Here we are! About to end the first week of 2017. A whole new year is waiting for us, like a new chapter on a book full of blank pages.

I’ve seen a lot of articles and posts talking about how 2016 was a bad year. I understand that perspective especially when taking a global look on politics, human rights, etc. But, I personally can not say that 2016 was a bad year for me.

2016 was the year that my second daughter was born, and it was the year I got to spend time at home raising my children, watching them grow and develop. During this time I learned so much about myself and I found new ways to enjoy life, I found new things to be thankful for, I met new friends, and I realized that the small things in life can have the biggest impact not only on the people around us but in the world.

During 2016 there were times that I cried watching the news. There were times that I was scared for what the future will hold for my children. There were times that I lost my hope.

During 2016 I felt guilty because I left a high paying job to be a stay-at-home mom, directly affecting our family routine and life style. It was when I realized that being a full time mom was even harder than working in a company and leading people. It required a completely new set of skills that were not taught at school, and that you can only learn by doing it. I embarked in this lonely adventure carrying only my love for my family and the fear of failing with me.

2016 taught me so many things! I learned (and continue to learn) how to be a good mother. I learned that I can do small actions that will contribute to build a better world. I learned that suffering and neglecting can compromise people’s judgment. I learned that together we are stronger.

Years will come and go, and life will continue to move forward. If I look back on my past, living in that small town in Brazil covered in red dirt, I could never imagine I would be here today, writing a blog post in English looking at a street covered on white snow. There is so much unknown about the future. The best we can do is to not let the bad moments and bad memories take control of us. We must keep moving, fighting for what we believe and not giving up.

I am looking forward to write on the blank pages of my 2017 book. Will I find a new job? Will we stay in the same house? Will there be peace in the world? Will we be safe? Will the climate change?

Welcome 2017! I promise I will do my part to make it a better year for me, for my family, and if I am lucky, for the world!