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365 Days in a Year

January 15, 2018 at 5:22 pm · · Comments Off on 365 Days in a Year

365 Days in a Year

Dr. K. P. Lanthier, C.Psych.

What will 2018 have in store for us?  We are generally in anticipation of what the new year will bring.  It seems to be starting out with a ‘strong,’ ‘social, ‘justice’ focus, such as “The Times Up!” Movement.  This is a great cause highlighting the endemic and systematic mistreatment of women in the workplace.  More broadly, it focuses on the mistreatment and harassment of women, men, people of color and the LGBT community.  During the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, the “stars” all dressed in black to show support for the cause.  This was an empowering moment.  By contrast and disheartening, news quickly filled the airways about the horrific mudslides in California that triggered the destruction of homes and multiple deaths.  On the heels of that disaster, within this second week of the New Year was a threat warning that a missile was headed toward Hawaii. This caused pandemonium for the residents of Hawaii. They thought their lives were in peril.  I can’t imagine what their outlook for the rest of 2018 will be?  Will they perceive this year as a second chance?  Will they view it as the day they escaped imagined death?  Will that experience alter the way they live and perceive each new day? Is this the sign of the times?  Is this the new normal?

I wonder if I should simply retreat to my cozy, comfortable, welcoming bed during this unstable 2018? Perhaps, if I’d stayed in bed on the second Saturday afternoon, of the 2nd week of the New Year, just might have served me well.  I say this, because it is only the second week of the New Year;  a Saturday afternoon as I am coasting along in my car, only to hear the raging sirens and flashing blue lights of a police officer on his motorcycle gesturing me to pull over to the side. Yep, it’s the beginning of the New Year and no sympathy here…as I was written up and ticketed for speeding!  I offer no explanation as I seethe under my cool demeanor. This is what my New Year will look like?!  What a real bang it is living up to be! Is it too late for a New Year Resolution?  “Obey all traffic laws.”  It begs the question what will the rest of my 350 days of 2018 look like?

In any given year we have 365 days to do something new, eat something new, learn something new, feel something new, see something new, achieve something new.  There will be many things that occur that will be out of our control.  This may trigger feelings of doubt, fear, sadness, bewilderment or perhaps a sense of futility.  Remember there are ways to take back a bit of that control.  We must find a way to feel a sense of accomplishment, delight, happiness and pride each day of the year.  Typically, with good intentions we set goals to exercise regularly, eat better, smile more, work more, work less.  Unfortunately, daily routines and obligations thwart our best efforts at developing more Zen in our lives.

Despite the unpredictability of life, the current tensions of todays civilisation….; There is still something to say about “taking one day at a time”.  I could let the speeding ticket I received yesterday really pull me down.  Or I can say “lesson learned and there’s always tomorrow.”

Most of us falter on our New Year Resolutions that result in feelings of failure, shame and despair.  However, here is a simple task that if followed daily will result in you being rewarded by the end of the year.  That is, select bits of change (i.e. nickels, dimes, cents, quarters) you come by daily, set aside $1.00 in a jar each day for 365 days of the year.  At the end of the year, those coins will total $365.00.  Take those coins to the bank in exchange for bills.  Then rejoice for your small bounty that you can treat yourself with or donate the funds to a charity.  Either way, you can smile and feel good inside for this one accomplishment if all else fails throughout the rest of the 365 days of the year.

Happy New Year!

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