New Years has always been associated with beginnings.
As it marks the start of a brand new year, it’s appropriate to associate it with many new things.
In Alberta, we are leaving 2015 with a number of new things; a new provincial government (and an NDP majority one at that – a first for Alberta), a new federal government with a Liberal majority, a new slump in the oil and gas sector and a new chapter in the Star Wars saga.
In 2016, we can expect Canada to legalize marijuana, the 2016 Rio Olympics, a slowing housing market and the outcome of the circus that is the U.S presidential election.
There is a lot of uncertainty coming with 2016. Will oil prices bounce back? Is America seriously considering Trump as a candidate for presidency? How will El Nino affect the harvest? Will Bill 6 be implemented correctly? What will the job market be like? What if we don’t have corn for Cornfest?
With beginnings comes uncertainty, that tight coil of anxiety and excitement that comes from something new. Yes, our comfort zone is nice and cozy and safe. But if we don’t try new things, we would have never discovered great things such as hockey, poutine or the Internet. If we don’t try anything or start new things, can we say we truly lived?
Yes, the New Year seems daunting. We are putting two new leaders to the test with oil prices at a low and job loss at a high for this province. We are waiting to see what becomes of the election to the south of us while welcoming many new residents from half a world over. We have some very big changes, and are waiting to see if they paid off.
But there is also the potential for many wonderful things to come forth. Oil prices may go back up, we may place lots at the Olympics, new grads could have a better chance to land a job and we might finally get that funding for Johnson’s Addition.
But whatever this New Year brings or throws at us, we will come out swinging. We will continue to live life to the fullest as we navigate the ups and downs of the upcoming 366 days this year – it is a leap year after all. We will take the bad days in stride because with it, comes the good ones, and those are the moments worth living for.
Some advice? Take joy in the little things – they can help you through the tough times. Hug a tree, smell the flowers and sing to every song on the radio. Whatever comes our way, you can be sure that we can get through it, just as we have before.
We are ready.
We are prepared.
For 2016: bring it on.