At the beginning of last year, I met a friend for coffee and we began talking about the upcoming year and some things we would like to see take place during it. Her list mostly included stopping or letting go of things. Mine was much different. I had a list of books I wanted to read and 12 new baking recipes I wanted to try—1 for each month. There were some things I wanted to “take away” but there were even more things I wanted to “add.”
As I shared my “add list” with my friend I remember her saying, “I love your New Year’s ideas. I have never thought of adding things, only taking things away.” Our conversation got me thinking about the general tone of most people’s New Year’s resolutions and how they do usually involve stopping something, losing something or letting go. And while it is fine to let go of things—especially unhealthy mindsets, negative emotions, harmful thought patterns and toxic relationships—it is so important we do not stop dreaming, evolving and adding to our lives to make them richer, more challenging and hopefully in our endeavors—more fulfilling too.
I met with a colleague of mine last week who has been in the mental health field for 25 years and found myself completely amazed and inspired by her story of what she is “adding to her life” this upcoming year. She shared how 25 years ago a dream was birthed inside of her while working with inner city kids. She had watched a TV talk show about inmates who had been given certain volunteer opportunities as well as responsibilities and how their volunteering had transformed them as well as those they were helping.
For 25 years, my friend held onto that dream, but could never find the right time, sponsors or interest to begin this endeavor…until a few weeks ago when all of the details started coming together. Encouraged by her mentor to keep trying, my friend asked yet one more person if they would help her make this idea come to life and they said “yes.” In 2018, my friend will be able to add this dream come true to her life story and is already working hard to see it fulfilled.
So, in light of my friend’s story, my challenge to you is two-part. First, never let go of anything you are passionate about adding to your life, no matter how long it takes to come to fruition. Be like my friend and keep looking for ways to make it happen even if it takes 25 years. Second, find something positive or new you can add to your life. Your health—including your mental health—should always come first. Then with that, think of one other that inspires and uplifts you and add that. Last year for me that was baking.
As January begins, take inventory to see if your mental health is where it should be. If you are facing a major stressor, struggling with a certain relationship or suffering with any mental health problem, a seasoned and licensed Orlando mental health therapist can help you. We offer individual, couples, child, adolescent and family therapy. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to schedule an appointment and speak with an experienced counselor.