New years are always filled with the prospects of new possibilities. I always aim to be more productive, more organized, more present. I vow to read more, to write more, to choose creative pursuits over mind-numbing time wasters (although we all need to appreciate the value of a good Netflix binge once in a while). This year I decided I wanted to start a bullet journal, thinking it would bring some sense of order in my chaotic life, but mainly I just want an excuse to buy nice pens. But let’s face it, those nice pens will likely get stolen by my pen-loving children.
New beginnings are exciting! But when the novelty wears off, we can be left with unfinished journals, abandoned book lists, and loads of good intentions gone by the wayside. Tell me it’s not just me.
But for some, a goal is nothing it not attainable. I am continually inspired by those who say, “I’m going to do this,” and then they follow through with their vow. There’s no right time. There’s only right now.
It’s because of people like this that Hand to Hold has grown into the supportive organization it is today. Because our founder and Executive Director, Kelli Kelley, once had a vision and a goal, she has created an organization that has been a vital lifeline to many families during and after their NICU stay. And because she never stops thinking ahead about what we can do next in our quest to help these families, 2017 has great things on the horizon in regards to family friendly support.
Whether it’s developing new support strategies for NICU families or bringing a baby home after a NICU stay, the unknown can be terrifying. Fear will tell us it’s okay to give up. When I’m trying to talk myself out of doing something – not because I don’t want to do it, but because I’m scared – I will think of these words from the late Carrie Fisher, who we tragically lost at the end of 2016.
Stay afraid, but do it anyway. What’s important is the action. You don’t have to wait to be confident. Just do it, and eventually the confidence will follow. — Carrie Fisher
So to all of you starting new endeavors in 2017, don’t let the fear choke you. If you’re beginning this new year in the NICU, just home from the NICU, or if – like me – you’re raising healthy former preemies who still present new challenges as they grow, know that you are not alone. We are all afraid to take that next step into the unknown. But we do it anyway. And you can do it with someone to hold your hand along the way.
Happy New Year from all of us at Hand to Hold.