Perception matters. For example the past two days have likely been much like any other for most people. For me they have been different, yesterday was my birthday and today is the day after my birthday.

Many people reflect on the previous year in late December. Having done that goals are set for the upcoming year beginning in January. It’s pretty common practice, we have all participated in to some degree or another in our lives.

I tend to get reflective around my birthday and start thinking of the upcoming year in terms of a trip around the sun for me, rather than a calendar date beginning in January. I reflect on the events and discoveries of the previous year and think about how to apply them to the upcoming year to make my life better.

Anyway, as I begin this next trip around the sun here are some thoughts that I decided to put out into the inter-webs.

Loss. My mother died last December. The last time I saw her alive was the day after my birthday, one year ago to the day as I write this. I could not have imagined the degree to which losing her has affected me.

Love. I have made many new friends, human and otherwise. I am thankful for them all. Old bonds have been strengthened in this past year. I am thankful for that too. Some relationships that I thought were a certain way have been revealed to be very, very different than I believed. I am thankful of these truths, even if they are uncomfortable at first.

Better. I have said many times that it is dependent upon the individual to determine the parameters that define impossible. Another persons limitations do not define me.

Likewise and even more important, it is also up to the individual to determine the parameters that define “better” for that individual. The thoughts, beliefs, opinions or actions of others does not define what each of us knows is “better” for ourselves. 2014 has been the year I concisely put into practice the notion of defining better for myself in clear and specific terms. Knowing the definition of the target makes it much easier to pursue. I am only interested in pursuing what I know to be better for me, not another person’s idea of better.

Balance. Loyalty. Honor. Respect. These concepts are at the center of my belief system. This year a new clarity has come for me in understanding with greater depth that they are all three meant to be given and as well as received. It is equally important that both happen in order for relationship to be healthy and beneficial to everyone involved. One sidedness in this area is damaging and will result in the death of the relationship.

The first person to whom we owe loyalty, honor and respect is our Self. Otherwise it has no value for others.  Put on your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help others.

Toxicity. Unresolved issues that remain without attention like unwanted items packed away in a box in the attic somewhere carry with them a level of toxicity that can only be removed by dealing with the issues. Ignoring something doesn’t make it go away, it just makes it be ignored.  The sooner we take out the trash, the sooner the smell goes away. The longer we wait the more likely we are to have infestation of flies and rot.

Do good things. If you do something that is truly good for yourself, it can only be good for everyone else. If you do something that is truly good for someone else, it can only be good for you.

I am here to fully express my Self. I hope you are looking forward to the upcoming year as much as I am.