the sixth anniversary of both. There's something strange about an anniversary that is greater than 5, but less than 10. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it all. My grandfather's death seem still so fresh and yet, I think of the journey that my nephew has been on in that same time frame. It definitely lends a different perspective.
My father went into retirement. It means he's gonna come around to visit me, which he hasn't done in over ten years at this point - while insisting I must visit on a regular basis... I'm a bit stressed out because I don't know how I'll handle that with the move. I don't feel really happy, and it makes me feel guilty because he loves me, but we're just not that close.
Husband and I finally got to go camping together! After 18 years of trying and some emergency happening EVERY time we ever tried, we were finally successful!!! Then I lost my ability to walk. I may never camp or hike again. This has broken something deep in me. All my lifetime goals are lost.
I finally feel like I am living the life I was working towards all this time. It is a wonderful feeling.
I bought my first house/condo! I'm a homeowner! I have been dreaming about this for several years, and I finally made it happen with my move back to the District. For the first time in my adult life, I feel like being settled somewhere. I am very happy with my choice and grateful that I had the means to make it happen. I feel like this is another step toward creating the life of my dreams, the first being becoming a nurse. Now to decorate!
My oldest daughter started middle school this year. I can barely fathom how my sweet baby is already a smart, moody, kind, sassy and affectionate tween in the 6th grade. She is developing such a strong sense of self and is a passionate reader. She is a loving daughter, big sister and friend with a sharp edge, a prickly side, and a very squishy center. When she chooses kindness, there's no one in the world I would rather be with. The biggest change I have noticed in her with this transition is her ability to self manage and self regulate which has come as a wonderful and welcome surprise after struggling with the changes expected of her from a new school with higher academic pressures last year. She is meeting goals set for her both by teachers and at home with what appears to be relative ease, if not enthusiasm. One concern is how she is choosing reading over developing relationships at school. She doesn't seem to want to do the work to invest in relationships at this school indicating that she already has friends from her old school, soccer, etc. I worry she's isolating herself but I'm also working to give her the space she needs to make her own choices.
My partner and I decided to end our relationship. It gave me the ability to finally be okay with allowing myself to do things for myself.
Other than my personal milestones this year there were no milestones with my family this year. For better or worse.
My mother turned 70. My dad is four years older. I am excited about how my life continues to unfold, but it is difficult to hold that in the same time my parents are getting older. I don't know what this next chapter will look like for any of us. For so long they have been David's and my caretakers. When we will become theirs?
I had an accident. It felt like I was more in everyone's way then before. It taught be that only I am in charge of my health and I need to work on my health first and anything else after that.
My son left for school. My mother died. We are fractured and more fully together. We are in grief and celebration. We are shifting, growing, feeling absence, recognizing independence. We are heartbroken. We are hopeful.
Hands down, Dorrit leaving for college was THE MOMENT. Her senior year was a blur of applications and stress and "lasts" and, luckily, some fun moments... But it also included some unexpected and tough scenarios of longtime friendships dissolving and sadness over that. I was so proud of how hard she worked and tried, and thrilled beyond belief that she got into Brown! I dreaded the drop-off... It was like one long emotional death march. We all sobbed in the parking lot saying goodbye. When she started to sound like herself and confident and happy, I felt much better. I miss her energy and her chattiness and the night time kitchen table study halls. It's different without her. But I guess I have to get used to it.
This isn't one major family milestone; it's an amalgamation of several moves made by other family members: My younger sister lives with her boyfriend most of the time; my little sister lives in New York for school; as for my stepfather's daughters one lives with her boyfriend in an apartment they share; the other probably still lives with her mom. 2 of 3 of my stepmother's kids are still at home, but it's less impactful because I didn't live there—however, the one that lives in Ottawa is newly engaged. More people who are my age have kids, let alone are married by now. The thing is, I likely don't want kids, I'm grateful to still be living with my grandmother (especially now that I'm between jobs at no fault of my own), and I simply don't feel like I'm in the position to settle down with anyone right now (let's get a serious relationship first). I'm older, I'm more experienced, and yet, by a certain lens, I'm "behind." But clearly it's just not my time for any of that yet. I need a break anyway.
The only thing I can really think of is Grampa dying and I haven’t really figure out how it’s affected me. Maybe it hasn’t.
We are wrestling with having a 3rd child. Brianna is dead against it and I would be too but secretly and selfishly wish I had a male child. We have all but made the decision but final actions have not been taken by me.
Tony graduated high school, and alana got a new car of her own. I've gotten to see their hearts more and where it drives them. I pray for them more often , knowing they are growing in their walks with God as well as questioning it
Mum and dad finally filed for divorce, but I think it has affected me for the better as I’m so proud of my mum for sticking up for herself through it all. I am sad that they didn’t manage to “last forever”, but I’m just glad my mum feels happy again after being miserable for so long trying to keep my dad happy.
I turned 50. Officially middle-aged, or, as my children say, “old.” I like my age. I like who I am. I’m grateful for my family and their love. I’m grateful that I’m still alive to love them and share in their life.
I am so very happy my brother found a wonderful woman to enjoy life with! He has spent mist of his life caring for my nephew who has lifelong serious health problems and his ex-wife who was ill for many years before passing. He deserves to find happiness and joy! This makes me happy.
This past year I came out to my family as transgender. It was about as large a milestone as I could imagine there being.... and it went wonderfully well. They embraced me in such a way that I feel truly seen by them for the first time in as long as I can remember.
Milestones come in bunches in years ending in 9, with my parents turning 60 and myself reaching the big three-oh. From surprising my father for his celebration, I had a fun gathering the weekend before my own, plus a stand-up/trivia night on the day of. I was so grateful for the outpouring of love and warm wishes - digital, analog, and telepathic - as I embarked on a new decade. With so many wonderful people in my life, sprinkled in with gatherings of laughter and joy, I’m excited to see what the next 10 years and beyond will bring!
