As we turn the final page and say goodbye to 2013, and open the book on the empty pages of a new year, I hope you are looking ahead with anticipation.
As you begin to fill the pages of what will become your personal story of 2014, here are my wishes for you all...
I wish that you have laughter, so very much laughter. The kind that obliterates, even momentarily, the seriousness, stress, and demands of the day.
I wish you tears born of joy, not fear.
I wish you anger that moves you to action, especially on behalf of those who need your help, our help.
I wish you peaceful slumber. As you lay down each night, release the worries into the dark and remind yourself that none of it can touch you in the night. Sleep is your best resource for facing the next sunrise.
I wish you moments of surprise. Whether it is the simple, but unexpected gesture of a friend, a stranger paying a kindness forward, or a cherished person taking you totally off guard - I wish you the moments that erupt in your heart and warm you from within.
I wish you the courage of your convictions. True bravery in this world is rare. It should not be. If you believe in something with all your intellect, all your emotion - stand tall and do not be shouted down.
I wish you romance. Whether it is new or renewed, cherishing and being cherished is the best possible feeling.
I wish you health and every benefit that comes of living your best life. Only you can finally look in the mirror and tell yourself the truth. Commit to being healthier, eating healthier, moving more, chewing less in 2014. Do it for every person who loves you and wants you to be around as long as possible. But most importantly, finally do it for YOU. And if a spouse, friend, or significant other is threatened by your newfound fortitude and habits? That is THEIR problem to face, not yours.
I wish you a thirst for knowledge. Make 2014 the year you stop thoughtlessly hitting forward on your emails; share on your newsfeed; and passing on gossip - be it personal, public, or political. Care enough to research and learn the truth. Care enough to stop looking dim, easily led. You should never stop learning.
I wish you deep breaths that pull anger into focus. Especially with your children.
I wish you more worldview. Regardless of what your personal religious choice adds to your life, regardless of where geography finds you living your days, remind yourself that there is more outside the door of your particular church, temple, mosque, outside the borders of your town, city, hamlet, burg. More wonderful people, more amazing experiences, more to learn about the world in which you live. Humanity's true beauty is found in our differences.
I wish that you will BE your own religion. You know right from wrong. Your heart knows love, without being reminded, threatened, coaxed, driven by fear or promise. Let a church add to your life if that is your choice, but don't let it cloud what has been in you since birth - innocence, trust, curiosity, openness. You were not born with fear, prejudice, preconceived notions, or the need to judge. If you truly believe that God is love, then LOVE, and LET LOVE - without reservation, without fear.
Finally, I wish you peace. Quiet moments where you feel your center. Raucous moments surrounded by loved ones; times where all there is is joy, celebration. Stillness where all feels so right you are almost afraid to breath and disrupt the equilibrium. Peace so simple that clarity is its gift.
Let 2014 be the year where every page of your new book is worth writing, reading, remembering.