Excited about the start of 2023? I know, this time every year, I am filled with optimism for the year ahead – I’m not sure that I could be described as the greatest resolution maker, certainly I have plans and goals for the year, but the idea of joining a gym, climbing a mountain or swimming with sharks has never been something I’ve burned to make happen at the start of a year.

So, what is it about this time of year that gets us all worked up?

I think, it’s a mixture of a number of things. For me, I tend to look back on the year past as we finish up on December 31st. I like to remember the highlights of the year, things that made me feel joy, a sense of accomplishment or maybe just things that were so small they made me smile, even if I couldn’t tell you why exactly.

At this time of year too, we look back and think of what was lost. For some it will be loved ones, a family member or maybe a friend who passed away, the end of a job or maybe some other trouble that came to knock on the door.

Today, Tomas, went out to our front garden and pruned the roses – yes, it’s the start of a New Year and we still had red roses in the garden! They have had a very, very long season thanks to a mild year, but on the way to the compost heap, they pass by our bells of Ireland – no sign of our snowdrops or daffodils or crocuses yet for a while, but these simple green plants are like the beckoning of the year ahead.

It is this shoring up of good and bad, beginnings and endings, joy and loss – contemplating and making peace with them that gives our human experience meaning and if we’re lucky, it gives us hope for the year to come.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

And while I wish for everyone a very happy New Year, above else, I wish for them that they will have hope as we look forward to the year ahead. Hope for a better world, hope for peace, hope for greater parity between men and women, between rich and poor. I wish for hope to buoy us up when things seem bleak and at those moment when it looks like there’s no point in going on, let hope push us to take just one more step.

So, from me, it’s a wish to you for a happy, healthy and hopeful 2023!

Faith xx