I've eaten all the chocolate I can stand. The snow on the ground has turned to ice, the Christmas wrappings have been carried away, but the tree still stands, lonely without its gifts.
It's been a wonderful holiday season with family and friends to share it, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow, the first day of 2016. By tradition our tree comes down on January 1 and the holiday trimmings are stored until next year. It's always a slightly melancholy task, and thoughts of mortality and inevitable change accompany the packing of the ornaments. Will I be here in 12 months to unpack these trinkets? Will we, who have moved so often, unpack them in yet another home? Will we all be the same, or will the world be changed?
Life is full of surprises and expecting change is healthier, I think, than resisting. Change is, after all, the essence of life; when it ceases so do we. Change, therefore, is good, whether it brings unhappiness or opens doors to fresh alternatives—or both.
I don't have to be a seer to know that 2016 is going to continue to bombard us with surprises. It's an election year, for one thing, and this time there's no telling who will say what or which unexpected event will influence our votes. We can expect more and stranger weather, more needless and shocking deaths, but also more openness, more kindness, more understanding. I am optimistic about humanity despite our shortcomings, which are myriad.
I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year. Breathe deeply, love wisely, and remember to be grateful. Life, even when it throws us curves, is worth living and honoring.