As long as humans have been here on earth they have been celebrating the start of each new year. When I was much younger I used to celebrate New Years with my friends attending parties and having a good time. One of my friends lived on a farm, and this one particular New Years he had a big party at his farm.
His farm was 25 miles outside of town. After the New Year was rung in, I volunteered to drive several of my friends home. It was a foggy night and the roads back to town were very dark. As we made our way back, we came upon something in the road. We couldn’t see what it was until we were right on it. That night, was the first time I had ever seen a dead person. Someone had hit and killed this poor man and left him. Back then there were no cell phones. I left my friends in the car and ran to several nearby homes, banging on doors asking for help. Finally, people at the fourth house answered the door. I told them what we had found and they called the police. They let me call my dad. Within 15 minutes my dad was there.
That night I learned a few things. First, I learned that my dad was a very brave man. He went to the man on the road to check for a pulse, he found none. Shortly afterwards the police arrived. I learned what a dead body looks like and never wanted to experience that again. I learned that even the toughest of my friends I had with me were not as brave as my dad. None of my friends got out of the car. We learned later the man who was killed was a father of two. He was walking home because he didn’t want to drink and drive.
Since that night, I have not gone out to celebrate New Years where I would be driving home after the party. Each New Year, I think about that night and how fragile life is. Now, I stay home with my family or spend the night at their home. For me, there is something refreshing about each New Year, especially this year. January 5th is my mom’s birthday and this year she turned 80 years old. The start of the New Year is also a time to reflect on the past year and refocus on new beginnings for the upcoming year. I find it helpful to take some time to write down the things I want to accomplish in the New Year. It’s a perfect time to think about new beginnings in your life.
New Years will always be a holiday that holds special meaning for me. It will always be a time to reflect on how fragile life is, how special some people are and a time to consider what new beginnings are coming my way. What new beginnings are in your future? Have you taken the time to reflect on last year and what things you need to refocus on in the New Year? The New Year is a time to remind yourself of the power you have inside to become the person you wish to be.
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