In my culture, people who are in mourning are not supposed to say "Happy New Year." New year's cards is are big tradition (like Christmas cards here), but if you lose a family member, you are supposed to send out "I'm in mourning" announcements prior to the timing of New Year's cards so that people won't send you anything that indicates celebration. I am in that group this year.
2011 was difficult. From the earthquake to my mother's death, it was a year that challenged my mental and physical strength in stress, concern, grief, obligations, and sleepless nights. But because of that it was a year that I also experienced a lot of love in my marriage, my child, friendship and community. It was a year of great loss and confirmation that I am blessed.
So as I look forward to 2012, the year of the dragon, I hope to nurture the connection I established with people and slowly regain my strength to grow bigger and stronger for the next challenge.
I wish you a good, healthy, peaceful year.