Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you?

i left my job. A job i used to love and began to hate. It had taken over my life so i quit. I've taken on a new challenge and a new role recently after a nice break. The year ahead holds lots of potential - but it's down to me to make it succeed. I'm in control.

I became single for the first time in 6 years. In fact, in a way it was for the first time since I could remember. This may not seem significant, but for me it was highly so. For the preceeding 2 years I had struggled in relationships that I knew didn't work, to avoid the inevitable - being alone. It wasn't just the being alone that scared me, it was the idea that I might be alone forever, or realise in years to come that I had made the wrong decision and let someone go who I was meant to be with. At some point this year I finally found the strength and self-esteem within myself I needed to end the unhealthy relationships and it has been a revelation. I no longer believe I am nothing if I'm not half of a whole. Now I can see I am a whole person all by myself.

Getting a job, then losing the job...it was very difficult to deal with moving back home.

Had a lot of medical problems this year -- flu 3 times, pre-melanoma, acute pancreatitis resulting in gall bladder surgery, and shoulder tear resulting in surgery. As a result, I've been short tempered and unpleasant. And very angry at incompetent medical care.

we got pregnant - then very quickly it was over. it brought on a sadness I never knew existed. now we've found it will likely be our only brush with pregnancy. there are lots of ways to have a family - but I never expected this. my whole life I was waiting to be a mother. I feel sad, and mad, and alone... yet so happy to have such a strong relationship with my husband that we love each other, and never blame each other and support each other - even when things are so uncertain. I'm looking forward to enjoying our future together - and cherishing the present together - but still sad it that it won't turn out how we expected. I want to scream from the rooftops to people who complain about their children - to people who complain about being tired, or too busy, or difficult behaviour or not being able to have wine because they're pregnant - 'get a grip! you are blessed with the most special amazing thing in the whole world! be thankful for it every day!'

I got a job and moved to Charlottesville, VA to work at The Boars Head - launched the beginning of my career in Human Resources with the intent of exploring Training & Development and Quality Assurance.

I moved far from my home and the people I love. I think it's helping me grow up and see life in a whole different way.

i realized that the long hoped-for change in attitude i was looking for in another wasn't going to happen. so i decided to finally change mine.

Working in Catalina at Emerald Bay when I was 16. Through that job I learned about sea scouts, became more involved in scouting, and continued with my sports. This helped me choose my route through college, becoming a marine engineer, which further enlightened me that I needed to find something more up my alley. I stayed connected with scouting (where I've earned many awards), have stayed active in school sports (now I coach), have seen the world, and now try to help shape the youth that i work with using my experiences to guide me.

Came close to dying in a traffic accident last year, and for the 2 eternal seconds that I saw the truck come hurtling towards me in my rear view mirror all I could think of was my wife and how much I love her. I think Ive grown a lot since then, take things a little less for granted and am a little more thankful for what I have. I'm by no means a saint now but I'm a little more patient, a little more careful, a little more thoughtful, and a little less hurtful.

I had a baby girl and it affected me in the most beautiful positive way. I'm so much more relaxed as a mother than I was with my first child. Also, having a daughter makes me feel even more connected to my late mother. But it feels separate from that relationship too. It connects me to this legacy but I'm defining it in my own way too and that's wonderful. I am so blessed with this baby and I'm working hard to enjoy every moment -- or at least, a lot of the moments. The middle of the night business, I could do without.

my father had cancer. it affected me greatly but thankfully my father overcame it and now i just want to spend as much time with him as i can

I moved to NYC. It affected everything.

My friend had a terrible fall on the bicycle, busted his head and I thought he was going to die. I was scared out of my mind. It traumatized me and has made me more nervous for others doing anything remotely dangerous. It also made me appreciate each present moment more fully.

I lost a job I loved and had to take a new one I hate. I realized how much my work meant to me and my self-esteem and how lucky I had been in previous jobs. Everything really is relative.

I fell in love. And I told him I loved him - and I knew deep down he didn't love me back. But it was the only way to let him go. It reminded me that I'm alive, and that I have the ability to be open to love again.

My daughter went to a prestigious art school. Then she came home. It forced me to re-evaluate my dreams for her, and subsequently, my dreams for myself and my family. I know now that whatever we do, and wherever we do it, we can only call ourselves a success if we are truly happy.

Finding out that my husband was most likely slated to lose his job of many years. And seeing that there were very few jobs to which he could apply, and that he is not able to sell himself well or prepared careerwise or emotionally to find something new. I had thought I had a lot of troubles of my own, but that was nothing compared to us losing the security I took for granted. We are still awaiting the verdict, but I fear the worst, and not just a very hard year but many years. A year ago I thought I was getting closer to the life that would make me happy, and now I fear I'm falling further and further away.

I graduated from college and moved far away from my family, for the first time in my life really starting over somewhere new and all alone. I've had to think a lot about what I value, what I want in my life, and how I can actively achieve these things without being able to fall back on a ready set of friends, a fixed schedule, and a family that's always there for me. I've had to learn to be a lot more self-reliant and a lot better at using my time productively.

i broke off my engagement to my fiance, so that i could chase what i thought was true love. real love. the kind that makes your bones shake. i was convinced, last year at yom kippur, that i found that person. he proposed to his girlfriend three weeks ago. i am having to readjust, reconfigure how i look at the world. how i interact with g-d. because i honestly thought it was divinely intended. i don't know what will happen, with me, my heart, and if i'll ever trust g-d or man for a long time. all i know is my whole world has changed.

I went to Israel for the first time. It was beautiful and showed me that I am truly part of something bigger than myself. I am part of an amazing community that spans around the world.

I've gained a huge amount of weight. This has been really a mixed bag. While I'm not happy with my body right now and struggle with my self-esteem, a lot of the weight came from "happy eating" because I am in a very happy, healthy relationship. I still am battling with really getting started on the losing weight, and I am going to be using this New Year as a way to kick start the process.

I graduated, after six long years of changing schools, majors and states, and it was the most exhilirating sense of accomplishment to finally receive my diploma. Also, I chosen to give the benediction speech at graduation, which was such a tangible capstone to my experience and really made the day even more special. My family, best friend, and boyfriend were all there with me. I felt that day like I could do ANYTHING.

My OCD planning backfired as I graduated from undergrad early, but into the worst economy since the Great Depression. I had 6 months of solid unemployment, dotted with working at my old job which I despised and people 30 years old than me would talk about me behind my back and being a fro-yo girl. But then I got a job doing what I want, and I feel like I'm on the road to being secure.

In February, I was broken up with for the first time ever, by someone with whom I expected to spend the rest of my life. It completely shattered the idea I had of my future and was too painful for words, but with the help of my friends and family I began to recover. Six months later, I am finally learning who I am and feeling strong and independent on my own. Practically everything in my life has changed, and for the better.

I got married!! It was so wonderful to be in 'the spotlight' for a day! Of course it was nice to finally get married to the love of my life (we've been dating for 9 years!), but I was just blown away by all the people who came. I get depressed some times and think no one cares about me, and just being at the wedding proved that this simply wasn't true. It made me realize that if I need to reach out to people, my friends and family will be there for me. I don't know if I've ever been happier in all my life... everything went so perfectly that day! Even the 'surprises' that I didn't know about - my mother-in-law was making our chuppah, so I didn't even know what it would look like! And it was so beautiful!!! (even if it was too short for my husband to stand under! It was a great line for some jokes, though!) If I'm ever upset or depressed, I just think back to that day, and I remember how blessed I am to have such loving and caring friends and family.

I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowl Syndrome this year. Along with IBS I have anxiety issues and my dcotor and I were finally able to figure out why i was getting panic attacks that had a GI component. I'm still working on controlling it but knowing why I get these attacks was a major step.

A family friend had a sudden and very serious heart attack that left him in a coma for weeks on end. When he finally woke up, he had some brain damage. This man is one of the healthiest people I know, and it was terrifying to realize that a person can do all the right things, and sometimes bad things still happen to them.

My significant experience is certainly life-altering- my fiance proposed at the last calendar New Year's Eve. Today is Erev Rosh Hashana, and the months in between that New Year and this have been filled with wedding planning, and the anticipation of our nuptials. We have learned so much about each other in the process, and I can't wait until we are married.

My three year old nephew has continued to fight a brain tumor he was diagnosed with over a year ago. He is the strongest little boy I have ever met. The priority of our entire family is to do what we can to make him laugh and smiles everyday.

I went to my father's unveiling... Actually I went there before the actual unveiling and the stone was already up. That was a little shock of reality. I stood there and talked to him and to my mother, until I could find nothing more to say... and then I walked around the old cemetery talking to many of my relatives who died years and years ago. It was a little community of gravestones and recycled life.. And although each person dies alone, these people who lived together, went back to earth together. It is a true cycle of life place.

I married my best friend....

Our Friday kabbalat shabbat group which had met half a dozen times a year in our home(davening together, learning together, eating together) started meeting every month and the group only grew, even over the summer holidays. When we announced the next date and took a break for this yom tov, several people said to me "Oh no, we have to wait until after succot?" I knew that I loved our Carlebach music and looked forward to cooking 17 chickens as a prelude to having a wonderful shabbat feeling in our home, but I didn't realize how much everyone else who comes loved it.

My beloved dog passed away. She was an amazing creature that taught me all about courage and triumphing over adversity. She left on her terms as she did everything, and even though I miss her there was a kind of peace that I gained during her leaving. Our old cat also passed, at age 17. He was the first animal that my husband and I got together...seems like we are entering into a new era.

The death of my Auntie. It has profoundly affected me. Primarily in the sense of the finality of her death...I was prepared of course..but not for the absolute end. It shocked it me. It helped me realise how much I admired her, even if I didn't actually like her very much. Writing the eulogy helped me realise this. I should write more. Things come out of me when I write that I didn't realise. Secondly, it affected me by making me realize I didnt want to be like her. I don't want to be alone and old and thatmeans making significant life connections, having a child - soon(ish). I don't have forever. Her death also opened my eyes to the kindness of My Love ... it allowed me to see him for the amazing spirit he has and I let him in. We then really have moved our relationship forward. This may have ben her greatest gift to me.

I became a father. I watched Zahara Leah born, and my wife and I finished our adoption of her a few days later. She is fun, even if I am really tired all the time now.

I had my heart broken. I never saw it coming. Everything just stopped working one day. He lost my trust. And I lost his. I've learned relationships can not work without that.

I met the love of my life literally walking down the street. He made me laugh instantly, and then homesick, and then made me want to jump on a plane and just forget about everything but the two of us. I wasn't looking for him, but he was sent to me to complete my life.

I have made a serious career decision that will hopefully pan out. So far it hasn't affected me, it will [or won't] in the upcoming months.

My second child was born. I learned that I was pregnant just over a year ago, and that she was a girl a couple of months later. since her arrival I have had many opportunities to reflect on how both she and older brother arrived with personalities largely intact, and have enjoyed watching them reveal themselves as they gain skills. She is so different from her brother, and yet they are both so delightful. With her birth I feel a new sureness in my adultness, and find it a bit of a relief honestly.

i started therapy. it's time to deal with some stuff that's been lingering for a while. i'm really excited about this -- it's just what i've been needing.

Shane's destination wedding. I went to Mexico to see one of my best friends get married at a lovely sea side ceremony. I was in the wedding party and as I stood behind him, I had such an awakened realization that all of my cynicism and doubt of love was old and out dated. I was finally witnessing a miracle of open heartedness. Also, I took several jogs around the resort and was beaming with gratitude for all of the great friends I was blessed with having. It was finally revealed to me how important those figures have been in my journey through this life. I finally found all of the stars in my sky that lit my travels.

My youngest child got married to a wonderful man who became a Rabbi. While I miss my daugther I have gain another son.

My grandfather who had been battling cancer for years become incredibly sick. He couldn't walk, he could barely eat. He was in constant pain, but he didn't want to see doctors. I strongly supported his decision under the presumption that whatever he had was incurable. My uncle took both my grandparents to live with him in Spain this June, and by that time my grandfather was visibly deteriorating. In Spain my uncle forced my grandfather to see a doctor. The doctor using an noninvasive laser treatment and chmo was able to break up the tumor in my grandfather, and he is now able to walk without any assistance at all. Lessons learned: Despite how much I think I know everything, I am not a doctor, and I am not God

Meeting my 79 year old mother at a mental hospital with my pregnant sister, after my mother was drugged up, strapped to a stretcher , and committed by nursing home staff to this psychiatric hospital against her will, mine, and several family members, creating deep divisions in the family. Then seeing her admitted three days later to Mass General Hospital because of poor care at the mental hospital, watching her deteriorate over several weeks, and several different hospitalizations. But after several months, and despite her almost total loss of language due to dementia, she is doing better than anyone expected, smiles and brings joy to others. I am amazed by not only my mother's will to live, but her will to live joyfully, despite having something so essential to daily life - her ability to process language in any way - almost completely stripped from her over several years. My mother's capacity to love also amazes me, especially having grown up almost completely neglected emotionally by my parents. there is so much love in her, and it just took until now for her to learn to hug us, to hold out hands, and kiss us tenderly. I understood how I have always taken charge when no one else can seem to handle a difficult situation. All turn to me when there is conflict that cannot be resolved, when a level head is needed and when difficult decisions need to be made. Sometimes that has felt like a curse. This time, it felt like the reason I am here. Some good I could do,

I started graduate school this year, a month ago actually. And I am a nervous wreck-- not knowing how I'm going to manage working full time, school, and my 12 yr old son's' educational struggles all at the same time. I am so tired, all the time, and I'm not sure it's going to get better. I don't know that I can do this.

I lost my job! It was the most liberating thing that could have happened to me. It's been a rough few months, but I am now so much more grounded in who I am, and am learning to discover what I want, while forgiving myself.

5 different friends/family members got married. They were all both happy and joyous events, yet they made me realize that I am getting older. I am both nervous and excited about it.

We moved back to the East coast! Now I'm unemployed but ecstatic to be "home."

I was given a solo sculpture show, asked to design and create numerous theatrical sets, and given several high-profile creative projects. I am finally beginning to be taken seriously as an artist by people other than friends and family. I remain somewhat obsessed with my perpetually crappy love life, but even that seems to be less important now...I'm growing into myself, I think.

I replied to a message from an online dating service. It led to me meeting my soulmate, getting engaged within 6 weeks and now, planning a move to New Zealand. Six months ago, I was single and planning on making Canada my home and now I'm packing up my life and moving again, this time to be with my fiance. Big changes, but exciting ones.

I finally left my husband for good. We have been going back and forth for years, but now the divorce is almsot final and I can finally get on with my life. I feel so sure of this decision and know it is the best thing for me to do for myself.

Well I got deployed to Afghanistan. It took me away from my home and friends and alcohol. I have had to go through crazy measures to get booze. Was this supposed to be more deep? I'm sorry I am not very deep.

I moved in to college. My dream college. Away from my mom, who I've never left for long in my whole life. And I love it.

After surgery, I was greeted at the door by flowers and gifts of food from numerous friends, who have stayed by me through a difficult year. I feel very blessed being surrounded by people who care.

My Dad was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. Having lost my mom two years ago I could not fathom facing the loss of parent again so soon. My dad is only 64. My mom was 59 when she died. Mortality is reality. My dad's illness has made me bolder and less willing to settle. It has imbued me with a sense of urgency and tenacity to always be deliberate. It has also made me more compassionate. My father has fought with grace and courage and he gives much credit to the spirit. Amen.

My parents went bankrupt and lost their home and their retirement savings. They basically had to start from scratch. I was extremely emotional and devastated while they were going through the first days of the bankruptcy, selling their home, and getting rid of most of their things. It was difficult because I felt I had to keep everyone together. I've learned to be a better money saver, be fiscally responsible, and am reminded that family and love are the most important things. Also, health!

I lived in Israel for three months with my grade. I got so much closer with everyone and learned a lot about myself, while growing to feel at home in Israel. I became stronger through my independence.

My wife and I had some serious marriage and relationship issues. But we went to counseling and have really worked hard at improving how we communicate and what we do for each other. I found out that we can overcome problems if we go through them together and if we are seriously committed to making things between us even better.

I FINALLY figured out what I want to do in life. For the longest time I floundered around, jealous of those who knew what they wanted to do/be "when they grew up," and now that I found a job that I love, I am happy again.

A few experiences. Hillel was born, our second child. it was amazing. far more amazing than when our first child was born. my response to his birth took me by surprise. also we finally moved to Israel. too early to say whether it will bring the life change i was after but so far it has been amazing nevertheless.

I broke my toe and developed severe nerve pain that was so intense it consumed my focus for about 6 1/2 months. By now, 9 months later, it has greatly subsided by about 80%. I tried many treatments, but after seeing about 10 doctors I finally found two who diagnosed and treated it effectively. I found out I could get through it, that I would not have to suffer like that forever, and that it would get better. Once I felt like I was getting back to normal and could resume some activities, I clicked or shifted into a gear that I had never reached before. That is, I seem to no longer worry or panic and know that I can get through things. I find the change to be quite amazing and still can't quite account for all of it.

I found out that it is impossible for me to pass evaluations at work, making me loose all interest in doing anything above and beyond the most basic of responsibilities

My father passed away at the end of June at age 91. It was a stressful time preceding his death, and watching his demise was extremely difficult. I miss him every day. I guess it will get easier with time. I also lost my mother-in-law just a few weeks later, who was mentally alert until the end, but had been physically disabled for close to 20 years, the result of a stroke. I miss her, too, although not as much as my dad. I haven't had to deal with a lot of death in the past, but this is almost too much at one time.

My mom got a second diagnosis of cancer in 3 years, this one more serious than the first. Once and for all it made us all determined to put our relationship in the best place it needs to be, preparing for this final journey in life.

I realized my children were old enough to take on cool adventures -- like going to Israel for 2.5 weeks. I'm no longer the mom of little kids who need dozens of pounds of gear wherever they go and naps and diapers every few hours. I'm in a new stage of being a mom.

My sister had a baby in July that was adopted. I was there for the birth, I held the little the girl. She was beautiful. My sister named her and gave her my middle name. The adoptive parents kept her middle name. I met the adoptive parents. They are good people and when they saw their new daughter I could see the love in their eyes. That little girl completed their lives. That baby changed my life, my sister's life, and the lives of deserving parents.

This past year my mother-in-law, affectionately referred to as Sweetpea, passed away. This has left a big void in our hearts and our daily life for my family - and of course mostly for my wife. As in any loss of tyhis nature we are walking through the grieving process - sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. The holidays are quite difficult - but we are always reminded of her jovial presence - and her matriarchial guidance. In some fashion, on a dialy basis, we all seem to be gently reminded of her, how we miss her and how we are grateful for having had her in our lives.

During a visit to my parents, aged 92 and 89, I realized my mother's memory loss was more severe than I had thought. I realized how hard my dad is working to keep her at home and to take care of her. When we attempted to connect them with a senior center, he resisted this. He also first admitted that he spoiled her during their life together and this was contributing to her not doing more for herself. i first saw the true nature of the love they had for each other, rather htan taking it for granted.

My mom left my dad. This turned my life into the most tumultuous and stressful period of my life. For six months I had to listen to my dad, day after day, as he vented to me- the only one left in the house at the time. I became emotional and sick, constantly. When she finally came back home, I was- to say the least- relieved.

I really became close with and fell in love with the woman who I think I want to be with for the rest of my life. It's totally transformed how I see the world, love, family, and relationships. (I also graduated from college, lived for the first time in my life with someone I was dating, and just moved to a foreign country!)

I realized that my extended family is no longer my lifeline. I am theirs.

I got married to a beautiful girl that I have known my whole life. The wedding went perfectly and was wonderful. She means so much to me and really fulfills my life. Getting married has matured me greatly and I am happy for that. I look forward to many more wonderful years.

I learned that I had autism. It provided a coherent narrative for my life and explanation for my current circumstances. It also provides the basis for a game plan for the rest of my life.

this was a little more than a year ago, but when my grnadma passed away. she was one of the closet people to me and showed me what it mean to love someone. she will always be a aprt of me and i know now that love never fades.

I became engaged to Al on March 21st and now have my first diamond ring; and I'm about to be 60 years old! This engagement represents the gift of continued learning about love, relationships and my self.

My soon-to-be ex-husband was arrested for domestic violence, then after that was all settled up and I took him back and paid for his lawyers, he had an emotional affair with a woman he was doing work for. Now we're getting a divorce. I think they're all sort of the same "significant experience."

I broke up with my boyfriend of 2.5 years--he was also my best friend. It forced me to make new friends and branch out, but allowed me to rediscover myself and my happiness.

My ideal way to end my existence? To shoot up into the sky like a rocket, just continuously rising faster and faster until I'm in space, where I explode. This is unlikely to happen. Instead, to capture a piece of what it would feel like, I decided to go skydiving. I was expecting a huge catharsis; a rush of energy that would begin a new chapter of my life. It was only nice. I was somewhat disappointed, but this experience taught me that I can't plan for life-changing moments, I have to let them come to me.

I got engaged to a beautiful man and then we moved in together. I feel like I spent my entire life preparing to meet him (although I didn't know that's what I was doing). Our engagement has had a profound impact on my life, most importantly it has allowed me to know that I do deserve to spend my life in love and light.

My grandmother died, and I held her hand while she passed away. That was so meaningful to me. My boyfriend, who had barely known my grandmother prior to the onset of her dementia, had been staying with her for days at a time just to keep her company. As my grandmother passed away, I held one of her hands, and my father held her other hand, and we looked at each other and told her we loved her, and she died. That was an amazing and powerful experience.

I met someone special. She has made me more comfortable.

For weeks and weeks, and even now still -- trembling, feeling a kind of weightlessness, and crying at services at our synagogue. My only explanation? Shechinah. The presence of G-d. The experience has left me grateful beyond words, and that gratefulness has spilled all over the rest of my life. Thank You, G-d, for opening my eyes to Your presence.

Two related experiences: first I had a miscarriage, then I became pregnant. Both impacted me deeply. I hadn't realized how attached I had become to my first pregnancy until it ended, plunging me into a grief which was unlike anything else I'd ever known. Then, a few months later -- at Pesach! -- I realized I was pregnant again. I spent the weeks of the Omer counting not the weeks and days of chesed, gevurah, tiferet but the weeks and days of my own body's changing, waiting until Shavuot when I could reveal this new Torah to my community without fear. I've been amazed by how powerful an experience pregnancy is, and how it has changed my relationship with God.

My father passed away suddenly one month ago. He was my hero, and he knew it. I'm still in shock, and I'm not sure how it will affect me long-term. What I do know is that, for the rest of my life, whenever I have to make an important decision, I will first think "What would Dad do?"

My father's death. It brought me back to Judaism. That link was gone and I needed another.

I went to Israel. Leaving the country was so incredible and I now have a new perspective on life and what I want to do with it. All I want to do is travel, thanks to Birthright.

Our kids' schools found grant funds to cover 50% of our kids' tuitions. 3 kids at a jewish preschool. 1 kid at a waldorf school. Thank g-d!! My kids are in places where they are getting what they need. Now i can keep job searching.

In May I went off the pill after 15+ years, and I am learning get to know my body in a whole new way. I am also realizing how much I don't know about getting pregnant. I hope it is just a matter of time...and sooner than later. We are so excited and ready for this next stage in our lives. I can't wait to be pregnant and to have a little being that we can grow with.

I worked at a summer camp for youth from conflict regions. Watching Israeli, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Indian, Pakistani, Afghan, and American kids be profoundly affected by this experience made me have hope for change in the world.

I discovered and was treated for kidney cancer. I was cured my removing the kidney (people don't usually get to use the word "cured" when it comes to cancer), but it taught me about the preciousness of life in a way that was totally cliche and totally heartfelt, and somewhat unexpectedly, I realized that my capacity for happiness was far greater than I thought. I can be happy and still be me.

I entered into my first long term relationship and after dating for 8 months we moved in together. I know in my heart that I've made the right decision. I love my boyfriend more than anything in the world and he is the one that I want to share the rest of my life with, but sometimes I get scared that we moved to fast and that everything that we have built goes going to come tumbling down like a house of cards.

I guess it was just a few days over a year ago, but my Birthright trip to Israel was extremely significant in my life. I'm not very religious (really not at all), but it made me realize that being spiritual and being religious are 2 totally different things and you CAN be spiritual without being committed to prescribed rituals and beliefs. I could sit on a rooftop in Jerusalem for the rest of my life and never be bored or unsatisfied. Staying after the 10 day program by myself for a few weeks taught me how strong and self reliant I really am even though my normal, everyday homelife sometimes convinces me otherwise.

A two-week old baby died in my congregation. Instead of being able to help my family adjust, I was required to focus on the parents and sibling of the deceased and the greater community.

Obama wining the election brought tears to my eyes. It was the first time I have ever felt patriotic. On a personal note, My husband graduated from grad school - you may think that this did not happen to me but trust me it did. Working through our first few years of marriage while he was in grad school was no easy feat. The relief of him finally being done, being so happy he found his path, and happy that my husband was back - balance is restored. Life is hard now, job hunting, but it is not as difficult knowing we are both present for one another.

My husband and I got a dog. I've never had someone that was so completely dependant on me. She loves us unconditionally and despite the fact that she disobeys sometimes, I love her, too.

One of my best friends was diagnosed with cancer. She is one of my two oldest friends and a woman who has lived her life in touch with who she is at the core. It made all the things that I have been internally struggling with (feeling alone within my marriage, the work I have been doing to move myself toward being authentic at all times to myself) clear to me. It made me realize that all the flags I ignored and concessions I made were signs that I needed to accept that life is too short to go too far down the path that isn’t for me. One thing she is very clear about is what is important to her and what grounds her; and she always acts with intention around those things. I need to do the same. And so I have started.

I got married January 3rd of this year. And, yes, it was a pretty significant change in my life. I moved in with my wife after being married. Having to think about finance for two is something that is hard to prepare for in single life. I guess, to get to the real answer, how have I been affected, my life is amazing, better than before. I live with my best friend. I eat with my best friend. I share my thoughts. And being completely open, physically, emotionally, and spiritually is an awesome thing in itself.

Although there is nothing specific that stands out as significant. I did have a series of experiences with trying to get a job that has affected me. I was contacted by Medtronic to come back and work for them, and also by a startup to work for them. I was feeling a renewed sense of confidence in rejoining the workforce. Unfortunately, Medtronic laid off a bunch of people and although later asked me to fill out an application, I still did not receive the position. The startup turned into a mess, with the CEO owing me money for travel, my product, etc. He just stopped responding. Sadly, I have learned to not count any chickens before they hatch. I have lost a great deal of trust in my fellow man. I am hoping this does not affect my outlook on life and how I treat other people, but rather make me more careful when it comes to dealing with strangers.

Travelling to Israel. Entering Jerusalem. Walking in the Negev. I realized the depth of my history as a Jew and I experienced the emotion in the collective unconscious of my culture.

Just last week, my 9-year-0ld daughter joined the swim team at our local community center. She has always loved swimming and is quite good at it, but it wasn't until I watched her tryout for the team that I realized just how good a swimmer she is. I was amazed at the fluidity and strength of her strokes, her endurance, her comfort in the water and her positive attitude throughout the grueling 90-minute experience. At that moment, I realized that I can admire my daughter as a fellow human being ... not just as a loving father seeing his daughter. She is, without question, a strong and talented swimmer. She is an athlete, and I can speak to her about everything involved with being an athlete: training, taking care of her body, nutrition, the camaraderie of being on a team, dealing with competition, dealing with success, dealing with failure, personal responsibility and so much more. This has changed our relationship in an incredibly positive way, and I am so thankful for that!

My mother, who has Alzheimer's Disease, has reached a point where I am now the parent and she is the child. It has made me sad and angry but grateful that I can do this for her. It also makes me long for my father as I know he'd know what to do. He died 25 years ago.

I completed the first year of an exhilarating, exhausting revolutionary new job. I hardly slept. I laughed. I wept. I am ready for year two.

My grandma died, which made me more interested in my Jewish history because she escaped the holocaust. It also made my family feel small and lonely.

I fell in love with my neighbour and moved out of my friend's basement. My eyes have been opened to a whole new world, one of mental complexities.

My girlfriend and I had a huge fight about how I spend my time and now I feel guilty about doing anything without her.

I fell in love. Catch is, I was already in love, with the same person. We were in a rut & a routine & I didn't know how to fix it. One day, I looked at him and I realized that I loved this routine & how much I didn't want to be doing anything else then be with him. My love for him now is like getting electrocuted. I don't care that I'm 21 and should be out partying. I'd much rather sit & watch sports with him in my pajamas.

My second son was born less than a month ago. Trying to take care of two of them has given me a new perspective on the strength my wife has to do the same job on a regular basis when I go back to work.

I moved back to my hometown after fifteen years. The affect is amazing on different levels. The main impetus was my mother's decline into alzheimers and the need to be near her and to offer support for my father. The surprises were that, in spite of that, and in spite of taking a very, very severe pay cut, I am generally happier here. There are times when I'm very lonely; and there are times when I'd really rather just brush my mother's illness under the carpet and pretend everything is fine. But I have a job that I really enjoy with people I really enjoy. I miss my friends in Dallas, but I feel fairly certain I'll make new friends here. I am not so confident about finding love again. My faith in romantic love has been completely shattered and I don't think I will ever feel comfortable or confident enough to be "in love." I don't think I even really believe in it anymore. But overall, I am much happier in Tucson than I was in Dallas.

Travelling (mostly) on my own in Israel and throughout Europe this past spring/summer. It was a very eye-opening experience and has forced me to challenge my faith.

My husband and I were in an accident 5/23/09. In spite of doing everything exactly as we should, another car lost control and slammed into us. As if in slow motion, I watched it coming directly toward my husband and truly thought I was about to witness his death. It's clear that my greatest fear is losing him. The event made me more fearful and cautious despite underscoring the idea that absolutely nothing is in our control no matter what we do. The resulting physical pain also makes me feel a great deal older. All of this creates an inner dialogue about death and loss that I would both like to reject as my world view and to use to cherish the present . I'm hoping to find a balance between the two.

I went to Israel for the first time and got to experience the Middle East and what everyone was talking about after going to Israel. It made me open my eyes and see myself in a new light. I did things that I never thought I would normally do and it was the greatest experience of my life thus far. And I feel that because of the trip, it inspired me to register for my first half marathon; I don't think I would of signed up have I not had all the experiences I had over there.

Our dearest friends lost their 19 year old son this year. I remember going back to the hotel after the funeral and remarking to my husband that I know that one of the things to take from this tragedy is the knowledge that we are supposed to live in the moment. Be present. Enjoy the life we have been so blessed with. But... I don't understand how to do that? How do I put that into action? Three other young people who were friends with my older kids also died this year. I have been shaken to the core. Afraid of loss. Feeling the effect of tragedy but swimming in a sea of questions with no available answers. My friend who lost her son said that this terrible event has not affected her faith. I wish I could say the same for me.

I lowered my standards and values as far as relationships are concerned, and ended up hurt. Proved why I have the standards and the values I do.

I began using Emotional Freedom Technique and Law of Attraction techniques to make myself stronger, happier and luckier. It worked. I am on the right road. Every area of my life has been improving since, and I feel released from my fears. I will to do more treatments, and for the first time in my life, I feel like I have the tools to get me the things I really want.

I fell in love and he makes me a better person than I really am and constantly forces me to look at things from all angles.

I changed jobs, after three years of working towards something that I didnt believe in I finally feel like I am making a difference in the world...for the better!

For the first time, I developed romantic feelings for another woman. I'm a long-time civil rights advocated who has, nonetheless, always identified as straight,. This year, though, I became extraordinarily close friends with a coworker & have spent the past few months struggling to figure out how I feel about her. They're not sexual feelings but they're also beyond the average feelings of friendship. This realization has made me question societal boundaries on sexuality and the labels that bind us. I'm not sure what sort of conclusions I've come to, but it's been eye-opening thus far...

I had my second child. The transition from one child to two is a big shift. I do feel now like my family is in many ways complete with my spunky daughter and smiley little son. Having a bigger family has shifted my priorities again. Some days I fantasize about their futures and others I just pray to get through in one piece.

I entered marital therapy with my spouse. It is scary, because we are confronting conflicts which we had been avoiding, and because there is the possibility of failing and having the marriage fall apart.

I struggled but I came through on the other side. It was as if I was supposed to gain confidence and strength through all of those events but I still find it challenging to trust...and I guess that is okay.

Getting laid off from my job was possibly the best thing that's happened to me. It pushed me to start my own company—something I've always wanted to do.

A childhood friend who I have remained close to for the past 20 years died of a brain aneurysm at age 32. This broke my heart, and also brought my life's priorities to instant clarity: follow my dreams, take care of my loved ones, and start a family.

I broke up with my boyfriend of five years because I realized that it was a toxic relationship. It ended badly because he immediately began stalking me, which is still occurring. But I believe that it was the best decision I have ever made, and my life is entirely different right now than it was six months ago. I am happier, healthier, have more (and better) friends, I am living my life by my terms. Life is good.

I was at my first birth, and 7 more. It shaped my appreciation for life and how easily we are molded. Not only did I find myself realizing how difficult parenthood is but what a gift it is to participate in the cycle of life. I gained an appreciation and frustration with the medical system. The experience made me feel blessed by the many people I have in my life who have acted as support systems those I can truly rely on. But I also learned my limitations, to accept my shortcomings and to grow and learn from experience. Being a doula was one of the most challenging and exhausting things I have ever done but it also taught me more than I ever expected.

last year, my wife and i lost a baby due to taye-sachs - it devestated us and made me feel suddenly mortal and no longer indestructable. what occured after that, mostly due to the strength of my wife, was an all out community-wide campaign about jewish genetic disorders. the most notable experience of this year was the news of a new pregnancy and preperation for a healthy baby boy - coming all too soon. this year, i learned my limits and i realized that the person i am becoming is a man of strength, honor and perseverence. and that makes me smile.

After working for about nine months at my local newspaper as an editorial assistant/general assignment reporter, I was laid off in a workforce reduction. Although I wasn't in love with my first job and was constantly looking for a reason to quit, it was still a job in rough economic times. Looking back over the past few months, now unemployed and babysitting for a living, I never really appreciated all of the great experiences I did enjoy at the newspaper. It has though, given me a new perspective and drive to try something new out. I'm interested in graduate school, in travel and looking into other writing-related career ventures and I'm looking forward to seeing where the new year will take me.

My ex husband became depressed. I had to rescue him. It was then that I discovered that I did not want him back.

I able to turn off the negative distracting voices in my head that have weighed on me since I was a little kid! Gone! I know can move through life taling chances and believing in myself rather than being filled with self doubt and self loathing!

I floated in the Dead Sea. It was a beautiful place, the water felt like soft oils and smelled like sulfur, and reclining in the water looking at Jordan was one of the most amazing, meditative and uplifting experiences of my life.

