Today is January 7, 2023.
I've done the work of year review and year preview over the last few days. Good things happened in 2022, and I look forward to good things in 2023.
While I would like to begin with 2022 highlights, for reasons that will become clear, I'm beginning with the end of the year challenges.
Quarter four of last year was challenging. On October 7, EMTs entered our home, responding to seizure-like activity from me. I spent several hours in the emergency room.
A few days later, I began conversing with a neurologist and started navigating life with a medical driving restriction. We enjoyed hosting family for our daughter’s wedding one week after this event.
We enjoyed Thanksgiving, time with the newlyweds, and some traveling the following week. My health was progressing well; I was mostly back to my normal activities.
On December 12, EMTs again entered our home, responding to another seizure event from me. Once again, I ended up in the emergency room, and within a couple of days, we again conversed with my neurologist. This time, she offered a diagnosis of epilepsy and prescribed anti-seizure medication.
Both of these events have changed me physically and mentally. I have navigated severe back pain, my mental clarity has diminished, and my energy level has decreased.
My holiday season changed as I tried to understand the ramifications of the changes in my health and what my diagnosis means for me as I retire from the military. My career is ending differently than I had envisioned it ending.
In many ways, 2022 was a momentous year. In the latter part of January, Vicki and I made the decision that I should retire. A few weeks later, I formed Gregory Woodard, LLC, and began working on various training and other activities related to building a personal coaching business. I enjoyed coaching several people throughout the year and continuing to grow my understanding of practices necessary to build a sustainable business that would add value to people.
I took the necessary steps to receive approval for military retirement. I began to consider opportunities as part of my next steps. The year was full of planning, speculation, and dreaming about what we wanted for the next steps.
In our personal lives, we watched our son continue his journey into his future through his work with Youth With A Mission and a budding relationship with a young (American) woman he met during his missions work in Cambodia.
We watched as Liahna and Darvin built their relationship and planned and hosted a beautiful wedding.
As I begin 2023 and look back at 2022, I see many blessings and significant challenges. I see 2023 as a year of new beginnings. Vicki & I will relocate to Virginia Beach in the spring. Through an opportunity provided by the Department of Defense, I’ll work on the staff of a local church for several months before my official retirement date in early September.
My career as a military chaplain has changed me. I’ve navigated many challenges personally and professionally. As a family, we’ve shared good times and hard times. While working on some life reflection recently, I determined that I have allowed life to take away my sense of wonder. Since 2023 is a year of change and new beginnings, I determined wonder would be my word of the year.
My medical emergencies in October and December broke the rhythms and consistent habits I worked to build through 2022. I chose consistency as a habit I would focus on. The life I want to develop for my third chapter requires consistent practice. It requires me to construct consistent rhythms of various personal and professional habits. It also requires the creativity that wonder offers.
In the coming days, I’ll reveal my commitments for 2023. For now, I continue to recover physically and mentally. I’m looking forward to the challenges of change and beginning a new chapter of my life and career. I joyfully anticipate the good things that will be part of this year and the years to come.