This season of the year is inspirational for so many reasons—big holiday dinners, extra kickback time with the family, reminiscing with friends about stories long forgotten, thankfulness for God’s blessings and for living in a free, democratic country. With all of that, one personal tradition has resonated with me in January
for a couple of years now: the “do-over.”
You might think of a do-over as a second chance; an opportunity to correct something you messed up the first time or to rework a project; and that’s correct. While almost everyone else is making promises to themselves and setting new goals for 2013, I quietly take a do-over, forgiving myself for mistakes I made, irritation I caused and selfishness I may have displayed during the year. Some people might find this silly, but I have come to look forward to the immediate cleansing affect this exercise has on my attitude. It’s not that I don’t have goals or dreams, those are with me every day, but this time of year offers me the chance to openly forgive myself for being human and understanding that none of us, especially me, is perfect.
This year, I am taking the tradition one step further. Not only am I forgiving myself, I am forgiving everyone who has made a less than polite or courteous gesture toward me this past year. I’m tired of wasting my precious time and energy being stressed by conniving individuals or Eeyores that can’t find peace with themselves or life in general. Now mind you, all bets are off if someone toys with my family; but with me, it's okay.
My do-over is a deep emotional detox or purging process that provides my mind and spirit the peace to move forward in pleasure and satisfaction. It’s amazing how much stress and weight is lifted when you just smile and shake your head, versus trying to figure out how to outmaneuver and burn the little snake! Obviously, I still have emotions, but the inner joy that resonates from even the smallest of interactions is now a choice of inner peace that I’ve selected, instead of bitterness that someone has thrust upon me.
This annual renewal, or rebirth, offers me the ability to act with clarity, possessing thoughts and actions filled with positive and progressive vision—much more of the spirit of cooperation than competition. Don’t get me wrong; I am an A-type personality with a deeply competitive spirit and the love of a good challenge. Yet I’m just as deeply committed to enjoying 2013 in the spirit of balanced happiness and well-being. By keeping my stress and anxious feelings in control, I hope I might inspire those around me, as well.
Stay happy, healthy and young at heart. Not only is it more fun that way, but it can be contagious.