New Year’s Restoration

While the trend about now is to look to the future and decide to achieve things in the coming new year, I’m thinking about going a slightly different direction. Metaphorically of course. This post is not about a newly discovered worm hole or alternate universe. Sorry.

It started with a blog post “Lessons Learned in 2023” I was working on. See below…

It doesn’t matter what you look like, how much money you have, or what you have accomplished. Insecurity, self-doubt, sadness, and loneliness do not discriminate based on these criteria. 

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you have been, or where you are headed, chances are you have a friend who believes in you and encourages you to remember the best version of yourself. (If this isn’t true, email me…I’m happy to remind you!)

It doesn’t matter if you are good or right or socially conscious, someone will spread rumors to tear you down. Refer to paragraph one. 

It doesn’t matter where you are in your career, your relationships, or your stage of life, there will always be hurdles, both external and internal. These are merely opportunities to overcome. How do you know this? Because they are in front of you and the best direction is forward.

It doesn’t matter if you are weary, disheartened, betrayed, wounded, or destroyed. The choice to persist will always be in your hands. And moving forward will never negate the betrayal or condone the yuck hurled in your direction. It’s merely a chance to redirect your focus to something productive.

But, it’s the beginning of January so I started thinking how this relates to the common, albeit annoying, practice of resolution setting. “Ignore the ugly voices and try not to talk crap about others?” Perhaps a good start, but seriously? 

After further consideration, it turns out I don’t want a resolution – by definition, a seemingly benign practice that masquerades as a vehicle destined to deliver large doses of guilt or foster internal accusatory dialogues to deepen self-doubt. Pass. 

Don’t misunderstand, I have intentions for 2024. I want to improve as a human. For example, I intend to go on a word diet. If words have the power to create or destroy, maybe I should be careful how I brandish them. Also, I do not wish to be one of the “spreaders of rumors”. But still, it felt short sighted. It wasn’t enough. The question plagued me, beyond simply moving forward, can we affect the past at all? Do all the decayed and burned-out buildings of yesteryear get to stand as monuments to pain and error? Do we simply give a nod periodically at their existence and try to move on? Or…is it possible to deconstruct some of the crap and haul it out? I realize our scars define us in beautiful ways, but do I have to keep all the dilapidation that’s taking up valuable real estate? Can I tear it down, leave a plaque, and build back better? 

I don’t want a shallow resolution. I want some restoration. Maybe that’s a lot to ask but I’m learning if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Can this be a sort of both/and situation? I will purpose to choose my words more carefully, and also, walk into 2024 with hope toward a new stretch of internal skyline? Sounds idyllic, but honestly, I’m not sure where to start so I consulted some wise council.

“Carefully watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Manage and watch your words, for they will become your actions. Consider and judge your actions, for they have become your habits. Acknowledge and watch your habits, for they shall become your values. Understand and embrace your values, for they become your destiny.” – Gandhi

Easy enough (sarcasm), so I guess I start with my thoughts. Wish me luck. And before I forget, I have another idea for the next blog post already. “Don’t be an Octopus.” I promise it relates. It’s on my calendar to post the beginning of February. 

Cheers everyone and Happy New Year! May 2024 be full of joy, peace, and discoveries of better.

P.S. I’m still using my treadmill, but also thinking the above practice might affect my mental health in a positive way as well. Worth a shot.

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6 Comments on "New Year’s Restoration"

  1. Teddi Deppner
    03/01/2024 at 4:30 pm Permalink

    “I realize our scars define us in beautiful ways, but do I have to keep all the dilapidation that’s taking up valuable real estate? Can I tear it down, leave a plaque, and build back better?”

    YES YES YES. I love this, Rebecca. Thank you for putting into (such eloquent) words what has often bugged me about advice for growing and moving forward. What can be done with that baggage, that “internal skyline”? Even just giving me an analogy like that makes me feel better equipped to deal with it.

    THANK YOU.

  2. Rebecca Qualls
    04/01/2024 at 7:33 am Permalink

    Thank you, Teddi! I’m honored by your words and encouraged that I am not walking down this path alone. I’d love to hear your insights as well! Any luck with demolition?

    Hope it’s a fantastic year for you and yours!

  3. Diann Tipton Fischer
    03/01/2024 at 8:34 pm Permalink

    I love restoration!!!!

  4. Rebecca Qualls
    04/01/2024 at 7:34 am Permalink

    Hi Diann! Please don’t hesitate to share any insights you may have! And I hope this year is full of amazing!!

  5. Catherine Pagano
    05/01/2024 at 2:13 pm Permalink

    Was just reading my verse of the day and thought of you. Check it out Romans 12:2! Pretty appropriate for what you are writing. Love the quote from Gandhi. I am trying to be more aware of my thoughts and now my Bible is also telling me to and also my long, dear friend.Thank you, Rebecca. …I am also either on my treadmill or swimming daily and reading the Bible.(Catholics never spent much time with that.)Which is crazy.That is what I am doing for me!! Take care.Good thoughts.

  6. Rebecca Qualls
    06/01/2024 at 6:24 pm Permalink

    Hello, my friend! Mind renewal…back to what we think about. I’m so glad to hear you have found some activities that are working and even more glad you shared them! I hope you are well and good thoughts back at you!

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