Happy New Year! I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s Eve.

Now that we are in to 2018, many of us look back at 2017 to remember how hard the year was. Some of us lost friends and family. Some of us lost our jobs. Things got more expensive for all of us. So many bad things happened in 2017.

We also look back and remember how good the year was in some areas. For many of us, our families grew. Some of us made a very good career or life change. So many good things happened in 2017.

We look back so that we can look ahead. We learn from the past so that, maybe, we can do things differently in 2018 and beyond. We can build. We can grow. We can save a little more. We can spend more time with friends and family, and we can exercise more. We can help others. We can spend more time out in the sun and we can try to find our own work-life balance.

In the middle of all of this — on New Year’s Eve — we hear tragic news come from Colorado. It’s a reminder of how much different — how much worse — our lives could be. It’s a reminder that we live in a pretty good corner of the world, where mass murders aren’t very common.

I know that I can’t do anything about some things. I also recognize that I live in a wonderful place, and that we can make it better. I will do what I can, through 2018 and beyond, to help my family, my neighbour, my community, my province, and my country. That is my choice.

I choose to learn from the past, not dwell in it. I choose to have a good “now”, but also plan ahead so that I can have a good future. I choose to have hope for the future, and work to make my hopes come true.

I am looking forward.

I hope you are too, and I wish you the very best for 2018.