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Watching the balloons drop over a hootin’ and hollerin’ crowd with a live band ready to unleash a song for the New Year is an exhilarating moment.  Energy like this deserves its place in the top drawer class.  You can feel the well of emotion, the crazy excitement, the surge of intensity.  While the balloons are popping, you see people hugging, kissing, shaking hands, and… smiling a lot.  It is a very hopeful moment, full of promise and opportunity.  We’re shedding last year’s baggage, and putting on some new shoes – so to speak.  I kept my shoes on (because it was freezing outside), but I took that feeling to heart.  I am going to make the effort to add to my shoe collection, but not like Imelda Marcos.  I’m going to stretch my feet so they fill bigger shoes.  Remember all that hooey about personal growth?  You don’t remember… That’s okay, it happens to the best (it’s common).   As long as you’re alive, there’s always something you can do to make you feel better about you.

I love to explore.  New places offer new views, new flavours, new colours, new atmosphere, new friends and acquaintances, new information, new opportunities.  New, new, new!!!  That’s the whole idea (who knew?).  Open yourself to possibilities, and I’m willing to bet, they’ll come to you with the same open arms. 

Okay, so maybe you think this is the year you’re going focus more on your physical health – and maybe hike into the mountains...   in hiking shoes.  Start small and think big with your eye on the prize(s).  Even if you don’t want to hike mountains, the best thing you can do for yourself is some form of cardio training.  Start walking your dog every day (they deserve and live for those things you know) in areas that have elevation changes.  Soon you’ll find you can walk ‘better’, faster and longer. Whether you ride a bike (discovering things you never noticed driving a car), join a health club (I’ve seen dramatic results!), or take up kayaking, etc… your physical strength will improve, and it extends to your mental health too.   Fact!  Find a way to make these routines enjoyable, and soon, you’ll be glad you’ve added them to your Life – as they add to yours...

Maybe that old guitar sitting lonely in a corner has been silently begging you to pick it up?  When you learn a new song that you love, I guarantee you’ll feel good about it, and yourself.   Get those brain cells moving!  Never stop learning!  Next best thing: Go out and see a live band.  Feel the energy and let it find its way to that place inside that loves listening to music. The place that appreciates the effort those folks put in to make that sound like it does. A wide range of styles are out there and available to you on the Tahoe calendar, so finding a suitable sound is a sure thing.  Music that gentlier on the spirit lies… Lord Tennyson

Perhaps the works of literary giants have been sitting on your book shelf with information and adventure longing to sweep you into a new place.  Painting, carving, sculpting, meditation, yoga, cooking (yum!), gardening (indoor…), sewing, writing, fly tying?…  All of these and more are within your realm.  Have a little faith, and take that step! 

My new shoes this year will take me to new trails, and new rivers and lakes to cast a fly upon, all while taking in new views that feed my connection with Nature.  Plus, I’ve got to take advantage of my legs while they still agree to take me to these new places…  Let’s go, guys!   Along the way, I’ll discover new things to write about, new music to play, new people to know, and…  allow the Universe to deliver the goods while keeping my feet on the ground… If you’ve never hiked up into the mountains around Tahoe, think about making this the year to do it.  You’ll be glad you did.   

Like Jack Palance in City Slickers, sometimes it only takes ONE thing to make you whole.  And, although this does not necessitate a spiritual journey, you may discover one along the way.  By picking ONE thing you want to go after, Life opens its arms (and your mind) to greater realities you never considered.  And that leads to more spaces for your piqued curiosity, your zest for this wild and wonderful world we live in.  Rediscover that inner being that’s been hiding lately.  The one who loved while they lived, and loved living. 

 

Edward Wade