I am not going to have time next week to acknowledge the end of another round trip (to quote some friends who often use this phrase). I thought I would take a moment this afternoon to scratch out some thoughts on the coming year. This year is not a milestone for me. It’s not the big date ending with 0 of any decade. I am turning 43. A few days ago I was playing a game with a couple of friends on Facebook – if you liked their status they would give you a random year/ age and you had to answer some questions. The year I was given first was the age of 23. It wasn’t a milestone year either. As I answered the questions, I realized with a start (more like someone reached down from the sky and smacked me upside of the head) that it was 20 years ago that I was nose deep in my studies at university. I was living in a beautiful old residence on the campus at Huron University College at UWO. I was in love with everything that I was doing. I had great friends and was incredibly happy to be living on my own. I have very fond memories of that year and others that I spent on campus. That trip down memory lane has inspired another one. I do this for my daughters every year when it is their birthday. I go through old photographs that I have taken since birth, and like or not, I put them together in an album, with the most recent photo last for them to see. I have never done it for myself, until now that is. I was very shy as a child, and strangely adventurous. I look at the me in each of these photographs with a quiet thank you for teaching me to be the person I am today. Whatever life has thrown at us and no matter how difficult it might be to move forward, we have found a way. There may be no way to erase the heart lines of the past, but to be quite honest, I don’t want to. It is all part of my journey. To my friends and family, and most especially to my daughters, I also say thank you to you. You each, in your own way, have filled the holes with pieces of yourself. All of this has created a map of me. This journey is far from being over.