There are many times throughout a given year, usually when some sort of adversity presents itself, when I reflect on how lucky I was to win the lottery of birth.
Born in the most prosperous of times (the 1960s), a white male in North America to a middle-class family, has presented me with very little in the way obstacles, aside from those I primarily create for myself.
Reflection on this, and the gratitude that comes with it, tends to be particularly focussed at this time of year and frequently finds its way into my Christmas or New Year’s column.
I have been told that last year this column was heartbreaking. That was not intended, nor on rereading, do I see it that way a year later.
I was reflective, as I always am, on the circumstances of the time, how I feel about it, and how to find gratitude regardless of real or perceived challenges.
For those who felt sadness regarding what I wrote last year, I can tell you, while I personally did not feel overly morose 365 days ago, this year has been anything but.
Life is really funny. Literally, anything can happen to turn things upside down. That, of course, can be devastatingly awful or extraordinarily wonderful.
For me, the past year has been a renaissance for all kinds of reasons, and all of which I had pretty much full control over.
Then something really unexpected happened.
They say people are lucky to find love once in a lifetime.
I must be especially lucky because I found it again. Just when I was perfectly comfortable with the way things were. Just when I had accepted, with gratitude, that I had been very lucky in my life and content with that … boom!
There it was again. Totally out of the blue, as is often the case.
This year, it has not taken focussed reflection to find gratitude, it has been with me, in me, all around me, every moment of every day.
The reflection I have been making as the new year draws close is on not ever taking this most unexpected and wonderful gift for granted.
For the first time in a very long time, my future does not look even and content, but rather bright and joyous.
My wish is that everyone might find some of that in their lives in 2022.