As each new year rolls in, I find myself giddy at the prospect of a clean slate stretching out before me. Yes, there are still lingering remnants of the previous year, moments and activities clinging to the future as they long to be a part of it, but with a whole new year ahead of me I see possibilities, and they are infinite.
I spent my evening ringing in the New Year as we have done for the last several years: quietly at home with my beloved family, a spread of snacks large enough to feed a small army laid out before us, and the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy on TV with Lady Galadriel reminding me that “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future, while Samwise Gamgee offered strength to his defeated best friend by holding onto the light for him, reminding him that even when things feel most dire, there is good in the world, and it’s worth fighting for.
I feel like we forget that sometimes, quite often, actually, lending ourselves to hopelessness as we peer through darkness and into a future we cannot quite see.
We face multitudes of decisions every single day, many of them terrifying as we contemplate how they will affect the overall course of our lives, the people around us, the world itself, but in the end it comes down Gandalf’s reminder to Frodo, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
And that is why I start every new year watching those films with the people I love the most. So I don’t forget, in the hope they won’t forget either.
My hope for the upcoming year, not just for myself, but for all of you, is that you remember Sam’s words, Galadriel’s encouragement, when everything around you feels dark. And when you feel small or insignificant, you remember you matter; when the darkness feels overwhelming, you remember it isn’t permanent; and always, always, always remember life is worth fighting for.
Wishing you all the very best in the upcoming year.