The end of another year. I can hardly believe it!
For me, this year has brought some disappointments, losses and regrets.
But this year has also been full of abundant health and many, many wonderful friendships, experiences and opportunities.
So, why is it we pay so much attention to the negatives? Sure, some of them can be very traumatic and may affect the rest of our lives, But can't the positives, as well? In fact, I think it is the positives that carry us through the days, the years and our lives.
The positives can be small and fleeting or of monumental proportions. They can lead to changes or momentary enjoyment. They can put the negatives in perspective. And they can help us end the year on a positive note.
So, as you near the end of the year, what will you carry with you into the next? How was the year? You may need to reflect on the negatives, mourn your losses and regret the disappointments. Or not. But whether you do or you don't, try to put them aside for a little while, as you look at the flip side of the coin.
Now, for you, the positives may have been monumental, including the birth or marriage of a child or grandchild; a job promotion or raise in pay; a new home, car or some other desired possession. Or not.
But that doesn't matter. What does matter are the positives you did have. Being an eternal optimist and somewhat of a romantic, I can't help but believe that you can think of many positives from the year. And being a child psychologist, I bet I can help you remember a bounty of joys you experienced as a parent.
Some joys have been milestones, such as: your 1-year old walking on her own; your 6-year-old learning to read; your 8-year-old with a tooth under the pillow and a toothless grin; your 12-year-old with the cracking voice; or your 15-year-old getting his learner's permit.
Some positives are successes, such as: winning the spelling bee or the science fair; getting the lead part in the school play; making that home run or soccer goal.
Still others might include: passing a difficult test; learning all the week's spelling words; getting a date for the school dance.
And then there are my favorites - the times that are fleeting, yet delicious, tuck-away-in-the-memory-bank moments: listening to the shrill, sour notes of an instrument being practiced; losing a game for the 12th time; hearing a giggle; getting a hug or a milky kiss; reading a bedtime story or having a story read to you; putting little notes in lunchboxes; singing happy birthday; watching a tennis match; baking cookies together; giving rides on the back of the shopping cart; being taken into confidence or being asked for advice.
When you think about it, the list is endless. The year has brought a bounty of joys and many reasons to rejoice as a parent, looking forward to the new year.
Clinical psychologist, Vicki Panaccione, Ph.D., has a specialized practice in Melbourne, working exclusively with children, adolescents and families.
To contact Dr. Vicki regarding her workshops, seminars or publications, call (321)-722-9001 or visit www.askdrvicki.com.