Dr. Jennifer W. Shewmaker

Parent, Teacher, Author

New Year: What will you resolve?


“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

– Maya Angelou, from Letter to My Daughter, a book of essays (2009)

Today, at the beginning of a new year, I am struck by these two quotes, by the idea that at the beginning of a new year, each of us has some choices to make. Each one of us lives in some circumstance that we wouldn’t choose, be it illness, disability, a relationship gone awry, or so many other things. We are born where we are born, to the family that we have, in the culture that we grow up in.

Some of us do have choices that allow us to leave circumstances that we don’t like, but many times we don’t. What strikes me about Angelou’s and Oliver’s words is the hope that whatever our circumstances, we can still choose to live our lives fully. We cannot change some of the things in our lives, but we can choose how we respond to them, what we do with them.

In this new year, I encourage you to think about what you can do to make a difference in the world around you, whatever your circumstances may be.

As you approach this new year, instead of thinking about how many pounds you want to lose or dollars you want to earn, think about how you want to become all that you can be. Ask yourself just how you want to spend this one precious life that you have.

You, my friend, are a beautiful and amazing person. You have talents and skills to offer this old world as it spins around another time, and as you open your heart and share yourself with this world, you will make it better. You will become a world changer.

This year, decide that you will be the hero of your own story. For some of us, that will mean just putting one foot in front of the other or getting up in the morning. For some of us, that will mean finishing that project that we’ve started, or taking a risk to try something new. This year I decided to try for something that I’ve wanted for a long time, but never had the courage to shoot for. I don’t know how it will turn out, but just trying has given me a renewed sense of hope and possibility, and that’s worth a lot.

Whatever is happening in your life right now, believe that you can make a difference. In ways both big and small, you can change the world.

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This entry was posted on January 1, 2015 by in Acting, Emotional Health and tagged , , .
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