An Open Letter To Those Preparing For The New Year

An Open Letter To Those Preparing For The New Year

With a new year comes new people and new opportunities and so much more

It's here, it's finally here. A whole new year.

With a new year comes new people and new opportunities and so much more.

If you don't already have a New Years resolution, or you have a pretty unrealistic resolution here's one simple one for you "realize where you're at right now in life" sounds cliche I know, but it could bring you into a serious conversation with yourself and get you to understand the things you're holding back on or things you want. You need to take time to listen to yourself if there's something you know you want but never find the time for it, find the time for it only you and your head are the ones that are holding you back. If something is stressing you out but you just keep putting it off hoping it will go away, stop putting it off and realize how to make this problem go away. You could be so much happier just listening to yourself and understanding yourself along the way too.

And if you think your resolution is too "unrealistic" make it not be unrealistic. In fact, it's only unrealistic if you think you can't do it, anything is possible so go and do what you want. Sure there are some things that aren't humanly possible like losing 50 pounds in a day (regardless of what the crazy weight loss programs tell us) but you could set goals for yourself and allow yourself, every day, to get closer to reaching that goal. Set a goal that is something you know you can achieve, eventually. And don't feel like your resolution needs a time gap. Who decided that New Year's resolutions had to be completed so quickly, you have an entire year before people start scolding you that you didn't complete your resolution. So take the time, because you have it, to set and achieve a resolution that will make you happy.

Here comes the typical "leave the bad in 2016 and bring the good into 2017" Don’t think I could stress this enough. If you had a bad feeling about someone or something in 2016, chances are a new year does not mean a new chance for them to make it in their life. Let the new year bring in positive people. The people that want and are meant to be in your life will find a way into your life! This is the same as considering who’s life you would want to be a part of. Think of the people you talk to every day and make the effort to talk to because you truly care about them — if people are doing the same for you, it’s time to reconsider their being in your life. Don't stress the people that aren’t stressing you. Allow this year to make you realize you need in your life, and who needs you.

Do the things that make you happy this year and forget everyone else's opinions. You will do yourself a huge favor if you stop trying to please everyone else and try for once to just please yourself. Sure it can be easy to fear others opinions of you but whats the point anyways? words can hurt, but only if you allow them to. If you want to dress a certain way, dress that way; if you want to talk to certain people, talk to them; if you want to post about how much you love your life, do it. Most of the time the people who take the time out of their day to bash yours have nothing better to do, remember that you do! Your life is important and you only have a certain amount of years to live it, so this year let go and let yourself be happy and do the things that you want.

Lastly, With a new year comes new resolutions and change, however. Don't feel like just because everyone else is ready for change that you need to change too. Change has become so glamorized, people feel they need a change in their life in order to like their life, that however, is completely false. Change is for the people who don't like certain aspects of their life and that is totally okay, too, because they have the strength and willpower to say "I am better than this, I want to make a change". If you like the way your life is running don't feel like you need to make a change to it just because it's a whole new year, after all, it's just a number, a new date and it's okay bringing people and things forward from 2016 into 2017.

Cover Image Credit: Sierra Gardner

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10 Things To Do In The Lehigh Valley During The Spring

A list of things to do in the Lehigh Valley once the weather gets nicer.

It’s mid-January, and most of us have one thing in common, “Cabin Fever.” We are all waiting for the temperatures to rise, the snow to be gone, and Spring to be ushered in! Here is a list of 10 things to do here in the Lehigh Valley when the weather gets a bit nicer:

1. Take a hike through Jacobsburg State Park

2. Visit Bethlehem, Easton, or Allentown

3. Take the family out to an IronPigs ball game

4. Taste the ice cream at Klein Farms in Easton

5. Take a hike throughout Columcille Megalith Park

6. Shop for fresh local produce and snacks at the Easton Farmers Market

7. Experience history firsthand while walking on the Bethlehem Steel Trestle Walk

8. Take a hike through Illick’s Mill Park

9. Eat at the Bayou in Easton or Momma Ninas in Bethlehem

10. Head over to the Saylorsburg Flea Market to find all sorts of treasures

These are just a few of the countless places to explore, eat, hike, or shop in the Lehigh Valley, what else would you add to the list?`

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What Christmas Means To Me: An Atypical Prayer

You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

This last Christmas, my grandfather gave me the opportunity to write the grace and prayer that is read before Christmas Dinner. Though it may not sound much like a typical prayer or a traditional grace, it sounded a little something like this:

"When I think of Christmas, I think of this moment right here. The one where we are all gathered together, bound together by love in a place where so many memories have been made. It’s the time that we get to spend together that makes Christmas so special, not the presents, not the food (though it is delicious and I’ll never say no to another one of Grandma’s cookies), but instead the bond that we continue to strengthen each and every year when we come together.

So this Christmas, I am thankful to be surrounded by a family that loves me. As I said in an article of mine that came out earlier this week, “never is the love in my house one-sided”, and that rings true here today. God has given us this holiday not only to celebrate Christ’s birth but also to remind us that the love of this family is never one-sided. It reminds us how special this family is, and how lucky we are to have one another.

I could not ask for better people to have in my life. I could not ask for better grandparents to teach me so many life lessons and to be there whenever I needed someone to turn to, parents that raised me into the strong, independent, and loving young woman that I am today, and a sister that I’ve become so much closer to this year and am proud to call my best friend. I could not ask for a better aunt and uncle that have never failed to make me feel loved and are always there to support me in everything that I do, and cousins that always take time to make sure I’m ok and give life advice that has helped shape who I am as I grow up. I could not ask for better little boys to be my little boys and bring joy and laughter to my life, and a dog that makes me happy to come home and I can always count on for kisses.

Christmas is my favorite holiday, but not for the reasons many people may think. It’s not because of the presents, or the cookies (though I do love them so please make as many as you can Grandma), but because of the love, I get to experience on this day. Family is where life starts and the love never ends, and in this family, this rings true. You are where my life began and continues to grow, and the love is always unconditional, never-ending, and felt as soon as you walk in the door.

Merry Christmas, I love you all with all my heart."

Christmas may be over, but the words in this prayer still ring true. Though people change and every holiday is different in its own way, these words will forever ring true.

Cover Image Credit: Nancy Summer

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