New Year, New Life

This year I’m celebrating my 51st New Year.

I have many fond memories of family, food, games, traditions. As a child we would step out our front door and bang pot lids with wooden spoons to ring in the new year. I still watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, at least for those last few minutes as the ball on Time’s Square (delayed for midnight in the Rocky Mountains) slowly glides downward, then bursts into wonderful light. Fireworks, cheering, drinking, that New Year’s kiss.

And we all make resolutions. “This year I’m going to…”

And, months later, we berate ourselves for failing to keep them.

But 51 years has give me some perspective on life and living. First of all, the best and most lasting changes in my life have never begun with a resolution New Year’s Day.

Change—especially for the better—doesn’t come because of a page on the calendar. It comes because we are prepared for it.

By that, I mean that life circumstances prepare us for the inevitability of change.

Pregnancy, by its very nature, prepares us for parenthood. Misery prepares us for the struggle to climb from its grip. The process of aging prepares us to meet our eventual end.

But at some point, the process of change requires something from us. It requires choice. It requires action. It requires us to make decisions about how we will react, what we will do. At some point, we must all take our lives into our own hands. We must all make of ourselves the kind of person we want to become.

And in that light, I think this quote from country musician Brad Paisley is as true of July 23rd or November 6th as it is of January 1st:

“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”

This month’s stories are all about change, new beginnings, that first page. Some by choice, some by chance.

We hope you enjoy.