As this year ends, I realize just how much has happened and how much I’ve grown as a person. The turmoil actually began when my wife became ill over six years ago, but intensified when she died in April. Since that time I’ve had to answer a lot of questions about my life and how it would change without Rebecca in it. Some answers are coming, some are still unknown, and a few have been satisfied. The most important question I had is whether my friends would be there to support me during this trying time and they’ve been more than up to the challenge. It’s good to have people you can rely upon to help keep the blog posts written, the books and articles in process, and the new fields of endeavor in progress. It would be impossible for me to name everything my friends have done for me and I wouldn’t even try. All I can do is express my extreme gratitude for them and hope they know how much they mean to me.
I’ve talked many times about how self-sufficiency is more about trying to do things on your own in as much as possible, but then realizing that no one can make it completely alone. Self-sufficiency can and does go wrong when people think that it means living like a hermit away from all human contact. Yes, I’m self-sufficient in many ways, but I’m also smart enough to know that I depend on others for help when needed. Getting that help is one thing—ensuring they know how much their help means is quite another. Expressing gratitude, even for the seemingly simple things, is an essential part of the self-sufficiency experience. It’s not possible to go wrong when you’re grateful for the help you receive.
As this year ends, I hope that you’re truly grateful for all of the small ways in which people have helped you this last year and every year to come. More importantly, I hope that you’ll actually take the time to thank your helpers in person, through a phone call, or by sending them a card (or possibly all three). The people you can count on, those few true friends in your life, are more important than anything else here on earth.
With this in mind, I also want to take time in this post to thank all my readers. Every purchase you’ve made has helped keep me in business so that I can continue helping others. Every question you’ve asked has helped me produce better materials. The gracious contributions of my beta readers have been appreciated most of all. Goodbye to the old year; happy new year one and all!