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One More Day

One more dawn, one more day, one day more.

– Les Misérables

As I write this, night has fallen on New Year’s Eve. Really, it’s not even one more day, it’s just a few more hours until 2018. Normally, I am sad on December 31, the sense of ending pervading my soul. Tonight, however, as in 2016, the feeling of loss takes a distant second to the sense of new beginning lurking just around the corner. As though a car had sprayed water over my feet as I walked home, and now I’m within sight of my house and all those pairs of clean, dry socks waiting inside. Perhaps tomorrow will bring floods of its own, but right now I can imagine better things.

Millions of us harbor dreams that we will change tomorrow, along with our circumstances. We will exercise regularly, we will cut out fried foods and refined sugar, we will read Tolstoy and write our congressional representatives and pick up litter on the beach. That new socks feeling will enable us to become the people our college entrance essays promised we would be.

And now I sit in the evening on January 1st, listening to the last of the (completely illegal) fireworks going off. Floats coasted through the streets of Pasadena and Georgia overcame Oklahoma in overtime at the Rose Bowl. We have entered the new year and 2018 became a reality. For myself, it’s gone well so far – brunch with a dear friend, dinner with my aunt and uncle and some quality time with my favorite feline. Even traffic cooperated. I couldn’t ask for much better. But while all this pleasantness occurred, 2018 ceased to be someday and became now, another day in which I lived and breathed and thought. (And ate. Rather well.) The new socks were on and just for today, stayed clear of cars and puddles.

As we live out the year, we forget this gift of a new start. Each day becomes one more series of errands and to-do lists and appointments. We walk into the new year and quickly forget any sense of newness. I’m not much for resolutions, but there is something in this sense of beginning. It’s the one time of the year that we open our hearts and minds to the possibility that we might do something differently than we’ve done it before. That is a miracle. Breath it in and see if you might open the door of your life just an inch wider than you’ve done in the past, and let in the sense of wonder that waits just beyond it.

We still have a lot of hard work ahead of us to make this world a better place, to create a society where people speak to each other with love in their hearts even when they necessarily disagree. The rancor that exists around us traces back far earlier than 2017. But maybe today is where we turn the corner. And maybe that chance renews every morning, not just on the first of the year.

We are walking in fresh socks, my friends. Anything can happen.

Kimberly is cautiously optimistic about you, 2018. Dangerously cautiously optimistic.

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