In this still-dark Sunday morning, this still-fresh new year, I rise, clear-headed and sober and happy. And grateful.
This year, instead of focusing on resolutions, I am getting rid of my regrets. Replacing them with something positive.
My knees creak and ache, and I don't have the staying power I had when I was younger - or the memory, I realize, as I search for the word that I know I know, the one that means "staying power," and starts with a "p," but is not "persistence..."
So I'm a little gimpy and stiff in the mornings. Instead of vowing this year to lose weight and get in shape in spite of and to help my hurting knees, I'm making peace with what got me here in the first place.
I loved every minute of the decades of skiing I did, with my family and my friends and then with my husband. I loved every moment of turning and racing and smashing down on the bumps, every turn I carved, every mountain I explored, loved it. Yes, skiing helped make me stiff and achy today, but I would not have traded a moment of it for knees that feel better at 55.
While I can't say that I loved every mile that I ran, I know that each and every mile was good for me. Pounding the pavement, step after step, block after block, mile after mile long before Nike told us to just do it, I ran and ran and ran, sweating out the indulgences of the night before, undoing some of the damage I was doing to myself, and clearing my mind at a time when it so needed to be cleared.
Had I known how my knees would feel now, well, I might have skied more and run less, but probably not.
If I am a little drifty these days, and if my memory is a little shot, well, I'm glad for the experiences that nudged it along in that direction.
If I am a little overweight these days, and if my clothes are a little tight, I am glad for the experiences that put the weight on me, and for the delicious food that I have had the great opportunity to taste.
One huge regret in my life is that my mother is no longer alive to share these days with me. But we shared our lives for 50 years, and I was lucky every minute to have her as my mom, and today I am focusing on my gratitude for those wonderful, life-affirming years.
Today, in the still-dark morning of this new year, I focus on what I have, and what I've achieved, and how I've arrived here. There is no going back, only striding ahead, being thankful and grateful, and vowing always to improve.
Happy New Year! I hope that all of you can start this year lightened and freed by letting go of your own regrets, and forgiving yourselves, and those around you.