On 31 December we collectively draw a line in the sand marking an end to 2018, but at the same time we show where the new year will start. As a mediator, I will carry over many cases that will have a foot in the past and a first tentative step into an unknown 2019. The reason why I am a mediator is because I support families to look at the opportunities of the future. It is a challenge to look forward because the past can have a strong personal hold and colour how we see the present and the future. As a mediator, I often ask people to have a leap of faith. A belief that the future can be better. Without this belief, the present will stagnate and life will not flow. A new year has to be about new life. It is also about new destinations and situations. The past does not hold these, it is a repeat of what has gone before and for the families I work with, this can be very destructive. I hold firm to the belief that my role is to help families create their own new future – plan a route to a new place not visited before; a place where new life can be affirmed and embraced. One of the questions I ask is “Who are you going to be in this new place?” I do not believe as humans we are static, but have great capacity for change; however, it takes courage to take those new steps. Those steps are like those of a toddler – inevitably we will fall. There will be cuts and grazes and it is without doubt they will hurt, but like the toddler we have to pull ourselves up and try again. It takes time and effort to create a new future, and as on any path there will be obstacles to overcome. As the clock chimes midnight and the fireworks sound, look forward, see the open road ahead and take those first steps to your destination. I leave you with these words and hope that in 2019 we can all be blessed to have these qualities in abundance, “Grant to us the serenity of mind to accept that which cannot be changed; courage to change that which can be changed, and wisdom to know the one from the other.”