New Year, New You

At this time of year, we read, “New Year, New You!” often. Gym memberships, fitness clubs, diet plans, business gurus… You name it, and someone will be selling it as a fresh start opportunity.

Some surveys indicate that about 90% of New Years Resolutions are ditched within a month.

I wasted years. My teens and much of my childhood are still kind of a blur. I am always amazed and envious of young people who know what they want or work toward a specific goal. Then, there are those few who achieve magnificent things early in life. Starting a business in their 20s or selling a business before their forties, that sort of thing.

Then, I raised five children. I focused on them and being a decent human, a wife, and mother, daughter and friend. I also worked as a nurse and volunteered at my church and on the Board of my state’s right to life organization. I do not consider any of that wasted time, but I really didn’t plan beyond that.

I did focus on being a new person every day.

I was so messed up from years of living a double life, hiding child sexual abuse and then as a runaway, sex trafficking. It was a huge task to get to the point of being kind. Thinking of others’ needs, planning, scheduling, and normal stuff that people learn as a grown-up was complicated by poor coping mechanisms, dissociation, suppressed anger, anxiety, and the physical repercussions of years of abuse as well as eight pregnancies.

I also had undiagnosed medical issues, finally diagnosed as Lyme Disease.

What does all that have to do with New Year – New You?

Well, the way I changed my life was not a New Year’s Resolution or a one-and-done kind of thing. It was one decision at a time, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. Each one of us has the same opportunity.

Everyone has numerous aggravations throughout the day. A missed phone call, a confusion in communication, a broken appliance, a flat tire, spilled coffee, whatever it is, we all have opportunities to be upset.

Someone told me never to pray for patience because patience is not given, it is developed. So, in order to develop it, opportunities would be packaged as frustrations or tests. How true is that?

If I die tomorrow, the most important thing I could leave is the understanding that this moment is not all there is. Please be patient with yourself but also, don’t be stagnant.

Be new every day. I don’t fret about how I wish I were better. I don’t compare myself to anyone else and I don’t think I am all set.

You don’t need to have trauma or terrible circumstances to have emotional baggage, poor coping, or lapses in character. We ALL DO.

Take time to reflect and assess where you are and where you’d like to be. Then, simply apply the changes in behavior along the way.

The cool thing is that as long as we are breathing, we can be new. Every one of us is one decision away from better.

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