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New Year, New Horizon

Each year as November becomes December, I begin talking to my active clients about changes coming to the clinic in the new year and how the holidays and the resetting of deductibles might impact their appointment schedule and fee arrangements. It is typically a very dry document with FYI-style bullet points. This year I find I am more contemplative of the grander realities of what the new year will bring, because at this time last year, we could not have guessed what today would look like.

As 2020 draws to a close, it seems a more natural time - more so than in other years - to take stock of all that has happened in our collective lives and what awaits us in the coming year. Most notably for all of us has been the COVID pandemic and adaptation to a new way of living and relating in society. In addition to this widely stressful and enduring event, there are those of you who have suffered other tragedies and hardships as well, both related and unrelated.

Every morning, until the sunrise breaks over the dark horizon, we are left to wonder if it will rise at all. Science tells us why it rises, but that it does each day is more of a probability than a certainty. This is the nature of knowing the past but not knowing the future. We prepare for the day ahead because to be prepared for the future is to grasp any opportunity that another day brings. Although it may feel incongruent to shift attention away from such a difficult year that has taken the best of our energy and coping, some have seen break-throughs to new pursuits and passions. Others will find that their own break-throughs are yet to come but are hidden beyond the horizon.

Among my great hopes for 2021 are the following:

  1. Renewed energy for living our lives as society and our niche communities reopen safely;

  2. Deep love for self and for the others around you;

  3. Small, steady steps of growth week-to-week;

  4. A profound sense of purpose and meaning to all of the above.

Thank you for entrusting me on your sacred journey. I am reminded of the sad Dan Fogelberg song which speaks of how we look back and honor what we have lost: innocence and time. We have had a year of innocence lost, of time both losing meaning and gaining meaning. Our sense of security has been taken, or alternately our false security has been exposed. Either way, we are building a structure for our lives with fresh, skeptical-but-striving eyes.

Much care to you in your days of transition to 2021.

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