As I write this, it is December 31st, the last day of 2019, a day of celebration, of ushering out the old and in the new, of resolutions and promises and hope for a better tomorrow. As I look back over the past year, a tidal wave of emotions sweeps over me. So many ups, so many downs, much laughter, many tears, and a multitude of mistakes.
It is the dawning of a new year, a fresh start. What is it I want to take with me as I leave this year behind and leap into a new year?
Joy, regret, wisdom, and so much more…
Over the past year, we celebrated my oldest daughter’s engagement and my youngest daughter’s high school graduation. We watched our middle daughter navigate some rough roads as she transferred schools and started over in a new direction. We traveled near and far while savoring our moments at home together. We lost our beloved golden retriever and found a new appreciation for our sweet mutt. I tried to spend more time with my family and to spend more time with friends.
Reflecting on my many experiences this past year, I have so many regrets. I lost my temper, said things I didn’t mean, revealed things I should not have, did not give credit where it was due, and felt lost too many times. In my own mind and heart, I failed my family in many ways, and I found myself in a spiritual desert on too many occasions.
But here’s the best thing about this day, the best thing about any and every day:
Tomorrow, next week, in the new year, I have countless chances to do better, to see more clearly, to speak more kindly, to show love and appreciation to everyone around me, to spread good cheer, and to renew my faith.
That is the wonderful thing about this life we are given. Most of us have more than day, more than a week, more than a year. We have the opportunity again and again and again to get things right, to say and do the right thing, to make up for mistakes of the past. We can begin January 1st with a new outlook on life: This year, I will get it right.
Of course, I won’t always get it right. I’ll have to work every day at saying and doing the right thing. I will have to think long and hard before sending that text, take a deep breath and think through the consequences of saying those words, and pray unceasingly about how to handle those most challenging situations. I will make a concerted effort to be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. I will take advantage of every opportunity to start over.
Because the truth is, we never know how many tomorrows we will get, how many new years we will welcome, or how many fresh starts we will be granted. We must do our best NOW. We must do try to do better each and every day. Life is a series of mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and do all we can to make our life and the lives around us better, happier, and more peaceful. I will strive to do just that in 2020. I hope you will join me.
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What I was writing about a year ago this week: New Year, New Strategies.
Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, is based, in part, on her family history and is garnering many five star reviews.
Book Three of the Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, is now available! Purchase your copy today of the “book that was a joy to read!”- Ann on GoodReads.
You may follow Amy on Facebook at http://facebook.com/amyschislerauthor, Twitter @AmySchislerAuth, Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/amyschisler and at http://amyschislerauthor.com.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019).
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