Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year...

I suppose it would be unseemly to let the year end and not make a note of it here. This year has been one fraught with change and challenge. I leave it, knowing I will never physically be the same, thanks to the surgical reconstruction of my arm and shoulder. This has altered my employability in many fields but at the same time, has left me more resolute than ever to carry on enjoying whatever I feel like doing in life.

I used to celebrate New Year's Eve like many, if not most people. I would ring it in under a haze of alcohol-induced false goodwill. I haven't gone that route in a good many years now. Nowadays it's a simple toast (orange juice or cranberry juice mixed with ginger ale...) and an evening spent with family. Maybe dinner and a movie...? I'm not one for making "resolutions", as these tend to last only as long as it takes to verbalize them...

While it may be an ideal time to sit and reflect on what we might want to alter or improve in our lives, I believe that process should be an ongoing one. That way, we don't end up wasting a whole year of our life in between critical decisions.

So for what it's worth, to any and all that might know me (and to those of you who do not...), I wish for each and every one of you, a happy and most prosperous New Year. May it be filled with an appreciation of who you are and what you are capable of. May it also be infused with the knowledge that 'someday' never comes.

If you have been putting off learning a new skill, taking a certain trip, living in a new experience... saying: "Someday, I'll get around to it...", then do so. Truly, there is no time like the present. If you are waiting for that 'ideal set of circumstances' to come along, you will be waiting until the day you die. Your life will have passed you by and you will have never tasted of that unknown fruit.

Be your own best friend. I know many of us have been brought up to deny our own wishes and dreams, in favor of "thinking of others first". What a worthless and senseless frame of mind. Take care of your own happiness first and foremost. Really! Only by putting yourself first, will you finally become cognizant of your importance in your own life. Be comfortable in your own skin and not apologetic for loving yourself.

Once you become convinced of your own worth and realize it is not only okay, but normal to treat yourself well (i.e.: to put yourself first in your life...), you will find within yourself untold reserves of love and compassion for others. If a person does not, cannot love themself, then they have nothing to offer to anyone else. It's as simple as that. In order to attain that level, each of us must become totally self-sufficient as far as our own happiness goes. If you are truly happy being who and how you are, then you may actually have something to bring into a relationship with another person.

Regardless of what countless ballads and songs over the ages have told us, nobody "needs" someone else. And we certainly shouldn't need someone else, in order for us to be happy, or for our life to "be complete". Those who make their 'happiness' conditional or dependent on another person, display dysfunctional thinking. Co-dependency, I believe the term would be. It is a sign that they are not at peace with themselves, not comfortable in their own skin. They are 'needy'. They are seeking something external to 'make them happy', when that something should be coming from within them. They will be looking for that 'something or someone' forever and will invariably suck the positiveness out of any relationship that they may get into. Kind of like an emotional black hole.

So resist becoming one of these lost souls. Accept yourself for who and what you are. If there is something about you that you would like to change, then change it... but be realistic! That's all part of accepting onesself. If you're 40, have never been to medical school and still pine over the fact that you never became a brain surgeon, earning a six-figure salary: Get over it!!! Don't be an idiot. If you ever had a calling to enter medicine, you would have responded to it long ago. If you're just whining because you don't have the paycheck, you have a lot of work to do on yourself. You haven't reached rock star status yet? Figure out why, then get over it!! Keep your expectations of life in line with the amount of work you are ready to do to attain them. Better yet, shelf your expectations. They have nothing to do with reality. If you want to set goals for yourself, on the other hand... by all means do so. Just be prepared to do the work.

Learn to love, appreciate and take care of yourself this year. In so doing, you will be setting yourself up for a long run of truly happy new years.

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