While the rest of the country had horrible weather issues – the hurricane devastation in Florida, the excessive heat out west, wildfires and flooding – we here in Chicago probably had the best summer and certainly the very best fall we’ve ever had in my lifetime. We apparently had just the right amount of rain with overall warm temperatures this summer which led to an explosion of reds, yellows, pinks, and oranges, interspersed with summer greens, that persisted for weeks. At this point, it seems like living in the Chicago area is the safest place from natural disasters.
The gun violence tragedy that has plagued our country many times finally hit home – my hometown of Highland Park – when a gunman opened fire on the 4th of July parade-goers.
It’s more important than ever to savor the good times. Research shows that simple, ordinary experiences, such as dining out with friends, can be just as enjoyable as extraordinary experiences. However, this phenomenon is only true for those who realize that life is finite and time is precious.
Here are my favorite ordinary and extraordinary memories this past year:
- The Manual Touch PT had a face lift this year: painting, new equipment and plants, and finally signage on the windows! We also did a fun photo shoot with Martha Abelson Photography.
- We were sad to have Kevin leave us but happy to have Vickie Nixon join us.
- Loved returning to in person teaching about Running to the Physical Therapy Assistant students at Oakton Community College. In addition, I presented in person to 2 networking groups this year. I still continue to do many webinars through the Northbrook YMCA.
- Going to the Florida Keys with my long time friend, Amy Birtman.
- Multiple visits to Tampa to see our daughter Jenna. Jenna has been in Tampa for 10 years now and each time I visit I plan to go to the Dali museum and the Chihuly exhibit in St. Pete, but it never happens. Finally I went to the museums this past summer! I highly recommend them and be sure to include having a Spanish experience lunch in the Dali museum.
- Alaska! We went with two other couples on a trip of a lifetime and I brought back a souvenir, covid.
- I Enjoyed returning to live theater for productions of: West Side Story, The Sound of Music, The Notebook, Fiddler on the Roof, a reading of The Hijabis, and A Christmas Story.
- Discovering our local communities of Highwood and Arlington Hts for great food, drink, and music.
- Going to the Deerfield farmer’s market each week.
- My favorite books this year: Lessons in Chemistry and Horse.
Family and Friends:
- We are so proud of our daughter Jenna and her many ventures: she is currently a healthcare business broker – helping healthcare companies buy other healthcare companies; a business consultant for wannabe entrepreneurs; the business “Jennerator” for an Arbnb/NFT business – Pineapples in Paradise; co-founder of Work for Peace – a non-for profit raising awareness for domestic violence. Read more about Jenna in this Tampa based magazine. Steve and I flew to Tampa to help out with their second annual fund raising yoga event to raise funds for a local women’s shelter. They were able to donate more money to the shelter this year than last year.
- We are so proud of Drew’s girlfriend, Victoria for qualifying for the Boston marathon with her third marathon time of 3:28! Way to go!
- I enjoyed weekly walks at the Chicago Botanic garden with my girlfriends.
- Happy to celebrate my Mom turning 80 with a nice luncheon with her girlfriends and family.
- Our biggest news, Drew and Victoria got engaged while in Salzburg, Austria at The Sound of Music house this week! We are so happy and pleased to welcome Victoria into our family. Watching their love grow and the respect they have for each other fills our hearts with such joy and gratitude. Mazel tov!
May you discover the preciousness of time and find joy in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary.
Wishing you peace, happiness, love, and abundance in the new year!