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Janus, Roman God of Transitions

“Ring in the new, ring out the old,” Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote of the turning of the year in 1850. He had plenty to celebrate, having recently been named Poet Laureate, a title that came with a stipend and over a hundred gallons of strong wine per year.

We may not all be so lucky, but each of us, in our own way, has something to celebrate. No matter what hardships we’ve faced during the past year, January is a time for us to put them behind us like so many closed doors. We should not forget them, yet we should always look to the new doors opening before us. January is named for the Roman God, Janus, who holds sway over new beginnings, transitions and doors.

I stand in a new doorway this January.

Last year I was laid off from a salaried position as a park ranger. It wasn’t a position I’d gone to school to study, but it was what I loved. I was qualified too, after so many years spent working as a camp counselor and as a Boy Scout. It was fun and rewarding, and it had the added bonus of paying the bills. And if left me with enough money this past year to marry and buy my first home. Alas, that door was unceremoniously shut behind me -- thank you very much and mind the steps.

In December, I was hired to work here at Two Ems, and a new door has opened before me. Instead of working for a municipality, I’m now working for a small family business. Here we sell stationery and help people turn their visions into printed goods they can hold and share with loved ones and business associates. Printing is something I’ve
had a passion for since I produced my own Revolutionary War era newspaper in eighth grade. Now I may have a chance to make a career of it.

Whatever happens, I’m moving through this open door with my wife, ringing that bell as loudly as we can. While 2011 had its blindingly bright moments for us, it had much darkness. Now, as the new year begins and the days grow ever longer, we look forward to a year when we may find many doors open to us. Hopefully, these doors will lead directly to our future prosperity and happiness.

Appropriately, my parents gave us a door for Christmas.