Your Critical Choice for the New Year

Well, the days leading into this fine new year had a bit of an unexpected flavor.

I present to you two different scenarios, and invite you to figure out which one is true.

Scenario #1

  1. Just as we were getting down to the holiday, I pushed my body to the point where I caught a nasty head cold. It began right after Christmas and slowly eased into my chest and sinuses as the week progressed. I call this head cold Mr. Ick

blog - scary mr ick

  1. By New Year’s Eve Mr. Ick had settled firmly into my sinuses. My chest had an obnoxious, incessant tickle, and I had about as much energy as my cell phone after a day of downloading YouTube videos. The plan to ring in the new year at a lovely restaurant by the bay was replaced with leftovers on the couch
  2. I was asleep before the ball dropped. On the east coast. Three time zones ahead
  3. Over the next two days my body stubbornly refused to do anything but sleep
  4. It was pretty unlucky, when you think about it, catching Mr. Ick during one of the few times I didn’t have to worry about doing any work. But that’s life

Scenario #2

  1. I spent the day after Christmas with friends, hiking and climbing our way through some beautiful terrain. It was lovely, but the changes in temperature and pressure, combined with the germs I encountered during my last minute Christmas Shopping, won out in the end and I caught a head cold, who I refer to as Mr. Ick
  2. By New Year’s Eve Mr. Ick had settled in, and so we nixed our initial plans and spent the day/evening binge-watching an awesome British baking show we found on Netflix (those Brits are a kick!)
  3. Though I fell asleep before 9pm, Hubbie woke me before the ball dropped on the east coast, just in the nick of time to wish me a Happy New Year before I passed right back out. So I got a teensy celebration in after all
  4. My body caught up on more sleep over the next two days then it had in all of 2015
  5. It was pretty lucky, when you think about it, catching Mr. Ick when I didn’t have any projects or clients relying on me. And that’s life

Which scenario is true?

The answer, as you’ve probably figured out by now, is both.

I won’t lie. At first I was solidly looking through the lens of Scenario #1, whining about the fact that I missed out on all of the potential New Year’s fun.

But then, of course, I realized that choosing this lens meant that I was just making myself whiny for no reason…and so I chose to switch my  lens to Scenario #2. (Mostly.)

We choose life lenses all of the time…when we think back to our childhoods, to our toughest lessons, to our greatest triumphs.

The lenses we choose play a big part in determining how happy we are (or not) in the present moment.

Yet, for some reason, we don’t always realize that we have a choice in our lens…instead we think our happiness is based in total on the actions of our lives. Not so.

Yes, I do get that there are times when the incidents of life make it hard to choose a happier lens (I’m also extremely aware that there are lots of worse things out there than Mr. Ick). And I’m certainly not saying we should put up with situations that don’t work for us simply by choosing a cheerier lens.


There are many, many instances – even the unpleasant situations we need to change – when our lens choice makes all of the difference in how we feel at that moment.

Think about it. We don’t think twice about changing the lenses on our cameras in order to get a better outcome.

blog - photogs

But for some reason we don’t think to do the same thing with life.

So, as we plow solidly ahead into 2016 I invite you to think about it now…to think about which lens you will use in the coming year.

Which one you will choose in the coming year.

In the end, that’ll make the difference in how it all goes down.

And maybe, in the end, even a visit from Mr. Ick won’t seem so bad.

blog - Mr. Ick happy

This year…

Pay attention to which lens you’re choosing…and make a habit of using the one that makes you happier.

In fact, start today.

After all, the only happiness you’re missing out on is your own.

Now, go do good…and do it well.

PS – Got a topic you want explored on the blog this year? Send a (confidential) email to me and you might just find it featured here in 2016!

PPS – Special thanks to Ann McKelvie for the shot of the photographers and to Mariken for the image of a happier, nicer Mr. Ick.



11 responses to “Your Critical Choice for the New Year”

  1. Colleen Lukoff Avatar
    Colleen Lukoff

    This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, which helped a lot during a trying time years ago. Various people are credited – We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar

      That’s a terrific one, Colleen…thanks for sharing!

  2. DS Avatar

    I spent my holidays (both of them!) with Mr. Ick, too. Unlike you, I didn’t recognize the fact that I got Mr. Ick because I was all worn out from all of the holiday fun I was having. And, I didn’t take into account what a blessing it was to have quiet snuggle time on the couch with my man and my kitties; it’s so rare to do that in our crazy active life. My resolution for 2016 is to be more positive, your post certainly was a strong lesson in how to do just that. I’ve changed my lens and will do my very best to not let it get foggy! Happy New Year and thank you!

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar

      Thanks so much for sharing this, DS…and honestly, it took me a while to see the bright side of Mr.Ick. Hope you’re feeling on the mend and ready for what 2016 has in store 🙂

  3. Lauri M Avatar
    Lauri M

    Deirdre, your gifts of perspective and clarity are always appreciated. It is always good to pause, reflect and move forward from your messages. Hope you are presenting at USD this weekend; if not, I look forward to your next post. Thanks so much!

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar

      Wow…thanks Lauri! I so appreciate your kind words. And yes, I am indeed presenting at USD – on both Friday and Saturday. Hope to see you there!

  4. Marvid Charlson Avatar
    Marvid Charlson

    Perspective!!! A strong method, yet challenging to “see”. Once seen, AMAZING!!!

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar

      🙂 Awesome Marvid!

  5. Patty Avatar

    Deirdre thank you once again for your insight and honesty. Such great advice. I once heard if life deals you lemons – make lemonade. Not easy. It’s all about attitude and letting go which for me is a tough one. Hopefully this will make me more aware

    1. Deirdre Maloney Avatar

      I”m with you Patty…lemonade is always better, but not always easy to achieve. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Blaire Avatar

    miss you blog posts!! 🙂