I was diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. It has changed my life .. is changing my life completely. I have mobility issues from pain in my knees. I have knots on my joints .. not noticable yet. I can't sleep and I don't know if it's from pain, from menopause, sleep apnea or EDS. I've gone from being a morning person, to doing my best work around noon or midnight. My husband didn't want to be married to someone who might need care, so he asked for a divorce. Sure thing, I certainly don't want to be taking care of him any longer if he can't care about me. We were only married a little less than two years anyway. .... And my boss tried to fire me. I hung on to a part time position. No money but better life. It all has made my life better in so many ways. I move slower. I do things with more quality and more pride. Everything. Life isn't full of so much that I don't notice anything. I enjoy being alone in my own space taking care of just me for a change. I'm back in school getting my MBA. I originally was a business major in school and I've always wondered about getting my MBA but couldn't justify it. Now I have to make my situation where I can work a long time with some options given my limitations. I loved literature and philosophy. I was excellent at it and it gave me some great skills and developed my own natural creative thinking talents. But now I'm loving my business classes. It's all coming together. And I can truly say on this day: L'Shana Tova, because it has every indication of being a good year.

My son turning 40. It is but another measure of time, lifespan and the disconnect of the mind and the body.

I left home and went away to college. Both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. I made friends, I lost friends. I developed new hobbies, I lost old ones. I learned my limits. I grew up a bit more.

I lead a tour of 40 young jews for one month through israel. In january, i'm going on aliyah. I knew that i would go do aliyah already for 4 years, this experience was the final motivation.

I left my husband, a partner of 7 years, a year ago. It was a very difficult decision to make, and my life changed significantly and chaotically since then. But being independent has been a huge growth opportunity.

My much older brother died. We were not close, but the support I received made me realize how much I loved my family and friends, how he really cared for me, and how important he was in my life.

my mother's diagnosis of breast cancer and the treatment that followed. realizing that my mother cannot always be present and strong and the effect of her mortality and health conditions on my own life. the beginning of changing roles of parent and child. accepting the cycle of life and the hands it deals us each day....

I lost a friend and coworker too early (he was only 48). He was a man a very christian man and a gay man. He lived his life with love and peace and felt that his religeon was not that of judgement and texts but of love and acceptance. At his funeral were fundementalist born again Christians glaring across the aisle at gay men of all ages. It made me sad that his closest friends could not see that their hatred was exactly the opposite of the man they both claimed to be their own. He taught me to try to live my life more lovingly and acceptingly. There really is nothing in sitting in judgement of others.

After having wrist surgery last June and still finding myself in pain, I was put back in a brace in November. No more than two weeks after the brace came off in January, I fell off my bike and broke my finger very, very badly. On the SAME hand that that had been in a brace. It had to be pinned for six weeks, during which I was in constant pain. All during that time, I was seriously resigning myself to the fact that I might no longer play the violin. It has been my livelihood since I was four years old (I'm now 26), and I'm in school getting an MMEd. This was the most terrifying thing I've ever had to consider. When I finally got the pin out, I went through months of physical therapy and more pain, and ended up in tears after just five minutes of trying to learn how to hold my bow again. Because of the wrist surgery, being put back in a brace, and now a broken finger, I essentially had not played in about a year. But by the grace of G-d I'm finally playing again. It still hurts from time to time, but it's healing a little more every day.

This year I moved from DC to Atlanta to explore a new opportunity for work.I ended up losing myself and finding the person I want to be. I am exploring the opportunity to go back to school to pursue a marketing career, I became closer with my friends who truly care about me, and I grew in my relationship with God. The ultimate lesson I learned is that sometimes we have to let go of what we want, our career, love, and the future to pursue what God wants for us. I am excited to make an impact on an organization and show non believers the importance of persisting in the face of adversity.

I didn't want to believe my parents, that my grandmother was going a bit delusional, but one phone conversation I had with her left me a bit startled on the other end of the line. She's still got it for the most part, and tells me that not too much good stuff happens to you as you age, so live life to the fullest while you're young and able. This experience makes me want to spend more time with my grandparents, although it has become harder and harder, as my schedule has gotten busier and busier. One thing I have really enjoyed doing with all of my grandparents this year was talking to them about being Jewish at various points in their lives (i.e. what it was like to be Jewish in the US Air Force during WWII). Many of my questions were prompted by the documentary, "the Jewish Americans" on PBS. Seeing what the people shown in the documentary discuss prompted me to consider asking many questions that would not have occurred to me otherwise.

I learned to open my heart and love again. I met the man I am going to marry and could not be happier. After all the hurt I went through in the past I did not know loving this deeply would be possible again.

I started college studying Art. I gave up full-time work, decided to not take in a lodger so I could have space to do work in my spare room and generally started to take my creative side more seriously and not laugh at myself when I dared to think it could be more than a hobby.

Kyle died in early August from his 10-year battle with Leukemia. It made me really appreciate family even more than I thought I could. I'll miss him.

I went to the Young Adults dinner at shul and met my boyfriend, Benjie. We've been dating for almost a year now.

Barack Obama was elected president. I was working that night, and was sent to the corner of Market and Castro. I was overwhelmed by the jubilation in the street, and the feeling that a page had turned for this country. I was giddy. So was everyone else. As the celebration was in full-swing, it became apparent that Prop 8 was going to pass. It brought me back down to earth.

Deciding to break away and start my own business - doing something that is MY passion, instead of someone else's. It has profoundly changed my life! All future success and happiness in it is on my plate, and will come from my efforts - and that is so energizing!

Getting on my own two feet in a way that I felt happy about. I bought a car and I'm paying all my own bills now. I pay rent on an apartment that I love. I really feel like I'm on my way to having everything I want to have and it feels great. I'm also starting a new relationship with J.R. that I think could be something really special. I hope that this time next year, I will say that meeting him was the most significant experience of the year. ... Just read my 2008 answers and realized that I did those questions before Jonathan and I really broke up. So definitely without a doubt that breakup was the biggest thing. I will have some horrible, horrible memories of that experience in my life as long as I live. I tortured myself. I cried and banged on the elevator doors as he left one night and begged him to stay--the man that hurt me worse than ever. I had to ask my parents to help me move and start my new life without them fully understanding where I'd come from and the life I'd be leaving. I had to watch Jonathan start a new life with a new girl who wasn't me. It was the most devastating thing I've ever had to go through.

Over the past year I have moved to a new state, lost and got a job, pursued Judaism and will being going to my first high holy day services. I could not be happier and I've turned my life into something with meaning and am finally doing what I want to do.

I lost my grandfather, but before he died, I was able to cook one last meal for him. We had roast, salad, seafood from Swann's, cake. He made jokes and smiled, even when breadcrumbs got stuck in his throat. He had true love. His wife (my step-granny), says he is doing great, sits on her bed and talks to her all night long.

My Birthright trip changed everything about me. Not only did it inspire me to reconnect with my Jewish faith, but it also helped me to discover things about myself that I never expected. My self esteem is higher now, and I feel more confident in my own skin. I can't imagine what my life would be like today if I hadn't gone on that trip.

Finding out that I'm pregnant. It was shocking, exciting, terrifying...and now I've stopped emptying the cat litter box.


I've been working on coming to terms with my childhood, and was always asked to "picture my little girl within" and take care of her, nurture her. And I couldn't do it. Then I realized my way of healing was through mothering my daughter the way I'd never been mothered. I'm not perfect, or at 100%, but am giving her the time, attention, love and nurturing that I so wanted when I was her age.

Taking a 2 month sabbatical and traveling with my husband. This was a time of renewal and reconnection that restored us before we headed back to our jobs and busy lives in NYC

My boyfriend broke up with me after I had applied to school in Sweden to be closer to him, and I was about to find out if I had been accepted (which I was) the next week. I really fell for him and had felt more strongly for him than any other boyfriend before. I was willing to leave my family, my friends, even the English language to be with him... and he didn't feel the same way. I'm not too upset that he didn't love me back the same way, but rather that he led me on and didn't bring up problems that he saw in the relationship earlier on- like before I applied to school there and made plans with him for the future. He has emailed me once in the five months post-breakup, but only in reply to one from me. I guess on the bright side I had become close to his friends (who I do still keep in touch with) and not only are they visiting me next winter, but they continue to tell me how much of an idiot he is for letting a girl like me go. That's a nice ego boost, but I still wonder about what a future would have been like with him. And now I'm left knowing random phrases in Swedish - un storr kaffe tack (medium coffee please)

Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. I could not believe it really happened. I kept thinking I was dreaming and was waiting to be wakened from the dream. I never felt I would see in my lifetime and frankly anyone's. The pride I felt for my countrymen to be so bold and forward-thinking was tremendeous. I'm still living in the moment and continuing to pray he will make the difference we all need to turn our country around.

I am involved in building a new Holocaust museum, the culmination of a 10 year dream for many survivors involved in the project. When the contractor poured the cement for the foundation, he invited me to inscribe it. The contractor offered a nail as a stylus and I looked down at the cement. What could I possibly write that would carry the importance of this moment? I opened my mind and invited God in. 'Give me the words,' I prayed. I took up the nail, and as I scratched letters into the drying cement I felt the presence not only of the survivors whom I represented, but also their loved ones and even the 6 million who will be memorialized in the Museum. What did I write? Two simple words came to me, just as they had come to the Holocaust victims before me: Ani me'amin.

My grandfather died - it wasn't sudden, but it definitely wasn't drawn out. I got the call on a Saturday morning. He was still alive at the time, but we "knew it was coming." So I hopped on a flight that day, flew back to New Jersey, and within 9 hours of that phone call, I was standing by his side in the hospital. The next day, he died. It's kind of sad, but one of the key ways it affected me turned out to be kind of positive. At the prodding of my dad, I wrote a eulogy - I didn't really want to, but my dad really wanted me to, and I wanted to do what I could to help him in what was clearly a difficult time. As I stood before those at the funeral reading the eulogy I had written the night before, I came to a realization: I'm a fantastic writer. This wasn't completely new to me - I'd always known I had a knack for writing. But this was different. I realized that I was witty, I was deep, I was able to convey a multitude of emotion through very few words. I haven't really done anything about this realization in the 8 months or so since, but the more and more I think about it, the more and more I think that maybe something with writing is in my future.

I understood what it meant to have a broken heart. I didnt realise i was capable of feeling so deeply

I completed my first 5K this summer. It was an off-road trail 5K, which I had never done before and it was 97 degrees. I have wanted to run and complete a 5K for a long time now and I am very proud of myself that I finally got up the guts to try it and succeed. I now feel as though I can do anything I set my mind to. I like that feeling.

I came out at as transgender and started transitioning this year. I'm more confident and sure of myself now as I move through the world. A huge weight has been lifted and I am much happier. I have discovered who my real friends and family are through this process.

my mum getting breast cancer. Made the relationships in our family stronger, and reminded me how awsome God is :)

I gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Elianan was born on June 19, 2009 at 2:27 am. Being pregnant was so special. The miracle of how a baby forms and grows is incredible. Labor allowed Matt and I to be incredible partners. I ended up requiring a c-section. I had trouble nursing and took Reglan (no one should take Reglan it is an awful and dangerous drug)which caused Eliana and I a lot of side effects. It was a challenging and emotional time. I am so grateful to be coming through the otherside now. Enjoying my daughter and learning to become a mom.

My cousin got married, and at the wedding was the first time I really felt like I was a part of the family.

My wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, without any family history or without warning. With young kids at home and demands at work, it has been challenged me to be a better husband and father. Together we are going to join the growing group of survivors.

I made the decision to actively pursue real estate investing. I ended up buying a re-hab property that has caused me no end of headaches and nearly pushed my wife into a mental breakdown. Almost nothing worked as promised. Financing was much more difficult than expected and ended up relying on loan sharks. Some contractor illegally dumped tons of dirt on the property, causing the city to consider it blighted and do an investigation. I find that I need to be less trusting of others to do their jobs right and keep their promises. The experience leaves me with some bitterness toward loan brokers and realtors, who are a lying, self-serving lot.

Traveling with my son deepened our bond of love and reminded me to delegate responsibility at work and to slow down and smell the roses.

I officially reconnected with my brother and sister with whom I had been estranged for many, many years. More than ever, I'm beginning to understand how three people can experience the same thing, see it very differently and all be correct. I hope this realization will remind me to be more compassionate toward my siblings...

My husband's grandmother passed away. I was a bit guilt-ridden as we received inheritance and yet I did not feel close to her. I felt she was a good person and I enjoyed her company, but we spent very little time together and I was not there for her when she passed. I just felt like it was by default that we received anything. I felt like I was too happy to be benefiting. Like it was the lottery. Instead of course, it was someone else's misfortune. In fact it was many people's misfortune to lose her. At the same time, she meant for the money to do her grandson some good in life. I don't know. It's hard to know how to feel. It's hard to understand what I should have done differently because while I knew she thought kindly of us, I wasn't prepared to force my husband to act differently than he felt the need to since she was not my family. I am hoping I can take from this that I need to take care of my mother better regardless of the things she's done.

I got engaged to Logan!

wow - there were so many! my then boyfriend and I moved in together a little over a year ago. last November, he decided to become a part of my business - we opened a retail store together. sadly, it drew us further apart rather than bringing us closer together. all sorts of issues came up - largely having to do with boundaries. I had also suffered a huge personal tragedy (death in the family) last November - my boyfriend was not emotionally supportive in my time of need. since the opening of our store was nearly simultaneous, it was started on shaky ground from the get go. We are no longer together (broke up in May - slow and painful). I still have my company but our store is no longer. It's truly a shame.

There were not one but a few significant things happening to me last year so it is very difficult to name only one. The important thing is that I realized that each and every one of them had a special meaning and that all of them happened with ME playing a role. It is very easy to point out people's blame, or to place yourself as the innocent one in the situation. All actions have a reaction, so every move you make has a consequence. And the ones you don't control, it's still your responsability to learn something from it. My actions now are very carefull because I understand that it does have a greater meaning and it will affect other's live, even if at the moment it isn't clear yet. For sure the killing of my best friend's mother, and her getting wounded by shotguns in a robery was a strong message how life can be fragile, and that we should always live within the moment. Most imprtantly, reminded me that family is everything and you should always tell them how much you love them.

I got dumped by a long-time best friend. It led to a lot of soul-searching, and at least a few positive changes. (Including, possibly, absence of alleged best friend.) And to going caving, which I had never done and which was great fun. Oh, I was also a wreck for a good two, three months. But I'm all bitter now!

I ended a relationship with my live in boyfriend to return to the man that I consider my soulmate - but in the time it took me to end my relationship he got another woman pregnant. I lost two men that I loved. I was destroyed. I didn't think it was going to be possible to survive, but I am.

I moved into my own apartment. It really made me feel more grown up and more responsible for my own life. I was petrified of living on my own, I thought I would be lonely or scared. It was really empowering to find out that not only was living on my own ok, but that I really thrived and felt more like my self. The freedom that this apartment has provided for me has made me feel more ready to handle other changes that are to come in my life.

My maternal grandmother passed and my cousin had her first baby, the first great-grandchild in our family. It made me think back to the sacrifices my family made to immigrate to this country so we could have better education, opportunities and freedom. It made me think of my family legacy, where I fall in the history of our family tree, and how that legacy will continue far beyond my time..

The birth of my second son months after the death of a dear family member gave me a clearer realization of the cycle of life.

I met my boyfriend Daniel the day before Valentine's Day. It was definitely love at first sight. I cannot believe how amazing it felt to feel so equally and totally loved and cared for by another person. After I broke up, with difficulty, with my previous abusive boyfriend in December, I vowed not to date again for a while. However, as Valentine's Day approached I found myself feeling more and more confident, and so I decided to be open to dating the very gender that had punched and choked me only a couple months previous. Merely a week had gone by before I locked eyes for only a brief 5 minutes with the love of my life. I didn't realize that love could ever be so immediate and overwhelming. To this day, I still get lightheaded when I kiss him and cannot stop telling him how much I love him. For both of us, it still feels like we only fell in love a week ago, when it has in fact been 7 months, yet each day only makes us closer and more stunned by the fact that we found each other. I love him with all my heart and soul, he is my best friend and my first true love, and I hope my life is always this filled with happiness and joy.

I turned 65 and became eligible for Medicare. That defined me, by gov't standards, as "elderly". I have become increasingly aware of physical decline and this definition reinforced those feelings. My vision and hearing are worse. I have more joint, back and muscle symptoms on a more frequent basis. I have digestive symptoms, which were never a problem. I have begun thinking of myself as "old" but it has not slowed me down. I feel determined to go on with all these symptoms as much as I can, as long as I can.

I began college, which has lead to a HUGE confidence boost and made me much more responsible. For the first time, I wash my clothes and dishes, make my bed, and clean my room on a semi-daily basis. I control what I eat and when, no one nags me to do homework, and I schedule my time how I see fit. I feel much better about myself and the choices I make. I don't give in to peer pressure. I like who I am.

I came home from spending a semester in Prague to a boyfriend that quickly wasn't, a brother who assaulted me, two friends that died, and my best friend got pregnant. I realized that I should probably be in therapy after my handling of all of these things included drinking too much and working all the time. I now have some friends who I think I'll have all my life and it took me until senior year of college to make them.

My mom just found out she may have breast cancer. I got the call yesterday. We've never had a close relationship and she's flying in to visit today so I'm really going to do my best to mend some fences.

I was laid off from my job and it was the kick I needed to begin freelancing. I'm so proud of how well I handled the change. So quickly it became clear how good I am at what I do and what my true value is. It's prompted me to reexamine how I handle so many things in my life - money, friendships - and I'm on a path to finding true fulfillment and creative expression in my career. I also discovered how much I can count on my boyfriend and his steadfast support, as well as that of so many friends. It's been a tough but deeply exciting time.

I was married. It was amazing! It was such an awe-inspiring event. We still talk about it to this day about how excited we were. Our families also still talk about it and how amazing it was. Hashem was really smiling on us that day!!

A year ago next week, a close friend smooched me after meeting my whole family and immediately I knew we'd be together for a long time. A week later, I was at a conference, dancing and having a grand time, and broke my foot. I was out for three months, unable to take care of my two-family house, walk my dog, commute to work on my bike-- the list goes on. The aforementioned close friend took my dog in and walked him every day, drove me around and generally took care of me. That was hard to accept, but amazing. These things pushed me into a new phase of my life. I quit my job and started a business this summer. My beau and I are buying a house together. We're talking about our ceremony and having kids. Hard to believe that a year ago I was just hanging out, working and having a great time, and all of this enriching, transformative stuff has happened since then.

Buying an apartment and the breakup of a very significant relationship. The apartment was something I think I needed, even if I didn't think so at the time. Maybe the breakup is something I need too. Or maybe it will spur the growth needed on his end for us to be together. Either way, I know this is absolutely something that I will learn and grow from... and isn't that what life is all about?

My father died. It shook my foundation. At first I missed him terribly, then I found ways to replace the grieving energy. I still miss him, but after a year of reflection, kaddish and finding aspects of my personality that I had not known, I'm now accepting the change and recalling those memories for good things.

I had my first child. It made me reassess everything in my life from the big questions like who I am and what I value to the daily dribble of how to get out the door in the morning. I realized I'm both weaker and stronger than I thought.

I became a godparent for the first time--and for the first time I feel responsible (at least partly) for a child's welfare.

Maybe there are too many things. I was engaged and the little ring around my finger keeps reminding me of my love who is too far away for comfort. Another thing is that o have moved to japan to get my masters at waseda university. Which gives me strange feelings sometes in the pit of my stomach. Also I graduated! That made me signifigNtlyore happy and nostalgic than I gave been in some time.

I decided to get treatment for my eating disorder. The two months that I was in treatment were the best two months of my life. I am now free. I learned SO much about myself and continue to grow. Recovery IS hard, but it's a journey--not something to be done perfectly. I have never felt this good in my entire life. I am so thankful for my motivation to lead a happy healthy life!

I moved to New York city. After lolling around in the doldrums of a life wasn't mine, with the wrong job in in the wrong city, not following my dreams... I finally put together enough money and courage to move down. This city is focusing me, sharpening me, reminding me constantly that up is the only way.

my brother killed himself. he was my best friend and he was my role model. my world collapsed. not in a visible way, but underneath. it was like a little part of me that got me out of bed in the morning shut down. i can still laugh and have fun, but there's a little piece of me that made everything come together into a functional machine missing. the laugh feels like it should be forced. the fun seems a little redundant. i want to live big for him, because he would want me to take that from all of this, but i can barely make it out of my apartment. he was a good man. beautiful and sad.

Five weeks ago, I left a job I'd had for almost seven years. I immediately started working at a new company, full of good people, but it's hard being the new kid -- to go from knowing everything about a business to knowing nothing. I feel a bit lost, and am questioning my ability and I hope next year when I read this I look back and laugh!

The most significant experience, and no doubt one of the most that I will ever have in my lifetime, was caring for my mom and then losing her. She wanted to die at home and my sister and I worked hand in hand to make that happen. It was on one hand rewarding and a very proud accomplishment for me to give her that gift, but incredibly hard at the same time. I miss her terribly.

My husband lost his business and had to find a new job. He became depressed and I had to hold it together for him and my kids for awhile until he got back on his feet. I began having anxiety attacks and night terrors when I slept. I am thankfully on some medication now and my husband now has a great job that he loves.

I broke off a relationship with a woman who had fallen in love with me and whom I had great affection for, but was not really in love with. We had an intense physical attraction which led us to continually hook up, until she started really professing her love for me and it became apparent to me that this was really hurting her in both the short and long run. Finally cutting it off was like removing a weight that I had been carrying around with me. It has also freed me up to really consider other people, I had been slow seeking out new partners since I'd always had her around.

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer on August 18, 2009.Stage 1B.I will require a radical hysterectomy and radiation. I have an 18 month old son and have been happily married for 5 years. I decided to be brave and share my diagnosis with my entire world.I have incredible friends and family supporting me. I am just beginning this fight, but I am hopeful and committed to becoming a survivor. This has turned my entire life upside down and in many ways that is a good thing. I share a deeper love with my husband, I am a better parent, and in a very short time I have learned what's truly worth focusing on. God is Good.

I moved in with my boyfriend after having dated him for about 9 months. From the moment we started dating, I knew he was "the one." However, I never envisoned myself moving in with my significant other until we were at least engaged. It took me a while to become comfortable with it. From time to time, the fact that we are living together and are not engaged or married does interefer with my thoughts. When I experience these mixed feelings, I remind myself that I did this because I am comfortable and confident in my relationship and it is what was best for not only me, but for us. Living together has made me realize that I have grown up and am not a little kid any more. People dream of the moment they will find "the one" for their entire lives and I still pinch myself because I can't believe how fortunate I am to have found him so soon.

I got engaged. It's made me realize new things about my fiance that I really love - seeing things about what a good person he is...I had to see these things to be sure I'm going to marry him! Getting engaged did not necessarily reveal these things to me, but they made me open my eyes to the truly inner goodness in him when it is easier just to look at the annoying things, like how sloppy he is. Even though we've lived together for 2 1/2 years, deciding to marry has made me think about what it means to really dig down deep and commit to actively looking for the goodness in those closest to you.

I fell in love for the first time. It has completely changed my life (for the better). I am much happier and more content. It is an amazing feeling to be with the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with.

I adapted to a move across the country, as an adult, all by myself, and met hundreds of wonderful and interesting new people who helped me get through it, appreciate it, and begin to conquer it.

Our oldest daughter had her Bar Mitzvah. To see her take the stage and do prayers, sing one of them, and chant her portion and her Haftarah, and deliver her d'var Torah, flawlessly and with grace and insight was a deeply profound experience. I felt honored and blessed to have shared the day with her - and to watch her grow before my eyes.

Dad's heart surgery. There is a lot I could I say about that but its summed up in this: Yahoo Internet Cafe in Tokyo airport. Facebook message from my little brother "Jer. Call me ASAP." I was about to buy a cellphone when I saw the bank of yellow plastic phones on the wall across the wide duty free shopping plaza. I had an overpriced phonecard in a matter of seconds. It was about 2am on the East Coast. I dont remember what I was thinking, but I was determined to stay level. Always cool in the crisis. Was already calculating what a rebooking would run to New York from Tokyo. Can you rebook if you have already checked in? When was the last time you saw him? A year ago? Two? "Chris!" "Hey. Jer." What's wrong." "Uncle Bill died." I was relieved it wasn't Dad. Then embarrassed at how calloused that felt. "How's Mom?" "Not so good. I've never seen her like this." "Sorry, Chris." We hung up a few minutes later and I wondered through the aisles of purfume and whiskey trying to make myself upset for my uncle, but it wasn't there. Having my Dad back from the dead stunned my grief into nothingness. I'm sorry Bill. I really am.

I hired a secretary that has become my biggest headache at work. I feel guilty because I hired her and I feel guilty because I am unable to affect any change with her. She has polarized my staff and I feel guilty for that. I am feeling weak and ineffective as a manager. It has impacted my work life, my time off work ( worrying) and my self esteem. It has made me want to leave my job.

I went to Israel on the Birthright trip. It was an incredible experience. I met the most inspiring people and really found a way to connect with my Jewish heritage, even though I'm not religious at all.

I got my life back.

My father was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer and it's made me look at the relationship I have with my dad, the relationship my parents have with each other, and my relationship with my children. I've also been dwelling on what my family will be like when my parents are gone, and why my brothers and I aren't closer.

After being out on my own for 3 years and dealing with roommate issues, I, at 26, moved back in with my parents. I have a great relationship with them so its definately not a horrible situation but I dont think anyone actually wants to feel like a failure and move back home. So far its going great and Im hoping to get some money saved up and buy a house next year!

I became an aunt. I was anxious and worried about how it would feel. I want my own children so much I was worried about how I would react to my younger sibling become a parent before me. Instead it has been the best experience of my life - I love my nephew so much and take so much pleasure in watching my sister be a mom.

In November last year, my now-ex dumped me by text after a two year relationship. I was more livid than hurt really because it just felt so cowardly. We had been talking about moving in together, I'd been looking for jobs to move to the otherside of London and start a whole nee life with him. I think he had a bit of a crisis about being in a serious relationship, and at first I felt like I'd lost my "plan" but it turned out well in the end. I feel more liberated and independent again and it made me realise how downtrodden I'd been in the relationship and how I'd kind of been going along with it all because it was what I felt I should do as opposed to what I wanted. I vowed never to be dragged along like that before and not to sacrifice myself for anyone.

I lost my last aunt (for all intents and purposes). This is the last member of my family I could rely on, communicate with, share love with. I was filled with sadness and loss, and feel so much sorrow that I am now without family.

I applied to law school and was rejected. After many months of hating mysel, I realized that I allow failure to bury me alive - it has defined my entire history, and if I don't do something about it, my future as well.

Recently my boyfriend broke up with me, and to say in the least it was not mutual. With him showing me no respect, regard or care in the manner that he ended our relationship, I can see that I am better off without him and he was just a speed bump that I had to go over to get closer to where I need to be going.

I found a lump in my breast. Not cancerous, but not great news either: when I had surgery to get it out, I found out I have a very high chance of developing real breast cancer. I'm 34, and it made me think about getting older, about mortality, for the first time.

Pap died. It happened so suddenly. I realized how his life was a circle. It ended and started similarly, but the middle was completly differnt. The middle is what was under his control. I also struggled with what kind of death is a blessing - one then ends abruptly in which you don't get to say goodbye or one in which you get to say goodbye but there is suffering.

I started a relationship with the person I want to be with for the rest of my life.

I quit my job as a corporate attorney in NYC, moved to San Francisco, got a job with a cool nonprofit, and got a new house a few weeks ago. A big year, how *didn't* it all affect me is the more appropriate question!

I slept with a good friend who I had previously decided would never be more than a friend. This year's decision was not hard to make and took only a few minutes of thought. Afterward there were no regrets and brought us closer rather than farther apart, which was what I previously thought would happen, even though that doesn't make much sense. Philosophically and intellectually I am very attracted to her; this is why I ultimately wanted to do it, and why I should be less afraid to be intimate with people who think in similar ways as I do. It's hard to find people who feel and think the same way as you do. When it happens I should be less calculating and more adventurous.

My dog of 11 years past passed away. It caused me to reflect on our relationship and all other animals. My daily routines have changed and I sometimes still imagine that I hear her bark.

I adopted a family and was asked to be a part of it, officially. It set me on this journey of questions.

I looked at these two people who were smitten with joy, and happiness, their energy was so pure, and so real. At that moment I started thinking about my parents and everyone else, and I came to realization that not all people experience happiness and joy, and with that comes tremendous amounts of pain and suffering. I realized that because of it people often act out to try and express their pain when they have no words to express how they feel. I learned to forgive my abusive parents, as well as everyone else. I have become more compassionate by realizing that I don't know what you have been through, and it is not fair for me to judge you, and all I can do is show appreciation for you.

A very very good friend lost her son at age 19, tragically -- and I had known him since he was a young child. He and I weren't close, but she is on of the nearest people to me. I couldn't, and still can't imagine losing a child - and can't imagine them surviving this loss -- but they have; with courage, grace, and endless - boundless - love.

My father was diagnosed with Lymphoma, and my whole family was thrown into a place we weren't necessarily prepared to be. It really put things in perspective and allowed me to really think about my relationship with my family and my father.

Changing jobs has been both exciting and stressful. I went from a place of relative comfort and safety into a job where much more rides upon my personal performance. I worry much more about my professional life now - am I making a difference, am I doing the best possible job, how do I handle all the additional responsibility? I handle this worry and stress with wildly varying degrees of ease and comfort depending upon the day and external circumstances.

My father who was really old, but very with it passed away. This has changed my life significantly. I miss my father and his wisdom and I am worried about the family will not stay as close.

My son started Kindergarten. I feel a certain closeness to him and blessed deeply to have him in my life amidst his newfound independence.

A dear friend ended his life. It has changed the way I look at my friends and family and made me realise that I should not take those I love for granted

I went to Tanzania and volunteer taught at a school there. Being in Africa really taught me what was truly important in life and how lucky my life really was... the compassion I was shown from people who had nothing to give made me realize just how fortunate I am and how amazing the human race can be.

I moved from Australia to Germany to be with my boyfriend and became a house frau, only to move to London to get work. It was tumultuous, I felt at times, despairing because I felt so isolated, but now I am feeling content with a job and place and I visit my boyfriend in Germany on weekends.

I visited the West Bank. Thought I had visited Israel three times before this was my first time in the occupied Palestinian territories. I came to Palestine as an American, a woman, and a Jew wanting to have a better understanding of an issue I had only a vague sense of and a conflict of which I felt both ignorant and yet a part of. I don't know what I expected, but I was surprised that in and among both the Palestinian children and Palestinian volunteer refugee community I felt completely and immediately accepted for who I was, both personally and as a member of the aforementioned groups. Yet, when I left Palestine, I felt less like an American-Jewish-woman: The feeling of identity had changed more to one of an individual living as a citizen of the world. I was also left feeling that this departure from the West Bank was not an ending but rather a beginning. I don't have the words in English, Hebrew, or Arabic to express the gratitude I have for all the patience, joy, passion, humor, hope, warmth, and kindness that were shown to me by the Palestinian refugee community. It was a truly inspiring and eye-opening experience which deeply touched both my heart and mind, and kindled my desire to participate in finding a peaceful solution to the political and social conflicts currently facing all those who live in that region of the world.

I've been single in New York for the past few years, and honestly, I loved every moment of it. But I met a girl this year and now I myself in a relationship for the first time in a while, and she makes me feel like a better version of myself. I'm in love. It's been a great year...

Well, I graduated from college, and also completed my conversion to Judaism. While those events probably seem (justifiably) more significant than having an extremely romantic, hyper-emotional, heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and bewildering romantic experience with an ex-professor; right now they don't really seem so. I tell myself because I'm reeling from it and that event will eventually decrease in importance over time, but I bet it won't. It was my first experience with a boy where I felt really, very, and surprisingly nice and special. I didn't realize going on dates with someone could possibly, under any circumstances, feel that nice. I generally don't feel that wanted, desired, or worthwhile, and it wasn't ever even a question when I was with him. I certainly never felt that nice with my previous serious relationship. He's raised the bar sky-high for all other prospective suitors. Whether this is a good or a bad thing remains to be seen. I hope there are more guys out there who are that nice, and make me feel that nice. Being with him, even though it was only for a few weeks, made me realize that it's foolish to waste time worrying about my self-worth - or feeling like I'm not worth anything. It's ultimately just a waste of time. There are people out there who will want to be with me, regardless if I meet them soon or in several years.

My ex-wife and I got back together. I'm no longer in limbo like I was when we were separated. I have definite plans for the future. I have set goals for myself and for my family that wouldn't have been set if we hadn't have gotten back together.

I finally was humbled by financial difficulties. I had to start from 0 at age 49 and ask for help. I had nothing . i am starting to get back on my feet and have learned the value of a dollar. I wasted millions of dollars, squandered actually, over the past ten years by irrational spending. I am learning to live sensibly and responsibly

I went to Thailand and fell even more in love with Asia that I was previously. As a result, this may change my life next year pretty significantly.

My best friend's husband died at a young age and after 5 short years of marriage. To witness her trauma, became my trauma. To realize that I am in the age group where persons start to die is shocking to me as I feel so young. The realization that I may be alone one day as a widow is what I am watching my friend experience. She has set an example of positive outlook, spirituality and love that I can only hope to emulate. She has been a source of strength to me and now I must be one to her. If only I lived closer and could do more.

Finished graduate school. Grappling with feeling like a grown-up for the first time in my life. Or the expectation that I *ought* to....

I made a commitment to loose a significant amount of weight before my 40th birthday - and I did it.

I spent a month in naturally unspoiled southwest Portugal living and working and learning to surf. The experience showed me that there can be a different, simpler life not based in the ego and hustle and bustle of NYC. That month has inspired me to quit my job as a full time journalist to strike out on my own as a freelance writer, and try to write about the things I care about. I'm returning to Portugal to start some travels and embark on this new adventure in about a month from the day I'm writing this, so I imagine the full impact of this has yet to be determined!

I removed a piercing that I had in for WAAAAAAAY too long.

I was sued by someone I sold a business to. He called into question my integrity, something I consider quite important. He has been unreasonable throughout the process, as has his lawyer. If he had just called me to discuss the problem, I am sure we could have resolved it without significant legal & emotional costs.

I moved back home from spending the past year in Israel. I left abruptly, leaving love behind. I needed to do it for my own well-being and happiness. I missed home very much, and now I miss Israel and the love I left. I'm working to fix this.

Getting my first job after uni has definitely changed my outlook on life. It made me realise there was something other than academic study, which up until now has been the main focus of my life. Overall, I have found it less satisfying than what I have done previously, but it has helped me to realise that in order to do what I want, I need to work hard in order to get the resources to do so.

