Looking ahead to 2013

With Christmas having just passed, people are gearing for the next big splash – New Year’s Eve.

It’s difficult to believe yet another year is about to come to a close. The old saying certainly seems to ring true – time appears to go by faster as a person gets older!

This past year certainly brought much in the way of news — locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Financial growth, much less a sense of economic stability, continued to be elusive on a global level. Europe continues to try and find solid ground in this way, and of course the deadline is quickly approaching for the United States government to avoid flying over the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’. At press time, there was movement towards an agreement but a deal hadn’t been struck.

A provincial election here in Alberta saw the Tories hang onto power with the Wildrose Party trying hard to see the Progressive Conservative’s power crumble. As one pundit said, only in Alberta would you find a conservative party trying to oust another conservative party.

Gun control is a major issue once again, particularly south of the border in wake of the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

When we look around us, Canadians should take time at the dawn of a new year to consider how blessed and fortunate we are to call this nation home. There are hardships to be sure, but what we endure compared to what many face puts things into clear, sobering perspective.

It’s also great to see how Red Deerians band together to lend a helping hand. That’s always abundantly clear during the Christmas season, too. And whenever there is some sort of crisis, you can always count on the generosity of local residents to help ease the pain.

Knowing that we have a community that consistently steps up to help does offer a kind of tonic for frazzled nerves in today’s constantly changing world. Strength does lie in that sense of community, and that’s something we can count on in 2012.

In spite of the spectrum of events that 2012 held, New Year’s Day, as it does every year, brings with it a sense of optimism. It gives us the feeling of having a fresh start, adding to the sense that whatever hardships may have been endured, there’s reason to press forward with hope.

New Year’s Eve will also mark the beginning of a year-long celebration for Red Deerians as the City marks its centennial. A party is planned for New Year’s Eve at Bower Ponds. It’s a fitting way to kick off what promises to be a landmark year in Red Deer.