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L.T. Suzuki

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A Wish For the New Year
12/28/2010 1:27:55 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

This last blog post of 2010 has nothing to do with writing or the writing life. However, it is about life, living, and the fact that you cannot rewrite the past, you can only take the appropriate actions to steer the course of your future as best you can.

Iíve never been one to make resolutions this time of the year, but I do believe in setting goals and trying to achieve them within a given timeframe. It gives one a sense of accomplishment when these goals are met. It also gives you a chance to assess, refocus and come up with a new strategy for those goals that fell short of being achieved. Of course, all this requires time and time seems to stretch or hasten in its passing depending on your situation.

When I was a child growing up without a mother, this time of the year could only be described as depressing. Every year I prayed for my life to get better and there were days I wondered how I managed to survive for another year. I wished for the days and months to fly by because I wanted to believe things would get better with each passing year, and if it didnít, at least the older I became, the better position I would be in to make the changes that needed to happen. Of course, the days (and the changes I hoped for) could never come fast enough.

Now, it seems the older you get, time moves faster, especially when the changes you hoped for happens, and now, you want to relish these moments, wishing you had more time. The harsh reality is, time stands still for no one, including me.

Though I am far from rich, I am truly happy for Iíve learned to appreciate what I have, than to long for want I canít or donít have. I also understand the difference between wanting something and needing it, which might explain why, even without a lot in the way material things, I am happily content. This is in part to my husband, my beautiful daughter as well as my friends.

I have a number of friends I have known for decades and they keep me sane, remind me that I am not as evil as I believe I am and they are there when the chips are down.

As the New Year fast approaches, I am one of those who believe that how you spend that evening will be indicative of how you will spend the balance of the year. In other words, if you spend it alone without friends or family, drinking a can of domestic beer while eating a TV dinner in front of the idiot box, you will spend the year basically alone (and undoubtedly depressed) rather than spending quality time with friends, drinking fine wine and sharing in a lovely meal.

With this in mind, a long time friend was debating what he was going to do on New Yearís Eve. I invited him to spend it with us, but he mentioned about spending it with his boss who treats him like dirt, gives him no respect, takes advantage of the fact heís a hard worker and fails to recognize his value to the company. When I asked him why heíd consider doing that and warned him it could be indicative of his year to come, he pooh-poohed the whole notion. He explained that no matter how he spends his New Yearís Eve, it is the same old thing each year. Nothing ever changes.

After we spoke, I pondered his words and it was true. After all these years that he had been complaining about his situation, he was still in a job he hated, being taken advantage of by his boss he pretty much loathed, doing the same thing day in and day out.

Then it dawned on me: His years were like all the others because he is the only one who can facilitate these changes.

For whatever reason, he lingers in at a job he hates at a company that abuses him and has no appreciation of the fact he is their hardest, best worker. He longs to travel to Africa and Cuba, but regularly makes reasons/excuses as to why he canít when, if he really wanted to, he can take pro-active measures to make his dreams become reality. He used to enjoy fly-fishing, but now it seems like itís more of a bother than anything else. It almost seems like he lost the joy in life in general and lacks the drive, motivation (or both) to make the changes to make his life the way he wants it to be.

This brings to mind my other friend whom Iíve known for just as long. In a few years, if sheís lucky and can hold the cancer at bay, she might, just might reach her 50th birthday. Sadly, the prognosis is not good and the stomach/esophageal cancer has advanced to the point her doctors declared chemo/radiation therapy will not help her at this stage. The surgery to remove the mass did not go well either, but still, my friend puts on a brave face, clings to hope and continues to fight the good fight in this battle for her life.

In light of her situation, Iím hoping my other friend uses this New Year to reassess his life and what truly matters. I hope he finds the motivation to make the changes to make it the life he truly wants to live than to exist, leading a mediocre life when there is so much more and time is marching on.

None of us know when our number is up, the only thing we have any control over is how we choose to live our life. My sick friend who spent Christmas in the hospital has so much to live for. Her days are numbered and yet, she struggles to make the best of it. Her failing health being what it is, she will never get the chance to do some of the things she dreamed of. Life has so much potential and so much to offer, but the potential is wasted if one is not inspired enough to take chances and make the changes that would make their life so much better.

Motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins said, ďIf you always do what youíve always done, youíll always get what youíve always got.Ē This is so true for all of us.

So this New Yearís Eve, no matter how you choose to spend it, remember, we only have one kick at the can, so you better make the best of it. Appreciate the little things, but donít be afraid to strive for the big dream no matter how impossible it may seem to others. Be bold, live fearlessly, (not stupidly, for thereís a difference). Be inspired by life and all the potential it holds, embrace change (for rarely will it kill you) and know there are steps you can take to improve your life and make you a happier person.

As I embark on the next chapter of my life, in spite of my heart condition, in spite of doubters who think Iím cracked for doing what others will view as impossible, I continued to be inspired by those around me, life in general and all the possibilities it holds. Even though my hardening heart might mess me up and thereís no denying that physically, Iím not the same person I was even 5 years ago, my heart has never felt this full, fulfilled and truly happy.

So this New Yearís eve as I toast in 2011, I wish for my friends, family and all those who have touched my life in positive ways to find peace, health, happiness and the inspiration and drive to live life the way it is meant to be lived, to its fullest. Happy New Year, my friends!


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Paradise unrest (every soul remembers) by Ernest Paquin

Some believe we are in Purgatory, some believe we are in Hell, so the only option left for the remaining is; we are still in Heaven now in ruins... The Great Rebellion began shortl..  
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