Michelle Graham, director for the Downtown Watertown YMCA.

Wow, it is a new year!

I have to say I was happy to jump into a new year with both feet firmly planted on the ground. I welcome all that 2021 has to offer to me and my family. I cannot lie, in-spite of all the difficulties we faced in 2020, I still feel ridiculously hopeful for the new year and am profoundly grateful for last year’s life lessons. I love the opportunity to begin anew. Wonderful opportunity awaits you too, if you just open your eyes and welcome joy and positivity into your life. What can you do today to reset the New Year?

I am looking at all the opportunities that my work life provides. I have the innate privilege of getting to help people every single day; I am blessed that my work provides me with great satisfaction and joy. I sometimes think that I have taken my work at the YMCA for granted and after last year that will never happen again. With all the difficulties we faced in 2020 I think the YMCA will play a major role in helping us all pick up the pieces both mentally and physically in 2021.

We offer so many incredible healthy living programs. If you find yourself in need of righting your ship or improving your health consider the following programs: YMCA Diabetes Prevention Program, Blood Pressure Program, Livestrong at the YMCA for cancer survivors, Ready to be Fit, Health Weight and Your Child, Chronic Disease Self-Management program and so much more.

My goal with my own work in 2021 is helping even more people during these crazy times reclaim their health and well-being in mind, body and spirit. What can you do at your work to make an impact, make a difference?

Making more memories this year will be front and center on my goal list. I suffice it to say that many of us want to travel and get out and resume some sort of normalcy. Making memories and having fun adventures will be how I spend my year. I am certain I won’t take attending a concert for granted ever again. Sign me up for any gathering, party, run, concert or social event in 2021. I promise I won’t ever be “too tired” to attend. COVID-19 will retire! I am certain our days ahead will be brighter. I know at times it may not feel that way, but I encourage you to keep the faith and find ways to make your own kind of fun and wildly happy memories along the way.

Last, I will spend my moments being present, present in conversation, present with my children, present with my spouse. I think if we have learned one thing this year it is that tomorrow is not guaranteed or promised. Make the most of the moments that you are blessed to have in the company of others. Be a good friend, a wonderful, caring, kind and loving parent. Most importantly, be a good person, a decent human. Haven’t we spent enough energy in the presence of hate? Stop judging today, start loving more and above else spread positivity and joy. We can continue to lead the path for better tomorrows; collectively it takes all of us. Political affiliation aside, it is not the government that will make you ridiculously happy it is up to YOU. Please stop letting television, media and someone with a different opinion control your joy and happiness. Life is a precious beautiful thing don’t take it for granted. How can you be the light in the days and months ahead?

I love the promise of a new day, a brand-New Year. I will continue to practice gratefulness, kindness and keep the faith that 2021 can and will be my best year YET. Hoping that your 2021 will bring you good times, joy and precious love; after all, life truly is precious! Be safe, be healthy, be well my sweet friends and happiest of New Years to you.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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