I remember observing the popular kids saying that high school would be the best time of their lives. My view differed; I saw life as a ladder, with each rung offering me a broader perspective. That was 58 years ago.

The layers of time and experience, like aged wine, have produced a delicate, rich and delicious life. 2019, the most recent rung, stretched me beyond my comfort zone once again. Travel dominated the year: hosting a retreat in Ireland, trekking 134 miles across Scotland, sailing the Pacific Ocean from Los Angeles to New Zealand, and visiting Australia’s West Coast. Additionally, the stretch included working with Elliot to produce his musical, Baby Boomer.

This pattern of stepping beyond normal boundaries began the year I traveled to Yosemite in high school. A group of us stood on a bridge over a river. It was spring and the water was freezing. We joked about daring each other to jump into the icy water below. An internal mechanism said, “You’ll regret it if you don’t.” I took the challenge, assessed the water and my swimming skills, looked back at my friends and jumped. The challenge of future rungs continues to engage my spirit.

Our commitment this year to time with friends and family was the motivation for the trip to Australia, Ireland and Scotland along with trips to New York, Maryland, Arizona and Southern California. Next week, Elliot and I will sit down together to create new vision boards for 2020. Our elixir for the best of times is to step out of routine, connect with those we love and enjoy this beautiful planet we inhabit.

The song, The Best of Times is Now, written for La Cage Aux Folles, by Jerry Herman who passed yesterday, has been my mantra since the song was written in 1983. May each succeeding year be the Best of Times for you!