I wish you all the happiest of New Years in 2023 and offer a suggestion that might make your year more satisfying.

 Many years ago, a federal judge of my acquaintance told me that, that’s right there rather than making New Year’s resolutions, she chose a theme for the coming year each January. I love this idea because, all too often, resolutions arise from negatives, and thus, squelch enthusiasm.

 I’m not so sure I really believe in astrology, but I do like to read Rob Breszny’s “Free Will Horoscope” every week in the Good News Network e-zine. [1] His message might be something like, “In the coming weeks, you might find it helpful to connect with old friends.”

This week, his suggestion for me is that integrity and generosity might bring me greater success. I liked those ideas so much that I made them my new years theme. I already got a chance to practice them.

Not wanting to drive in the peak of the recent “arctic  blast,” we postponed our Christmas get-together—made like Brits and had a Boxing Day. Although Dec. 26 was a designated holiday, the traffic in my long drive across a big city was at least as bad as on an ordinary weekday—worse around shopping centers, I became impatient with everything and everyone that further delayed me. Thinking Don’t let it get to you only fanned the fire of my aggravation.

That’s how negative motivations work. To appreciate this, don’t think of an apple. What popped into your mind? An apple, right? Now, think of an orange. The orange prevented you from thinking about the apple.

So I was grumpily driving along when I remembered my theme of generosity. I chose to have generosity of spirit toward things and people who delayed me. Thinking I am generous led me to understandable reasons why people might drive the way they did. It was an uplifting experience. It wiped out my aggravation, so I continued driving with the happy expectation of seeing my family.

My Integrity theme helped me resolve a dilemma about whether or not to wear my mask at the gathering. I didn’t like what I imagined others might think of me if I wore the mask. But if I left off the mask for that reason, I would feel even worse about what I thought of myself. Considering Integrity, made it was clear to me that wearing the mask was the best choice.

I wish you all a theme that will bring you joy in the coming year.


[1] https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org