Sunday, December 31, 2017

A New Year

I am counted among those who don't think very highly of New Year's Day or even New Year's Eve. When I was a little girl, the idea of new year's resolutions, a fresh start, was very appealing. I didn't realize then that it was just a set-up for failure. Before I was married, living at home with my mother, often on New Year's Day, after rummaging through my bureau and desk drawers in search of incriminating evidence of whatever sort, she'd satisfy her intrusive need by leaving a carefully written sheet on my desk, entitled "Nancy's New Year's Resolutions." So, you can see how the idea of new year's isn't one I can embrace.

And yet.

In the past few years I've come up with some goals rather than resolutions and followed the example of friends by choosing a word to focus on in the year to come. But without success.

This new year's, this 2018, is one that I am conscious will bring change. My husband is semi-retired at this point, and likely will become fully retired in 2018. And tonight, 12/31/17, I'll work my last shift as a hospital chaplain, ending at 3 o'clock in the afternoon on 1/1/18. I can't help but be introspective. I am thinking of this change in my own life, choosing to leave this work that I love in order to have my weekends back, and reflecting on the challenges of these past four years of chaplaincy. I am aware that I have done some very good work. I know that there are situations that I could have handled better. 

I am thinking, too, of the families I'll work with during those last sixteen hours, families who don't know it yet, but whose lives will change for ever with the coming of the new year. Death, loss, trauma, disfigurement don't observe holidays.

So I look at the wonderful Hamilton Wright Mabie quote above and know he is right. Again, I am making no resolutions. I'm setting no goals nor am I choosing a focus word. But I greet this new year with anticipation of the opportunities, the challenges, and the joys it will bring.

And to those who read this blog, may it bring you only good things.

Nancy, Near Philadelphia

10 comments:

Karla said...

Nancy, you always will be a blessing to all those around you. Happy New Year

Ray said...

Best wishes to you, Nancy, every day!

Quiltdivajulie said...

You are one very wise woman. I, too, have a love hate relationship with resolutions. I prefer goals or guiding words because they allow for the inevitable distractions and disturbances of life. I can always return to them with whatever added knowledge/understanding the distractions/disturbances have added to my consciousness and continue to put one foot in front of the other. You are a blessing to me and to many - here's to the coming year and the opportunities and challenges it will bring.

Lori said...

Good tidings to you in 2018, Nancy!

Janet O. said...

Enjoyed your post, Nancy. You always say things so well.
I am guided on a daily basis by principles I want my life to reflect and feel no need for "resolutions". I actually chose a "word" for the first time, for 2017, in honor of my Father, who had just passed Dec. of 2016. I may keep that in place for this year in honor of my MIL who passed in November.
Wishing you peace as you and your husband adjust to your new circumstances. I know you have loved your work as chaplain, and have brought peace and comfort to many.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

When I was young we were taught to give up something for Lent. A sacrifice of sorts. One special priest that I knew was the only Priest I ever respected told me that the act of giving up was meant top remind me to be a better person. That thought has always stuck with me and I bring it forward to New Year Resolutions as well. A resolution each year to be a better person than I was last year. To have more patience and to be more kind. I think I have kept that resolution each year and it has become a way of life....of daily focus.

Embrace your husband's retirement and the free time that you have gifted to yourself and remember that you deserve it.

Happy New Year.
Carol

Barbara Anne said...

I well know the mixed feelings of leaving a job you love and that allows you to help others in their times of need. Nursing was that for me and I cried buckets when lupus fatigue robbed me of my profession.

Oh, I still miss the patients and knowing I could make a bit of a difference in their lives and the lives of their family members. Still, I have been able to share my concern and some of my medical knowledge with a surprising number of people, family, friends, and strangers, who have come my way in the last decade. I'll be a nurse forever. You'll be a chaplain forever and the Lord knows you'll be available to listen and to help those you meet.

Enjoy the creative freedom that comes with retirement and keep your eyes open for the opportunities and challenges that appear! Not least of which will be having more time to spend with your sweetie and less time spent in the car. What fun!

May the new year be rich in blessings to all.

Hugs!

michel starc said...
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Thuan Nguyen said...
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Nann said...

You will continue your ministry in another form, Nancy! Maybe you'll even find some leisure time. I prefer goals to resolutions, too. I do not choose a word because I can't narrow the choices.....
Interesting quotation by Hamilton Wright Mabee. I first learned about him in the early 1980's when I weeded his books from the Auburn PL collection. He wrote in a foreword to one of them that he lived on Fernwood Road in Summit, NJ (book published circa 1920). That's the street where my husband's childhood home was (homes, plural: they moved from #47 to #25 when he was 7; neither was Mabee's house). Mabee was long gone by then. But another coincidence was that he was a member of the same college fraternity as my husband.