“Strive for progress, not perfection.”
It’s a good little piece of advice, isn’t it? I find that I need to remind myself of it often, especially at this time of the year.
Ringing in the New Year is often bittersweet. It brings up that inevitable mix of emotions: on one hand, excitement and hope for a fresh start; on the other, disappointment and distress as we think to ourselves, “Another year has passed, and am I really where I thought I’d be by now?”
Perhaps things just didn’t go according to the plans we had. Perhaps we dealt with unexpected trials, challenges or heartbreak. Perhaps we set goals that we simply failed to accomplish. Or perhaps we just feel “stuck.” We think we’ve navigated through it all pretty well until, of course, December 31st rolls around: a shiny, loud and sometimes obnoxious reminder of all those things gone awry. We say “good riddance” to the year behind us and toast to the hopes of a much better year ahead.
It’s far too easy to get caught up in the disappointment and focus on everything that went wrong, instead of focusing on all the things that went right. I know I find myself doing it: frustrated that my health is still not where I want it to be, or that I didn’t quite meet my list of goals for this year, or that so many things on my “life checklist” are still left, well…unchecked.
But we all know that’s not a fair depiction of what really happened. It’s a limited, narrow way of seeing things, a sure-fire way of missing the big picture. So instead of focusing on the imperfections, I’m making a declaration today: I’m choosing to focus on the progress, to acknowledge all the blessings that have come my way, no matter how big or small.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we are exactly where we are meant to be. Rather than dwell in feelings of failure or frustration, I want to focus on the amazing (albeit winding) path that the universe has set out for us. Even in tragedy, there is often the opportunity to grow, become stronger and become an inspiration for others who might be going through something similar. I’m especially inspired by the friends and family around me who have endured heartbreak this year, yet still manage to smile and make each day the best it can be.
Happiness is a choice (even if we sometimes forget or fail to choose it). I could look at 2014 as the year that I didn’t fully meet my health or other personal goals. Or, I could look at it as the year that I went from four hospitalizations (in 2013) down to zero; the year I weaned off several toxic medications and continued the effort to heal by more natural means; and oh yeah, the year I launched my blog and created this most special bond with all of you! I’d say that’s progress, wouldn’t you?
I hope you, too, are choosing to count your blessings from last year. Rather than say “good riddance” to 2014, I’m making the choice to be grateful for it and to build upon every success (or challenge!) that it brought my way. It may not have been a perfect year, but it was a pretty good one.
Thank you to each one of you for your support and for being a blessing in my life. May 2015 bring you good health, success and lots of joy! Happy New Year!