On the eve of the new year, I always feel a mite of contemplation is in order. I see that many of my friends and acquaintances are very pleased to have 2012 over and done! I am glad we're embracing the new and looking forward to bigger and better things, but at the same time, I don't want to send the old year away as if it were a dirty, regrettable thing.
We have faced our share of difficulties and losses. We all have. For myself, I lost several friends. When I say "lost" I don't mean their friendship. I believe the friendship endures after the person has left this earth. I mean that they are no longer with us in this physical world. These were all young people, too. In the prime of their lives. Lost to disease and unforeseen misfortune. Too many, it seems. It's hard to swallow. On top of that, my mother has had a long and difficult fight with cancer this year. There have been times that her well-being was the only thing in my thoughts. People I care about probably felt neglected because I only had room for so many things in my head. I changed my priorities a few times to make sure Mom stayed at the top. There are times when that needs to be done.
But this whole year wasn't a blight for me, and I do not wish to release it feeling that it was only a year of facing death and illness. This was also the year that I freed myself in many ways. I spent probably the past 6 or 7 years in a frantic search to find myself, always feeling out of focus and slightly off course. Well, things finally came into focus for me, and more importantly, I embraced my discovery. I also paid off some debts, built my businesses, and gained some amazing new friends and clients this year. My mother is winning her battle, when many doctors didn't think she would. So there is too much to be grateful for to throw this year away like an old band-aid.
I prefer to remove it gently, moving beyond those painful things, but being joyful, and thankful for the blessings as well. Yes, I am looking forward to 2013. Yes, I expect it to be bigger, better, and greater in many ways than 2012. It feels good to open up to something new. New beginnings are always exciting. For all of you, my friends, I wish you joy, love, and prosperity in the coming year. When I say that, I don't just mean a bunch of words that sound good. I mean that I wish you an abundance of meaningful friendships as well as time to pursue them. I wish for you love that is heartfelt and always returned. I wish for you more than enough resources to fulfill not only your needs, but also your dreams. I wish you laughter, warmth, and success in all its many forms. I wish for you the wisdom to accept and recognize them, even if they come in surprising ways.
I raise my glass tonight to those who are no longer with us. I love you. I miss you. And also for those who are still here. We have a great, wonderful, and joyous work that lies ahead, each of us, in our own way. Happy New Year!