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An Editor’s Invitation: A Fresh Start

The New Year offers all of us a chance for a fresh start–to look at things differently, to act differently, to try new things or to take on old issues in a new way.

Illness can be an invitation to a fresh start. As we slog through the muck of sickness, it’s tempting to strike a deal with the powers that be: When I recover from this, I’m going to start taking better care of myself.

And when illness lifts, the world can seem very different: Food tastes better; commonplace objects and activities take on a special glow.

Even serious illness, with a reminder of one’s mortality, is an invitation to a fresh start–a call to mend relationships and take care of unfinished business.

As a physician, I have patients with whom I long for a fresh start. Just two days ago I saw someone whom I hadn’t seen for the last year-and-a-half–his chart a pile-up of missed appointments. In addition to other chronic conditions, he wrestles with depression and poor self-esteem. As usual, he expresses gratitude for our time together, but as I sit facing him, I wonder: What can I say to give him hope of turning over a new leaf?

This month’s More Voices theme is A Fresh Start. Send us your story of new beginnings wished for or experienced.

Paul Gross
New Rochelle, NY

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