“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.”
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Here we are New Year’s Eve and the end of another year. I am going to be like many others my age and go out this evening to celebrate with friends at a favorite Japanese restaurant and end the celebration when it is midnight in London so that I can be in bed and asleep well before midnight here in the US. My primary wish for next year is that it will be as good for me and my family as this year has been. I don’t have much memory of the bad times, I know there were some medical problems and some other setbacks but they were of no real consequence and are overshadowed by all the good things that happened. I do however mourn the loss of a few friends and the turmoil and lack of political statesmanship that has befallen our country but we will survive.
I could not help but wonder about this years ending and how it might really be different than some from the past so I looked back at a few Daily’s and here is how I saw the world then
10 Years ago
Since this is the last day of 2002 I could not help reflecting back on the year that will soon be behind us. Certainly it has been year filled with anxiety for most of us. The threat of terrorism and war has been with us constantly as we were inundated with the threat in our daily newspapers and the electronic media. For some of us the stock market decline, lower return on our CD’s and money market investments, coupled with runaway prescription costs has created a new set of concerns.
I suggest though that if you are like I am we have much to be thankful for as the year comes to an end. We made it through the year without another terrorist attack. We may have had to tighten our belts but we all know we are still better off than most. In my case I have been blessed with a family that is thriving. My grandchildren continue to mature and to give pleasure to us all. I have been extremely fortunate to be in the care of a variety of medical good guys and gals whose tenacity and skill prevented my having to undergo major heart surgery. Most recently my medical caregivers prescribed iron treatments that have brought back my energy and sense of wellbeing. It has been a year filled with new friends and the rediscovery of old friends. It is a year where I continued to have the good fortune of knowing and working with so many of you in the interest of children in need. All in all, when the scale is balanced it has been a pretty good year, thank you all for helping it be that way.
Eight Years ago
Well gang this is it, the last day of 2004. It has been some year for all of us. War continues, we are in the midst of one of the worst disasters the world has ever known, but thankfully most of us have done well. In my case my family thrived, I maintained reasonably good health, and made a raft of new friends. I look forward to all of us having a great 2005. There is much to be done and much that we can do.
My best wishes to you and yours.
Seven Years ago
2005 has been a heck of a year for me personally; one of the best ever. I can’t list everything; the list would be too long, but here are a few:
I am pleased that so many friends have gone on to new careers and happier lives.
I am fortunate that I made the acquaintance of so many smart people this year; I like to think of them as friends.
I am happy that I had so many opportunities to work with others, volunteer my time, and invest in the future through my many learning experiences.
While I miss those who I will probably never see again, friends that have moved, people I worked with from international organizations and government, and those who drift away because of time and distance. I am pleased that they are generally doing well and I consider myself fortunate that so many left me a better person than I would have been if it were not for their friendship.
And there is a special warm spot in my heart for all my caregivers, they all really care and some have become dear friends.
I know I had a better year than most and to a large extent it was due to the benefits that have come from so many of you.
“Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.”
Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can actually accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:
Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
Stop exercising. Waste of time.
Read less. Makes you think.
Watch more TV. I’ve been missing some good stuff.
Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
Start being superstitious.
A Jewish Prayer for the New Year
May we get a clean bill of health from our dentist, our psychiatrist, our ophthalmologist, our cardiologist, our gastroenterologist, our urologist, our proctologist, our gynecologist, our podiatrist, our plumber and the IRS.
May our hair, our teeth, our facelift, our abs, our honey cakes, and our stocks not fall and may our blood pressure, our triglycerides, our cholesterol, our white blood count, our weight and our mortgage interest rates not rise.
May we find a way to travel from anywhere to anywhere in the rush hour in less than an hour and when we get there, may we find a parking space.
May we all relax about the third millennium of the common era, and realize that we still have 239 years until the down of the sixth millennium of the Hebrew calendar by which time the computer will be long since obsolete and so will we.
It is my belief that God’s joyous humor is the reason he really does not want us to touch our toes while exercising or he would have put them further up our bodies; and, the reason so many of us take up jogging is to hear heavy breathing again.
May what we see in the mirror delight us and what others see in us, delight them. May someone, as well as God, love us enough to forgive our faults, be blind to our blemishes and tell the world about our virtues.
May the telemarketers wait until after we finish dinner to call us. May our checkbooks and budgets balance and may they include generous amounts for charity.
May we remember to say “I love you” at least once a day to our spouse, our child, our parent, all of our significant others but not our boss, our intern, our nurse, our masseur, our hairdresser or our tennis instructor.
And may the Messiah come this year, and if he does not, may we live as if he has, in a world at peace, with awareness of God’s love in every sunset, flower, baby’s smile, lover’s kiss, and every wonderful astonishing beat of our heart. May we smile and laugh throughout the year.
NEW YEAR WISHES
May peace fill all the empty spaces around you, and in you, may contentment answer all your wishes. May comfort be yours, warm and soft like a sigh, and may the coming year show you that every day is really a first day, a new year. Let abundance be your constant companion, so that you have much to share. May mirth be near you always, like a lamp shining brightly on the many paths you travel.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
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