Wiping The Slate Clean for the New Year
As New Year’s Eve approaches, I know so many of us are anxiously awaiting that clock to strike midnight so we can bid farewell to one of the most tumultuous years we’ve ever lived through. It’s as if the change on the calendar will give us a clean slate! What does wiping the slate really mean?
In my humble opinion I think we may have been looking at this all wrong and perhaps we should rethink this whole slate wiping thing.
It seems to me that we are always being told that the past should stay in the past and that we must focus on the future and move on. I agree – sort of.
I believe that the culmination of our entire life’s moments make us who we are. After all, aren’t we simply the sum of all of our past experiences?
Don’t get me wrong, we need to keep the positive and shed that heavy cloak of angst and regret and all of the negativity that we tend to shlep around with us throughout our lives. That schmata is weighing us down!
That said, in the scheme of things, and in very simple “Sheri terms,” we are nothing more, but a complicated heaping pile of feelings and emotions held together by the thoughts in our heads.
Of course, it isn’t healthy to dwell on the past. The past shouldn’t define us, yet it does. Before I continue, I admit that I am not a prophet, nor am I a therapist, licensed or otherwise. In fact, I will admit that there are times I second guess myself to the point that I convince myself I sound like a blithering fool. To that end, I have edited this paragraph several times!
What I am, however, is an observer of life. I’m a sometimes-self-deprecating-needs-more-confidence storyteller who has been told too many times in an almost accusatory way, that I am deeply sensitive. I own it all. This is both a blessing and curse.
While I am not afraid to let my feelings be known, sometimes the consequences of being brutally honest are, well, brutal. I have learned to live with that. I am who I have become, despite and in spite of my past experiences.
In some ways I would like to think I am a really good person and in other ways I know that I’ve failed miserably. Good, bad, or indifferent, I allow my past to show up every now and then for just a little while and I embrace it for it is the literal sum of me. It serves as a reminder of where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.
Yes, we change, we evolve and many of us continue to work on ourselves to try to become our best version. But make no mistake about it, we all got to where we are because of where we came from, and we should never discard that.
Throughout my life, I have changed both physically and mentally more times than I care to admit – eventually morphing into who I am at this very moment. The many facets of my personality usually fit together quite nicely, but sometimes they don’t. I suspect I will always be changing, always trying to find that balance. It is, after all, human nature.
Photo credit Margaret Lanier
I don’t believe in resolutions, but I do think it’s a good time to make a conscious effort to be more accepting of myself and of those around me who are also working on finding their own balance.
As always, I remain humbled and grateful to be able to do what I do – especially at this stage of the game. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank my Artie for his constant encouragement and who, unlike me, hates the attention. Sorry, not sorry, Babe. Whether it’s my music, my writing, or my pictures, I am proud of my work and I am grateful for the opportunities that I have been given to share all of it.
And so, as this year winds down and the lights of 2023 go dim, even in the most challenging of times, I that hope you are able to find the goodness in each other and in yourselves.
As we ring in the New Year, I challenge you to accept your past with grace and embrace all of your own facets that together enable you to shine as brilliantly as a diamond.
Happy New Year
Sheri Nadelman is a musician, nature photographer and a frequent contributor to the Suncoast Post.