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A New Year, A New Start

By Karon Shmon

Jan 16, 2023

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January still seems to take me by surprise annually with the proof being that I only recently became used to writing the previous year on correspondence. Although I am surprised, I enjoy the transition, especially the quiet time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. With the Institute closed for a few days before Christmas and for several days after the New Year, we get a significant amount of time to rest, to reflect, and to regroup. It’s a time when I can take stock of what I have accomplished over the last twelve months while making plans for the upcoming year.

Winter on the prairies sets the stage for this transition. We see many birds migrate before it sets in and other types of wildlife hibernate and slow down as they endure the cold. Our lifestyles change too, with only the hardy enjoying the outdoors in winter. I sometimes feel like my Métis ancestors would be ashamed of what a weather sissy I’ve become. Another notable transition January brings is the desire by many to make the changes in their lives that will result in improvements. Whether it is about eating healthier, spending less, creating more time for family and friends, or making better choices in the ways we respond to stressful moments, these resolutions often backfire as they are hard to sustain and make us feel like we’ve failed. Instead, I am going to tell myself that my goal is to make the effort as well as I can, but also to forgive myself when I fail.

I like the adage that states that “the definition of success is getting up one more time than you have fallen.” It’s on me to remember what I do accomplish and to be realistic about some of the stumbling and failing that may happen simply because this, too, is part of life. Most of us are familiar with the mantra to treat others the way we would like to be treated. My resolution this year is to remember that about myself too, and to resist being my harshest critic. With this in mind, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year!

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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