The beginning of a new year is a chance to feel renewed, reinvigorated, and reenergized. Of course, it could also be just another day. As much as I believe we should look at each day filled with the hope of possibilities, there's something about a whole year in front of us that fuels inspiration. We want to start fresh and make different choices that put us on a new trajectory. It could be a healthier lifestyle, a better job, or having more fun.
Let's take a step back and reflect on what we accomplished in the past twelve months. Take note of our challenges and what we've achieved. It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine we have, but when we look at our various interactions with others, we might surprise ourselves with all that we've done. The acts of kindness and generosity we've given and received are too important to gloss over. Staying on the phone with a friend to help them through a rough patch, donating to a worthy cause, or creating a fool-proof plan to take over the world with your nine-year-old nephew are the reasons we're here together.
My cousin's son posts on FaceBook all of his highlights for the week. I love reading about what movies he saw and what restaurants he tried for the first time. There's something uplifting in finding joy in the simple moments of our lives. It's an exercise I do every night. I go over my day and appreciate the opportunities that came my way, the people I met, and happy that my new cloaking device has gone undetected by aliens. (My nephew will get the reference.) I find it cuts through the negative noise in my mind as I only look for the silver lining.
Unless you have a dependable crystal ball, the future will always be filled with uncertainty. We can face it with trepidation or fear or go after our goals with a sense of purpose. If it's accountability we need to keep ourselves on track, we can find a trusted friend or mentor. If we need motivation or inspiration, I'm sure someone has written a book that will help. Pay attention to the advice you're giving to someone. There's a good chance it's something you should be doing for yourself.
Time has a way of going fast, and one way to slow it down is to be present. My suggestion to everyone is to practice mindfulness because it's what I need to do as well. I figure if I keep talking about it, I'll remember to stay aware. It helps me be a better listener and keeps me grounded in the here and now. I believe my memory improves when I take in the small details and nuances of a walk, make a new acquaintance, or try to recall what I need to fill my fridge because, once again, I didn't put together a shopping list.
The New Year is here, and I wish you continued prosperity, happiness, and a good cloaking device to conceal you from aliens.
Happy New Year!