And a Happy New Year…

Fireworks in PositanoToday marks the end of the holiday season in my culture. Thanksgiving is a month past, so Christmas Day to New Year’s Day covers it. We don’t celebrate Epiphany or El Dia de Los Reyes as my family in Mexico calls it. All of our gifts are given, the celebrating is winding down.

I’ve been wondering exactly what makes it a happy new year. What do I need to invoke “happy”?

Christmas is easy in our house. We decorate with lights, candles and greenery. We host our friends and family for some meals  and do some visiting. We make donations in honor of our children and grandchildren. And we agree that waking up is the best gift we can give each other.

We’ve seen or talked with each and every one of our children and most of our grandchildren.

Our anniversary is tucked into the season. It used to provide a bit of respite – a meal out together in the midst of the hubbub. Now it’s a tradition although there isn’t enough stress to warrant an escape.

Life is good.

And so will 2016 morph into 2017 without much change?

Well, there is already change. Bad things happen in everyone’s life. And we’re not thrilled at what is happening in our country. Our friends and loved ones could be under attack as the atmosphere slides toward intolerance. Hatred and fear is no longer dormant.

But I’m doing my best to think of positive avenues toward change. I want to stand and work for transformation in the world – all the time knowing that it could be a very hard road to travel.

But, for me a prosperous New Year is one in which my husband and I can still afford to take care of ourselves and feel free to help others.

A happy year will be one in which I can accept what comes without causing myself and others too much suffering. It will be one in which I can retain my equilibrium (or regain it) if my world totters a bit.

I know that I am loved. So, a good year will be one in which I remember to be loving and kind.

My personal prayer for 2017 is that my family stay healthy. I extend that prayer to cover my friends. And I add a prayer for all of the children of all of the parents in the world…that they, too, stay safe.

And, I wish you the best.



  1. Before I get to sharing some disappointing stuff, let me wish you a very happy new year.

    Firstly, as an admirer of the USA, I found this very disturbing particularly since Trump has now been elected.

    The next four years will be crucial for the world because Trump remains an enigma and quite whether he will successfully address the issues that this article raises remains to be seen. If he does not, quite how this underbelly of your country and the political establishment will react gives me the shivers!

    I have given up on the pursuit of happiness as I have discovered that it is simply pleasure that one is after. I am content with the pursuit itself! Somethings give pleasure like a good movie or a great meal, but that is temporary and instead of chasing for making that sensation permanent, I have learnt to keep my life as simple as possible and take my pleasures where and when they come around. Somewhat like an alley cat as it were!

    I share your very admirable prayer.


    • Well, Ramana, for my peace of mind I am trying not to follow the news to closely. Both in the wake of this momentous election and in regarding the concept of the New Year, I strongly feel that it will be what we make of what we encounter. Our best is called for – whatever that may be. Happiness…in my opinion is not a pursuit but a result. Contentment feels like peace and acceptance. That is good enough for me.


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