By the time you read this, the new year will have several days under its’ belt. For me, the start of a new year is always just a touch bittersweet and a lot hopeful. This year, my feelings started out a little differently.
On the very third day of the first month, I had to have an MRI. If any of you have had a closed MRI, you know what it entails. For those of you who don’t, picture yourself lying flat in a closed box, unable to move, with headphones that are have loud banging — jackhammer level noise — in both ears. This lasts 40 minutes, so they say, but it feels much, much longer.
The test is uncomfortable for everyone. To add my poor arthritic bones into the scenario makes it a bit painful as well. Then you factor in that I’m claustrophobic and it becomes an exercise in sheer will to survive.
So, even though the test is routine, I’m starting out the year with high anxiety.
The good news is, the experience is safely in my past. It no longer worries or scares me or makes me lie awake at night, heart pounding, dreading the upcoming test. But this year, it did something positive, as well. The stress of the upcoming test made me give a little more thought to making resolutions for the new year that I might actually keep.
It’s always been our tradition to take down Christmas decorations on Jan. 1, which makes me sad for a while because the house looks so bare. While removing items from shelves, doors, walls, and every flat surface, I started also pondering my upcoming MRI and realized that this day gave me a unique opportunity to “straighten up” more than just the holiday décor! I could rearrange furniture, purge some unused items, and think about colors to paint the trim in a couple of rooms. By the time every box was tucked in the attic, I was feeling joyful about the new year and had a couple of resolutions I thought worthy.
First, I decided not to stress about the MRI. It’s a short-term resolution for sure, but that makes it different than most for me. Possibly, it will help me carry through, too, but I won’t know for two more days.
My second resolution came as I made out the budget for 2017. I had the invoice for our fitness club — the one that neither Matt nor I used even one time last year. I don’t think I’ve been in the fitness club for two years, to be honest. I had two choices — stop the membership, or continue it and actually go to the gym. I chose the latter, determined to think of it as money down the drain if I don’t go. Money down the drain drives me a little crazy, so that’s a good way to think of it.
My third and last resolution is to have fun, spread kindness, and choose joy.
Happy 2017, everyone!
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.