Happy New Year!

     Don’t you just love the crisp air that rolls in with the month of January? I find the light sting on my skin and brief burn in my lungs to be energizing. I purse my lips to exhale my breath and push out imaginary smoke rings that disappear into the cold air; it makes me giggle.  It is this childlike energy that fuels my perspective and optimism for the New Year; a vibrant, spirited attitude emerges when I anticipate the year ahead. I enjoy the blank slate I see when I sit down to write my goals or openly discuss them with others. Periodically the mature reality of responsibilities and deadlines of life push away my spirited demeanor; I’m weighed down with the thought of tasks and necessary sacrifices. To achieve some of my goals, the new disciples that I'll require will appear daunting. Occasionally my list of objectives will expand faster than my hand can write; I’m overwhelmed. No matter how positively I write each goal my plate of tasks and responsibilities feels more and more heavy. My scales of exhaustion can be tipped with simple comments like, “I’m going to eat healthier; walk two miles a day; write five pages each day in my book”. I don’t want to feel as though I’m adding more to my “to-do” list without first making room on my plate to grow. Instead I want to focus on what “I can do” and not place a spotlight on what “I can’t”; but again, I need the room.

      To make room in my life I find it necessary to first expand my attitude and make emotional space to get relief. What am I going to stop doing? For starters I’m going to stop judging myself and start appreciating who I am at this very moment. I’m going to stop parking my car so close to the front door of the store and I’m going to walk farther from where I park; this will add to my desired two miles a day. I’m going to stop worrying about what I’m going to serve my guests for dinner; this way I’ll be less stressed and able to focus more on the conversation; the pleasure of their company. With each objective or goal that’s added to my plate, one negative thought comes off.

     Traditionally the song “Auld Lang Syne” brings with it, a review of our past; a look back at the last year. It’s not easy to reminisce without recalling the goals I “didn’t" achieve. It’s also a challenge to acknowledge the mistakes I “did” make.  However, I’m not disappointed when I reminisce. I can only learn from my mistakes or underachieved goals by first admitting I want to make some changes. I’m not the same person as I was a year ago; in fact, I’m not the same person I was yesterday. Just  like the month of January I’m a blank slate too.

Happy New Year! – Annamarie