Rosemary December Blog

Monday February 4th 2013

So begins 2013, a new year and a chance to renew oneself and think of areas in our lives that we would like to improve upon. The start of a New Year marks a fresh start and a chance to ultimately let go of past trouble or grief and to instead learn from experience and develop on a personal level. I always look forward to the New Year and this year is no exception, especially with Derry being the ‘City of Culture 2013’.

With Derry city being the ‘City of Culture’ for 2013 the town is buzzing and people were in high spirits, excited to bring in what no doubt will be a spectacular New Year. The way this prestigious award has united Derry is fantastic, as the common goal is shared by all; to maximise the experience for all the people living in Derry. There was a chance for people to voice their opinions and hopes for the future through the ‘Voice of Derry-Londonderry’ at the Guildhall Square. Using the City Walls as the backdrop, people were given the opportunity to post their own message card to mark the beginning of Derry being the ‘City of Culture’. These message cards will later be translated into a new virtual wall, which will unite people from across the city with their shared hopes and thoughts. My personal hope for Derry-Londonderry for 2013 is that the city can become united in celebrating the future, and leave past bad feelings where they belongs; in the past. It’s only when a community comes together and puts past differences aside can the best possible outcome be achieved for all.

Before the fireworks began at 20:13 on New Year’s Eve the Church bells across the city rang out, to call people together to join the celebrations and to unite all people across the city. There was a spectacular display of fireworks and a pyrotechnic show along the River Foyle on New Year’s Eve; accompanied of course by thousands of people looking to celebrate the start of the New Year. The fireworks were a brilliant way to bring in the New Year as spirits were high as people anticipated and celebrated what is sure to be an exciting year.

This is the way in which all people should bring in the New Year; celebrating with family and friends and looking forward to the future, not back at the past. It’s a chance to perhaps get the motivation to branch out and do something you normally wouldn’t do; be that joining a new club or society or participating in voluntary work. Ultimately it’s a chance to change things in your life that you’re unhappy with and to be active in your own future. I know that Michaela McAreavey saw the New Year as marking the start of a great year ahead and the opportunity to develop as an individual. More poignantly however was the way in which Michaela viewed the start of the New Year. She didn’t see it as an opportunity to dramatically change her life but instead she strived to be herself and stay true to her core values. She aimed to uphold her values of faith, dignity and kindness in life’s simplest moments, not through extravagant acts, but through a life of faith, treating all people with patience and kindness. Regardless of the path we chose to follow in life this core aim of Michaela’s can be applied to help us to always remember what’s important in life, regardless of whether we chose to live a life of faith or not. It’s important in life to make a difference, and as Michaela demonstrated, that doesn’t have to be through monetary contributions to charities only but instead through touching peoples’ lives in a special way.

The values and positivity that ‘the Michaela Foundation’ exudes is inspiring people everywhere, and making a real difference in how people view life and ultimately life it. It promotes ‘Life without Limits’ and if only a minority of people choose to hear these words and live by them then the foundation will have succeeded in making a difference. This ultimately is what the New Year is all about, thinking of ways to develop and to make a difference within society. It’s important not to focus on the negative aspects of life but instead to look forward to the future and think positively. ‘Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit!’