Archive for Wednesday, January 1, 2003

Be happy — skip the resolutions

January 1, 2003

Perhaps it is the holiday spirit, the excitement of Christmas, the onset of a new year, but one thing is for sure, changes are coming. I really haven't put a finger on it, but I have many questions and unfortunately no answers. My query is a simple one, and I have not found a true answer.

We are experiencing the holiday season; a season where children have twinkles in their eyes and smiles on their faces. A season where happiness is overflowing even though the stress is immense. My simple question is why does it all have to be circumvented with New Year's? There are so many different reasons people look toward the new year. Some consider this a new year and a new start while others look at it as an excuse to party and have fun only to wake on the morning of the new year feeling totally miserable.

Politicians hope for positive change and even a chance for peace. Bankers and investors hope the new year brings prosperity and yet, the kids consider the new year a chance to have more time off before heading back into the classroom.

Stay focused folks because I am still on a quest to learn why the holidays must be interrupted with New Year's.

There are those of us who look for the new year to bring change. Change within ourselves, which as a result, has allowed our minds and bodies to worsen over the course of a year. Ah, a chance to turn over a new leaf, like being more patient with our children or not arguing with the spouse. Why is it we slack off for 364 days in hope of turning things around in one day? So what if I may have strayed from the diet a bit. Is it really that important? And now, the day of redemption is nearing and I don't think I am ready for it.

The feared and dreaded New Year's Resolution is what I am talking about. Only I will refer to it as the New Year's Revolution. I admit it -- I don't have the will power or desire but by some mystical spirit, am forced to make these ridiculous resolutions, only to be broken within the first week.

Come on now, you all know what I am talking about. There are those who vow to quit smoking, only to spend a week abusing and berating their family because they haven't the courage or will power to break such a habit. One of my favorites is to resolve to lose weight only to go to the all-you-can-eat buffet and order a diet coke. What kind of crazed human would make a pledge to go on a diet and lose weight over the holidays? One with a death wish, because everywhere you go there is food. Not just regular food, but chocolate, cookies, candy, pie, and cake. And you vowed to lose weight? I don't think so.

I am not sure which is worse, making impossible resolutions or making these resolutions and then breaking them. Talk about the feeling of inadequacy. I think just maybe if I don't make any resolutions I won't feel bad because I won't have to break them. But that truly isn't in the nature of the season, now is it?

Maybe I am approaching this in the wrong direction. Instead of making impossible resolutions, maybe I should make resolutions that I am capable of keeping. Instead of making a vow to lose weight this year, I will make a vow to gain weight. That's right, I am going to concentrate on gaining 20, no, make it 50 pounds this year. Who cares about the health aspect as long as I am able to keep my promise? Forget the new and improved me in regard to patience. When I get home and one of my children "wisecracks," I am going to lay into them like Patton rolling into Germany. There will be no room for adult conversation; just me acting like a crazy man. This carries to the road as well. You cut in front of me on K-10, forget the niceties and forgiveness because I am coming at you, and it will be with a vengeance.

After serious consideration, I hope you realize this is all in jest, but it sure felt good writing it. In all honesty, I don't make New Year's resolutions. Never have and never will because honestly, I don't need a specific date to start something.

I do have some friendly advice that will not only benefit you as a person, but the community as well. After living in Eudora for nine years, it is pretty clear to see that we are a community that gives and cares. When tragedy occurs, the community for the most part is there and wants to help. When we brought to the community the need for schools, they answered. It is evident that Eudora is composed of wonderful people.

The one thing I am going to try to do in 2003 is to continue to give. This is a simple resolution or vow that is easy to do and doesn't take a lot of effort or money. If each person could do one nice thing for someone else each week, the end result of kindness would carry on forever. Donate to a local charity, give time to those in need, listen to someone for five minutes, volunteer at the church, shelter, or soup kitchen. Go through your closets and donate clothes you no longer wear. By doing this, you will get a sense of self-fulfillment and also teach our young people about giving.

During the month of December, I learned a valuable lesson from our young people at Eudora West Elementary. We sponsored a food drive and watching these young people give during a time when kids receive was truly awe-inspiring.

May the year 2003 be prosperous for all of you and your family.

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