Looking Forward by Looking Back

Looking Forward by Looking Back

PRESIDENTÕS MESSAGE Looking Forward by Looking Back Cheri Barber, President and Fellow, DNP, RN, CRNP As we move into a new year, we often think abou...

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Looking Forward by Looking Back Cheri Barber, President and Fellow, DNP, RN, CRNP As we move into a new year, we often think about New YearÕs resolutions. What are New YearÕs resolutions, and how did they begin? Their history dates to the time of the ancient Romans, who are responsible for the majority of the modern calendar and for the tradition of the New YearÕs resolution (Ryan-Blair, 2010). We make New YearÕs resolutions to set new goals for the new year. Many people will be starting the new year with a specific goal in mind. This year I decided to try something different, and I am hoping to share the results with you in my final PresidentÕs Message in the spring. I am going to call it ‘‘A Year of Reflection,’’ and it will be an inventory of sorts. Instead of setting goals as I always do, I am going to reflect on the past year by answering the following 10 questions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Did I learn something new this year? Did I make new friends and/or colleagues? Did I accomplish any goals? Do I have some great memories? Did I have any great successes? Did I attend any great events? Did I travel anywhere? Did I have any failures? Did I try any new ventures? Did I continue to support the mission of NAPNAP, ‘‘Promoting optimal health for children through leadership, practice, advocacy, education and research,’’ with the help of others through the transition?

Conflicts of interest: None to report. Correspondence: Cheri Barber, DNP, RN, CRNP, Chester County Pediatrics, 111 Arrandale Blvd, Exton, PA 19134; e-mail: [email protected] J Pediatr Health Care. (2012) 26, 3. 0891-5245/$36.00 Copyright Q 2012 by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2011.09.005


In reviewing the history of the New YearÕs resolution, I discovered the New YearÕs traditions of many countries, and I thought I would share a few: WALES: At the first toll of midnight, the back door is opened and then shut to release the old year and lock out all of its bad luck. At the twelfth stroke of the clock, the front door is opened and the New Year is welcomed with all of its luck. SPAIN: In Spain, when the clock strikes midnight, people eat 12 grapes, one with every toll, to bring good luck for the 12 months ahead. PERU: The Peruvian New YearÕs custom is a spin on the Spanish tradition of eating 12 grapes at the turn of the year. However, in Peru, a 13th grape must be eaten to ensure good luck. GREECE: A special New YearÕs bread is baked with a coin buried in the dough. The first slice is for the Christ child, the second slice is for the father of the household, and the third slice is for the house. If the third slice holds the coin, spring will come early that year. CHINA: For the Chinese New Year, every front door is adorned with a fresh coat of red paint, because red is a symbol of good luck and happiness. Although the entire family prepares a feast for the New Year, all knives are put away for 24 hours to keep anyone from cutting themselves, which is thought to cut the familyÕs good luck for the next year. UNITED STATES: The kiss shared at the stroke of midnight in the United States is derived from masked balls that have been common throughout history. As tradition has it, the masks symbolize evil spirits from the old year, and the kiss is the purification into the new year. What are your New YearÕs resolutions and/or traditions? We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New YearÕs Day.  Edith Lovejoy Pierce REFERENCE

Ryan-Blair, G. (2010). Everything counts. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

January/February 2012