Pin I wear on my coat lapel.
Happy New Year! After a busy holiday season, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to writing! The end of a year is a natural time to look back over the previous 12 months and reflect on how the year went. As many of you know, our family had a tough 2017 and when 2018 started with a trip to the emergency room for my father with a broken ankle, I was apprehensive about how the year would go. Luckily, that was the worst that happened and we ended up having a lot of joyful times as we adapted to our new normal. We continue to adjust, and that means good and bad times. In other words, just like everyone else!
Another natural thing is to have high hopes for the new year. January is a good month to feel like hitting a reset button. Many people make resolutions or promises to themselves. We all know the jokes about how long they last! Instead of trying to live up to commitments I may or may not be able to maintain, I will be continuing my journey of life looking for positives and doing my best to spread optimism and hope, such as with the following stories.
I recently had two encounters with immigrants that have left me smiling every time I think of them. The first was a visit to a restaurant we stumbled across called Chortke House of Kabob. We stopped during a quiet afternoon and had a wonderful conversation with the owner, an Iranian who came to this country when he was a young boy. He and his wife were incredibly welcoming. As our food was cooking we had a lovely conversation with him and I don’t think he ever stopped smiling. We got take out and had a delicious dinner of falafel, rice and grilled tomatoes with a side of yogurt cucumber sauce. He gave us a complementary side of tomato, mint and cucumber salad that he assured us we would love, and we did. The next day I was picking up prescriptions for my dad and the register got hung up so I had a nice talk with the pharmacist I see frequently. I had forgotten my phone and we joked about how we somehow used to manage to get through life without being tied to our phones. She mentioned growing up in Russia. She has been in the US for almost 30 years. As I said, I see her often and have always been struck by how she is always smiling.
These two experiences give me hope. I feel if we do our best to be positive, positive people will fill our lives. Whether they are strangers, acquaintances, friends or family, I want to surround myself with upbeat, joyful people which means I will do my best to be an upbeat, joyful person.
I’ll be back next week with a new recipe!