Looking Forward, But Glancing at the Rearview Mirror

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This is my last welcome column of 2021. As we all do this time of year, I reflect on the Year That Was and look forward to the new one. This is not a new idea – why do you think the outgoing year is always characterized as an old man, and the new one as a baby?

In any year, good stuff and bad stuff happens. As it draws to a close, it’s tempting to view those events in sort of a Pro vs Con scale and give the year a grade, or a score. For some, 2021 will live in their memories as a terrible year, and for some a year to cherish.

The new year, though! Here we project our own hopes and fears. The baby cartoon signifies hope, I think, and a new year that isn’t quite here, just as a newborn baby, is hope personified.  Since it hasn’t yet happened, why not dare to hope it’ll be a good year?

I have friends who will consider 2021 the worst year of their life.  And others who welcomed new additions to their family, or perhaps got married, and they will likely chalk it up as a very good year.

I have a hard time assigning a score to a year, personally. I have had years in which loved ones have passed on, or dealt with terrible illnesses, and these were hard times, indeed. The whole notion of a year, is simply a man-made construct – at least as something to be reviewed, and anticipated. (I realize the year has an astronomical significance, of course.)

What we can do is let this cusp be the time to let bad times and good memories linger in the mind’s rearview mirror, then prepare to move on and embrace the new beginning  – the new page in your new calendar.

New year’s resolutions, anyone?

As a died-in-the-wool-optimist, I wish this upon on all of you:

  • May the New Year provide distance from bad times behind you.
  • May the New Year provide many opportunities to celebrate life, maybe in ways you can’t even imagine right now.
  • May the New Year be a year of new insights, new perspectives, new joys, new energies, realizations and the will and energy to act upon them.

Because a year doesn’t just “happen” to you. You make millions of choices, and may those choices grow wiser and therefore, luckier than each preceding year.

Happy new year everyone!

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