No matter how cold the temperature gets, I’ve always looked forward to the New Year. I love winter’s blue sky days with a dazzle of fresh snow. I like that my house, my calendar and my attitude all feel newer, better organized and more positive.

And I crave that elusive feeling that everything is as it should be, for another good year.

But that’s not happening yet.

Today’s economy shows no sign of caring that the calendar is changing. Lay-offs are continuing. Oil prices are still in a funk. And in spite of climate change, the Canadian dollar is cooling the beaches of Mexico and Hawaii.

Some people are saying this is ‘the new normal’. But I don’t agree. This new expression sounds too complacent. Too accepting. It’s as if we’re so helpless, we should roll over and acquiesce to whatever’s coming our way.

Better, I think, to remember that the world is ever in motion. And that the speed of change will steal your breath away, if you let it. Much better, I think, to mimic an associate of ours who was, along with her entire team, recently laid off.

Just like that, her whole world changed in a day. But did she accept it as her new normal? Did she just shrug and say, “Oh, well”? Not at all. She’s already back to school. And she’s in a different field, too. She’d mused about a career change so this was, as she says, her opportunity to go on a whole new adventure.

So when someone asked her if she was becoming a ‘renaissance woman’, she kind of  blushed and nodded her head and said, “I’m working on that”. I figure, if I’m to perform in a variety of different roles, I need to become more versatile and more well-rounded.

What she said is so right. And yet I am continually reminded of how contradictory we humans are. As creatures of habit, we’ll happily meander along familiar trails for ages. And then out of the blue, we’ll let ourselves be beguiled by the novelty of something as simple as a new year.

But 2016 is not going to be a simple one. I think it’s coming faster, with swings  of change that’ll be wider than what we’re used to. Having said that, we’ve faced major changes before. Not only did we survive them; we came through wiser and tougher than we’d been at the start.

Can we do it again? We can because we have to. And this time, we’re more flexible, more persistent and more innovative than we’ve ever been. We are, in answer to the title question, now renaissance people.


– Shannon