In this less-than-stable economy, I left my job without having one to go to. It wasn't an easy decision given the loss of income, but in retrospect, I've never been more fulfilled and motivated. My focus is on me and mine instead of "working for the man." I'm following my heart and my passion and doing good for myself and others, including the environment via gardening and those less fortunate via volunteer work. I'm counting my blessings and I've realized that there's so much more to life than work. What a wonderful epiphany!

My ex-boyfriend called me to tell me he has herpes and I should get tested. This is a year and a half after I left him. I'd been tested twice since I left, but still. The shock and fear of the possibility was so scary. I called my wonderful doctor, who confirmed that I was ok. Made me very grateful for my health. And to know that the ex is getting what he deserves too. Karma is my friend.

I started going back to school to study something that I believe in. It has affected me because it's made me realize that hard work is worth it if it's something that you want. It also made me realize that I need to find a career that fulfills me, and this is a goal worth working towards.

I changed jobs. I left my previous job because I thought that my work was undervalued and I really wanted to and could do more. I felt that in a new setting, I could succeed. As it turns out, the new setting may actually be even worse in terms of my self actualization than the position that I left. I have really had to struggle to decide how important job satisfaction is for me in terms of my overall well being. Do I just accept my situation and look for self worth elsewhere or do I look to move again?

My cousin just committed suicide yesterday. The wounds are still fresh, andI am heartbroken. It reminds me of the importance of family and the love that I have for my own family. It makes me realize how important every day is, but also how fragile life is. I will miss him dearly but my focus now is on helping my family to heal. I love you Jake, I will never forget you.

I almost failed school last year and now I work very hard to stay focused on my school work , and now I am getting good grades

My mother-in-law died. The pain of the loss and the stress of the illness almost ruined my marriage.

My wife and I decided to get divorced, after over a year of trying to work through problems. We tried having a child, she miscarried, and it went downhill over the course of a year and culminated in us splitting up. I have moved in with friends and recently heard she is pregnant with another man's child. I am completely heartbroken about this, and I am afraid it will stay with me for the rest of my life. This has affected my trust in relationships, and more specifically, women. It was the second time she cheated on me, and now she is having a child with someone else. I am very guarded now, and I am afraid to trust my girlfriend.

we got married, it was a complex and magical experience. it definaltly brought me closer to my partner. unexpectedly we honestly wrestled with many of our challenges in a new and different way- very commited and intentional. the wedding and process leading up was so full of joy and difficulties- it brought me closer to many friends and family and farther away from others. post-wedding i am amazed at how the relationshisps contineu to shift and change. i am humbled at what feels like more capacity for love.

becoming a mom. it reminds me that i am constantly living in the past or in the future, idealizing it, but having a child reminds me to live today. i realized that my life before her was easy and that if i feel this way now, i better appreciate it now because its not going to get any easier for a while.

I found out i was to become a grandfather... please God... It made me feel old and young, more alive and yet closer to death.. humble and proud.. in short exhilarated and in long.. part of the cycle of life

I asked my girlfriend to marry me. It was significant because it meant that I was ready for a new chapter in my life, and with that came letting go of certain expectations and fantasies. At tet the same time, it opens up a whole new set of adventures and wonderful experiences to be shared with someone I love.

I met the (maybe) love of my life. Ryan. He's the sweetest person I've ever known. Handsome, charming, friendly. And damn funny too! He's made my life so much better. I feel loved when I'm with him.

My son got sick and I canceled a vacation for myself so that I could help my spouse take care of him - this helped me crystallize my priorities that family comes first.

Seeing the blue-eyed/green-eyed mystery kittycat in Napa just after my mom died, and knowing that somehow she had come to visit me. It was so reassuring to know that even though she died, she is still with me wherever I go, and that in times of deepest despair, she will show me her love, humor my children and allow me to breathe, slowly and deeply. I love you mama.

My dog died, it was the first dog I had ever had, and she was the reason I got over my fear of dogs. We had to put her down because she was sick and her liver was failing. There was medication, but I could not see it in my heart to keep her limping along. The only reason I knew what I did was right, was when we brought her into the examination room, she got on the table, laid down, and looked at me. Her eyes told me that everything was going to be fine and she knew what was about to happen.

I entered into, went through, and ended a relationship with a man whom I thought was "the one." I went through the entire infatuation, falling in love, falling out of love process within 8 months, which can take some people a couple of years or longer. It was a very intense, painful process but it showed me a lot about myself and what I am looking for in a life partner. By the time it was over, I knew a lot more about what makes a successful relationship works and what doesn't. I also learned about the difference between wanting to be with someone versus needing to be with someone. There is a huge difference. It also showed me that I need to open my heart more and to just love my partner. Love as an action, not as a feeling.

I attended a performance of American Idiot as a stage production created by a local theatre company. Mainly, I went because I love the album and find it to be one of the best of all time. But what happened when I was there was unexpected. The emotional currents of the show - alienation, misunderstanding, boredom, frustration, disgust at the state of the world - resonated with a lot of how I've felt recently. It's been hard juggling work, parenting, and relationship while still feeling like I am being true to my individual self.

My Grandmother died. It feels like we all took a step closer. I miss her.

Being laid off, but it actually ended up being OK. I was 65, and probably ready to slow down a bit, at least I was OK financially.

my son started Kindergarten in a whole new school. It reminds me of my childhood and all of my fears. I've tried hard not to impart those feelings on my own son so that he can handle things in his own, hopefully healthier way. I'm learning to believe that my children don't have to think the way I do. In fact, it's probably better that they don't sometimes!!! Lots of times!!

My wonderful woman and I, we've been together for 8 years, engaged for 5, were finally married June 5th. There was no rush for us at all to do it, but we felt that we were halfway decent financially to finally get it done! Its funny, Ive never thought it would change anything about our relationship, and of course people always get warnings from others saying that its all 'downhill' after marriage, but we feel much closer now than we ever have before :).

I got into a bad relationship (the first thing I've ever seriously regretted) and had a subsequent messy break-up. Then came the abuse. I never knew people could be that utterly horrible.

My last grandparent - my Buba - died. I rushed back to Australia and saw her the day before she died. I sat in the room with her body after she died so she would not be alone while my parents made arrangements for the funeral. It brought up so many hard things about my family and her role in my family but in the end I know that she loved me and was so proud of my Mum for doing such an amazing job looking after her for many years

I got married and moved to a brand new city. I realized that committing your whole life to another person is a much bigger deal than I was ever able to conceptualize before. I'm looking forward to adjusting and I'm extremely excited about my new life in my new city. I can't wait to see where time leads us.

I worked up the gumption to break away from someone to whom I felt deeply attached but the relationship never felt emotionally fulfilling and I had lost hope in a happy future future. Most significant was that I did this in a gracious, respectful manner despite my conflicting feelings.

Son going to boarding school. Happy, and sad. Great for him, not so great for me. Will see how it turns out.

My father died about three weeks after my 18th birthday. I had to do a lot of growing up in a short amount of time.

Met my significant other that could potentially become my lifepartner. It has given me more direction in planning my future. Given that she is not Jewish and from wholly different culture, it has led me re-question my identity and what it means to be Jewish.

Well, I sort of lost the big v-card. Woah! I know!

A good friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer and I spent a lot of time helping her adjust. I learned to stay present with whatever was happening, even if what was happening was not my preference. It was a mitzvah to be with her as she went through it.

After 30 years of marriage, my parents separated, now divorcing. At first I questioned everything. Then, I was angry. Today, I am thankful for every moment I spend with my husband and so thankful that I have someone in my life that makes every day filled with joy and comfort and that much more worth living.

On a Saturday morning in February this year, my father woke up and while still in his pajamas, got his gun out of the gun safe walked onto the abandoned golf course behind his house and shot himself to death. I was stunned ... devastated ... whipsawed ... bereft with grief, with anger, with utter bewilderment. So many questions: How could he? Why did he? Was he that alone? Was he that sick? Why didn't we see it? And, how do I go on and let go, let him have this be his decision?

I haven't gotten pregnant, even though we've been trying for the past eight or nine months. It's been such an emotional odyssey, and has been incredibly frustrating - most of my friends have been able to get pregnant at the drop of a hat. But I look back now and think about how much I've learned, what I've thought about, how I've grown in this time because of this and I'm almost grateful that it didn't happen for me right away. I've had to explore my feelings of doubt, frustration, jealousy, impatience, annoyance, hope, defeat. I've had to both take excellent care of myself and let some things go. I've had to both be independent in my deepest feelings and dependent on my husband and my marriage. I feel more like an adult now than I ever have, and more conscious of my thoughts in an even-handed way.

I made the decision to marry a man who lives in Mississippi and to move there from Brooklyn to live with him. It has changed everything. I am trusting God with this --no other force can help me with such a dramatic transformation.

I started to become comfortable with the concept of God: realizing that I don't have total control, coming to a keen appreciation of my blessings, and recognizing that there is a beauty to the world that is deserving of my awe--and I might as well give it a name.

I landed my freaking dream job!!! In this economy!!! The job of my dreams! It really made me see that anything is possible and gave me confidence to pursue my dreams in all areas of my life. Since starting the job, I have amazed myself by my mettle! I had setbacks this year in my love life, but I need to push on and follow my dreams!

I moved away from the home I had first moved into with my now ex-husband the day we got engaged. Tho our marriage was brief, the relationship was long and the healing felt as if would last my lifetime. The house was the vessel of our love, our commitment, our betrayal and ultimately the place of my suffering and healing. I cried and cried in the empty rooms as I gathered the last stray items to be moved. I thanked the walls, the stairs, the bath the held so many of my tears and the Katubah I *tried* to drown, the deck with it gorgeous view of Mt. Tam... the oven that kept me nourished in my days of mourning the love that died. Though leaving the place that meant so much to me was hard, it made finding closure on that chapter of my life much easier. It was a leap of faith, a plunge in to territory unknown... I am still finding 'place', but I feel I have re-found self in letting go.

I decided to leave the field of advertising and create the Boston Jewish Music Festival. While the new venture gives me incredible satisfaction, it is also bringing me closer to the financial peril I have always dreaded in the deepest part of my soul.

My mother had surgery for breast cancer and I was awed by how she faced it. I learned more about her, and have a new role model for strength in adversarial conditions. I also feel more vulnerable and am taking my health more seriously as a result.

My 19 year old daughter told me she'd be rooming in with her boyfriend, and I've had to struggle with what her increasing independance means to my own sense of self, when so long the most important part of my identity was in being a good father to her.

I left a job that I had worked in for 6 years. It was steady work in the field to which I've dedicated my life. I left because it was in the field, but I had stopped growing and wasn't going to be able to do the kind of work I really want to do. I picked up and moved from a small town to a big city, paid higher rent on lower money. I've spent the last four months earning unsteady stipends and living on savings. I'm just realizing that I'm at the point of needing to grow up significantly because of this experience: getting part time work to support the work I really want to do on the level and in the city where I want to do it. In the small town, with the steady job, there was security and normalcy and... well, cowardice: the easy avoidance of settling for just-enough. It's time for me to be brave.

I moved from a home I shared with three friends into a backyard cottage behind a house shared by two people I didn't know before. I remember when I moved out of my student co-op with a handful of my close friends, and how distressed I was by the thought of having to look for a place on my own. This time around, I felt much more confident, and I'm happy to be getting to know new people.

I started training for the NYC marathon and realized I was capable of things greater than I ever imagined I could do.

I bought my first house. I went through the grueling process of getting qualified for a mortgage which took FOREVER. It was a painful few months of endless requests for documents with no respect for us and our lives. As soon as we closed on the house and I packed my bags and never looked back. It feels AMAZING to come home at the end of the day to our lush, green acre of land and spacious home. Its been a wonderful influence on my relationship with my husband. Falling asleep to the sound of the crickets and waking up to the sun rising over the Hudson River and knowing that I earned this house with my years of hard work is amazing.

I got engaged to the lovely woman I've been with for 3 years. It felt like stepping off an airplane that I had been on for my whole life and landing back home...

I had three boyfriends in 6 months, and it made me realize that to be in high school and be in a relationship is not something I need right now. I am not boy-fasting.

I retired and I am trying to determine what to do with my life now that I have grown up.

2 major things happened this year, all at one time, during my birthright trip.. i had been caught up on an old love, unable to move on, afraid i would never love anyone the way i loved him.. i found a new love on my trip to israel, it may not have worked out in the long run, but i learned i could connect and feel close to someone again.. it gave me faith that one day i will find someone that makes me happy.. i also connected with israel on the deepest of levels.. standing at the wall was an incredibly humbling experience.. as i walked closer and closer, my heart beat faster and faster, until i felt uncontrollable tears.. i had to touch the wall.. was driven by a force bigger than me.. i had to feel it's crevices with my fingers.. i had to stare at the little pieces of paper, trying to imagine what was written.. the wall wasn't real until i was right there under it's shadow.. it was like having proof right at my fingertips that all the stories in the bible were true.. i had a hard time leaving it.. now i understand why you don't turn your back to the wall - because you can't look away.. i couldn't look away..

I successfully completed my first year of college and I am proud of my accomplishment.

Chatting with my sister-in-law about my brothers disability---which prevents them from having lit candles at Chanukah. The conversation promted my wife and I to start the "Electric Menorah Project" to provide Jews with Electric Menorahs when an open flame is impossible due to an illness or disability.

My uncle died. It made me realize how much I had loved him.

My mother died. I was forced to face the realities of Life and growing up...finally. It's either accept and adapt or never mature and realize your blessing.

The dramatic changes in the U.S. economy have had a lot of different effects on me. Professionally, I've had to make some very difficult decisions, but with the wonderful partnerships I have at work, I've seen much more of the silver lining than many other people I know. When working with people who share your values and compassion, even the toughest decisions are easier to get through. In my personal life, we experienced significant changes due to the economy. Although initially scared, overwhelmed, anxious and unsure, in many ways I've been able to gain a greater appreciation for how valuable my friendships are and our marriage has been strengthened in many ways through the difficult conversations and times we've gone through together.

My husband and I both lost our jobs, and with the economy in the state that it is, haven't been able to find new ones. Faced with having to move out of our house and relocate our family, our friends very generously and with open hearts gifted us with enough money to keep it going until we can get back on our financial feet. It was the most beautiful and selfless thing anyone has ever done for me/us, and it happened three times, with three different friends, without knowledge of each others' actions. It has reminded me, once again, that your friends ARE the family that you get to choose - and we are blessed, indeed.

My daughter got married on May 16th in Yosemite with Danny Maseng officiating. It was an amazingly beautiful ceremony and met all of her wishes for her wedding. The weekend was extremely meaningful for me for the happiness alone but also very emotional because of all of my dear friends and relatives who traveled very far to share this mitzvah with me. I truly understood for the first time how much I am loved.

I lost my part-time job. While I didn't necessarily like the job itself, it still provided my family with more money. Now bills are even tighter (even going upaid), and I'm reeling from losing the job - not because I wasn't doing well - but because a few board members wanted to give my job to their friend. I'm trying to find forgiveness about this and start anew this New Year.

I got the job I should have gone after a long time ago. Took me this long to settle into my life and figure out where I was supposed be and what I was supposed to be doing. It has given me a lot... a new sense of calm, a new sense of fear that it could be ephemeral, and a new sense of longing for the rest of my life to settle in this same lovely way.

my boyfriend deployed to iraq and i have been living in our space without him- i have regained my independence and am learning that worry is a futile emotion- i am embracing living in the moment and am trying to remember each day that i do not have to know what comes next....

I went to France and a bit into Spain (Barcelona). It made me more aware of European history/culture vs. American culture. While there are many aspects of European culture I love, the land is so steeped in history and antiquity that the culture is almost mired in the past, while in America, we are still so young, we ARE the future.

I fell in love. Really, for the first time. I truly know now what it is like to have my soul looked into and loved, held unconditionally. I feel more complete now that my soul is united with this other and closer to the divine now that I truly know what is important in this life. I found a friend, a spiritual companion, a lover, a person that challenges me to be better, a guide, a playmate...someone I can trust, who I adore and adores me back. I am awakened to jealousy again, as well, but not on the plane of other humans, but to his connection to G-d & spirit. and not that I want him all to myself or that I want to be the most important in his life...but for what I do not have when I dismiss my opportunities to have my soul be united with G-d and closer to its home. But I am right where I thought 2 years ago I would be at this time. An amazing detour happened that enriched my life, my spirit, my heart. All by the grace of G-d.

My grandmother passed away this year. She was on the side of my family that I do not get to see very often because everyone is scattered throughout the country. Her death brought everyone together. While I was sad about losing my Grandmother, I was reminded that I have wonderful family around who support me and love me and can share the good memories with me to make me feel better.

My financial stability has collapsed. I am working longer hours and making not quite enough to make ends meet. I feel powerless and drained by the experiance and yet I know deep inside that my strength and abilities will see me through.

This year I broke up with my boyfriend. I thought I'd be happy about it but so far, I haven't moved on.

My oldest son became a Bar Mitzvah. The entire experience was enlightening both as a mother and a Jew. I was so beyond proud of my son's accomplishment and achievement. Being with so many of our family and friends was overwhelming in a great way! I'm very much looking forward to repeating the experience with my other two children.

Without a doubt, finishing and filing my dissertation was the most significant experience of the past year. It has been a struggle for me just to revel in the accomplishment and not to give myself a hard time for how long it took, etc. I like to joke that I've had an identity crisis, since it's been a part of me for so long. But I mostly feel proud of myself for having succeeded with my plan -- I'm starting my first tenure track job with my dissertation complete, two beautiful kids, several courses written, and a level of maturity most starting assistant profs do not possess. If I could only stop giving myself a hard time for being almost 40, I'd be able to enjoy it all more!

I GOT MARRIED (to the most wonderful person I have ever met.) we were not really into the whole wedding planning thing but spent time on our ceremony and writing our ketubah. it has been two months and i feel the same but different. i have always worked to keep a mission statement for myself and everyday when i read what we wrote together i feel refreshed and whole to have a partner that wants to support me and that i want to support, just as much, back.

Over the summer my boyfriend and I broke up because of fear and need for security on my part. 2months of so later we got back together and it was better than ever. I realized how I was acting upon fear in my life rather than faith and trust and love. Love that is filled with freedom. These months apart got me closer to myself and allowed me to center myself and deal with my reality of feelings. When we got back together we got to have another first kiss that has a great story. We enjoyed our time together in a respectful way. Now he is gone to the Navy and I believe we are ment to be because I have something that I living with TRUST, LOVE, And FAITH. Makes living away from someone easier. Yet its only been a week. But it even made it easier the last months we had together easier. I have given myself a great gift of TRUST Love and FAITH. I AM WORKING ON I BELIEVE.

Barack Obama became President of the U.S. As a native of the South whose parents were "quiet" civil rights activists that endured a lot of family pain to teach us to not be racist, it was an affirmation of all that they stood and stand for. I lost a dear black friend when I was a teenager to a racist who ran him over on the sidewalk just because he wanted to kill a n*****r that day. I have never truly gotten over that but I feel that this election proved that "they" won't win.

A friend of a friend died a few days ago. It made me realize that life is so short. Nothing is different the day you die.You wake up, go to school,laugh with friends. You have no clue when you are going to take your final breath. Love your family and friends while you have them with you. This has deeply affected me this week, and year.

I moved away from a place and life I loved to somewhere I thought I needed to know. It was hard and I was miserable. At first. Here I have learned so much about people, grown more into myself and fallen even deeper in love with my partner [who lives about 1000 miles away.] I have become more thoughtful, more realistic but more able to see the magic in the subtle.

I went traveling for 6 months with my boyfriend. We worked on farms and at a center for kids in Mexico. We also went on Birthright Israel and went to Jordan, which was an incredible glimpse into our heritage and a part of the world that is so foreign to me. The trip was an amazing way to get to know ourselves and each other.

I had a traumatic end to a very strong friendship I had made with my roommate freshman year. It destroyed my image of what friendships are like, and ruined my trust with my other two best friends. I started to become suspicious of my two best friends, thinking they too would break my heart and hurt me like my roommate had done. I learned just how much my trust issues cause me to ruin my friendships before I get hurt, even if that wasn't going to happen in the first place.

I received the news that I had a very suspicious mammogram, and with great certainly, even after a biopsy, I was told that I probably had breast cancer. I remained calm, and turned to my faith to sustain and heal me, whatever the word "heal" might be. I went to a healing mass and after being prayed over I just knew everything would be ok (whatever ok would be). I thanked God for all my blessings, including this trial. In the end....I was healed. I did not have cancer.

I worked an insane amount, saved wisely, quit my job pushing paper at a corporate law firm, went to South America to travel for six weeks with one of my best friends, including a visit to Machu Picchu, came home, feared I may have contracted HIV, took precautionary meds for a month, had a false positive test after 30 days, met a guy, fell in love for the first time, got my heart broken, and went back to work at the place that I love most in the world and now I'm back in school full-time for the first time in nearly a decade. And after all of that, I still don't feel confident that the universe has a plan for me, when clearly it does. I've done all the things I truly wanted and it's been amazing. I hope I am as fortunate this year as I was last.

I got laid off from my employer after working my ass off and growing the business, learning a valuable lesson about what matters most and what you can count on in life. Since then, I have started my own company, moved cities, and am balancing work and life for the first time. I don't plan on ever going back to big business and working that hard for someone else. Good outcomes often happen from bad situations.

I decided to take control of my career and reached out to an organization whose mission meant a lot to me. I spent 8 months stewarding the staff and offering my professional services and last week they offered me an opportunity of a lifetime. I am so excited to begin this challenging position and make a difference in the lives of those who suffered like my family did.

A very close and dear friendship shifted and unfortunately has not been the same. I always thought this would be a lasting friendship.

Three events that come to mind - Firstly, Lynne and I moved in together and only days later filed a marriage certificate. Although the paperwork itself is not the important part, we had our families come out to visit and we enjoyed a large shabbat dinner, for the first time, with everyone in the same room. The dinner was wonderful, everyone was in high spirits, and I will remember it as one of the shining moments of family bonding over both spirituality and celebrating marriage and life to come. Secondly, Lynne's father died. I was shaken to the core and the week spent in Seattle exhausted me for the following two weeks to the point of not being able to work. However, I gained the much-needed perspective that comes with the death of someone close enough to shake all the people around me. I moved through a rollercoaster of emotions from anger to joy to sadness, and met more of Lynne's family. Lastly, Sharon began her first year of college at Calpoly. I'm so incredibly proud of her, and have no means to explain how wonderful I think it is that she is moving on in life, starting her own journey, and breaking out of a shell into the world at large.

My daughter was married 2 years ago & the marriage didn't work out. She moved back into our house a broken and depressed person. This past year has been spent getting her mentally healthy & financially able to stand on her own two feet. It has been so hard for me because for once I can't fix what is wrong.

I got into a terrible car accident, got married and am now pregnant with our first child. It's all shown me the fragility of life and the short amount of time we have to celebrate and experience everything around us. In one year, my world has changed, for the better but still completely different than from where I started. It's made me more fearless.

My daughter went to college in another state.

We had a disagreement with our oldest daughter that has lead to a complete estrangement. We have sought help from family counselors and spent many hours in prayer. She is a grown woman with family of her own and we have always been close. Our hearts are broken. The only good thing is that this has brought us closer together as a couple and taught us we can't control the decisions of others.

I was born a patrilineal Jew. I always knew that I was Jewish, and always had a strong Jewish identity. During this past year, I had the chance to go through a halakhic conversion with a hand selected beit din of three amazing rabbis who are also my teachers. About three weeks later, my wife, who was born Catholic, also went through her own conversion. We had committed to keeping a Jewish household when we were married years ago, but this process just reaffirmed our resolve to do so. We each came to our decisions on our own, but going through the process together was an amazing experience.

My mother died this past December and although she had been ill for the past 45 years, I did not expect it to happen when it did. It was the only day that i did not speak to her on the phone. When my sister's said that she had a bad day, I figured that they were being overly anxious. My role was to calm them down and assure them that she would be OK. When i got the phone call that night, I thought that I was going to faint...the room was spinning, heat poured out of my body as I ran to the bathroom. My beautiful daughter helped me come back to the reality. I get a tightness in my throat even as I write this. This will be the first Rosh Hashana without her. Last year we drove to NY to be with my parents & sister for the HH. Mom & Dad couldn't make it to Shul so my little family of Samantha, David, Michael and Irv went to my parent's Shul were the women sit on separate sides. I could feel the presence of my relatives who have passed away. I see my family's name on a plaque to honor their memory. After services, Naftaly who has taken over this aging Shul by bringing young families to move from Brooklyn to the old wooden benched Shul with stained glass windows, came to my parent's home so that (especially my mom) parents could hear the shofar blown one more time! Even though I left my parent's home in NY over 30 years ago, I miss being able to hear her voice, her laughter and the times falling asleep on the phone when we spoke. It has been hard on everyone this year. The week of shiva was an amazing tribute to my mom's life. The love everyone poured on our families was overwhelming, just as the love she shared with everyone around her. Friends and family all said the same thing"What I am going to do without her?". The memorial service we held 30 days later at our own very liberal synagogue was so important to me. It allowed me to share my mom's living memory with my friends/family away from NY. I sent my husband, older son, my dad and the dog back to NY today to spend Rosh Hashana with my daughter in my parent's shul. I stayed home with my youngest son. This is the first time in 32 years of marriage that Irv and I have been apart for the holidays except if you count sitting on the opposite side of the room. I do not know what next will bring. I know that I want my dad to move down here in my home. i want to give him the comfort and love he and my mom gave me for some many years.

My boyfriend and I moved into an apartment together. This is the first time I've ever officially cohabited with a significant other. I'm learning how to share in ways I haven't before - my cat is less my cat and more ours, his bed is now our bed. We're oddly comfortable spending more time apart pursuing our own interests now that we both operate out of the same home base. It's allowed us to fly more freely and also to love more deeply.

I've moved around a lot in my life and a sense of wholeness always eluded me. I couldn't imagine how I'd ever connect my fragmented geography and re-connect to all the people that seemed un-findable. Then, (and this might sound trite), I joined Facebook. People found me from the furthest reaches of my life. It's not as though I am close again with all these disparate friends. It just feels really good to know where they are, to know that they know where I am, and to get a sense of who I was to them. Most significantly, I stopped longing for the imagined high school experience I thought I would have had if we hadn't moved from the NY area, and began to embrace the one I did have in Fort Worth. High school. Imperfect... no matter where you are!

My cousin Sophia who is 8 years old, was diagnosed with Leukemia this week. It has been yet another opportunity for me to reassess what is important in this life, and what i consider a challenge. Thankfully the news is that it is ALL, Acute Leukemia, which can be cured through Chemo and other solutions. We are thankful, humbled and scared shitless.

I accomplished my dream of attending Anesthesia school, only to have my life turned upside down. I now kind of wish I hadend perused this dream...but mostly I just want it to be over

My nephew was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. We nearly lost him. His illness made me realize how much I love him and how I would be devastated to lose him. Since then all the little challenges that I face everyday seem rather insignificant.

My relationship with my parents grew a lot when i moved out on my own for the first time. It was really great to be able to talk to them about what was going on in my life and was surprised to find how supportive they can be. Moving back was really hard and has strained our relationship slightly but we are much closer and i am very greatfull for that.

I really got involved in my artwork this year, and it has helped me noticeably through very rough times. I have also learned how to be more social and enjoy myself.

my daughter was born and i really thought she was going to be a boy- it made me so happy to have a gorgeous healthy son and a beautiful healthy daughter. being a mom is the best thing that has ever happened to me and i love every moment!

I'm 30 years old and had never ever lived alone until this year. My husband took a 3-week trip to remote parts of africa leaving me alone to hold the fort down in our spacious 3 bedroom house. Living alone- even for 3 weeks- helped me get out of my comfort zone, get enjoyment from peace and quiet, reconnect with friends and re-establish my innate sense of independence. I will continue to do things this year that get me out of my comfort zone- yoga teacher training for example.

Being an animal lover in extremis - this year was highlighted by adopting an 8 year old lovely dachshund. An impossibly sweet girl. I have a number of very painful conditions - I live with chronic, acute pain. Very depressing and isolating. Lucy has taken me out of myself - gotten me out of the house several times a day - is a people magnet and had led me 'back into the world' - and offers unconditional love and devotion. Great for my physical and mental health.

I have two amazing people who have become true friends. As you go through life you meet a lot of people but only a few, a very special, sacred few fit that catagory of true friend. Brandie and Steve are two people who bring laughter, intelligence, joy, spontaniety, and that feeling I treasure knowing these are two people who are now chosen family. They are among the sacred few I have known and will know forever.

My grandmother died and as a result I found out a lot about myself and my history that I never knew before, like who my family is and where they were really from and as a result, who I am.

Getting the opportunity to take a trip to Israel through Birthright. It really opened my eyes to my religion and gave me so many memories that I'll never forget.

I met a woman who I fell in love with. She is a gift from God and I have been in love with her all my life

My daughter was married in March. When one's eldest child is married life changes for all involved. Our extended family has doubled. I now have 2 sons. I'm incredibly proud and I also have a 3rd. person to be proud of.

My car was stolen... I have to get up earlier and walk a lot more than I used to, but at least I'm losing weight.

I finally obtained the exact job I had been dreaming about for five years. And it's even better than I thought it would be.

I broke up with my boyfriend of two years even though it meant I would be almost completely alone in a new city. The relationship just didn't feel like the right place for me to be and I knew it was keeping me from growing. The first few months of being on my own in the city were really tough. I didn't know anyone and at times, like when I got sick, I felt like I had no one to help out with things. Having to do things alone really made me grow, I was able to gain confidence from being self sufficient and able to rely on myself. I've learned to reach out to other people too and I feel like much more of an adult after making it this past year. I'm more confident, outgoing, at ease with myself in all kinds of situations and most importantly I know I can do it.

My 61 year old husband learned that he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Everything happened very quickly after getting the diagnosis. We researched various treatment options, and doctors, together and on our own --and reached decisions as partners and friends. Throughout the process, and (successful!) procedures, we remained a good and loving team. My husband impressed me by his willingness to do what needed to be done without milking the situation or succumbing to his fears, resisting the I'm sure very real temptation to regress to little-boy behaviors. I'm not sure I would have handled myself as graciously in similar circumstances. I felt like a good and loving partner in our first of what are sure to be many health issues as we age -- if we're lucky. Throughout it all, we both stayed aware of how fortunate we were to have health insurance, and jobs that we weren't scared of losing, of our privileged status as upper middle class, educated folk with the time and means to research and see multiple doctors and reach the best possible decision. My husband learned to practice his breathing and the benefits of staying in the present - something he now helps me with when I'm hopping down the worry trail. I know we are "of the nature to sicken and die" as Thich Nhat Hahn reminds us. This experience had a happy outcome and was a great test-run for us as individuals and as a couple. Sure, we still have problems. But we're good friends and I have greater confidence that we can handle the challenges we're confronted with.

My husband had to have spinal surgery due to a herniated disk. It was a very serious procedure and we were both terrified. Durng the six hours of the operation I prayed continuously. Thank G-d the operation was a success! The whole experience strengthed both our marraige, as well as our relationship ith G-d.

Telling him on Monday night (4 days ago, 9/14/09 @ 5 a.m.) that "you fucked me up, you didn't deserve me." I know I should have been careful about how that came out, but after 10 years, it had to come out. The baggage just got too heavy and I had been dragging it for too long. I said what I had to say. Had I expressed my feelings before, maybe it wouldn't have come out so harsh. Oh well, what's done is done. I wonder how long we'll go on without speaking, or if we'll ever speak again..... I do wish him happiness. (9/18/09, 10:24 p.m.)

I left an abusive, destructive and harmful, but lucrative job. I made so much less money in the months since then, and my ex-employer has done everything he can to make me miserable, but I had the strength to do what I had to, and I survived. I learned that I am stronger than I thought; that I can suffer and fear and be miserable and not die from it; that I need to have faith in myself and in G-d; that the best we can do is aim ourselves in a direction and try our best, because the ultimate result is truly beyond our control.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery (successful, it seems). Having gone through this, I think I am a little less afraid of things and a little more sure of my ability to handle what comes.

I finally came out to myself and am allowing myself to be the true me. It has been a hard, long transition but have met some incredible people along the way and am a stronger more honest person because of it.

I went to Taos for a writing spa/workshop and discovered that I could just DO all the things like writing and art that I had stopped myself from doing. So this year I wrote poems, a novel, did a commissioned art work and was accepted into a juried art show

I deserted a friend. I have found as I've grown over the past year that I want to make choices without regrets, and I made subconsciously made a choice which I did not comprehend the consequences of until it was too late. I had been romantically involved with her, but as I lived in a world and time that I despised. She was my one light that kept me going (among other friends), but when I was ready to leave, I left my past and my memories behind as well. I changed as a person, deserting my old friends, but most importantly, her companionship. For a long time, I did not realize the implications. I went on with my life, finding new love (which I never regret), a new life, and a new place of happiness. But even though I do not feel regret for the things I've gained and done, guilt is still present. I wish that I had not made such a rash decision, that I had been more present, but now I look to the future that I can mend what wounds I tore open. We are still friends as ever, but it's obvious to both of us that things will never feel quite as settled or comfortable as they once did. To her, I now seem boring, mundane, and somewhat worthless. Though I despise the judgment of others, it is still painful to hear someone you care about tell you that you no longer have the vigor you once gleamed with. I will continue living my life for myself, making choices as I see fit for my happiness and desires. But even then, I must keep my eyes open for the consequences of every decision. The loss of friendship can never be measured.

The Man I had known for a year officially moved in with us. It is wonderful to have a real partner after 11 years, to be able to open myself and my family to someone. At the same time I continue to be surprised at the ways I can feel crowded, protective, and closed off.

I made the decision and actually moved to Los Angeles to pursue my career. It was a huge risk because I had little money, very few contacts, questionable family support and a terrible economy.

This past year, my boyfriend and I learned how to turn to each other for support and advice much more than we had in the past. This helped us become a solidified unit and grow as an overall couple.

I have been evicted four times. Each time, I won. But it has taken a toll. However, I am stronger, more self-confident, and I believe I can prevail with the law, not the law on my side merely the law.

In the past year, I traveled to Israel and got to learn about the culture, the country and the people. It was one of the most amazing experiences I had in my life and totally changed my life. Because of this trip I understand what it is like to really be Jewish and to have a home that I belong in. I would love to visit again and hope to do that soon!

I have been diagnosed with a medical condition that has the potential for an unexpected emergency surgery at some point. It seems there is nothing I can do but keep my fingers crossed. It has made a big change in my life and I am having difficulty adjusting to it, fluctuating between discouragement and resignation. I don't like these feelings and am trying my best to make some good changes that will help mitigate the negative feelings.

