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Hey, you there, I realize we just met yesterday, but I couldn’t help but notice that you seemed to find the second day of my weather a little off-putting.

I realize that everyone likes sunshine and moderate temperatures. And I promise, you’ll have plenty of that later on. Well, if you’re reading this in Mississippi, you’ll at least have the sunshine. Moderate temps aren’t usually part of your forecast, but I’ll speak to Mother Nature and see what I can do.

I’m so rude! I’m 2017, by the way. Nice to meet you. I know I officially arrived yesterday, but you were a little distracted with taking down Christmas decorations and watching football to probably really remember meeting me.

That’s the way with new years. There’s all the hubbub of welcoming me and then the next day you forget that I’m new, even though I’m still very fresh. 

Are you excited? I’m excited to be here. There’s so much that’s going to happen. I can’t wait for you to see…..no, no. I’m not going to tell you. That would spoil it. Patience. Patience. 

Did you make resolutions? I hope you didn’t do so on my account. People forget that they can make better choices ANY day of the year. They don’t have to wait until my birthday to do that. 

I’ll be honest: I was a little apprehensive about showing up. Some of y’all were really hard on my brother: 2016. Yeah, he brought some crappy stuff to the table for some of you. But ya know, he was just as surprised as you about a lot of it. We aren’t always privileged to know exactly what people are going to do, or not do. We’re just as much along for the ride as you are sometimes.

Advice? Well, sure. I mean, I guess so. It seems kind of presumptuous to already been doling out wisdom when I’m so young, but if you insist…..

Well, I guess first of all, don’t be too hard on yourself about the resolutions. You’re going to fail at some of them. You’re going to eat the cookie. You’re going to sleep in instead of exercising some days. You’re going to yell at your kids. You’re going to text your ex. You’re going to cuss. You’re going to be late. You’re going to sweat some small stuff. Not every day. Not every time. But you will make mistakes. Hey, you’re human. Give yourself a break, okay? Be kinder to yourself.

Secondly, count your blessings. Don’t wait until I’m 11 months old and you’re cooking a turkey before you do this. It’s important to do this very frequently.

Third, don’t take me for granted. I know I just got here, but that doesn’t mean you get to procrastinate on your goals. And it also means that you shouldn’t assume that you’ll be around for my entire life. I hope you will be, of course, but even I know that nothing is certain. My brother was pretty good at making that point. 

You know, the rain that many of you are watching with deep sighs and sad expressions? That’s sort of my way of telling you that you have a clean start with me. I don’t want you to bring anything unnecessary with you on the journey you take with me. Let my cleansing rain be a reminder of that to you today. Make room for some new and exciting things. 

Did you know I was everywhere? Not just where you are, but all over the world. Try to remember that. Try to remember that the world is bigger than your corner of it and that there are a lot of people breathing in my new hope this week. Be kind and patient with them. You’re all just doing the best you can.

No, I wish I could tell you that I was going to be a banner year. I can’t do that though. Not because I’m not, but because so much of that depends on you and, as I said before, I can’t control what you do or don’t do.

I can promise you that if you’ll hold on to the hope that you have this week all 12 months of my life, your chances for a good experience triple.

Hope is harder to come by for some of you after the excitement of my arrival settles down. But I’m only here for 12 months, so maybe we could have a little “birthday” for me every 1st of each month? I LOVE birthdays!!! You’ll have one this year. For some of you, it’ll be a milestone. I’ll tell you a secret though – they’re all milestones. Celebrate them like that and you will really enjoy yourself. 

I guess that’s all I really had to say. I just wanted to make my formal introduction and let you know that I don’t plan on bringing anything to your life that isn’t for your benefit in some way, even if it doesn’t seem that way until you are walking with one of my siblings later. Our Gifter makes very sure of that.

The Gifter? Oh you know Him. You might call Him different names, but to me and my siblings, He’s known as the Gifter. Time doesn’t exist in His world like it does in yours, so He breaks it down in increments that you can handle. This time, it was my turn to show up. I’ve been carefully crafted for you and whatever I don’t know about what I’m bringing your way while I’m here, the Gifter knows. You can trust Him. He’s nothing but good. 

Okay, so, I guess I’ll be seeing you around. Thanks for the warm welcome. The fireworks were really a nice touch. 

And remember, I’m really not going to be around for long, so enjoy our journey. Be very present for it. I don’t want you to miss a thing.