Hodge: Say hello to 2014–a chance to start again

And so a new year begins.

Like many of you in Readerland, I warmly welcome the New Year of 2014 and quite comfortably say goodbye to 2013.

I admit to some silly sensitivity for superstition; which is my alliterative way of saying I avoid saying goodbye to a year until it is officially dead and gone. The fear I suppose is that by saying goodbye to a year before it is technically over that my pontificating may somehow result in an early personal demise. Absurd, I know, but that is what superstitions are about—unjustified paranoia.

I digress. I am glad 2013 is now nothing more than largely a miserable memory. Based on numerous conversations with others, it appears that 2013 was not a banner year for many. Even some of my eternally optimistic acquaintances said a fond farewell to the past year.

That reality led me to contemplating our fixation with New Year’s celebrations, the making of resolutions, and the hope that the flip of a calendar page will somehow change our luck.

In reality, that is what New Years is largely about—renewed hope.

For most of us, New Years represents a ‘fresh start,’ a new beginning for our dreams, aspirations, secret hopes. It’s a chance to start again, change the landscape of our lives so to speak. It’s akin to the shedding of our skin but from an emotional and perceptive prospective.

There is nothing wrong about that sort of desired fate alternator. Believing a certain change of the calendar or shifting of the stars provides us with the one thing we all need to occasionally rely upon—hope.

Like a lottery on life, all of us go through phases of good times and bad, and often it seems we have no or little control over events and circumstances. Of course, we really do have a great amount of say in how our lives move forward, back, or not at all. We have the power of choice to deal with (or not deal with) challenges and scenarios placed before us. All of us start and stall only to start again. For many that seems to be a cycle of life.

For me, the final month or six weeks of 2013 was fabulous—a breath of fresh air and hope following a long spell of disappointment and frustration. The positive end to the year leaves me optimistic and eager to move into the next 360 plus days of life.

My personal resolution to usher in the New Year was to slow down, smell the flowers of life, and enjoy being here.

That said, I do chuckle at a few of the fun predictions, or hopes, I wrote publicly in 2013.

Watching part of the World Junior Hockey Championships the past week reminded me of one hockey prediction I made that has angered a buddy of mine. Prior to the start of the hockey season I wrote: “In the Western Conference a mid-season knee or groin injury to Roberto Luongo, and discontentment by veteran players with coach John Tortorella will see Vancouver stumble to fourth in the Pacific Division, barely securing a playoff spot with a wild card spot. Without Luongo in top form the Canucks will lose out in the first round of the playoffs to Chicago.”

Bobby Lou went down with a “lower body injury” two weeks ago, and though scheduled to return later this week there is concern for his knees.

While I wish no one harm, I find it amazing that I had a hockey pool buddy blame me for the injury, and received a similar email from another hockey fan suggesting it was somehow my fault that Luongo was hurt.

I should be so lucky to have such influence on the lives of others. If such was truly the case then I would predict my wife or some other close (and loving) relative would win the super lotto.

Regardless, based on my apparent newfound powers of prediction I will avoid any further precognitions.

There are, however, a couple of events over the next few months that I encourage you to take part in.

First and foremost I encourage readers to send in your names for those who deserve community-wide recognition for their service to others.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 39th annual Kelowna Civic Awards. Your effort of submitting a name really can make a difference in deciding who receives the coveted awards.

I have chaired the civic awards committee and I assure readers that the public’s nominations are greatly valued and needed by the committee members who volunteer their time.

For more information on how to nominate Kelowna residents for an award, check out the information on the City of Kelowna website at www.cityofkelowna.ca.

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