It is hard to put words to all the feelings and experiences at this time of year. As a kid, of course, I loved it… it meant presents, special food, time off school and often, playing in the snow. As I grew up and was working as a nurse while being a single parent, it had a whole different feeling… work during the holidays with lots of pot luck meals, feeling bad for the families whose little babies were still in the intensive care with us, my own child with her grandma and not with me, presents, and driving in the snow (yuk!). Later still in California after I was remarried and had another child, it was really awesome and yet strange… palm trees, shorts and swimming replaced snow! Now, as an empty nester with a 10 year old grandchild living in Austin, Texas… it is sunshine, sometimes cold, sometimes rainy, sometimes hot replacing snow. And the things that remain steady are presents, and family time and, in general, people being friendly and happy. I am sure each of you has your own memories and your own experiences, both good and not so good. However, whatever they are, I wish for you peace and joy during the holiday season.

The other experience after presents is the start of something new. New Year’s always brings the promise of possibility. It allows us to complete the past for all its triumphs and all its failures and let it go. Then, plan and create what the next 265 days will bring. Most of us, I believe, love it. Optimism, hope and possibility pull us powerfully into the future.

As you end this year and start anew, take the time to appreciate all that came before- even the failures, for they allow you to learn a lesson to take into the future. Take time to create possibility and get in action as you launch the next year.