The end of 2017 is upon us and with it comes the urge to reflect on what the past twelve months has brought us and the world. There’s no denying that the world has gone through some major changes and it can be stressful to absorb everything that has happened. But even as the world shifts into one I barely recognize, I think it’s good to take the time put 2017 into perspective and focus energy on the good things this year has given to us all.
I’ve always had a hard time practicing thankfulness myself. I’ve written here many a time how I easily get caught up in the stresses my life and the wider world present that make recognizing the good I have from difficult to impossible. And my own life changed in pretty big ways this year – namely graduating from a big leadership program and engaging in direct practice with clients on top of my previous work at FACT. With change comes challenges and while it’s been hard to feel anything good about them while it was happening, I can look back on it now and find the good in it. So it feels especially appropriate for me to engage in this exercise of gratitude as 2017 gives way to 2018.
And so, I present a short list of things I personally thank 2017 for:
- The supportive staff I call my colleagues and their love for the FACT community
- The many clients I work with at FACT – from the direct individuals I see to the young adults in GAP program to the kids in our monthly social skills groups
- USC’s UCEDD LEND program for giving me the opportunity to learn about developmental disabilities and build my advocacy and leadership skills to fight for us
- The incredible disability community I engage with from parents to professionals to individuals and more
- The growing amount of people in the world engaged in making the world better for as many people as possible
- My friends in and out of work for moral and professional support
- My family for their unwavering love and care
For all those things and more, I thank 2017 for giving me. I hope we all find more reasons to be thankful when 2018 comes.