2009-12-30 / Editorials

New Year Means New Start For All

On this Thursday, we celebrate the end of an old year and the start of a new one. As we are sure everyone else did, we found 2009 a year with both high and low points. The occasional valleys have their uses—they made us appreciate the peaks even more. Those stretches of the road with neither peak nor valley served a purpose, too, allowing us to pause and catch our breath. This was a year with enough of peaks, valleys and level stretches to meet everyone’s needs. Depending on our personal outlook, we will say farewell to the peaks and valleys at end of the old year on December 31 with revels and merriment or with prayer and contemplation. Some of us will engage in both.

The next morning we will awake with the realization that this is indeed the start of a new year. The first of January is widely considered to be the day when the slate is wiped clean and we start fresh. Inspired by the potential inherent in the future, many of us will resolve to begin anew to work toward developing better habits and attitudes, having, we hope, learned from our mistakes. On New Year’s Day, there is a tendency to consider all our past transgressions somehow to be excused, if not forgiven.

The only New Year’s resolution we have managed to keep with any degree of consistency is to refrain from making any resolutions. The true miracle of the New Year is that we feel somehow empowered with whatever it takes to bring about whatever it is that we desire or determine we need to accomplish. We feel energized, our batteries miraculously recharged. Even more than spring, New Year’s Day, falling in the dead of winter though it does, is the harbinger of new life, second chances and open doors to fresh possibilities. Even while we reflect on the events of the 12 months just past and our part in the year gone by, whatever it might have been, we are keenly aware that we stand on the threshold of a new tomorrow waiting to be explored.

At about this time, we believe we can make a fresh start, turn a corner, and begin a new page. In many instances, this is exactly the case. Even those of us whose only New Year’s resolution is to make no resolutions secretly harbor a few plans for doing some things differently. We hope we will be able to make that new start, whatever it may be. Even without changing all that much in our individual lives or the world at large, we hope to be able to give ourselves some credit at least for having made the effort. For some of us, just thinking about making a change is a giant step forward, one that deserves acknowledgement in one’s own mind, if nowhere else.

May we reach at least some of the goals we set out for ourselves, and may we find in our hearts the ability to rejoice with others on their achievements and sympathize with those who may not quite make it— including ourselves—and may we look back 364 days from now and take quiet pride in what we did during 2010 to make a difference.

We wish all our readers, our colleagues and friends a very Happy New Year. W encourage our readers as well as ourselves to continue to reach for the stars in whatever we think or do. We may not reach the stars, but we will not find ourselves holding a handful of dirt, either. That seems to us a worthy goal for our aspirations, whatever they may be.

We wish all our readers a very Happy New Year. We look forward to sharing 2010 with you.

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