I got the ball rolling again with mental health treatment. I had never completely stopped addressing my anxiety and depression since age 19, but I certainly haven't addressed it as intensely or consistently as I wish I would have. This year, in March 2009, I began seeing a therapist and psychiatrist, and have made a stronger commitment and effort than ever to raising the quality of my life. I am more determined than ever to continue to work towards my goals, as I have never been more confident, relaxed, and full of joy. Tonight is the start of Rosh Hashanah, and that fact especially fills me with a motivation I have never experienced before to really go after what I want in life, and to stick with the hard work that doing that entails. The only other option is to suffer and/or to live a limited life. And that would be a shame.

I lost my job and had to move back in with my parents. I am 40 and if has really affected my self esteem.

My Grandma was rushed to the hospital with no warning and ended up staying and being taken to the ICU where the doctors said she was one of the 3 sickest patients in the hospital. She survived to everyones surprise (especially the doctors). Now I realize how quickly ones life can change and how lucky I am to have such an amazing and tight family

I was seriously unemployed. For almost 6 months. THen i got the job of a lifetime. one i didn't even know I was looking for. I felt so incredibly lucky. But also as if the universe was watching out for me.

I came to realize that the problem is not mine. The affect was personal freedom and an improving ability to help another.

I had a spectacular baby girl. the complexity of motherhood, the depth of emotion, LOVE, doubt, LOVE, questioning, LOVE, hormones, LOVE, wonder, LOVE and feelings about who I am/what I am/am I good enough as a momma floor me. and I finished my film - a deep spiritual and creative dream come to fruition.

A huge experience that has happened this year was my being laid off from the company I worked at for almost two years. It was my first real step into building a design career. But it also made me very unhappy and feeling quite disheartened about that avenue of design. (I'm contracting there right now and its reminding me of how unhappy I was there) It was honestly a bit of a godsend, being laid off. It made me do a lot of thinking and I realized that I need to find my own way in this world, career-wise. I need to get motivated and do something else. A lot of people said to me "just suck it up and work. It's a good paycheck..." I don't want to settle for that. I don't want to be unhappy and I don't want to shamble through life collecting a check and growing bitter. I was growing plenty bitter where I was at and it was making me sick and not right in the head. I suppose some might say that I can't cope or I can't handle the heat. I think I proved that I can handle the heat. But just because you can stand the heat doesn't mean you have to like it. I don't have to settle. I don't want to settle. I might not have got all my ducks in a row but I do that I don't want a job that just pays well. I want to enjoy what I'm doing. Being laid off motivated me to start a company. It's getting itself started now and I want to be able to find more fullfillment from that. I want to call my own shots and I not be tied down to a 9 to 5. There are a lot of unhappy people doing jobs they don't enjoy and that isn't for me. Being laid off has put me one step closer to figuring out what makes me happy.

In the span of a week, I got engaged, found out my mother was in a foreign hospital, and slipped a disk in my back (rendering me immobile for several days.) It's been a rapid introduction into the real substance and purpose of partnership, beyond the easy fun of romance and weekend dates. They were the hardest few weeks of my life, but I've never felt more supported or more excited about moving away from being single and into a genuine partnership and shared life.

I became so involved with work that I began to identify with it - I began to see it as the root of my life's meaning. Yet I continued to have a niggly feeling that something was just not right. Then one day, after 6 intense months of work, I realized that that feeling was telling me I was wrong, that my life's meaning and purpose was not the work I was doing.

It's almost exactly a year since she left. The problem with having loved & lost is that I lost me too. I was telling someone that I do have a soul-mate (that's how the question was phrased) & I know who it is---but being with her is no longer within the realm of possibility. Call me trite & cheesy, but with my soul-mate went my soul.

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It's changed my life, my outlook, my relationships. I am working to achieve some sort of peaceful relationship, some harmony between my Self and my disease... and that takes more energy than I could possibly express. I learned how hard it is for family to comprehend my new daily life. I learned how important it will be for me to separate the direct emotional connection I have between my mood and my blood sugar.

I attended a week-long retreat at a Jewish retreat center. While some of it was too woo-woo for me, it was a warm and loving environment (in a beautiful setting!) and it was in a way like a little bit of Israel - everyone's Jewish, you don't have to explain yourself, and you always have people to celebrate Shabbat and daven with. It showed me there are different kinds of Jewish communities (I wasn't raised as a Jew, so my experience is limited!), and that as a Jew I can find community everywhere I go, if I look had enough.

Watching the organization I co-founded go from zero to sixty over the past year and knowing that virtually everything we have done has been in a collaboration or partnership has changed my understanding of leadership and community building.

My best friend had a baby and it made me realise how important a family unit is. I cannot wait to have my own.

My uncle (my mom's brother) experienced a horrible split with his wife and children. He seriously mismanaged the family finances and neglected to say anything when the stock market crashed last October. When his wife found out in January that they were all financially ruined, she left immediately. She and their two children (both adults) turned against my uncle with a vengeance, and their anger spilled over onto other people. They emotionally abused my grandparents (who, while upset with my uncle, did not demonize him), and this sent shockwaves of pain and resentment through my whole family. I don't know whether these rifts will ever heal, or whether I'll speak to my aunt or cousins again. It's forced me to reevaluate what I thought was a stable, happy family and consider what I would do if I were in such a situation. There are no easy answers.

I'm 45. I stopped biting my fingernails. I have no clue why, it just happened. Sometimes I might have used clippers to trim them now and then, but what really caught my attention is that it became a regular thing, otherwise I wouldn't have noticed. Now it really catches me off guard if I'm so wound up that I am biting them, whereas before I never would have noticed that.

I graduated from college. I left my friends, good parties, a generally good social life for the general unknown. I did not have a job when I graduated, but I've since gotten a job moved to a small town in NC. After 4 years of high school in Virginia and 4 years of college in NJ, I'm in a town with no one my age, none of the social trappings of college. In a sense, graduating from college has made me realize that I took those social interactions for granted, that having friends (or even people your age to make friends) is not something that will always be there. I miss college. I miss people. I would really love to find people.

May 10th, after taking my dog Lefty to the animal hospital around 11:00 PM for what I thought would be a simple check for a urinary infection, it was soon discovered that she also most likely had lymphoma (an aggressive form of cancer) and that it was spreading rapidly. Due to her advanced age, treatment was not a realistic option. When I asked them how long she had left to live (expecting to hear something like 4 to 6 months) I was told about a week. After digesting that, I asked how soon before she would start to suffer - I was hoping to stall this by at least a day or two so I’d be able to spend a little bit more time with her. Not just to say goodbye but also to arrange for a peaceful euthanasia that could be performed at home by a special vet I know of. If Lefty had to be put to sleep then I wanted it to be in a loving and familiar environment, but they told me that if she wasn't already in terrible pain then she would be very soon, and that things would get really ugly really fast. They suggested I put her down that night, before the disease entered her lungs and made it difficult and painful for her to breath. I asked a lot of “what if” questions and tried to figure out some other way, but more than anything else, I wanted to do the right thing for Lefty. And so last night, just after midnight, a full 10 minutes into my birthday and under the harsh fluorescent lighting of Exam Room #2, I helped hold her down against the cold stone tile floor while the assistant shaved her paw and inserted a catheter into her vein. They gave me 10 minutes alone with her before the vet would come back and give her the injection. I lay down on the floor next to her and cried like I've never cried before. I told her how much I loved her, how important she had been to me and how grateful I was for all of the happiness she had brought to my life. My throat clenched and felt as though it were tied in a knot as I kissed her nose and told her that she would always be my baby girl. I couldn’t help remembering how young we both were when I adopted her from the Amanda Foundation back in the early 90’s. I was still a young man and she was small enough to fit inside my shoe! Tonight I turned 46 and all I wanted was to go back. This was all happening too fast and I felt confused and unsure. I asked Lefty if she could give me some kind of a sign to let me know that I was doing the right thing. Just then she started slowly licking the tears from my face while looking into my eyes the whole time. The veterinarian came back in and she asked if I was ready, I told her "No" but to just do it anyway. Thankfully, we didn't need to lift Lefty up onto the exam table, the vet just sat herself down on the floor across from us. Lefty and I lay in a spooning position, she was in front of me with her head resting in the crook of my shoulder and arm - the way we used to take naps when she was little. The vet began by explaining the process to me: what she was going to do and what would happen. She got about as far as telling me that Lefty's eyes would probably remain open when I interrupted and begged her to please not tell me anything more. To just do it before I changed my mind. That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Lefty was like a child to me. She was my baby, my little girl, and the closest I would get to ever having a child or a family of my own. I closed my eyes and held her softly next to me for the very last time. I kept petting her, all the while telling her how much I loved her and that she was a good girl. I asked the vet how much longer it would take and she told me that it was already over. Lefty was dead. I let go of her, rolled onto my other side and uncontrollably let out a anguished sound… It was the kind of noise that you could never imagine making in a public place. After a few minutes of uncontrollable sobbing I pulled myself together enough to sit up. I was just about to turn my head for one last look before they took her body away, but out of the corner of my eye I could already tell that there was something very different about her. Even though she was just lying there in a perfectly natural position, that blur in my peripheral vision didn’t resemble the Lefty I knew at all. This was just an empty shell... The body of someone’s dead dog. And so I stopped myself from looking. I stared straight ahead and didn't turn back. I guess because I didn't want that image to be my last memory of her. ...And also because that "someone" was me, and she was MY dead dog. Mark Randall

A little over a year ago I moved from New York to Hong Kong. I moved for an exciting job opportunity, it sounds childish but having made the initial decision to go, did not really consider that I will be living there—not having an adventurous year abroad. Swept away with the wonder-lust and excitement about a new professional challenge, I also did not consider how deeply attached I am to places and people of my current “real” life, and to the routines I have carved out over the past 10 years in the city. So, I have been missing everything—even winter and snow ( am I serious?!) while rapidly adjusting, slowly making new friends, spending more time on my own than I ever have before, and working, working, working. Funny enough, the reason I got here don't matter anymore, and now this is my everyday reality. Despite initial resistance, I am building something here and still grappling with how I fit in—and where. I have many moments of nostalgia and slight envy of my NY friends, especially now around the holidays, yet I have many moments of total awe as I see all the newness and other-worldliness of this place. I imagine I will stay here for the next few years, and I am happy... I wonder how my perception will change and how HK will imprint itself upon me over time. It probably already has.

I quit my job, and moved to another city. Without the usual suspects to blame for my problems, I realized that the most significant problems are all rooted within me.

i had a unpleasant discussion with my sister in law who i have adored as a sister , for +30 years. she made a comment about what she has done for me over those thirty years which is true but is hurtful, as it was stated with malice. It placed doubts in my mind of her sincerity of unconditional love of family. it made me recognize blood is thicker than water, and her failings. we all have them, and i had previously placed her on an alter because she was my older brothers wife. i now know she is as human as me, and left me untrusting of the one person i confided in.

Throughout my eight years as a student, I never failed an exam. I went to two of the top law schools in the world, I had a top job at a top law firm lined up. However when I was to take the bar exam for the first time, I lost all confidence and faith in my own abilities. I started worrying about failing, and was completely inhibited by fear. I failed once, and from there, I worried not only about failing it again, but also loosing my job. Both things happened. Not only did it ruin my year, because I did nothing but study and worry about it, but I also ended up loosing my job at a firm that was rather unaffected by the financial crisis. I was devastated, because I had worked so hard for years and now I finally wanted to settle down and live in one country, and then it all fell apart. I had to move country again, and now I have no job and I am truly worried about my future. However, although I loved my work, the people I worked with were horrible. I was worried about becoming like them. At least that won't happen now.

I went to jail for two weeks for a speeding ticket. Not drunk and on a Saturday morning. Way over 100mph on an empty road. I still try to justify it even though it was just dumb and I got what I deserved. What I found is that my wife loves me no matter what, and my own family are horrible people. They all took great joy in the suffering that I endured.

Getting married. Although I knew that it would make me and my immediate family members very happy, I didn't realize that close friends would also be so excited for us. It was truly heartwarming.

My 9-year-old dog died suddenly and without warning. I was traumatized. I have mourned her for weeks, going on months.

an old friend came into my life and has changed it in so many ways i would not have thought possible..i found love.

An MRI revealed multiple herniated discs and spurs in my upper back and neck. It made me feel fragile for the first time in my life (I'm 60). To fight back, I'm dieting (again) and truly exercising (for the first time ever). I've discovered that water aerobics is tolerable, and even has its fun moments. In the past I've wondered if I would change my lifestyle (eat like a pig, drink like a water buffalo, exercise like a sloth) if a serious health issue arose. So far, for 4 months, I have changed. ...wonder if I'll be able to keep it up?

Protests and demonstrations over the rigged election in Iran. Gives me a vision of a FREE world. If people everywhere were free, and had a legitimate say in their governments, we would not start war, we would not have nuclear weapons stashed, we would not have dictators, torture, rape. We would respect human rights everywhere. We would/could have peace. BUT, we do not have any of these. Why? History is fraught with the horrors of men using religion to justify wars, torture, dictatorship, rape, etc. Is religion the culprit? Or men? Religion is a likely suspect. Pondering atheism as my final act of courage and cry for freedom.

I went to a 3 day UPW with Tony Robbins and it helped me to move forward in my life.

I had a fallout with my brother-in-law who I thought was a friend and trusted confidant. My wife is close to him. This created tension and space between her and me. After a time although I felt wronged and not understanding what I did wrong -I reached out, but there was no resolution with his apparent hardened heart toward me. It affected me as a sense of loss and a disappointment.

My life companion left me. It blew a hole in me that light could shine through. Although we seemed a perfect match, as good a companionship as one could find, we obviously didn't have the same vision. And we certainly didn't value truth in the same measure. What? can truth be measured?

driving to Phoenix made me want to disconnect from work life and explore more

My oldest daughter left for South America with a friend to just go traveling for an indefinite amount of time. I was so sad when she left and am experiencing separation anxiety. I'm constantly worried when I don't hear from her every few days. But it also has made me see her in a different light, realizing that she is now an independent young woman. I'm so proud of her. It has also inspired my husband and I to start planning on traveling more ourselves.

My sister-in-law & I started talking after a 20 yr silence. We have made amends & are back in the story in the way we were way back then. This healing has led to the deep fractures thru out our entire family beginning to heal.

My husband got laid off in April and this has affected us both financially and psychically. He is still unemployed and it has been rough although not (yet) as dreadful as I feared.

I found out that I was adopted after years of wondering if this was actually true or a shadowy holdover from the mind of an overly active adolescent imagination. The revelation has been earthshattering and yet grounding.

Ii had another knee replacement and ended up in the same hospital as my ex-husband, who had heart surgery. My children all visited us - from one to the other - 3 of them from out of town, and of course the one who lives here. It stirred the pot - It also reaffirmed what I know about my children - they are so fine each one a real mensch. I am truly blessed.

i got into a serious relationship. not sure if i yet understand how it has affected me. it has been wonderful and positive and affirming and given me a vision of the future and enjoyment of the present. it has also made me think a lot about myself in regard to relationships, perspectives, expectations, preconceived notions, etc. and kept me in a state of awareness and assessment of whether this is the one i will commit to and why and how and what that means.

I volunteered on two political campaigns and was inspired by the power of people coming together to make a difference. We can make change but we can't do it alone and we need a vision and plan to move ahead.

I rescued a dog that had been dumped out in the country. I had been without a dog for three years and thought that I couldn't possible have another, since my last dog was with me for 16 years and way the love of my life. Well how wrong I was it is a very different relationship but the dog brings me joy everyday

My agency imploded. So literally, the worst in my mind - being out of work with no financial cushion happened. Luckily, I had recently started to save more but still I'm on the way to the direst straits possible. I'm surprised at how I've reacted - thought I'd panic, desperately searching for some job, any job. But after losing a string of them - I want to do something that makes me happy. Do I have the luxury of waiting for that job to turn up? Not really, but I hope...

Started trying for a second baby, which meant entering the world of infertility treatment for the second time. The first time was gut-wrenching because we worried that we we would never get pregnant. This time, with our precious daughter more than a year old, we were already parents but somehow going back into the routine of blood tests, follicle measurements, and hormone injections made infertility feel like more of an identity than an event. It really took (and takes, since it's not over yet) a huge toll on my energy level and my sense of power in the world. I feel like I struggle instead of achieve.

My last child began college, so we are empty nesters. While itt has made me sad, I'm not as depressed as I had feared. All our children are in pretty solid places, and I'm finding that I enjoy them as adults more than I ever could have hoped. Bittersweet.

Two weeks backpacking in Alaska. A change to recharge and reflect, get back in touch with the outdoors and my love for being active. A reminder to disconnect from my computer and phone and be more with people. And a reminder of how much I love my family and miss them when I'm away.

Getting a scholarship to grad school gave me confidence in myself and forced me to step outside of my comfort zone. I moved to a new city hundreds of miles away from family and friends to pursue something that means a lot to me. I am not sure I have ever taken a bigger risk.

Turning 50. It was stressing me out thinking about all the things I have not done or wish I would have done differently.

Having a miscarriage SUCKED. I spent the next few months depressed and unsure how to cope with depression because I'm new to feeling it for extended periods. I felt like I contributed less to my marriage with M. because I was in bummerland all the time. And once I was physically able to, I became obsessed with getting pregnant again -- I think in order to get back to where we were and to erase what had happened. Finally, I was pregnant again and the moment the home pregnancy test came up positive (okay, not THAT moment but pretty soon after) the previous five months looked five long calendar pages of wasted time. I wish that instead of reading about ovulation on the Internet at midnight I'd been in bed with M. I wish that I hadn't been depressed -- I wish I were more emotionally elastic than that. Ultimately, I wish that I hadn't miscarried. But I did learn that my husband is pretty amazing and also that we really want children -- we're not just falling into this. And those are good things to know. (And maybe I don't actually wish I were more capable of snapping back. Maybe reacting to a miscarriage like it's no big thing would have left me with a longer lasting disturbance.)

After living a lifetime (40+ years) in Southern California, my partner and I moved to Michigan. I feel as tho I moved to a foreign country - almost everything is different and not always "good" different. I feel out of place, isolated and unwelcome sometimes. I miss my whole way of life back home - yet am trying to build a home with my wife. I have had to rely on my partner more and more, and this has challenged my whole notion of self sufficiency and self reliance.

I fell in love with a person who, unequivocally LOVES YHWH, and through his FAITH IN ACTION, has encouraged the growth and expansion of my FAITH. The walls around my heart have dismantled and I am better able to OPENLY share my LOVE for my CREATOR YHWH and SAVIOR YAHOSHUA, and Love and Accept my family, friends, sweetheart, strangers and self with an open heart. I do, more than ever, wish for others to find the JOY that I have found in FAITH!!!

I had a small surgical procedure that reminded me that I really need to focus on a totally different part of my life. My career driven focus has to end, now I need to focus on trying to build a family of my own.

This past year I wanted to join my life consciously with another person. This was the first time I had actually wanted this in my entire life. For the first time, it seemed more important to create life and relationship with this person than my own individual yearnings for independence and freedom. This experience was so unique that it tied me to this person very strongly, which caused incredible pain when they started doing things that were morally unacceptable to me. I had to break my commitment with them and moving on is hard because my values have changed.

Doing volunteer work in Israel for a few weeks. It changed my life and I never made better friends.

My husband interviewed for a job in a location near my family and where I would really, really like to live. The ensuing wait for a final confirmation of the job offer made me realize how unhappy I am where we currently live and how much I would like to be closer to my parents and siblings. I think moving far away led me to block, or repress, some of my feelings about these issues.

I took a huge leap, stepping away from my wife, our home, our cat and the low-paying job I had to take a chance on finding a better job in another city, which would pay the way for us moving closer to friends and family. It's easily been the hardest thing I've ever done, and that's after recently finishing graduate school. When I did this same thing almost a decade ago, I had no ties, nothing to direct me, nothing to consider other than my own desires or wishes... it was both freeing and exhilarating, exactly the experience one wants moving to New York. This time, I left my wife behind in a home we'd recently moved into, a happy and stable place. And while I moved to find a better opportunity, one that would feed me professionally and provide room for growth, I was primarily doing so to set the stage for our future, find a place where we could settle down, where we'd both have greater opportunities, and where life could just be richer... not to chase only my own dreams. It hasn't been that long -- 3 weeks -- but it feels like we've been apart much longer, and it's hard to keep experiencing new things separately and only being able to share them over the phone. We made these choices together, but have to live with them apart, for now.

Getting accepted to medical school, having my second child, losing a friend, moving to California. These things will continue to shape me for the rest of my life.

I made the decision to move from an area that was very familiar to me to a place where I knew no one because of a great opportunity to move into subsidized housing for artists. The move meant that I needed to get a job to support myself, an enormous challenge in a state ranked with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Needless to say, finding a job has been an incredible challenge to the point where I debated food kitchens and other means of staying afloat. My ivy league education and law degree are meaningless here and I work in the kitchen of a posh provate school, a temporary job while I keep looking. Humbling but firmed my resolve regarding being an artist. It has exposed me to issues I'd never been aware of in my previous privileged position. I am still processing my changed circumstances but know that I am broke, rather than poor. Work is a necessary function to a person's sense of worth and well-being, and I hope the economy turns around soon.

watched my daughter grow up, and it has taught me so much about the world... all the lessons we ever need really are provided by nature : patience when you watch them grow so slowly, pain when you see them get teeth, and the abundant well of love that flows out of me to her every day. i also recognize that i really am grown up now and everything i say and do is being scrutinized closely : its the ultimate accountability.

I flew to Arizona and took a watercolor painting class with a prominent artist. It has renewed my love of making art and has encouraged me to finally have the gallery show that I've never had.

I formed one more in a series of relationships with persons who seemed to want to grow and change but in actual fact did not. These folks were talented, charming, stuck users who did not want to heal but only wanted attention and comfort. This most recent relationship was what it took to get me to seek help. I have spent this year attending meetings of Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families. That program is perfectly designed to address what ails me. I thank God for it and those I've met who are on the same recovery journey.

going to vancouver to kayak w/ my kid which, since we're both dweebs, was a pretty big deal. also, we just adopted 2 cats from a shelter yesterday, to try to repair some of the damage done to the world as a result of the sad death of annie le.

I've stepped up and asserted myself more in my marriage. I am trying to let go of the fairy-tale idea that my husband will always have my best interest at heart, and instead accept the reality that I need to make things the best for myself.

This past year, I had bone decompression surgery on just about every joint in my body except my hips. I'm 22 years old. I found out I had osteonecrosis about 2 years ago. It was caused by taking Prednisone steorids for 4 months after I was diagnosed with ulcertive colitis. After the steroids didn't help, I had to have emergency surgery to have my colon removed. The core decompression surgery wasn't anything major in comparison to what I've already gone through. However, I feel incredibly cheated and hurt and I have no one to blame. My family is trying incredibly hard to blame the doctors or the pharmaceutical company because there was no warning about the drugs that it could cause this much damage but if I'm being honest with myself, I prefer to blame God. I feel so cheated and scared of what the future is going to hold for me. I don't know if I'll have to have knee replacements when I'm 30; I don't know if I'll ever be able to play soccer with my kids; I don't know if I should be seriously looking for a boyfriend because in a few months I'll be without health insurance and I have great faith in my abilities however, I don't know what my job prospects are in this economy once I'm out of college. I don't want to have to depend on anyone because of this disease. I depended on God to get me through my first surgery and I feel like He cheated me.

Being laid off from a job that I really enjoyed was pretty significant. I was told by one person that my job was secure, but then a few days later my boss's boss came and told me that I wouldn't have a job after the summer. That day was pretty shot. I was down, depressed. I wanted to quit doing everything. But then I realized that it wasn't personal, it was because of budget cuts. I found another job soon after.

My grandfather died. It was a significant event because it had no or little impact on me. I loved him as a kid

It is funny that although I had so many interesting experiences I do not remember any to write down right now. I traveled, loved, had sex, got laid with a few different girls, went to parties, shows, saw good art and read good literature, listened to music, worked and made some money, and yet, the significant thing that I remember is that I got more human, and during the last year I came to accepet more the differences of people and myself. I got less critic of others and this was something really good.

I married my sweet and precious wife Debbie, Deborah. I love her very much. Also she is pregnant now. I have to really start thinking money and security, seriously. I have to be patient and I have to make her happy and make me happy.

Becoming unemployed. It made me see how I am not so tied to my place of work as I am to just working.

I got a new job. Doing work that I am passionate about. As a result of this job-come-lifestyle I am happy, busy, doing good work, and living in San Francisco (a long time dream of mine) I even moved in on the Rosh... Pretty exciting to start a new life in the new year.

My husband had a stroke 2 yrs ago. He ended up in a wheelchair and cannot walk.I have been his caregiver ever since. I had an epiphany: I did not need to feel imprisoned by this, as I did. I not only discovered his rehab center would take him for respite care for a week, but that he has an insurance policy that would partially cover its cost. I went then to stay with my son and grandchildren on Nantucket for a week at my son's invitation, and they waited on me and gave me a real vacation. How did it affect me? Not only was it a rest, it was an affirmation that in many instances, being a victim is self-inflicted. Often there is a way out if one can step outside the box of feeling sorry for one's self. I came back to my husband a happier,and therefore better, caregiver, but also with an awareness that being able to afford it made it possible. Health insurance should make this available to everyone in this situation.

My son went away to summer camp for eight weeks. We were terrified because he has many social challenges, and had never been away from home for more than two nights. But he had a great time, even though it sounds like several of the kids were pretty mean. Still, he managed for himself. I think it has really helped us to have more confidence in his strength and ability to cope. It made us realize a little more clearly that he doesn't always have to be treated as if he has a broken arm, that he can and does cope with the world pretty damn well on his own.

My wife and I started a new small business. It has had many successes thus far, but it has been a test. It has pushed me emotionally and made me question my strength and my ability to handle situations in a calm matter. It is a lesson it's teaching me on a daily basis.

I lost my job and was out of work. It was an incredibly difficult year, but I made the best of it, and ended up launching my career in a different direction.

my adult bat mitzvah: I gained several good new friends, learned a lot of Hebrew, and felt a lot of love from the people at my shul

I started law school! It has defined my life ever since, and it will do so for a very long time, as presumably it will b my profession. It has made more much more confident and aware of where I'm heading in life.

I had to move home after almost 20 years of being on my own; which include almost 10 years of home ownership. I've learned that my mother is the very best person in this world to me and not to take anything for granted and to always be grateful for my blessings and to move forward from there.

Significant, but certainly not unique: I lost my job early this year. It has been a challenging in what I'm sure are several predictable ways: being unemployed for so long has shaken my faith in myself; I have struggled with a diminished ability to support my household and feared what that reflects about me as a person; detailed short- and medium-term plans regarding my professional life and our journey as family have been altered and in some cases shelved. I am (slowly) coming to accept that there is value hidden inside hardships like these and that being humbled is to be taught an important lesson. In spite of sounding hackneyed, there really may be a reason for all of this. But sometimes I think that I might just be telling myself that in order to appear (to whom? Myself? God?) that I have indeed learned the appropriate lesson and am now eligible to proceed to the next round, resuming a comfortable life marked by full, gainful employment. Personal growth, check. Can this Important Life Lesson be over now, please? Isn't there some quote about the surest indication of being tragically blinded by pride is to think oneself humble enough?

I had life altering surgery. It affects me every day in mostly a good way. I feel as if I've been given a second chance at a good life.

My sister at 42 had her first baby girl. After a struggle with having a baby, it gave me hope, joy and changed my whole life and family.

I fell in love. It was with the wrong person = AGAIN. I am recovering from a divorce and this was the first time I met someone with whom I thought I could be in a relationship. The problem was that I liked the attention he paid me more than who he was. It taught me that I still can fall into the patterns which ended my marriage and that I need to be careful and to trust my heart. When something feels bad, don't ignore it: listen. When something feels good, don't ignore it: appreciate it.

got a handjob it was important becuase it got me closer to sex

Reconeccting with the love of my life from when I was 15. It started out painfully, then we became friends and eventually lovers. It changed my entire outlook on my future, love, faith and fate. I never thought I'd see him again, let alone start a relationship and be this happy.

I traveled. alone. 9 months. studied humanity and religion and myself in asia. It made me a completely different person, and i hope i stay this way. i know what i like. i command and give respect now. I love myself much much more. I respect all my decisions and regret less. I have much much less fear. i love and appreciate life more than ever before. I realized that this new view is within my control, and I can wake up every single morning and choose to love my life. I wish everyone had such a realization, but then again I also learned that I can only control myself and not others.

I graduated from college, traveled to Israel through Birthright, and began graduate school, three things that have led me to reflect from the past, learn in the present, and anticipate the future.

I continued my crucial support and interventions in the life of my disturbed son, now a sophomore at Duke. Most notably, I arranged and paid for, for him to attend a two week retreat at a Buddhist monastery. This was a creative solution to a sad, knotty problem (where to go over his month-long Winter Break when it wasn't emotionally safe to go either to his dad's or my house). It also changed his life dramatically for the better. He learned "mindful meditation" and was able to discontinue his medications, he now knows he has a "home" for when he has no place to go and he has found mentors/male role models to guide him - vitally needed. I'm proud of myself for thinking of this and arranging it even though he doesn't appreciate it - either my sacrifice (I'm in desperate financial straits) or my imaginative love in coming up with the plan and working it out. That included staying at the San Diego Youth Hostel right on the Beach before the retreat began, and for arranging for "Auntie Zuoya", our only "real" old friend, to drive him to the monastery from the hostel. It was complicated but worth it. The distance was far and her bringing him also contributed to giving him some of the sense of family and care he so sorely needs. The achievement this was for both of us, is shown by his traumatic background. This son had a serious paranoid psychotic break five years ago after appalling emotional abuse by his father. I have been struggling ever since, to salvage his chances to achieve what were his life dreams before it happened. It's been a long haul (far from over), especially since he changed when it occurred - began to abuse me emotionally and even physically. He moved to his father's house soon afterwords , since tragically, I was the primary object of his paranoid delusions. While there, he became much sicker. There was no place else for him to stay. First, incredibly his psychopathic father encouraged his attacks and delusions about me. Secondly, his father permitted him to engage in many self-destructive behaviors which made his condition much worse. Among those behaviors were: developing his psychotic "plan" for mastery (of himself and the world, as he saw it), abusing me , going sleepless for up to five days in a row (missing school and crashing out on weekends). He let our son become addicted to every tempting activity and substance he had access to: real-time role playing computer games, alcohol, food and numerous illicit drugs. It is nearly a miracle that despite his worsening condition and outlook, I managed to intervene enough to secure his admission to a top private school and persuade them to give him a grant large enough so he could afford to attend. Note that my interventions did not involve dishonest or unhealthy manipulations, but rather pressure/encouragement to do the minimum needed to manage (practice for the SAT, APS, put together excellent applications to the Governor's School and write excellent college essays). The work was his and could not have been done without his extraordinary intellect and will. OTOH it would not have been done, if I had not subjected myself to his nonstop abuse, in order to remain in touch with him, however minimally. That allowed me to keep track of his deadlines and requirements. (And more, having to do with many interventions to avert numerous disasters his father almost succeeded in creating - ones which would defy belief without more elaborate explanations than this limited space permits). Our family situation is massively dysfunctional. The arrangement for my son to stay at the monastery and its very successful outcome, affected me in many ways. First, as with other interventions and support, I feel better about myself for having made this sacrifice and done so despite the abuse (sometimes extreme) with which he continues to treat me intermittently. Also, I feel less anxious about my son, having given him access to the important tools for living, he learned there. I am proud of myself. Because of these tools (still being refined) he treats me with more self-control than before - part of his new-found ability to calm himself.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a bi-radical mastectomy and reconstruction. I realized I had inner strength to draw on, and that as always, my family and close friends are my lifeline and support system. Also, that with my father-in-law, 5 o'clock always comes whether you are in the same state or not.

My first kiss and my first relationship (I'm 21). Both with the same great guy. It's the first time a guy I like has turned out not to be gay. It made me more confident in myself, like maybe I'm not all dried up because I'm a prude and I knit.

I went to Israel this year. Before the trip I had been in emotional hibernation, but the people I met there reawakened me to the possibilities in life.

Like for many of us this has been a really difficult year on many levels; but especially as a crisis of faith & confidence in myself, in my work, in my ability to find a true love relationship. Somehow or other I have fallen down 7 & gotten up 8; I am not living out of my car; there is plenty of food for the kitties & me; work comes just in time & just enough; friends are there to encourage. I am learning that to the world I may be only one - but to one I am certainly the world. The significance of realization is that there is still plenty of miracle to rest in for this day.

Nine and a half months ago I chose to turn right instead of left in a dark walkway, and stumbled into an alternate universe. It was too dark to see the face of the man whose name I knew, but who did not hear, or chose not to listen, when I said "no" over and over again. Following sunrise the next day, and every sunrise since, I stopped trusting myself to make decisions, or take chances. I also lost the ability to love, or feel desire. I lost my partner of nearly three years and my sense of autonomy. I am on a long, slow, lonely road to a new, hopefully better, reality -- because I have finally accepted that I can never go back to the way things were before.

I got a new boss who is a controlling, aggressive perfectionist. It has made me neurotic and exhausted and eroded my self-esteem. I am on a hamster wheel of unending unattainable expectations.

As cliche as it sounds, my Birthright trip had such a huge impact on me. Everyone had told me it was going to be a life-changing experience, but I didn't realize that the bulk of the impact would come after the trip when I returned home and began to process it in the context of my daily life. Because of that trip, I continue to grapple with big questions every day: who am I and what do I believe? How should people treat each other? What is the best route to conflict resolution? Who do I want to identify with, and how do I continue relationships with friends whose views are different than my own? How can I have an influence on the big issues in the world? How important is being Jewish, to me and to the rest of the world? Who is right, who is being truthful and fair, what ideals do i want to commit to? I know that these questions have no definite answers, and that my continued struggle with them will make me a better person.

I began college. There, I met my first boyfriend. I became more interested in Judaism. I went to Israel. Interned in DC.

I have taken a hard look at my drinking habit and realized that I have been using alcohol to numb myself and to relieve the stresses of everyday life. I'm now taking steps to unburden myself.

Well, I got depressed and subsequently had a significant paranoid episode which got me to spend all my money and financial ressources. Now I am quite indigent and has to restart from scratch

Breakup with my boyfriend after 3 years. Buying a condo. I think it's taught me to be stronger and less gung-ho about being part of a couple. I'm happy single and free right now.

I started dancing again! I quit my desk job and got back to what makes me feel human and alive. My new alterna-life is subway free and full of spandex and joy.

I nearly died 6 weeks ago and feel deeply affected by the vision I had during the experience. I remembered how valuable time is and learned again who my true friends are.

For the first time since college, I didn't support myself financially this year. I've loved having the time to experiment with different creative projects but have night terrors every night about money. I realized that what I really love to do, creatively, is not what is likely to make me money. As a graphic designer, I've been trying to force my creativity into my job my entire adult life, and it has not worked, and has caused me a lot of suffering. I'm finally letting go of the idea that I need to get my creative outlet from my job, which is hard but freeing, I hope.

