I’ve found I need to be intentional about what I hold onto, and for my own sanity and peace of mind, what I need to let go. The “letting go” part is hard, but I don’t want disappointments, resentments, or hurt feelings to accompany me into the new year. I want to hold onto the laughter, the kind words, and the special times that are irreplaceable. And once I can get all of that in focus, I can look ahead.
A new year shouts out loud that this is a time for beginning again. For many, New Year’s resolutions are made quickly and with much grandiosity, and most likely, will be discarded by mid-February or before. I’m not a fan of such things. For me, the beginning of a new year calls me to weigh my priorities. What is important to me? How will I spend my time? What do I want to accomplish? Who do I want to be? I won’t have those questions answered the first few days of the new year. I will consider them throughout the year.
A colleague told me once, in describing her current situation, “I don’t want this to be my story.” I’ve thought about that comment a lot over the years – how my situation at any given time, my story, doesn’t have to be the story of my life. I get to write my own story, because I get to choose what’s important to me, how I spend my time, what I want to accomplish, and who I want to become.
Is that not magical? We get to choose our story. Life events dictate our circumstances, but we choose who we will be within those circumstances. A broken relationship may not be a choice, but how we respond is. A job change may not be a choice, but how we respond going forward is. A cancer diagnosis is not a choice, but who we will be within that context is: A victim? A fighter? A survivor? Defeated? Determined? Depressed? Hopeful?
It may be time to start something new – a new hobby, a new book, a new job, a new relationship, a new outlook. It may be time to let go of old ways and begin new habits. It may be time to clean out the emotional baggage and fill it with new ways of relating and viewing the world. It’s a time of beginnings, and it’s all a choice:
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SUE'S GIFT BLOG
Sherry Martin is the Patient Services Director for Sue's Gift, a licensed clinical social worker with over thirty years of experience in the field of oncology social work, and author of the book, Beginning Again: Tools for the Journey through Grief: A Step-by-Step Guide for Facilitators of a Grief Support Group. Sherry lives with her husband in Woodland Park, Colorado.
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