Another New Year

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
Another New Year

Happy New Year! Like many of you reading this, I am ringing in the first full week of 2014 trapped in my house while the wind gusts outside, blowing the foot of snow that fell on Sunday so strongly that parts of our house look like we got three feet, and temperatures are plummeting to more than 30 degrees below zero with the wind chill.     Highways are closed. Local roads aren’t even plowed. Schools are closed. Businesses are closed. Things aren’t ramping up, they are shutting down.

What an interesting way to kick off the year.

Things start and stop, don’t they? This shows so profoundly in our resolutions, which I talked about last year in my New Year post. As I mentioned then, I am not a huge fan of resolutions, but I am intrigued at how we all do it, in spite of ourselves. We declare that this is the year we will exercise three days a week, and so we buy a cute outfit and an expensive gym membership, and go to the gym four days in that first week, just to prove how new and improved we are. But then. But then. But then the kids get the flu, and the work deadline consumes more of our time than expected, and our back hurts, and our friend suggests we go to a movie, and frankly we’d rather eat nachos and watch “Breaking Bad” ... or just go to sleep already... and before we know it we’re going to the gym three times a year rather than three times a week. And then the year comes to an end and we say “well that was a massive fail, wasn’t it?”

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t find that to be very motivating.

Instead, I’d rather think of all that as just life. We start and stop, and start and stop again. I am constantly trying to catch up with my gray hair and my Amex bill. I clean the house from top to bottom and declare I will never let it get messy again, and then within two days it’s back to looking like something from the show Hoarders. I remember one friend’s very important occasion, but then completely forget a family member’s birthday. I say okay to “staying up all night” on New Year’s Eve, but then say no to playing in the snow. I am awesome and then I am horrible; I am incredibly smart and then shockingly short-sighted; I am skinny and then I am well-cushioned. I am loving and then completely rude. I am so very simple and straightforward and also incredibly complex.

So I can sit here and add up my defecits versus my benefits, but we all know how those lists work out for us. Or I can just say: How beautiful. How beautiful to be all this in 2014.

Despite the fact that it is dangerously cold and annoyingly difficult to get around outside right now, it’s also breathtaking. The sun is shining brightly, and the snow is simply shimmering on the trees and sparkling on the ground. There is a quiet hush, and a comfort in being safe and enveloped in a warm cozy household along with my family. How beautiful.

Happy 2014—can you celebrate how beautiful you are (all of you?)  


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Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.