I’ve been holding back lately. Several times, I began writing blog posts about guns or mental illness but each time I stopped because the end of the year seems more about summing up and looking forward. The issues before us right now are important but they’ll be here in 2013.
New Year’s Eve, instead, is a day to get off the daily merry-go-round of life and spend some time in reflection…and that’s a good thing.
For me, I’ll always remember 2012 as the year I unleashed my memoir upon the world. In the build-up to the event, it was a scary proposition but, since the book’s release in April, it’s been nothing but gratifying. So many of you said such nice things and it was fun to hear from people I’d not spoken to in decades. Suddenly, I reconnected with old friends and newspaper cronies. Thanks to that memoir and the ubiquitous presence of Facebook, I’m in touch with just about everyone from every facet of my life and it’s been kind of dizzying.
A word about Facebook. We all spend too much time on it and often I’ve thought of stepping away but I resist. I think it’s a fascinating tool but it reminds me of alcohol — you can get drunk on Facebook and need to use it accordingly. Some people can tolerate a lot, some not so much but you’ve got to know your limits and I think I know mine. Every once in a while, I need to back off and spend time painting a room (like I did this past weekend) or cleaning up the garden. Each time, I take a break, I’m amazed at how much one can accomplish. It feels life-affirming to get out there and do some manual labor or take a long walk or simply look around and not down at your device. At the same time, I’m aware of the positive things about Facebook. I’ve come into contact with so many new people as well as old friends.
This year, as I have every year, my overall resolution for the future is to be more compassionate and open toward others. I love being a New York native but I’m so aware that it creates a defensive shell around me that I wear uncomfortably. I joke that I’m doubly jaded since I’m a New Yorker and a journalist and that’s true. I tend to doubt, to mistrust, to question — it’s part of my job but I’ve got to let more light and air in there. I’m trying and I think I’ve been better at me but it’s a constant struggle.
One thing I’m most thankful for — being an optimist. I always think things will get better, and generally they do. It’s like the nugget in that old best-seller “The Secret” — if you wish hard enough, if you put positive thoughts out there, you will be rewarded. You might not win the lottery but you’ll feel better about life and that’s even better than winning the lottery if you think about it.
I truly believe that if you persevere with a positive attitude, you will accomplish a lot. You may never achieve all your goals but that’s okay. Life (call it God if you wish) will tally up the credits and give you a prize you never thought possible. Happy New Year everyone!