It has been a year of many challenges for many of us on a personal level and also in the world around us. The years seem to fly by more quickly as we grow older. When we were young the time would seem to creep more slowly than we wanted. Our anxiety to reach the age we thought would be the ultimate time of our life was always just out of reach. The past has rewarded us with memories of our youth, reaching maturity, rearing children and accomplishing many or few of the goals we set out to achieve in life.

The present is now, and a realization of where we have been and whose life we may have touched and how we have been touched seems to me to be more important. Hopefully we have reached a point where we have left behind a word, an action, a good deed by which we will be remembered or honored. There have been many instances where my life has been touched by kindness and thoughtfulness that has left a positive impression and sustained me though the years.

It is more important to me now what I have learned about myself and others and how I have grown. Growing means to me an opening of heart and mind to many old prejudices that might have part of our life. The understanding of others and their particular ways that may differ from our own and our ability to accept is a sign of growth. Many people go through life with blinders on and never see what is so evident.

This past year has had a particular influence on me and what is important. There have been events and people who have illustrated the good and bad in each of us has reached and touched much of the world.

There has also been disappointment with others who seem to disregard their obligations and further their agendas to the detriment of our own great country. We witnessed a government who has not governed. We have experienced a waste of time, energy and purpose. This has been a disappointing year for confidence in the leaders of our nation.

All is not lost. I am an optimist and refuse to let the negative atmosphere influence my faith in man in general. I know what the past has done to influence me in many ways. I also feel the future can and will be brighter. It will take the effort of each of us in our own way to make the ripple effect of good words, good deeds and especially good thoughts to prevail our my time.

Lebanon resident Linda Alessi writes about family, friends and memories.

Lebanon resident Linda Alessi writes about family, friends and memories.

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