It appears to have been a few short days ago when we were ringing in the New Year—one filled with possibilities and promise, that would bring all we wished for and would change our lives with our ambitious New Year’s resolutions.
I am speaking of 2014. Rather than making its grand entrance a few short days ago, it arrived twelve long months ago.
Now, with 2015, we have started the resolution-making process again and given our thanks that the past year has finally come to an end. It was, after all, a difficult year for many of us.
In my own life I watched as one friend struggled through a debilitating stroke, another took a serious fall that landed her in the hospital with a broken hip and a great amount of mental confusion. Yet another friend supported her dearest buddy who was battling a devastating form of breast cancer and then, this friend, herself, dealt with an eye disorder that brought with it almost intolerable pain and the inability to see clearly. One close business associate lost the sight in one eye quite suddenly and the doctors cannot assure her that this won’t happen, as well, to her other eye. And one of my cousins finally succumbed to the cancer that had threatened to take his life for the past three years.
I, myself, entered the hospital in September for difficult back surgery understanding that there might be complications. And, indeed, there was one major complication and it was a doozy. While I am now pain-free in the leg affected prior to the surgery, I am now forced to walk with a cane and brace to make up for nerve damage that affects movement in my left foot.
With a difficult year like this, it is no wonder that we folks—and others who have experienced physical and/or emotional pain—are thrilled that the year is over. After all, who wouldn’t want to start anew?
But it just doesn’t work that way, for when we woke up on January 1st of 2015, we discovered that the pain, ills and changes that came our way in 2014 were still with us. My friend’s stroke didn’t go away nor did my associate’s eyesight return. And, while I love my hand-carved cane, I am still dependent upon it for walking from place to place.
What the New Year offers us, however, is the opportunity to start over, emotionally and spiritually. It brings us a time to reflect upon the fortunes that came with the past year— both good and bad—and brings the chance to review that which has occurred and renew our faith.
Yes, 2014 might have been painful in many ways, but we made it through and have now been given this chance to made fresh decisions about how we are going to live with the consequences of those fateful episodes. For while we had no choice in these misfortunes happening to us we do have a choice in the way we deal with them. And those choices will determine how we spend the rest of our days: fighting and frightened or acknowledging, accepting and at peace.
That’s the most we can hope for, for as we make the choice to live with acceptance so will we find our days following suit.
I wish you all a 2015 filled with peace and joy no matter what fate decides to bring your way.