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  • Scott Hatley

Rabbit Behind Us, Dragon Before Us

It’s the end of 2023. Pop the bubbly. Cue up Auld Lang Syne. Turn the

page. Bring on 2024.

There are many realities to confront with the start of a new year. It means embracing the future and giving up on the past. It means letting go of your old self so you can get ready for your new self. We cannot stay who we were in 2023 if we want to be- come who we were meant to be in the future.

I must say, I have had a complicated relationship with New Years over the years. Sometimes I’m happy about it. Sometimes I’m not. Some years I am ready for it. Other years I am not. I’ll be honest, if you can’t already tell, the end of the year is bittersweet for me, and especially after what I believe has been an amazing year.

Still, the new year is a change in and of itself. In reality, the future is here. The past is over. Change must happen to get to the future. Make no mistake, there will be loss. However, it will lead to rebirth and growth. There will, of course, be goodbyes to make and hellos to say. It’s a journey, and most of the time it’s filled with lots of unknowns and challenges, which adds to my complications with New Years.

As we close the door on another year, we also close the door on the Year of the Rabbit, a Chinese cultural symbol of good fortune, longevity, peace, and prosperity. It also symbolizes positivity and signifies growth, abundance, and rebirth to name a few characteristics. The year of 2023 has been very good to INCIGHT—arguably, it may very well have been our best one of our 19+ year history. We have much to be proud of and thankful for.

INCIGHT has experienced a year of significant success and accomplishment (see the sidebar). So much went right this year, making it hard for me to want to turn the page on another year. In fact, I’ve often pondered the question, “If you could have a superpower, what would it be?” and how I would answer it. I’ve often thought I would select “time stoppage" if given the choice, this year especially. Absent this superpower, I have some deep-down fears and anxieties that things won't continue as they have, that the good fortune might run out. Call it a superstition. Call it nostalgia. Call it a lack of faith. Call it what you will, it makes me a little apprehensive.

While holding this tension of the new year, I also can barely contain my excitement for the coming twelve months, and my feeling that even greater success than we experienced

this year is just around the corner. We have built a fantastic foundation for INCIGHT in 2023. We are becoming the organization we were meant to be. We are opening the doors people with disabilities need to be able to leverage their obstacles to success. We are shifting perspectives and raising awareness so hearts and minds will change. We cannot usher in this transformation without a new year to be able to continue this work.

The Year of the Dragon begins on February 10, 2024. And I don’t know about you, but Dragons evoke feelings of danger and fear for me. I wonder with trepidation if I should be more afraid of the future than I am of the past. It makes me want to be anxious for what’s ahead.

I’d argue we shouldn’t read too much into horoscopes, forecasts and themes for a new year. We all have the opportunity to choose the path we would like to take in the coming year. Theme aside, it’s a new year, a new beginning, and another opportunity to start afresh in being who you were meant to be.

There will be new celebrations ahead in the Dragon year. INCIGHT will celebrate our twentieth anniversary in 2024, a remarkable achievement. Others will have celebrations

too. The horoscope for the Year of the Dragon tells us to expect a year of power, wisdom, strength, with opportunities for growth and renewal, and knowledge to be gained from the challenges and conflicts ahead. Not the worst forecast ever.

What is ahead for you in 2024? What are you looking forward to? What will you change or do differently in the new year? Will you let go of old habits? Will you set new goals or make new resolutions? Will you stick with them or abandon ship before the end of January? So many questions to ponder and consider for the new year.

To sum it up, what will you do to embrace this new year? All we have is this one earthly life to pursue our dreams, goals and passions, to be the best, most loving friend and family member, and ultimately to leave our mark on the world. We don’t know what the future holds. We aren’t promised tomorrow. We are only guaranteed this one fleeting present moment in time. Don’t waste this opportunity.

Rabbits and Dragons aside, make 2024 your year. So, what’s your move?

Tag. You’re it. I believe the best is yet to come. Don’t let the year pass you by. Go for it!

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