Happy New Year?

Two Seated Men Drinking Beer (Copyright http://www.circaimages.com)

Two Seated Men Drinking Beer
(Copyright http://www.circaimages.com)

My father gave me one piece of advice as an adult. It came completely out of the blue. We were just sitting there, not saying all that much, when he just blurted it out.

Whilst there must be volumes he handed down in my childhood and teenage years, somehow they are lost to me; either lying hastily discarded, as is the wont of all teenagers, or all too readily assimilated, moulded into my character without any awareness of its source.

At the age of 26 it seemed rather shocking, coming as it did from a man who worked the same piece of land for nigh on 45 years. I had never imagined him vulnerable or discontent with the life that he had carved out for himself. Did these words, simple enough, conceal an inner life richer than I had hereto imagined? Doubts? Regrets? Or were these the words of a man, more than happy with the choices that he had made through the years, merely giving succour to a son obviously wracked with insecurity and an overwhelming inability to see beyond the example of 45 years continuous service sitting before him?

It would be all of 15 years later that the truth of the matter would come to light, as he was able to confide things much more easily with my wife than he ever felt he could with any of his immediate family. The untimely death of his father, resulting in the need to become the breadwinner at 14, put all his childhood plans on hold. These, I was surprised to learn, included emigrating to Australia. By the time his baby sister was ready to leave the house, he found himself lumbered with a wife of his own and 2 kids to boot.

Looking back, there were times when he had obviously had enough. In need of a really long holiday, completely away from the place. Yet he never took one that amounted to more than a long weekend. His bosses (please don’t let them be reading this) were cursed high and low on many an occassion, but he never once wavered in doing his absolute best every single day of his working life. The people pained him, but the work, which he so obviously loved, never did.

His advice? Oh, yes:

If you are not happy with where you are, with what you are doing, you can just change it, you know. There is no point in being miserable. Find something you love doing. You will be doing it for a very long time, so you might as well enjoy it.

Coming up to the anniversary of that discussion. I take the opportunity, as many do at this time of year, to re-evaluate where I am, what I am doing. Most of us probably half heartedly list the good and the bad. Some of us may even come up with resolutions intended to redress the balance, eliminate bad habits, form new good ones.

This year, just ask yourself one question: “Am I happy?”

If the answer is in the negative, take my father’s advice. You have the power to change that; you really do! Promise yourself a truly, genuinely, happy, new year. It’s the least you deserve.

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
This entry was posted in Healing, Self Awareness and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Happy New Year?

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    All happiness to you and Mrs H, always x

  2. alienorajt says:

    What a lovely, touching post. You dad sounds as if he was a great man – and his advice is spot on for all people. Had me in tears as I read. A message I very much needed on the personal level at the moment – but, looking wider than my own concerns, a sound message for the world, and a reminder that we can, so easily, limit ourselves by assuming we do not have the power, or the right, to initiate change in our lives – and, equally crucially, a fabulous challenge to the whole ‘We deserve to live in misery’ school of thinking.

    Thank you for posting this, dear Elk. xxx

    • Running Elk says:

      Thank you, Ali. Didn’t mean to set you off there! My poor old dad would be most embarrassed to hear himself described as great, unless he’d had a few; in which case he’d probably just laugh, “Tae, hell!” and hand you a hauf… whether you wanted it or not… πŸ˜‰
      Happy New Year, Ali! xx

  3. Karin says:

    A warm, wise and very timely message that I hope to make a part of my life in the coming year. Wishing you and yours all the very best in 2016 πŸ™‚

  4. Timely yes, wise yes. However many of us make choices when we are young and go forward with what we think is what we want, only to realize later in life maybe we made the wrong choice. If only we had the foresight to know exactly what we wanted to do in life at a younger age, very few are blessed with that gift. Time makes everyone change in some ways, but once the dye is cast your future is set in stone. Life is a constant choice, choose wisely. :o)

    • Running Elk says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. Indeed. I’ve often thought that we pressurise the next generation(s) far too quickly to make decisions which will affect the rest of their lives. Heck. Even at my advancing years, I still don’t really know what I want to do… πŸ˜‰

  5. So much wisdom in these words. We all deserve that happiness. Thanks. ☺

    • Running Elk says:

      Thanks for stopping by, van (can I call you can? Seems presumptious! πŸ™‚ ) Indeed, I believe we do. We only really get one chance (sic) at this crazy thing we call life; to live it in fear, beholden, or without joy, seems to deny the opportunity a little…

  6. Annette Rochelle Aben says:

    YAY to Dad! What a terrific bit of advice. Happy 2016 for you and all those who mean the mot to you! ❀

  7. Susan Scott says:

    Thank you Running Elk – this is so lovely and profound. I much appreciate it. Came to you via Daily Echo. All best wishes to you and your family now and always …

  8. Morgan says:

    Hoping you have a New Year filled with Blessings and Beauty. Thank You Ever So for being part of my 2015.

  9. alesiablogs says:

    Love this. So true. I recently wrote about a love lost . It seems he is back as fast as he thought he needed to move on . Sometimes we just dont know where happiness may come from. Elk-your dads words are applicable to many things in life. Truly yours and the best for 2016. Alesia

    • Running Elk says:

      Thanks, Alesia. Sometimes, it seems, we just need that little bit of distance to remember what it was that made us happy all along… πŸ˜‰ Wishing you both a year to remember! πŸ™‚ xx

  10. jenanita01 says:

    Thank you for this post, it has come right when I was thinking along these same lines. I have just had successful surgery, giving me another chance to get my life in order and concentrate on finding peace and being happy… Bless you…

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