Consider for a moment how you enter a new year. As another year rolls around, where do you find yourself? Are you one of those who relishes new beginnings and sets an annual goal and sticks to it? Are you someone who chronicles your journey? Do you step from December to January by a flip of the calendar only, carrying on in forward motion or more of the same? Are you a self-reflector or someone who moves to the front of the line, ready for what’s next without looking back? Do you hold yourself accountable and make a plan to follow or guide you, or do you purposefully or lackadaisically embrace “que sera sera?” Are you doing something to make the world a better place? Do you hope for, pray for, work toward new, different, or better? Is your cup half full or half empty? Or is tomorrow okay just the way it is?

Whatever you do is perfect as long as you are at peace with it. I find as I age, my approach to things differs from year to year based on what that year delivered, and how I chose to respond to it. This year brought an abundance of illness and loss – people I really cared about and some that I really loved. It left me with lots of people acutely grieving and others who were relieved their loved ones were finally at peace. Naturally, along came a host of funerals and celebrations of life to process and inspire. And I am no stranger to a funeral. The circle of life shaped my life from a very early age. I will say, I am infinitely grateful that most end-of-life events have come to now focus on the beautiful life lived vs. the alternative.

My personal words of insight for the year to come are simple: love your family – whoever they are – and tell them you love them. You’ll never regret it, especially not on the inside.

I came across a timely verse that made me reflect and connect. Mary Ann Radmacher is the author. It’s profoundly simple and straightforward. I hope it resonates with you too, as every single one of us grows each day. It’s our choice whether we choose to grow older or wiser.

“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

Happy New Year!

Elaine Poker-Yount, CDP is Director of Care Management for Visiting Angels East Valley
Reach her at 480-833-8247 or