My theme for 2018

2017 was a year of great transition for me and my family. I saw my youngest son graduate high school and go off to college. I sold my home and moved in with my new wife. And then a bunch of serious family difficulties piled upon us one right after the other. All of our parents, some of our children, and even each of Margaret and I found ourselves in distress and needing considerable time and attention. It threatened to bury us. For a while, all we were doing was whatever seemed best at the moment and hoping the rest wouldn’t crash into the wall. A little of it did, a lot of it didn’t, and the rest is still to be determined. So it was good and right that my theme for the year was family. Our family absolutely needed us.

NYC after dusk

It made for a messy 2017. Heh, that doesn’t begin to accurately describe it. Crazy. Overwhelming. Depressing. Maddening. Chaotic. It’s not been good for our young marriage and newly blended family.


And so my theme for 2018 is more obvious to me than any previous year’s theme(s) have been. This year, it’s stability. Whatever I’ve got to do to help this family get onto a good track — to resolve challenges, to eliminate chaos, to provide firm footing — that’s what I’ve got to be about.


15 thoughts on “My theme for 2018

  1. Sorry to hear that 2017 was so tough for you. It wasn’t all that good for me either and I will join you in a happy waving of goodbye.

    I hope that 2018 brings the stability that you need.

  2. Nancy Stewart says:

    2017 was an O.K. year until the very end. Ended just the last few weeks with illnesses and one unexpected death of a much loved family member. So the new year starts off with a funeral the first week. I retired from my job of 31 years at the end of the year, so that will be an adjustment to make also. When we get to our age you don’t know what to expect health-wise. I do know that we have slowed down and have a lot more aches and pains !! We will take what comes and do the best that we can with it . Wishing you both, hopefully, a Happy New Year.

    • I heard about your family’s loss and I”m deeply sorry.

      Making the transition into the retirement years is not for the faint of heart, as I’ve learned watching my parents do it. Good luck as you figure out your changed life!

  3. Heide says:

    What a tough year you’ve had, Jim … I’m so sorry. But you are about as solid and resilient as God ever made a human being, so I have no doubt you will navigate your way through these temporarily choppy waters and regain your sense of stability. I wish you and yours a much happier, healthier year ahead.

    • Thank you so much, H. Margaret and I are doing a pretty good job, if I say so myself, of pushing through the challenges and managing their competing priorities. It still sucks, though, to have to deal with so much when our marriage is so new. One thing I’m mourning, in a way, is my fantasy of happy early days with my new wife.

      • Heide says:

        Your last sentence is so sad, Jim … you DESERVED those happy early days! But it sounds like your young marriage has withstood this test by fire — and i sincerely hope things will soon get easier for you and your family.

  4. DougD says:

    When things get tough we always quote my sister’s mother in law. She is from Croatia and has a tenuous grasp of English:

    Keep and go.

    She actually means to say keep going, but say it in your head with a strong Slavic accent:

    So I hope this is a year you can keep and go.

  5. Dan Cluley says:

    The last few months of 2017 gave me some very good news, and some very (hopefully temporary) bad news.

    I think we are all living in “Interesting Times”. May 2018 be a little less so.

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