Last Glance
A Brand New Day (Planner)
December, 2007 - Issue #38
I am one of those individuals who loves to stroll office supply stores. I have to say, there's nothing like a brand-new day planner. As I crack open the binder and tenderly turn the crisp, clean pages, it's hard not to look at all the empty boxes and think, "This year I'm getting organized." And, of course, I have the best of intentions.

I also have a tendency to hang onto my old day planners because there is nothing like looking back. It always amazes me how women can squeeze so much into a month or even a day.

My squares for 2007 were full of people to meet, deadlines to keep, when school started and where we were going on vacation. Of course, there were a lot of appointments and dates crossed out. Plans change; life happens.
Looking back on 2007, it seems all events were minor in comparison to the devastating fires in October. There were a lot of dates crossed off during that horrible week. It was like the town stood still and held its collective breath as we waited for word on the containment and jumped at the sound of another helicopter flying overhead.

Although my family and home in Newhall were fortunate enough to make it through the fires, I had friends to shelter and a brother evacuated. Heartfelt thoughts go out to those who lost their homes in the Canyon Country area. My appreciation of the firefighters has doubled. Make that tripled.

It was a rough month. Just a few weeks prior to the fires, a truck accident occurred on Interstate 5. The fact that the accident occurred so late at night saw relatively few fatalities. Then again, one life lost is one too many.

On a less devastating note, but something that affected all of us, was the spiraling plunge of the real estate market. It has been a rocky year for those who signed on for strange mortgage loans, but businesses in general also suffered a major slow-down. I can only hope for the sake of everyone that this trend doesn't last long.

And let's not forget our summer heat wave. Do you remember the 113-degree temperatures? Raise your hand if your air conditioner went out like mine.

On a much more personal level, I said goodbye to some friends in 2007. I wasn't ready for more sadness after all the losses I endured in 2006.

Sometimes I wonder how much sadness a heart can hold and I'm always amazed at the strength of individuals when the moment calls for it. I sat with and held long telephone conversations with those who had suffered with illness and loss. In a matter of one week, we said goodbye to a neighbor, a young woman and the husband of a good friend. I'm sure they don't realize it, but those faced with such devastating loss are usually the people who give me hope, show me life goes on and remind me that everyone leaves a mark in the world. There is always someone you touch and the ripple effect from each life lived can be endless.

But 2007 wasn't all sadness and loss. I'm sure many of you, like me, attended beautiful weddings and held brand new babies in your arms. Anniversaries and birthdays were celebrated and surveys say most of us are content with our lives and the people we include in that circle. I've personally worked with some creative, energetic individuals and look forward to keeping those relationships going. My friends continue to amaze me and, most importantly, I know they will always be there for me.
"My squares for 2007 were FULL of people to meet, deadlines to keep, when school started and where we were going on vacation. Of course, there were a lot of dates crossed out. Plans change; LIFE HAPPENS."

I've already started making notes in my new 2008 squares. Most are deadlines (my editors don't like me to miss those), but others are possible vacations dates and yet another baby to look forward to holding. I'm not ready to say, "I can't wait to put last year behind me. This year will be great!" I did that once and within weeks we had a major earthquake.

That old karma thing comes back every once and awhile. So I would like to say, "Yay! Another year to look forward to - visiting friends, making new ones and seeing the world."
Yes, 2008 looks good already.
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