Hump Day: Happy New Year! Recharge your inner spirit

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Happy New Year! The Baby New Year is taking his first steps and is surely concocting some nice surprises for us, so let’s hope he’s in a good mood and not a colicky baby who’s prone to tantrums.

Old Man 2013 wasn’t so bad, but his propensity for snow in December made me want to smother the life out of him with a pillow as the days dwindled in his reign. I guess he needed to remind us who was boss, eh? Let’s hope the new kid wasn’t paying too much attention when his predecessor was wreaking havoc on the power supply and snow removal budget in December.

This was the “Christmas that never was” for many in New Brunswick: those who suffered through the last several days of the month without electricity and those who worked around the clock to get the power back on. It was no fun for anyone. NB Power crews deserve praise for putting the needs of others in front of their own this holiday season. Many workers had to spend Christmas away from their families.

Red Cross workers and others who offered respite from the cold must also be acknowledged, as many of them would have also had to miss Christmas celebrations with their families to make sure others received comfort.

The ice storm caused much frustration among everyone affected. I was truly one of the lucky ones because my lights didn’t even flicker during the storm and my electricity stayed on. I can’t imagine having no electricity in the middle of winter. The stress must be terrible – especially if you have children and pets to be concerned about.

Kudos to those who helped! One local hotel offered a drastically cut room rental rate for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for those affected. As well, I saw a few people on Facebook offering their homes – and even seats at their Christmas dinner table – to those who lost electricity. Goodwill toward men (and women) was alive and well this holiday season in New Brunswick.

I was one of the fortunate ones. My Christmas was not affected, but I know of many whose holiday plans were completely thrown for a loop – either because of power outages or travel delays due to weather. Despite this, I hope it was a good one!

I hope 2013 was as good to you as it was to me! Business was great. I have my health. Everyone in my immediate family is good. There were no tragedies of which to speak. And for the first time in a long time, I didn’t attend one funeral this year. As good as that is for me – selfishly – it’s not half as good as for those who would have been the guests of honour at the funerals I didn’t need to attend.

As I age, my New Year’s Eves tend to be nice and mellow. And that’s just the way I like them, thank you very much. I make sure the Christmas decorations are down and put away and that everything is set to usher in the next year. I like to start the year off on a high note. I also plan on going to a New Year’s church service to give thanks to 2013 and pray for good tidings for my family and friends in 2014.

Giving thanks is underrated. Whether you give thanks to God, to the universe, to nature – or whatever you want to call it – it’s a very powerful gesture that I believe creates an aura of goodwill around you. There are many who don’t believe any of that stuff. That’s fine… but I do. Give thanks for things as you would if you already had them – be it health, wealth, friends, happiness, relationships – and you’ll be surprised at how powerful a message it can be.

And no, you don’t have to go to church to give thanks, but it’s nice to do it as a community and to be with others. It’s just as good to do it by yourself, too, as long as you do it sincerely. Being grateful is like setting off a spark near explosives. Kaboom! And never take anything – or anyone – for granted.

We can never avoid tragedy and sadness. It affects us all at some point, but we have the power to control how we react to it. A tragedy can ruin our lives or make us stronger. The unexpected death of a loved one would throw even the strongest person off kilter, but hopefully the survivors would find peace, the strength to move on and find a way to honour the person who is no longer there – at least in the physical sense.

My hope for you (and me!) in 2014 is that we all find the inner strength to deal with the negative things that are bound to happen this year. May we find the silver lining in the bad things and remember to be grateful for the good things.

I’m just as happy to spend a quiet New Year’s Eve at home relaxing – this year, especially, as it’s been a very hectic one. I’m not very good at taking vacations, but I forced myself to take time off in December and I don’t regret it. I even had to say “No!” to a few people. It took discipline to do so. After all, when you’re a consultant who works independently, you have to make hay when the sun shines. Sometimes, though, you just have to put your feet up and recognize your need for a bit of rejuvenation and down time.

This year, I promise to take more time off. Properly organized, it can be done!

For each and every one of you, I wish you a 2014 filled with health, happiness and prosperity. May this year be your best yet! In closing, I leave you with this quote by Vern McLellan: “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” Dear readers: May you bring much to 2014!

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