I’ve often watched with curiosity as New Year’s Day arrived, and I’ve marveled at our desire to see a specific date as a new beginning.
Perhaps I’m naïve, or odd, or simply different, but New Year’s Day has never held much significance for me. It’s not an occasion to party. It’s not a time to start anew. It’s not a time for resolutions. It’s simply another day to be thankful.
I learned long ago to live my life as a series of days. Each one is different, and special, and real. Each one presents another opportunity to start over, and to set things right. I don’t know that I could wait a year to correct my mistakes. I make far too many to allow them to accumulate for that long.
For me, every day represents a new beginning. That’s reason enough to celebrate, and the perfect excuse to live joyfully. These days can be snatched away at any moment, so they shouldn’t be wasted. A single bad decision can change everything, so I must face my days armed with wisdom. That doesn’t mean living hesitantly, or walking through life in fear. On the contrary, living wisely means squeezing every drop of life out of each day. It means living my life with courage.
And so, if I take anything into this new year, it will be courage. Not the recklesskind of courage that leads to mistakes, but the kind of courage that frees me to love fiercely, to laugh loudly, and to carry myself with the dignity of one who knows his worth. I haven’t always done that. I doubt that any of us have, but in this new year, on this new day, I’ll strive for the very thing that kept me going yesterday, and the day before. I’ll strive to be grateful.
That shouldn’t be difficult.
I have my family, and they are the people who matter most to me. They are the reason I put one foot in front of the other and walk through difficulty. They are the reason I try to live a life of integrity. They are the people I think about when I’m poised to make a mistake. They are the reason I continue to get up, no matter how often I fall.
On this new day, in this new hour, during this new minute, I’ll be grateful because I am rich beyond measure. Not because of material things, but because of love. I have the love of my wife and children. I have the love of my mother, and my father, and my God. But just as importantly, I have the ability to give love in return. That’s the greatest gift a man can have, and I’m grateful.
Therefore, at a time when so many choose to celebrate, I’ll join the party, but not to mark the passage of another year. I’ll celebrate the chance to see another day, to live another moment, and to love with reckless abandon. That’s what’s important to me now, and that’s what will get me through the coming days.
I wish you a day that makes a difference in your life. May you string such days together into a happy and prosperous new year.