Happy New Year’s Everyone! I would like to start off the 2014 year wishing everyone inner joy, peace and gratitude. Gratefully this New Year’s Eve brought my family together in a way I wouldn’t have imagined going into the 2013 year. On the surface, it was nothing special. My parents joined my daughters and I for a New Year’s Eve dinner and stayed the night so that we could ring in 2014 together. No noise makers. No party hats. No champagne. What felt different to me was the depth of connection that I experienced, that we experienced together.
For the first time, alcohol was not involved in the celebration. For the first time we played games, a new one my parents brought over called “Left Centre Right” and the old classic “Go Fish”☺. The girls put on a little singing and dancing concert. I took out the guitar and added a few tunes reminiscent of times my parents and I spent in Newfoundland with my dad’s side of the family. We laughed a lot. Before the ball dropped in New York Times Square, my youngest announced her New Year’s desire to read and write more in English (which makes the English teacher in me smile with glee☺). My oldest wants to do more art work (which makes the creative side in me chuckle with joy☺). My mother wants continued good health in the 2014 year (hear hear☺). My dad’s goal is to maintain two beers a week and continuing to smoke only 5 cigarettes a day (yes please☺).
As for me, my New Year’s challenge comes from my Christmas present E2 that I started reading over the weekend. In it Pam Grout states on page 157: “…it’s imperative to talk about and focus on life the way you want it to be, not about how it may appear. Instead of asking ‘What’s wrong?’ – probably the most repeated question in the entire English language – focus on ‘What’s right?’ That’s the only question that really means anything.” Immediately, when I read that, I knew that would be my New Year’s Challenge for 2014, to focus on what’s right.
Given the fact that the New Year is a time of reflection I decided to try out that new challenge as I reflected on 2013. I was pleasantly surprised to review the year and realize that the most “right thing” about the 2013 year, for me, was getting evacuated from my home in the spring due to the flood that hit Minden. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life, one I am still recovering from mentally, but the catalyst that propelled me on this journey to Chase Euphoria, make significant life changes and feel alive once again.
Another beautiful “right thing” that happened, that contributed to the wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration, was my dad’s terrifying hospitalization in November. As I wrote in “A Quick Breath,” one “right thing” was being off work to be able to play a supportive role in visiting and helping my mother while my father was in hospital. Another “right thing” is my father feels healthier, has more energy and has chosen to cut back on drinking and smoking. Despite the horrible feelings experienced that fateful week in November, the time now spent with my dad is fun and enjoyable. He is laughing and living and connecting with us again and that is what made this ordinary New Year’s Eve family celebration so special.
Now I will honestly admit, that I hope when I reflect on what is right about the 2014 year it’ll be more about trips to Cuba and books being published versus flooding disasters and life threatening hospital visits, but it is nice to feel that there is much that can be right in that that feels so wrong. Wishing you all everything that is right for 2014!!!
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