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Embracing the New Year

This afternoon, on the eve of New Year’s Eve, I have been sitting here trying to think of how to close the books on the old year, while embracing that which is to come with hope and optimism. Quite frankly, I am stumped. Somehow, the usual clever slogans don't seem quite appropriate.

We are told that to everything there is a season and purpose. Sometimes, we have to wonder what the reason for some circumstances might be, and often, that isn’t made clear to us. The mystery that surrounds hard times remains. Yet as one experience gives way to another, we wonder what surprises await us, and we anticipate happy moments. At the end of December, we look ahead, set lofty goals for ourselves as we turn the page on the calendar. The blank slate, which brings out the best in us, is ripe with possibilities. It’s a new beginning, a chance to transform into an improved version of ourselves. And honestly, there is something magical about the expectation of a better tomorrow. For most of us, we can’t wait to get started.

But first, we must bid goodbye to the old. The end of the year is the punctuation of the experiences of the previous 365 days. It is the period at the end of the sentence, the final chapter before starting a new story. It’s a time to be a little retrospective, to celebrate our successes, to count our blessings, to wonder what we have learned. We hold tightly to the memories of good times while trying not to think about the challenges. But in the scorecard of life, the past twelve months have been tough for many of us, including me.

So how can I put a positive spin on a genuinely difficult year?

Two words: I survived. (and so did you)

Here in the South, we cook black eyed peas and greens on January 1st for good luck and money. While I don’t consider myself to be particularly superstitious, I’ll be bringing out the sage, horseshoes and four-leaf clovers. It can’t hurt. I will also whisper a little prayer at midnight. I hope you will, too.

Happy New Year, everybody. May the coming days be joyful ones.

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