Happy New Year 2016 from Key West, Florida

I told my friend that the best thing for me about 2015 is that it is over.  He sarcastically commented about my “uplifting” sentiment but I wasn’t finished reflecting.

pitbull-NYE-2015-billboard-650 The best thing for me about losing all of my security or false sense of security is that I feel like I have nothing else left to lose.  Initially, I thought that meant that I would not be able to do any of the things that I really wanted to do in my life. Surprisingly, the complete opposite is becoming my reality. I am not living in deprivation.  I know what I really want and those things important to me are coming to fruition in my life.

I love to travel.  I love the new experiences, adventures, exploring, food, people, surroundings, culture, history, etc.  This Christmas, the only thing that I wanted to do was to go away.  Nothing about Christmas really appeals to me anymore and least of all the material aspect of buying and contributing to the accumulation of things. I looked into many options but nothing was affordable or really worked to the schedule of me and my children. But, the universe conspires to make my dreams come true despite my circumstances.

Out of the blue, an incredibly generous gift that I actually turned down 3 times before I finally accepted, allowed me to take both my daughters to Miami and Key West over the Christmas holiday. Just by saying “yes” and accepting that gift, more gifts followed.  I learned that Pitbull was hosting his second New Year’s Revolution Party with a free concert to be televised by Fox T.V with a star-studded line up of artists both my kids love. Then the day before the New Year’s Eve concert we watched two other artists my kids really wanted to see for another free concert on the beach–Macklemore with Ryan Lewis and Imagine Dragons.  There was a fireworks display afterwards.  And during our time here I won a trip to Cancun for 4 nights and 5 days.  All of these things were truly free gifts to me.

Experiences continued. My kids really wanted to go and see The Dash store owned by the Kardashians.  While we were there we went to dinner in the area which is in trendy South Beach.  When we came out of the restaurant, Jalapeno, after an amazing meal in a phenomenal atmosphere with the most attentive waiter, my younger daughter spotted a man riding a bicycle with a lemur in the basket of his bicycle.  We called him over and he generously allowed my kids to pet and hold the lemur.  He then took it a considerable distance away from them and had them stand still and the monkey jumped all the way from him onto their shoulders.  A crowd was gathering around as he allowed both my children turns with the monkey.  It is something they will always remember.

During our trip I found people to be so kind and friendly.  One young guy was sharing with me about his tour in Afghanistan as a marine. He showed me photos of his friends in uniform and then their blown up tank and how he lost both of those friends when their vehicle was targeted and he was lucky to be alive. He had a brain injury and was now working in the travel industry. He asked me where I was staying and when he found out that I hadn’t booked a room yet for our final day in Miami after our drive back from Key West he told me that he would book me a room with 2 king beds at the Marriott Hotel by the airport for free.  He called my cell phone so I had his contact number but I really didn’t think I would hear from him.  He contacted me again to ensure that he had the right airport and day that we needed the room. Then he contacted me to apologize that it was so busy at the Marriott that night that he was only able to get me a room with 2 queen beds. He sent me the confirmation email.

So while I was standing watching the Pitbull concert on New Year’s Eve with my children, dancing, singing, seeing the stage and the performers clearly when there were apparently 100,000 people there, seeing how excited my children were for the various acts, having 2 firework displays going off at midnight in the sky above me and then again 15 minutes later I suddenly felt so alive and awake. Colours seemed more vibrant.  I thanked God for his generosity and for knowing how to give me and my children the best gifts imaginable. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better vacation. I felt so grateful.

A couple of minutes before the end of the concert while Pitbull was  thanking everyone, rain, which seemed to come out of no where because it had been a clear, sunny, hot day, poured down on us.  I knew I was being renewed and the rain was the perfect symbol for that. I felt elated.

Today, my children and I spent our last full day together leaving the house at 10:45 a.m. not returning until 10:00 p.m. My kids were happy and grateful for everything we did, no complaints about all the walking, and even thrilled to take a ride back to the hotel in a pink taxi cab.  We lied together on my bed and looked at pictures, talked and laughed for another 1 1/2 hours. My older daughter commented that she thinks this is the best vacation we have ever taken.

Although I have never been happier to put a year behind me, I have never felt so excited and optimistic for the new year before me.  Happy New Year everyone!  Wishing you all amazing gifts and happy surprises for 2016!









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