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Eight months after the death of her husband Dave Goldberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has declared she's ready to "choose life and meaning" rather than "death and tragedy."
Goldberg died from a heart-related condition in May at 47, and now in a powerful post, Sandberg has recounted how she's made it through 2015 — and how she plans to go forward in 2016.
"New Year’s is the traditional time of rebirth, renewal, and resolutions. This year, New Year’s has more meaning for me than ever before," Sandberg wrote.
"Last year, my resolution was to meditate for ten minutes every day. I shared this with my Lean In Circle of childhood girlfriends who all made their own resolutions. We were determined to support one another and knew that we’d be more likely to succeed if we held one another accountable," she continued.
"We did not always stick to our plans, but we were in it together," she added.
But resolutions suddenly seemed unimportant in the wake of Goldberg's death.
"I stopped trying to meditate, but my connection to this group of friends was one of the things that helped pull me through," she explained. "They checked in daily. Even though they live across the country, they showed up early and often. They did not just hold me as I cried — they cried with me.
"One day when I was feeling particularly alone and down, a card from one of them arrived in the mail. It said, 'One day she woke up and understood we’re all in this together.' It has hung above my desk ever since."
Sandberg went on to say that those friends had been her personal support system since she was 10 — they even helped her pick out her prom dress — and that they "are a big part of why I am able to smile again."
Now that she can smile, she can also look ahead to what life has to offer next.
She revealed her resolution this year is to write down three happy moments from each day, inspired by some advice from a friend.
"When I first lost Dave, I felt overwhelmed with just getting through each day," she said.
"My friend Adam Grant suggested that every night before bed I write down three things I did well that day. I tried to do this, although some days I had such a hard time thinking of anything I did well that I’d end up listing 'Made a cup of tea.'"
Overtime, though, the habit helped rebuild her confidence.
"Even if it was small, I could record something positive each day. ... I want to continue this practice, so my New Year’s resolution is to write down three joyful moments each day.
The mother of two added, "I want to choose life and meaning over death and tragedy and live Option B as best I can."
"So I will try to focus on finding joy in the mundane and the profound —joy in the small things that make my children smile, joy in the moments of friendship that might otherwise pass by unnoticed, joy in the ability to appreciate the gift of life in a way I never did before."
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