31 Dec Happy New Year………
What does the new year mean to you? Like many people, in previous years I have considered what resolutions I might make – such as to get fitter, healthier, or more focused on a particular goal that I want to achieve. I always like the idea of turning over a new leaf, starting a clean page – an opportunity to begin afresh. But approaching 2021 feels very different. The unprecedented events of the past twelve months have turned life upside down for so many of us that looking ahead to the next twelve brings mixed feelings. On the one hand, we might be mightily relieved to see the back of 2020 and yet, on the other, the uncertainty of what lies ahead makes it harder to celebrate the new year.
However, what is helping me to look forward is the understanding that I have a choice. Whilst I cannot necessarily control the events that are happening around me, I can have control of how I think about them. To quote renowned author and motivational speaker, the late Dr Wayne Dyer: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” So I can choose whether I look at things from a positive perspective or a negative one. For example, I can reflect on my Christmas and dwell on what was missing, the people I could not see and the things I could not do, or I could focus instead on the fact that I had warmth, shelter, enough to eat, a telephone and computer that allowed me to speak to and ‘see’ my family and friends, a nearby park to walk around and time to think about what I would like to accomplish in 2021.
I know that this is not always easy to do, particularly in the midst of grief, loss or fear. Yet the more we practice looking for the good things in our daily lives, the more we train our brains to develop the habit of noticing them. We can start small: watching the sunset, enjoying a good cup of coffee, clearing out that ‘junk’ drawer, exchanging a greeting with a neighbour, watching an uplifting film or reading a good book. The point is to make the decision to choose positivity instead of negative thinking. When we do that, our awareness gradually shifts and we begin to notice better things. We can appreciate the present moment and have hope for happier, healthier times to come.
Here’s to 2021……….