Wednesday, November 23, 2016

What I'm Grateful For in 2016

It's Thanksgiving time here in the United States.  It's a time where many of us reflect on our lives and the things, people, and events we appreciate having around us.  We try to spend time with the people who are important to us if we possibly can and make a feast that we can enjoy with them before the winter arrives.  It's a reflective period that is one of my favorite times of the year - in fact, Thanksgiving, and the ritual surrounding it, is my very most favorite holiday of all.

2016 is generally considered a rough year overall, due to the celebrities we've lost (David Bowie!  Prince!  Alan Rickman!), the acrimonious election we've just gone through  in the US (and it's not over by a long shot), and there just seems to be a general sense that 2016 has been bad.

It seems to me that stepping back and reflecting on the good things around us is a fine way to salvage a tough year.

So here's what I'm grateful for:

2016 saw my family in good health, generally happy, and overall financially stable.  While there were some temporary problems and non-fatal-but-incredibly-annoying medical issues to cope with, we are ending the year in pretty great shape (and with a new family member even -  Daphne, the shelter cat we adopted over the summer). Given I've had years in the not too distant past where this was not the case, especially financially, I'm especially thankful for this.

2016 was a very good year for my personal martial arts growth.  I felt like I made a lot of progress in my understanding of my core art, Arnis, as well as really starting to really "get" kobudo weapons.  Given that I've attended a ton of seminars this year (and I've expanded my horizons with some training in Okinawan Karate and exposure to other miscellaneous things) I would hope that would be the case!

Me working Bo at my kobudo brown belt test, July

I made a lot of new friends (and connected with old ones) in the martial arts in 2016.  I got some new regular training partners, including getting to know some friends down in Houston that we will be training with on a more regular basis in 2017.  I'm especially grateful for everyone who taught me, trained with me, or learned from me in 2016.

2016 was a great year for the Stick Chick Blog.  Views and readership slowly continue to grow, there were a lot of great comments from lots of neat and interesting people, and I connected with lots of awesome people in our community.  I'm planning big changes for this blog in the very near future, and I hope you all will stick with me when that happens.  I'm trying my best to make this place a fun, interesting, and worthwhile place for you to visit, and I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer to make it better!

2016, as it turns out, is really a year of transition for me, as I expect many changes in 2017.  There will be changes in this blog, in my pursuit of more growth and development professionally, in my martial arts life, and who knows what else?

So tell us what YOU'RE grateful for in 2016.  If you're not in the US (or Canada, where they had their version of this holiday last month), and you don't have this tradition, well, heck, join in on the fun!  Have some friends and family over soon, have a meal, and celebrate all that is good in your life!