You get opportunities to hit reset every once in a while. All the major life stages give you that—marriage, childbirth, a job loss, a death in the family. These are events that have in them the potential to make you pause, rethink who you are, rework things that need redoing, and move forward on a new base. Sometimes you need to create a totally new foundation, sometimes just some tinkering is enough. A big shift in who you are is not the easiest to transition through, but all the popular stories we remember are stories of great personal transformation: of battling something within or without and emerging stronger or changed in some way.
This was the year when death came closer to us than ever before, whether we thought about it, saw images of it, or experienced loss firsthand. Each of us is aware of the possibility that this here may be my last day in this body, but we rarely think about it. In the drama of life, this consciousness of death recedes. And it is a pity, because it is the awareness that this embodied life is not permanent that has in it the power to make everyday life much easier to bear.