I had the privilege to bring in the New Year last night with my wife. What would have been a joyous celebration and hope and excitement for the upcoming year, became more of a reflection on the things that happened in the year 2015. My wife lost her grandmother, her aunt, her father came down with stage 4 cancer, and my dad was severely hurt in an accident and then our miscarriage at the end of the year.

We cried some and it was good. But 2015 also brought in a lot of good stuff, our 3 foster children, I got a job promotion, we funded and shot a movie that will be out this year, the release of my book, we went to the beach, we continued to have a house, two cars and food to eat and more importantly we still had each other.

So, I don’t know what you are going through. I don’t know what mistakes you’ve made or what skeletons are in your closet – we all have them – but the New Year is a time to start fresh. It’s a time to count your blessings and move forward. It’s a time to work toward something bigger – rather it be buying a house or getting a promotion. The New Year is about building friendships, long-lasting friendships.

It’s about forgiveness and letting go of the past. It’s about enjoying the little things, like a cup of cappuccino on your drive to work or perhaps, sitting and looking at the fire in your fire place. It’s about making new goals and pursuing them. It’s about waking up every morning and forgiving yourself and pursuing to be a better person.

It’s about loving your family, loving your job and loving your LIFE. It’s about being thankful and not taking things for granted. It’s about fresh baked pizza with stringy gooey cheese and a nice ice cold glass of coke and seeing Star Wars for the 5th time. It’s about being HAPPY. Don’t let 2016 go to waste.

Don’t allow the bad times to keep you from moving forward. Don’t give in to hate or fear or paranoia. Just be free! Happy New Year.