A Real New Year

There are many things I believe nurses need to think about for the year's end and the new year.

Reading the reflections in the latest Prevention magazine I was touched. You wouldn’t think that there would be so much in common with what I believe nurses, especially oncology nurses, need to think about for the year's end and new year to come. I wanted to share some of the thoughts with all of you and include a few of my own.

As this year ends and a new one will soon start, it makes me think about all of the things I’ve been blessed with over the last year. There is also excitement about the opportunity in the new year. Each day we are given the opportunity to make a difference in our lives and others. We only get one chance at this life, but we aren’t in it alone. We touch the lives of others so many times during the day that we barely notice it at times. We are all connected by sometimes invisible bridges. In the new year, it’s exciting to think of how many bridges we can build and how many we will travel.

Looking forward, do not take your potential for granted. “You can be a leader in helping to build a healthy world where our spirits lift us up to work for community, world peace and love.” The author states that its up to us to be missionaries of peace. How well we, as oncology nurses, know this in our every day. We bring peace to our patients who fear their diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes. We bring peace to the families who struggle with seeing their family member suffer. We bring peace to patients and families who try to make their own peace with each other. And we bring peace to the other nurses, physicians, and ancillary staff who work tirelessly for their patients each day. It can be overwhelming to all of us at times.

And don’t we try to do it all, all of the time. That’s who we are and that’s what we usually set out to do. But how many times do we do that and end up either doing it all without excellence or feeling bad that we didn’t accomplish it all or wear ourselves out trying? This year do it differently. Go ahead and make your resolutions this year but instead of trying to do everything, try picking one behavior that concerns you or tackle one goal that you’ve set your heart on for a long time. Make one resolution and let that be your year long priority that you can stick to. Remember the proverb “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” It still works today. If you have just one destination then every step you take gets you closer. Let’s stop trying to take every road on the journey and choose just one to follow this year.

We will continue to make a difference in the lives of our patients. We’ll always be those missionaries of peace. We’ll always find a way or at least try to find a way to do it all, all of the time. But this year give yourself the gift of time spent working toward one worthy goal or changing one behavior pattern that will make a big difference in your life and the lives of your loved ones.

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