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Does Hope Spring Eternal?

By Bonnie Fishman / San Francisco Bay Area

The dawn of a new year

The beginning of a new year stirs up many thoughts about one’s life. We reflect on the previous year and make resolutions for the coming year. We assess where we are financially, emotionally, mentally, or physically. We ponder possibilities for the new year. We wonder whether there may be projects, travel, adventures, new hobbies in our near future.

What inspires us to dig deep and make changes? Is it a good look in the mirror and you say to yourself “How did I get here?” Is it a comment your partner or friend made about your recent behavior? Is it the desire to learn unexplored ideas, hobbies, books, or new cultures?

The passage of one year to the next may also cause one to reflect on aging. Another year already? How old will I turn in 2023? Does the passage of time bring up nostalgia for a simpler period of one’s life when you were a child and didn’t have adult worries? Maybe you think about your college days, young adulthood, the beginnings of your own family or business.

It’s a time to consider whether you’re on a hamster wheel of life, pinging from raising children, running a household, working, working, working. Do you even have time to think about where you’re at in your life when you’re on automatic pilot, just trying to keep your head above water? I remember when I was raising two kids in the ’80s and ’90s, managing their lives, our house, my gourmet food business and all of my employees. I almost never thought about where I was at in life. Just go! I think it’s a shame that many of us don’t take care of ourselves because we’re so wrapped up in carrying for others. I didn’t realize this while I was in the thick of it. It took retirement and the free time that comes with it for me to even ask these questions.

What do we really want our lives to be about and are we willing to make it happen? Why not start with a new year. I’m not talking about saving money, losing weight, getting more exercise, or cleaning your house more often (though any of those goals is not a bad thing). I’m zeroing in on what really matters to each one of us. Is it as simple as experiencing joy, love, and peace? Seemingly an easy goal to achieve but somehow we humans have the ability of getting in our own way.

I, personally, seek joy. “Joy” may seem self-serving. It is and it isn’t. For me, I’m at peace, not in conflict, feeling contentment and happiness. However, my joy and peace can spread to others by my being a kinder friend and family member. Every night, I think of at least one event or thing the next day that will make me happy. It can be swimming, visiting a friend, watching my favorite TV show, eating a great dessert. Nothing big. I’m not a “wanter,” so it comes easy to me. With this joy, I’m filled with hope. Hope that everything will work out in time no matter how big or small. There is a lesson in all of it.

Let’s toast to feeling hopeful this 2023. Hope for peace and not conflict, hope for good health and not illness, hope for joy and not sadness. What is it that you really hope for?

To our many readers here at The Insider: May your year be filled with happiness. I know that’s what I hope for!


Bonnie Fishman attended the Cordon Bleu Cookery School in London. Later, she owned and operated Bonnie’s Patisserie in Southfield, Mich. and Bonnie’s Kitchen and Catering in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She has taught cooking for over 35 years and created hundreds of recipes. She is now living in Northern California.

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