The End of Another Year
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Where did 2023 go? It seems like I was just struggling to remember to write 2023, and now I will need to adjust to writing 2024. How was your year? Did you experience joy? How about some sadness? While we may never like to experience sadness, it can be leveraged into a growth opportunity. Did you grow in 2023?

I started 2023 with the news that a very dear friend and mentor of mine died suddenly of a heart attack. Mike was young, barely 70. It hit me so hard because he was such an encourager to me. He made me feel special, in fact, he made everyone he met feel special. Then, one day, I realized that it was my turn to help people feel special. Mike showed me the way and I need to step up. I am still trying to grow into the encourager Mike would have been proud of.

During the summer I learned that another mentor of mine, Ed Decosta, passed away after returning home from a family vacation. Ed was a year younger than I am. Once again, it was my turn to step up and pass on what Ed had taught me. While I never would have wanted to go through that sadness, it helped me grow. All of us will need to go through many things in 2024, but we can also choose to grow through them.

Thankfully, 2023 also brought me many joys. Last June our son Tim married an amazing young woman, Kari. It is so wonderful to watch them build a new life together. My wife and I are now empty nesters and are enjoying the positives while learning to adjust to the downsides of a quieter house.

Next week will be my annual reflection time. I am so excited to relive the experiences I had this year. Some will cause me some sadness and others will make me smile, but all of them will help make me better equipped to make the most of an exciting new year.

How about you? Will you choose to grow from the experiences you had in 2023? Since you will be forced to go through many different experiences in 2024, why not choose to grow through them?

Since October 2016, you have seen a blog post from me each Wednesday morning. Starting in 2024, I will be sending them out every other week. I have decided to spend a bit more time on each of them and make them a bit longer and more detailed, rather than just a thought or two. Let me know what you think of that idea.

I wish each and every one of you a Blessed Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Prosperous New Year.