I’ve always treated this as an encapsulated, one-year, introspective project. The journal’s sole goal—accomplished through examining my emotions, sifting through my experiences of life, cataloging my personal failures and successes, highlighting areas for growth and improvement, generating wisdom nuggets for a future generation—has remained as a stand-alone catalog of my life experiences, that my children may have available in the future.

And I think that I did a pretty good job of including as many relevant experiences and personal perspectives that may help them as adults, some day, in some capacity. Whether they choose to read and ingest the wisdom (or foolishness) that I offer, my story is committed to pen and paper—really, digital ones and zeros—and only time will tell if they apply my stories to their life story.

Subtle salvation in poems we know / Hiding our heads in a shadow of home / Now I wasn’t looking for wreaths or for bells / Just someone to listen to stories I tell / Stories I tell ~ Stories I Tell by Toad the Wet Sprocket

What else can be said, that hasn’t been said already? Not much else, I suppose. In the end, I finished my personal project on time—even if the final narratives were penned days beyond my birthday. I make the rules! Of the ambitious one-hundred bucket list items that I defined in April, I was able to successfully complete seventy of the challenges.

With this final entry, I gladly cross #9 Complete a 365 photo project and compile into printed portfolio/journal format from the list. At some point in the new year, I will revisit all of the narratives and edit them for consistency, before I compile the stories into a printed format. But that’s a project for another day, a new beginning to a new year.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end ~ Closing Time by Semisonic

Go on, go home, there is nothing else to see here. You’ve reached the conclusion of my 44th revolution around the sun. These are the stories I tell.