New is always a chance for optimism, whether it is a new year, new month, new week, or simply a new day. With that optimism, however, has to come a new attitude.
I gave up a great deal in 2015 - time, energy, hope, emotions. I gave it up to grief, to work, to depression. I gave up enjoyment, relaxation and pleasure to deadlines, expectations and accusations. Gone were good meals, small indulgences, smiles, laughter, and most of all, gone was the fierceness that threads its way through all of me. I gave up, in the end, too much of myself.
Not so for 2016. I'm through living my life on terms I did not set, for dampening the fire I know smolders within me. I'm through seeing my dreams from afar rather than striding toward them, and I'm through giving up on living the life I can. I look out my office window and see the mountains burn twice a day - with the new rays of the sunrise and the last embers of the sunset, and each day I want this to remind me that the light of what living ought to be is never finished. No matter when, or where, or how, it can and always should be new.
There is much that will be a part of this - health, satisfaction and birding, travel and music and books. Stamps in the passport, scars on the hands, tears of joy. The wind snarling my hair, sore muscles, awestruck smiles, study sessions, new tastes and exotic sensations. But what will be part of it most of all is me - the me I've lost for far too long.