With a fresh calendar set before us—a pristine diary ready to be filled with aspirations for tomorrow—readers ponder their experiences during the past twelve months, the wisdom gained, and hopes for the possibilities ahead.
Some years are a blur; everything happens so quickly—details skewed or forgotten without an event anchor. Yet others remain tangible and certain, like Polaroids with notations jotted on their white frames. Two thousand eighteen was a bit of both, affirming a calmer calendar. Or maybe it is just the genesis of my peaceful, patient self. This is progress, the one firm hope I hold every year. Not being unraveled when faced with crisis, spending time fostering connections that mean most, and knowing both good times and trying ones only last for a while: all this I pledge for the New Year.
Sonya M. Fitzmaurice
River Vale, New Jersey
In 2018, I hit a milestone in my life. On September 11, surrounded by family and friends, I celebrated my eightieth birthday. As I looked around, I realized that many of my friends had reached this point before me. But still, for me, it was a sobering thought. Now I find myself looking back, not only at the year just past, but at all the ones that went before. My image in the mirror has an annoying habit of revealing just how many there have been, but deep inside I feel no different.
I came to the United States from England at the age of 21. I left behind everyone and everything I knew and loved. It wasn’t easy, but one learns to make the best of the ups and the downs. I have lived a busy life, working and raising four wonderful children. They, in turn, have blessed me with five fantastic grandsons. Through the years, we have remained close, enjoying Thanksgivings, Christmases, birthdays and weddings—all the things that bring joy, and, yes, sometimes a little sorrow into your world.
So, this year, as I take down the cards and lovingly pack away my ever-growing collection of decorations, I smile and think how lucky I am. I can look forward to another year of family gatherings, of warm hugs and kisses, watching children grow, and listening to their excited hopes and plans for the future. I also know that at any time my phone will ring and a happy voice will say, “Grab your coat, Mum, we’re taking you out for breakfast.”
I truly am reflecting on the previous year and looking forward to a complete transformation in the next twelve months! I have been a Victoria reader for several years because your magazine is about enterprising women, and I have had a dream for the last decade to become a successful businesswoman and be my own boss. After I experienced a life-changing accident, I realized that I need to let go of fear and pursue my passion. Reading your stories about other women taking that leap gives me inspiration and strength to know that I, too, can do this! Thank you for your encouragement to all women to follow their bliss.
Last year, for me, was filled with wonderful new delights. Being presented in a debutante waltz, traveling to places that I had never visited, and learning to make great coffee are just some of the many experiences I have enjoyed.
For 2019, I hope to continue broadening my horizons. Opportunities awaiting discovery include giving back to my community, growing my business, reaching goals in writing and art, playing guitar, spending time with family and friends, and being outside—climbing mountains, playing tennis, walking, skating, skiing—and more. I am ready to embark on and embrace a fantastic year!
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
For more readers’ thoughts on the New Year, see “Turning the Page” on page 11 of the January/February 2019 issue.