Happy New Year my faithful readers! Did you make any resolutions for 2017? Are you going to work out more; eat healthy; manage your finances better; not use half of the peace sign when that idiot cuts you off in traffic? I can hear some of you groaning already because, perhaps like me, you’ve already broken some of those resolutions. (I could have sworn I read somewhere that dark chocolate was good for you. OK, maybe not the whole Godiva chocolate bar.) The only resolution I seem to keep every year is “I will not keep my resolutions.”
The year 2016 seemed to hit many people pretty hard. And many of us are happy to see it gone. Some of us experienced great loss in our personal life. In addition, we lost quite a few celebrities; the election cycle was filled with more negativity than any of us have seen in our life time; the election results may not have turned out the way the majority of the country wanted and the world was hit with numerous terror attacks both here and abroad.
But now it’s 2017 and we are faced with several choices. We could brace ourselves for more bad news in the coming year. We could all cower in the corner afraid of what horrible news 2017 will bring. We could watch the news waiting to hear one tragedy after another. We could even stay continuously plugged into social media to see the latest Twitter feed.
Or we can decide to distance ourselves from the negativity and pain linked to 2016. I have often heard that we have the ability to write our own story…our own book of life; with our thoughts, our words and fears. Why don’t we turn the page in the book that was 2016? Start a new chapter. Let’s make a determination not to dwell on the negativity. If you hear bad news on the TV, change the channel. If someone post something mean and nasty on their Facebook page don’t bother reading it and certainly don’t repost. If someone comes up to you or calls you with gossip, change the subject. If 2016 was extremely painful for you try not to dwell on the hurt and pain. Try to concentrate on the good memories…the laughter…the love.
Why not project how we want 2017 to be with our thoughts and our actions. During the middle of last year I took a Vision Board class. Yes, that’s right. I actually cut out pictures and words from various magazines and glued them to a poster board. I hung it up where I could see it every day. The idea was by looking at the pictures and words on a daily basis it would help me to focus on my goals and either consciously or subconsciously make them come true. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work but if nothing else it was a lot of fun and I felt like a kid again in art class.
I’m not saying you have to make a Vision Board (although most of my goals have come or are coming true) but the point is to concentrate on what you want for you and your family. Focus on your goals throughout the year. And do not let anyone or anything derail you. Know that you have the power to change things around. We cannot stop others from doing harm. And bad things are going to happen whether we want them to or not. But we have the power to decide how the negativity will or will not affect us.
Since being suddenly widowed in the beginning of 2016 I have been hit with a lot of first without my husband. The first Valentine’s Day, our first wedding anniversary, his first birthday, the first Father’s Day and many more. Fortunately, thanks to my wonderful family and friends, I survived the first holiday season without him. Thanksgiving, my birthday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. It was a very difficult time for me. Together my husband and I had done so many things to make those days special for each other and for our family.
Even on my birthday he couldn’t wait for the sun to come up before giving me my gift. It didn’t matter that it was two days before Christmas and that we were exhausted from just finishing Christmas shopping for our kids, our granddaughter and our mothers. He made sure my birthday was extra special beginning at midnight. No matter what time I got up in the middle of the night (which was more often than not) I’d come out of the bathroom with the bedroom light on and he’d be sitting on the edge of the bed with a big grin on his face and my professionally wrapped gift in his hands. It didn’t matter that I still hadn’t wiped the sleepiness from my eyes. I was expected to open that gift with the same enthusiasm I would have if it was twelve noon. But not in 2016. This time when I came out of the bathroom after midnight I couldn’t see him on the side of the bed. I couldn’t open the gift. And that pit in my stomach hit me hard just like it did on every first.
And although the first anniversary of my husband’s death is right around the corner and it will be a difficult day for me, I am determined to dust off the negativity that seemed to engulf me and so many others in 2016.
I do not know what 2017 will bring. But I am working on my Vision Board. I’m working on disassociating myself from any negativity that lies ahead. I’m going to wrap myself in the love and laughter from the past. And I am looking forward to the future. I know that there will be more love and laughter ahead. I am turning the page my friends. I am starting a new chapter in more ways than one. I am determined that 2017 is going to be an awesome year. I am looking forward to seeing what the next chapter brings in this book we call life. THIS is a resolution I am determined to keep.