REVELATIONS: It's how you finish
"It's not how you start; it's how you finish."
For days, I've been reflecting on this phrase.
A pastor used it to eulogize a friend of mine this week, discussing the man's spiritual journey from faithless to faithful, rogue to righteous.
It's a simple sentence, but I've been reflecting on its meaning for days, forcing myself to examine how I started and finished this year.
In years past, there have always been waves of positives and negatives. The year will start out strong and end poorly or start out weak and end with a grand finale.
Then there was that one year I wish I could eliminate all together.
But this year was different.
I started out the year in India on one of the most amazing religion-journalism experiences of my life.
And I'll finish the year in the arms of a new beau - someone who has brought so much joy and healing and love into my life.
The year has, of course, been punctuated by hardships, complicated relationships, work stress, unfulfilled promises, people trying to drag me down, dreams not realized and the occasional tearful episode.
But when I look back at my year - the state and national awards won, the 28 speaking engagements I was invited to, the trips taken around the country, the friends made, the lessons learned - I feel blessed.
This has been a tremendous growth year for me personally and professionally.
It's also been a year of confronting emotional demons and past hurts - choosing to do so in the privacy of a therapist's office.
Grabbing my life by the horns and choosing to continue to move forward, take risks, think positively, open my heart and, most importantly, keep trying when I fail, has allowed me to start the year strong and end the year equally strong.
I'm proud of what I've accomplished this year, and I'm excited about the new year.
I have a feeling, a strong intuition, that it will be another exciting year with many new professional and personal goals accomplished.
Here's to a strong start in the new year - and an even stronger finish.
Jennifer Preyss is a reporter for the Victoria Advocate. You can reach her at 361-580-6535 or email@example.com or @jenniferpreyss on Twitter.