The year 2011 was anything but boring. A momentous year filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, it did not disappoint with one tumultuous rollercoaster ride of surprises at every turn. Watching the news, I was reminded of the many victories around the globe for freedom, for democracy, for the common man. I couldn’t help but reflect on my own life. Isn’t that what we do at year’s end? We reflect on our actions and reactions and the events that occurred over the course of the last 365 days (except in a leap year) and we are either excessively glad to see the year go or we rest with fondness on the fact that it was indeed a “good year.” For me, this past year was filled opportunities which pointed to dreams clearly realized. It was also marked with tough times to overcome and sadness to endure. I experienced the passing of my beloved pet who escaped death not once but twice – a cat who was rescued as a kitten from the median of a busy street – and whose mere presence after five feet of flood waters drenched my home said he was possibly the luckiest cat alive. In the end, it was a kidney stone that got him. Isn’t that life? I was commissioned to write my first episode for television produced by a major cable network. It was exciting, honorable and “where the rubber-meets-the-road” as my mother would say. When I look back over the year from January to December, I see many hills and valleys. I celebrated as many victories as I mourned losses. I think the term is properly coined – bittersweet. That’s been a constant theme in my life – one that’s not gone unnoticed or unanswered. So, with the arrival of each New Year I choose not to dwell on the difficulties of the past year but how I rose to meet those difficulties and forged through each challenge to emerge stronger, wiser and better for the wear. I choose not to swim in the river of denial regarding the pain I’ve suffered; but to use the sting of defeat, disappointment or heartache as a reminder that brighter days most assuredly follow the torrent of rain. That is a meteorological fact of life.
My wish for you this New Year is my wish for all mankind: that you see clearly the world in front of you, the opportunities that surround you and the greatness that lives within you without fear or hesitation; that you rise to meet each new day with confidence even in the face of what may seemingly be your toughest battle yet; and that you learn to cherish each moment of happiness and tolerate the pain of loss without bitterness, envy or remorse. Take the good with the bad, my friend, then rise triumphant. After all, that’s life.