Teri Vance: Yes, I had much to be thankful for in 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, there’s a lot of backlash going on against this year. Whether it be politics, celebrity deaths or personal woes, people are overwhelmingly happy to see the year transition into a new beginning.

I’m excited for a new year, too. For all the possibilities it brings.

But, contrary to what seems like the majority of people, 2016 was a wonderful year for me — one of my best, I think.

I’m guessing most people would find it has been more positive than they think if they took time to dissect it all.

To that end, I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things that happened in 2016.

1. My sister’s health. Last year at this time I wrote about my sister, Casandra’s heart failure after having her fifth baby. It was followed by a diagnosis for thyroid cancer. While she’s still recovering, she’s healthy and her baby — and other children — are happy and well. If this was the only good thing to come out of 2016, I would count it a resounding success.

2. My work. I still can’t believe I make a living writing. Storytelling is in my blood. I’m happy to be able to do it.

3. You. A writer can’t be a writer without a reader. I’m forever grateful to all of you who read my columns and anything else I write. It’s humbling and an honor. Thank you.

4. This community. I love Carson City and the surrounding areas. Seeing the growth economically as well as in programs and other offerings makes my heart sing. The rebranding of Carson City as an outdoor recreation destination is brilliant. We live in such a beautiful place, and it’s time we let the world know about it.

5. My health. I used to think it was weird when people would say that, but as I get older, I see just how precious good health is.

6. America. We’re living in a time of uncertainty, not knowing what the next four years and beyond will bring. But I have faith in the premise of democracy and that, we, the people, have more power than the government. It’s up to us to make this country succeed.

7. Nevada. Did I tell you I got married this year? I did. And it’s awesome! We had the most beautiful wedding at the historic schoolhouse in Silver City, then honeymooned in some of the most desolate areas of the state. One of our best memories is soaking in Spencer’s Hot Springs at dusk as the wild burros came in to drink. Nevada has a stark and lasting beauty that resonates with my soul.

8. Getting married. I wasn’t one of those little girls who fantasized about my wedding. As I got older, I just assumed I wasn’t the marrying kind. Then along came Gary, and everything changed. I’ve learned so much about myself being married — you don’t really have to confront your demons when you live alone …

9. My step-family. You hear horror stories about stepmothers — the classic fairytale villains. But my step children are lovely. I so much respect their maturity and willingness to accept this new twist in the family. I’m lucky to have them.

10. Love. This encompasses everything, including friends and family who have been so supportive and kind through my struggles and triumphs. Particularly, I’m thankful for my husband, who has shown me true, unconditional love. He makes my spirit feel at ease. There’s no better feeling.

I look forward to the opportunities 2017 will bring, at the same time holding dear those beautiful moments that transpired over the closing year.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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