The Most Wonderful Time of Year

Wonderful“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

It’s that time of year again, the time when we reflect on the year almost over and look forward to the year about to start. Many of us spend time with family or close friends talking about what we’re thankful for, the wonderful highlights of the year and then inevitably we being reflecting on the not so pleasant things that happened and our regrets of the past.

I don’t believe in holding onto regrets. You may have made mistakes, bad choices or have had hardships that you never want to repeat, but the fact is that you can’t change them so why keep reliving them? Everything you’ve been through in your life has made you who you are today, so be thankful for the lessons.  I was tagged in a friend’s post yesterday that she had read a quote that reminder her of me: “Every mistake is a blessing if you learn from it”. Lori has heard me speak many times and knows that I talk about this a lot.  Take the time to learn the lesson in the events of your life, forgive past mistakes and move forward with this knowledge.

I also had the fortune of helping a friend and colleague with a book launch this week and I just love her post titled regret. In it she talks about learning from her mistakes. This blog is a lesson in how her reflection caused her to move into a new reality and to start living the life she’s dreamed of. You can too!

With her permission I have added part of the post here:


I have spent too many days of my life saying no and things like… I can’t….I won’t…and I have never….In doing this, I have missed out on so many things that would have enriched my life and made me whole. I was afraid to try so many things because of my fears and insecurities. Yes…a year ago…and for many years before that, things were much more difficult. I was stumbling through life with “a dead body” on my back. Everything I did was difficult. To walk to my car was a chore. Day by day, I watched as my world became smaller and smaller as I became bigger and bigger. I really felt the world closing in on me as I slowly began to accept the fact that I probably wouldn’t be around long enough to grow old. Even the few things that gave me hope in my life slipped away…and I stood by and let them go. I did not feel like I deserved to be happy and worked hard at making myself and those around me miserable. I built a wall and pushed away those I loved and shut out a couple of beautiful souls, either of which I could have built a real life with. Instead I found myself in a “relationship” with food and alcohol…neither of which had any love for me. I awoke one day at 4 in the afternoon after a weekend of binging on junk food and drowning my senses in alcohol, and it all hit me. I laid there and cried…until not a single teardrop was left. That was the day I decided to take my life back. January 16, 2011, My NEW LIFE BEGAN. I spent the bulk of that year learning discipline and restraint. I began this incessant journey by giving up and letting go (something I had already proven myself to be quite good at) only this time I let go of the things that were stealing my life. Today, almost 3 years later I find myself at a different place. It is a place of hope and promise. Every single day I feel stronger, healthier and more ALIVE. Every pound I shed gives me greater freedom….the freedom to stop saying no and instead scream out yes…Yes…YES!. Every day I try something new, go somewhere I have never gone and say yes to something I would not have even “been able” to do just one short year ago. I am not going to sit and watch life pass me by….sitting in a chair with a 25 year old spirit imprisoned inside of an 80 year old body. I intend to start living my bucket list now, today. There are regrets I have for things I did or DID NOT do in my past. I have realized that it is not too late to make things right. I know what I want and where I am going. I am not afraid anymore. The only regret that I will have in my life is my remorse for a life that was half over before it ever began. Alana Marie –

To see more of Alana’s writings, visit her website and blog at

©2014 Shari Yantes. All rights reserved.