As I get ready to go to my folks’ for our annual “clam night” wherein I shall feast upon, you guessed it – clams! – and stay up all night watching Twilight Zone, I look back over 2016 and think about the year ahead.

There was a lot to be thankful for in 2016, as there is every year, and I think it is worthwhile to mull over these happy memories as the year draws to a close. I am sure everyone has something to happy about looking back and it is my hope that everyone will take a moment to focus on the good.

Family: I am always grateful for family. Anyone who knows me knows how close I am to my parents and this year was no different.  I treasure them, for their support, their wisdom and just how adorable they are overall.  I am very blessed to still have them both with me and, despite a few hospital hiccups this year with my pops, they are still trucking. I know a lot of my contemporaries are not as blessed so I strive to never take them for granted.

I am blessed, too, with my boyfriend who has stood with me these 13+ years. Time really flies and I am glad I have him to share my life with. There are good times and bad times, but we have endured and overcome a lot of challenges and obstacles.

I am also grateful for my brother and my extended family.  I may not spend as much time with them as I might like to, but I know they are there and whenever we touch base and talk about our shared memories it brings me joy.

Friends: I have always had a handful of close friends who share my life and are with me as I form new memories. Sure, over time friends may come and go and I am ok with that, because even if a friend is only there for a season, I will never forget the good times. And for those friends who endure through the years, they are blessings that continue to stand with me during my journey through life, enriching it with terrific memories.

Pets: Seems a silly thing to some, but my pets are a big part of my life.  They really are getting up there (Soli is like 18, Titus is 16 and Sebbie – though he doesn’t act it – is going on 17).  I am grateful for every day I have with them because I know at this point the Rainbow Bridge looms nigh for my furry trio of joy.  That makes me sad, obviously, but I will treasure each day with them and enjoy today rather than focus (too much) on the sorrow that 2017 might bring in this aspect of my life.

Health: I had a bit of a scare at this year’s end, but with terrific docs and a great surgeon, everything turned out for the best.  I will continue my recovery into early 2017, but I am grateful that all went smoothly and I look forward to another great year.

Hobbies/Crafting: 2016 brought lots of fun crafts and accomplishments with my band. I am very happy that I can create and express myself. My life is enriched each time I turn out a new project or spend some time singing during practice or at a gig.

Of course there is the fact that my daily needs are fulfilled above and beyond.  There are so many who aren’t blessed with the simplest of necessities, so it is always worth noting.

So that rounds out my little personal happiness-es from 2016. I do hope anyone reading this takes the time to be grateful for yet another year on this blue marble we call home.

Happy New Year!