It's that time of year—a time for reflection and celebration. 

Yesterday was the 4th of July—a time when our nation reflects and celebrates our past. 

It's also time for self-evaluations at my office—a time for reflection on professional accomplishments.

These moments, these days of reflection and celebration, can be so complicated, especially if you don't want to think about or remember the past. For some, the thought of looking back is scary as hell because opening a window to the past can create an avalanche of emotions. 

I thought I'd be able to separate it. My rational brain said, "It's a professional evaluation; I can separate that from my personal life, right?"

Nope. Surprisingly enough, I can't. As I am one whole person, reflecting on any one aspect of my past spills into reflecting on so much more.  

Reflecting requires me to remember, to remember that everything I have or have not accomplished this year was directly impacted by the deaths of my daughter and my dad. 

When I initially set my goals for this year, I knew they couldn't be "lofty" goals. I knew they needed to be "simple." I felt almost like I needed to get back to the basics of life. These goals were very different from ones I've set in the past. Honestly, I thought they would be easier, more manageable. 

This year, my goals were about learning to thrive after loss—simple things like connecting with nature, spending more quality time with loved ones, creating mindful habits. At the time, these goals weren't what I would have considered lofty.  

As I write this blog and reflect, I realize my perception has changed.

Learning to Thrive After Loss might be the loftiest goal I have ever attempted. 

Each day, each milestone, each stepping stone towards thriving is a reason to celebrate. 

I no longer consider my goals simple for they have required some of the hardest work I've ever set forth to accomplish.  

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