This post was written on November 29th for my Refuse to Regain blog, but I invite Patch readers to send me their thoughts and "bests." I would love to hear from you!
It's about to be December and the foolish hope that Cleveland might continue to enjoy spring-like weather throughout the winter has been thoroughly dashed. Yes, we escaped the October and November snows, but just as December peeked around the corner, we woke to today's dark, wintry skies. As every Clevelander knows, a day like today signals the beginning of "the tunnel": the dark, unrelieved cloudiness that covers us from now until sometime in March.
Our little town of Chagrin Falls is fully gussied up for the holidays and Starbucks started the Christmas music two weeks before Thanksgiving. The first snow still feels good with its clean, pristine prettiness. We have a few weeks to go until we turn into the slush capital of the world.
The end of the year is such a complicated time. For those of us who live in northern climes, it's a cold, depressing span punctuated by gift giving, foods we probably should avoid, and endless holiday parties. At the same time, everyone is busy taking stock. Our business will do its annual inventory and assess the things we did right and wrong in 2011. Magazines will publish their Top 10 lists. Time will announce its Person of the Year. Somehow, all of this assessment will clear the decks for the fall of that odd, sparkling ball that wipes away this year and begins a new one.
It seems to me that we live in constant cycles of renewal. The trees go bare, then regenerate. We sleep each night and wake up to a new day. With each cycle, we have the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and to reinvent ourselves.
For those of you who read these ramblings, the journey to self-discovery is already in progress. With each new day you are trying to redefine your relationship to the world, your own bodies, and the food that makes up each cell and shapes your spirit. So here is my personal challenge to you. What idea, product, person, activity or thought has helped move you along that road this year? What are your personal Bests of the Year? These choices don't have to be related to weight loss but can be things that have expanded you as a person in other ways. The journey to a healthy body is only one part of the lifelong journey toward self-actualization. Anything that promotes one will promote the other.
Please send me your lists...even if they only include one or two things. Provide a description of how each has helped you. Let me know whether you want to be identified by name in my Best of the Year blog or whether you would like me to use your initials or an alias. Instead of posting your replies to me as comments, please send them to email@example.com. That way, I will get them directly and can craft all replies into one blog.
And, since it's the end of the year and appropriately snowy, dark and poignant in this little Starbucks where I sit...let me tell all of you just how much I admire and value you. Your readership, your comments, your support and your wonderfully positive spirit keep me going. You are a very, very special bunch. All the best to each one of you as we all turn the page and renew ourselves in this new year.
Dr. Berkeley posts articles of interest to those who are dealing with weight issues. These can be found on Facebook at Refuse to Regain: Barbara's World and at www.refusetoregain.com.