The New Year is on its way, reminding us of the power of new beginnings. I've been thinking of what it means to officially dismiss the person I used to be and embrace the person I am now. In the past I've had certain ways of coping, habits of behavior that have been downright harmful - not only to others, but also to myself. But I've been busy these past years: growing, learning, and changing. And it's good to remember that, to consciously switch up my profile picture, so that who I see myself as - and who I present to the world - more accurately reflects who I am now, not who I was then.

And when I've done it for myself, my next task will be to gently encourage others to see me in this new light. Over a family dinner last week, I made a comment about how one of my daughters had reacted in the past to a certain situation, back in those pre- and young teen years. Her face grimaced. But I'm not that way anymore, Mom, she protested. And it's true. It's painful for her to be reminded of that old person, just as it's painful for me to remember what it was like when she was in that stage. But we can just let it go, delete it from our pages. Because the new reality is the new reality. And the more we live out of it, the more true it becomes.

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