Same time next year

As we head into a new year most of us reflect on the year we have had and what we hope for in the next. We seem to hold hope that a new year will be like a “fresh start”, a chance to do things differently or to take a new direction, a opportunity to make a real go at our goals. Many of us will start with good intentions and end up here again, same time next year.

I have not really been a new year’s resolution kind of girl. I certainly make plans, goals, changes to my lifestyle and my dreams, on a regular basis. I also seem to be able to make some of these happen while others flounder. But it is not the new year that sets me off on this path. It is usually a wake up call, a few kilos on the scales, a sense of being overwhelmed by life, or hearing about someone in the world who is suffering and remembering how lucky I am.

The idea of a new year, new start does not really work for me. However I am a big one for clean outs, fresh starts, clean slates and moving on. Sometimes the simple act of a tidy up at home can make me feel more motivated as I am strongly affected by my environment. One of the big things people make resolutions about is their health. Given how unhealthy many of us are, it is not surprising. Given New Year also follows the feasting of Christmas this is even less surprising!

Resolutions made because it is New Year and it is what everyone is doing, are less likely to stick than those made for very personal reasons. I recently went onto blood pressure medication and this was a moment in time for me that has propelled me back into a healthier diet and exercise regime which feels easier to stick at each day.  I want to be fit and healthy for as long as possible despite my diabetes and assorted health conditions, so I can enjoy my children and hopefully grandchildren, for as long as possible, as well as experience as much of life as I can.

Yet, there are plenty of people in the world for whom a new year is simply not relevant. There are far too many problems in their lives – a struggle for survival, a hope that tomorrow they will wake up and there is no more pain, no more violence, no more horror….. There are those who have buried their children, or who will sit by the bed as a loved one suffers this new years eve. Those who will be focused on far more than a new year resolution and a good party.

This is the reality of our world.

We can make resolutions that are about ourselves, about being healthier, thinner, fitter, giving up alcohol, smoking or chocolate.  And there is nothing wrong with that. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of us who are rich – whether it be financial richness, or the more important richness of having love in our lives, having a roof over our heads and living a life free of violence and struggle – made a resolution that we would do something next year for another human being, make someone else’s life just that bit better. Giving your time, your ear, your shoulder, your cash, your experience, to another person – that is a resolution that we should all make and better still, one we should keep.

If your resolve is strong and made in love there is no reason why it can not come true.

Happy New Year to all and may 2013 bring you peace, happiness and someone to love.

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