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Bring it on

On the Bright Side

Another new year is upon us.

And I'm meeting this new year once again with mixed feelings and emotions. In many ways 2023 was difficult, and in many ways it was a great year, and all things considered I'm ready for it to end and another new one to begin,

I've always loved new beginnings, and the start of a brand new year is always a good one as far as I'm concerned. It's as if when the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, everything changes; possibilities are endless. Everything old is new again.

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 Time's Square (over and over and over again for all of us in different time zones), it's a brand new day, a brand new year. Suddenly – even if the change is marked not by clock hands pointing and bells chiming but rather simply by the change of a red or green digital readout on the clock by your bedside – all the stuff that "happened last year" is behind us, over and done with and maybe, like the song says, should be forgotten... or at least put it its proper place.

I am a firm believer in – and an active proponent of – 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 (or sadness, as the case may be). "Stuff" happens, to be sure, but how we see it and how we handle it are up to us, and with the coming of a new year, we have a chance to wipe the slate clean of all that has disappointed us or saddened us or held us back. The new year means new chances to change the things we are able to change and new chances to accept the things that we cannot change, to paraphrase a famous quote.

The past year was a difficult one for many of us, no doubt, but many of us also found a way to be happy and positive and maybe most importantly, kind – at least for periods of time if not every day – through all the downsides and unexpected upsets and losses. That's important to remember I think – 2023 was not without a lot of heartache, but neither was it without a lot of victories and laughter and loving moments. Those types of "auld" acquaintances should maybe not be forgot as we move forward to find more joy, more wins, more ways to go on regardless of what may stand in our way.

I rarely make new year's resolutions these days because they never seem to last (lose weight, exercise more, etc.) but I find this year I'm ready and willing to once again make new kinds of resolutions for myself.

So, I'm ready for the new year, ready with an attitude of "bring it on!" because I know I can handle it, whatever "it" may be. I'm ready to laugh more, engage more, communicate more, enjoy more, learn more, accept more, forgive more, understand more, feel more, experience more, open myself to life more and all it has to offer. At the same time, I'm ready to judge less, cry less, dismay less, worry less, blame less, condescend less, grudge less, resent less, and to discard more of those self-defeating and limiting thoughts and feelings.

I can't help it – I'm really looking forward to this new year of 2024 and whatever it may bring. A New Year, full of possibilities and promises if I open myself more to experiences and enjoy them, good and bad, and make them my own.

Happy New Year to you all.

© 2024 Mel Makaw. Mel, local writer/photographer and author of On the Bright Side, a Collection of Columns (available locally at Tehachapi Arts Center and Healthy Hippie Trading Co.), welcomes your comments at [email protected].