So the new year has arrived in her traditional fashion: with a kiss, a yell, and a sip from a disposable plastic glass. We throw in a mumbled verse about auld acquaintances and swallow the old year down. dead. done. gone. over. That’s really all there is to it. And yet, when the sun rises on the suburban sprawl of driveways and shopping malls he finds them much like he does on every other sunday. Yes, and we reluctantly wake to find that the bedroom ceiling looks eerily familiar. Yes, and aside from the telltale beer bottle on the lawn next door it might as well be any day of last year or of the next. So you rub your eyes and roll away from the window, hoping to get back to sleep. Your thoughts drift back to last night. And then, in that brief, tender moment of thought between reality and a dream you smirk at the ridiculous concept of celebrating the passing of time. Why are we so excited to announce that we are yet one year closer to the inevitable graves that await us all? Perhaps we are enthralled by The New. I know I am. The thought of a second shot; a clean slate; the american dream; the fairy tale; the "anything can happen"… could we call it a longing for redemption? Maybe. For me, redemption is collection a bittersweet stories stories that haunt the present tense. You see the past I have has much that has been forgiven. Mistakes, piled on top of mistakes. And every year I add to the list of injustices that betray the selfish, arrogant bastard that I truly am. And yet, today I am not despondent. No, you see I have far too much to be thankful for. I wake up with the new sun knowing that I am not forced to be enslaved to myself. The chains of my appetite and of my lust are not my destiny. Truly, I have been given a second start: a new, abundant life that begins this side of the grave. No, I do not have all the answers but every breath that I have been given points to a grace that I cannot fully comprehend. Thanks to the community around me who has shown me the face of God as they demonstrate His abundant grace. Happy new year, mi amigos, have a graceful 365.25.