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We are now in December, the final month of the year 1984.

The year sped by all too quickly marked by days that were good, and days not so good, by times of serenity, and times of turmoil.

But we have survived. And so has the world.

When we turn the page to the New Year, it will be as a new beginning. A fresh start. A fresh new leaf to be writ upon.

All we ask O Lord is that the hand that write be firm and steady; and the ink that flows from the pen be bright with faith and vitality.

That we be given your blessing of good health so we may be able to maintain our lives on our own.

And that the world be blessed with good feelings towards all its people, and between all its nations.

At first thought, I had nothing profound to supplement this invocation written by my grandmother nearly 30 years ago. But, thinking about, when I was a child, I wanted time to speed up, but my grandmother said the older I got, the faster the years will click by.

She was correct.

As a child, the days seemed to drag. Graduating from elementary school seemed like an eternity. Going from junior high to senior was scary, but the three years flew by. And before I knew it, I was walking on stage to accept a college degree.

Time goes quickly, and unless you put on the brake and occasionally do something memorable and enjoyable, you can find yourself decades later only able to remember the work, challenges, and tedium of day-to-day life.

While vitality and faith are essential for a worthwhile life, it’s equally important to have the curiosity and courage to take on new challenges, breaking free from the familiar to explore new opportunities: Even for a day. Hike a forested trail, rent a foreign flick, eat at an ethnic restaurant, read a daring book… shop at a thrift store… doing something, anything that makes the days, the week, or maybe the month memorable.