Emotional Health · Family & Friends

December 31, 2018: Happy New Year!

Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

I was felled by a nasty respiratory virus in the midst of Advent that lasted through all of Christmas. Yesterday, I finally felt well enough to travel from our city apartment to our house in the country where Christmas decorations were up but no one had been home to enjoy them. However, having an unpleasant but limited illness was useful to me this season, giving me an excuse to be still, to have a quiet mind, to sleep and wake without any rhyme or reason other than the healing body required it. Friends were kind, sending notes and flowers that were so appreciated. Now that I am well again, I realize that I need periods when my mind can sort of shut down in order to reboot with more positivity. The power of positive thinking was a bit scarce for much of 2018.

The Husband and I have “big” plans for closing out 2018 and welcoming 2019. We will be alone in front of the fire to toast the New Year with champagne and a kiss at midnight. We will share our resolutions and review those of the last year. We will revisit 2018 and let the worries and unsolvable problems of this year go while we celebrate our successes, some small, others significant.

These are my Resolutions for 2019:

Resolved: Let the worries go before year’s end. I am a great one for holding on to worries, nurturing them with undeserved attention. This tendency to worry about all the little things becomes poison to the soul. Worry won’t change the outcome. It will deface the beauty of the present.

Resolved: Continue my very active civic engagement. Political issues deeply affected me for the last two years but I feel hopeful again. I will be in Washington on Thursday, January 3rd for the swearing in of new members of Congress for whom I worked with checkbook, conversations, phone banking and my feet. I am involved with several groups of women who get to know candidates up close and support those who will make a difference on the local, city, state and national level. I resolve to continue to make this a priority in my life, year after year, not just every four years.

Resolved: Mentor young people. I have the honor of being part of the lives of three 4th year medical students each year as we work together to manage a free clinic for women who have no insurance and little money. Serving as a mentor to future doctors throughout this important transition for them gives me such joy. These hopeful, almost doctors, keep me young and honest as they push me to explain why, why, and why. They remain part of my life after they leave our clinic and move on geographically and professionally.

Resolved: Remember the joys of the present events in a more intense way. I often “future walk,” thinking about problems to be solved while missing the moments that are memorable. Together, The Husband and I have four wonderful adult sons. The California son and his wife have a new baby girl born in December. Another son is newly engaged to just the right woman for him and for all of us! A son who lives locally has two delightful children, both of whom are doing well. The youngest of the four sons leads a life of athletic competition and adventure and is always joyful and focused. I have two kind and delightful daughters-in-law. I resolve to cherish this time in our family life.

Resolved: Continue to rightsize life with The Husband as we focus on romance and what matters most to us in life.

Resolved: Give my best to my work, my family and my friends: all with exuberance and . . . a quiet mind.

I wish each of you a Happy New Year filled with hope, good health, family and friends to love. Thank you for being with us for the last 12 years as womensvoicesforchange.org has grown from a kitchen table creation to a site for women over 40 that has amassed over 6,000 articles, essays and musings and is closing in on 14 million views.  As we embark on 2019, we will continue to focus on physical, emotional and spiritual health. I urge you to comment more and share this site with friends and groups of women who want to know more about life over 40. The Board of Women’s Voices for Change and I thank you for supporting us. We are here because of you.

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  • caren December 31, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Wishing you a happy, healthy 2019!!!!!! Congrats on the new bundle!!!!!!

  • Jo Shafer December 31, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Happy New Year to you and Hubby!! Thank you for this particularly timely post. I enjoyed it so much that I posted it on Facebook to share with my daughter and my sister and cousins. My goals/resolutions are similar to yours except for political action (because of health reasons I, too, have needed to fall back and rest). I’ll celebrate the completion of a writing project and began my next project, editing and rewriting a memoir of my relationship with my mother. My sister already completed hers years ago! Tonight, my beloved and I will celebrate 49 years of Holy Matrimony as we sip a cranberry cocktail beside our own fire. Blessings, Jo

    • Patricia Yarberry Allen MD January 1, 2019 at 12:16 am

      Dear Jo,
      2019 arrived 15 min ago. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year! Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing our posts on social media. We are honored.
      Dr Pat

  • Christine Lombardi December 31, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    So sorry to hear about your illness — so glad you’re feeling so much better.

    Will you be writing for WVFC from Washington, and sharing the stories of the women of Congress? I hope so,

    Thanks for all you do for all of us, and Happy New Year.

    • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. December 31, 2018 at 12:20 pm

      Dear Chris,
      We miss your wonderful leadership here at WVFC. You were a gifted editor for us: kind but firm!
      I had not planned to write about my first time in the Capitol as part of a formal political event but, as ever, you have such good story ideas. Stay in touch. I send best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

  • Sherry December 31, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Thank you, Dr Pat, for sharing your resolutions and your reflections. As always, inspiring. Happy new year to you and The Husband. Congratulations on Baby Granddaughter. X

    • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. December 31, 2018 at 12:28 pm

      Dear Sherry,
      Thank you and Andrea Acker for your leadership this critical year at WVFC. Our organization is in such a healthy place thanks to your tireless efforts and guidance. I look forward to your contributions on the editorial side as we gear up for another productive year. Please give the “Yale man” my best. I am sure he will be relieved to hear that I am more optimistic than I was before the mid-terms!
      Have a wonderful New Year!
      Dr. Pat

  • Pamela Goldman December 31, 2018 at 9:09 am

    There is so much wonderful (and practical) advice in your column, Dr. Pat. I will be rereading it often as a reminder to what is truly important! As a patient of 30 years, I must, once again, thank you for your expertise, your kindness and your devotion to us! It is always difficult to explain to friends how you are “much more than my doctor”! All the best to you and your family for a healthy and mindful 2019. Xo

    • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. December 31, 2018 at 12:23 pm

      Dear Pamela,
      How kind of you to send such a thoughtful note. I am the person who is blessed in this relationship.
      I send my best to your family, especially those fabulous sons we met together so many years ago.
      Have a wonderful New Year.
      Dr. Pat

  • Diane Dettmann December 31, 2018 at 8:45 am

    Thank you Dr. Allen, for sharing these New Year’s resolutions. My husband and I plan to have a quiet celebration tonight–long before midnight. In our seventies, we need our rest! I feel blessed to not only have connected to Women’s Voices For Change, but for all the inspiration you’ve given me as a writer. Thank you for sharing many of my stories with your readers. Wishing you and everyone at WVFC a wonderful start to 2019!

    • Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. December 31, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Dear Diane,
      So lovely to hear from you on this auspicious day. Send me a note so that we can discuss what our plans are here at WVFC. Happy New Year!