New Year. New Toothbrush. New Me?

Mary Scotton
3 min readJan 2, 2024

A new year. A fresh start. A clean slate.

But wait — time is just a construct, right? Maybe, but I still got out a new toothbrush, just in case.

A new toothbrush in a toothbrush holder, relfected in a mirror.

The truth is, I’m not a “look back at my accomplishments” person. And I’m not a “set big audacious goals” person. I subscribe more to the Tao of Pooh approach to life: being “like Pooh” (yes, the Bear of Very Little Brain) and applying the principle of the Uncarved Block.*

But, this year, I’m going to try to…

Choose love not hate

I’ve struggled the past few (ok, more than a few) years with grief. I’d wake up and think “I hate everyone.” Lately, I’ve shifted to catching myself doing that and changing the talk track to “I love everyone.”

I’ve found that simple change makes a huge difference! (who knew?) When I do it, I approach the day full of love for the people I’ve lost, for the people who are still here, and for the random strangers I meet. (I also still eat a lot of chocolate.)

Choose hope not fear

The world is a mess. It is easy to fear the big and the small. I fear the news headlines of wars every day. I fear the people who are strategically stripping away other people’s rights. Personally, I fear people’s reactions to me for just being me.

For many years, fear has had me calculating how long it would take to walk north over the border and has kept me from traveling south in the US. This year, I’m giving people a chance to show me that they aren’t their state’s policies. I’m going to explore the cities I’ve only heard about in the country songs I love. And, I’m going in hopeful. With love in my heart. (OK, I’m still a little nervous…but I’m going to try!).

Choose action not apathy

Did I mention the world is a mess? I’ve been through this feeling a few times and the only thing that helped me was finding a way to change the system and/or change people’s lives. It’s not easy. It’s much easier to doomscroll IG all day (and now I’ve discovered YouTube shorts (which I’ve been told by my teenager is very uncool) and I could spend all day watching snippets of TV shows I’ve never seen…but I digress…).

Instead, I choose to get up and get to work — and to do the best I can to make a change.

*Did you say Pooh?

Yes, Winnie-the-Pooh. That great philosopher. I first read The Tao of Pooh in college and realized I’d found the spiritual belief I’d been seeking. I’ve read it a few times since, and I think it’s time to read it again. I just googled this quote, so I could give you’all context, in case you haven’t read it:

“From the state of the Uncarved Block comes the ability to enjoy the simple and the quiet, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work, odd as that may appear to others at times… When you discard arrogance, complexity, and a few other things that get in the way, sooner or later you will discover that simple, childlike, and mysterious secret known to those of the Uncarved Block: Life is Fun.”

This year, the new me is going to be a loving, hopeful, action-oriented person who is Fun. 💃🏻

--

--

Mary Scotton

Technology industry leader, evangelist, and connector who cultivates inclusive communities. She/her. maryscotton.com