Welcome to my annual year review. Turning 50 has swiftly altered my perspectives and priorities. While I’ve achieved many life goals, there’s one secret aspiration that remains a challenge. I’ve set a personal deadline to reach it by 55, and I embrace the new year at peace with this journey.
In 2023, unexpected events took a toll on my mental and physical health, guiding me towards new enlightenments and spiritual strength that I increasingly rely on. Each day reveals more about what I envision for my middle age and beyond. Here’s a summary of 2023 by the season, with photos at the end.
My expectations for 2023 were modest. I grappled with tinnitus, avoiding indoor gatherings due to discomfort from noise. I balanced work, (growing more stressful) with focusing on my health, visiting family, and relishing outdoor occasions. Skiing at Arrowhead Provincial Park with a dear friend was a delightful treat on groomed trails. Parkbus remains one of Toronto’s coolest non-profits.
Spring brought opportunities. I crafted a list of pre-50 goals and commenced ticking them off. A long-overdue visit to the McMichael Gallery offered an incredible day surrounded by beautiful art, surroundings and people. In May, my quest for Whimbrels led me to Colonel Samuel Smith Park. Though not quite close enough, seeing them flying in the distance was an uplifting experience. Given my work in a long-term care home where many residents lack outdoor access, I treasure my escapes into nature.
I dove into summer, fully immersed in pursuing my pre-50 fun activities. Swimming across a lake stands out among my favourite memories. Achieving much of my list was gratifying—excuse enough to revel in moments with friends. Crossing the border for my first visit to Detroit was impressive; conquering my anxiety about traveling to the US felt like an accomplishment.
September marked a remarkable month, fostering invaluable connections. Feeling loved by friends and family as I turned 50 was heartwarming. Attending a Sukkot celebration on October 2nd became a memorable experience, my first introduction to the holiday. Discovering the warmth and inspiration among fellow Jews felt uplifting. However, October 7th was pivotal; it reshaped my world—altering friendships, my faith, and my sense of belonging. It was my first profound encounter with trauma’s impact on mind and body. As the year closes, I opt to deactivate my social media accounts. I aim to channel my focus into school, work, and cherishing my loved ones, fostering peace and love even amid disagreements. I begin a local journey, steering clear of the digital chaos. Detaching from social media, I aim to nurture hope for peace. With these thoughts, may 2024 bring you good health, peace, and joy. I remain reachable via email and text/phone for those missing my social media presence.