Out With the Old Year

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

Image courtesy of Stockvault.

As I’ve gotten older, I tend to focus more on New Years than other festivities around this time. New Year’s Day is a chance for a new beginning, as well as a chance to look back on what one has accomplished. Curiously, I find myself trying to do more of the former instead of the latter. Maybe it’s because the past is already written, and I’m more interested in what hasn’t been set in stone yet. Regardless, it helps to know where one has been in order to know where one is going.

Some of my accomplishments this year are things I can be proud of. I’ve started this blog, worked on editing my dystopian novel, and started a new fantasy novel. Additionally, I’ve written a few short pieces of fiction here, and I’ve joined a local writer’s group. Most importantly, I’ve found new writers to be inspired by. If fiction is a window into the human condition, I’ve been renovating this year in all the right ways.

Granted, this doesn’t mean I’ve cultivated things to my complete liking. Trying to find time to work on books and participate in social media is a skill I haven’t completely mastered. If I could, I’d write here and elsewhere every day. But that’s an ambitious goal, and really I need to crawl before I go running around the Internet like a silly person.

I think that perspective also is important. This year many people have suffered misfortune and tragedy, while others have emerged victorious and triumphant. Their struggles sometimes get publicized, and sometimes they go completely unnoticed by friends and neighbors. Notoriety doesn’t add or take away from these challenges; they exist whether anyone knows about them at all. Compared to some of the things I do know about, my struggles seem quite small. This perspective makes things a bit more bearable at times.

One thing I can say is that anyone reading this has made it through another year too. That’s better than any holiday wishes or tidings I can give. Regardless of whether it’s been easy or hard, we’re still here doing whatever it is we’ve been doing. If a life is a story, then we all get to turn the page to see what comes next.

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