The elevator in my condo building has a sign posted wishing us a ‘peaceful and prosperous new year’...but what really is prosperous? When I was 2 years sober and still very much learning how to manage mental health and life challenges without alcohol, I fell into a deep depression. During these times, my mother would visit; helping me eat or to get out of bed and walk a bit…basically anything for nutrition or body movement. It was a horrible time, depression is not unfamiliar to me, but this time it was paralyzing. One day she arrived with a poem printed from the internet and pasted it on the fridge.
“Success” by Ralph Waldo Emerson. “To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
I take these words with me for personal and professional goals this coming year. I resist urges to compare and compete, stay true to myself, hush negative self-talk, search for more light and know that we must try to make the most of the cards dealt because this friends, is the only life we get.