I am grateful for this year, and as the last grains of sand slip through the hourglass’s slender waist, I want to give 2010 a thankful farewell.

More than any other year, 2010 taught me how to care for myself. How to recognize my weak spots and my ruts and my downwards spirals, and what to do – to improve my headspace, or to simply survive with the least amount of damage and misery. I have learned so much about myself and my processing patterns this year; it’s amazing.

2010 taught me to appreciate, deeply and fondly, the feeling of being welcomed when I walk into a space that is not mine.

2010 showed me that I have a family in J’s family.

2010 helped me learn how to edit my own fiction and how to outline plots in great detail.

2010 forcefully cracked open my understanding and empathy and compassion, widening it more than I ever expected.

2010 gave me a blessing that I have wanted all my life – the knack for making my own music.

2010 let me prove that I can handle things, for myself and for other people who need me.

2010 provoked the realization that I am strong when I need to be and relaxed otherwise, and that vulnerability is not weakness.

2010 led me into new, dazzling depths of my relationship with and love for my partner, my mate, my beloved J.

2010 introduced me to Havi and SJ Tucker, who have both changed my life for the so-much-better.

2010 midwifed several brilliant new experiences and events, Tai Kai (martial arts training camp) in March and Strowler Nights on Halloween two of the best; attending and participating was a challenge and a joy.

2010 gave me the opportunity to learn how to do and be so much more.

And as 2010 passes its last breath to 2011, who will take its first, I salute the old year and welcome the new. I hope this one is full of peace, joy, and growth.