Great Uncle Chris came out as "Christie" which has led to some good family ribbing but lots of support.
I started talking to my mother. Like a person.
This one got in just under the wire, but last night, the night before Sukkot begins, Uncle Max passed away in his sleep. I haven't really had time to process it all yet, which is challenging, but it was really upsetting news. I always felt more of a connection with Uncle Max due to his love for dogs, and his odd ability to speak dog (or so we all firmly believed). I am, of course, sad about his passing, but also sad for another sign of how old that generation is getting. He was 91, and I have grandparents older than that and around that age. All of my living older relatives are getting much older and I fear that we will be losing more soon. We will all miss Uncle Max dearly, though I hope he is now reunited with his beloved doggies.
Lauren and Jake got married! And they spent a year on the west coast :) My new little family made the trip out to Pennsylvania, where Bridget was secretly waiting at the wedding to surprise us and meet Ellie. I also got to visit Lauren a handful of times with Ellie, and it's been nice to have a little bit of sister time. Lauren and Jake have felt married for a bit, so that just feels like an extension of normal life (in a good way!). The continually growing family and our inter-relationships is an (often) fun part of life. It's fun and interesting to watch the word "family" shift and change throughout the years and relationships and welcoming new life and saying goodbye to our beloved.
My brother had a brain aneurysm. It was scary and put everyone in my family on edge. He is so young, only in his early 50's and a runner with little body fat who eats very healthy. As a result, I am looking at my own health differently. Also I am thinking more about living in the present and taking more time to have fun and do cool things.
Probably my youngest son starting Kindergarten. I wasn't around with my older boys starting school, so in a lot of ways this is a first experience for me, same as it is for my wife and obviously for my son. It's kind of weird not seeing him during the week, but I keep getting reports that he's doing so well in school, so I'm proud of him for that.
My oldest daughter started middle school this year. She switched schools last year, and it was a hard transition. She went from a small, hippie-dippie co-op school with 70-ish kids and no homework to an 800+ student charter school that focuses on standardized testing. She had a poor teacher fit, and her latent ADHD flared up big time. And yet, we knew that it was still the right school for her, and it has really shown this year. All the work we (by which I mean mostly her mother) put into last year in terms of getting her on and adjusting her medication, working on organizational skills, doing homework together, etc. (all of which was miserable at times) seemed to click into place this year, and she is near the top of her class -- frankly near the top of the entire middle school. And, despite some social anxiety, she is slowly building a small group of friends there to go with all of the friends she has kept from her previous school. What this has meant for me is that, while there has been so much drama in my life coming from so many places, my relationship with her and dealing with her school situation has not had to be one of them. I am incredibly grateful for that. And as I have become more aware of the negative aspects of my relationships with the kids, I have been in a good place to work on mine with her without having to wade through any of those issues, which also could have been major roadblocks. All in all, I feel like my relationships with her is in a good place, and getting better every day, and her current school situation is a big part of that.
Everything and everyone falling apart. I'm currently under the impression it's impossible for any aspect of my life to be ok.
My mom retired and I'm sure my dad will be retiring soon. My mom retiring has been great because not only does she deserve it, but she can now have the time to do all of the fun stuff she has tried to cram into her free time. I'm glad that she is finally able to do what she wants to do---and I get to see her weekly so that's nice.
My dad experienced a bout of depression and has been working with a therapist and tending to his mental health ever since. It's been so interesting and healing for me to stand by him in this. I experienced many years on and off of deep depression in my teens, and I think my dad has struggled with that too in his life. This is the first time he's been in a position to seek help for the challenge, and has related with his depression as a difficulty he deserves help with. Seeing my dad's healing journey helps me recognize the attitudes I picked up from him around self-neglect and self-loathing. I'm really proud of him and happy for him that he's finally allowing himself the support he deserves.
A couple of major milestones!! I moved across country twice. We bought a house! We got a dog! I was pregnant for the first time. All have affected us positively - until the heartache we felt when when we lost the pregnancy.
I spent an amazing year hanging out with Ronan everyday and connecting with that tiny person.
YOU GUYS. (Or, self.) I GOT MARRIED. And that is a large thing. I have literally started a new family. I am still getting used to the idea of being a *wife*, or spouse, of what it looks like to be fully, unequivocally attached to someone, through covenant, through love, through what is to come beyond our expectation or prediction. I hope (and think) it has softened me, and that his love and support has empowered me. Marriage challenges me to love more deeply, to think further and further longterm, to think of what we can do together as a team, to learn to accept love. I am challenged to accept the ways he provides financially that are humbling and bashful-making. I have also entered a world of wealth and privilege that I am beholden to in ways that are foreign, uncomfortable and sobering. It pushes me to set boundaries with my family of origin and to be intentional about nurturing other types of relationships. I feel I am learning a lot and growing a lot in ways I feel really hopeful and excited about.
Motherhood has made me anxious in a way that I never anticipated, nor that I want. I miss my carefree days and I don't understand sometimes why I get so angry and irrationally upset. I was just saying to my husband this evening, after a fight that made us both sad: "Don't be sad! We don't have to be sad! We can be great! We just have to work at it." I fully intend to be great and for our relationship to be fantastic, but it feels like we keep getting in our own way.
While there isn't anything personal for me I do have great milestones for the kids as mentioned in a previous answer. It just feels like I'm being a great father and that they are doing wonderful. Kids don't have an instruction book, you know.
Losing 80 lbs since Sept 24 2018 to now. Changed everything- mood, energy, capabilities, hope.