Hodge: A new year means new hopes and new dreams

Many folks greet the end of a year with welcome relief suggesting they are, “glad that one is over.”

Renewed hope.

In a nutshell that’s largely what the new year represents to many folks around the globe.

With the annual turning of the calendar comes a renewed sense of hope and the perceived potential for a change in luck and fortune.

While logic dictates that the simple flip of a calendar page should have no significant impact in one’s personal or working life—most of us eagerly greet the arrival of a new year—anticipating that the new 365 days ahead will hold greater fortune and fun than the one recently regulated to ‘the past’.

Many folks confidently anticipate the winding down of December and arrival of January as a chance to dust off misfortune, bad luck, or disappointment with the same expectation that a warm shower will  guarantee a cleansing of the skin and invigoration of the body.

Like an emotional elixir many of us anxiously expect our luck to change when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 31.

In further display of such hope we often add to the allurement by carefully and sometimes with great consternation craft our own personal promises for change in the form of New Year’s resolution.

Some of us boldly share our resolutions with others while others keep them held quietly close to their chest—either through superstition or fear of humiliation should the plan fail.

I remember more than a decade ago when I publicly pledged three New Years in a row that I was going to quit smoking, which of course I failed to do.

Ironically on the fourth year, when I kept the vow to divorce nicotine to myself, I succeeded.

I suppose there is understandable logic to the temptation for such resolutions and the anticipated opportunity for a change of luck.

The end of one year and start of another is a natural time to reflect on the previous events ventured through and either enjoyed or simply endured.

It allows us to allow ourselves a little forgiveness. Perceived failures are forgotten with the hope for better things to come. It is a chance for another chance.

Many folks greet the end of a year with welcome relief suggesting they are, “glad that one is over.”

I have had my share of those feelings over the years, however upon reflection, 2015 was a good year for this scribe.

Certainly, it started off on a positive personal note as I joined eight other eager folks as members of the recently elected Kelowna city council.

Having been fortunate enough to enjoy that role in the past, I also knew that the first month or two are often the best for an elected official as there is a brief grace period bestowed by the electorate on those named to the position.

Things took a significant dip in February when a bout of pneumonia sent me to hospital causing my emphysema to place me close to the edge of no return.

Thanks to the fabulous efforts of my lung specialist, the staff at KGH and the support of Teresa and many friends, my bounce back was surprisingly quick.

My health and luck remained good the rest of 2015 highlighted by some wonderful adventures and quiet times for Teresa and I.

The addition of four kittens into our world in the spring certainly increased the levity level in the House of Hodge.

Other personal highlights include some memorable fishing trips with buddy Curtis Tulman, some magical musical moments with buddy Keith Thom, peace and calm in my garden, and enjoyable work on city council.

Overall 2015 goes into my memory bank as a year of pleasure.

I anticipate more of the same with (hopefully) continued good health, humor, and successful work in 2016.

I certainly anticipate an exciting and challenging year ahead for city council.

I kept my New Year’s resolution simple this year; to not take life for granted, to fully enjoy the world around me and to squeeze as much joy and pleasure out of each and every day as I can.

Without question 2016 started off on the right foot for Tez and I as we ventured down the road to neighbours’ Daphne and Cliff’s home for a small but hilarious evening of fun.

It was a night of sharing laughter and frivolity as new friends Tim, Kim, Tom, Brenda, Paul, Holly, Heather, Darren and others made us feel right at home. Understandable, I suppose, since it turns out the crew was a combination of characters from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

I was well behaved so no headache the next morning, however my stomach was sore from laughing so hard. What a wonderful start to a year.

Bonus to the party was meeting Paul of Dangerous Tree Removal service who offered us a winter deal on removing some not so healthy trees in the yard.

Stay tuned for more on that adventure. If Paul is half as good at cutting trees as he is in enjoyable conversation it should be interesting.

Happy New Year folks.