2020 – Coming Into Focus

a5649117efe5e16222a72001a4b11a73As I write this, we are just hours from a new year, a new decade.

With the dawn of a new year, comes the opportunity to look back on what has come before and to look ahead to the endless possibilities just around the corner.

Like most of you, the past year was a mixed bag, I had highs and lows, some of them had a greater impact than others.  Some of my own creation and some that I had no control over, that’s life, it will happen again in 2020 and every year that we are blessed to walk this earth.

What I have learned through the years is, I can’t always control the situation, but I can control how I react.  For 2020, my hope is that I don’t sweat the small stuff, but concentrate on the things that matter, the things that will have impact on my life and those around me.

I pray that I never lose my sense of adventure, to dream big and step into new challenges.  Some of my best decisions have been those cockamamie choices I have made that from the outside make no sense, but in my heart are the only viable direction.

For our nation, I pray that we never forget who we are, we are America, the greatest nation to ever inhabit this planet, a nation that provides hope and opportunity to anyone willing to invest in the American dream.

Moving into 2020, my greatest fear is for our country.  We have become a polarized nation unwilling to work together for the common good.  I pray that this year, we think more before we react, we learn to look beyond our own interests and to what is best for all and I pray that above all else we learn to work together once again, our nation’s future depends on it.

I pray that our world finds long-lasting and true peace.

For each of you, I pray that your dreams will come true in 2020.  I hope that all of your goals and aspirations fall into place and that your days are filled with love, laughter and health.

Above all else, for 2020, I pray that we all find grace, hope and community. I pray that we overcome the hard times with the help of others and that we celebrate our joys together.

For 2020, I will pray for you all and ask the same in return.  For 2020, my goal is to be a little kinder, a bit more joyful, more present and understanding…. for 2020, my goal is simple, just to try and be a bit better every day.

Happy New Year friends, may God bless you in 2020!

Silent Snow for the Start of a New Year…

This morning as I woke to a new day and a new year, I made my way outside for a quick dog walk in sub-twenty degree weather.

As my eyes adjusted to the morning light, a surprise snowfall greeted me.  A dusting of snow-covered the ground and trees.

And then I heard it….. silence.

The silence and snowfall were the perfect start to a new year.  Like an empty palette the snow-covered the good and bad of last year and provided promise for the year to come.

As gentle snow flakes fell from the heavens, like the wishes of us all for a new year, I stood in the silence and gave thanks to God for a clean-slate filled with possibility.

Isn’t it perfect that a new year starts with the simple beauty of a fresh falling snow?

I’m not one for resolutions.  Yes, I need to lose weight, I need to take better care of myself, I want to write more, be more organized, be a better citizen, boss, friend, family member and on and on and on.

But instead of resolutions, I have made one goal for myself in 2018.

My goal is to be a better person this year than I was last year.

I want to be a better citizen, friend, boss, family member, a simple challenge that holds as many obstacles and rewards as any resolution ever could.

Like every year 2018 will be filled with challenges and triumphs, no goal will ever stop that.

There will be abundant joy in 2018 and undoubtedly deep sadness, but if I strive to be a better person through it all, I am confident I will look back on 2018 and be content.

Like a fresh falling snow, 2018 is filled with promise, my wish for you is happiness, health, prosperity and goodness.

Happy New Year friends, may your 2018 be your best ever!

Life’s Playlist…. What a Wonderful World performed by Eva Cassidy

Another year has come to an end and today we start anew…. 2018.

Life is filled with ups and downs, sometimes we get it wrong, sometimes we get it right.

2017 had its ups and downs, some days I felt defeated and others I felt like there was nothing I couldn’t do.  I suspect 2018 will be the same, but today, as there is dawn on a new year, there is hope, there is excitement and challenges that will affect us all.

In the ups and downs, there always seems to be a breath of hope for what lies ahead, in this great big wonderful world.

I pray you will have peace, joy, health and happiness in 2018, let’s get it!

Happy New Year!

New Year Playlist…. What A Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

happy-new-year-2015-6

It’s become a bit of a tradition….  “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong to start the year.  I hope the words to this song touch you and carry you forward in 2015…… indeed amidst all our problems, foibles and drama, we do live in a wonderful world.

Happy New Year Friends!

Mounds of Gratitude…

Gratitude 1.1.14At the end of last year, I saw a post from my friend Jan Norris about her “Gratitude Jar.”  When I read the post I was moved by the unique simplicity of concentrating on the good and making those special memories the focus of my day.

While we all deal with crap on a daily basis, we often overlook the blessings.  After reading the post, I started my own Gratitude Jar tradition.

All year the nondescript jar has sat in the middle of my table.  As the seasons changed,  colorful slips of paper have created a tapestry of wonderful memories contained within the glass.

Today, to begin a new year, in anticipation, I sat and opened each slip of paper.

I read the papers, I reflected and my heart filled with joy.  2013, while it had its junk, was a pretty awesome year filled with simple blessings and memories that I will hold tight forever.

I placed that mound of memories in an envelope and sealed it, placing it in my treasure box.  Someday I may relive those memories again, or the envelope may never be reopened; but the wonder of 2013 will be contained there forever.

Today, with my jar empty, I began to refill with 2014 gratitude.  It’s going to be a wonderful year, there will be challenges, disappointments and crap….  but I know if I let it happen there will be more Gratitude than anything else.

Happy 2014!