Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Beginnings

This is the time of year when we all get asked the same question.

"What's your new year's resolution?"

If you're like me, you're not into all of that. After all, countless years have gone by during which we vowed to lose weight, get financially fit, quit smoking, or a bevy of other promises we never keep. So, instead of making a resolution, I have made a simple commitment to myself - to be a better woman (in every way) than I was in 2012.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is a time for reflection. We look back on the year that was, and we reflect on where we started, what happened along the way, and how it has all turned out. Our hope is that the new year will bring with it positive changes, prosperity, and an even better outcome than the year before. So in that spirit, I've compiled a list of the areas where we should all be focusing our attention as the new year rolls in.

Health: When we get on an airplane, the flight attendant instructs us that in case of an emergency landing, we must FIRST secure our own oxygen masks before attempting to assist others. The same is true of our health. We spend so much time worrying about the health and wellness of our children, spouse, parents and grandparents that we often neglect our own well being. Speaking from my own experience, I noted that this year I had scheduled dental appointments for my sons, taken them for their annual physicals, even gotten their vision and hearing checked. It wasn't until late November that it occurred to me that I hadn't visited my general practitioner in far too long! So I finally went in for a check of my cholesterol, thyroid, and blood pressure. In 2013, I plan to continue eating healthier, exercising, and meditating. My renewed commitment to mind, body, and spirit will carry me forward into 2013. Often we begin the year with good intentions. And then by Valentine's Day we're off track again. In the new year, let's all do our best to finish the year with the same optimism and commitment to change as we started with.

Family:  Many of the events in 2012 made me hold my loved ones a lot tighter than before. Trayvon Martin was gunned down for no reason at the beginning of the year. Toward the end of the year, the nation mourned  the massacre of twenty six and seven year olds at their school in Connecticut. In between those two events, many more lives were lost, many more families torn apart. Hurricane Sandy gave many of us on the East Coast a wake up call about what is truly important. When the lights go out, and the heat is off, when gas is a commodity, and our world comes to a standstill we discover what's most important. Family. Our children grow so quickly. Our lives move forward at a rapid pace. With every day that goes by, our parents and grandparents age, their bones become more brittle, and illnesses and conditions arise that threaten their health and longevity. The matriarchs and patriarchs who loomed larger than life are suddenly dependent upon us. Let's not forget them throughout the year. Call them, check on them, and stop by to see them. Let's ensure that every member of our families - young, old, and in between - are surrounded by love and support all year long.

Career: One of my favorite sayings is that, "It's never too late to become what you might have been." We start out in our youth ready to take over the world. We set our goals high, we chase our dreams with all we've got, and we imagine incredible futures for ourselves. But somewhere along the line, many of us settle for jobs instead of careers. We do what pays the bills, often settling for positions and duties that are beneath our skill set. When we lower our standards and settle for less than we desire, something inside of us dies a little. There's a difference between living and existing. When you are living, you are thriving, happy, alive. When you are existing, you simply go through the motions without any fulfillment. It's never too late to chase that dream of yours. You can make 2013 the year that you take your career to the next level.

Travel:  I LOVE TO TRAVEL! My career as a writer has taken me to some places that I never thought I would go. But I want MORE! My goal is to visit every continent before my 50th birthday. In 2013, I plan to set my plan in motion. What cities, states, or countries are on your bucket list?

The Pursuit of Happiness:  Heartbreak and disappointment are unfortunate realities in all our lives. As the year comes to a close, we look back on those we've loved and lost, those who've come and gone, and how our lives have changed as a result. Before the countdown to 2013 begins, let's let go once and for all. A new year is a clean slate, a fresh canvas on which to paint our destiny. Leave old cares behind and embrace new possibilities. Don't stare too long at the doors that have closed in your life that you don't notice the ones that are wide open for you. The possibilities are endless. Let's make 2013 the best year of our lives (so far :) !

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