Ahhh….It is a brand new year and news feeds are filled with January newsletters announcing the specular plans for our favorite non-profits, resolutions promising a sparkly life if only we have self-discipline, and robo-emails that seem to have no idea we are still in the holidays, and frankly do not want to know that our credit card statement for December is now available to view.
For some, resolutions are big and significant changes, for others they are small, consistent shifts or perhaps a way to assess one’s path and to consider which turns or side paths one wants to make. The new year feels like a clean slate. It is no wonder it is often identified as a new baby: a cute bundle of joy, full of potential.
After slogging through 12 months of cultural sludge, who wouldn’t want to think of all the bright things we could do with this brand new year? If you recall last January we held the bright and shiny hopes of that new year. But by July it had hit midlife and by December, it was a little wrinkled and very cranky, hollering for the kids the “get off the yard!” But here is the deal, for as much as we may be glad last year has been completed, we probably learned a lot during those 365 days. We learned it is possible to survive:
- the intense grief of losing a loved one.
- leaving a home and neighborhood you loved.
- the loss of your job, with no idea what you want to do next.
- walking with depression, anxiety or an addiction.
- receiving a challenging diagnosis.
- experiencing parental exhaustion you didn’t know was possible.
More than these, you may have found out you are vulnerable. I certainly did. And because of that vulnerability, you might realize you are much stronger than you thought you were.
This next year may come with weddings full of love, adorable babies, travel to exciting places, fresh jobs, new friends, and celebrations galore. It will also come with some of those “surviving moments.” We will have loss. We will cry and we will cheer. And, we will do it together.
My word for the year is JOY. For me, joy consists of the love of friends, my family, walks in nature, a good wine (with a chocolate chaser) a chunk of cheese and a loaf of french bread under a tree with my fur family begging to share. It is sharing life in small ways with loved people.
Joy will stand with me to face the challenges and celebrations of this new year. How will you choose to walk through this new year? Do you have an accompanying word of the year? Please share it.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” Thanks for that reminder A.A. Milne
May your new year be blessed,