The Gift of the New Year

Andrea Condodemetraky essays

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If March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb…

If April showers bring May flowers…

If November takes us over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house…

If December brings us tidings of comfort and joy…

What does January bring?

Cold, dark dreary days? Post-holiday letdown? The poking and prodding of countless resolutions? The arrival of the dreaded December shopping spree bills? Everything we've put off until the 'New Year' is now knocking on our door saying it's time to pay up. Whether it was the work piling on our desk before we left for a few days off, the basement, attic, and/or closet clutter that we said we'd organize when the holidays were over, or even those few extra pounds we received as a gift from the seasonal partying. It's all here to collect and before we start feeling our throat closing up from the stress of it all, we should stop to see how we can look at it in a different light. We can either dread the arrival of the New Year, or we can open the door when it knocks and embrace it like an old friend we haven't seen in ages. Let's let it in, and have a cup of coffee or tea, and be kind to ourselves in the New Year.

Here's what I think about January—January is to life, as Monday is to diets.

A chance to start fresh in the New Year. It's the 'Monday' of all the months. A dreadful, but good place to start fresh. We all know how we feel about Mondays, right? Poor January gets that stereotype as well. It doesn't have to be that way, though.

Let's not look at January as the month we begin our resolutions (again) and vow to make a change for the better, because what happens if we fail? Do we have to write 2014 off as another loss? Or can't every day this year be January 1st. Every day that we wake up, we can think of it as a new year, a new beginning, a fresh start, another chance. If we blow it today, let's promise each other to try again tomorrow.

Every day we wake up is a gift.

Every new day can be a do-over.

Every tomorrow is a second chance to do better, to be better.

Those little thoughts that creep in, and try to poison the good ones? Evict them from the precious space in your head. Push them away and use the power of positive affirmations to stay strong. Choose kindness over resentment, choose love over hate, choose positivity over negativity—the more you do that, the easier it is. When you look back at 2013, find the good, remember the joy, keep your thoughts and memories light and simple…leave the bad and carry the good you found this year in your heart into the New Year. January doesn't have to carry so much stress and sadness. Mondays don't have to be so bad. We have to find ways to make them joyful and look at them differently. We can make the decision to be kind to every day we get, including Mondays, and especially Mondays in January!

Our hearts can only be light if we let them—our minds can only be peaceful if we allow them. It's a choice we can make should we decide to—and on the days we decide not to, we can find peace in knowing that tomorrow is another day to try again. Now, where's that cup of kindness with a side of cheer? Let's toast to a January full of joy, and a year full of second chances.

About the Author

Andrea Condodemetraky

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