Here we are, ladies and gentlemen; we have reached the end of the long and winding road of 2019 as we await the coming of a new year and new decade. And so there is nothing left to do but to bid adieu to 2019 with a swift kick of the boot as I recall the words of The Beatles and beg 2020 to open the door:
But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door.
The truth is, 2019 cannot end swiftly enough. While there certainly have been some wonderful moments, the year was clouded by a lot of loss, some health issues, and other situations that are too numerous to count for this short blog post.
Namely, the loss of some very dear people was extremely difficult for us this year. My friend lost her mother, my son lost his best friend, my colleagues and I lost a fellow faculty member, and my friend and colleague lost her son. These losses were so heart-wrenching—especially the loss of two young men who had their whole lives ahead of them. We are still struggling over here with these deaths. There are holes in our hearts that will never be filled.
As well, my persistent hip and back issues have not gone away. Some days are better than others, but my crystal ball sees perhaps some more drastic measures needing to happen in my future in order to make me feel better. The word surgery has been batted around, but for now, I’m trying other tactics to see if the situation can improve before resorting to that. Yikes.
Also, 2019 passed without a vacation due to extenuating circumstances. That may sound a little like someone who is spoiled talking, but what cancelled vacations really mean to me is less about traveling to the places we are visiting and is more about missing out on valuable family time. Those vacations are precious to me because we make memories on those trips, and last year went by without making any at all. As the kids are getting bigger and wanting to spend more and more time with friends, capturing those moments matter to me.
And while 2019 certainly wasn’t all bad, professionally there were, indeed, some bright spots, so today is a day for me to reflect on what can be improved or can be changed for 2020. Looking back, I was excited to launch my fifth work of fiction, Little Milestones, and I’m enjoying a new role I have at Stevenson University as a Faculty Fellow for 2019-2021 with two of my colleagues. It’s been energizing to partner with two colleagues from English and Psychology to institute some new faculty-driven initiatives for the university.
As well, our children are both doing well, for which I am thankful. And my husband and I will be celebrating New Year’s Eve with friends.
I don’t mean to sound so dismal about 2019, but I’m glad it’s over, you guys.
Bring on 2020.
All the best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!
Stephanie Verni is Professor of Communication at Stevenson University. She has authored five works of fiction and one academic text on Event Planning. Her character-driven books are typically set in Maryland to showcase the beauty of her state. Check out her books on Amazon at Stephanie Verni, Author.