Here we are again... marveling at how quickly time passes and how fast the year has progressed. Reflecting on the past twelve months is a healthy way to take inventory of one's life--an audit, even, and late December seems to be an ideal time for such ruminations. Am I focused on the things that are most important to me and to the dear ones around me? Have I successfully made time for that which is my top priority? Thinking back on the year involves coming to terms with one's weaknesses and losses in addition to recognizing one's strengths, victories and areas of measurable growth. I have found that I must appreciate this balance... Without acknowledging weakness, we never learn and grow in our character and skills. Similarly, without validating our victories we sell ourselves short and cannot achieve our potential for growing and developing steadily through life. Being honest and humble with oneself about such things is something for which one must continually strive, and that honesty, as the Good Book says, is "like a kiss on the lips." (Proverbs 24:26)
Looking back at the year allows the opportunity for grieving the loss of those we have cherished, celebrating moments of joy and success, resolving to learn from mistakes, and bravely moving forward into the unknown. Worthwhile dreams are never achieved overnight, but rather through consistent effort, discipline, focus and patience... The end of a year remarkably (and predictably) promises the beginning of the next, giving rise to new life, new pathways, new opportunities, new faces, new possibilities, new endeavors, new challenges, new chances to make something right. What an optimistic thought, this empty canvas of a new year! I wish you that which I hope for myself: that we would move forward into 2016 with confidence, kindness, excellence, compassion, a grateful spirit and a desire to contribute generously to improve the world around us. Blessings to all!