I was sick. Really sick. And got better. It gave me a new, better perspective on almost everything and I thought that change was permanent. A few months later I've come to find out that those changes aren't really changes at all, but decisions. Choices that have to be made in every moment of every day. While being sick made those decisions crystal clear, I know it's up to me to continue making the right choice even without the clarity that comes from an illness.

Lost my job and I decided to retire early. It was a good decision, but it has taken me this year to make plans for the next phase of my life. It took me awhile to find a part-time job to supplement my pension income. The job is not a significant one to me, but working only two days a week is great. I find I cannot live happily without having larger plans or commitments and that has been the major problem, finding something large to do. I always had things in mind, but developing the disciple to do them is another question.

An ex got back in touch with me - twice. I had to close the door on it as I still had feelings for him and knew it wasn't in my best interests to reconnect. Funnily enough, it hasn't provided the closure I thought it would. I'm still looking to close that door.

Oddly, enough, two of the most significant experiences were events that didn't happen: I didn't run into my ex-husband in the small college town in which he lives and to which I returned to do research for part of the summer; and I didn't get a job I really wanted. They both happened -- rather, didn't happen -- this summer, and the experiences were both incredibly liberating. I learned I could live freely -- to quote a song: go where I want to go, do what I want to do -- without being haunted by the past. I learned I was wanted; the job went to an "insider," someone who knew the institution in ways it would take years for me to come to know: a reasonable decision from their perspective. Disappointed as I was, instead of feeling rejected I ended up feeling empowered: they really wanted me, they really liked me, it was clear I really know my stuff, and I believe there'll be a next time.

Three significant experiences factored into my life that included the form of loss. Last October I lost a job that I loved...something that shouldn't be taken too seriously, but when you're passionate about what you do and love it, it can be very difficult. Of course another door eventually opened, and I've moved on, but it was a very difficult time for me. Then in April, my grandmother and my great aunt passed away in the same week. I think one of them knew how much I loved and appreciated them, but I am not sure if the other one knew. I can only hope to let people know how much I care before they go. Another event occurred that shook me up because of a simple form of miss-communication. Being unaware to the full-picture of something at my internship, I took action on something that was not suppose to have been acted upon. I took full responsibility and said my apologies once I knew I had done something wrong, but sadly, I learned that sometimes people don't take their share of responsibility as well. To be accused of something that is not true can be really hard when you feel like you've been working towards something with the truest good intentions. All that said and done, life moves on, and you can't always understand why people react the way they do, but you have control over your own actions and thoughts.

The two September weeks that I spent in Nebraska, at an art and writing residency, provided me with substantial time to ruminate on my country's history, on human evolution, on religion, and on my conception of the vivid mystery that we call G-d. Through essay writing, I was able to articulate and more honestly access some of my principal beliefs and aspirations. This was a deeply edifying process, but it was not altogether easy; it forced me to reconsider some long-term wants and expectations. It was akin, perhaps, to "dark night of the soul" meditation, a turning inward that offers fruits both rich and bitter. I have not yet digested all that I can from the experience; it's too fresh. I'm certain, however, that the push-pull contradiction will be resolved, such as it can, over the course of the coming months. Above all, my daydreaming in Nebraska reminds me of how malleable and eager to learn the human brain is...as well as how miraculous, if you will, life is. Chonen ha-da'at. My daily practice of prayer and gratitude is further informed by this contemplation.

I went to visit the homeland of my ancestors and learned more about who I was - sometimes cliches exist for a reason. I had a much better understanding of who I am, what I want out of life, what I'm willing to compromise for, and what I'm not.

I listened to Dr. Joe Vitale's CD series and it really hit home. I've begun to apply the principles, which are timeless, and I am seeing results.

I moved into my own apartment and finally had my own space. This has made all the difference.

i got pneumonia and it was the best thing ever. i rested for three weeks, read a million novels, watched the entire John Adams series and got a lot of good tasting homemade soup! my parents even flew down to check on me and my mom read to me for awhile...

I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Boise, ID. I still find my feelings of ambivalence surfacing, making me wonder if I'll always have nomadic tendencies; do I really think the grass is greener on the other side, even after just leaving the said side- [am I] Nostalgiasick? It made me realize the stress behind moving, the weight of possessions and their prevention of a less clustered lifestyle (Man, stuff can really weigh you down). Consumer therapy isn't the best of coping mechanisms.

I finished my PhD. I felt embarrassed, worthless, scared it would be taken away, afraid of envy, revenge by my brother and mother, proud, relieved, and I'm still learning to add those letters to my signature and not feel like a jerk. I am not making more money, but less, because of world financial problems.

my father, whom after years of struggling to find peace and calm in this world, left on memorial day weekend 2008. my sister sobbing called to tell me, as i was sitting in traffic north of sacramento on the I 5, by my side a roommate at the time, and a random craigslist road tripper. in a borrowed car packed full to the brim with all my precious belongings, that id left behind for months. i sobbed. i was glad i was in a car and not on the bus. it had been a slow death, beyond the years of sickness, he had been hanging on for almost a week the rumor gos. and no one from the institution called, they claimed they couldn't reach any of us. in the end none of us even knew he was dead till days after it happened. Just that June I finally drew a boundary and stopped speaking to him or visiting him. I had so much anger, and sadness because he kept running away from help. literally fleeing nursing homes and stealing cab rides to montery. and i was to0 scared to see him so weak. and then within in a few months I never even got to say goodbye. and he wasnt always a sweet man, he would go nuts on you and random people. he could kill your calm and your trust, all the while he loved you with his whole heart, and thought you the best and most beautiful. he was proud of me when i got in trouble as a CIT for selling pot at camp, which also happened to be federal property. and proud of me for being a avant freak. and wondered if id be okay. asking if i felt safe. and yet he was trauma. totally disastorious and destructive. and stuck in cycles till his end, in which i still live. except for a precious few that i spread above the sea under a tree, on a mountain whose name i dont know, with a one way dead end road... his remains are at the bottom of the steep stairs to and my old room in my mothers home in purple boxes that snap tight to store ziplock bags full of ash. my catholic mother acts like its trash no one wants or cares about. every conversation i have with her about them become tense, and stupid. she sees the motionlessness as a lack of care or interest. i see it as a need to take time. and move on not forget. she is done. i am not. i tried to help him, we all did. my mother gave care and cash to him some 15 years after their divorce. for me, for us. i think the tiredness from all the work it to out of us to just be near or love him in life, created the snails pace response in his children, to the process of grieving and helping move him along into after life. wed already grieved enough in our lives before his death, over the pains he caused. he was my best friend inableing and encouraging me to be me. he talked to me with the honesty of a lover. the dangerous boundary of being authentic with your child. i think were both crazy. and i yearn to be at peace with this. i want the peace he never found.

My brother was arrested for a drug- and mental health-related assault. At first, he was facing a sentence anywhere from 25 years to life. I worked to help him lighten his sentence (down to 8 years now; he'll probably be out in 3 on parole) and, in the process, became closer to him and learned to understand him (and myself) better.

I sold or donated everything I had and moved to New York from a small town in Florida. It's still a struggle with the state of the economy, but it's a dream come true. I realized how much value I held on material things; that living in a suburban setting programs you to hoard and collect useless objects. More so, I learned to live life through actions, events, and activities (opposed to television programs and the latest gadgets)...and I think that's the greatest thing about New York City-- the ability to walk and look and meet people on a whim.

I was told I would be geting a nice raise at the job I had been working for 3 years, because my immediate supervisor was leaving and I'd take over her responsibilities. Once she left I asked my boss when the raise would happen. After many months of promises and delays, he told me it couldn't happen and it was an administrative problem and he didn't have the power. I had heard differently from an administrator in our department who deals with finances. I felt powerless and lied to and took it really personally. I felt like he took advantage of my gullibility and embarassed because I told family and my girlfriend I would be getting a raise for a year, and it now was appearant it wasn't happening. I felt I had to do something, but what could I do? Then it hit me when I was taking a bath: get another job, someone could use you and your worth it. So I got the nerve to ask a collaborator in the same institution if he could use me and could I work for him. Yes! I felt great. Writing my resignation email was fun. I got a call within 10 minutes, "What happened?" When I said it was time for a change, he wanted the truth and I said it was because I didn't get the raise, but didn't go into all the personal feelings. This was last October or so. I've been at the new lab for 9 months. It has been difficult for me. The lab itself and my coworkers and boss are great. I've had trouble adapting to this new situation though, and my work hasnt' been that great. I don't have as much supervision as previously and haven't gotten as much work done. My self organization and time management skills have revealed themselves to be below average. My motivation and hours worked have gone down. It's felt like a long 9 month rut, with just enough fleeting productivity interspersed to not be fired. The thought of being fired has crossed my mind many times, as well as the certainty that I (or my work) is not worth the salary. It's been depressing. I'm worried about what kind of reference I would get if I look for a new job. I'm worried when I'm asked what did you accomplish at your previous job, I'll have nothing to say. Looking back at my decision to quit, I wonder if I would have been better off if I stayed and worked for less money than I make now. Maybe, but then what would I have learned about myself? I may have failed at my new job up to this point, but if I stayed nothing would have changed. I wasn't going to stay there forever and could possibly be failing at another job with worse consequences. Now I see the problems I'm facing and have the opportunity to learn from mistakes and improve. I guess part of the problem was I was always waiting for change to just happen. I was thinking my girlfriend would get a job and we'd move, or my boss would call me in and say "get more work done or you're fired!", or I'd have an mystical motivational epiphany, or I'd get another job, or I'd win the Mega Millions jackpot. There was this thought that I didn't have to do anything, but just wait, and something would happen to change the situation for the better. It hasn't, and now its Rosh Hashanah, the new year, the anniversary of the birth of the universe, and writing this makes me realize that I have to take things into my own hands, like I did last year when I quit. I have to be responsible. I have to make the effort to change. I have to dedicate myself with renewed enthusiasm to work and all aspects of living a worthwile life. Hopefully in a year I'll read this and think about the experience that changed my life in the past year, and this time it will be for better, because I did something good.

I got married! I'm 40, and I remember being in my mid-twenties at a wedding, crying and thinking, How will I ever be ready for this? How will I have it together enough? I feel so incredibly lucky to have found a partner who really supports me and fits with me, and since the wedding I feel calmer, safer...I really trust him like no one before, and it's a deeper trust than I had while we were dating, or even during our engagement. I feel held. It still tickles me to call him my husband, and to have such a strong partnership, after identiying as a single woman for so long.

Overcoming depression, again, sometimes you've got to learn when to fight and when it's ok to flex with the solution

Our sweet little dog Tiki passed away. It felt like losing a child, she was so wonderful and I was crushed, depressed, missing her for a long time. She died in our arms on the beach at sunset...

My grandson was born in July. His grandfather won't be around to watch him grow up. With each new simcha I realize how much I miss him and how much he would have loved being a Popi or Zaydee.

Changing my lifestyle to become healthier, more the person I felt myself to be on the inside. Switching my dietary habits to more raw foods had obvious affects on me – 40# weight loss, more energy, fewer body pains, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and other risks, etc. But there were subtle changes within me, too, that came from knowing that I could still bring about major change in my life. I became unstuck and ALL areas of my life became more dynamic, began flowing again.

"Miracle on the Hudson": The crash of the U.S. Air flight in the Hudson in January 2009 will stay in my head and my heart forever... Everyone on both sides of the Hudson was still in shock and awe over the collapse of Wall Street in 2008, and Capt. Sullenberger's brilliant skill and responsibility as the 'captain of this magnificent flying machine' sent a message that there is always hope... and with hope, everything is possible. He set the bar of excellence and is a symbol to the American worker that integrity (doing our very best) and thinking of others and not just ourselves (serving his passengers and crew) is our hope of rebuilding the global economy... and it is our hope of buiding a better tomorrow.

My older son became a bar mitzvah this spring. This was an amazing moment, not only because he is an excellent Hebrew student, is extremely intelligent, and is starting to care about God's relevance in his world. It was also amazing because for so many years, from about ages 2-11,he was angry, hurtful, anxious and depressed. And now he has taken these characteristics of his and turned them into something positive. He's still the same intense, competitive, sensitive person he's always been. But I am seeing him redirect those traits, every day. And it gives me hope for everything that gets me down.

I fell hard in love at the age of 63. It was profound--it changed my life. I don't believe I ever felt such a depth of love before and it transformed me.

I was laid-off from a job I had just started. I knew that there was trouble ahead with the nation's economy. It was also just before the extended holiday season where no one was even going to begin hiring until the middle of January. Needless to say it was the scariest time of my life. I was numb most and bored at others. It was a time not of peace. But at the same time I formed some great relationships with people who stood by me. I learned the true value of friendship.

The most significant experience for me this year was the death of my mother, or, more to the point, her final months of life/ I learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing and feeling. I learned ever so much more than that from Mom about faith, courage, compassion and unconditional love. Every burden, no matter how great, was exceeded by a still greater lesson. I know I am a better, stronger and certainly more patient person than I was one year ago.

Retirement at 72, after a confident, successful 45 year career, sent me into a tailspin. I literally felt invisible, self esteem hit rock bottom. This lasted for 10 months until I pulled myself together and got a part time job, working about 10-12 hours a week for minimum wage. I now am ecstatically happy and embrace this semi-retirement as the best of all worlds. I now have time to spend on the many personal interests I have cultivated over the last 50 years plus, I still have a job.

I realized I am going to be a great doctor and I know more than I think I do. I learned to follow my instincts.

I forgave myself. I hurt a great person, but I forgive myself because I was in fact sorry for what I did. I stopped lying to myself, and gave myself what I needed- health, love, and lessons.


we became 'empty nesters' when our younger son went to college in Sept 09. It is definitely a transition for me as his mother and for me as a wife and for as an individual. So far, it's been a good transition and I feel very lucky to have a wonderful husband who allows me to be a bit weepy, and happy all in the same moment.

Learning what it feels like to be disabled (not able to walk for a period of time). It gave me a much more realistic understanding of those who suffer, on a daily basis, for the rest of their lives, with a physical disability; a disability that limits their movements and access. I realized that our city is not truly accessible to those with physical disabilities; simply opening a door can be monumental. As a society we must continue to assist and understand, but, more importantly we should strive to improve the quality of life for those with physical disabilities by improving access to all buildings and public spaces.

I moved from my house that I've lived in since I can remember into an apartment. I moved because my parents got divorce and even though my Mom tried her absoulute best, we could not keep the house.

My father-in-law died this year. I miss him and wish that I had been able to spend more time with him, but due to where I live, I was not able to do that. I do miss him...

I got a new job and left my family behind. Fell in love with a former colleague. Changed everything.

I finally found out about my Jewish heritage. I couldn't be more proud!

i survived the day that had supposed to have been my wedding day. on that day, i went to work. and i took a walk in the glorious weather with a close friend. and i cried. and then i spent the rest of the days of this year remembering all of the things that i have and that i am, and remembering how to be me. and how to be happy again. i learned that life, indeed, goes on. and that the hurt, indeed, fades. i am so very grateful.

I saw my parents for the first time in a few years and was hit with the realization that I could lose them at any time. My wife, children, and myself live half-way across the country from the rest of our families and so we rarely get a chance to see them. When we do it is for a very brief time - till now, my parents had seemed rather timeless. I realize I still have much work to do to let them know how much I appreciate them both as parents.

A very close family friend passed away and her very old dogs needed to be put to sleep. I got to spend time with them at the vet before they were euthanized which was also a way for me to say good bye to Jan.

I broke up with my partner of five years. There was no dramatic reason, but I need to be alone and to figure out how to take care of me for the first time in my life. I am 30.

I got swine flu at my Jewish summer camp Tel Yehudah. I met a bunch of awesome people in the isolated swine flu bunk, even though I had to miss the four day biking trip that I was very excited for.

My father passed away in February. I watched cancer devour his body from the inside out. As a physician, I straddled the fence between doctor and daughter. I knew the end was coming but couldn't bring myself to burst the thin bubble of hope that he and my mom hung on to. In his final hospitalization, I answered the early morning phone call from the oncologist called to his bedside while my father was struggling to breathe. And I made the decision not to intubate. Although my mom and brother knew he was gravely ill, I think they did not realized that this would be his last day on earth. I did.

My mother was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. It made me think harder about the way I want to spend my time, the people I want to live my life with, the kind of love I want to receive. I haven't made any significant changes as a result of it, but I feel that in time I will.

I did my first 10-day meditation retreat and discovered what my mind is really made of: delight.

I released my first album of original music and put on a heck of a show for the release party. It's something I've dreamed of ever since I learned to play air guitar....

Sharing my Dad's honor at his kid's camp with my 10 year old daughter. She's heard the accolades, but was able to experience everything for herself - why he was honored, what Camp is all about. She witnessed what it means to give back and do good for the world. I was thrilled she could experience such things at such a young age...and get it!

I was laid off. This event has reverberated throughout my and my family's life. Part of the result is financial insecurity and uncertainty in the future, but the other part is far more time spent with my family, and a renewed sense of possibility about what the future might bring.

I gave up drinking. I have been a social drinker since high school - some times more social than others! I hadn't been drinking as much lately, and I am not an alcoholic, but I started to think that maybe it gets in the way of progress. It's been 3 months (today!) and I feel great. I've discovered that (surprisingly) I don't miss it at all. My life is changing in subtle but significant ways. I feel far less anxiety in general - but also I am not as worried about how productive I am anymore. :) I stopped drinking with the intention that it would be until I finished a writing project - a month or so. I haven't done the writing project, but in the meantime another creative love has reemerged and I have been taking more photographs. I feel confident to put them together and show them. I don't know if I will drink again.

Obama's election. Made me hopeful for the first time in a long time. Excited, engaged, proud, scared, etc. etc.

I moved to a new city, got a new job, made new friends and stepped out of my comfort zone in order to get my life jumpstarted. The affect on me was a plethora of emotions... I found myself lonely at times, exhilarated at times (no, I'm not manic) but mostly recharged. Sometimes being comfortable does not make you grow but leaves you with a feeling that life will move on whether you like it or not and you might as well go along for the ride! Stepping out of the box is a good thing.

I created an organization system on my computer. I feel like I'm on my way to becoming more organized.

I got the opportunity to work again and it has been exhilarating. I've been able to do some incredible things, help my family with bills and work with some great people.

My business totally tanked. I was afraid that I would be unable to support myself. Luckily I got a reprieve, in the form of a big job that would last all year. But it has made me re-think, and examine options that would not have occurred to me before.

meeting lana, she is an inspiration

I started a job at a farm for the summer season, which I thought would be a lot harder than it actually was. I''m happily surprised at how smooth, challenging, and completely satisfying it was. There were times when I was bored and thought I couldn't break of the soil anymore, but this was really the first place I've worked that leaves me feeling like I can farm. This is possible, even without other employees or chemicals. I began my first relationship in my entire 23 years. I started dating a man 5 months ago. He was my first. I'm more confident about myself and more honest with myself.

I began to write a novel and didn't stop. It changed a lot for me. Even though I am a working writer who's made my living writing for 25 years, I am well aware that fiction writing amounts to planned homelessness. But something about this writing is impossible to resist. It has affected me with a lot of excitement and a lot of anxiety.

This year my fiance and I did our big pre-med school/last hoorah trip. 4 weeks each in India, Nepal, and Thailand; 10 days in Laos, 10 days in Sumatra, 3 days in Singapore, and 2 weeks in Malaysia (the peninsula and Borneo). It was a dream. It affected me in so many ways. Seeing India was mind-blowing- the ultimate traveling experience of being dropped in a world so night-and-day different from your own, and learning to make peace with it, learning how it works and how you work in it, learning how to find something wonderful for every unwonderful thing. Our 2-week trek in Nepal is definitely my greatest physical accomplishment... and what beauty out there, and the simplicity of life on a trek is so renewing... experiencing the Muslim societies of Indonesia and Malaysia and finding them more liberal, egalitarian, and tolerant than secular India. Watching a beautiful sunset at a beach bar in Thailand and thinking, "if I never do anything better than this, I'll be happy." The trip also brought my fiance and I closer. Having spent 2 years in China together I didn't think the trip would affect us in that way, but it definitely did- spending so much time together, and having these rich experiences in our shared past. Our relationship has been stronger since we got home and I hope that continues, and we don't slip back into old habits. Finally, the trip affected me the way traveling always does... it makes me hate real life and the absurdity of devoting the majority of one's waking hours to someone else. But since I don't have the funds or the courage to be a full-time vagabond, I need to learn how to feel in control of my life and my time in the real world. Whether that means finding work that I don't resent, or finding fulfilling ways to use my free time, or simply changing my outlook, or all three.

I confronted a person that has bothered me since my teenage years. It felt great. My words hurt that other person, but it was everything that they deserved. I feel stronger and more self confident. I have stood up for myself.

My oldest brother died. It made me sad to know that my parents survived him. It made me reflect on my own life and mortality. It made me cherish my parents and other loved ones more.

I moved to California from Colorado and to live near my sister and change my surroundings Being 34, this was a deliberate move with intention, but with definite anxiousness of finding my place personally and professionally. Since then, I met my love, my now fiance, have a very strong group of family and friends around me, and have found a inspiring and significant position. In saying it, it sounds like I have won the lottery. But, although I am extremely grateful, I think of these gifts as teachers too. I think of this year as my greatest reminder to not fear uncertainty, and to not let uncertainty stifle wishes and choices. Stay flexible in mind and the world will bend with you.

When I first read this question, I couldn't think of anything significant to write about. Now, at 1:20am on Sunday morning, I thought of something quite significant. About a month ago, I had an email exchange with my sister-in-law stemming from the debate about healthcare, but which ended up angering me - not because she was wrong, but because the content of her emails, although offensive to me, contained a grain of truth that I couldn't ignore. It all started with my mother, age 85, forwarding one of those emails about Obama's health care plan being reminiscent of Hitler, etc. My youngest son responded with a youtube video of an exchange between one of the anti-plan people with an Israeli man who spoke about the Israeli health care system and about how everyone was covered, especially people in the military (that's another thing - O's plan of required national service bringing the charge that that was how Hitler got started) and the anti-plan woman calling him a Nazi. My son copied all the family members my mother had sent this to including my sister-in-law. At the time I had a parallel email exchange going with my sister-in-law. She had started sending out accounts about her daughter's first year in med school, which on one level sounded like bragging and I found annoying, although on another level was a legitimate show of pride in her daughter's accomplishments and a desire to share and possibly inspire others. Wanting to engage with my sister-in-law, I responded in a complimentary fashion. I also thanked her for a surprise dress she had sent me, which matched dresses that she and her daughter had worn at her daughter's college graduation (although my dress, appropriately, was in a much larger size). I expressed the hope that she had received my hand-written thank you note, since another thank you note I'd written to my choir director for sending me lobsters from Maine for filling in for him at church, had gotten lost in the mail. She responded saying that yes, she had received the note, and then went on to comment about how she had never received thank you notes for baby gifts given to my new grandson and make a snarky remark about it being because babies couldn't write thank you notes. She also expressed annoyance being included in these political emails and wondered why my son had included her in his list. She also raised issues about no one questioning the validity of the Israeli man's comments on the video (her father was Jewish, so it wasn't out of antisemitism that she was speaking). She then went on to criticize my oldest son (the father of the baby) for the negative tone of his writings on his own political blog and to wish he and his wife were doing something more positive with their lives. Well, this stung, but there was a grain of truth and I decided to respond in as pleasant a manner I could muster. I explained to her that the reason she had been copied on the emails was that she was on the copy list of the email my mother had sent and that I had told my son that these emails were annoying to her and not to include her in future emails. I then made some comments about the Biblical statement about not focusing about the splinter in your neighbor's eye, but rather focusing about removing the log in one's own eye - i.e. not to judge others, but rather to work on one's own faults. I also made a self-deprecating comment about how I had a lot of work to do in this area. Her next response was to forward an email she had received which had a conservative slant and to suggest that I share it with my sons and get their comments. My initial reaction here was also anger, but then I decided to look at the email as her way of being a gadfly and stimulating conversation. I first did some online research about the purported author of the quote and found that the original quote had been misquoted and the date on the quote, 1931, which would imply it was made during the Great Depression , was actually the year the author had been born. The gist of the quote was that you couldn't create prosperity by taking from those who had and giving it to those who hadn't. I offered the opinion that if the "haves" had excessive wealth that it wouldn't hurt for them to at least share that with the have-nots. Her next response was to wonder why I'd wasted my time doing this research, and that just because she'd sent it, didn't mean she actually believed it. She made the remark that at least she didn't have a mother who listened to Rush Limbaugh and believe in extraterrestrials. Well, that was a low blow. There was plenty of stuff I could have said about her mother, and even though her comments about my mother were true, they were also out of context. And besides this wasn't stuff you should put in writing. And besides, I could criticize my mother, but not her! She made some more derogatory remarks about my oldest son and his wife and finished by saying that she didn't have time for all these emails anyway and that she was just trying to make the world a better place. Well, at that point, I figured that this was turning into a battle that I wasn't going to win, and so decided not to respond at all. We did receive an anniversary card from her a few days later. And I sent her and my brother a card which arrived a week late. So, a lot of under the surface hostility going on here. But I am left wondering about whether I'm making the world a better place, and in particular how I can also influence those around me, i.e. my family, to do the same.

My beautiful daughter said "mama" & I thought I heard heaven in my ears. It affected me, because for the first time in my life, I realized how intensely I wanted to live. Not just happy to be alive, but a searing intense desire to LIVE full and free, and experiencing life with my daughter.

Planning and getting married. While getting married was the main point, a lot of prayer and trust in God made it something special not just for us but for many others as well. Especially my father who almost didn't make it to my wedding. I knew his life would be touched the most and many important conversations took place leading up to this event. I am so thankful to God for answering my prayers beyond what I could have imagined for myself and my father.

My daughter's Bat Mitzvah was the big event of the year. It was exciting, anxiety-provoking, all-consuming, and I felt afterwards almost as though I missed it! Thank heaven for the pictures and video. I do remember most clearly, though, how very proud I was (and am) of her. I was proud to be able to show our family and friends that we are doing well, and to be able to finally "treat" them all to a nice event. It really made me feel good.

I fell pregnant in April 2009. We had been trying for a baby for about 4 months, and starting to become disheartened, worried about what investigations we might need to go through. Then I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach which hasn't gone away since. I'm embarrassed to say my initial reaction was "oh ***! what have we done?" but each day the anticipation grows, I feel closer to my husband, my mother, my in-laws, my girlfriends with children. I have a strange feeling of passing the baton to childless girlfriends - it's like I'm leaving on a journey without them. Life won't be the same again.

My most significant experience has been the end of undergrad days and the start of grad school. The hours put in have been a lot, and I've doubted myself every day. Made good friends, but I doubt them at times, too. However, this is my life. I don't have any other choices, really.

I think I was in love with a friend. Despite (or maybe because of)knowing all his flaws (and hating his truly awful sartorial style-think Hawaiian shirts & Pakistani kameez), I really loved him & didn't tell him. It hurt that he would rather spend time with an emotionally immature bipolar alcoholic than me. The pain only went away when he left for his hometown in Australia and after she stopped talking about him as though she were his widow. I felt overwhelmed & depressed & angry for months. I'm only starting to feel normal & positive again.

Taking the LEAP test has been the weirdest, significant thing of the year. To try and control my biology seems to work, but it takes so much discipline and focus. When I put in that time and energy it really works, in a way that amazes me. It has made me see food as an adversary most of the time -- why can't i just eat what everyone else does? BUT, in the moments when i have the kitchen and the funds and the enthusiasm and the creativity to make my own meals, and to be able to literally eat myself healthy, I am inspired and impressed by myself. Besides the food, which I think occupies far too much of my time, I am most proud of the running that I took up at the beginning of the year. I was really dedicated to putting those hours in for training, and the results were tangible in my physical physique, but more than that, running was emotionally rewarding. it was one of the very few non-scholastic goals i have set out to accomplish and seen all the way to completion without the aid of a scheduled classes, tutors or enforced deadlines. i never learned to type or play guitar in cambridge, but i ran a 10K in chicago. it showed me that i can be athletic in my own way, and more, that i can be motivated to get up and do things. and who can forget the fact that i realized people RUN for FUN? thaaaat's a change.

I fell in love. I met a beautiful boy whom I loved within hours of meeting him. Meeting this boy made me realise what a life partner could - and should - be for me. Meeting him has made me think about what I want out of my life now, and what I want out of life long-term. It has also made me realise how I have developed my rational mind, when previously I would have reacted to things purely emotionally.

Becoming pregnant and a few days ago; having my beautiful baby. Have wanted to have children since my mid-20s but was either not with the right person or the right frame of mind. Finally after a year of trying and after years of wanting it was all still very surreal seeing two blue lines on the home pregnancy test. It was even more special as I had decided to give up on the idea as there conceiving proved difficult. We brought our baby daughter home the other day and just cried the moment I got through the front door.

My professional changes were absolutely important. And I could see that I had to be a part of my family business. And I´m happy with this.

my break-up with ariela and the beginning of my new self with rachel. at first, being with ariela was amazing, but after 2 years, i realized the little things were adding up and i couldnt stand to be in the same room with her anymore. sex and conversations were forced and meaningless. no more passion. i decided to go to camp over the summer to get away from her and she asked to come with me and like an idiot, i said yes. 1 week in, i was considering suicide. after aweful awkward sex in her car, i broke up with her. the next day, i was sooo worried i had made the wrong choice. i was so afriad to be alone, for the first time in 2 years. i decided to ask her out again, but each conversation with her after that, i quickly saw her bad side. she embodied everything i despised. then, 3 weeks later, i met rachel. we just clicked, physically (!) mentally. socially took some time, because her friends were all pieces of work. to this day, i struggle with them, but because of rachel, i am a reborn new happy person.

I met my first true love, and we were in a academic competition kind of thing at school. It made me realize what love truly is, and how much human beings need love.

I decided to save my marriage and stop being a workaholic. Basically what this means is that I quit my miserable job and put some distance between me and my crazy-making boss who reminded me waaay too much of my mother. I went freelance and discovered the joys of having more control over my own time. I got back into therapy and realised where my workaholic tendencies come from (hi mom) and what keeps them there (hello little girl inside me who grew up always having to be responsible for the welfare of others and who fears not always being in this role because then who would I be?). I started reordering my relationship with my parents and my sister, learned how to be nicer to myself and got serious about loving my husband more, every day. I started having friends again! I started knitting again. I started doing yoga and making music and realising the importance of creative acts. I have learned how to make radical changes in my life. I am still learning how to turn ideas into action, to get out of my head, to express myself and put myself out into the world and not be so afraid. To 'let my life speak', as the Quakers would say. And to 'attend to what love requires of me, which may not be great busyness'.

I decided to retire from being a worship leader. I discovered that in spite of having led worship for nine years, I don't miss it. Not only that, but I do not feel a need to attend church. I have a more personal spiritual walk now that I don't need to play the part of a leader.

I began my masters degree in Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I love it. It is challenging and important. I moved in with my boyfriend who I have loved for so long. I also have my own apartment again(shared with my man) but not living under someone else. I am so blessed.

I met someone. Until this relationship I never believed that I could really be in a relationship, that it would feel right to me -- that I would feel like I could be myself while being in a relationship. Until being with this man I never really thought that I could love someone else. I can and I do. It makes me feel more human to know that I can love and learn to let myself be loved, that I can figure out what it means for me to be in a relationship, that I am not so damaged by my past that I am undeserving of something that could make my life so much fuller.

Getting assaulted in Valparaiso was a wake up call to realize that I was alone, and that maybe I did not want to be alone. At first I got angry at everyone telling me, "ay pero Eliza, no puedes andar sola en Valpo!"--feeling like they were blaming me for something that was not my fault. But then I realized that I had this feeling of pride around my independence that was unnecessary. Maybe it was a safety blanket to feel good about a reality that I felt like I did not have control over, but the outcome of the robbery is that I realized I DID have control. All I had to do was embrace the people that were already in my life and I found, with just 6 weeks left in the country, that I was part of a community.

I broke up with the love of my adult life because we are terrible together. Even though it meant moving out of our apartment in a neighborhood I'll never be able to afford again, it was worth it. I miss him in a way that will never be resolved, but I know it was the right path to take.

I got rehired for my job - it took my totally by surprise when it happened in May, because I had signed up for a one year fellowship meant to end in August, and had no idea they would be hiring anyone to stay on. My first instinct was to say 'no way, i'm moving to California to be with my friends!' but in the end I took the offer, which was a very wise decision given the absolute dearth of available jobs. But...transitioning into a new position at my organization has been a unique challenge. I'm growing because of it - mentoring our new staff members and forming new relationships with the old ones, but my job no longer feels as special as it did when it was new and fresh and when I was part of the 'fellowship class.' But I'm learning how to fill this new role and keep doing the best work I can. It's a challenge, but I think I'm up to it!

The freshest significant experience in my mind is of course dating Stephanie Parrish. Probably, deciding not to go to Israel and the concurrent realization of my shifting interests,or coming out to my family and getting close with my sister and extended family were all more significant in the broader sweep of my life. But falling in love with someone from hundreds of miles away, having loving sex with a woman for the first time (my first first time with a woman was a horrible one-night experience), and being so invested in a relationship that I could actually see lasting the rest of my life (and sharing that feeling and having it validated by my partner), was incredibly significant. And it hurts to know that you can fall that hard in love with someone, give them so much, and still not have it be right. But it wasn't the break-up that was significant, it was the happiness and the love and the support and the possibility that I felt over the last summer.

I took a major fall on my road bike, my rotator cuff is still hurting and that was quite a while ago, I think this made me finally admit that I am getting older.

I realized that my business as I've been running it to date isn't sustainable, at least not in terms of my happiness. I've spent too much time with clients who bring me down and whom I don't particularly like, and I realized it's time to shift my focus to working with people who really care about doing this work.

My Grandmother was ill. It made me think about the end of life and how important it is to have a plan for how you want things to play out when you are no longer in control of your life. I will miss her tramendously when she does go.

An old acquaintance won a Pulitzer Prize and it made me feel happy and jealous and incomplete.

I got married. nothing changed, but everything was altered. it didn't change any day to day stuff, because she was already living here, but now it's like we're really together.

I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy, amazing daughter. She is the very best thing that has ever happened to me. I look at her daily and can't believe how lucky I am to have her in my life. I feel so aware each day of the fragility and sheer luck of life. Each day I am reminded that to be healthy and happy is the most important, everything beyond that is just gravy.

