“Everything that has a beginning, has an end, Neo.” – The Oracle, The Matrix Trilogy
With 2018 coming to an end, it is time for the annual reflection period before the new year commences. Was 2018 your best year yet? Did you achieve all of your goals? Did you hit new life milestones?
The end of the year marks a natural transition period in our society. Not only is it the end of the calendar year, but for the northern hemisphere it marks the winter equinox, meaning that the days will get hotter and longer for the next six months, almost as if the Earth itself is luring us into a time of taking action. It is also a natural time of rest with Christmas, causing most normal business activity to cease for at least a week (see our PEAK article from one year ago on the topic of rest and the season). This quiet time makes for an excellent environment for spending time to reflect and to set new goals and objectives for the year ahead.
Unfortunately, the changing of the calendar year does remind us of an aspect of life we tend to do our best to ignore: the fact that we all age. And with aging comes transitions. At one point in your life, your yearly goals and objectives likely centered around excelling in school and college. The act of aging however eventually transitioned you out of your school years, and your goals and desires then shifted to new things, such as starting a family and/or excelling in a career field. You also likely took up an interest in being an active member of your community, which is likely why you are a PEAK member (if you are reading this). As you continue to age, the years will continue to transition you into new phases of life, each bringing its own unique elements. Transitions are unavoidable, and so we should therefore embrace them for what they are: pieces of your unique life that comprise your life story, each as valuable as the last.
Of course, not all transitions go as envisioned or as planned. Up until a few days ago, I believed that my time as a board member for PEAK had reached its end, making this particular blog post an emotional one for myself. After two years and forty-nine professional development blog posts, the time to pass my board seat had arrived. To that end, I have actually had the theme of “Transitions” for this blog post picked out for quite some time now, as it fit perfectly with the end of the year and the end of my service time. Life seemingly had different plans however, as I was asked to stay on the PEAK board for 2019. I am certainly grateful and thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve PEAK, even if it did alter my envisioned transition into the new year. To reiterate the first sentence of this paragraph: transition plans can change. Regardless of if a transition period does or does not go the way you envisioned it would: smile, accept the transition happily, and work joyfully to make the most positive impact you can on the world around you as you transition.
On behalf of the PEAK Board: Merry Christmas and happy holidays. May 2019 be your best year yet. Regardless of what the new year brings, never stop growing, never stop learning, never stop engaging, and never stop loving.
Jeremiah Clark, M.A., is the co-owner of Appalachian Digital, a website development agency. He is also a Lead Systems Analyst with the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare System. You can contact Jeremiah at JClark390@gmail.com or connect with him on LinkedIn at Jeremiah Clark.