By Mel White 

Here's to a good New Year

On the Bright Side


It's almost "next year" (finally) and here's to having a good one!

I've always loved the idea of a new year. It's as if suddenly, when the clock's hands both point upwards in the dead of a cold winter's night and twelve bells chime while the ball drops in your time zone, it will be a brand new day, a brand new year, and everything will seem new.

As if suddenly – even if the change is marked not by clock hands pointing and bells chiming but rather by a simple change of the digital readout on your phone or tablet – all the "stuff" that "happened last year" will be behind us, over and done with and maybe, like the song says, should be forgotten... or at least put in its proper place. A whole new year is ahead of us, making it easy to believe that anything is possible with this fresh start.

As if suddenly, in the spirit of a new year full of possibilities, there will be a brand spankin' new chapter in the book-of-life for each of us, with clean and empty pages just waiting to find out how we'll fill them in the year 2018.

I'm a firm believer in the idea that we each, to a great and glorious extent, determine our own fates and destinies, that we each have a big say in how we live our lives, that we are each responsible for our own level of happiness. "Stuff" happens, sure, but how we see it and how we handle it are up to us. How we fill our pages, how we handle what comes our way, is up to each of us; no one else can write in our books for us – those pages are waiting to see what we will put in them for ourselves.

And that's one of the main reasons I love the idea of the New Year and I'm looking forward to it. Because, quite frankly, I plan to make it a good one. Year 2017 has been full of so much global and national weirdness (to put it mildly) that I feel relieved it's almost over.

But I'm also going to spend the next few days remembering the good things that also happened in 2017: In the middle of all the changes and disruption and hate and madness, there was also a lot of consistency and love, and a host of positives – a lot of things happened that made me smile, a lot of things happened that made me laugh, a lot of things happened that made me feel good to be alive.

And while the joyous and happy moments of any year provide many good memories, they also provide solid proof that there is always good mixed with the bad – or bad mixed with the good, if you prefer – and that a full life includes both balance and contrast. Nothing is ever all this or all that, all good or all bad, thank goodness.

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I know going in that this New Year will not be perfect, and I know that it may hold a few surprises – some I'll like, some I won't – but I'm excited about it anyway. I'm ready for it; I'm ready to handle the hard parts – I know I can because I've handled them in the past.

And I'm really ready to enjoy the good parts, which I know will also come my way. I can't wait to see how I end up filling the empty pages in my 2018 book!

At the very least, I wish you all the same joy in anticipation, and at most, I hope your pleasant surprises in the New Year far outweigh the unpleasant ones.

Happy New Year!


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