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Feeling hopeful in the New Year.

It's hard to believe we are already 15 days into 2021. Many of us were probably hoping an invisible switch would flip at midnight on January 1 and the world would right itself, or that we would wake up on January 1 and discover 2020 was just a bad dream.

Unfortunately, neither of those things happened and we are still pretty much where we were on December 31. That may sound depressing but it's the same thing that happens at every turn of the year. We wake up on January 1 the same as we were the night before but filled with resolutions and convictions about how we are going to do better THIS year. That, my friends, is hope.

This year, I hope I will become a better person. This year, I hope to drop the weight I gained while working from home. This year, I hope I am able to do more for my community. This year, I hope I can help more of my neighbors in need.

I also have hope that the pandemic will end in 2021, and that our country can begin healing from all the pain and suffering of the past months.

Even after all the difficulties of last year and the countless days I struggled with how to move forward while standing in place, I continue to hope.

Each of us is a testament to the phrase, "hope spring eternal." even in the darkest days, if you look closely, you can see the flame of hope flickering around you. It might be in a baby's smile, a pleasant surprise, or the voice of a friend. It may be in an unexpected encounter with a stranger, a beautiful flower growing through a sidewalk, or a visit with a neighbor. Hope can be found everywhere if only you look for it.

And when we find our own hope, we can share that dazzling emotion with others. Together, we can set the world ablaze with hope and make 2021 an extraordinarily great year.

I found my hope and I urge you to find yours too.

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