Saturday, December 31, 2016

Page 365...

How has the time passed so quickly?

I feel like just yesterday I was sitting at the Cape composing that last blog post.  I've kept up this domain over the years in the hopes that I'd come back to it and I'm hoping with the dawn of the new year, I might commit to some writing.

2016 has been quite the year.  I saw a post on Facebook yesterday that turned 2016 into a horror movie.  In the world at large, it certainly wasn't the best of years.  I fear what the next year will bring with a Trump presidency and a world in, if not chaos, flux.

But for me, 2016 has been a pretty special year.  January was fairly quiet but only because I was getting ready for February.  At the beginning of the month, S threw me an amazing party surrounded by friends and family as a way of saying bon voyage - and on February 15th, I stepped on a United flight to Shanghai.

I spent the next 4 weeks helping the Shanghai Disneyland team get their Guest research up and running in preparation for the Grand Opening in June.  I also got to travel to Harbin in northern China for the ice festival and to X'ian to see the terracotta warriors.  Upon my return, S and I made the decision to build a house in Lake Nona so during the 6 weeks I was home, we scouted out a site, picked a floor plan, signed a contract, and started making preparations to sell our little bungalow downtown as well as my condo in Hunter's Creek.  Phew.

May 2nd came quickly and I was back to Shanghai for 3 months.  It was incredible!  The city is very Chinese and yet very European.  My friends and I had lots of adventures throughout the city when we had time off.  Over the three months, I also got to explore Beijing (hello Great Wall!), Tokyo (Disneyland and sushi!), and the Yellow Mountains.  S joined me in the middle of July and we continued my adventure with sightseeing in Shanghai and venturing to Hong Kong, Cambodia, and Viet Nam before returning to Shanghai and the long trip home.

That short paragraph above does not even begin to convey the amazing-ness that was May through July although it was slightly overshadowed by an abrupt return to reality in August when we had to pack up our house in preparation for closing on September 16th.  By the time we returned, both the house and condo were under contract and M had found a great townhouse to buy.  We sold the condo on August 8th and got him settled then we scrambled to finish storing all of our stuff at Mom's, M's, and Mom's friend Joanne's house.  As of August, only the footers had been poured on our new house, eek.

We moved to Mom's house (while she was still in Connecticut) on September 4th and have been here ever since.  Mom returned on October 28th and it's been, uh, rather cozy ever since. 

So I sit here at my mom's breakfast bar on December 31st, thinking about the past year and what the next year might bring.  2016 was a weird one - the world is in a lot of pain but there were good things that deserve celebration as well.  January 13th marks (supposedly...) our closing date on our new house - that's the first milestone of the new year.  My hope for 2017 is less pain, more joy - and more adventures.  There will always be challenges that we cannot control but at the end of the day the year will be what we make of it - let's make it a good one.

Time to turn the page...