Posts Tagged ‘New Year’

Coasting into the Valley – The Ebbs and Flows to a New Year

Days rarely go as planned (unless I am on vacation with a very strictly planned schedule laid out for me).  Regular days shift often.  Children get sick, snow comes, hours pass too quickly to accomplish what was on the “to do” list, a neighbor stops over, the computer you are using gives you grief and you have to solve a problem before moving forward again.  Everyone can fill in their own blanks.

There is an ebb and flow to days as there is with life.  The unpredictable nature can be a friend though depending on how you view it.  The sick child makes you pause and refocus your attention on what really matters.  The “not enough time in the day” scenario is a reminder of the blessing of time in general and that we need to make the most of it.  I also count my blessings when I realize the days fly by because I am busy, I am happy with my work days, I love what I do.  If the days dragged on, there would be an issue with my career.

The downs in a day are usually followed quickly enough by an up.  A hill eventually peaks and the hard work of getting there turns into a coast downhill where you can enjoy the ride.  When the bad comes, it reinforces the good when it comes too.  How else would we appreciate the sun if it never rained?

So in this new year, know that days will not go as planned.  Things will happen that we don’t see coming.  And while some of them may knock us down to our knees, taking us awhile to recover from the blow, call on gratitude to help get you through the tough times.  Gratitude will take you far, helping build your resilience, which is ultimately what is needed to get over the hill and coasting back down into the green, calm valley.

By BorisFromStockdale at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,


The Ring and the New Year

I guess the new year always brings in the good and the sad.  The reflection of what is not great compared to the wonderful.  This was reflected in my day both physically and mentally.  As my kids are back in school after the break and I am getting ready to head back to work, I am trying to finish some tasks and tend to matters that I have decided are important now. 

The day started off misty and rainy damp.  The sky was gray, but then gave way to the sun and the temperature rose.  For January, it was a perfectly lovely day.  I had to put on my sunglasses and take off my coat.  As I was driving to the jewelers, I noticed road signs that stated de-icing efforts were underway and, sure enough, minutes later I saw a truck putting salt on the roads.  This struck me as so odd.  The temperature was in the 60s and yet we were preparing for snow several days later. 

In North Carolina, even if it does snow, it will be sunny and warm within hours to days and the snow or ice will melt and the temperatures will again rise into the 50s.  A downward blip to make you rest and reflect followed by an upward surge of sunshine and activity.  And so is life…..

Once I made it to the jewelry store, I rang the doorbell and was buzzed inside.  It was as if I was stepping into the past.  I hadn’t been to this store in years and the memories flooded.  I pictured my late husband returning to this store week after week before he proposed to find a flawless, perfect diamond.  I recalled the stories of the people there trying to convince him the ring he was considering was perhaps not the best choice since it wasn’t a typical engagement ring (it was the perfect choice for me – Jim was right).  I looked around at the style of the store, the fanciness of the décor, the dress of the people who worked there and it was so my late husband.  It made me smile, and, of course, it made me sad at the same time.

After Jim died, I continued to wear my engagement ring on my left hand for a long time.  Then I decided to not wear it for an even longer time.  Recently I have decided I want to wear it again, but this time on my right hand instead (and thus the need to get it resized at the fancy jewelry store).  I am excited to get my ring back and to wear it again.  Jim did an excellent job selecting a ring he knew I would love and it will always remind me of him.  Wearing it again will be lovely.  The gloom of the past many years is trying to give way to a sunshine upsurge. 

As my life continues to change and morph into the new normal it is, I know I will continue to have periods of misty, damp times.  The new year reminds us of this.  The new year always brings this chasm – excitement for what is ahead, the possibilities and also the tension that comes from expectations not being met or conditions not being what you want them to be at the moment.  Patience is definitely needed as I wait for the sunshine to penetrate through the mist.  This past year has been sad and frustrating at times but also very wonderful in so many ways.  The promise of the future and the new year is great however and I know my sunshine is on the horizon.  

A New Year and the Change that it Highlights

New Year 2015

It is a strange feeling. Even though Jim was so sick for so many years, I always had the belief that “next year will be a better year” or “this upcoming year is Jim’s year to be healthy again.” Such thoughts kept me going, kept things bearable and we both worked hard towards this goal of health regained. But at the start of 2014 we celebrated the new year in the hospital and for awhile, I wasn’t sure we would be able to get Jim home. This became the new goal and we accomplished it. The remainder of 2014 was filled with ups and downs, but obviously Jim’s illness steadily overtook him and after half of a year, we lost him. So this year, 2015, my usual thoughts of “this is the year for Jim – for us – for our family” are gone. There is no Jim here anymore, there is no chance for health recovery here anymore, only a sadness and emptiness that the dreams we both had cannot be accomplished here anymore.

But a new year does bring the time for reflection in a formal way. A time to consider the review of the previous year and the aspirations for the upcoming one. Even though my new year is looking very different than I envisioned it last year at this time, it is an opportunity to embrace the gifts and blessings that surround me and my children. There are so many. Friends who invite you out and treat you as they always have, friends who pay special attention to the kids and take them on outings to remind them how good the world still is, family who send you lots of Christmas gifts to remind you that you are loved, friends and neighbors who contribute towards us going on a vacation and colleagues who pitch in to allow for the opportunity. Strangers and acquaintances who pray for us, helping to propel us forward. Sunny, cloudless days on a crisp winter day highlighting the trees and birds flying through the skies, reminding us all that there is beauty in the world. Always.

Advice From My Very Astute 5-Year Old Son


Image via Wikipedia

For about a month now my five-year old son has been singing and dancing (with some pretty impressive moves, I might add) a song of his own making.  I have no idea the motivation for the song and why he sings it so often and so enthusiastically.  But he does and it is fabulous.  When he first started singing this song, he asked me to write it down for him – I couldn’t write fast enough.  Everytime he sings the song, the words are slightly different, but the message is always the same – believe in yourself.


I thought since today is the first day of the new year, it was most appropriate to share the original song with everyone.  I couldn’t say it better myself.  Here is to the belief that 2012 is the year.  The year for miracles, health, and the knowledge that belief can make things happen.


If you just believe in yourself
You can do anything for me or you.

It’s okay if you win or lose.
It’s okay if you matter fact or lose.
It’s okay if you don’t win or lose.
You just need to believe in yourself.
Just believe in yourself
For me and you.

Just believe in yourself.
So don’t fail.

It’s okay if you don’t do everything you want to.
Just believe in yourself.

It’s a matter of fact to lose.
Just don’t worry about anything.
Just believe in yourself.

It’s okay if you don’t break a record.
Just believe in yourself.

Just believe in yourself.
Just believe in yourself to me and you. (repeat this last line many, many, many times).

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