Letter from the Editor
There is something exciting about beginning a new year. It has a pristine quality to it, like fresh fallen snow, or a blank canvas. A new year is a chance for a do-over, to start anew. I love New Year’s Day because it seems that so much possibility lies ahead. It’s true that what lies ahead is not exactly what we planned or hoped for. All of our best laid plans for the next year have been shaken up. We didn’t choose to face the new year alone.
I’ve been watching my adult children beginning their own families. I’m struck by how quickly the children move from infancy to toddlers to big school kids. Each family member seems to transition seamlessly, making adjustments as needed. There is no time for grieving the passage of the stages, because they embrace the joys of the next stage so enthusiastically. They use what they’ve learned to build upon, and they grow intellectually, socially, spiritually, and physically.
I am trying to learn from them to accept the passages of life as a matter of course. Over the past couple of months, we’ve tried to be thankful for all that we’ve had. We’ve tried to both be generous during the holidays, and to accept the gifts from our loved ones. Don’t you agree that gratitude and openness are great attitudes to draw upon in 2016? Don’t get me wrong, I am very disappointed to be facing the new year without my husband. He was my biggest fan, supporting me in every way he could. But I am trying to look creatively at the twelve months that lie ahead. I wonder what possibilities I can explore, so that I can grow just as the kids do. I’ve also found it helpful to anticipate where the obstacles may develop. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and is a pretty glaring reminder of our loss. Plan for the challenge by getting a little gift for yourself, or by spreading little gifts around your local child care center or senior housing development. There will be other special days that will present challenges for your mental health. Planning coping strategies ahead of time often helps us through.
Our writers this month present some stories to inspire, to inform, and to make us smile. I’m excited about the story on Coretta King, and on the author of The Widow’s Guide to Sex and Dating, Carole Radziwill. The one-pot recipes are great for making the house feel like a home, and I hope you try them and share with friends. Winter will be more interesting by trying voluntary simplicity, exploring your chakras, learning to play bridge. So get “unstuck,” reboot your life, and deal with any complicated grief. It all begins in this issue.
I wish you a sense of peace as the New Year begins, and a little burst of creative energy to get you through the cold.
All the best,
Dr. Joanne Z. Moore,