A new year has begun.

During a college class, my religion professor announced, “All new beginnings are hard.”

Well, it's a new beginning.

Will your new year be a hard one? Or, will it be easy?

I guess I could also ask the question, “Will it be harder or easier than 2017?”

Several times over the past few years, I have quoted the line, from a pop song, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Each year, even though it is a new beginning, we are still building upon our past.

So, how did your year end?

What direction would you like to take this new year?

Were you headed in the “right direction?” Or, “Do you need to re-think that direction?”

As I look back, this past year, over my life as well as the lives of those around me, I have mixed emotions.

I know there are times I didn’t respond as I should, or said the things that I should. I’m certain I’m not alone when it comes to that statement.

In 2015, I dealt with the loss of two friends - one I knew for a few years, the other I  knew almost my entire life.

One was taken away too early. She chose not to leave this earth but she did - her life was accidently taken away.

The other chose to leave this earth by taking his own life. It was intentional.

I have sat and wondered what my last words were to each of these people.

Do you remember your last words spoken to people randomly or intentionally? Are they ones you are proud to have spoken or do you regret and wish you could take them back?

Regardless of how we see your past, that is simply what it is – the past.

I can’t change my past. I can only learn from it.

I suppose that’s where we get New Year’s resolutions.

A New Year's resolution is defined as “a promise that you make to yourself to start doing something good or stop doing something bad on the first day of the year.”

Of course, these resolutions tend to revolve around losing weight or exercising more.

And, after a couple of weeks, we’ve not kept that promise and start feeling guilty, despite the fact we thought we were going to have a good year.

Wouldn’t it be simpler to “resolve” to ourselves each day, to make that day the most positive day possible for ourselves and those around us?

How about trying to make our life and the lives of those around us the best that they could ever be?

Why worry about tomorrow? There is no guarantee that it will come.

Now, I know that sounds awfully pessimistic and negative, which kind of defeats the purpose.

But, wouldn’t it be more satisfying to have a string of positive days than a string of negative days?

I know that’s easier said than done, especially in the world we live in today.

However, I think it’s worth a shot? Don’t you?