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Resolve to remember when they begin the overture they start to end the show

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POSTED December 30, 2008 12:47 a.m.

Resolutions and New Year’s Day go hand-in-hand like a romantic gesture and Valentine’s Day.

They’re so predictable — and expected  — that they don’t often mean much.

You know how they go. You’re going to lose weight. You’re going to start exercising. You’re going to drop profanity.

You’re going to spend less time watching TV.

Try to make them mean something.

This year I’m going to resolve to:

• resist bad debt. There’s a difference between needs and wants. A good debt is for something such as a house with loan payments that are manageable. A bad debt is for something you just have to have but don’t need. Taking a vacation on credit because you think you need it because of all of the stress you’re under is one surefire way to increase the stress you’re trying to combat when you’re trying to figure how to pay for it.

• not hold a grudge. Anger and disappointment are human feelings but letting them spread to consume your whole being is cancer on your soul.

• play with the puppies. Dogs are incredible. They give more than they receive. Besides, who can resist a pair of curious Dalmatians as they go about exploring the world with the unbridled enthusiasm of a pair of 12-year-olds?

• not expect the government to solve any of my problems. The more you let the government do for you the less freedom of choice you have. Worse yet, you tend to gain an entitlement complex that allows you to go through life without learning the true value of the things you have. If you have no investment in the process, then you can’t comprehend the value of things such as good health and shelter.

• remember the important thing is lifestyle and not diet. There is no magical pill to either weight loss, maintaining weight or good health.

• show patience with kids. It’s amazing how we all forget that when we were young that adults took the time and interest with what must have been our own annoying inquiries.

• spend less time worrying and more time living. My mother once told her mother-in-law that all of her worrying must have been working because none of it ever happened.

• show restraint criticizing someone doing a good deed. What comes to mind immediately are the senior citizen volunteers who are keeping East Union Cemetery today and neat on their own time and dime and even have gone as far as digging graves. Yet they have been chastised for not doing things the way others expect them to be done.

• remember to count my blessings. There’s a roof over my head, clothes on my back, food in my stomach and I’ve got good health. The odds are there are several billion people on the planet that can’t make that claim.

• not to forget the sacrifices made by others who have made it possible for me to have what I enjoy today. That includes immigrants, pioneers, laborers, soldiers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, and a host of others who unselfishly worked — or work — for the common good.

• wake up every morning happy. How you start any project — or day — sets the tone. Enough can go wrong during the course of a day that you’re just asking for it if you start it out grumbling.

• not belittle another’s dream. Just remember, they laughed at the Wright Brothers and probably dismissed Bill Clinton’s pronouncement as an eighth grader that he was going to become president of the Unified States.

• enjoy the rain, the heat, and the cold. They are all gifts from Mother Nature. And like all gifts, you should graciously enjoy them.

• continue to make time for myself. That means I will either go for a jog, go to the gym, or go for a bicycle ride.

• remember I’m human and so is everyone else. That means I’m not perfect nor are they perfect which is a good reason to cut others and myself some slack.

And most important of all, I resolve to remember that when they begin the overture they start to end the show. This is my one dance through life. Sitting on the sidelines afraid to try a new step or being satisfied with watching someone else dance is a surefire way to have regrets when the music finally fades.

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