Sunday, December 30, 2012
A New Year: A Reset Button?
The only way challenges disappear is when we face them, embrace them, and finally conquer them. I wish I could close my eyes tomorrow night and wake up to discover all my problems were solved. Well, actually, that's a lie. I have fleeting moments when I feel that way, but what would I learn if that happened?
The challenges in our lives are opportunities to grow into our best selves, to find our paths in life, to rise up and touch others with our journeys. So, while my 2012 was filled with challenges and had some very rocky and unsettling moments, I learned a lot and I grew a lot. Do I wish these things hadn't happened? Sometimes, because I think mistakes were made and people, including me, got hurt, but I wouldn't have found the direction I needed to go if these things hadn't happened. Mostly, I discovered I'm a lot stronger than I tend to give myself credit for, and I've learned it's okay to stand in my strength even if no one likes it when I do.
So, as I face 2013, and I lament unfinished projects and unmet goals and changed relationships, I'm also extremely grateful. I have people in my life who love me unconditionally, who will catch me when I fall off life's cliff, who will hold me together when I feel I'm coming apart at the seams. And, I've also learned to do all those things for myself as well as that some people won't or can't be there for me when I need them.
I've readjusted some relationships not because I love the people any less, but because I realized I have to take care of me. Relationships just can't remain unchanged when life changes around them. The changes either bring people closer or send them in different directions. This is part of life.
I learned that if I don't value myself, I can't see when others do value me. Even worse I send others the message that it's okay to devalue me. The thing that stunned me was the realization that I've told other people this numerous times about their own lives and never realized I was doing it in my own.
I went into 2012 feeling confident about my future, and that remains as 2012 ends, but I also feel confident about my present now. Today offers me choices, and those choices determine how tomorrow turns out. When I remember that, I'm empowered to move forward without fear or hesitation.
So, I'm neither excited about nor scared of 2013. I simply don't believe the clock striking midnight tomorrow night will magically reset anything. Frankly, I'm thrilled about that idea. It means I get to keep moving forward, setting goals, adjusting plans, building the life I want, and growing into my best self, whoever she may be...
And so do you...
Happy New Year!!
T. L. Cooper grew up on a farm in Tollesboro, Kentucky. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Her poems, short stories, articles, and essays have appeared online, in books, and in magazines. Her published work includes a novel, All She Ever Wanted, five books of poetry, and a book of short stories. When not writing, she enjoys yoga, golf, creating plant-based recipes, and traveling. Currently, she resides in Albany, Oregon.