Why dodge the truth? I write uplifting novels because I’m a sucker for happy endings. I know, I know—you’re convinced the modern world is drowning in a deluge of bad news and man’s enmity for man. Perhaps you feel doubly disheartened because the holiday season has passed and your New Year’s resolutions—damn them—are proving more difficult to implement than you expected.
Chin up, Sweet Pea. It gets better from here.
This morning Charleston’s The Post and Courier ran a story about a thief who entered a local family’s home on Christmas Eve and stole all the presents sweetly wrapped for 7-year-old Preston and 6-year-old Henry. That wasn’t the worst of it. The boys were upset because their gifts for Mommy and Daddy were also snatched.
I don’t want to spoil the happily ever after, which you’ll find here. Suffice it to say, good intentions won out.
My point? If you’re like many people, you’re beginning 2014 by relying on fake cheer to hide a doom and gloom mindset. Maybe you’re taking a mental stroll through the last decade of your life and focusing on your perceived mistakes. Or you’re entering January on a wave of grief for the loved ones you’ve lost through death, divorce or disagreements. Forget the Christmas tinsel and the New Year’s Eve balloons—many people enter January singing the blues.
I’m not telling you to change your tune. What I’m suggesting is that you balance the gloomy reminiscing with a good look at now.
You’re here, right? Living, breathing, starting a new year—it’s reason enough to celebrate. There are no past mistakes, not if you view life in an essential way, as a classroom chock-full of daily lessons. We all fail some tests and ace others. If you’re worried about your GPA, spend more time loving—and less time judging yourself and others. Every good intention you offer the world will bring marvelous results, often when you least expect it.
Here’s a resolution I hope you’ll carry forward: Whenever bad stuff happens, treat yourself with the kindness you’d offer a distraught Preston after the Grinch stole Christmas.
Then hum a happy tune when, like Henry, you discover that no gift is ever stolen, not when the world continues to be the domain of people who love, laugh and carry the light.
I hope you’re among them.
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