For better or worse it’s here, 2022

Posted on December 30, 2021 by Rev. Pam Reidy under Inspiration
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In my opinion, January 1st may be the worst time to set goals, make changes, or muster up the energy for a “can do” attitude.  Most of us are exhausted from holiday festivities that have been going on for more than a month. (Thanksgiving to January 1st)  It’s no surprise that only 7% of those who made resolutions in 2019 kept them all. The 57% who didn’t make any probably had the right idea, January first is a lousy day to start anything.

The most popular resolutions were to exercise more (59%), eat healthier (54%), save money (51%), and lose weight (48%).  No wonder so many people failed, it takes serious focus and energy to succeed at these things, and after weeks of parties and the most expensive spending month of the year, we set ourselves up for failure in the exact areas we have spent more than 30 days weakening and we foolishly attempt it during one of the most depressing weather months of the year. I am not suggesting there is no value in New Year Resolutions, I just think we might have better success at a different time of year, or at least waiting until the middle of the month. Lest you think I am a total New Year’s Day Grinch; I do believe in marking endings and beginnings. Turning the calendar annually offers an opportunity to pause, breathe and look back before we turn our gaze steadily forward. I think in this area, the bereaved actually have a head start.

Facing a new year has a few notable similarities with the grief journey. Losing someone you love, especially if they lived in your household, presents a mammoth undertaking of adapting to a new way of life, a challenge the bereaved hold in common with resolution makers. The new year requires we  simultaneously say good-bye and hello, the grieving heart must bid farewell to countless things that will be no more and adopt a new way of relating to their beloved deceased. Letting go of dreams and plans isn’t easy, especially when the future is unknown. A life without someone we have loved challenges us to make room for new ways of viewing the world. It asks us to open up to new possibilities. I am reminded of the many parents who have lost children and started non-profit organizations in their name. As a result, they have helped themselves and so many people. These heroic efforts inspire us that a new year can also offer challenges we may never have planned for but may change our life and someone else’s for the better.   

One undertaking of a grieving heart is to accept change with grace. Unfortunately, there is no easy or quick fix for a wounded heart, nor is it easy to approach a year of unknown risks. Indeed, gracefully making room for unexpected changes is a challenge many of us could add to our resolution list. The Covid-19 pandemic has turned our lives in directions we didn’t choose to go, as difficult as it has been, many people have found the will  to make necessary and positive changes in their life. It gives me great hope that despite the perils of the pandemic, we enter 2022 more focused and honest with ourselves, with more courage and emotional strength. 

For 2022, I resolve only one thing, to be a blessing to at least one person each day. At the end of each day I hope to be able to identify someone whose life I made a little better. I am also making a change to the frequency of this blog. In order to devote more time at Miles to community education, Thoughtful Thursdays, will be published bi-weekly, instead of weekly. It will continue to be accessible through the website and the Miles Facebook page. Whatever comes our way in 2022, let us be grateful for the journey; life is a wonder-filled, exciting experience, and though it isn’t always perfect, a new year is unquestionably a gift.

Wishing you a new year filled with everything you need to grow, to live, to love and to be happy.

The Miles Staff

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