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Another Year, Another Chance

DECEMBER 31, 2011 | PAULA WRAY
...our lives can change with every breath we take...

Novalee Nation in "Where the Heart Is"

Okay, it's not Emerson, but I am a simple woman, and I prefer my philosophy in simple sentences. If every breath brings an opportunity for change, think what a new year offers.

I ran into a former co-worker a couple of days ago, and found myself ranting about how the new owners had done me wrong. When I realized what I was doing, I joked, "I'm not bitter or anything" which, of course, is exactly what I am. A jilted lover. I pictured myself 10 years from now still lamenting how I gave that group the best years of my life, a permanent scowl etched on my face.

2011 was a gut-wrenching whirlwind. When I left my job in January, our family revenue tanked. DirecTV and vacations are a thing of the past. Owning an iPad is unthinkable. Balding tires are a minor disaster, and mounting debt is the new norm. I gave up on owning my own business and instead worked multiple low-paying jobs. Visiting my former boss recently I lamented that "I used to be something."

On the positive side of 2011, Don and I are leaner and healthier. I have a steady job that is less stressful than the former. The providers are very nice, and a couple of people are showing an interest in my life. I am blessed to have my family, Kimber and Garrett are in love, and the world continues to spin.

Emotionally, it's time to move on in 2012. I picked up another great work of literature yesterday while my husband was having surgery - "O Magazine." I learned that to get what you want out of life, you first need to figure out exactly what you want. That seems like a better use of my energy than wallowing in bitterness.

What are your plans for the new year?