There’s something about the start of a new year that inspires me to extend myself, to improve myself in some way, to rise above the trials and tribulations of the past year. I wonder if it’s because the moon and planets align themselves strategically at the start of every year. Perhaps it’s the universe’s way of enticing us to start anew, to fix those things that didn’t quite work the year before, reminding us to reach deep into our creativity and make discoveries that would help all of mankind, to make this world a better place to live; that’s why I make resolutions. It tickles a peculiar kind of energy when I put things down on paper, or type them into my computer, the act itself compelling me to take action. It changes the ‘I should’ to ‘I will’. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that I can singly find a cure for all diseases, fix climate warming, or make our world peaceful and kind. But, somewhere out there, it is likely that someone has one of those wishes as a task on their own particular timelines. I can feel the spark. There’s a sort of magic in the wills of the collective that makes things happen. This year I’m throwing my own resolutions into the energy of the cosmos, adding my expectations of good things to accomplish to the long list of many other honourable resolutions.

Let’s start with the Paris Climate Summit. Earth’s climate has at the eleventh hour finally caught the attention of world leaders. They’ve gathered, discussed, and made commitments to cooperatively take action to clean our soils, air, and waters and stop poisoning the planet that sustains us. And, to demonstrate their integrity, they put it in writing and called the document The Paris Agreement. It’s sort of a “dah” moment I’d say. But at least they’ve got it now, because there appears to be consensus that environmental concerns are critical to human life on earth and worthy of attention. Canada’s own Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna, made us proud as she represented our own obligations toward that endeavour. Of course, Elizabeth May’s efforts are not to be underestimated. She is the Wonder Woman of all things involving the environment. This resolution is enormous and urgent. Yet at best this document which was penned in just a few days is only a start. The details of how humans might live without leaving a carbon footprint have yet to be determined. All of us have to be part of this.

World peace always seems to be elusive. In 2015, ISIS terrorized the world with bombings and terrible atrocities. Counter attacks with more fire power hasn’t worked. Hatred has hideous strength that eludes both prayer and retaliation. World powers seem to think that strategic ground and air strikes can cleanse this evil from the world. But it persists. The good citizens of the world can only stand by helplessly. All we can do is to be vigilant, to spread understanding and kindness to everyone regardless of their beliefs. Welcoming Syrian refugees is a good start. I’m proud that Canadians hold this as one of our core values. Unfortunately, my optimism for resolve on this issue is frail. Yet throughout millennia other destructive organizations have fallen as a necessity to protect peaceful societies. Let this resolution remain very open ended. My guess is that one of the moons of Jupiter is still misplaced but may the hand of the Almighty give it a nudge, moving it strategically into the right axis bringing wisdom to those who confuse violence with the devine.

Next to be recognized is a refreshing approach from Canada’s new Prime Minister. His main goal is to improve the national state of middle- classedness, a word my spellcheck doesn’t recognize but that I’ve added because it defines a large contingent of the population that has not only been left behind but largely ignored and forgotten to satiate the interests of a miniscule percentage of the rich who continue to look for more ways to exploit us for their own financial gain. The Harper person at the helm didn’t get it but the one who was defined as “not ready” in fact had an inspirational vision. I believe that Prime Minister Trudeau will change the social and economic landscape of Canada; but he’ll need perseverance and a very tough hide to weather our general impatience and the storm of Conservative criticism that will erupt at even the smallest sign of weakness.

As for me, 2015 was a year of challenges, some good – some not so much. My husband had to start an oral chemo therapy for his kidney cancer and has endured many troublesome side effects. But I was able to finish writing my first novel which I’ve targeted for release in January 2016. I have three goals for 2016. The first of course is to lose those ten pounds gained as I sat for hours at my computer writing my first novel. I’ll do more walking and limit my food choices and portion sizes as I write my second book, Second, I’ll complete my second novel and get a traditional publisher to accept and release it. My first novel is self-published. Watch for me folks! I resolve to be seen on the book shelves of fine book stores everywhere. And last but certainly not least, I resolve to get the Ontario Government to cover take home cancer drugs for patients in the province. Canadian healthcare must be consistent for all Canadians. The Western provinces cover these drugs because it’s chemo. It seems that Ontario doesn’t understand that ‘chemo is chemo’ regardless of method or place of delivery, nor does the Minister of Health care that cancer can’t wait for a National Pharmacare program. Voices of over 35 organizations have made this shortcoming known but are being ignored. Well – I resolve to be another voice and while I’ll be respectful, I will be persistent. I’ll use social media, mail letters, email, and make phone calls to my MPP and Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health. I resolve that they will know my name by the end of the 2016. Ontario cancer patients should not have to bankrupt their finances to access new drugs and treatment – not in the Canada that I’m proud of.

Every year is a new beginning. I make resolutions with hope and optimism. I do what I can and forgive myself for any of my own shortcomings, although I have enough tenacity to keep trying to bring my goals to fruition. To make good things happen, we must do more than just hope that things will go our way. Thoughtful and considerate actions have tremendous effect. I encourage you to join me in my quest. Make a resolution. Clearly define what you wish to make happen and then take actions to make it come true.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.  Together let’s make good things happen in 2016.


Marianne Scott

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