As I contemplate another New Year’s approach, I have hope. There is much that makes me anxious and angry. There is much I don’t understand. There are many I would like to sit in a room and ask to behave better—others I’d compel to take a stand. However, my anxiety is not the fullness of my reality—neither is my anger or disappointment. It is still my goal to find contentment and joy in this present moment.
My contentment is not denial. My joy is not superficial. I still wrestle with the demons of disdain when I see the worst of how we treat each other. There are wants and hurts and offenses that add darkness to the world; but there is also light and love and the possibility for each of us to grow and learn. And because of that and my faith—even now—I have hope.
I have hopes for my family—for them to be safe, healthy, and happy. I hope that they are loved (and loved well), and I hope that the love they show to others they also apply to themselves. I hope we can see each other often to share in fun, hijinks, and laughter. I hope we’ll continue to break bread and make memories together. Where there is pain or loss, I hope for restoration and healing. I hope for honesty where there’s deception and reconciliation where there are hurt feelings.
I have hopes for my friends. I hope that they are content. Those that are unemployed or unhappily employed, I hope they find their dream job. Those that are seeking a relationship or struggling in their marriage, I hope they find or rediscover the love. Those that are mourning, I hope they find comfort and hope. Those that have moved away, I hope they can visit (or that I can visit them). And those that are nearby, I hope to see often.
I have hopes for my husband and my marriage. I hope we continue to be best friends, to make each other laugh, and to bring out each other’s best. I hope that his ankle heals so that post-surgery he’s 100%. I hope that this new year finds us loving each other better and more deeply—that we never take each other for granted or hurt each other intentionally. I hope that we see more of the world together and have a lot of fun. I hope that we’re happy and healthy and fulfilled in our jobs.
I have hopes for myself. I hope to be myself at all times and with all people. I hope to be bold enough to speak up and wise enough to listen. I hope to be content with where I am and what I have, even as I continue dreaming. I want to worry less, experience more, and keep on learning. I hope to accept my body as it ages and changes—to appreciate what it can still do. I want to feed and rest it well; and I want to keep it moving. I hope to write (and to write well) and to never stop pursuing my goals. I hope for new and exciting experiences and for trips to various parts of the world.
I have hopes for America, especially considering all the hate and violence that’s been thrown around lately. I hope that we can all admit we don’t have all the answers and work harder to see each other’s humanity. Let us be less critical and more compassionate—less dismissive and much more patient. Let us show and tell and listen and learn. And let us give everyone a legitimate chance to be happy, healthy, and heard.