With the darkest day of the year now behind us in the northern hemisphere, and with religions all over the world having celebrations involving darkness and light, it seems appropriate to reflect on the year that is ending.  I’ll leave it to others to reflect on the world at large, and simply share my own personal reflections which can be summed up in two words: Thank You!

Of course the big milestone for me was publishing my book, OOPS! Tales From A Sexpert.  Having it exist out in the world—no longer simply a thought in my head and a document in my computer—has been a thrill.  But the greater thrill has been the reactions I’ve gotten from readers. Like you.  

Sharing the book with such diverse audiences has been a dream come true.   So much of my goal when I conceived and wrote the book was to bring the subjects of Sexuality Education and Sexual Health out of a narrow framework to a wider, mainstream audience, and even though the book is so new, I’ve already had opportunities to engage such vastly different audiences, and each one engaged so fully and thoughtfully. 

Opportunities came from unexpected, unrelated, disparate places: the faith community welcomed me in several churches and synagogues; the mental health community at the NAMI NYS conference; general audiences in public places; a group of parents whose concerns ranged from political activism to their roles in their homes, community, and schools; several private book groups and a bookstore; and social gatherings ranging from a birthday party to a pre-BBQ reading at a private gathering.

Similarly, respect has been expressed from a wide range of audience members.  While the deepest gratitude generally comes from parents who find that the book helps them understand and build patience with the young people they love, I’ve also been honored to field questions from doctors, religious leaders, social workers, abortion providers, counselors, writers, and educators.  I’ve even had the honor of an ongoing, thoughtful correspondence with someone who read and respects my book despite a history of being a fundraiser for a Crisis Pregnancy Center!  I was hoping to be a force for reframing the dialogue about abortion in the US, and that reader’s ongoing dialogue with me is an inspiration.  As one program participant said, “There’s so much screaming going on, it’s hard to hear yourself think.”  That’s true, and it is an honor to me to help others think clearly and to have readers push my thinking, too.

So many readers have told me that the dialogues in the book have helped them with their listening skills, their communication skills and their relationships.  Please know that I appreciate every one of your comments, and that it is the feedback I get from readers that fuels me.  I look forward to hearing from YOU if I haven’t already. And when you finish reading my book, please remember to pass it on to someone you think will appreciate it…don’t let it sit on a shelf.

I close this first year of my new blog with a heart overflowing with gratitude, wishing you all the best during the holiday season and into the new year.