Use These Secrets for a Happy New Year
Common Sense = a Happy New Year
The old man sat on a bench near the Christmas tree a few days after Christmas. It was apparent he played Santa in one of the big Metro stores nearby. He had an all-knowing look, kind eyes, the requisite white beard, and a gentle laugh that I swore sounded a bit like, “Ho Ho Ho.”
I was taking a break from paperwork and sat in a welcome patch of sun breaking through the clouds. It was colder than usual in the desert, and I tightened my coat around me. He seemed oblivious to the chill in the air.
We sat silently near each other after the cursory greeting of strangers. Startling me out of my reverie, he turned to me, “It’s going to all work out,” he said softly. I laughed and shrugged it off.
“What? What’s going to work out?”
“Whatever is wrinkling that brow of yours.”
I just nodded and looked at the pavement, fighting off tears.
It had been a year since my divorce. I escaped to Phoenix afterwards. New to the desert, I was still trying to find my way in a new life. That elusive concept of “Life Purpose” would peek out from behind bushes and flit away just as I thought I had it. It’s amazing how quickly things can disintegrate, even when we think we have life all figured out. My late father was fond of saying, “Honey, life just isn’t a straight line. Enjoy all your gifts and abundance while you have them. You never know when they will disappear. No guarantees, sweetie. No guarantees.”
The old man continued, “You know all of this. But it looks like you need to hear it again.”
I looked at him and smiled.
You can decide to make any day your “New Year”
“This is your new year. Even if it were the dead of summer, you can decide to make any day your ‘New Year.’ You know that. You also know the five secrets to making it a good new year…”
“I do?” I was now regretting starting this conversation. I grew up as a minister’s kid. Living in my father’s house was like living in a sermon. Every single day. I chuckled to myself and decided to honor this nice man by listening to him.
“Yes. Of course you do. In fact, you probably told all of this to your kids and to anyone else who would listen. So here goes:
“One: Forgive everybody.”
I nodded, “Yeah. I actually wrote that in one of my books.”
He laughed, “I know.”
“How do you…. Oh never mind…”
The old man continued, counting on his fingers:
“Two: Trust and Love yourself,
“Three: Remember to detach,
“Four: Live in Grace,
“Five: Express Gratitude Every Day.”
He slapped his thighs and chuckled. Then he stood up and walked away. Just like that. No further explanation. He was right, I knew this. And so do you. But at the beginning of any New Year, it’s good to remember the simple truths that make Life worth living.
Remember the simple truths
Here are my thoughts on his five secrets…
Forgive everybody. Forgive your self first. Forgive your parents. Forgive clients who didn’t hire you, and the ones who did. Forgive your kids. Forgive your neighbors. Just let it go. Don’t waste your life holding on to grudges and past insults. Most people aren’t cruel, they’re just clueless. Or they’re distracted and not paying all that much attention to you. Forgiving doesn’t mean you let them off the hook. It just means you don’t carry all that weight around with you. How can you move forward dragging the weight of the world? You can’t.
Trust and Love yourself. This should be self-explanatory, but it’s not always easy to do. Social media has made us question our selves and our sanity. Comparing ourselves to online fiction posted by most people makes it hard to trust our own judgment. Here’s a general rule you can follow on social media – It’s All PhotoShopped! So much of what is printed on Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram and all the rest is just plain fake. No one looks as good as their Instagram photos. No one had THAT much fun on their vacation. Don’t compare. Look in the mirror and love your imperfect, wacko, not always sane self! Trust your instincts. Your ‘gut’ knows more than you realize.
Take a Deep Breath and DETACH
Remember to Detach. Step back from social media, step away from big crowds for a bit. Let go of relatives who make you crazy (love them from afar!) Forget trying to control other people. BREATHE. The reason you didn’t get my “required” New Years post is I didn’t want to be stuck in the middle of all the noise. I was practicing what I preach. Hopefully today you are back to work and able to take a few minutes to read something uplifting!
Live in Grace. It is a natural human thing to be flawed. We are not ever going to be perfect and we shouldn’t try to be. Start by extending grace to yourself. Look at your flaws and see which ones are actually charming, which ones are NBD (no big deal), and which ones can be tweaked slightly to keep you out of trouble. Be grateful for those things that make you unique. Don’t try to model yourself after other people. You don’t know their challenges or their pain. And while you’re at it, extend Grace to others. See # 1.
Express Gratitude Every Day. If you’ve known me for more than a millisecond, you know I say this a lot. It’s one of the things that keeps me from going crazy. When everything seems like it’s falling apart, I stop and look around. I name 10 things I’m grateful for, even if it’s something as mundane as, Thank you ADOT for paved roads. I’m thankful for indoor plumbing (when I was a kid, I stayed on a farm that didn’t have this. I get it!) I’m grateful for my sweet little PugWawa sleeping under my desk. And, most importantly, Thank you God for helping me figure out the next steps in my life!
I’ve said a lot of this before. I’m just reminding you to take care of yourself! You deserve to have a wonderful 2019. Detach from 2018. Let it go. Learn the lessons and celebrate the blessings. And write to me to let me know how you’re doing!
Blessings and Happy New Year!
OH – and a huge PS – Listen to me tomorrow (Thursday, January 3) at Noon MST on National Business Radio.
@2019 Beth Terry Events, BethTerry.com