A new year is like a blank canvas, full of potential, a story yet to be written. You, the artist, might plan a new masterpiece for hours, even days. Maybe your past canvases didn't turn out according to plan. Perhaps some ended up completely different from your expectations. No matter; this time, you are determined to get it right. So with bright hope and fresh resolution, you set to work on this wonderful new opportunity. Days, weeks, and months go by, and still you put paintbrush to canvas. You still have that vision in your mind of the beautiful outcome you planned right from the start.
As you continue to work on your masterpiece, you begin to notice a couple things: The canvas is starting to lose its newness. In fact, the blank spaces are going away rather quickly. And... what's this? What happened to the fine ideas you had? Why aren't they reflected in your work? In the beginning, when you first started working on this canvas, things were looking like they'd turn out according to plan. But as time passed, the story changed. In spite of your best intentions, your work of art appears to have taken on a life of its own. And it's quite unlike the one you imagined.
You take a break, feeling discouraged. You sit down and mope for a while. After some time has passed, you decide to take one more shot at the stubborn thing. But no matter how much work you pour into it, you are unsatisfied with the picture before you. It just doesn't look right. You were sure that this time, regardless of the past, things would be different. But once again, your hopes and dreams just didn't pan out. Finally you turn your back on the partially-finished canvas and leave the room.
Months pass. You don't even want to think about your unfinished work of art. More time passes. Then one day, you make an exciting discovery. You find a brand-new canvas, still in its wrapper even. How wonderful! This is just the thing you need to lift your spirits! Last canvas might not have turned out so well, but this one will be different. This one will be everything the old one wasn't.
You go to your easel at last, new canvas in hand. There on the easel sits the old painting, the one that just didn't live up to its potential. You shake your head and pick it up, ready to put it away for good. Out of nostalgia, you look at the old picture one last time. You notice its pros and cons and the way all the details fit together. You smile and think that even though the outcome of this picture wasn't exactly what you planned, there's much to like about it. In fact, it really looks like a finished painting.
Your interest grows as you examine the old painting, for you notice a signature on it. How did that get there? You study the painting carefully and find more signatures. As you recognize the familiar names tucked away here and there in the artwork, you realize that you were not the only artist who had a hand in creating this work. Smiling, you add your own signature to the old canvas. And with fresh energy, you place the new canvas onto the easel. You have great hopes for this one! Happy New Year!