Today I share some of YOUR personal 2016 victories! Thanks for sharing with me!

I want to say thank you to everybody who sent me notes sharing their good news, victories, and blessings that came their way in 2016. These are the moments we need to focus on as we say goodbye to the year that was difficult, and perhaps a little bit more unsettling than other recent years. We must remember to stay calm, to have faith, and to never stop believing that our voices matter. That we can, and are making a difference in our world, our lives and our relationships.

2017 will be what you make it. It will give you what you give it. Don’t hide away in fear. Don’t cower back in doubt. Go forward boldy, cease your moments and make them count. If you get knocked down, don’t throw your hands up in defeat, regroup, dust yourself off and keep chasing the life you want. Life will not come to you. Remember that. But don’t let that keep you from living and chasing your passions. You have one life, make it count.

I’m with you, I’m beside you daily working toward achieving all the dreams on my list too, together we will get there. And to help inspire you, one more victory I had in 2016, was a featured article about just me, with my boys in Not an article with Yannick, or even about Yannick. I was a dancer, actress before I became Mrs. Yannick Bisson and I still have my own aspirations, separate from being a part of this duo, which made this piece such a victory. I write books, and my blog as my own person, not as the wife of Yannick, so this solo article meant a great deal to me, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.

Keep moving forward, and if you end up being pushed two steps back, take your time to overcome the blow, and keep going. Don’t let defeat become your permanent home. You are in control of how long you stay down, keep that in mind and in your heart.

Happy New Year to each and every one of you reading this today. Enjoy the victories of others, and be inspired!

Love Shantelle

“It has been heartbreaking to watch my super intelligent big sister who was a vice president of a national corporation, descend into the dark fog that is Alzheimer’s. She has trouble talking to us because she cannot remember what she did only a few hours earlier and she cannot find the words when she wants to discuss something. She calls us two to ten times a day repeating the same conversation as though her mind is playing a continuous loop. We have learned how to react, or not react, to what she says in a way that will not upset her, although there are times when we cannot take the abuse and we just tell her we’ll talk to her another time. There is much more to it than what I have described here, but I think you get the picture.

You are probably wondering how this can be a victory. Well, I’ll tell you. My husband and my daughter have been with me on this journey and have given me their complete support and understanding. Everything from handling her two moves of almost all her furniture, taking over her financial affairs, and just helping cope with her, has eased the burden on me. In addition to that I got myself into therapy to help me deal with the challenges we are facing.

Most importantly, we are looking to the future and finding ways to get outside the bubble of depression and hopelessness that dealing with this disease can create. We are going to Paris this spring and I am busy trying to learn French, again, and I am happy to say that much of what I learned a few years ago is coming back to me. As a historian I am researching the history and development of Paris to give me some context, because that is the way my mind works and I know I will get the most out of our time there.

I believe that even though there will be more challenges ahead with my sister, I can keep in touch with the outside world and that that will keep me from falling into complete despair. For anyone who has had to deal with a loved one stricken by this horrible disease, that is a victory.” Thanks for listening, Rolayne

“First congratulations on your achievements
You asked so here are mine
I am alive , I beat cancer
I lost 2 and a half stones, still several to go but after the christmas indulgence blip I am on track again
My children, who make me proud and amaze me every day
I have learned that life is a journey, not a destination and that goals I have may take time to achieve but thats ok, its not a sign of failure but of determination to keep chasing them.” Maria

“We became first time grandparents of adopted twin infant girls. Their parents let us have them all day every Thursday!” Linda J Rollins

“Thanks to yoga, and an awesome yoga therapist, I can move easier, but not more yet…hopefully that will come in 2017.
I love hearing about your experiences and your family. Thank you so much for sharing. Looking forward to hearing more in 2017.” Julie

– I sent my daughter off to the University of her choice – Carleton! She’s in first year, working on a Human Rights program (with a minor in indigenous and gender studies), plus she’s working part time to help “pay her way”. I am bursting with pride every time I think of that cute face of hers and I’m proud of the work that we did as parents to help get her there. Of course, she’s doing all the heavy lifting now!

– I celebrated 26 years of marriage to *my* dream guy. All these years later, he still has his Duran Duran hair (ha!) and I just light up on the inside whenever he’s near me. Can’t help loving that man of mine!

– I, too, weeded out my “friends list”. It feels good, and I sleep better. Laurie

Hi Shantelle,
I absolutely love reading your blog , twitter, instagram ….You are a very real down to earth person that has a magnetic personality . As far as my 2016 grateful moments I have some personal triumphs. My son graduated high school with honours (where the time went I don’t know). Having “gone” thru the change and my Husband has still stuck by my side after being together 29 yrs , married 27 is probably close to a miracle. We recently moved to Toronto and are very happy to be back. We are all healthy. Finally this year my allergies are under control thanks to my allergy Dr. So all in all life is good and I am very grateful.
Thanks so much

2 of my highlights of what was personally quite a good year:

Became a grandmother for the second times to a baby girl born in June and
Meeting you, Yannick, Brianna, Craig but most especially the incredibly inspiring children fighting cancer. It was quite a party!

HAPPY NEW YEAR Shantelle!!!

  1. I’m still here. 2. My illness is under control 3. My promotion at work. 4. My family still healthy Joanna

2016, my son is engaged to lovely girl, getting married next year. Most importantly she & his old dog love each other Cathy

“I have always been overweight and always seem to lose and gain the same 30lbs. I need to lose about 100lbs. I always tried to do lose without exercising. I had recently retired and knew I needed to do something with my time. I started taking aquafit. From January to June I did 4x’s a week.. an hour a day (Monday to Friday). I felt the weight coming off. I then spent a month living with family in Banff. Jeannette is a fitness instructor, so she gently guided me into walking at least 10,000 steps daily. They eat healthy and so I was able to continue losing. I came home and was struggling to get my 10.000 steps in as it was so hot here. I also didn’t feel safe walking on isolated trails alone here. Ironically Banff seemed safer.. maybe because of many people around. I decided to see if there was pool lane walking. I knew my uncle in BC did it after he had knee replacement. I checked at the pool and ended up getting a year membership at the health club, it gave me access to more aquafit classes, and lane walking. I started doing 2 hours a day lane walking and continuing with the aquafit. The inches fell off me. I have made some good friends too. I am smaller and fitter than I have ever been. I still have about 90 lbs to lose and that is okay. Lane walking is such great exercise… I don’t realize I am exercising. I can do it year round. I am confident and happier… that is my long story of my highlight of getting fitter and healthier to live a long life and enjoy my retirement.” Heather

I hope these stories of others celebrating their victories of 2016 help you to embrace and salute your own!

xo SB