Another Try

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

I always turn to people that inspire me at the beginning of a new year with a voracious appetite, filling my soul-bucket with quotes, songs, poems, and talks.  If a new year marks the beginning of some kind of long journey, my fuel and luggage for that journey live within the words of my soul bucket, and I stock up.

One of the people I frequently turn to is the joy rebel himself, Brad Montague, and here is what I most recently stumbled upon from him:

“The sun showed up again

so I looked up and asked it:


 The sun looked down and brightly


‘To give you another try.’”

And that’s exactly what a new year is, isn’t it? Another try. Another go around. Another what if…?

Maybe 2017 was fantastic for you. Maybe it was horrific. Maybe it was something in between. But it’s done now, and what’s here instead is the bright and shining promise of 2018.

Marching forward, onward, with the memories of the holidays quickly fading. It’s here, this new year, present and in our faces… but, if we’re not careful we’ll look up and suddenly it will be July and then it will be December and we’ll be scratching our heads at how the time had gotten away from us. 

How many years end with us saying “wait, what?”

I’ve been feeling “wait, what?” way too much lately. Which…… don’t tell anyone I said this…… has me re-thinking my ban on resolutions.  

My kids make the best resolutions. Some of you may recall that my six-year old son’s resolution last year was to grow his hair long enough to wear in a ponytail. A task which he doggedly stuck with until around November, when he finally had enough of it (and arguably had reached ponytail length anyway). My two favorites on his list this year are to “be mischif (not too mischif)” (!) and “dress nice a lot.” My daughter’s number one is to “be happy about all the time.”

I like those resolutions because they focus more on what will bring them joy than what will somehow “improve” them as humans. And that’s at the heart of it all for me… it’s the heart itself.

What will bring you joy in 2018? Have you thought about that?

Montague also says this:

“Listen to your heart.

It pitters and patters.

Trying to tell you

how much your life matters.”

What is the pitter pattering of your heart whispering to you? Are you listening?

As part of my 2018 inspiration fueling, I had the fortune of listening to a virtual “pep talk” hosted by the STORY community, and one of the speakers, the amazing Jason Jaggard, talked about a practice he uses for himself at the start of a new year, which is to visualize yourself at the end of the year and to imagine that the year has gone better than you could have imagined.  And then to think about what makes that true for you—What has happened? Who has been a part of it? What will you have accomplished? What will you have let go of? What will you feel?

As humorist Evan Esar pointed out, “We can’t do much about the length of our lives, but we can do plenty about its width and depth.”

So, in addition to stealing my son’s resolution to “Be mischief” (because I’m totally taking that one), I may actually add a few more for myself in the light of the bright and shining possibility of 2018, here to offer me another try.

 What will you do with your 2018 another try? 


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.