Friday, December 30, 2011
Musings on the New Year
The New Year is upon us! "Or, is it?" as Ryan, the 14 year old in my family, will often respond to my occasional declarations. He has a way of calling into question things that I may take for granted with his simple comment, “Or, is it?”
For many who follow the Gregorian Calendar this is the time to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the next. In the popular media there will be reviews of the year in the news, in movies, in celebrity mis-deeds, in deaths. For many, the New Year is about making resolutions about how behaviors will change in the coming year, which are mostly abandoned within the first three weeks.
For me, it is also a time for reflection and anticipation. In thinking about the past year, I am humbled, and I am extremely grateful. One major learning for me has been that I cannot always choose my circumstances; I can only choose how I will respond. I have found that I can choose to respond with gratitude, even in and through difficult situations. When I choose to be grateful I begin to see my situation in a new way. I see the challenges and opportunities. The challenges don’t magically disappear, but they are seen in context of possibilities. I am grateful for my colleagues at Community Hospice, for the talents and skills and compassion of our Chaplains, my interdisciplinary team and co-workers. I am grateful for new experiences. I am grateful for the way my family responded to our shared experience of our father’s illness and death. In gratitude, I anticipate the coming 12 months of the new year. Whatever the year holds, I know there will be new learning and new growing, and for that I am grateful.
What have you learned from this past year? What do you anticipate for the year ahead? Feel free to leave comments. I would love to hear from you.
May your New Year be rich with opportunity. May you discover what it is that enriches your life during the months ahead. Ah yes, the New Year is upon us! “Or, is it?”