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Packing It Up

How do you get yourself ready for the “new” this year? Erin Reynolds shares her secret.


Packing It Up

By Erin Reynolds

I stare at the beautiful tree in front of me and I have to admit, I don’t want to pack it up.

Could it already be over — having everyone under one roof again, the shopping, the food, the beauty, the crazy? For one magical month, I look forward — to hopes, dreams, mysterious mornings, and wonderous nights. Then, in the blink of an eye, it is over, behind me, and a new year replaces it.

What will this year hold? There are 365 days of possibility in front of me — Possibilities for new work, new relationships, new places to visit, and a new me. There are also possibilities for deeper meaning in what I do, deeper ties with those I love, deeper exploration of places I have already been, and a deeper understanding of who I am. The new year is a new opportunity for growth, movement, and change.

Maybe I don’t want to pack up Christmas because I do not want to unpack the new year. I don’t want to open myself up to the hurt that can come from another year of rejection. I don’t want to live into the mystery of not knowing and not controlling the outcome. I don’t want to put myself out there for a whole other year. I am exhausted from all the adjustments of the last few years. 

Do I look at this new year with eager anticipation for what might be, or do I look at the year ahead with dread based on what has been? As I get older my years become less clear. What do I know?

I know that despite my inability to make sense of what is happening in the world around me, I have signs and sightings of a Savior. There has been provision in the form of people who brought the right word at just the right time, bonuses to cover shortfalls, and wisdom that, while it might not make sense of events, does make me aware I am not alone.

So maybe it is going to be ok to pack up Christmas for yet another year and open this new year filled with hope, dreams, mystery, and wonder. I can’t grow forward without packing up what is over and done.

Here is to a marvelous, mysterious, hope-filled, wonderful New Year!

Founder of “The Next Chapter” consulting, Erin Reynolds guides stuck individuals to rethink their stories for a more fulfilling future. A dynamic communication speaker, Erin emphasizes the transformative power of words in personal and organizational development. As a published writer, career developer, and adjunct professor, she brings a wealth of experience to her multifaceted roles. Erin, along with her husband, Bob, and their three teenagers, Elianah, Charlotte, and Ian, reside in Littleton, Colorado, where she continues to inspire others through her consulting, speaking, writing, and teaching endeavors. She can be reached at


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