Reflections on the New Year
Several friends have written about how they don’t understand the New Year holiday. I get that, and I have never been a big New Year’s Eve party person- I’m more the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ sort. However, I love the idea of the official restart, the second chance, even though intellectually I understand that it’s just another day on the calendar. There is something special and of great import about the first day of the new calendar year. After almost fifty-two years on this planet, I have come to appreciate the chance to regroup, rethink, and try once more to get it right, to learn, and to grow.
Every year provides its challenges, and 2014 yielded a bumper crop. The defining moments came in the months of July and August, in which my mother had her fateful fall and we plunged into the world of hospitals, rehab facilities, and ultimately loss, teaching me and changing me so much. Several people have said that they know I will be glad when this year is over…but that’s not how I feel. Yes, this year was full of loss and sadness, but I also grew exponentially. I learned the depth of my ability to love, to bear loss, to grieve. I also learned the importance of gratitude and reaching for the light. My mother was my greatest teacher in so many ways, even in death. I feel nothing but gratitude.
While I don’t ever want to wish away the life experiences that shape me, I am ready for this virtual reboot. It is time for me to reclaim parts of myself that have been neglected. All the stress of 2014, having devoted so much time to Mom’s care and the duties after her passing, combined with other stressors, have me limping across the finish line. I am eager to use this ‘fresh start’ to get back on track in many areas of my life, and I’m thinking of 2015 as a time to reclaim myself…something that I lost being so focused on caring for my mother. I have many plans and goals; re-starting a diet and fitness plan to reclaim the healthy body I let slide spending so much time in the hospital and rehab center, and from the effects of grieving; finishing up my book on my mentor Kalmen Opperman, and submitting it for publication; writing an e-book about my mother; being open to major changes that may be happening in my life. Big things to tackle, but all doable.
Most of all, I want to approach 2015 with gratitude and anticipation of good things to come, as I did 2014 and the years before it. Life can be a bumpy ride, but the journey is so beautiful when you consider the bigger picture. Frustrations, loss, and sadness are a part of it, but so are love and joy. As long as I focus on the gratitude for everything that comes into my life, navigating the rockier parts of the road is easier to manage. Let this year be a time of rejuvenation of our spirits, our hearts, and our minds. I am opening my arms wide to embrace change, to embrace hope…to embrace life. Happy New Year!