OK, the holidays are really winding down quickly now. Soon, there will be absolutely no signs of Christmas. Or New Year's.
The time has come — and we all knew it would, despite how long we thought we had to enjoy festivities and revelry — to get back to some semblance of normalcy in our daily lives.
Business owners either still have a grin because 2013 ended in the black or they are sporting frowns. Nothing will change the outcome of 2013, so those with smiles must persevere to make the new year as good or better. Those with frowns? Might as well dig in and do what it takes to make 2014 a year to smile about.
For many people, the start of a new year is something akin to waking from a dream. From about Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve work was interspersed with parties, travels, gift-buying, gift-giving, more parties and generally lots of good cheer. Then, the light switch is thrown on, the curtains pulled back to allow the bright light in the room and the reality hits. Hard. Suddenly, work requires us to work. School? Yup. It's about to get underway again.
For others, Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve was business as usual. Or worse. Perhaps it's not been the best season. That's not to say bosses were behaving in the manner Ebenezer Scrooge treated Bob Cratchit before his outlook changed. Rather, for some the recovery from the economic despair brought about in 2008 and 2009 did not take hold and the fourth quarter has been nothing to celebrate. Instead, it's been something to work on — diligently. And there are those for whom the holiday season has, sadly, wrapped up what was a bad year for any number of reasons: divorce, family deaths, illness, the loss of a job.

Whether we were among those who dabbled in work while working on holiday celebrations or dabbled in holiday celebrations while hard at work, it is a new year and time to focus on what lies ahead. New projects to do, new accomplishments to make, new directions to take in our personal and professional lives. The arrival of the new year is our starting gun, our signal we must continue to look forward to what is to come and what is to be done. What can be done.
And so we sincerely wish all our faithful readers a happy new year. Our hope for you is 2014 will prove prosperous, each of you will be blessed beyond belief, and your home and work lives will be kept safe and balanced.
Yes, we know that will not be the case for all. But that will not stop us from wishing as much for all.