There are generally two ways to approach a new year: look back at all the things undone in the previous one, or look forward to the seemingly endless potential of the new year.

A bit of both is probably healthy, both for individuals as for the Norman community as a whole. Mistakes from 2018 can inform decisions in 2019, while successes can inspire progress. There's value in learning from the past and moving past it.

As a community, we accomplished some encouraging things in 2018: effectively ending veteran homelessness, marching on the Capitol for increased education funding, opening the new Westwood Family Aquatic Center and eastside library, etc. Looking back, there's plenty left undone, most notably a senior citizens center. There's a lot of mistrust that can be traced the way the failed UNP TIF expansion was handled.

Norman faces plenty of questions and challenges in 2019: electing a new mayor and council members, a transportation bond, potential stormwater utility fee and public school bond. Those are questions that can only be answered if we work together, which starts with taking a realistic look at where we are as a community. Norman is far from perfect, and unless we're able to be honest with what needs to change in our city and find solutions through compromise and civil dialogue, we're not going to fix any of those imperfections.

But our community truly is something special, something worth celebrating. The best part of our city is the people who call it home, and the more engaged and compassionate we can be in 2019, the better year we'll all have.

This Week's Circulars