I let go of my pride and sense of invincibility when I went on anti-depressant medications again after an eighteenth month hiatus. Try as I had to make a productive, normal life for myself in denial of the brevity of my mood disorder, I finally accepted that I could live much more fully, and much less painfully, if I admitted that I needed help. Since then, I've carefully allowed help into other areas of my life, as well. I've also stopped putting so much pressure on myself and pushing myself to perform everything I do with complete perfection. And it's funny-- I don't see my new found fallibilities as shortcomings. I feel like I actually relate to people around me at a greater level, and in addition, how little my old hang-ups, as I acknowledge them, mean in the grand scheme of things. Ironically, I've realized that I have much more strength for letting go of my tough, independent identity than I ever did when I was striving so hard to maintain it. I feel much more comfortable with myself now that I admit, and allow, the feeling of discomfort. The idea of myself as "independent" holds much less value to me than my newer sense of flexibility and freedom.

my granddaughter jennifer graduated medical school this may. i am happy for her and my daughter sue who is a very devoted mother.

So many new things have happened in the past year - I wouldn't know where to start. But moving to Austin and starting my first job in my career field have helped me grow in so many ways. Moving to a new city where you don't know anyone is a test of your ability to survive in new locations, and adapt to your surroundings. I think I have learned that I have a great strength for adaptability - and this will serve me well in growing and learning about life. My new job has strengthened my professional skills, and has set me in a good direction to find a career path and excel in whatever direction I choose. The downside of this is that there are a whole new set of questions I need to answer, in terms of where I want to take my career, and how much emphasis I want my career to have in my life. I think those answers will unfold over time - but the greatest challenge I now face is deciding whether I want to excel in social media marketing, which I know is the future of marketing, or whether I want to take on a new direction and find a field where I will feel a good sense of purpose at the end of the day. Currently - I really enjoy my job and I have realized that this is very important. However, I feel sometimes like the act of selling ideas to people can leave you feeling counter productive to society. Overally I have greatly grown over the past year - and I think that this growth has caused me to ask new questions and find new answers which will lead me on the right path.

I have finally come to terms with the fact that my Dad is really dead. He's been gone since Dec. 2, 2004. The reality set in, in June 2009, when my attorney suggested I PLEASE read the will. After the nervous breakdown in his office and on my bedroom floor that night, a weight lifted off me. I realized I had been in a functional depression for 5 years. There was a ganglia-like mass of mess and loose ends to tie up; relationships to sever; bills and TAXES to pay; mail and letters to answer; garbage to throw out; clothes and things to give away, and people's quiet kindness to acknowledge. How did it affect me? Terrified with him gone, a question that I forgot to ask would pop up and remain unanswered forever/ Mortified that I am the next in line/Shocked that the weight of depression can be so psychically and physically crippling/Surprised that I hadn't accidently killed myself in the past 5 yrs./Devestated that I had obliviously caused so much collateral damage to others/Afraid I would not be forgiven/Hellbent on making amends!

My Aunty Dolly died. She was like a second Mum to me and when my own mum died, I felt, " At least I have Aunty Dolly ". When she started getting dementia I felt incredibly cheated, and when she died suddenly I felt hugely empty. She had been such a positive influence on my life. The fact that she wanted me to have all her jewellery was huge for me - although she had never told me directly. She wasn't mushy. But I felt so validated that she really had thought of me as the person closest to her. I also began to feel hugely responsible that not only Uncle David be looked after well, which I was doing already, but to make sure that her wishes were carried out despite a huge mess in her will. I also wanted to make sure her family were looked after and kept in the loop. This has taken a very large toll on my own health but hopefully this year, 5770, I can do some recuperating and recharging.

The person who knew me best in this world died in a car crash. She knew me heart and soul, in and out. I feel like a terrible person because I didn't allow myself to know her as deeply as she knew me. I miss her everyday and my heart aches. I cannot imagine her mother's pain.

Our youngest son was born. We've been busier, we've had the added challenge of juggling both boys and their needs/schedules. But more than anything we've had the added joy of watching him grow into his own personality, watching the boys adore (and fight) each other, and appreciating the way our family has come into its own.

I gave birth to our beautiful son. He has forever changed how I think of "love".

I reconnected with an old friend. It helped me let go of an old anger that I didn't really need to have in my life.

I made a decision to pursue a career in Jewish Education. It put my mind at ease having the sense that I finally found something that I want to spend my thoughts and energy on, and that I felt strongly that I wanted to share with others.

I fell in love. It made me happy.

I discoverd that I need to trust myself more and that the my authentic way of dealing with thinngs is the best. I had a hard time with the very slow and painful exit of a co-worker who needed to leave. I should have been more outspoken about doing things my way-about being firm yet kind.

Began working out in earnest. Signifies that I am beginning to take my life seriously enough to want to preserve and enhance it.

I became a grandmother. It's wonderful and amazing to experience the emergence of a new life; of my daughter (my baby) becoming a mother; and the strange phenomenon of suddenly being thrust into the category of grandparent. It makes me realize how quickly life happens.

My true love and I moved in together. For the first time in my life I'm learning what it means to have a real partner and I could not be happier with him.

I drove the PCH (CA 1), along some of the most beautiful shoreline this country has to offer, with an incredible new friend. Big Sur changed my life. It allowed me to breathe again and to have an adventure and to remember who I am. It introduced me to the location of the beachhouse I will own in five years (in Monterrey!) and changed my life.

i got a new bike, it improved my love of biking and i am having a lot of fun biking with my dad

Going 1/2 way across the world to visit my mother and finding that I have to organise her into a Rest Home. This involved sepatation from the family, international travel and a project. All to be done alone. I realised how much I can do alone. I realised how everything fits together and happens at the right time for *me* (and my projects). The universe spinning around my left little finger. Confirmed my theory on help - that you only have to ask and people *love* to Realised that my parents had no understanding about my life in Israel Realised there was all this $$$ there. Good for them on the effort but you can't take it with you! 2 new friends - Nicky and Helen Jones

I was asked to serve as the Acting Program Coordinator of Humber College's Business School's MArketing Management, INternational Marketing and Global Business Management post-graduate programs. This was in addition to my being a Partner in HAwk Partners, a Toronto-based specialized consulting firm. This new request enabled me to expand beyond simply teaching as a part-time Adjunct Professor leveraging my business experience.

I finished treatment for cancer 1 year ago. Emotionally the last year has been worse than before and during the treatment. I grapple each day with anger and fear of the disease returning. Its kind of like a death sentence where the firing squad was stopped at the last minute, then returning to your cell while the judge spends 4 more years considering your appeal , but any time you can be put before the rifles again.

The best part of this year is that nothing really significant has happened. I've been able to breathe, try and re-center myself and look into the distance. Sometimes nothing is more valuable than something.

I went to Argentina, almost on a whim, for 2 months. I knew nothing about Argentina and I had no friends or acquaintance there. No project, no plan. I hadn't spoken Spanish since taking classes in high school. I just wanted to go somewhere completely foreign and where I'd have no expectations and could be a ghost. My time in Argentina was quiet, adventurous, refreshing. I felt so free. I delighted in small things. I let myself think and be however I wished to, without worrying about internal/external expectations. I returned home feeling freer and more relaxed about everything. I held on less to preconceived notions of how it should be. I was more generous with people -- I felt ok with whatever state people were in. I could be in the moment, whether good or bad, and really be IN it. Life is so much more fluid than I had previously thought. It is often ourselves who keep freedom at bay because, in the end, it is the freedom and openness of the spirit that is more significant than external freedom from places, relationships and obligations.

Losing the baby I was carrying. I shut down. I was numb. My little boy kept me connected with the world. My husband was a huge support. After about a week I could start plugging into the world again. Whew.

My dog passed away. The year before this was a difficult one but having my dog pass away was certainly a significant event to top off everything else. I haven't been home since he passed but I know when I go home in three weeks I will feel the loss, notice the emptiness of the house and really understand how important that love was to me.

I lost my job but within a month was hired at one that I've been training for many years but did not know it.

At the end of November 2008, on Thanksgiving, I was evacuated from Mumbai, India, where I held a fellowship with an American NGO. The terrorist attacks of those days cemented my first long-term relationship with my then-boyfriend. They built upon my need for my family and friends at home in the U.S. They (and much of my year in India) showed me that I can handle whatever challenges come my way - whether I choose them or they are forced upon me. I have also received some unnecessary attention with regard to those days - from local news stations and from publishers - and I have not yet reconciled this attention with my own experience of the situation. In some ways, I think I'll never know, or at least, never be able to acknowledge, the true impact of the attacks on my life.

The break up of my bf and I 2008 july 30... It has been an uphill battle to stay above water with all I have gone through. Friends have left and I have maintained some but getting through it was because of my close friends and my aunt... I do not feel nearly the same he doednt mean to what he used to and I have dealt with the feelings and ready to trust again... He never loved me and was only with me to use me for my money. I had to deal with my part in choosing him and why I stayed so long. I see why it was so easy to take advantage and why I welcomed him in my life has been hard to face but I have.-t was hard .. So hard in fact it was the straw that almost broke my back.. But what I have learned is how strong I am how resililient how trusting how loving I trully am. And how vulnerable and desirous of sharing my self with another with true intentions.

Trip to Italy in May. The Mamertine Prison, where Peter and Paul were held prisoner made me cry. And the town of Sorrento and Island of Capri took my breath away.

My first time getting drunk. It was comically easy-- it took only 1 rum and coke-- but marked my entrance into a new era of my life; one that will be marked by social interactions and the creation of new friendships.

I started my full-time working career - no longer the student and world-traveller, but now trying to make something of myself and launching a career. It's really tough. I'm finding it hard to cope with the monotony, boredom and routine, but hopefully it can give me some grounding and direction, and push me towards doing something truly worthwhile, something that I do really love.

My husband and I went through a lot of tumultuous times - it was often too much to deal with and I had to move out of our home temporarily so we could get perspective on ourselves and us as a couple. I moved back in after we determined what was important to us, and that we had to leave past, petty things behind.

My son was born this year. Now I can't consider the decisions of my life without thinking about him.

My best friend died. How can I even put into words the ways in which that has affected me? It has made me more sensitive to the fragility of life, to the ephemeral nature of relationships, and to the deep sadness that can exist in people's hearts alongside all of their other emotions, threatening to hijack any moment.

I changed jobs this summer. Overall it was a positive change (I think), but I wonder if I will become disillusioned with the new position once the newness wears off.

My classroom teaching became a nightmare. I began to question my choice of professional direction, my role as a teacher, and if I was a nice person at all. This made me rethink what had happened in the classroom that year, and seek help from my school. They found me a mentor, recommended that I read the right books, take a great professional development course over the summer and meet regularly with people who want me to succeed.

My husband was diagnosed with cancer. I was first scared, then I became angry with all of the uncertainty life was throwing at us. We are both good people. I thought why us? It happened 11 months ago and we both made it through with a lot of support from family, friends and colleagues. I have realized the world is an amazing place. I look at life more positively now than I ever did and I have learned that from bad can come good.

My beautiful niece was born, and changed my whole perspective on the world. I never liked kids before, and was sort of afraid of babies, but this kid is truly the second love of my life, after my boyfriend. It also totally transformed my relationship with my sister, in an amazing way.

Starting my dream job. It is without a doubt the hardest job I've ever had but I've learned so much from it, I can't even begin to describe how much it changed me. And I'm looking forward to another year of this incredible job.

I went to the inauguration of President Barack Obama with my granddaughter. It filled me with hope and joy and pride for me and my country.

Getting married has been a significant experience for me. It has shown me how dedicated I can be to one person. At the same time however I have learned that if I do not take care of myself and make myself a priority, I can easily lose myself in the act of taking care of my loved ones.

I realized that I'm madly in love with my boyfriend and could most likely spend the rest of my life with him.

I was snowed in with the power out for about 4 days. I camped in front of the woodstove, and felt very resourceful making tea, soup, and oatmeal on top of the woodstove! Unlike previous years, I didn't panic.

I just got laid off from my job. This experience was soooo unexpected and made me realize that even the best of the best situations are unpredictable and fragile. And it was a real life reminder to never take anything for granted! I was so focused on the commitment I had made to the organization i was working for...and I felt let down that their commitment to me was so fragile and weak. However, this experience has also made me "free" again! It really has encouraged me to reflect deeply on my life now and how i am living it. I believe it is a great omen in the sense that I now have the freedom (and time) to really reflect and experiment how I REALLY want to live...It's exciting to have so many options open to me again...I feel so inspired to take advantage of this opportunity and to become a better person... and better at l i v i n g this life! I want my "cup" to sooo "overflow"! Plus I hope I get to go on the taglit israel trip! Could there BE a better time for it??!!

I went back to college to study early childhood development. I decided I want to be a preschool teacher after being a stay at home mom for 10 years. Little did I know that I would learn so much about development that it has helped me with my own children. I have such a better understanding of them and the changes and growth they are going through and will be going through in the future.

I became able to separate my personal happiness from my career happiness. I realized my career will have many ups and downs, but my personal health and happiness will not change based on those ups and downs. This is because of my beloved girlfriend, who taught me how to laugh in spite of everything.

A panic attack about getting older (when I realized how cute my daughter was, and how much I enjoyed her, but how quickly she will be off in her own world, with me less and less a part of everything)...really made me start thinking about what I wanted ot accomplish with my kids the next few years,,,cliche yes, but affected me.

Becoming chariman of the department. It has been a mixed blessing. I was really pleased that I was asked to be chief of staff elect, and had the smarts to say "not"

I became a mother. I have learned to appreciate life from the eyes of a developing child. I learned what love and care and deep concern are. I learned how it feels to feel another's pain. I learned what it means to be a family.

In October I was laid-off from a "cushy" job in the mortgage industry and thus decided to switch careers. Since the task has been to become a full-time working actor. Losing my job was the best thing that happened to me this year because I'm finally pursuing my dreams.

What happened this past year was the death of my grandmother. It was somewhat expected, but the way it forced me to reconsider family, and the importance of keeping your loved ones close definitely stuck. It led me to look at my family, to look at the people in my life in a new way. The memories and relationships that are developed and nurtured are important at all times, and it is vital that we stay mindful of those who have helped us to grow and to learn. Even if the lessons are difficult, there is something to be said in having been taught.

2009, a milestone did occur, but it was a subtle one. Something that I decided about social interactions with the opposite sex. I have been hoping to find a life partner/companion and on every outing I'd be focused on that one goal, often not able to enjoy the moment. I have turned that off , which has helped me enjoy my outings more fully and to be in the moment. All my friends have noticed a brighter happier more enjoyable person to be around, which in turn makes me more attractive to the opposite sex.

found out someone i trusted stole money and lied about many big, important things. has put a lot of stress on me to clean up someone else's mess.

We changed membership at our Temple. We feel energized to meet new people and to volunteer

Loosing things: finally being in a relationship after years and years and years of not, but having it end quite suddenly, loosing contracts, work, money getting tighter. It taught me what to value, it taught me that happiness and contentment doesn't lie in those things. It taught me to trust the Universe, to accept that good things lie ahead, that no matter how much I might think something is right or meant to be or what have you, if I don't end up with it/doing it/etc, it is for a bigger reason. Really, I feel like I was able to put the Buddhist concepts I've been studying the past year and a half into practice: strive to live in the present, loose attachment, accept, be optimistic about the future regardless of what situation you are in now. I've learned about change and tenacity and that, ultimately, when push comes to shove, the world will provide.

My friend and mentor died suddenly and unexpectedly. I didn't know how much he taught me or how much I missed him until he was gone. But I still feel his benevolent presence.

My grandmother died. Six months before that my mother died, and I still don't feel like I've regained my footing in reality. I feel like the walking wounded as I go through my life every day. I hate feeling sorry for myself, but I am so sad all the time I can hardly believe it.

In spite of the economic situation, I and my family are doing okay financially...We have been living simple lives all along, so nothing much has changed for us...except some of our friends have been laid off. It's really hard times for lots of people...so sad.

I just recently graduated college. It has only been about 3 1/2 months since that "fateful" day - May 30th. Since then I have lived in my parents house, travelled to Thailand, and moved into my boyfriend - Rich's apartment in NYC. All in 3 months. I guess looking back on it - that is a lot to happen within that span. Throughout these past three months - I must say I have done a lot of job searching/ getting my name out there. It has been rough - not knowing what is going to happen each day or the next. Sometimes I get a random wisp of courage or confidence and I try to take that with me and use it for its energy to push me forward. Other days - I feel so nostalgic for the days of school, Burning Man, London study - abroads. What will I have to look forward to now? One day at a time is what I live by now.

Our son, our second child was born this year. I'm thrilled that our family is complete and ready to move to the next phase of our lives together. We've been planning, working, and building our family for so long - it's exciting to be moving on. I have also seen how fortunate we are with our friends and family.

The world economy went into the worst slump in my memory. It made me realize how vulnerable I am to short term losses of income and how important it is to remedy that problem. With two kids in college, who really couldn't give a shit about the stress levels I am feeling as long as they don't experience any discomfort, it really makes me want to fast forward to the future when they leave the nest...not only in body but in whole. I am more anxious than ever to shed my $1000. per day skin and move into a simpler calmer life. I think I am not alone in this desire and perhap it will become a primary component in the "new age" that I think the world is entering.

I moved in with my boyfriend. I am learning about myself - and am often surprised despite being in my 40s and thinking I knew myself rather well. It is a good challenge. It disturbs me though how easy it is to let yourself slip back into situations similar to those from your past

Worked as a Volunteer for Israel on a military base 20 miles from the Gaza border. It affected me by making my support for Israel even greater.

I became a grandfather. It made me more aware of my responsibility to pass on what I've learned of life to others. And some of the uniqueness that makes up what I am, is now continuing in some form, to keep making an impact upon life.

I bought a house with my partner: since I had to negotiate the sale from both buy & sell sides, it really brought to the forefront my "thin skin" & my lack of grace under pressure...this experience made me realize that I'm a grown up now & I really should be behaving more like one. This was the beginning of my Great Rethink about myself & the start of my quest for self-improvement.

i lost my job, and even though i really wanted to move on, i hated the fact that it wasn't my choice. But it made me come face to face with the fact that i haven't been choosing, just going along. and since this is, after all, my life--it made me realize I need to stop waiting for life to happen to me.

I graduated college... a milestone is one's life. Yet I wish I could feel more proud of it, I wish it were a different major and someone had steered me in any kind of direction. I know I have something not a lot of people have and can't be taken away from me but it feel worthless. I think when people look at my resume they laugh 'religious studies? ya, right... next'. This feeling of failed sucess will hopefully lead me to get a MBA, that is something with some substance. On an unselfish note- I met Colin. I love Colin- I might look back on this and laugh or cry at myself but I really feel amamzing with him and now I feel as if we've really got to know each other and have come to the realization that this is what we want, a life with each other. I just hope we can grow and mature together to the point where we can have everything we've ever wanted and be happy too. Here's to another year- we'll see :)

Last winter my husband lost his job. Because the econcomy has been so bad, and the nature of the job market in Rochester, I realized that his chances of finding a new job were slim and none. I went through a period of panic wondering how we would make it. Now things have quieted down. I can't be angry at him over the economy. And I was the one who chose to move here. I've had to learn to live with the situation and make due with what we have. There are no earth-shattering revelations, but a few realizations... relationships are important. A little hardship can make you recognize what is important to you.

Getting married! What a huge change to life. I feel a stronger connection, stronger love now between me and my husband. It also means strong emotions that can be challenging, and really learning to be open, and trusting of each other.

My son was severely depressed and life changed. We had to stop and reframe everything; we had to stop and look at the most basic way to relate to each other, to take care of him, to support him, to understand what was really important, and to let go of our ideas about him, to look at him and first think of his safety and well-being, and not his grades. This crises made me stop and look at almost everything about my son, myself, my husband and our family dynamics. It made em question what kind of person I am and what characteristics, traits, qualities, priorities I want and need to support in myself, my son and my husband. I felt extremely guilty and like I had been blind, or more so that I had seen and not acted appropriately, which was worse. After being stuck in the ground, in a stupid, blind place, together we started taking some action to save, to support, to help this intelligent, warm, compassionate, funny, handsome, athletic and loving person. To help him help himself, and to be brave enough to look at the truth, the reality, the moment, and to take a stand, take action on what was truly important.

I bought a house. It has led me to be more focused on supporting my family and doing more to make sure that I can suppost them.

During last year I learned in a very significant way how much hate the world has towards Jews

Nothing happend really important

I moved cross-country this year to assist with the care of my mother who suffers from advanced stage multiple sclerosis. While there's been a lot of adjustments to make, I've never felt a greater sense of purpose and meaning in my life as I do now. Makes me question all those years when I gave everything I had to a company who never really appreciated my contribution. When you are charged with the responsibility of making a parent's life easier it is both challenging and incredibly rewarding at the same time. I have no regrets and feel grateful to be in this position where I can spend quality time with my parents in the "September of their years".

My younger son went to college so my wife and I are now on our own. It's a bit bittersweet as my wife and I will really enjoy our time alone but we'll miss being a part of our kids' daily lives.

my mother died in april, suddenly. it was on a friday evening that i found out. 86 and sickly and miserable (within herself and toward her children, who all came around to help her, but it was never enough). i told her to forgive herself for the things she hadn't had the courage to do in her life, for all her regrets, and to appreciate the gifts she'd been given. i was also not patient enough with her, which is now my regret.

I opened myself up to more relationships in the past year, which brought me more emotional highs and lows than ever before. One ex left a huge shadow over me, which gave my friends, family, and myself an opportunity to remove that shadow. My strength, as well as the huge amount of love and support I received from my friends and family was paramount; I didn't know their love was so strong, nor was my ability to rest on them so present.

I was contacted by a long lost love. Hearing from her opened wounds, unleashed regret and affected my marriage of two years. And still, I was glad she wrote me.

Around this time last year, I was a freshman in college. Everything was new and intimidating. I feel like when you're a freshman in art school, it's ten times scarier because along with the typical freshman judgement from others, your own work is judged against upperclassmen.

I fell in love with my best friend this year. it effected me in that I've never been happier, even with all the mess that is my life, this love keeps me hopeful.

Getting really depressed and having my boyfriend just abruptly end our relationship. I realized how I needed to find the strength solely within myself to get out of it, to move on, to stop wasting time, to make something of myself and my future. I became even more independent, I focused on myself. I began to love myself more and more. If I didnt have that really low point in my life, I would never have the high point right now nor would I have learned so many things as I did about myself.

I had to put my dog to sleep. This was the third living being in the past 9 years whose life I have had to usher on, including my mother. And while I understand this role I've played to be a gift and am humbled that such amazing beings are in my life, I am frightened: I do not want to be a doorway to death. And I do not want to be chronically at its edge, peering in. I want to live a full, bright, and blooming life, one not always pulled to darkness' door.

My father passed away. I joined a synagogue to be a part of a minyan to say kaddish every day. I have gotten much closer with my mother and my there is a new level of meaning and importance I find through my professional work. My community, my schedule, my family, and my entire world has changed. In fact, I have been affected in many more ways than can fit in this little box.

SunDog, thats all I'm at liberty to say.

my boss left and suddenly i was leading the organization I work for. While I have trying to convince them to hire someone new, it looks like I'm virtually alone for good. It only work because of the amazing support my colleagues give me.

My grandfather passed away; and with this I felt a new level of responsibility for my family and my dreams.

we had our wedding. it was stressful as we had to replan it in 2 weeks after canceling our wedding in mexico due tot he swine flu. however, it turned out beautifully and i love being married to my husband.

We moved into a new house in a great neighborhood, my daughter started elementary school, we joined a shul. I feel like a new life is in motion. I am excited and exhausted by it all at the same time. I want to burst out into it all and get involved, yet at the same time, I want to hide and go to bed. I love change. I hate change. I need change.

Move to California. It has been one of the most terrifying and joyful experiences in my life. I have learned a great deal about myself and I have grown as a person. Most importantly, when I look to the future now, it is open and free.

I lost my 17 year old son to cancer. It was incredibly devastating. But the weird thing is that it also gave me a very different view of life and work and love and people. I discovered that I have a voice that needs to be heard on the subject of love and loss. But I am still unsure how to make my voice heard. I also learned that not everyone handles this kind of loss the same way. And I am not sure how to help my husband and daughter through this.

I met a man and fell in love. It affected me by challenging my ideas of what is possible. It has blown open my expectations of what I can expect and achieve. It has made me more open emotionally. It is making me bolder, more sensitive and has sparked my mind. My sexuality is blooming and my genius is expressing in making love. I am learning about the long haul. I am willing to hope and push and grow. I am willing to let the old pass to make way for the new. I realize that all encounters are energetic exchanges that make us who we are. I realize the intuitive non linguistic space is an energy we can share.

My mom died this year after years of living with cancer. I stayed with her in the hospital. I learned how much she loved me, and what that meant. I learned the extent of my love for her, and what that could motivate me to do. I learned that sometimes, vulnerability is the ultimate manifestation of love. Without her, I've been exploring how to define myself by my own criteria, to remember that sometimes her criticism was not necessary and that I can let go of that, and how to re-define my shrinking family without her. I've been thinking about my life events that she won't be present for, though her presence or influence will be felt.

I fell while skiing and hurt myself badly. The all-consuming pain that I thought would never stop was a major wake-up call: if you don't feel well, nothing else matters. It made me realize how important my health is. I quit smoking because of this realization. I won't take my health for granted any more.

My mother in law was diagnosed with lung cancer. Having lost both my parents to cancer, my mother less than three years ago, this experience terrified and depressed me. It made me confront a new my own mortality, especially as my parents died of the same fairly rare cancer. It also made me reflect on my parents, esp. mother, very rapid demise, as opposed to a possibly more protracted illness for my mother in law and the positive and negative aspects of that.

I just moved across the country to start my own business. It's changed almost every facet of my life, but hopefully for the better. It's only been a few weeks, but it feels like the best decisions I've made in a while, so far.

I moved in with my boyfriend. This may sound rather uneventful, but it's the first time I've ever lived with anyone other than my mom. I'm very independent, and the adjustments I have had to make have revealed to me a lot about myself--the things that really matter to me and the things that I want to change.

My mother who is 85 suffered serious debilatating condition and had to enter a nursing facility. while I was taking care of her, I neglected my own health and wound up at a hospital. These events had profound emotional impact on me and my mother: first guilt for "letting my mother enter a nursing home", then a determination to take better care of myself, and now relief, since my mom seems to do better in the nursing home b/c she is not "home alone" anymore but has a lot of people around to talk with. Nevertheless, she does not like the nursing home b/c of the various restrictions and stupid management.

Reading the new year card I wrote to my family out loud to my boyfriend and crying because of my intense love for them. I realized that I can still feel close to them even though we live thousands of miles away from each other.

I opened myself up to being loved for who I am, and not feeling guilty about receiving that love.

I went through a series of biopsy's for breast cancer and cat scan and my last test came back negative. Now I am back to testing every two years.

My eyes were open when an opportunity presented itself, and I took the opportunity as my own. Six months later, I am pursuing the opportunity, and in the course of doing so I am learning all about the road blocks I have placed in my way over the years.

The funny thing is, i can't think of a single significant experience that has affected me. I think that the past year in general has been an evolving experience for myself in terms of personal growth. I can actually feel it changing every day physically, mentally and emotionally.

I became elected president of my synagogue. This represents a tremendous personal challenge, and is causing me to refocus my energies, generally in more positive ways.

Our son was born. I now feel that I have fulfilled by genetic destiny.

Finding out that I had another cancerous tumor. I had to really start taking care of my health.

I haven't been able to get much work. The recession hit, consulting contracts became scarce and I had to use all my savings to pay the bills and survive. It get tiring to be scraping pennies together each month but I've learned I can survive. This experience has helped me realize that we can continue to be happy and help others despite hard times.

My husband and I attempted marriage counseling, and became aware of deeper problems between us. This has lead us both to a serious examination of ourselves and our relationship.

My grandmother passed away, and I lost a close friend, mentor, and a woman I admired for many reasons. Her death was rapid and has had a ripple effect on the entire family, and I felt that my convictions and strength were being tested in the face of death. However, her death made me certain of how much we loved one another, and the experiences surrounding her death with the hospital, my father, and my family inspired me to pursue certain subjects of study that may lead me into a new dimension of my education and career.

I took my first trip to Asia. Although I have been many places all over the world, it was a different way of traveling for me, because I tried to be less of a tourirst and more of an informed traveler. A participant...not just a spectator. We volunteered while we were there and donated supplies. It was a totally new way for me to interact with the local people and it brought me so much joy. I think quite about about how much I have and how little some of the villages had. I don't think I will ever travel to another impoverished country without donating my resources and time.

I met a wonderul person when I was about to lose hope that there was someone out there for me. And he is even more than I expected!

Reunited with the ex/father of my son after being separated for 5 years. It has been a total wish come true and I count my blessings but it is also real, as in a typical relationship with differences in opinion, struggles. The underlying sense though is that, yup, this is where I want to be (even if sometimes I could strangle him)!

I've been granted some management responsibilities in my career. I felt really stoked at first, because I'm inspired by progress and wanted to excel in this new role. As time has progressed, I'm beginning to regret this new direction. It seems this has taken much of the reward that I would normally feel as a designer or developer and replaced it with constant feelings of stress and anxiety.

I moved in with my partner after living in a house I rented for one year. For months I'd spent most of my time at his place and so moving in wasn't a huge adjustment, but there are definitely several small changes that have taken place over the past few months. And making the commitment to live together has really cemented us as a couple that is ready to face the future together.

Finding out that we were going to have a baby. Every decision we make now has a deeper meaning to our daily lives. We know we have a lot to do before the baby is here and trying to figure out how our careers impact this change is huge.

The man I fell in love with but wasn't wholly certain that he a. felt as strongly as I did or b. wanted the same things as I did told me that he wants my children, not on one occasion but a few. This has made me realise that I am accepted for who I am, I am loved for who I am and I don't need to pander to this stupid notion that I have that other people "expect" me to be something that I am not.

I went to Israel and got to see things I never thought I would, met some amazing people, and felt connected to something larger than myself. For the first time I began to think that things might be happening to me with some purpose.

i finished grad school. i was so desperate to be done that i scrapped writing a thesis and took the comp exam instead. i'm proud of what i gained through completing the program...but slightly ashamed i didn't finish it in the way i intended...

I went on the Birthright trip to Israel and found a sense of religion

Partnering with a much younger Orthodox Jew to produce film and web content. Things are very good. I'm very happy with our work and potential and now open to many other things.

This past year I broke up with a guy that I had been dating for 3 years. I learned a lot about myself, and what I need to be happy. While I was still in a cloud of heartache I met a friend that understood me, and that has taught me how important it is to know yourself. There are still some REALLY lonely days, and it still hurts, there are dark moments where I seriously wonder if I will ever be loved again. I have really had to struggle with finding ways to make myself happy. It is really hard to not wonder if I have made a big mistake.

My husband and I adopted a baby girl from Ethiopia. She was 7 months when we brought her home, and we have a now 8 year old son with a communication/learning disability. So much of the good that I hoped this would bring to out family has panned out, but I had hoped I would handle the stress and extra demands better than I have.

moved into my own apt, living alone for the first time in my life. liberating, scary, annoying, (who's getting the toilet paper? you are) exciting; above all: quiet. Too quiet? ill let you know in a year.

Just about 2 months ago today, I went to Israel for the first time in my life on a birthright trip. When I came back, I didn't exactly feel that I have changed so much as I now have a much stronger connection to the country and its people. I have never felt more welcome in another country in my life. Before I went, I did not know what to expect. After spending an enriching 10 full days there, all I wanted to do was go back, as soon as possible, and get as many of my friends I could to have the same experience I did.

My family gathered to throw a surprise party for my birthday. The amount of love and care exhibited by my family and friends was overwhelming and humbling. I am fortunate to have such amazing people in my life. And it was a reminder to try and be as supportive and loving to them as they are to me.

The creation of Viral Media West.

I decided to get married. I never thought I would. I see myself as a selfish vagabond and at times I think I can never fully love someone. So my decision got me mad, paranoid, half-crazy, unhappy, hopeless about the future, bitter about lost opportunities at times; until finally I shed my insecurity skin and I'm really happy about my decision.

My employer has lost work (I think it is his own fault) and now I am working a part time job to supplement my income. Praise the Lord I have this opportunity.

Travelled to Thailand & India. Was overwhelmed with the poverty. Makes me rethink my situation.

I took this great time management class. It was really a life perspective class, designed and delivered to mothers of young children, most of whom had additional responsibilities beyond their actual home life. It picked me up from a burnout I had been in for a few years, probably a burnout I had been seriously accumulating for a few more. Now I realize more of my hopes are possible, and I have more patience to let them come to be (and more incentive to work toward them too).

I live in a mostly black upper middle class neighborhood of DC. Have owned this house now for almost 10 years. Great neighborhood. Everyone has a gardner, maids, lots of retirees. All over 50. There is a rental across the back ally from us. The house got rented to some college Catholic University seniors(all white) this month, (September). Walked out my back porch to throw out the trash last Friday to a full frontal view of a circumcised penis of one of the new neighbors. He was urinating on the bushes by the back gate. The very bushes that I saw Ardin take meticulous care of before she died. During the week I have been informed that they park their cars on the front lawn, since there is no parking on their side of the street!!

I graduated from design school with my second bachelors. It prompted me pursue an internship program in Israel and have been living here three weeks now...

I got married. Quotidian but wonderful. And, even though I am in a heterosexual relationship, it was exhilarating to get married in a state that does not discriminate based on sexual orientation.

I was laid off from my job. It forced me to re-examine what I wanted to do with my life. I'm not sure that I found any answers. But it showed me that life goes on and good things continue to happen and that if you have a partner who truly loves you, you can make it through the toughest times.

A very good friend got HIV. This was a surprise to all of us, including his partner, because we thought they were monogamous. It made me question who my friend actually was. I thought I knew him, but he had a secret life of multiple sexual partners that he kept hidden from all of us. I'm worried for him and for their relationship.

I got myself out of debt and started saving. This has been my biggest personal battle that has weighed on me for years. I feel proud that I finally did it, although annoyed that it took so long when it really shouldn't have!

I've always been a backpacker, hiker, flyfisher. In June of 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. When I went through aggressive treatment and became at-risk for lymphedema, I worried that backpacking and maybe even hiking of any consequence was over for me. For the past year I've been going on short hikes now and then, working on improving my stamina. On March 3rd I did a hike to Condor Peak in Sunland, CA which was a 4500' gain, 15-16 miles round trip, 9 hours hiking (- 1/2 hour for rests). As I was nearing the peak (and the hike was kicking my ass), I thought, I'm 2 and 3/4 years out from diagnosis. I'm going up a 5400' mountain after having hiked 5 hours and more than 7 miles already, and I just ran for 10 minutes of it. I'm at altitude hiking through snow, my muscles ache, and I am going to do it! I was wearing a pack and pushing my body and even running at altitude without trouble. The day was gorgeous, it had just rained so the leaves of the alders and oaks seemed to be breathing. The land was vibrant with the smog and dust washed away, the green buds on the birches just beginning to leaf out, the wild lilac blooming over the hillsides, dew studding the agave spikes like diamonds. It was divine.

