New Year’s Resolution

by Sheri McGregor

new year's resolutionThis time of year, as the days grow shorter, and news of storms hit, I remember early eastern storms that hit several years ago. The early snow fell on trees that hadn’t yet loosed their autumn leaves. So, rather than slip through barren branches, the snow caught on clinging leaves. Weighted by the heavy snow, branches split and broke.

Seeing these trees, I saw a parallel.

When we hold onto emotional hurts, keeping injustice or difficult periods alive in our minds, new hurts have a way of weighting us. Injustices collect, one upon the other, until there’s too much to bear.

The role of stress in illness, imbalance, and disease has been well-documented. If a tree’s branches break under the weight of snow on clinging leaves, what might collected burdens and held hurts do to us?

When one dreaded emotional storm follows another, caused by the sometimes rough seas of life, the burdens can pile up. Remember to shake them off.

Several New Years ago, I remember thinking I’d had one of the roughest years ever. I had broken a bone the first week of January, and life continued with an onslaught of personal and professional storms that at times had me forming emotional callouses, withdrawing, or asking the dreaded why? — for which often there is no logical answer.

This isn’t like me.

Maybe  I can’t stop all life’s storms, but I can make helpful choices about how I react. I can remind myself of my more childlike resilient self. I can decide that no matter how devastating, hurtful people and events will not break me. I refuse to ruminate, and keep hurt alive. I can take positive action on things I can change, and let go of things I can’t.

As 2014 comes to a close, I will make like a tree that drops its useless leaves. I will shake myself free.

You can, too.

When icy life storms hit, and resulting “snow” falls, it can then slip past lightened shoulders. When it settles at your feet, shuffle past it.

Flexible and free  the path looks bright.

P.S. This might also include lightening the proverbial load by making fewer commitments and taking control of your time.

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9 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolution

  1. memorymaker

    Thank you for this. Starting a new job today in a high stress environment. Dealing with alot of family loss, disappointment, and financial stress. The holidays are just sad this year for me. Thank you. I will breathe deeply and shake my branches today and remember your kind words.

  2. balanceandjoy Post author

    Congratulations on your new job!
    I’ll be shaking my branches right with you!

    One thing good about all the “leaves” that get shook off – – they make for fertile soil that helps us with new growth. . . .

    1. sue jean

      Your new years resolution is VERY Beautifully presented here. . and it helped my mind reading it. .

  3. balanceandjoy Post author

    Sue Jean,
    I’m glad you enjoyed it … and that it helped your mind. Wow! What a great compliment!!

  4. Millie

    Thank you for this article. 3 years later as today is January 1, 2017, it brought peace to my heart. 2016 was a rough year. Our youngest daughter graduated high school and joined the Army. She went through basic training and I wrote letters everyday and clung to the one phone call every 3 weeks. I hadn’t seen her in 4 months and she came home for 2 weeks for Christmas and New Years. I wish now she had never been allowed to leave training. She hooked up with a boyfriend and she completely shut me and my husband out of her life. No contact whatsoever. I’m devastated. She leaves to go back tomorrow and I will not see her as she has made it clear she doesn’t want to see us. I never knew I could hurt so bad from this rejection. I thought we had a good relationship.

    1. Bonnie

      I am just reading Done With the Crying. Thank you for writing this. I am searching for how to be okay with the rejection of my middle son. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. As a single parent I am guilty of putting my whole life into my sons, and the two oldest ones are on their own now, my youngest is still in college. The oldest one is busy with his own life, but he doesn’t really shut me out. The middle one, however, wants nothing to do with me. It makes me feel sad, worthless to him as a Mom, guilty of doing something wrong I’m not aware of and devastated and lonely for the sweet little boy he was with such a big heart. He now seems cold and hateful. Praying that God will change his heart.

  5. Lynn

    Thank you for giving me a new poersowective and a feeling if support that I’m not alone. A friends mother once quoted to me I can, I will and I must. This will be my mantra for 2017.

    Happy New Year to all you positive people out there.x

  6. grace p.

    I have a task that is going to make me very sad. I am doing a slide show for a lady that I worked with that I considered a good friend. Her daughter was supportive of her through all the illness and was just wonderful. When I think about my children being in that position I know I will not have their support for anything. Makes me wish to be her and all that she did with her kids. My life is very empty but she died just before Christmas this year 2017 and I know she will rest in peace now.
    My own life is very lonely and away from my kids and grandkids. They dumped me many years ago but it never gets easier to live with the holidays and their lack of respect or anything for me as their mother. I keep moving on and I know that someday they will be sorry for the hurt they have caused me. There is nothing I could have done to have them to show any understanding or give an explanation for the pain. I feel like I have grown horns or something as they deny that I exist.
    Thank you so much for the work into the book and all the messages that you are able to post. You must be a very strong person.
    Thank you again!

    1. balanceandjoy Post author

      Dear Grace,
      I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend! Please take care. Maybe focus on the happy memories as you prepare the slide show, because I’m sure she would want you to be happy. I hope you can keep in touch with her daughter from time to time too, and the two of you support each other.

      It’s a shame that your kids dumped you. But I have to say, Grace, I can sense that, rather than horns, you have a beautiful halo. Maybe it sounds a little overboard, but your tone is very kind. Thank you for writing to me. I hope that in the New Year, you can forge new paths to places that bring you joy.



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