This Year, New Year’s was Different

Every New Years, there’s this sense I feel among people around me of renewal, of hope, of cheerful expectation. This year was different. Maybe it was the fiscal cliff issue in Congress that changed the tenor. Maybe it was the Newtown massacre. Whatever it was, for most I met around town, this New Year’s lacked verve, that is, vigor, spirit, and enthusiasm.

I asked myself ‘why’, because, for me, I felt my rather usual sense of “time to plan and start anew.” My verve was not lacking, but this was not so among my compatriots–not among my neighbors, not among my associates and friends, not among my clients nor acquaintances. Instead, there seemed either a stoic sense of “trudging on” or a simple tiredness. And not all of my friends are antiques. In fact, most of them range from youthful to moderately middle age, and all of them are like me, self-starters and fiendishly energized. (Yes, I seem to know people who, like me, have that similar built-in drive to do things.)

I’m not the only one who’s noticed it. Many around me, even those who admit to lacking that New Year’s freshness in themselves, agree that it is observable among those in their circles, too.  Whatever the cause, this lack of verve disturbs me. And them, even in themselves. It disturbs because a new start, a fresh beginning, a clean slate, has in its actualization an important, energizing effect upon life, projects, and, especially, spirit.



Life Changes & Resulting Consequences

Mid 2012 brought new medical crises for an elderly family member, which necessitated me taking a great deal of my time and devoting it to her care and needs. This situation persists into 2013 and will remain throughout the rest of her life…and, therefore, mine. So life changes have to occur in my life in order to accommodate this new reality. Since designing optimum systemic organization and streamlining operations is one of my most pragmatically useful areas of education and expertise, I sat down on January 1st and worked through the logistics of operational productivity, including realistic timelines for projects for which I am responsible. What came of it was a very practical and workable solution to the intruding chaos that has encumbered the last few months. It was with much relief that, by removing certain low return enterprises from my schedule, and by focusing on those areas that prove most beneficial to both bottom line and self fulfillment, I was able to create a functional plan based on prioritized projects that enables me to fulfill all new obligations and responsibilities while also continuing to pursue my life work.

When professional life, personal life, and the dire needs of an aging family member seem in conflict, a good operational chart adjusted to priorities can mean the difference between sanity and discouraging life disruption.