Written by Denise Deby.

Snow hats - D. Deby

Do you make new year’s resolutions? I have mixed feelings about them. They can inspire positive changes, but change is welcome any time of year–and without the stress of trying to get the whole year right.

Still, there’s something about turning a calendar page that provokes reflection about choices and priorities.

Here are some of the things I’ve been thinking about.

Seize the day. Our municipal, provincial and federal representatives have demonstrated some political will to use their powers for good—for example, the way our city came together to support refugees, or the climate change measures our province has introduced, or the federal government’s willingness to even acknowledge climate change. In other ways, there’s been too little vision and action—towards a city and country that are inclusive and respectful, safe and sustainable. It’s a good time to encourage political leaders to make decent choices.

Live moments. Too many people around me have lost loved ones or are facing difficult challenges. Others (including me) worry about things that seem big but aren’t really all that important, rather than focusing on what matters and on the moments that make up a meaningful and joyful life. Time to embrace what’s of value, let go of things that aren’t significant, and be accepting of self and others.

Do what you can. Ottawa is a prosperous city, but not for everyone. It’s time to change that. The challenges can seem overwhelming, but one person can always do something: support a good organization, contact a politician about an important cause, reduce consumption of non-renewable resources, read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. You know what to do.

Have a very happy new year, all year long.

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