New Year brings 365 possibilities; slow down and recognize them

Published 2:51 am Tuesday, January 1, 2019

The old year rolled out as a new one raced in to fill the void. Sure seems the months between the beginning and end pass by a lot quicker than they did when I was younger.

As I sat contemplating the passing of time and all the changes that happen in 12 months, I felt a mixture of emotions. First, I’m always hopeful when that ball drops heralding the arrival of another year. A post I saw on the internet expresses it — a New Year, 365 possibilities.

There is, I will admit, also a bit of melancholy when I look back at the year just ended. It went so fast I feel like I missed things in the rush of days flying by.

And there are always the people who didn’t live to see 2019 arrive. In the last days of 2018, I heard about the passing of two women who once populated my life.

Rebecca Edgar, who will always be Rebecca Young to me, left this world just as the year was ending. When I think of her, it’s not the woman who owned Young’s Florist for so many years that comes to mind.

No, I think about that girl who hung out with my neighbor, Elizabeth, when we were kids. She was a spitfire and I’ll admit I was just a little scared of her. She had no problem telling you exactly what she thought about things and I’m pretty sure she was tougher than most of the boys. Yep, she did things on her own terms and you best get out of the way.

After we both grew up, I knew her as the adult businesswoman who created beautiful flower arrangements for me many times. Still, when I heard she died, I couldn’t help remembering her as that feisty girl I kinda feared, but mostly admired.

The other woman who left us during the holidays came into my life at a time of transition for both of us. I was working at the paper in Andalusia, moving from the lifestyles editor position to a reporter’s job.

Ina Garner was recently retired from teaching, but not ready to stop working entirely. Trying the lifestyles editor job was a challenge she decided to accept. Showing her the ropes was my challenge.

No one ever tried harder than Ina to master the computer system we used to put out a newspaper in the late 80’s and early 90’s. It wasn’t like what we see today. There were codes, lots of numbers and symbols, instead of icons.

Ina and I laughed a lot over her struggles to remember what keys to hit to get the computer to do what she wanted it to do. She was such a intelligent woman, but that darn computer almost got the best of her.

One day maybe a year or so ago, I ran into her at a local restaurant. We hugged and laughed again about the time we spent together at the paper. I told her I saw her on Facebook, so obviously she overcame her fear of computers.

What I didn’t tell her that I wish I had was that one thing she said to me stayed with me and gave me confidence at a time when I needed it.

“You know you are a good teacher,” she told me one day. “You’ve been a good teacher for me.”

Coming from her, that felt like high praise and I treasured it.

Those are just two of the people who will not be with us this year. There are others and they remind me to appreciate the fact that I’m here to see this year begin.

Yes, the old year is gone. A new one is here. I don’t make resolutions, but if I did, mine would be to slow down a little and to recognize the 365 possibilities that every New Year brings. And, to treasure the people who will travel with me through the next 12 months.