Another New Years Wish

Robin Botie of ithaca, New York, photographs statue of Queen Victoria in Sydney, Australia.For my trip to Australia, I joined a tour group so I wouldn’t have to do all the thinking and organizing. But they planned everything so well, I lost track of some of the things I meant to do on my own. Like eat dumplings in Melbourne. And find the exact spot in the Yarra River where I’d tossed my daughter’s ashes five years ago. On my last night in Australia, in Sydney, by the time I finished with the scheduled dinner I was tired, so I let my last opportunity to do something from my personal list slip by. And in the middle of the night I woke up miserable about it. So, early in the morning, I crept out of the hotel and walked several city blocks to the Queen Victoria Building Plaza, to drop coins in the dog wishing well.

It was the wishing well my daughter wrote about. The bronze terrier perched above it represented the beloved pet of Queen Victoria. It used to talk. A recorded message thanked people for the coins that would be donated to the deaf and blind children of New South Wales. Now the message was gone and there was more garbage inside than money. But I felt good about accomplishing my mission anyway.

Turning back towards the hotel, I noticed the statue of Queen Victoria just yards away from the wishing well. I didn’t remember it from my last trip. But now the monument of Victoria was grabbing my attention like it had some urgent message for me. For the moment, I delayed the mad dash back to catch breakfast and the van to the airport.

All I knew about Queen Victoria was from the recent movie Victoria and Abdul. After years of cloistering herself away and wallowing in grief over the death of her husband, Victoria befriended a young Indian clerk who changed her way of viewing the world. She suddenly found inspiration to carry on with her life and responsibilities, and strength to reclaim her power to rule.

For this New Year, in a world where so much is out of our control, I’m wishing you, my readers, my friends, the inspiration and strength to take control of what you can in your lives. Life is not simply a series of events that you watch happen. I wish you the power to turn a bad situation around. To find meaning, or make meaning, when everything around you feels senseless. To fill emptiness with hope. To patch your brokenness. To reclaim your opportunities. And be the ruler of your life.


Where will you look for inspiration in the New Year? What gave you strength in 2017?

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4 thoughts on “Another New Years Wish

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    Thank you for all those blessings, Robin. I’m with Monica, admiring your intuition and how there was unexpected wisdom for you there. So much in my life rests on forging ahead with the things I can do and letting go of what has to be dropped because of hearing loss and the life changes it brings. I can’t lead bereavement groups anymore, but I can write a blog for hospice. I can’t go to concerts, but can submit articles and keep working on smaller parts of a larger project which gets stalled because I can’t see where it’s going. If I tilt my head just right, I can see that deafness forces a focus I need. May you be blessed in the same way you’re blessing others.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I’m sorry to hear you’re not leading those bereavement groups anymore, Elaine. Several of the Hospicare peeps I phone for quarterly check-ins have asked me to send them notices if I hear of your courses being held. They had tried other workshops and didn’t want the other leader, just you. So you were pretty well liked. But writing blogs for hospice – well that sounds pretty neat to me. I wish someone wanted me to write blogs for them.
      I always heard that when you lose your sight, your hearing becomes more sensitive, more attuned. I wonder if it works the other way around when you lose your hearing? Or if that’s what the focusing does, make compensations for the loss. I just hope that as my own world closes in on me that I can find ways, like you do, to keep active in the world and keep contributing. Letting go is one thing. But finding other things to forge ahead with and hang onto – well that’s something I need to learn. More blessings to you.

  2. Monica

    I love how you honor your intuition, Robin. And how you share your experiences in a way that inspires. All the best to you in 2018.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      And the best to you, Monica. Happy 2018. Maybe this will be the year we find each other somewhere in person.


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