It is that time again when the wheel of life spins very vividly and consciously in our minds. Another year has gone by and we turn to reflect on the things we did, did not do or wish we had done. It is a time of great emotional upwelling and energy renewal to continue this journey we are all in together, as we hold high hopes, expectations, wishes and commitments we have made to the future.

Have we moved forward in our professional lives? What were the stepping-stones we have jumped across? How many mountains are we still to climb? There is always going to be another one on the way. So it is important not to do it alone, and I think our group is unique in the sense that we really do it together, maybe not in synchrony but nonetheless together. I am grateful to have had everyone of you to share this turbulent academic life with.

Have we grown and learned as persons this last year? We are all individuals full of life and wonder, who bring so much meaning to life around. Were the meanings you constructed this year what you wished to construct? Maybe or maybe not, it does not only depend on you. We are in constant dialogue with ourselves and everything else around us, as Shawn discusses in his dialogicality explanation, the meanings we construct are not solely and absolutely meanings of our own.  Nonetheless they have real implications in our practical lives and I hope, when you look back in time today, you will feel your lives were indeed full of meaning.

What is 2014 reserving for us? We will never know until we come across it along the way, if there is something reserved at all. So build your wishes from the ground up, don’t get disappointed if your wishes are somewhat transformed along the way. Find meaning in all moments that come along, happy or sad, easy or frustrating, fulfilling or unrewarding, grab on to those pieces of an “out there” meaning puzzle for they are to become part of your own “meaning puzzle”.  Keep puzzling because that is what keeps the wheel going.

We are all in different places now, as some stayed home for the holidays, wherever home is, and some traveled to see family and friends in other states. Some will arrive at 2014 first as others wait in celebration, and we all will be celebrating in different ways. So I wanted to send you this New Year’s wish, a wish for an extraordinary time of making meaning and cherishing the people and the things around you contributing to that meaning.

If I was in Brazil at the beach today, I would be joining others in ritual and jumping waves at midnight for good luck, dancing our wishes and holding the hand of strangers in the hope for a better year and better times. I will close my eyes at the turn of the year and imagine I am jumping those waves. What will you be doing?

Have a wonderful day and see you all next week!

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