Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Looking ahead, despite resolutions

January 16, 2008

The first month of 2008 is about over and the excitement of the holidays is long gone and the decorations have been packed away. Maybe it's just me, but it seems that taking down decorations is a more arduous chore than putting them up. Anyway, we have plunged into January, which always seems dark and cold. Even the NFL playoffs aren't as much fun since the Chiefs aren't involved. Of course, there is always basketball to add some zest.

If we haven't already, most of us will break our new year's resolutions in the near future. For example, each year I plan to lose weight and when I was younger it was easier. I do well for a couple of weeks, until I meet a cookie I just can't turn down or a homemade cinnamon roll that is begging for my attention. Come to think of it, there are lots of goodies that tempt me to break my diet. This year, however, I have resolved to maintain my present level of overweightness. I really believe that is something I can do.

Each year we resolve to clean our basement, but that never happens. I believe that our basement is magic! You take out two boxes and four more appear. It is a never-ending and losing joy.

It isn't too late to make some meaningful resolutions for 2008. While these resolutions will make our lives better, they are more difficult to keep than dieting.

I believe that we should resolve to live every day to its fullest. We need to enjoy every moment because none of us know what tomorrow will bring. We need to live optimistic lives and always look for the good in others. Yes, there will be problems, but maybe we should think of problems as challenges. Enjoy your children and your grandchildren and support them in their activities. We need to look on the bright side of every situation.

Quite often we spend too much time worrying about what might happen. Yet, rarely do our worries come true. If you remember there were dire predictions of the damage that Y2K might do, yet nothing happened. President Franklin Roosevelt was correct when he told Americans during the dark days of the Depression that the only thing that we have to fear is "fear itself."

I believe that all of us would be a lot better off if we remember part of the Optimist Club Creed which urges us to forget he mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

We need to resolve to be giving. No, I don't just mean giving money, which is important, but the giving of time and effort to support churches, clubs, schools and the community. In the end, the person who gives of his or her time to service is the winner. It is a great feeling to know that you have done something to help other people.

We need to resolve to be nicer people. There are far too many people who seem to be angry all of the time. They get impatient in the check-out line. They lash out at everyone around them for any small slight. When they drive, they zip across lanes endangering everyone and themselves to save a few seconds. They criticize everyone and everything and seem to be very unhappy. It takes very little effort to just be nice. Yes, there are lots of frustrations in life, however a negative, angry attitude doesn't change anything and it doesn't improve the situation. Maybe we should remember to treat everyone as we would like to be treated.

It seems to me that we need to say "thank you" more often. When is the last time you thanked your spouse for all they do for you. Have you ever told co-workers how much you appreciate them? Do you praise your children for their efforts? Sadly, most of us don't say express out appreciation enough.

Finally, we need to all pitch in and help the environment. There are many simple things that we can do such as recycling. We can plant trees and flowers which beautify neighborhoods. We can make sure that we do not litter. These are very simple things but if everyone does their part it can make a very big difference.

Yes, I believe that 2008 will be a great year. No, I don't think that I'll lose 25 pounds or get a ton of junk out of my basement, however I am sure that I can be a good citizen who does everything possible to improve my neighborhood, my city and my state. Actually, these aren't tough resolutions, they are just common sense suggestions that can make a big difference.

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