What Went Well in 2017

“What Went Well” is a gratitude exercise also known as “Three Blessings.” The idea is that on a regular basis, daily or weekly, one lists three things that went well, and why. (Adding “why” allows one to pinpoint times when acts of one’s own or others contributed to what went well). When I started this blog, while recovering from a broken bone, and during a very stressful period at work, I posted my three blessings weekly, on “What Went Well Wednesday.” I still pause regularly to count my blessings, but I no longer post them. However, a reader recently suggested that I do so again, so here is the year-end wrap-up of “what went well” in 2017! Please feel free to chime in with your own!

  1. I was able to avert a dreaded change in my workplace, that would have had me report to a colleague who has been undermining me for several years, thereby putting my job at risk. This was possible because a new chief executive arrived before that change was made, who had known me, my good work, and excellent reputation for many years — and because I mustered the courage to speak to him candidly about it, so he reversed the plan of the outgoing leadership. My work life now feels less stressful and insecure than it has for several years.
  2. In the face of loss, this year’s deaths of my mother and my husband’s, our extended  families were drawn together and supported each other better than might have been expected. Because we made the effort to recognize each adult child’s different experience and grief, and responded to each other with gentleness and empathy.
  3. Our three children continue to delight us with their growth, resilience, gifts, and love. Because all three have faced various challenges endemic to adolescence and young adulthood with grace, humor, kindness, and perseverance.

I don’t normally post much or speak much about faith, because that is such an individual matter for every person: whether or not one has faith, and how one chooses to honor or express it. In the Lord’s house, there are many mansions. I am also frankly horrified at the misuse of religion to justify the unjustifiable, such as cruelty to others and a domineering will to power regardless of others’ beliefs. It often seems that those who are most outspoken about their own religion are most intolerant of others’, and I want no part of that. However, I pause now to note that my own faith (progressive mainstream Protestant Christian) and our family’s worship community, filled as it is with kind, intelligent, thoughtful, decent people, who try to make the world a better and more beautiful, charitable place, have been especially important to me this year. I take comfort in knowing that our mothers’ long illnesses are over, and that they have been restored to their best essence. So I’ll wrap up my year-end three blessings with my favorite prayer, from the end of each Sunday’s service:

Send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

May we all enjoy a peaceful, happy 2018! What went well for you this year?

4 thoughts on “What Went Well in 2017

  1. Love love love this and so glad that you re-instated it…even if just for one post. I think stopping from time to time to reflect on the small blessings and what we can be grateful for is an integral part of a wholesome and spiritual life.

    What went well for me in the past year is that I learned to let go of much anxiety around the raising of three teenage children and to allow them to grow on their own and learn from their mistakes. I also opened my heart to another human being and have developed a strong friendship with a kindred spirit. And finally, health and well being amongst family and very close friends is my last “what went well” ….I think it is important to be thankful for that and it is often overlooked when we are doing well physically.

    Happy New Year, OH!

    • And to you! Here’s to the raising of three teenaged children — only the youngest of my three is now still a teenager, and we’ve all survived! It sounds as if 2017 was overall a year of progress for you — may 2018 be the same. Happy New Year, CM, and thanks, as always, for your thoughtful comments!

  2. I’m glad to hear that your situation at work has resolved: we spend there so much time that it can seriously impact our lives.
    A while ago, when you mentioned this series in one of your posts, I liked the idea so much that I kept one of the posts open in the browser to remind me of it.
    Happy New Year to you! Let’s hope that in 2018 there will be a lot of things that fit your WWW series.

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