Part I: In The New Year

Woman in knit hat

Happy New Year, my friends! I’m so delighted you’re here. 


In the new year, there will be surprises. There will be joys and disappointments. There will be days that drag like riding a flat-tired bicycle and weeks that spring along at Olympic-athlete speeds. Soon Valentine’s Day will come knocking with roses and chocolates in hand. Easter will spring up like a bunny and quiver its nose. Summer will spread a blanket and invite us to the  picnic. Then it will be Halloween grinning her witchy, crooked lips and beckoning us to the darker days of winter ahead. Soon the wheel of the year will have turned once again.

If there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that time goes on. Our mindset, we’ve learned, is more important than the circumstances in which we find ourselves. Despite our weariness, most of us have shown remarkable resilience. Friends of mine have written the novels they always meant to write. Others took up new forms of art such as weaving, poetry writing, and sewing. Some people found work-from-home opportunities. Some quit the jobs that were holding them back and laid down new paths. Others dug down deep and continued despite incredibly stressful working conditions (I’m looking at you nurses and teachers). Restauranteurs learned how to rock the to-go options and opened up wonderful outdoor seating for in-person al fresco dining, long may it reign!

We took up bread-making for awhile. We drank more than we should have. Our outer lives became smaller and dimmer, but our dream-worlds expanded into weird, sometimes disturbing, psychedelic fantasies. Some of us got sick and recovered. Some of our family members got sick and did not. We mourned. We Zoomed. We got on with things.

I know you don’t need reminding. You were there. You lived it and are living it.

Now, I want to look beyond it.

No matter what is happening “out there,” I want to focus on what I can control–my reaction to things, both in attitude and action. I won’t be naively optimistic or hopelessly pessimistic. I’ll name, confront, and address problems as I’m able. In the book The Tao of Inner Peace, author Diane Dreher writes, “Life is dynamic. Like a river it constantly flows, its currents forming new patterns from the interacting elements. To follow Tao is to flow like a river, to recognize our part in the ever-evolving universe…we have the power to make a difference–in our lives and our world.”

Collectively, our actions make up the world. Together we can turn the tides of history.

Visit here next Monday to read Part II: What We Can and Can’t Control

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Are you looking to find a more peaceful flow to life in 2022? Or are you hoping for more excitement and energy? Or a balance of the two? I’d love to read your comments in the space below. I comment back! 

 XOXO Shelley 


  1. I loved this….you captured what most of us are feeling right from the start…..I am just hoping we truly see some light from he end of this tunnel!

    1. Thank you, Wendy. I hope this year does turn more toward the light, but if not, we will continue to make the best of it. It’s like athletic training…the more you push yourself, or the more difficult the terrain, the stronger we become as we struggle with and through it. I think we must all be stronger for having gone through this. We may be a little sore still. We will need some recovery time. But the next time something big comes along, we will be more ready for it.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Debbie, and yes. The key is to recognize our power and figure out the best way to use it. That’s the difficult part. Cutting through all the chatter to see what is really happening and understanding what bit we can do. Knowing there will be others who think very differently about what is to be done.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Georgette. I’ve written all four parts already. Got on a roll the other day, lol.

  2. 2022 is full speed ahead for me. Spent my first Christmas with family in 4 years in Texas. We have vowed to spend more time together this year. More hobby concentration. Wedding reception on each coast.. Less or no discussion of “c”

    Looking forward to your weekly blog!

    1. Hi Andrea! Thank you for reading and commenting. I love the goal of spending more time with family as you are able. And wedding receptions…that sounds like so much fun. Love to have your eyes on this blog. 🙂

  3. Hi Shelley,
    Love your hat!! It looks so cozy!
    And your blogging makes sense! I will be looking forward to them!!
    Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the year of the black tiger!!

    1. Thanks, Donna! It was really an easy pattern. I probably could have made it in a day if I’d tried. Happy new year.

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