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How To Make The Best of 2021

Updated: Jan 15



For the first time ever, I didn't think about New Year's Resolutions this year.


I love the New Year - the optimism of a fresh new start...


But I think making Resolutions in this uncertain world feels a bit like laughing in the face of the gods in a Greek tragedy: pointless, and possibly dangerous... πŸ˜‰


😩 The public health and economic news continues to get worse.


😩 We are all tired and fed up after months of this (particularly parents suffering once more with the joy of homeschool).


😩 And it's January, the most miserable month of the year. (Or is that February, which is coming up next...?)


BUT.


I am still hopeful for the future.


🌟 Infinitesimally, practically invisibly, the days ARE getting longer.


🌟 There are glimmers of sunshine to break up the gloom (we had a beautiful sunset last night, with a giant orange sun sinking slowly below the horizon).


🌟 My indoor potted spring flowers are flourishing.


🌟 And even though infections and deaths are on the rise again, the vaccine is being rolled out - we now know this WILL come to an end.



So this year I am going to focus, even more than ever before, on recognising the difference between the things I can control, and those I can't, and channelling my energy into the former.



You probably already know the Serenity Prayer, which sums this up so beautifully.


But were you aware there's actually a second verse...?


God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and wisdom to know the difference.


Living one day at a time;

enjoying one moment at a time;

accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

taking, as He did, this sinful world

as it is, not as I would have it;

trusting that He will make all things right

if I surrender to His Will;

that I may be reasonably happy in this life

and supremely happy with Him

forever in the next.

Amen.



I am not religious, so I would personally choose to ignore the references to God and sin.


But there are still some powerful lessons to learn in the rest of it, especially two particular couplets:


Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;

We know this to be true: we only have the NOW.


(Eckhart Tolle puts this compellingly in his book "The Power of Now").


And (removing God and sin):


taking...this...world
as it is, not as I would have it;

This is also an important lesson:


so often I find clients struggling with the gap between the way they WANT the world to be, or they WANT other people to behave to them, and the reality of the situation.



We can't control other people, or the world we live in.


πŸ”₯ But we CAN choose to recognise our thoughts, and only allow the positive ones to take space in our minds.


πŸ”₯ We can choose to live in the now:

  • avoiding catastrophic thinking (another one of my favourite sayings, a Swedish proverb: "worry gives small things a big shadow"

  • and choosing to notice and appreciate the small things that make us happy on a daily basis, living in the now.

πŸ”₯ And we can choose to take action on the things we CAN control, and let go of the things we can't.


When we live in such an uncertain world, that is the best we can do.