New Year’s Day sober  – so this is what it’s like. I took my dog out for her morning constitutional and San Diego was a ghost town. Cool. In years past I spent this day in the throes of a monster hangover. There was no time for reflection. That’s not the case today and I’m grateful.

I don’t make resolutions because I always break them. You may be thinking that there’s one obvious resolution in the queue – remain sober. Yes and no. While I’ll continue to fight that battle, I won’t trivialize it by making it a New Year’s resolution.

Instead, I reflect on the year past: the desperation; the spiral out of control; the hard landing; the choice; and the struggle to live. Maybe that sounds melodramatic but, for me, that’s what happened.

It hasn’t been all bad. I’ve seen amazing things in people who helped me along the way – friends, bloggers, and total strangers. This is a hard world. It’s easy to shut our eyes with alcohol or excess or misguided faith. But I finally opened my eyes. So what did I see? Yes, I saw the darkness. It’s hard to avoid but I when looked through it I saw that which was around me all along: beauty, courage, hope, hope, hope, and love.

That’s given me opportunity. An opportunity to save the world? Well maybe not, but I have the opportunity to save my world. It won’t come at the cost of revolutionary change or martyred sacrifice. It will come from the effort to be kinder to myself, to the people around me, to the planet, and to the creatures I share it with. I just need to work a little harder at being a little better but I’ve seen that the effort pays off.

So I’m dispensing with resolutions and embracing opportunity. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find my own little slice of heaven.