Griping or Grateful?

Every year as January 1st draws near, I hear some people say, “I can’t wait to start the new year. Thank God this one is almost over.”

I don’t get it. Maybe it’s the pessimist in me. Or, maybe it’s the control freak in me, but I can’t remember a time I felt good about a year ending. Even that dastardly year, 2014, that my husband had is accident.

When I hear people happy to say goodbye to the year we’re leaving behind, I think, Didn’t you say this the last time? You weren’t happy with how the last year turned out, so what makes you think you’ll be happy with how the next one turns out?

Could it be that people are being optimistic about the year ahead, and I’m being pessimistic? Am I seeing an ending instead of a new, exciting beginning? I don’t really have negative thoughts in my head about the future. I just feel sad about saying goodbye to another year. For the most part, I feel grateful for each year that I made it through.

Or, perhaps it’s that the in-coming year is a blank slate, and I’m not in control? I mean, could it be fear of the unknown and not being able to prepare?

Two especially hard years for me were 2009 and 2011.

In 2009, I felt like my very heart and soul had ceased to exist when my dog, Piezon died. He helped me accept my childfree fate and gave me a reason to move forward. When he died, I had to find a way to move forward without him. I absolutely hated seeing that year leave, because it was the last year that Piezon was alive. I even wrote the poem, The Last Day, on that very New Year’s Eve in ’09.

The other bad year, in January 2011, I had a surgery that took a few months to recover from. At the end of that same year, in November, after getting work done on a tooth, I had a bad reaction and landed in the hospital. It took me two months to recover from that issue. But, 2011 also brought our new dog, Max into our home.

So you see, even though 2009 took my boy, Piezon from me, the first six months were a great memory of him still being with us. In 2011, even though I had a lot of health issues, we got the blessing of a new pup who brought light back into our lives.

This is why I don’t understand when people are glad to see years pass away. No matter what happened, there is always something to be grateful for.

I won’t be around the blogging world much until after the first of the year. Lots of things to do for the holidays, and I’m loving every minute. Thank you blogging friends, for being my blogging friends. πŸ™‚

Over the weekend we went into the city (from the burbs of Chicago) for some Christmas spirit. I hope you’ll allow me to spread that spirit by scrolling to see some pictures below. They are unprofessional, but a nice memory.

What say you? Griping or grateful for the past year?

Merry Christmas

May you be blessed in the new year and beyond.

My handsome ole man in front of the Christmas tree in the Great Hall at Chicago Union Station

Lots of families there with kids in their PJ’s for the Polar Express ride out of Chicago Union Station

The blur of a decorated bus as it whizzes by.

In front of the ex-Marshall Field’s now Macy’s Christmas display.

Inside Macy’s looking down from around the 6th floor

A high-tech window display of a ghostly Santa

Another high-tech window display of videos playing within the frosty, twiney tree.



  1. Wonderful photos from Chicago, Lori! πŸ˜€ I too can’t just be thankful another year is over…even if tough and moments of hardships it is a year lived, with many moments of joy and love -and also of still being alive when we have lost dear ones. Hoping you’re having lovely holiday break. See you in the New Year! ❀️

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  2. The decorations in Chicago look so pretty. I do look forward to the New Year with excitement for what it might bring but I also like to look back, to take stock and to feel grateful about the year that has passed. Even if there has been sadness or stress, there is always something to be grateful for. πŸ™‚

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    1. I’m usually grateful that I made it through another year, especially if I made it through something difficult. Thanks for checking out my photos and for sharing your thoughts on the new year. πŸ™‚

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  3. Love your photos, Lori.

    Some years are hard, aren’t they? 2009 was a hard year for my family as well, with Mom going through cancer, the death of my sister-in-law’s dad, and my sister-in-law’s bout of cancer.

    All we can do is be present in the moments we have. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas. Happy New Year.

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    1. Hi L. 2009 sounds like a real tough one for you. It feels like sometimes we won’t make it through, and suddenly we find that we have. I hope that each present moment is a joy-filled blessing for you in the new year and beyond. I’m glad you liked the photos. πŸ™‚


  4. “For the most part, I feel grateful for each year that I made it through.”–Yes, that’s how I feel about it too. It’s not so much wanting to see the year end as it is being grateful that whatever hardships it brought were dealt with and–hopefully–resolved.

