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Happy New Year! Let's be thankful for 2021 and bring on 2022!

Today is the last day of 2021!

This year has challenged me, changed me, and made me grow. What about you?

As I have been reflecting these last couple of days, I must admit that when I looked at my goals, I was initially a bit frustrated because I had not accomplished all that I set out to do.

That being said, my mentors and friends set me straight. As an overachiever, I had to pause on that one and give myself grace. I am now proud of what I did accomplish and will continue to work on the things I have not accomplished and maybe just maybe I was not meant to complete them all in 2021 anyways, or perhaps not at all.

Some unexpected and unplanned things happened in my life this year that gave me a detour and made me slow down. My father's passing rocked my world in more ways than one; I slowed down and was there for his final days; I say family is everything, and I mean it. The work will always be there, but my loved ones or myself will not. I allowed myself to take this time to be with my family and feel what was going on. Grieve sneaks up on you in different ways, and you have no idea sometimes when it will come, how hard it will be in the moment or how long it will last.

Out of losing my father and my hero, I realized a lot about myself and my family. My family has been close, but my dad was the glue that held us today. I can honestly say, though that, that may not be true. We have been forced to step up in ways we never thought possible. My mom, who has always been taken care of has stepped up and has taken care of everything, my brother who would never go to the hospital longer than 5 mins when my parents were admitted, stayed the whole nine days with my mom and I and was there for my dad's last breath. I will admit, I tapped out. I went home with my husband, and I waited for the call. I stepped back were like my father; I would always step up, but I just realized that stepping back allowed them to step up and be who they needed to be, for them to find their strength and their way in this situation. I am grateful my dad is no longer in pain; now, it's just learning how to live with him not beside us.

As I was in my meditation this morning, I want to leave 2021 with gratitude for all this year has brought and taught me.

1. I am grateful that tonight is just my husband and I celebrating NYE. Friends, I must admit that was not the case a couple of weeks ago. I wanted to party like it was the 1980's because, well, this year has been challenging, and I wanted fun, and I wanted my entire family and friends around me. But GOD! MI has finally gone into the championship game and is playing at 8 pm tonight. My husband is a vast MI fan, our wedding was MI-themed. Covid is ramping up for the 4-5th-6th time; I lost count; several family members are sick with cold symptoms, yes cold and flu still exists. SO, it's him, and I and I now love that fact it's the two of us.

2. I am grateful for every challenge and roadblock this year, as it has made me the person I am today, and man, the growth is massive!

3. I am grateful for all the new friendships I have made and the sisterhoods. I have never had a sister, but now I feel like I have at least two and some great friendships that I know will turn into more.

4. I am grateful I got to see my mom realize how strong she is. Seeing the growth in her and seeing her grieve almost tore me apart, but I know we are both stronger for it.

5. I am grateful for the growth in my marriage, the communication barriers are being broken each day, and I am intentional about being the person he needs and vice versa.

6. I am grateful to see my brother's growth and be closer to him. My dad's death has taught us a lot, and we are closer now than I ever thought possible.

7. I am grateful for my aunt's and uncle's that have become closer as well this year, our family has overcome together, and tragedy either makes our break families sometimes, and I am grateful it made us.

8. I am grateful for my show and my listeners, and I am thankful for the people it is helping.

9. I am grateful I stepped out of my comfort zone and allowed myself to be open and honest about my journey and my life and I am grateful to help people who need it and want to be helped.

10. I am grateful to be alive and God on my side, and I am thankful that this is just the beginning. Watch out world, you have no idea what else I am cooking up!

With that, friends, I hope and pray that this has encouraged you somehow. Yes, life can sometimes throw us curve balls and not give us the life we wanted, but we must make the most out of it. I choose to take the bad and make something good with it. What do you choose?

I am here for you, I love you, and I will help you in any way I can if you reach out and allow me to.

With that, have a Happy and safe New Year tonight!

Love always,

Dorothy O'Dell

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