Fresh Starts and Do-overs

I’ve been thinking about the coming New Year–a new beginning, a fresh start–a do-over, if you will.  It is only as we look back that we can  prepare to move forward.  It’s like pulling from a parking space; first  you look behind you for on-coming traffic before stepping on the gas to pull into the driving lane.  I’ve looked back over my life this past year to ascertain what I’ve learned from it that I can take with me into the new year.

Apparently I learn best from difficult experiences because this year has been a doozy.  Within weeks of each other my washer overflowed soaking the hall carpet; my AC unit had a lightning strike-twice; the garbage disposal backed up to the brim of  the sink with a sea of chocolate looking water that refused to go down.  Then I went to get into my car one afternoon and found the front tire flattened to the rim.  I backed out of the garage and broke the passenger side mirror.  I’d gone to a recommended chiropractor to maintain good health and came out with months of headaches, knee and foot pain, and tendonitis; none of which I ever had before.  Since then I’ve struggled with incredible insomnia; which has gotten somewhat better but is still an issue.  On top of all that I lost my mother and suffered months of depression.  Add to that the feeling that Maslow’s hierarchyof needs were completely elusive in my life and you will begin to visualize the depths of my experience.

These experiences put me on the side-line for a while, but only long enough to garner strength, gain wisdom and gather understanding.  Because of these experiences I learned:

  • be more sensitive to other people’s problems and needs.
  • take others’ needs and problems seriously and offer the kind of help I would want to receive.
  • behind everything that goes wrong, there is a lesson to learn.  Discover the lesson instead of complaining.

For example, the lessons I discovered are:

  • not to put watermelon rinds in the garbage disposal.
  • God puts people in place to help you when you need it most.  That was true with my flat tire and with my washer overflow.  I was on my hands and knees in the middle of the night, sopping up an inch of water out of my soggy wall to wall carpet, wringing  rag full after rag full into a bucket, praying a tearful prayer for someone to help me fix the source of the problem, and help me prevent mold and mildew from forming.  The next day I received a phone call from a handyman looking for work.   He was happy for the work and I was thankful for the help.
  • The day of the flat, I drove my car to the local Jiffy Lube.  It was the business nearest my home.  They do not change flat tires, but there was a young man there who “happened” to be there that day who offered to change the tire for me.  I was thrilled, as was he when I handed him $20.

Sometimes the lessons are easy to discern; other times, not so much and requires a deeper look.  When I looked deeper I realized I was comparing my life as it was, to the one I wanted.  They were worlds apart, which left me more frustrated.  My life felt unfulfilling–empty.  Some things we can change; others we have no control over.   But the problem is that space between life as it is and life as we want it to be.  It’s in that space that I realized that days and months were going by while I was waiting for my life to change so I could be happy.   Faulty thinking on my part.

My mother died suddenly, and unexpectedly from a brain aneurysm.  I learned a few things from that experience.  One is, make the most of today.  Let those you love, know that you love them.  Don’t wait until you have what you want to be happy; be happy regardless.  Happiness is a feeling.  According to Webster it is a state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

I am thankful for the approaching new year and that I get to have a do-over to correct my mistakes and to improve my shortcomings.  I’d be overjoyed if that certain doctor I fell in love with would call, send me flowers or invite me to dinner, but while I am waiting, I will find something to be happy about every day, regardless.  How about you? What fresh start would you like to make?

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Fresh Starts and Do-overs – prayerwarriorblogs

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