Where Do We Go From Here?

By on January 3, 2017

babystepsThe holidays are over. Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are finished. The new year has arrived. Perhaps we are breathing a sigh of relief that 2016 is behind us.

Here we are in 2017. What do we do now?

Well, over the next week or so, we should be taking down the lights and decorations. (There is no law in Verona that says when they have to come down, unlike places in Maine and California.) Perhaps it is a little sad to box up everything, but it is time to do so and move on. (After all the stores are already decked out for Valentine’s Day.) Pack them away carefully and with the love that they deserve. Although it may not seem to be, they are all treasures (even the ugliest one) and we should treat them as such.

It is time to return to school and work. (For those of us who had to work during the “holiday” week, it is time to return to our regularly scheduled traffic. The one thing I DO like about working during the week between Christmas and the new year is that for once Route 3 is navigable! Dare I say that in the middle of the last week, the nearest vehicle in my lane was at least five car lengths in front of me! WHEN do you EVER experience that????) Bloomfield Avenue will no longer be empty in the morning (as it was yesterday) or evening (ditto). The best thing we can do in this new year is give ourselves enough time to navigate the roadways. To remember that if Google says the trip will take 20 minutes, that we should give ourselves 30 or more. Try to let go of that stress behind the wheel (easier said than done, I know, I know!). Give someone some room to merge into the lane. Come to a full and complete stop. Look out for those pesky pedestrians (I am one of them). Expect the unexpected, and when something does go wrong (as it inevitably will), try to remember to let it go. (Again, easier said than done.) It is a new year; we do not have to let new stresses invade our lives.

Speaking of stress, wasn’t 2016 too full of it? What can we do to lessen it? (I know there is NO way to avoid, but perhaps there are some ways we can prevent SOME stress.) There are suggestions of exercise and meditation to lower stress. It certainly can’t hurt to try it.

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We all need to take better care of ourselves in this new year. That might mean exercising (or exercising more), eating better, drinking less, or stopping destructive habits. With a new year, we often want to plunge into our resolutions with a steely resolve. This is fantastic, but remember a baby does not just suddenly stand up and run one day; everything takes time (longer than we as an impatient society would like) and there will be falls and setbacks. When a baby falls down after taking his/her first steps, quite often the reaction is to laugh. And then of course the infant tries again. Isn’t there something we can learn? As we try to move ahead to a healthier new year, there will be set backs. We need to remember to take them in stride and keep moving onward to our goal. No beating yourself up for a slip. And it IS ok if you don’t reach the goal you had initially set out for yourself. It’s been said many times, life is not a destination, it is a journey. Enjoy the journey.

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For 2017, I DO not resolve to be stress free, eat healthy, or exercise fanatically. What I resolve to TRY to do is to try to let the little things go, to be more mindful of what I eat and drink and to continue to exercise as I have in the past while trying to find new things to do. (I hear there are a quite a few hiking trails around the area. I’d love to try an easy one some sunny and not too cold weekend. Any suggestions? Anyone will to show me the way?) But most of all, I resolve to do my best NOT to beat myself up when old habits try to sneak their way into my life. When I yell and realize I shouldn’t. When I eat too many cookies and gain a few pounds. I (as are each of you) am a unique individual and I WILL make mistakes. Just as I need to forgive others, I need to forgive myself. And most importantly, to continue to move forward to a better next day.

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