Coming to Canada. It made me a different person, much closer to the one that I had wished for.

The collapse of Citigroup & Wachovia. I lost most of my net worth.

I experienced my first real loss. My grandmother, a wonderful Yiddishe mama -- who was not only lovable for her soft, slightly garlic scented hands, or her impeccable sense of irony, but also because she had always served as my main link to a family history that had little on a ceaseless migration west.

Like many, my husband and I were going to retire and start travelling and this has been delayed by the economy.

I chose to go to Uruguay and confront my heritage. I really want to meet my mom's side of the family and be able to talk to them in Spanish. As well, I need to figure out what I want to do.

Being terminated from my job. Led to a decision to reflect and integrate, and not just proceed with "business as usual." Still in that process, of course . . .

I got married! I have since tended to think more about the future, which I never wanted to think about before. Now I need to make sure I don't only think about the future, because I might neglect the present. Getting married had many other effects, but in a way, I feel that the most.

My son rejected the faith. It depressed me immensely.

My Aunty Dolly died. She was like a second Mum to me and when my own mum died, I felt, " At least I have Aunty Dolly ". When she started getting dementia I felt incredibly cheated, and when she died suddenly I felt hugely empty. She had been such a positive influence on my life. The fact that she wanted me to have all her jewellery was huge for me - although she had never told me directly. She wasn't mushy. But I felt so validated that she really had thought of me as the person closest to her. I also began to feel hugely responsible that not only Uncle David be looked after well, which I was doing already, but to make sure that her wishes were carried out despite a huge mess in her will. I also wanted to make sure her family were looked after and kept in the loop. This has taken a very large toll on my own health but hopefully this year, 5770, I can do some recuperating and recharging.

My 94 year old father is really slowing down and showing signs of age. My brother who has had little to do with me for most of my life came to be with dad and me when dad had an angiovalvuloplasty earlier this year. We had enforced family time which is more odd than awkward. There was no explosion, just years of cut off and estrangement. And dad has always been a center though my knowledge of dad was usually mediated by my much more accessible mother. Now that she is gone, I am trying to work directly with someone who was more of an idea than a whole person.

My financial assets went down significantly, It made me very cautious about spending money and buying things since I am retired on a fixed income

I got my MA with Distinction and, while writing my thesis, realized just how much fun exploring the Bible is for me. Now I am writing a book and using the thesis as a jumping off point. I think that being so involved in all things Jewish has enhanced my natural spirituality but has certainly made me less satisfied with the pro forma ritual as expressed by the clergy at Beth El. I think that I am generally kinder and more concerned for the well-being of my friends. I don't know if that's related---hmmm.

Sister from out of state moved into my house for several weeks, because her father was very ill. She arrived in June and is still here. I felt inconvenienced, uncomfortable and put out. Sometimes I was OK with it though.

This past December, I had an article in the New York Times. It wasn't anything earth-shattering, but it was my first, a huge milestone for any journalist. Lots of people go their whole careers without reaching that apex of the business. The process of reporting and then editing the piece was so exhilarating, and I feel it marked a turning point in my professional life, the way I approach projects. A few months ago, the City Room section was shuttered. It's a great loss, not only for readers but for young writers like me. The standard of excellence is has been permanently raised, and for that I am indebted.

In late January was probably the hardest time of the year for me. My girlfriend abruptly broke up with me and I had a combination of an Anxiety attack and a deep depression phase. In addition I got layed off from my job. In a week I felt like I was at an all time low. I got tired of being depressed and decided then and there that I would no longer be that way. I have not gone to see a doctor nor have I taken any type of medicine. I am strong . It has changed my life.

We had a daughter. I am a father- I relate to God as a father in a new way

I observed in an inner city school. It opened my eyes to new ideas and people! It was awesome.

I got married in August. It happened at such a turning point in my life--planning a wedding, starting online classes, moving to Florida/leaving Pittsburgh--that I still don't feel "married".

Almost left my home of 9 years to be with a girl and live my life with her. I realized now that I was running from my misery at work. I was still half ready. I needed to figure out my career and happiness first. I also realized that I'm a very loving individual with amazing friends that I was too quick to decide to leave behind. I've had too many defensive walls up and have kept myself out of relationships afraid I had nothing to offer. I realize I deserve so much, someone who knows HOW to love because I do. I also know that I want to pursue other careers namely personal training. I realized I panic and rush into everything and got a tattoo to remind myself to calm down and be more level-headed at this one-shot deal called life.

My experiance on the back of a motorcycle was something entirely new and fascinating. I never thought I would ride on something like that but life throws you suprises, especially when you suprise yourself. WHenever I rode on it I thought about taking risks and how far people go, and why they go that far. I also thought about what it might feel like to suddenly lose everything. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

I got married to a wonderful man. It's made me a better person, a more loving person and more confident.

During the last year I discovered social media--Facebook and Twitter. It's allowed me to be in touch with such a wide range of people, both in my field and not. I feel so much more connected now, less isolated.

Returning to therapy is an ongoing experience, but one I can't regret. I've become a different person, more approachable, more social, and I'm happy, I'm having fun. Because of therapy, I've done things and talked to people that otherwise would never have happened. Occasionally the homework is difficult, but it is still for me. If it was all easy, it wouldn't really help me grow.

I reconnected with an old flame. I realized that they are "old" for a reason.

I got married! I'm an incredibly independent person having grown up from age 2 with just my Mom. She passed away when I was 21. Getting married meant painful events of the past -- like my Mom's death and the dramatic end to past relationships -- all came to the surface. It means that I had to evaluate where I'm going in life, who I am, what I have to give to another, and if I can be truly selfless when necessary in a marriage and sometime soon as a parent.

I accompanied my daughter's second-grade classmate Hailey, a black girl, into the slave cabins at Greenfield Village when no one else in our otherwise all-white group wanted to go in. I could see how she connected, more than at other buildings and demonstrations, and tried to facilitate that, particularly by reminding her afterwards about how it was the Africans who taught those of European origin how to successfully grow rice on the plantations, to contribute to a sense of pride in her heritage. I wondered, how can we help all children to form a strong sense of identity, and hold on to the memories of important events of the past that we need to learn from, without letting that get in the way of their forming equal and positive relationships with people of all different groups?

I got married this year. I am 40 years old and finally got hitched! It brought my family and his family together and much happiness was spread around.

I got engaged last fall and then married at the end of the summer. It was a powerful experience of realizing that there is one wonderful person with whom I will share my life. Getting married was one of the holiest times in my life, realizing that I am entering into a relationship unlike anything else.

Living and working in Bangladesh raised many moral questions for me in addition to increasing my confidence in what career areas I am interested in. The issue I dwelt on to the greatest extent during my time there was how to react to pleas for charity. On one hand, I was essentially supported by my parents (on top of my $2 a day wage), but on the other I have a safety net that people there do not. As a foreigner I was correctly perceived to be wealthier than most locals but I for some reason wanted to prove myself as poor. I still cannot conclude whether my approach to charity was ethical but it raised issues that will continue to affect me forever.

I had the opportunity to direct Les Mis -Student Edition at our public high school. It was the most significant accomplishment of my career as a drama teacher and the most moving theatrical production I have ever been a part of. There is such power in the story, such power in the music, and sharing that with young people was unforgettable and very moving.

Moving away from San Diego was incredibly hard. I'm coming up on the 1 year anniversary of our moving and I'm still not completely ok living here. I miss California. I have some great friends here now, but California holds my heart in a way that no other duty station has.

Starting a new job where I get paid to be myself, essentially - and seeing what a difference it makes in who I am in the world to have that kind of baseline happiness.

Barack Obama was elected President of the Unites States of America. It made me hopeful and proud to be an American for the 1st time in a very long time. It saddened, shamed and scared me to see how unabashedly racist this country still is and what a dangerous cocktail fear coupled with ignorance makes.

I had high hopes for my professional life after attending a conference last October and another this spring, but it all came to naught. It really made me question my ability as a writer and competency to remain self-employed.

I was able to visit Korea, which I've not cared for my whole life, but after visiting, it helped me to see where I came from. The way the people were, and what they liked was what I liked. Many things made sense, and I had a greater appreciation for my ethnic background and where my parents came from. I'm really considering moving there for a year to grasp the language once again.


My youngest child started high school. I finally realized that I was a full-fledged adult!

I went to Paris, were I have lived for 1 year, ten years ago. It was a mixture of feelings, being back 10 years... I could clearly see that I took the right decision, when I decided to come back to my country.

My father passed away with little notice. Thankfully I was able to spend his last few days with him. I thank God for that amazing opportunity although I might occasionally wish I had just one more day.

I was allowed to join the local shul for services. For the first time in years, I started waking up without thinking about all the things I needed to do that day; usually I would have a list, on waking, of all that was required of me, it was as if even in my sleep I wasn't letting go of all my daily commitments. Being accepted into the community like this gave me some sort of peace of mind that allowed me to rest. Since being allowed this chance to enter the community, with the chance of conversion, I found myself waking up not knowing what day it was. It sounds trivial, but it's great that I found that level of rest.

The birth of my child changed my life! I am a happier and more fulfilled person. I've seen the meaning of life and I'm living it!

Ended a 40 year friendship. Very difficult but very freeing

This past May, my grandmother passed away after being sick for a long time. I miss her all the time and feel bad that I didn't call more in the past few years. She was such a wonderful woman and I took that for granted.

Not being able to walk. Wondering about the future.

How when I changed my behavior, others around me chnged their behavior towards me. I understand now that I am responsible for EVERYTHING that happens in my life. I need to change for others to change. :)

Three weeks ago, I moved to Canada to be a student, after living in the US all my life. And I went from being a teacher to being a student again (for the first time in 23 yrs).

Health crisis! While preparing to try to get pregnant, I discovered that I had severely taxed my adrenal glands. I ended up taking four months off of work. I was so proud of the team for keeping it all together in my absence, and became very clear that I don't want to return to the same role. Still working out how to change the situation so someone else can take over the executive functions I like least (and at which I am least good) and I can focus on the strategic and programmatic work.

Broke my arm twice. Pushed me to move to New York and reevaluate my relationship to dance. I'm more determined to dance now.

I made a decision to divorce Margy and move closer to my work place. My son wouldattend school near me and I would actually have some significant time with him both on weekdays and weekends. I had felt so forced into a box by my ex that I could not make any decisions that would not be deemed wrong by her. I now am trying to Find my way as an individual again. I am working on making decisions without seeking aproval from others prior to acting. I am looking into the health and well being of my son through consultation with doctors that might actually be helpful. Now, I don't feel like I am walking on eggshells on a daily basis and I can suround myself with positive energy versus having an angry bitter aura surounding my life.

After 13 years working at one firm, I took on a new position at a new firm -- a new role in a much larger organization. In leaving my old partners, I learned a lot about myself and attachment. And in starting out anew, I continue to learn and grow in ways I never imagined possible.

When Mike had his seizure outside on the lawn. He looked so gone and I still felt him struggling. I had to be empathetic without losing myself in him. In the ambulance I spoke with sincerity I didn't know I had, and I told him everything would be ok over and then over again because he kept looking at me like he didn't believe me over and over again, but i kept saying it. I kept talking, i said anything and later he cried, and much later i cried. I still don't know where he went but I am glad he is back. People are so fragile.

My first daughter was born. changed my whole life

I moved to Australia and it was an incredibly difficult transition. I had to leave everything that was safe, known, comfortable and in many ways easy, behind. I felt confronted again and again on a daily basis by life here - weather, landscape, people, finding a home, establishing myself in a new place. It made me question who I am and what I value.

I got married. It has started the next chapter of my life as an adult. I have been with my now husband for seven years and it is exciting that we are now taking the next step in our lives together as a couple.

I joined a senior club in NYC and through it have found friends and a sense of community

My grandson Brycie was found via ultrasound to have trisomy 13 and a diaphragmmatic hernia, so that all of his organs, stomach, liver, intestines, colon, were in his chest, precluding lung development. His pain fibers had been active for about 30 days. Life was not possible for him. We chose to give him a quick death thru injection of potassium chloride to his heart, rather than be born without lungs and suffocate or die from organs outgrowing his fragile chest. We prayed during the ultrasound to bring HaShem into the presence of this act of compassion. My 5 month old Brycie continues to teach me about HaShem and life. I try to bring him into Assiyah with acts, so that the world is a better place for his having been. I gave a drash about him- and what he taught me about teshuvah, about all the frozen grief when many women came up to me to tell me of lost children from an early terminated pregancy. I got to name, hold and bury with meaningful ritual, my 10 ounce Brycie. He taught me to see the story of Tamar and Judah from the prospective of Judah's frozen grief for his 2 lost sons, and that expressing that grief led to healing, compassion and justice, and the line of the Mesiach.

My best friend from high school called me to tell me she was having an emergency c-section, and that her daughter would have to be born 12 weeks early. I looked at the onesie I had just bought and wondered if her girl would ever grow into it.

I bought a house and got engaged both things that basically blow my preconceived notions out of the water. I find myself needing to sit back and reflect on the ramifications of those events. Both deal with themes of commitment which I often have trouble dealing with. While both are joyous events and things that have brought great happiness into my life this year they also open the door to things that concern me. Family, children, etc. Significant change is happening and I don't think my mind has caught up yet.

So many things have happened to me this past year - it's been all about change. I'm not even sure if there is one that sticks out in my mind because I've felt like the whole year has been a wave of turbulence. One experience that really changed me though was going on vacation with my family and making the mental decision to forgive them for everything I've been blaming them for since my sister's diagnosis of anorexia. I was harboring and hating and it was killing me. When I decided to let go, I could tangibly feel the difference in my life; and I learned that you must forgive. It's the only way out, and your family is too important to not have them in your life.

my mom got caught shop lifting again. it made everything clear to me. i can not control everything that happens, but i can control my thoughts and responses to what happens

Decided that I wanted to convert to Judaism (along with my young son). Family was not too pleased.

I realized how much happier I am without all the things I THOUGHT were making me happy before. In fact, the less I do what I thought made me happy before, the happier I am! Ha!

When I walk to work each morning, I cross a high bridge. One day in August, I came across a man who looked like he was about to jump from the bridge. I was uncomfortable throwing myself into his space, and yet I did. I ran over to him and asked him to come back over the other side. I then asked if he'd like to walk with me. We walked for about 10 minutes and finally parted ways. I don't know whatever happened to him--if he was able to get the help he needed or if he just went back to the bridge that evening or the following day. But it's almost irrelevant from my perspective. I stepped out of my safety zone to help someone else and I did what I could.

I got my first salaried job post-college graduation in November of 2008. I have no idea how to explain the range of emotions I felt that day. Mostly relief that I finally had an income, joy that I could begin a new chapter in life, and triumph that I had started to make my way in NYC. Mostly the feeling of triumph sticks with me. I learned that I could really do anything I wanted as long as I persisted through the ups and downs. I found an inner strength I didn't know existed that somehow got me through 7 months of unemployment and apartment-hopping and financial worries all because I had to finish what I set out to do in the first place. Getting my first job - and a dream one at that - marked the beginning of so much to come.

The birth of our third child and only daughter was more meaningful than I even thought it would be. I'm not sure if it is being a father to a girl, or that even for the third time, the creation of life is an overwhelming miracle.

I met Josh and everything changed. I initially lost a lot of strength during the first few months. I slowly recaptured it and now, a year later, I believe I am stronger because of the relationship. I have found my best friend as well as my life partner. I quit my job and moved across the nation without another job lined up= this will either turn out to be a massive failure or brilliance. Not sure which one it will be.

I had a second child, changes your priorities.

This past spring I saw my ex-boyfriend. I hadn't seen him since our break-up over a year and half earlier. Emotions of uncertainty, excitement, fear, and curiosity flooded my body before seeing him. The night, well, the night was one of the most amazing nights I had ever had. A new spirit was awakened inside of me. It was a sweet release...

I confronted my depression and suicidal feelings this year. This lead to making serious choices and changes in my life including ending an engagement and moving out on my own again. I'm generally much happier now. I've learned how to be aware (mindful) of my feelings and thoughts which takes their power away and leaves me at peace more easily. I still get caught up in stress and thoughts and feelings, but dealing with them in the moment is easier and brings a refreshing feeling on. I tend to laugh at the kinds of thoughts and feelings that used to trouble me.

I lost my job due to the economic crisis. I also lost some friendships, partly as a result. It has been a long hard, and often lonely road. But, I have faith that I will get through it.

Being in Israel this past summer was an incredible experience. And the immediate bond I had with Aschella, an Ethiopian young woman who immigrated to Israel the same time that I came to America from Russia, was profound. Paired with the younger Ethiopian girls clinging to me and me imagining having children with my black boyfriend. It was a collision of worlds.

I left the job I had been doing for the past 15 years. It represented a significant shift in responsibility for my family, me, my former business partner. Maybe not the best time to make this type of move - with the current economic situation, but it wasn't based solely on financial considerations. Just felt the need to move on, to try something new. Reinvention is essential to maintaining a healthy perspective. I keep telling myself that.

I have started a business with my sister in law. It has caused me to be more organized and focused.

I meet a nice man, fell in love a bit and then take distance. It ended that week, but that confirmed me i'm not dead inside, yet.

I was hospitalized for the first time in my life, at age 49, with major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. I've lived with these challenges all my life ... and I finally couldn't cope on my own anymore. I'm still not well ... and wondering how much I can do from now on in the world ...

I gave birth to my 2nd child, a daughter. She is now 6 months old and is the light of my life. She has affected me in every way. It has changed the whole family dynamic in such a wonderful way and we all feel so blessed to have her.

I made the decision to answer my call to the rabbinate which has made things much clearer in terms of the direction of my life.

I decided to accept a postdoc position in Isreal, so I moved from my big community of family and friends in NYC to Tel Aviv. I soon realized that in a way I was hoping to get by my whole life without ever really 'confronting' my feelings about Israel, and that this decision to come here was to do just that.

I very nearly lost my marriage because of an inappropriate exchange I had online. It forced me into a period of intense introspection that has lasted about nine months now, resulting in a much deeper understanding of myself and appreciation of my family.

I quit grad school. I was overstressed and basically kept being told I was no good. I felt even my teachers would tell me I needed to improve but w/c-ouldn't give me the tools to do so.

i had just started dating my manfriend, which was significant enough, but shortly thereafter i broke my foot and had to undergo a two surgeries and treatment. i was more moved and more surrendered to G-d and his will more than i had been in a long time. i was forced to ask for help, and i let people help me. i had no idea i had met the man of my dreams, and if it weren't for this accident and being forced to not run (literally and figuratively) i could've missed it all.

My husband lost his job. Because of this, we were unable to send my son away for college (instead he is at a community college). I thought it was the end of the world, but now, 9 months later, we are still moving forward. While he hasn't found a job, we are striving to continue to stay afloat. It takes lots of strength to not be angry, but I'm trying to stay positive.

My whole life has changed. after landing my dream job in Indonesia one of my twin daughters was diagnosed with a brain tumor. two surgeries later, a move back to the US and leaving the dream job and starting her on chemotherapy -- I'm struggling with who I am and what I believe more than ever. I've always defined myself by my job and commitment to public health-- but now it seems irrelevant. I want time wiht my girls, i want my marriage to improve-- we are so stressed and scared that we are angry at eachother. What will I do with my life-- I''m only 30, and feel like I'm 50. how do you live knowing the tumor could grow or not respond to chemo and she could die

We got married! It has really effected my life, for the better. I love being married, not engaged..not dating...not explaining...not questioning...we just are. It just feels complete and whole.

I spoke to my brother for the first time in 10 years. I have been chanting for many years to change the karma in my family, so this was actual proof of my prayer permeating the fabric of my life to bring him back in contact with me. I left home and my family's faith while very young, and they've disowned me. I call but they don't call back. Talking to my brother and hearing some of the painful truths about his relationship with them made me realize I've been protected by being pushed away. But hearing him say "I love you, I believe in you," makes a bigger difference than anyone else saying it, and I know I must work to heal my family so we can be close and loving and not estranged.

Obama being elected presidetnt. I remember the night he was elected. A bunch of people and friends were gathered around the big tv at the Compound, watching the results from each state roll in. Things were looking good, but after the last eight years, I was wary and afraid that something would go wrong. But it didn't! Barack Obama is now our president! We paraded through the streets, students, activists, and African American residents of the city, chanting and marching together. Beautiful. After 8 years of humiliation and disappointment we now have a president who represents us, who we can be proud of, and who inspires hope in us. The innaugural ceremony in January was also beautiful and moving, and several times moved me to tears. I am so happy and hope this country gets on the road to a better place.

One of the most significant experiences that has happened in the past year was when I dropped into a deep depression last October. It was a very challenging time for me because I had just gotten married to an incredible man, had a great job, had a nice new house and a good, happy life and yet this heavy, dark depression came over me like a thunderstorm and didn't lift for many months. That experience definitely pushed the limits of my faith farther than they had ever been before. I felt completely "dropped" by my Higher Power and was so angry at him for putting me through this. In the eye of the storm, I could see no way out. "This too shall pass..." everyone would say to me and I just wanted to punch them in the nose because they couldn't possibly understand my pain and the dark, scary place I was in. But it did pass...eventually, and in very many ways I came out the other end of the tunnel much stronger and more secure than I had been before with a renewed faith. Bad things do happen to good people (as wise Rabbi Harold Kushner said) but I know that I will never ever have to handle anything alone. I will always have G-d by my side even when I feel like the world is coming to an end for me.

This past year I met my boyfriend Victor. After bad blind dating for years I finally agreed to meet him after he emailed for a while. We were both unexpectedly stood up at the same time, and met for drinks. This weekend we celebrated our year anniversary. Its nice to have a supporter, lover and friend. Also- I got chronic strep throat. It taught me to not be scared of needles, to push hard for answers, to not think any problem is completely unsolvable, and to trust my gut.

My nephew was born this year, starting a new generation. My grandmother died. These two instances instilled me in me the realization that death is unfolding all around us, just as new forms of life are constantly created. The sooner we give into and accept these processes, the more at peace we will be.

My law firm went out of business, and took me back a couple decades to places of ambiguous feelings, but more importantly brought out competitive and macho feelings of the desire to litigate, and only after much turmoil did I realize that I was not interested in such doings. And the mourning is still not over. From time to time, the anger at the unnecessary loss and the loss itself hit me unexpectedly.

I finally got tutors for my daughter and learned a lot about how the school homebund system works. I never would have believed I would have to work so hard to get competent support to help her. I found a great tutor and it is like she has been sent from heaven to help both my daughter's academics and my relationship with my daughter.

Obama winning the election gave me a glimmer of hope but I'm not holding my breath.

3 of my grandparents died. It changed how I perceive myself. I grew up and became the "parent" and now my parents have become the "grandparents." We lost a generation. I grew up. I experienced loss. I taught my children about death. I felt mortality, aging, and sickness personally. I was scared, sad, lost. I'm still searching for answers that I thought I already had.

I joined a Conservative synagogue. It was big step for me after 50 years hanging with Reform.

My friend's breast cancer returned and spread. She is just 40 and is a wonderful wife and mother to 2 children. Her strength, her journey, her vulnerability have all been inspirational to me. She is living life, raising children, chicken and even bees. When she has down moments, she is also truly living life. Her path reminds me that the worst thing we can do spiritually is WASTE this precious TIME that god has created for us to perform tikkun.

4 people close to me passed away within weeks of each other. It deepened my committment to be present in the moment and increased my understanding of what truly matters.

I got married. It was the happiest day of my life.

My boyfriend had osteomylitis and he had major surgery, was in the hospital for 3 days and at home for 6 weeks with IV antibiotics. This experience affected me in ways which I am in still in awe of. I did not realize how strong of a person I was physically (I had to shop and haul all of the groceries) and emotionally (be there for emotional support) and spiritually (could not have done it without prayer and deep breathing).

I've started dating my boyfriend, and we've been together almost a year now. Things are pretty good right now, even though we had gone through some ups and downs. Hope we'll still be together next year.

On January 14 my husband slipped and fell on an icy patch, struck his head and suffered a major subdural hematoma. He was brain dead upon arrival at the ER. He was on life support for the next 6 days. On January 19 he died. On Jan 20 he was buried. His death has torn a big hole in my heart and in my life. He was a wonderful husband, and we had a wonderful marriage. BUT... He died intestate and without adequate insurance. The result: his family has been irrevocably damaged. His ex wife is suing me. His children, goaded by the ex wife are suing me. His parents and sibs have given the children their blessing. I lost not only my husband, but his entire family as well. I lost not only my husband but my financial security for the future.

I found out my daughter has Down Syndrome. I made me love her even more.

My daughter got into boarding school and moved from another state to a city much closer to me. I am now the primary parent again, after many years of being far away. Overall, this is good but it is also stressful and overwhelming at times. It will take a while to work out the new rhythm of life with her close by.

When my second son was born, that joy was coupled by one of the worst experiences of my life. I had to have an emergency c-section and the recovery was humbling. I couldn't walk for 3 weeks and had to rely on others for the first time. I had to learn to let some control go since I just couldn't do much for myself.

I've pushed my limits-- physically and emotionally. i have seen that i am capable of pushing myself and learnt the value of not giving up..

Two things: I was in a relationship which I probably should have realized was less than satisfactory and got dumped by email. I would say it made me afraid of dating. Just prior to this I had lost $30,000 in the stock market. Half my savings. I nearly became suicidal. I found religion. I met with 2 rabbis and I started conversion classes. I changed my values and I feel that I raised my standards when it comes to men. I will be much more prudent in managing money and probably not trust some broker to do it again.

Moving out of one town to a another town, and a place that feels more like me. It had been a long time coming for this major move. I feel much freeer from the contrains of living underneath another. Noise. It was very distracting having someone live above me.

I realized how much the land my grandfather left to his children means to my entire family. I realized how much I love that farm and want to make a new life there.

I found out that I was BRCA 1+ and had an increased risk of ovarian and breast cancer. It made me realize how truly lucky I am - and when I was diagnosed as having cancer - and they "got it all", once again, it made me realize how precious life and family is.

Joanna's graduation. It gave me clarity regarding my former wife in terms of how she is emotionally manipulative and how I need to remove myself from being hurt by her again and again even though we are no longer in relationship. It also gave me clarity regarding how I need to be more honest with my children about how their mother acts and how in doing so, I do not lose their respect or love.

I found out that my ex-husband was a very severe alcoholic and on the verge of homelessness. It was devastating news and I was first of all concerned for my son and his ability to deal with this. It also made me wonder how I might have contributed to my ex-husband's problems by never forcing him to confront his issues with money. It also made me very aware of my own sense of mortality and feel a certain urgency to live my own life fully and try to take whatever risks necessary to do that.

The time spent in Texas has formed into a sort of cloud in my head at this point, so I can't even be sure at the moment what happened and when. Suffice it to say, I think the move back to Brooklyn this summer qualifies as a significant enough experience. When I was there in Texas, the confluence of factors (house, job, house again, neighborhood) made it seem like somehow my fiancee and I had lost a magical moment we had when we'd started dating back in Williamsburg. I know we didn't, since I remember specifically that we were both sort of hating on NYC before we left (and that was the reason for leaving). I don't know if it was the emotional duress we found ourselves in or the job situation that really compelled me to suggest moving back. I kept saying it was the both when I was still there, and now that I'm here I tend to say it was just the job. The truth is, I can't figure it out. The short answer to this question is that it wasn't the move back to Brooklyn that was most significant to me; it was the aftermath. Having left my fiancee behind in Texas for an indefinite period of time, right at a low point in our two year relationship. Having come back for a promotion and a salary increase, neither of which truly delivered. Being broke again despite making more money than I ever have before. But more than that: wondering if there's an implicit message that my focus on career is a mistake. I obviously can't answer that question yet, but I ask myself every night when I climb into bed alone. When I look at the pictures of my house, now slowly improving after the year+ that we lived there among the dirt and nails of a construction site. I wonder what's next, when we decide to have kids. How long I can keep up this schedule of working eight hours a day and another three every night on freelance projects. Stretching in every direction I can. Etc., etc. That's a jumbled and barely coherent response. Just writing it has brought tears to my eyes, which seems an ever more frequent phenomenon of late. But that's the best I can say at the moment.

I slept with one of my good friends... he has a girlfriend. I have never felt so guilty about anything in my life.

This was the first year that I have been living on my own with no Dorms no Mom no Dad to help me out and really have had to figure many things on my own. It has been a reality check and one of a struggle to figure out what I really want in Life.

I was phased out of my job. It forced me to really think about my career direction. I learned that I want to be more of a leader than an employee. Either I want to be more of a manager or self-employed.

I fell in love with Torah.

despite being awesome, i've been unable to get a job. it's very frustrating.

My mum died. It is still affecting me. It's been the hardest transition letting go of the fact that there is no longer that person in the world who I can tell absolutely anything to and know she will continue to be there as the keeper of my secrets. I am now an orphan. I didn't realize how much this would affect me. I go to phone her sometimes and it hits me all over that she has gone. I still get sad and it's been 9 months.....

I found out that an aide I was employing had been stealing from me and, more importantly to me, was speaking badly about me behind my back. It was hard to accept that someone I was treating like family wasn't able to be honest and treat me in the same manner. It taught me that COMPLETE trust can only be given to G-d (and my Mom).

I completed my dissertation proposal and it was approved.

I was divorced. It was the best thing that had happened to me in 2009, and freed me to be able to live life more fully, find a new relationship, and be more financially secure.

Career shift! And I love it. It's made me more secure, satisfied and calm about many aspects of my life. But because it's something that had been occupying so many of my thoughts for so long, now that it's done, I'm pay attention to other aspects of my life I'd been neglecting.

i had a baby. everything is different now. and not in the ways i would have thought. The time flys by because its really busy taking care of an infant. My body is different and will never be quite the same. My heart is wide open to the baby even though she doesn't do much more than smile. i am a mother first and foremost

I attended my first funeral for an old friend/lover who passed at a young age. I personally discovered what mourning and remembrance can be, and how a vital it is to be connected with others as a part of this experience. At first, it was important to go through the process with those close to him. Then later, to share stories learned from knowing him with others. We each choose people to have in our lives - some more intentionally than others. It is a privilege to be able to shape our relationships with compassion and determination to connect more meaningfully with strangers.

I met my fiance and worked through the uncertainty to come to a place where I knew that he was the right one to spend the rest of my life with. It made me feel just absolutely "right" and at peace.

Got up on stage and demo'ed my clients product with him. It gave me confidence to do it myself with my startup.

I gave birth to our twins and we lost our baby daughter to SIDS. I don't even know where to begin on how this has changed us. Every day presents a different challenge. The only thing that keeps us going sometimes are our other children. They are an incredible joy and I don't take one moment with either of them for granted.

I was laid off, got another job, had high hopes to stay, was let down, had high hopes for another opportunity, let down, and so forth. I had an unfortunate encounter with the police, let's say. My career is tanked. My personal life is tanked. I have to sell my home because my parents have been paying the mortgage for a year and they are losing their retirement. It's kind of bringing me down a little. Hopefully bigger and better things are coming. Sure, I believe that.

My father died. It provided some relief (due to his long illness) and closure in my relationship with him. A rift in my relationship with brother S and his family seems to be stronger because of dad's death. It also reiterated my leadership role in the family and my brother J's amazing self-sacrifice when it comes to his home, privacy, life. He's since moved in with mom, which is great for her and again a huge relief for me. Everything else is the small stuff. Also my relationship with my boyfriend is pretty solid, but I want to be closer to him and that has emerged as a goal for this next year. We've been together 7.

I had ups and downs with my daughter and it just ripped my heart out. I didn't understand what was driving it and feel like it could recur anytime.

I discovered that my past relationships have shown clear signs of emotional abuse. I knew I had been subject to verbal abuse by my father, but I didn't realize that I was subconsciously attracted to guys who shared this quality. These guys seriously messed with my head. It was a weird, upsetting revelation, but I'm glad that I discovered it now. I'm not yet 19 and I already recognize a major problem in my romantic relationships. I'm young enough to change this. I'll be starting therapy very soon.

I reached my breaking point this past spring. I returned to CA from MD where I was visiting my family for a little over a week (I had also booked some work while I was there, per my usual tendency to multi-task and continuously over-burden myself with obligations). Upon entering my bedroom back in CA and setting down my things, I promptly entered into the first panic attack I'd ever had. This would be the first of many over the course of the next few months. I didn't know who I was, where I was going, my purpose, no career satisfaction or direction, an out-of-work hack of an actor, starving myself for the ideal body that I STILL hadn't acheived, no network of female friends providing a local support system for times just like this, a hostile living arrangement, a recently and painfully failed relationship (having lied to myself for a year and a half in an empty relationship with a person whom I now realize that I never knew), I had no place to live having not found an apartment yet with my move-out date being a mere 2 weeks away, and on and on. EVERYTHING was falling apart around me, nothing was solid, nothing was sure. For the first time in my life I had no anchor, no stability. I almost moved home for the summer which would have truly symbolized throwing in the towel in my psyche. I had, what I've now learned, is commonly referred to as the Quarter Life Crisis. I'm still feeling the effects, but I'm in a completely different place mentally, emotionally and spiritually than I was then. With everything that has happened and that I've done over the summer and ensuing months, I've found life to be a wonderful tapestry of opportunties and challenges, ups and downs, happiness and sadness. I'm stronger now in this stripped down state. I'm taking the time now to live from a place of joy. Not booking work for money, not being around people just to be around people. Not doing anything at the expense of any part of myself. Once I stopped struggling and pushing and pretending I was in control of everything around me, things started to fall into place and life began coming easier. I started healing myself, filling myself up with joy and in turn gaining the ability to selflessly bring joy to others. I'm still learning. Part of me is writing this for you who is reading it, but the part that sat down and decided on a whim to start answering these questions in the first place, well that was me for me. All me.

I transformed into a person with a sense of clarity, I was missing before.

I believe that the most significant experience that happened to me this year is my husband of 18 years purchasing me a 25 thousand dollar diamond eternity band. This was significant to me on so many levels. I could not believe that my husband and I had reached the financial level to afford such a luxury and I could not believe that someone thought that I was worth something of such value. What was also very bittersweet was that I was unable to share this with most of my friends as so many of them are in the midst of a financial crisis. I guess I could have shared but why??? Ultimately I feel blessed.

My wife, for the first time in our relationship after 13 years, lost faith in me. After some hard work, I believe her belief in me has been restored. It shook me to my core. You have to believe in yourself and defend yourself without anger even when those around you don't. Sometimes you even have to carry them while their faith in you has been lost...like Moses.

