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Every year at just about this time in December, my friend, Judith, will call me up and say, “I know that this coming new year is going to be the best ever.” Sometimes I laugh and say, “You said that last year and the one before that and the one before that.” Obviously, none of those lived up to her prediction so she’s banking on this new one coming up soon. But why not just believe it, eh? It’s better than sending dirge-like laments to the heavens and predicting that next year will be worse than this one. Why not be optimistic about the possibilities that abound in 2018? And, isn’t it always about attitude and what baggage we bring with us?

Maybe that’s not such a good place to start since my baggage of Heart, Home and Hernia are still very much present in my life and will be chugging along with me into 2018. But I know that it’s true that if I’m positive and keep my sunny side up that trio of challenges will be much more manageable as we sneak our way into this new year.

All of this came to mind because my new 2018 calendar came in the mail this week. I love getting a new calendar. I know, I know I’m a dinosaur still using paper and pen to Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 3.29.09 PMchronicle my life of doctors’ appointments and cat sitting, and movies and dinner dates. Maybe if I had a smart phone that I carried around with me and looked at every two seconds, I wouldn’t be so attached to the paper version. But I don’t have one of those — “Yet” I hear Sarah saying — so I’ll stick with the paper.

I was ridiculously happy when I saw it in my mailbox. In came wrapped up like present with a little note to me taped to the front thanking me for buying it. I wouldn’t get that with my device, eh? I’m just a little embarrassed to admit that I kissed the cover and repeated Judith’s words that this will be my best year ever. I think it’s good to give blessings on new things in your life. I remember when I first lived in DC with my two roommates in our very first apartment. One of them had the local priest come over and bless our place complete with proper prayers and holy water. It turned out to be a great place to live but I don’t if that was because of the blessing or the location.

I still haven’t made one mark on these pages — not even writing my name in the front.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to put down. I have a slew of appointments to note and classes to mark and birthdays to put down so I can forget them when they come by. But all those notes stay tucked in the last week of December in my 2017 calendar. Maybe I think that as long as this new one stays empty, all kinds of possibilities can live on those blank pages.

Actually, it’s just because I haven’t gotten around to doing it. But, when I do, it’s going to be in pencil. I don’t want to fix anything in a permanent ink. Life doesn’t necessarily happen in the way you put it down in a calendar. It’s too full of surprises, and cancellations and opportunities and unexpected good and bad things. But, just like Judith, I do feel in my bones that this coming year is going to be the best. It will be full of adventures and changes, challenges and joy. And it will be chronicled on these lovely blank pages. That will be my Happy New Year.