“May the present year’s curses end as it ends, and may the upcoming year’s blessings begin as it begins.”
This ancient aphorism from the Talmud is one of my favorite pieces of advice regarding the start of a new year. While many people interpret the saying as a wish or a prayer – and it certainly can be understood as expressing hope for a better future – I understand it also to be a call to action.
As would be stated elegantly a millennium later in a famous quote (incorrectly) attributed to Thomas Jefferson, “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” The new year provides each of us with a good starting point to make changes. Our efforts and attitude play a big role in transforming curses into blessings. Sometimes, improving our lives requires us to make major changes rather quickly, in other cases big improvements can be accomplished through the accumulation of small gains achieved on a regular basis. As the new year dawns, each of us likely has some elements of both types to think about.
2022 was a particularly difficult year for me; in addition to enduring two significant and long cases of COVID-19, I faced various family-related challenges, which, together, lessened the time that I could spend on writing, and forced me to refrain from publishing my previously-weekly newsletter.
This year, I plan to make up for that lost time – by writing more regularly, and by sending out my newsletter as scheduled – all while simultaneously focusing on my health and family. In 2023 I will finally lose the weight that I gained during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Having stated that publicly I am now accountable!)
As 2022 departs, and 2023 enters, I am going to do more than hope – I am going to actively replace the former’s curses with the latter’s blessings. And, if you are striving to do the same, I wish you the same success that I am working to achieve.
Happy New Year, and best wishes for a wonderful 2023!