My son was arrested 850 miles away and I chose to let him stay in jail for several days. I alternated between guilt and justification before posting bail. I realized that there were some things a parent just had to let their child experience and hope that they learned from it

Marianna got pregnant! I've been loving sharing this experience with Marianna, and am viewing the whole thing as a tremendous opportunity for personal growth and new joys for me. Little do I know I'm sure! I can't wait to get to meet the little guy.

my sister-in-law died after battling cancer for 19 months. I was able to be helpful to her during the last 4 months of her life and in doing so got to know her better, even though we had actualy known each other for 41 years. I resolved to be less judgmental of other people and appreciate their strengths and focus less on their weaknesses.

My grandfather died at the age of 94. We weren't horribly close as he lived far away and whenever I visited I'd spend more time with my grandmother or other family. I debating not going to the funeral as I was very busy and knew it would be very hectic. Ultimately I went in support of my dad and cried like a baby during the eulogies. In the end, I was closer to my Zaida than I realized and was honored to be a pallbearer.

Moving to Rio -- how this has affected me so far is yet to be assessed.

I wonder how many more years I'll cite a relationship in this question? Since January I've been in a relationship with a wonderful girl. Things went rather quickly, and we got our own place together within three months of meeting. We got cats, got to know more and more about each other, all the while in seemingly constant conflict. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, but this relationship in particular has been a lot of work (for both of us). I've had to learn rather quickly how to alter my behavior to be conducive to living with others, and she's had to learn how to change the way she reacts to things, since I'm so sensitive to negativity. I think for most of my life I've worked so hard on the behavioral aspects of ADHD a focus on organization and such has been lost. Theresa is the opposite, and she hasn't had any help from professionals. I think in short, I've learned that it is possible to change yourself from within, and quickly; but its not easy.

I had to leave London, and it totally threw me off course. My plan was to make that my great leap forward, but myself on a solid path, not only in my career but in my relationship with a girl that I cared a lot about. I came home planning to get back as quick as I could. I would work and save and re-apply for the 2-year work visa available to graduates. But no solid work showed up. Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but I don't know since it sounds like a whole lot of people were losing their jobs while I was looking to find one. The deadline has run out for that visa, and I can't see any other visas that would apply to me from the UK gov website. So now I'm living with my parents, without an income or direction except the novel I started writing in London.

Losing my job. It made me question the direction my life was going in, and actively attempt to shift course. Incredibly frightening. Incredibly thrilling.

I got a chance to work with my father, unexpectedly. It nearly changed my entire career path. It was amazing to see him in action, doing what he lives and loves to do. I got an insight on Patience and Beauty and Compassion which I think we are rarely privileged to witness. I discovered that I could be happy doing a lot of things, not just what I set out to do. Sometimes life takes some interesting twists and turns along the way but Happiness will always find us if we let it.

התאהבתי וזה שינה הכל

This year, I tried to commit suicide. Case closed.

My father passed away after a brief illness.

The health of my parents has declined significantly. My mother has always had a lot of health problems, but during the course of this year, my father has begun experiencing noticeable memory loss and confusion. This has had an enormous impact upon me and my siblings as we try to help our parents manage their lives. Suddenly we are the ones constantly worrying about them.

Lies and disrepect that I perpetrated in my relationships with women came around and made me wake up and face some very immature patterns of behaviour in those relationships. I made some enemies out of former partners due to the gravity of the situation around which this all took place, and have begun taking steps to change my ways as a result, seeing a social worker specializing in men's issues etc.

The election of Barak Obama. It gave me hope that there could be intelligent government and action on the social and evnvironmental crises that have been left to fester in the past many years.

I had a biopsy of my breast. It slapped a sense of mortality in me like nothing else. Some other bad stuff happened after, but now I'm like, "oh well, at least it's not cancer".

I left my corporate job. I was petrified, then elated. That experience opened the door to experience true faith in a Higher Power, and trust that I will be taken care of. I always am.

i healed myself with the power of my mind. it made me feel free, in control of my body, and like i deserve to love myself more.

i changed my job scary and made room for peronal wishes.

I spent a lot of time volunteering this year and learning how much people can accomplish by donating little time, effort and/or money has been inspiring. I have also made an effort to be more involved in the Jewish community and it has affected me in a very positive way in that I feel more engaged, connected, educated and valuable.

my grandma died. this was the first close person i have ever lost in my life, which is pretty insane at age 26. she was really old and not doing well, so it was a "good" thing that she was able to die peacefully and with people she loved. but, it made me realize that this will be happening more and more and i need to figure out how i cope and deal with loss.

This whole year has been a big lesson for me. My Mom passed away, my old companion cat went to kitty heaven, I lost my job and my best friend learned she has MS. I am learning so much about my real feelings and needs. I am trying to understand how to express those to the people around me. I definitely have learned the importance of special friends and how even though it scares me, I have to let them in. I also realized I need to recharge and spend time in nature and with animals. Fuzzy therapy is the best.

I separated from my husband because he cheated on me and then started a relationship with this woman and could not break it off. I lost weight and focused on myself. It brought up a lot of issues from childhood, mainly the story that I was not pretty enough for someone to love. I had no idea that I even felt this way. In fact, I didn't but the child inside me did. But that child in side is very demanding of your attention and will cry out if you ignore her.

I was out at a nightclub and fainted and hit my head on the hard hard hard floor. I came to, saw a great amount of blood and was rushed to the hospital. The doctor kept telling me how lucky I was. I do not take life for granted and try not to get upset at the small things in life and enjoy it.

I had spent time with my father hunting and fishing which was the best I have had yet.

I am a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, an environmental organization that maintains the Appalachian Trail and its surrounding paths. They have great opportunities for hiking throughout the northeast and this summer I decided to embark on a guided hiking adventure in New Hampshire's White Mountains. I went alone, which I have never done before but was so glad I did. From driving 9 hours through the rain in Vermont to hiking up 3200 feet to the base of Mt. Lafayette, I proved to myself that I can accomplish anything and make it on my own. I came back with a real appreciation for our environment and how it's important to recognize how trivial things can be. I also learned that you need very little to survive and that everything we have in our modern life is a luxury.

My novel was rejected by everyone of any professional importance. It depressed the hell out of me. It made me hate living, and feel that I'd wasted so much of the past two years. Reading it again a few months later, I began to face the fact that I lied to myself about its quality; it was uneven at best, and pretentious self-indulgent drivel at worst. Strangely, this did not depress me further, but made me happy to see that my best work had not been rejected, and that I had something that I could work with.

Having twins - changed everyhting!

My husband losing his job. It helped me put things into prespective.

My home almsot went into forclosure and a friend gifted me money to help get current with my mortgage.

My mom was really sick and in the hospital for five months. I thought it would have made me more aware of HER mortality and how I need to spend time with her "before it's too late" but it really made me think about my own life and how I spend so much time taking care of everyone else.

My friend, Bob Cooper died suddenly. It was profoundly painful and even though we did not see each other that much...i find myself looking for him and missing him. It made me realize that I need to do a better job of "seizing the day".

I turned 30. This has made me think even more about what I have achieved so far in my life and what kind of a life I want to live in the future.

I made a break-through in my work, it was immediately realized and fulfilling. I knew the path was correct.

After taking care of my "Wasband" for the last 4 1/2 years, he died July 7, 2009. We were back together after divorcing in 1999 and we enjoyed each other in ways we never imagnied when we married. We had become companions and best friends and we were parents together. This experience put a lot into perspective for me in deciding what is really important. My gift to him ended up being his gift to me. It illustrates what good can come out of tragedy.

Hadassah went through a reorganization and friends were laid off. None of us knew if our jobs would still exist. I had to revamp my way of thinking and realizing oncwe again I might need to look for a job.

My grandmother passed away. This has caused me to more fully investigate spirituality and other dimensions of the soul. I've been doing a lot of investgation of other religions and their attitudes about the spirit, and passing. I have found Judaism to be very deep and often hard to intepret. Very mystical.

The brutal murder of the Chabad shluchim in Mumbai....... and it affected me to try to live their lives and follow in their ways, and reach out and change the world...

My father died. It's still affecting me, circulating just beneath the surface of everything. The veneer has been removed as I look around me. I can see everything - I mean everything, every crack and pore and it's too much. And I cry for no reason but of course there is the big reason but it will come out of nowhere. My dreams too, they working my relationship out with him. They started off nightmares but now we are talking more. I think I even laughed with him in one recently. But I'm going to be fine.

This experience happens every (almost every) morning. I hear my son on the monitor and go in to greet him. Some days he is calling me ("Ma-ma". "Ma-MA".), others he is babbling every now and then he is crying. But I go in and I see him smiling at me, like I dreamed he would do while I was still pregnant and it is better than I ever imagined.

My mother died. I affected me so profoundly it's hard to know where to begin. Among other things, it heightened my awareness of grace, and how available loving is in the world. And although I'm an ex-nurse and have seen death before, and have had grandparents and pets die, it deeply shocked me to see the life leave the body of someone I was so close to and loved so fully. It has made me very reflective and re-awakened some long-neglected impulses toward creativity in my life. It also made me feel both like an adult for the first time, and like an orphan child (I'm 57).

We (my husband and I) started a theatre production company together, Two From the Aisle Productions, and we saw our first show, "Disillusioned" produced. http://www.twofromtheaisleproductions.com We are continuing to produce shows.

a dui has caused me to question myself and my future, only causing me to reinforce what i alreayd new.

i went on a vision quest. i spent a week with a group of 15 people up in shasta. we spent 2 days preparing, 4 days solo in the woods, and 2 days sharing about our experiences. it gave me a chance to truly relax and be with myself. i learned to build fires. for the first time ever i experienced myself as a member of a group. i was able to share myself honestly and i was able to see what personal gifts i have to share with community. i found that i was confident during the days alone in the woods. i was also able to experience the other people in the group as reflections of myself in a way that i have not been able to before. the whole experience gave me the confidence to move forward in my life, being myself. since then i have truly been able to know clearly what i desire and to manifest those things.

My sister had her third child. It reminded me how important family is, how happy I am to live nearby to her. It was inspirational to see how wonderful her family is, how they create such a tight unit together, and they find and make time to be together. A role model for my future family. And a lot of fun to see the other two growing and developing!

Asked to speak at an upcoming Professional Development conference on the topic of Trauma, particularly related to Holocaust Survivors. Felt very privileged to be asked and hope I can do the topic justice, bearing in mind that sadly many Survivors are ill and infirm.

My mother died. I learned that death is not as final as it seems. I sense her and still learn from her. Birth is a miracle--first there are two and then there are three, but death is also a miracle, of sorts. The physical body suddenly stops working. But the spirit still whispers to us, even if it is only in the imagination.

I was in Colorado running on behalf of my cousin who passed away. No better way to realize how precious life truly is.

I became an aunt! My brother and his wife had their very first child this year. The arrival of this baby girl has enriched all our lives.

The birth of my third child, a son, and watching him battle for his life at 8 days old. A battle he won and hasnt looked back from...but one that I deal with everyday. I am both appreciative of each day but absurdly aware of how we have no control.

i've lost 65 pounds this past year and it's been such a life changing experience. i've changed my relationship with food and claimed accountability for my health and body and i feel good. plus it's a lot more fun to go clothes shopping!

Living abroad gave me some very interesting and thought provoking experiences, but overall it really gave me the desire to try to make the world a better place and the understanding that what it takes to do that in one place may be vastly different in another place. One of the most amazing days was the Pachamanca festival in San Jose, watching people, who have really nothing to rejoyce about finding a reason to come together and celebrate

Obama becoming President. Made me feel a little prouder to be an America in a county that often leaves me disheartened.

I met my boyfriend, who may well be the man I spend the rest of my life with.

I began rewriting a novel that sat on my shelf for nearly seven years. And my band is filming our first music video using only sock puppets.

I got married! It gave me a higher purpose in life besides my work.

I interviewed for a job in another state. I was prepared, if I got it, to live apart from my wife and son. Feeling ok with this, with the idea of, in essence, taking a break from parenting, was, I hate to admit, appealing. As it turned out, I wasn't offered the job, but thinking about it made me think about what was important to me, and what I was willing to at least consider sacrificing.

I moved 5 times! Between the demands of school and getting married and moving in with my husband, which happened in 4 different cities and 3 different countries, I felt very lost at times. It was my relationships with all the people in these different places that kept me anchored and gave all my choices greater meaning. I thought a lot about the meaning of home, and know there will always be safe places for my heart to rest.

The normal activities of my wife and I became severely restricted because of she is suffering from severe headaches. She has always been so active, and set the pace for the two of us. The continuing worry about her health has made my outlook quite negative.

My son moved out at the age of 27. I was not sad, I was so happy for him. To me, it signifies his next step of adulthood. I have to say, I miss seeing him in the house, although I didn't see him much. I was happy to buy him furniture as a step of help.

My 2 oldest children leaving for college, we had a tough summer and I really had to dig deeply as a parent to have more patience so I could enjoy any, even small moments, as gifts before they left for school.

My brother has dropped out of my life and refuses contact despite my attempts at communicating with him. I am very sad about this. My concern about him, wondering if he is afe, knowing he is not happy, is in my heart every day.

I created an artwork with a colleague and displayed it. It made me realize that, if I am willing to take the chance, I can learn to make the things in my head. I also learned how much hard work it takes to change your life.

Infertility. I struggled with my sense of femininity, jealousy, anger, sadness, to name a few. I learned to ask for support from others and the difference between pity and concern. Sharing my experiences and feelings brought me unexpected joys in becoming closer to some new friends as well as some friends and family members. I am most grateful for how it changed my relationships for the better with my husband and my own parents.

I achieved a major milestone and was able to leave behind a lackluster profession for a brand new second career that I love.

AS silly as this sounds, my husband's truck dying in while we were far from home on vacation was a significant experience. It helped him to realize not to sweat the small stuff and that we can handle a major disruption with calm and humor. It showed that we are a good team when life falls apart. It the meantime, it helped me to realize that it was time to let go of my car with 220,000 miles on it. This was a car I had for most my adult life and was with me for many of the significant events I had and experienced. while I was sad to let it go, it was a chance to think about the next era of my life and where I was going (and not only in my car!)

None stand out.

I got married. The process forced me to reflect on my relationship to my partner, as well as to my family, and to make difficult decisions about how I wanted those relationships to function in the future. I think I have entered marriage with a clearer head regarding how I relate to people, what my boundaries are, and how I want to sustain my relationships in the future.

I was promoted to Marketing Supervisor of a new store and am now in charge of overseeing the department along with my Sign team. I never thought of myself in a management position before. When i took the job, i knew that i would at times need to make decisions that may not make others happy and for me that's a real struggle. I'm a people pleaser and have been trying for years to get out of the habbit of trying to make everyone happy. I have been very pleased and suprised with myself because i have stepped into this position and owned it. My boss's have let me know on a number of occasions with raises and praises that they are very pleased with my caliber of work! I can't tell you how much stronger of a person that can make someone to hear that you are appreciated in the work that you do. I hope to move on to a bigger store and learn as much as i can.

I'm living in a same-sex-marriage. My wife's mother in law had serious illness in November 2008. So my wife's sisters wanted to send her mother - against her will - to an home for old people even though she had been living in her flat since 81 yrs. So we decided to help and care for her - and had to fight for her rights in front of the court. It came to that it was so difficult to care for the old dement but physically strong lady that both of us were unable to do our privat business from that day on. We lost many of our customers, and after some months my wife's sisters even blocked all of the mother's bank accounts to force us to give up. The new situation: no money, no food but an old lady who had to been watched 24 hrs a day. We decided to not give up and use the lack of food to diet, and take our last savings for Mother's needs. After ten months the court gave us the custodianship for my Mother-in-Law, she now can stay in her flat and we can get a nurse to care for her. But we are totally down, mentally and financially. No help in sight. And everyone calls us unrealistical fools. I do not know how to overcome October 2009, and I have so much fear how to get my life, my strength back... But I know our decicion was the right one... ethically.

I visited Oklahoma City where I grew up. I was ill so I never got to see old friends or even enjoy my trip much. But I took a huge notice of how nice the general public is compared to where I have been living the last three years - NJ. It made me realize how unhappy I am to be living in a place that does not share that easy friendliness. I had no idea how strangers can affect my life.

Lisa broke up with me. I had to move out from living with her, I had to try and make my own life in Oxford, without her. I had moved to Oxford to move in with her, so without her it was hard. Hardest thing I've gone through, to be honest. But I've joined an am-dram theatre group, gained a *fantastic* group of friends and amnow making my own way. So things are much better.

My friend's father died. It brought back all my sadness at the death of my grandfather -- because they were so similar. And it made me think about how I would handle the death of my own parents.

Perhaps the most profound experience was going by myself to the countryside for a 10 cleansing retreat where I reflected, meditated and wrote. I learned a lot about myself; it was a beautiful experience

This year I had some health issues that really scared me and I lived in a terrible state of anxiety. Once my health was better, I realized how grateful I am for those most precious moments with my husband, kids, family and friends. I also realized that it is me who will take care of me and I need to advocate for myself whether it is with doctors, family or colleagues. This episode in my life has allowed me to go into this New Year with a renewed spirit and purpose. I am looking forward to 5770.

We had a family reunion cruise. Everyone mostly did fine, but I found that I am still trapped in a caretaker role and that being around my family might always make me feel bad.

Father died. Re-affirmed the importance of life...of moving forward...of renewing dreams and clearing cobwebs. Life is short: Don't spend another moment doing anything unimportant. Follow your dreams.

I lost my virginity and became sexually active. With all the wrong people. It made me realize a lot of feelings I had about myself and sex in general, and although I'm sad that I did the wrong thing for me, I'm glad I learned from it. Now it looks like I'm starting a meaningful relationship, and for the first time I'm understanding what real sex is and means.

Working on making collagraphs this summer taught me that I can learn new methods. I also going out to work on art on a regular basis. I want to bring this into my life more. that includes working in my studio and at MC. I want to find new ops to explore making art and developing a way to explore exhibiting art online and in galleries--group shows.

This year we learned that my mother-in-law has cancer. It's very advanced and I've had to face the fact that my parents and my husband's parents will some day die, and it may be sooner than we anticipated (she's only 61). It's caused me to focus on spending more time with my family and doing what I've wanted now, not waiting for some future date that may not come.

My daughers have each graduated form high school and college - I have faced the empty nest with excitment and fear. I realize that the influence that i have had as a parent has changed and now they take their show on the road. I am thrilled and a little afraid.

this past year I've spent much time alone, had time reflect and wait for the new year.

Significantly i have 'suffered' thru a break up with nasty ramifications,sad and painful and i am still going thru it and feeling loss/pain/betrayal/and a terrible feeling that even though i dont want him back --i still want to know that he is thinking about me~

I think realizing how unhealthy I had become was pretty significant. It was around the 4th of July and I was feeling bad about myself and I asked my boyfriend of a year if he still found me attractive...he said yes of course but he had paused before he said it which of course caused me to push the issue and to make a long story short he admitted that he wished I was smaller, thinner however you want to say it and you know what? dammit, I wanted to be to...and so started a whole new life is some respects. I started going to the gym and watching what I ate. It was hard to look at the scale for the first time and be 25 pounds heavier than I remembered but there was something freeing in being honest with myself and deciding to make a change. It was difficult but I am so thankful that it all came out. My boyfriend and I are even closer due to that moment of honesty and I'm on the road back to loving myself.

A man who I think just might be my bashert came back into my life after a really long time. Now things are at a stalemate again and I wonder why, what was the point? This can't be it. I lost about 20 pounds and realized that being thin doesn't stop you from picking at your body flaws. I got laid off and was thrilled, lack of income sucks, but what I've gained in quality of life and understanding of a greater purpose has been life saving.

I ended up working in Singapore from Oct 2007 - Nov 2009. It changed me a whole lot that I was destroying my health terribly. I was drinking everyday, for 6 months, didn't have enough to eat. I was basically doing both smoking and drinking to the hardcore extend. I was always lethargic and life was just so carefree that it didn't matter who i slept with. I got pregnant and found out about it 3 months later, not knowing who the father was. I aborted it. It changed me tremendously. No more playing, no more irresponsible acts. EVER

My relationship with my beau of almost five years ended. I was sad initially but it really was a dead relationship that I was being too stubborn about keeping. My new found freedom has lead me to begin a life that is truly my own.

My boyfriend broke up with me. I was shocked beyond belief, but I learned so much during those *three* days. I learned how a relationship was supposed to work and how we had both dreadfully missed the point on that. A relationship involves TWO people working together to achieve what they want and we missed the mark on discussing what we wanted with each other. Additionally, while home I learned that I would be ok if we didn't get back together. It would suck, but I would get over it. I learned the joy in going on a walk solo and getting exercise and listening to music--something I still need to work on.

My partner and I travelled around the world together. It was really an event because HE had never flown before, due to an intense fear of flying. I know he's glad to have overcome this fear and to have had these experiences.

For the first time in my life, after 71 years, I had to start taking medication for a chronic condition. Psychologically, it was my first step on the road to becoming an old man.

After much fighting with the spouse, I decided to go to counseling to get my head and heart straightened out so I would quit making the same bad choices. I already feel a difference in myself. I am becoming the person I want to be. More importantly, with His love, I will become the person He designed me to be.

I moved to India for work. It would be cliché to say that it made me appreciate modern comforts, but in reality I lived quite well. The best thing that happened to me personally was that I learned to relax and I think I have a better sense of my worth.

In this past year I informed my family that I would be leaving their faith and would be becoming Jewish. What is important to note is that I would never be leaving the family, just their faith. And although they may feel sad, betrayed, and let down, they must realize that I would not be who I am today if it weren't for them. And that's a good thing! Becoming Jewish has helped me close my life circle in so many ways, and having the strength to do so came from my family. They don't me to forge ahead and stay strong. Although some people do not talk to me and accept me, I love them regardless.

Just happened. The wedding of my son I gave up for adoption. It showed me I can feel good about my son, that I can let go of the pain and just enjoy him and how he's growing and becoming a man. Also, I feel deeply in love early in the year, only to have it turn out to be illusion. Still trying to figure out all of that.

I continued to recover after losing my fiance. I'm starting to accept the fact that I've grown too old to bear children.

My brother had a baby. I feel more connected to my family, to the world as a whole and more in charge of my own destiny

The birht of my first child! It's made me re-embrace life. Very exciting. It's brought me closer to my communities – friends and family.

The most significant experience was falling in love for truly the first time -- and then ending the relationship because I knew that although I was (and still am really) completely in love with this man, he either doesn't or can't feel the same about me. It wasn't healthy and I deserve better. This time together led me to some very fundamental changes -- no alcohol, better eating and work out regime, and getting back into therapy and working on myself and my relationships. For this I am grateful -- although the pain is still present and I wish everyday that he will realize I'm the one and we'll be together in the best of all possible worlds.

Moving back to my hometown of New York was something that dominated the first half of 2009--packing, planning for jobs, looking forward to the arts scene and seeing good friends. Moving back turned me into a full-time freelancer and allowed me to work and live the arts in a way I'd previously been unable to do, and coming back to City Ballet, City Opera, the Met (museum and opera), the Phil, Brooklyn Museum, etc...proved how much I'd previously taken these great places for granted.

Our school bought a new building, and we've all had to stretch to make the decisions required to keep peaceful. ( My colleagues are like a family to me in many ways.) My new classroom will be purple!

A good friend of mine passed away from skin cancer. It's something that makes me sad all the time and I have been trying to use that sadness and heal and approach life with a live in the now attitude and passion.

I fell madly in love. I now know that my home is when I am with him and that my life can be greater than I ever could have imagined.

I became a partner in my law firm. It gave me a greater sense of confidence and belonging. But I still am struggling with how to best serve the world as a lawyer, as I have been for the past 25 years. This year, I hope to come closer to the answer.

I fell in love. It made me realize to always expect better from myself, others and from life.

I fell in love! Ben has changed my life in so many big and small ways. He's helped me to be more honest with myself and others, he's helped me to believe in myself, and he's encouraged me to think for myself more often, as I frequently "go with the crowd" instead of my true intentions. I feel more confident, alive, beautiful and hopeful with him in my life.

This year, my roommate and very close friend and i experienced a terrible deterioration of our friendship as a result of this cohabitation. i once enjoyed sarah's warmth and bubbly free spirit, and her good positive nature, but it seems that this energy wore off over the year due to work, stress, and loneliness. she took a lot of it out on me and the living situation, ultimately culminating in a rash decision that myself and my other roommate should no longer live there. i was incredibly hurt and devastated - that my friend could treat me with such indifference. that i meant so little to her that she could just cast me out as an inconvenience. i went through a wave of emotions - shock, sadness, despair, anger, reason, and finally compassion. i realize that sarah is experiencing a very difficult time in her life. she seeks partnership and cannot find it. she is lonely, insecure and unhappy. she sees my happiness and resents it. her actions, though immature and unfortunate, cannot be taken out of context. who am i to be angry over this when i have a loving partner and a fulfilling life? i cannot hold this against her, though i cannot deny that it has irreperably damaged the friendship.

I cannot pin point anything that would qualify as "significant" in the way that I define significant. This year was thankfully without a very negative event occurring but unfortunately, nothing at all really changed or moved me. No new career moves, no new loves. I started seeing therapist. Maybe that will prove to be significant sometime in the future. Thus far, I can't say how it's affected me. Mostly, it's just given me 45 minutes to talk about myself with someone who is paid to listen.

my wife confronted me about an affair i was having...it made me want to take stock as to why i was in the marriage...it turns out i love her but staying mostly for the kids...if only she would be more of what moved me to have an affair to begin with, it would be much easier to see myself staying.

my dad had a stroke. I did not relize how much i had him as my strong one now thats not there and it hurts

My sister being held at gunpoint recently was a massive shock to me. It was further confirmation that I hate being so far away from my family and I don't want to spend anymore time apart from them. What if something happens and I haven't seen them in years? I don't know what to do, as moving back is not possible at the moment. I feel so restless and discontented here now...

Waking up hundreds or thousands of miles away from my family and realizing how badly I want to do better by them. To be more consistently a positive emotional force in my children's lives. To banish the erratic and chaotic emotional forces that make our home so strange and dangerous place at times. This happened many times over the course of the year.

G 20. I was on duty with 2000 National Guardsmen.

My father passed away. It made me realize what really defines family. They don't have to be blood and more often then not it's your friends that fill the role of "family" during your life.

My 20th wedding anniversary was a marker of change for me. The rage and disappointment and longings that had been pent up for years hit me. I felt like a veil of repressed feelings had lifted and I felt a surge of energy to strike out on a new path.

Meeting Aaron and falling in love with him is quite possibly the most significant experience of my life. I've felt the peace and happiness that I've longed for. Finally an end to my loneliness and a feeling that I have a partner in life supporting me. It is such a blessing that even when I get frustrated with him, I can't help but realize how happy i am to have him in my life and to be embarking on this journey together.

My son decided to get treatment for his addiction. This made me think about my actions relative to his addiction; enabling, being honest, getting out of denial. I am relieved and very hopeful.

I ended a relationship with my boyfriend of 3 years in May. In the summer it was good and I had a great time being single. This fall has been horrible. I've cried myself to sleep multiple times a week and feel so sad. I did it to be sure of what I should do the in future and become independent and not rely on anyone else. I'm still not sure if it was the right choice. It's been hard to focus in school and sometimes I just want to go to bed. Sometimes I just feel so lonely in the world. I hope that in one year I will be smiling and things will be okay.

Watching Obama nominated president--Because it seemed to reopen the door to Camalot and America had it's first Black President.

It's been a damn hard year and deciding to stop seeing the man I love has been the most difficult decision. I'm hoping it will serve to help me refocus on the things I need to do and get done. I hope it will serve to help me regain my equilibrium. This has been a year of challenge emotionally. I have had some amazing experiences in the realm of personal awakening. I hope 2010, however, is an emotionally easier year. I would like to be able to be more anchored in joy and trust.

We moved to a new city and I to a new job. The impact has been very positive - I feel empowered and growing in a positive work atmosphere!

I was diagnosed with cancer last year and then hospitalized twice. The cancer was cured; but the experience of the support I had from family and friends gave me deeper appreciation for them and for what's important in life. It was a real wake up call for me about life's impermanence.

The passage of Prop 8 and it's upholding by the State Supreme Court was a very significant experience for not just me but much of my community as well. The Wednesday after the election was like the community as a whole was experiencing a bipolar cycle. We went from the euphoria of having the 1st African-American (a man of integrity who we had actually voted for) elected as president, to the devastating and depressing blow of Prop 8's passage. It is something that, even 10 months later, my community still hurts over. Having our less than equal status so clearly demonstrated was truly painful.

I was dressed down by a doctor who told me - a new therapist - that if I couldn't handle patient angst, I should find another job. At first I was angered. Then I was hurt. I aim to provide quality care. I felt she was belittling me. But as time went on, I began to see the larger picture. The doctor was in her 5th year at the hospital, my 1st. The doctor had been feeling stressed and was unhappy with the process that I was trying to get her help on. Turns out, administration has been neglecting doctor input on the process, so she was not eager to be helpful to me. As more time passed I realized that the anger and hostility she metted out that day was about something much larger than me ... I was just the messanger. I was reminded the importance of waiting ... and not reacting. And I've gotten better at handling patient angst as well.

I learned that without external symptoms my heart had been deteriorating over decades,, underwent open heart surgery and have been granted an amazing recovery. I am more aware of, grateful for the gift of life, hope to use each day for good purposes. , and to retain awareness of the circle of love and support that surrounds me

I got promoted to Program Officer with the Foundation I work for. It came about because I asked for the title change, but I found out later that my boss was prepared to change it at my yearly review (which at that point was still several months off). It wasn't a huge shift, but it was gratifying all the same because I felt like the work I'd been doing was being recognized--and would be recognized--by the President of the Foundation as well as the broader field at large.

The most significant experience was that My Mom past away last February. I had pneumonia and surgery. I also well as my wisdom teeth pulled. Finlay, I started college.

My dog died. I had her for 13 years, over half my life and she was my last remaining link to my childhood. Not having experienced a lot of death, my reaction was pretty severe, as I held her, I regretted every single time I was mean, I spanked her or yelled at her. I regretted not treasuring this furry ball of pure love more, and not recognizing that unconditional love, regardless of its source, is a precious gift. That kind of love deserves an effort in kind to merit being its recipient. My uncle died so suddenly, also last year, that I never got the chance to say goodbye, I hadn't seen him in years and I realized how final death really is...

I got married. What else can I say?

I participated in a trip with cantorial colleagues to Poland and Israel. Although it was my 3rd trip to Poland and my x-teenth trip to Israel, the Poland experience has really stayed with me. The theme of the trip, to a certain extent, was reconciliation with Poland and its people. For generations now, Jews have gone to Poland to see "what they tried to do to us" (and mostly succeeded in). But there is a deeper story -- one of 1000 years of Jewish life that was very much intertwined with being in Poland. The BIG story is that many Poles have begun to understand that the story of Poland cannot be told without the story of "its Jews." Before the Holocaust, Warsaw was 1/3 Jewish (!) -- and all of Poland perhaps a quarter Jewish. We visited the usual Holocaust sites -- but also performed concerts and programs in major concert halls and festivals -- and some of us were present at the groundbreaking for a new Museum of Polish Jewish History across from the Warsaw Ghetto Monument. I became aware of a number of programs drawing together Jews and Poles -- especially between Poland and Israel. It's not like anti-Semitism doesn't exist any more in Poland (or anywhere for that matter). But the opportunities to wrestle with, and ultimately, embrace history -- even horrific history -- may give us hope for other progress -- in our own lives, and even in terms of Israel and its neighbors. How did it affect me? It makes me keep thinking about it over and over and over!

My cat of only a year and a half died suddenly. With a mother who has been living with breast cancer for 7 years and is getting closer to the end of her fight, it was a tough foreshadowing of how losing her could play out.

my sister got married and my nana died. they both affected me in similar ways, as they both brought into focus how fast time passes, and both events made me reflect on my own life.

Reboot Summit, because I wouldn't be doing this exercise if I hadn't gone.

Almost a full year ago, I got fired for the first time. Hopefully the last, too. I got fired by the church I worked for because my personality didn't mesh with my boss'. Of course, on paper it looks like I resigned, because you can't actually fire someone for that reason. But why stay when your boss has asked you to leave? The worst part is that I felt stuck up here, without my family.

Spending the summer in Tel Aviv. It has unsettled me completely in London. I long for Tel Aviv. The feeling of wholeness and me-ness I have when I'm there.

I had a hernia & had to have it medically fixed by a surgeon. It hurt me for a long time physically until I had it fixed. I still feel chronic pain because of it & feel I cannot take on any physical challenge anymore that I once thought would be easy for me to do. I must reconsider & re-evaluate my judgment as to what I can & cannot endure.

Since being diagnosed with glaucoma in March, I've had to learn to lean on others more.

I started a new company, lashing me to a community I was inclined to leave at the end of last year. I stayed because I saw change all around me - I had been laid off from a job I despise, we elected a President who was the polar opposite of the narrow despot who preceded him, and my community reshaped itself as well. So I changed myself, and tried harder to see the best in people. Today i see the fears of the birthers and death-panelers on TV, bizarrely working against their own self interest, on behalf of a TV network (Reality TV Enhanced - Fox News manufactures an entire alternate reality to propel it's characters and story lines!). I tell myself that as ugly as the spectacle is, the people are just scared, and in any case not the majority. Even after a month of brainless howling, most people STILL want a public option. So with more than half the year gone, and in the midst of a new and terrible health care crisis of my own (can't get insurance for myself in my new business, and my wife has cancer), I remain faithful in people. This is very new for me, and difficult to maintain given circumstances. But I've seen progress, in my life and over time historically. We get better over time. We're capable of learning, and more important, capable of change. I hope to maintain that faith and the insight that no matter how ugly things may seem, in general, we're moving forward.

This summer, I about a month to decide whether or not I would work at my church again. I didn't know if God was calling me back there or not. It was hard but wonderful - I had many tear-filled prayer times with the Lord, flat on my face before Him. I learned so much about trust and realized as well how little I trusted God. I was able to say to Him, 'Whatever you tell me to do, I'll do it. Even if you tell me no for my church and I don't have another job lined up. I'll do it, just tell me. I was unsure until literally the day I had to tell my church, and I told them I'd be back. God really affirmed that he was calling me there, which was a total blessing. At the end of this, I trusted God to a whole new level, and I loved Jesus more than I can say.

Had a difficult conversation with the guy who was my should, coulda, woulda. We both agreed that we couldn't carry on the way it was and we needed to say goodbye in order to move on with our own lives. It was ridiculously hard, but we've become way better friends since then.

Developed a friendship with a fundamentalist Christian--helped me reevaluate and question my faith

I officially joined BBYO and it is very fun. I went to my first homecoming.

The Obama victory ushered in a period of hopefulness for the rejuvenation of a healthy American civil society and a return to our core democratic values. I am much more optimistic about the direction of our nation and feel more a sense of belonging again.