In her final regular PHS column, Barbara Wallace looks back briefly at 2016 and talks about the changes she's making in the year ahead.
I’ve got to be honest; 2016 wasn’t my favorite year. I took a lot of hits personally and professionally and frankly I’m still reeling from some of them. Maybe that’s why I’ve been the past week reflecting on 2017 and how would like the upcoming year to play out. (Warning: The radio station just played Another Auld Lang Syne which may color the tone of this blog; could there be a more bittersweet New Year’s song?)
If there was one thing the past months have taught me is that nothing is permanent. Friendships, family, jobs…like all best laid plans, they can turn upside down at a moment’s notice. The best you can do is ride out the upheaval with faith and good humor, and pay closer attention to the good things that happen. Because, as fraught with change as this year has been, 2016 also had its share of really good moments. I was blessed with experiences and quiet gestures of kindness that made me realize the world can be a very generous and loving place when you stop and look.
But that isn’t the point of this blog posts. By all accounts, my life isn’t done being turned upside down. 2017 looks to be just as topsy turvy.
Or, maybe it won’t be. So much of what will happen is out of my control. Even so, I can control my own attitude. I’ve got a quarter of a century or so left on this planet. I don’t want to waste them letting life buffet me around. And so it’s time for some mental housekeeping, or as my friend D.L. Eagan likes to say, “Mental feng shui.”
I’ve been hanging on to some relationships and behaviors out of habit. It’s time for me to shift things around.
If a friendship leaves me emotionally drained, I’m going to let it go. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting the person completely out of my life, but rather reprioritizing their importance in my head. I will learn to enjoy people’s time without letting them drain me of my own good thoughts or moods.
Likewise, if a project doesn’t give me joy, I’m going to reassess its importance. Life is too short to work at things I don’t enjoy. If I can’t give up the work – then I’m going to look for ways to make it joyful.
That’s because I’m going to work on becoming more positive. I’ve caught myself sliding into complaint land lately, and the last thing I want is to be somebody else’s source of toxicity.
And finally I’m going to embrace the challenge and treat them as opportunities to grow. In fact, I’ve already begun researching the possibility of becoming a hybrid author and branching out into mystery writing. Don’t worry; I’ll still be writing Christmas stories for Harlequin Romance. I could never give up romance novels.
All in all, I’m starting to believe 2017 will be a very good year, because I’m going to make it one. To paraphrase my own quote from a few paragraphs ago, the world can be a very generous and positive place if you allow yourself to be generous and positive too.
Wishing you all a happy holiday season, and a wonderful 2017.
Award-winning author Barbara Wallace writes contemporary romance and mystery novels. Her books are enjoyed by readers around the world. WINTER WEDDING FOR THE PRINCE, book two of the Royal House of Corinthia series, is available now.
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Praise for WINTER WEDDING FOR THE PRINCE
Wonderful happy ending and this story really embraces the magic of Christmas romance.
A wonderful friends-to-lovers story that treats the heavier subjects in the book very well.