The Gift of a New Year

Another year has ended. As is often the case, we look back with nostalgia and recall the year’s best. Northern Michigan experienced an incredible summer, which started early and lasted into September. Anyone who says summer was short didn’t get out enough!

            Simultaneously at year’s end, there are thoughts of the year to come. Despite any wistful thoughts about 2018, the time is at hand to look ahead. 2019 arrives with promises of starting fresh. It is the time for resolutions, though for best results they should be reasonable. Advice articles on keeping resolutions suggest setting specific goals within reach. For example, instead of a broad statement like, “This year I’ll get in shape,” a better approach is to think, “This year, I’ll run a mile without stopping.” Other advice is to be patient with one’s self. We all know the line, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Persistence pays off. Don’t give up easily if your resolution proves to be a challenge. Start new and try again. And keep trying.

            The blank slate of a new year is exciting. New opportunities abound – books to read, classes to take, movies to see, trips to plan. Try a new recipe or craft. Getting out of one’s comfort zone brings unexpected benefits. Are we ever done learning about ourselves and the world around us? Hopefully the answer was “No.” Make a phone call to an old friend, or anyone who has been on your mind. Volunteer for a favorite cause. Allow yourself to be a student again, whether it’s literally by taking a class or just by resolving to keep an open mind about the world.

            Most importantly, approach 2019 with a spirit of gratitude. Even when feeling overwhelmed, stopping to write a short list of good things from the day can keep life in perspective. For us Northerners, that list may include something as simple as “The sun shone today.” We can all be grateful for that during the winter!

            We enjoyed 2018 and wish it adieu.

            Happy New Year. We hope you make it a good one.

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