Hitting the Restart

January was never my favorite month. Blame it on the cold. Blame it on the long dark nights. Blame it on the holiday hangover. Whatever it was, I felt I had to just endure January before I’d be granted the light and warmth and better temperament of the rest of the year. But this January, I woke up on the right side of optimism. I embraced January.

I noticed I had a new sense of possibilities for all the year could hold

No set plans in place, just wide open to what might happen. The long dark mornings became a reason to linger and enjoy reading in bed for a few minutes before hitting the pavement for a run or the pool for a swim. I felt I had turned over a new leaf. I welcomed the idea that January gave me the chance to hit my personal reset button on my life. I was encouraged to think if January was this good, February would only be better.

But that’s not what happened. As surprised as I was by my new found attitude regarding January, I was quickly kicked in the gut by February. Nothing felt right. It all happened the first day of the month. I misread a work schedule and missed a teaching gig. A friend’s comment that I looked tired caused my spine to curdle into a exaggerated Halloween cat posture. Another friend called and shared the startling news of his cancer diagnosis. And, it was still dark. I’ve spent the first half of February out of sorts. Frustrated with myself, worried about my friend.

Just as I was deciding that January was only a sham, I remembered the reset button. A personal rebooting system that we all have. Not terribly unlike the escape key on your computer. It can be pressed anytime of the day or night, month or year.

With less than half of this short winter month to go, I’ve decided February can finish up in great contrast to how it began. Already I know that my friend has a plan for his treatment and is optimistic. Already I feel more giving and forgiving of myself and others. Perhaps life is not always as easily defined by hitting the imaginary reset button, but I know this much is true…perception on how the day, the week, or month is going is mine alone to determine. I have a choice: Let winter drape over me like a cold cloud or let it embrace me like the warm arms of a friend.

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