It Is, finally, January 2021…
Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the
epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of
hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
It is, finally, January 2021…
2020 was a hard year.
In no way do I mean to imply that I believe life will drastically change and everything will be
better upon the stroke of midnight on 1/1/21.
And then again, maybe I do…
I know there will be adjustments. I know there will be a learning curve. I know the vaccine will
take months to be fully rolled out. I know that we will still face loss and hardship and fear, as a
community and as a nation. And yet, I also believe that the hope and the perspective that we
share as a collective body, for this coming year, is greater and more aligned than it has been in
many, many years.
We have toiled and suffered and ‘angsted’ and worried a lot over the better part of our last year.
We are ready for not only normal but ‘better.’ Personally, professionally, relationally and
emotionally there has been a lot to bear. The new year provides new hope, more empathy, greater connection, profound appreciation, and true gratitude. So why not believe that with a new year comes a fresh start… even if it’s only psychologically speaking, at the stroke of midnight.
With that, I humbly offer to you far better words than I could ever author. My favorite piece of
written work and a piece from which I never fail to reap more benefit every time I read it.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there
may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms
with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull
and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you
compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always
there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your
own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing
fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for
high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about
love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not
distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of
the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as
it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him
to and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of
life, Keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken
dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
By Max Ehrmann 1927
Wishing you a safe, happy, healthy, peaceful and hopeful 2021 to come.
With my gratitude till the next time,
Be Well; Live Meaningfully.
Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health
Counselor and can be reached at www.livemeaningfully.net or 407-796-2959