Monday, December 31, 2012

The Dawn of a New Year

The Dawn of a New Year

We humanoids are essentially a species that looks for opportunities for reinvention. With the dawn of a new year, we believe that the clock resets and we can start over, hit reset, and reinvent ourselves to begin anew. That is why we tend to make resolutions for bettering ourselves in the New Year. The Chinese sweep out the old at Lunar New Year. We westerners vow to be better versions of ourselves every January 1st.

I don’t make resolutions because I’ve never kept to one for more than 5 days. After 52 years of failing in my resolutions, I’ve abdicated that practice and replaced it with my goals to focus on positive thinking.  In my earliest Al Anon meeting in Hong Kong, when my desperation and feelings of negativity blackened my heart, my home group suggested that in times of difficulty, I should go through the alphabet and try to think of something for which I was thankful for every letter. I’ve practiced this exercise many times since 1993; however, my inventory is ever changing.  The basic list remains the same. And while I strive to achieve these goals every day, it is important to remind myself regularly to keep on my path to enlightenment, peace and serenity. For 2013 I want to focus on the following:

A          Accept what is
B          Believe in a higher power
C          Care about people I love and my environment
D         Decide to make every day a celebration of life
E          Embrace what is good in the world and my life
F          Find the good in every situation; sometimes it may be hard – but there are always lessons of value;
G          Gratitude is a key to contentment; be grateful for what I have;
H         Happiness is not an illusion; it is within us all;
I           Imagine the endless opportunities we have as citizens of America
J           Joy can be found in the simplest things – finding beauty in the song of a bird, the beauty of a flower, the sound of the sea;
K         Kindness begets kindness; be kind and expect nothing in return;
L          Love completely, be loyal, value life;
M         Make every day special with a positive attitude
N         Never give into despair, there will always be a rainbow after a storm
O         Opportunity knocks; we just have to be open to the call and willing to take a risk; change can be good;
P          Practice patience & positive thinking: when I do I feel contentment; when I don’t I feel at a loss.
Q         Quite time alone for reflection and introspection is never wasted; it is healing.
R          Respect for the opinions of others can open our minds. At times I’ve been guilty of pressing my opinion without give due consideration to the opinion of others. I have to accept that opinion is not fact and in listening to others I may learn something or change my mind.
S          Spend less. Things ultimately do not make me happier. People do. This is one of my greatest challenges. I do not need more stuff. I need to use what I have and appreciate the people who are close to me.
T          Think before speaking.  For someone born during the year of the Boar, this is a particular challenge. I could fit not just a foot but an entire shoe store in my mouth.
U         Understand the world does not revolve around me.
V          Value the people in your life and your blessings.
W        Welcome new people into your life; they just may bring additional joy, blessings or opportunities for growth;
X          Xeriscape -  plan a sustainable landscape suitable to your microclimate to utilize what is supposed to thrive in a particular environment
Y          Yellow flowers in the spring make me happy. I love daffodils!
Z          Zealous appreciation of life brings fulfillment to every day!

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