Looking forward with passion

This past year we have seen a lot of shake-your-head kind of stuff go on locally and nationally. Locally we witnessed a political race for mayor of Gloversville that descended into childish behavior and then potential laws broken in order to win over all costs. And who can forget the pair who stuffed a man’s body into a suitcase and drove to Arkansas with the suitcase in the bed of a truck before dumping it off on a dead-end road. Then there were some local municipalities that faced aging infrastructure woes that caused major problems for several months and millions to fix.

Nationally and internationally, terrorists still created havoc and fear with deadly attacks daily across the world. From the man who killed 58 attending a county music concert to the man who killed his law office partner, most people are beginning to not feel safe anywhere, not even in the sanctuary of the church.

We have a president who tweets constantly, even on issues that are non-presidential and whom seems to know only a few words, such as “greatest” “biggest” and “fake.”

At the same time, while we do not agree with some of his campaign promises, the president did try to stick by those promises, something few candidates ever do. But, the partisan divide in Washington seems wider than ever before and barely anything is getting accomplished. It is a “us against them” mentality, and that is not helping anyone.

But 2018 is a new year and offers a new beginning. Everyone faces new challenges. There are births, deaths, medical diagnoses. Some of us face a job loss, others starting a new job. Some of us find ourselves living in a new town, unsure if we will find the same comfort zone we knew in our hometown; while others wonder if staying in one place their entire lives was the right thing to do. Each of us face new challenges every day.

Eventually we move forward.

New parents adjust to their new lives, while those who lost a loved one never lose the pain, but over time it becomes easier to bear.

While a medical diagnosis can be life-changing, it also offers opportunity. The opportunity to make amends, get priorities straight and have the chance to let those you love know how much they mean to you.

As Barbara Kingsolver writes in “High Tide in Tucson”:

“It’s not such a wide gulf to cross, then, from survival to poetry. We hold fast to the old passions of endurance that buckle and creak beneath us, dovetailed, tight as a good wooden boat to carry us onward. And onward full tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another — that is surely the basic instinct. Baser than even hate, the thing with teeth, which can be stilled with a tone of voice of beauty. If the whole world of the living has to turn on the single point of remaining alive, that pointed endurance is the poetry of hope. The thing with feathers.”

Let’s move into 2018 with that hope and endurance and learn to gracefully move forward over any problems that may cross our paths.

Here’s to a happy New Year!