It’s January 1st. New Year’s Day.

We think of this (a new year) in a (somewhat) revolutionary light. After all, this is a new year, which should mean that all off our fears and uncertainties have instantly melted away. It’s like we are superheroes for a time. Perhaps we even could take over the world, if we’d just harness the bright-eyed ambition that flows in our sensibilities.

Oprah Winfrey is often quoted thus:

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

If we now have superhero powers, born of a New Year, how many of us are translating that starry-eyed optimism toward real, and meaningful, change. Just think… If each of us could miraculously become a new person, free of every deep-seated fear, what would we do?

While it’s true that we are, in many ways, shaped by our experience, we often allow past realities (or perceptions of the truth) to define our present and future — in ways that limit our ability to change and grow. What if we really could go into the New Year by seeing every day (and our lives) as blank pages? As Edith Lovejoy Pierce so famously says:

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

Amidst the madcap musings, we are left with some brutal realities — especially in hard times. We have work to do, and so much to accomplish. Ellen Goodman lays out the path we must follow:

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

As we move forward into this New Year, have you walked through your life? Have you drawn up your list? How do you hold fast to hope — in the midst of the (sometimes brutal) realities?

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