Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

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As I've grown older, I've learned not to spend a lot of time making New Years resolutions.  They are too easily and quickly broken, creating a feeling of failure before the year even gets underway.  But I do like to spend some time thinking about the year ahead and the new beginning it offers.  It's good to have as many "start overs" as we can get, as many opportunities as possible to get things "right", whatever that may mean to each of us. Even my December 31 horoscope admonished me to "set a course that will make the most of the year to come."  Overall, my intention is to slow down and live more consciously, "in the moment" as they say, to take the time to appreciate the little things that surround us each day.  In our hurried culture, that isn't as easy as it sounds and those little things can be so quickly overshadowed by the demands of daily life and the travails that beset us. I was certainly never able to feel that I could comfortably or frequently stop and smell the roses while I was working, but I have been better able to do so since retirement...... and I've been both aware and appreciative of that.

So, in addition to good health, happiness and contentment, peace and prosperity, I hope 2011 will allow you to live more consciously in the way that is most meaningful to you.  I'd also like to share the poem below that was sent to me some time ago by a childhood friend.  The first time I read it, I posted it on my fridge and felt that it offered a "new beginning" every day.  And I read from it most days, not necessarily the whole thing, but parts of it to remind me what life's all about for me at this stage.  I hope you enjoy it, too.
Beginning Today

Beginning today I will no longer worry about yesterday.
It is in the past and the past will never change.
Only I can change by choosing to do so.

Beginning today I will no longer worry about tomorrow.
Tomorrow will always be there, waiting for me to make the most of it.
But I cannot make the most of tomorrow without first making the most of today.

Beginning today I will look in the mirror and I will see a person worthy of my respect and admiration.
This capable person looking back at me is someone I enjoy spending time with and someone I would like to get to know better.

Beginning today
I will cherish each moment of my life.
I value this gift bestowed upon me in this world and I will unselfishly share this gift with others.
I will use this gift to enhance the lives of others.

Beginning today
I will take a moment to step off the beaten path and to revel in the mysteries I encounter.
I will face challenges with courage and determination.
I will overcome what barriers there may be which hinder my quest for growth and self-improvement.

Beginning today I will take life one day at a time, one step at a time.
Discouragement will not be allowed to taint my positive self-image,
my desire to succeed or my capacity to love.

Beginning today I walk with renewed faith in human kindness.
Regardless of what has gone before, I believe there is hope
for a brighter and better future.

Beginning today
I will open my mind and my heart.
I will welcome new experiences. I will meet new people.
I will not expect perfection from myself nor anyone else: perfection does not exist in an imperfect world.
But I will applaud the attempt to overcome human foibles.

Beginning today I am responsible for my own happiness and I will do things that make me happy . . .
admire the beautiful wonders of nature, listen to my favorite music,
pet a kitten or a puppy, soak in a bubble bath . . .
pleasure can be found in the most simple of gestures.

Beginning today
I will learn something new; I will try something different; I will savor all the various flavors life has to offer.
I will change what I can and the rest I will let go.
I will strive to become the best me I can possibly be.
Beginning today. And every day.
-Author Penny White

Happy New Year