and maybe new pigmentation!
With the holiday season behind us (I hope it was a good one for you) and 2015 already several days old, it’s the perfect time to leave behind old habits, old disappointments and past ways of thinking that may have prevented us from enjoying the health and happiness we wished for ourselves this time last year.
OK, I know that #NewYear is just a date in the calendar. But it can be so much more than that if we use it as a time to pause and mentally “re-group” instead of jumping right back onto the same old merry-go-round as last year. I love the symbolism of New Year: the idea that it is possible to leave behind the baggage I no longer need and make a fresh start. It gives me a greater sense of being in control of my destiny and a greater sense of purpose in each new day.
Making a list of New Year’s #resolutions can have its pitfalls though. It can seem like a chore – something we do because it is as traditional as tinsel and Brussels sprouts. Worse still, it can become totally counterproductive if we start to associate the process with past failures. If last year’s resolutions were broken before the decorations even made it back into the attic I am hardly likely to set myself up for another dose of failure this year, am I?
That’s why I no longer set unrealistic resolutions, like losing unhealthy amounts of weight in an inappropriately short time frame. Neither do I write my resolutions as if someone were looking over my shoulder and marking them out of 10 for “worthiness”. I prefer to sit and think about how I would like my lifestyle, health and general quality of life to improve during the coming year and note down the key activities that I believe will help me achieve those improvements so that I can keep referring to them throughout the year and keep moving in the direction I have chosen. Taking this approach means the process is a positive and hopeful one rather than a doomed exercise in willpower.
Creating a greater sense of control over my future is only part of the thrill of New Year for me though. The other side of the coin is the knowledge that anything could happen: something wonderful and completely unexpected could be just around the corner. I could win millions on the lottery! Yes, I know it’s unlikely – especially as I don’t play (a fact which probably doesn’t alter the odds very much, come to think of it) – but stranger things can happen. In January 2010 I had no idea that the New Year would bring rapid repigmentation of my vitiligo, a condition that I had lived with for almost 50 years. Getting rid of the white patches that eventually covered roughly 80% of my skin had been at the top of my wish list every year since I saw the first one appear but it had never featured in my New Year’s resolutions because it was not something I had any control over. Finding a treatment that reversed my #vitiligo was a stroke of luck that came out of the blue and changed my life in a very significant way.
So, this New Year I wish all my vitiligo friends health, happiness and new hope: may 2015 be the year that wonderful things happen in your life :)
My name is Caroline.