    Chicago looks beautiful at Christmas!

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    1. Hi Carrie. Thanks for understanding my point about the year ending and checking out the photos. It’s a nice memory to have those “photo stamps.” Blessings to you. πŸ™‚

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  5. Grateful is my vote – which isn’t dependent upon good or bad events, ya know?
    Love the photos – makes me smile with my own memories of exploring the Loop during the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year!
    Happy holidays and see you in 2018!

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    1. Hi Laura. Yes, to me, gratitude leads to a happier disposition. πŸ™‚ Thanks for noticing the photos. We had planned to go to the German Market in Daily Plaza, but it was wall-to-wall people and we couldn’t get in. Despite that setback, we had a great time on State Street. Blessings to you. See you on the other side of 2017.

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    1. On New Year’s Eve, I sometimes feel sad that the year is coming to a close, but I also feel a sense of anticipation for the new year. The people I came across who gripe seem more like overall unhappy people. Thanks so much for noticing my photos. We had such a nice time. Blessings to you, my friend.

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  6. Merry Christmas, Lori! It’s always so interesting to hear how other people think. I never thought about this before. Seems like your appreciation of the current year is a gift. Seems like every year will have some positive happenings and some challenging. And some years are more challenging or positive than others. I like to look forward to new possibilities–wow, a new year with new possibilities. My heart beats faster just seeing the word “possibilities”. However, am so grateful for the past year. There were things I didn’t like, but they pale against the gratitude of being alive and just being able to experience life.

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    1. Hi Kathy. The people I’ve come across who gripe seem like they are overall unhappy. Like you said, it seems to me life will have both good and bad throughout the years. I find that I’m grateful more often since we moved home, which also makes me a more happy person overall. The possibilities and challenges are all one grand journey. Good to see you again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings to you.

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  7. Finally! Someone who feels the same way I do! I have never understood how people blame the year for the bad things. The turn of a new year doesn’t mean there won’t be bad stuff coming. It’s life. So sorry about Piezon. I get it. I still miss my cat Jake (and I have 4 other cats). He was my cancer cat, always staying with me and purring me to sleep until I recuperated. Can’t believe he’s gone two years.

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    1. You said what I meant much better than I did, Kate. The people I’ve heard griping just seem like they are overall unhappy. Like you said, all years have the good and bad of life. Thanks for understanding about Piezon. I’m sorry about your Jake, too. How special that he was there for you through such a difficult time. These pets surely are gifts from heaven. Blessings to you.

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  8. Lovely festive pictures Lori. I think it’s a good attitude to have to not look back at the past year with regret and therefore not be able to wait until it passes. I do like celebrations that move from one season to another – whether it’s from summer to autumn, etc. or a new calendar year – it’s not that I bemoan the previous one, but that I look forward to the possibilities of what a new one will bring.

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    1. That’s a good attitude, Andrea. It’s always good to celebrate the incoming new year. The people I’ve heard griping about the past year seem ungrateful. For me, when I’m grateful, I’m overall more happy, so it makes me wonder how happy those people are. Anyway, thank you for sharing. Blessings to you, my friend.

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  9. There is always so much to look forward to and along the way we have all sorts of learning experiences – some good, some bad, but all a part of what shapes us. I’m looking forward to a new year, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the last one. Wishing all my blogging friends a happy year ahead.

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      1. “I find I’m happier more often when I’m grateful.” You and I are not the first or only people to recognize this. I think I saw a similar truism expressed on one of the several newsletters I get from I also liked and agreed with your comment about life being a continuum of the good and bad, the ups and the downs.
        Possibly since I do have children, grown now, most of the 62+ years of my past, especially that tumultuous twenty or so when one or both of our progeny still lived under our roof, have been hard to differentiate one from another. I have been fortunate that all of us have enjoyed good health over all those years. However, since I am now in a long slow recovery, at least from my perspective, from hip replacement surgery, it will be interesting if, at some point in the future, I actually take note of 2017 for that reason, similar to your more misfortunate years.
        PS Chicago is an interesting city that I hope to revisit, sans kids, in the future.

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        1. Hi there. I’ve been mostly away from my blog through the holidays and just saw your comment now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on another year passing. I hope this finds you doing well in your recovery. Good health and blessings to you in the new year.


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