A long road cut off and restarted by a person drawing with a pencil

A New Year of Stories

What would you do if you had a clean slate? If none of the things weighing you down existed? What would you do with that freedom?

“It’s a new year, new you”. The idea has become a cliche at this point. We all know it’s not actually a new you... it’s simply a different number at the end of the date. What if for a moment though, you let that idea in? If you dropped all the sadness, anger, disappointment, and self-doubt you’ve been holding onto? What if you stopped judging yourself on your limits. Or based on past comments, judgements, and ideas? What if you let go of hostility you’ve been allowing to weigh you down for years, maybe even decades? What if you woke up this morning, got out of bed, and moved forward deciding to begin with a clean slate?

A rough year

Originally, this concept of mine, was what I told my 12-year-old. He’s suffered a lot lately with anxiety, partially due to struggles with OCD. He was disappointed in one of his grades and so he's entered this new semester doubting himself. He was setting himself up for failure on day one. I told him his grade was a thing of the past. It's been a rough few years for everyone. We all had to learn to adapt.

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I walked away from my son, completed some office work, and even got in a decent workout. I followed it up though with negative thoughts about how much progress I lost over the year after I’d had to stop going to the gym due to sickness. It wasn’t until today’s workout, when I was able to push myself just a smidge further. I allowed my own words to sneak in. Give yourself a clean slate. Don’t look back, just look forward.

Moving forward

Suddenly, I was proud of myself for pushing forward. I blasted my favorite songs and enjoyed my work out. What my past self did or didn’t do, does not affect the me of today. I’m not going to lie; the past two years have been an emotional roller coaster filled with so many difficult emotions. I processed a separation from my husband of 18 years. Both my sons struggled with mental health issues. My CF symptoms have been progressively worsening since August. My father suffered a stroke. Although he survived it, as a result his health did decline.

I know realistically I can’t snap my fingers and take back words, actions, or feelings. My pain is a piece of my foundation now. Is it possible though to accept, while it has made me who I am... it doesn’t need to make me who I will become?

Forgiving yourself

I woke up today and forgave myself. I forgave myself for the moments my disease won out and I allowed it to defeat me. For feeling guilty when I couldn't contribute as much as I wanted to in a situation. I forgave myself for the anger I felt at myself for things beyond my control.

Forgive your bad choices, and all the answers you didn’t have. Forgive the words you let yourself believe. Learn from your past and then forgive it. Forgive the mistakes you made and the people you unintentionally hurt, yourself included. Move past the failed diets, relationships, tests. Move past not being good enough. Past everyone you compare yourself to. Move past the voice in your head trying to convince you otherwise. Move past the preconceived notion that your effort is not big enough.

If you stop comparing your steps to the steps you expect, you will see that simply moving in the correct direction of your goal is still progress. Some days that just looks like getting out of bed. Now, look at your blank page... and decide what you want your story to be. You cannot undo the past, but the future is entirely unwritten. Go in, looking forward, not back.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Cystic-Fibrosis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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