Happy New Year to you all

As we enter a new year, it is time to take a few minutes to take stock of where we want to go both individually and collectively during the next 12 months. It's a point we've made before in this space and it remains as true as ever.If we haven’t already taken personal stock, now is the time to ask ourselves what we want to change in our lives and what needs to be done to effect those changes.Certainly, many of us seek better health and will make resolutions to change our diets and exercise routines. The important thing is to follow through — to make lifestyle changes.And many more of us will seek to improve our spiritual lives. That is an area in each of our lives in which there is always room for improvement.Others will more than likely seek to be more loving or caring with regard to family members and friends.Community-wide, we believe the outlook for Big Spring remains a positive one. And, although it seems as if we're somewhat challenged as a nation right now, we’re convinced the same holds true for both our state and nation for the long run.And we’re very excited about the renovation of the Settles Hotel building downtown.There are encouraging signs in many areas. Yes, we're all challenged to some extent, but it's good to see the ongoing Settles project making progress, there's been a little building in the past year and the street and highway improvement projects that were completed in the past year are certainly progress.What's more, the price of oil is still climbing. While it seems to cost us all a bunch when we fill up our vehicles with gasoline, that's not all bad, because it means oil prices are at a point where the industry can thrive.Once again this year, we feel our city’s appeal as a regional center for arts and recreation continues to grow, as evidenced by exhibitions at the Heritage Museum, the Big Spring Symphony’s concert schedule for the current year and the United States Hang Gliding Association’s continuing commitment to hold competitions here. All of those projects, events and activities translate to jobs, income from visitors and — perhaps even more important — a better quality of life for all of us.Several announcements about the year’s upcoming events will be made soon and we can’t help but look forward to what’s on tap in 2011.As we delve into the new year, we do admit feeling a bit tentative about some things less under our overall control. That’s simply human nature.One thing we can say with certainty though. We continue to be blessed by the “can-do” spirit of our fellow citizens — men and women who work together to get things done. And so, it’s time to look ahead again and look ahead with optimism.Happy New Year, Big Spring.