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  • Writer's pictureDavid Brady

New Year New Challenges

As 2020 comes to a close some of us will be running for the exit in an effort to put this year behind us. Perhaps some accounting is in order before we draw this year to a close. For some of us, this year has been a wild ride with not a lot to show for it, most have been busy keeping their heads above water.

Whatever the case it’s important to reflect and make note of the areas where we made progress and others where we fell short of the mark. Some will have used the time given to us to explore new disciplines or dig deeper into older ones to progress and find a deeper understanding. Let us concentrate on the latter as an example so as not to draw more attention to where we may have dropped the ball and let ourselves down, but to see where we hit it out of the park.

Over this last year, I have come into contact with a tremendous amount of people who have through great effort have made productive use of the time. In some cases, I have come away in awe of the production of most of the people I have come across. I feel a few examples are in order.

One person I know had set their desires on becoming a competent gardener. They managed to transform their small yard into an oasis full of flourishing fruit trees and ground cover rescued from nurseries that had all but given them away for their lack of appeal. The person and their yard exude a sense of accomplishment and confidence not often witnessed in a suburban environment.

Another person took up the discipline of language making a task of learning French, and not marly to be passable in a market, but to be proficient in conversation.

This person reached out to find a tutor who was a native speaker and had been stranded here unable to return home due to the travel restrictions. In learning the language the teacher and student were able to help each other not only in the discovery of the new language but in the friendship that resulted. There is some comfort that a person far from home receives in being able to speak in their native tongue.

Some others I know made a great effort to improve their physical health. Some took up running, others swimming or cycling. Their time was well spent allowing them to improve their health and appearance, some losing weight while others seemed to roll back the hands of time.

For myself, I had decided to spend my spare time reading as much philosophy as I could lay my hands on. See my reading list for a glimpse of what I deemed worthy of recommendation. I also worked hard to be a good friend, to be available, and to say yes a lot. Sometimes this brought me far from home, sometimes it brought me around the corner to a friend in need. In all the cases I can say I am the better for it.

I learned a lot this year, from my family, my friends, and all of the mistakes I made. This year has been full of challenges, some big, some small, all of us had them. While we have no idea what next year will bring we do know this, it will bring more challenges and more opportunities. It is my sincerest hope that next year brings many blessings to all, and an opportunity to display more of the good graces I had a chance to witness this year. From the people helping their neighbors to those lending a hand to people, they didn’t even know. The giving and gratitude I had a chance to witness this year in some cases made me smile in others brought me to tears. I can say that all of the hardship seemed to bring the best out of most people, and isn’t that what is so great about the human spirit! Well bring on 2021 I think we are ready for whatever it brings.

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