Each New Year’s a New Beginning

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How many times have you seen a “New Year, New You” or “New Year, New Beginning” headline in a newspaper or magazine? It’s always the same, year after year, so I’d like to dig a little deeper and explain why I believe each new year provides a fresh perspective.

There’s one New Year’s Eve that I’ll never forget…I was almost 6 years old and spent the night with my mom. My sister was likely at a friend’s house, so it was just us two. At this age, it was still tough for me to stay up past midnight, but we pigged out on junk food and pop so I had plenty of sugar in me to make it. However, we had a more important decision to make: How would we celebrate the new year?

Just before 11pm, we prepped for our ‘practice round’ while watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. I ran up to my room and grabbed all my stuffed animals. Every. Single. One. With two minutes to spare, I scooped them all up in my arms and sat on my mom’s lap as she sat on the recliner in front of the TV. We counted down to New York’s midnight and threw the stuffed animals all over the room. Come 11:58 CST, I scooped up the stuffed animals again and we threw them everywhere once the Midwest reached 1991.

The memory of this simple celebration has stayed with me and always reminds me of a few things I carry through to each new year…

Take time to laugh. I’m pretty serious when it comes to most things, so I have to constantly remind myself to STOP BEING SERIOUS. Put some fun in your life, whether you take a dream vacation, spend a few days unplugged (away from work), hang out with friends or dine/see a movie solo (one of my favorite things to do).

Family is everything. They say blood is thicker than water. You only have one family. So if you or someone in your family is holding a grudge, make amends. You may regret the way things ended when it’s too late.

Cherish the moments. I’m known for taking pictures…a lot of pictures. We’re so lucky to have cameras so readily available, even on phones. So take a lot of pictures. On the flip side, put the camera down once in a while just to take it all in. There was a time when we used to simply revel in the moment. And sometimes, that’s all you need.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Think back to your childhood when you were sick and missed a friend’s birthday party or in high school when the sweetheart you insisted you’d marry some day broke your heart. You thought life was over, and you were wrong. You now look back on those times and laugh. Apply that way of thinking to your life. Whatever happens, it’s not the end of the world. Life goes on and you shall overcome.

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About Carrie Williams

Carrie Williams is TCW's managing/digital editor. She manages day-to-day editorial operations of the monthly print publication, website and social media outlets, contributes to a variety of feature articles and directs a team of interns, freelance writers and bloggers. In early 2013, she led the redesign of TCWmag.com/restructure of TCW's brand strategy. Her blog, "Carrie On," is a blog of reflection and discovery, discussing how to push through life when you’re handed one too many curveballs. And finally, Ms. Williams is also executive director of the TCW Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit supporting underfunded women's and children's organizations.