This originally appeared (or rather will appear) in the Thursday, January 3rd, 2012 issue of the Outlook weekly newspaper. Through the magic of the internet, I now provide here for you, though, in truth it’s not so much magic as I wrote the damn piece so I can post it wherever I wish.
2012 has past and we are now fully into the new year. There is optimism in the air, not only from individuals but from the economy, job prospects, new development and much more that sweeps across this country. By now, most have made their New Year’s Resolutions. Not everyone, however, including myself.
I’ve never been one to make resolutions at New Years, mostly because I know that they’ll fall through within a week of making them. Some were the common types that most everyone has. Exercise more, eat properly, go to bed at a decent time, things like that. The resolutions we come up with are wide ranging and varied. More often than not, we never really full fill those resolutions either.
We do it to ourselves every year, really, making grandiose announcements that we’ll quit this or start that, and none of them are small. They’re all massive and we give ourselves such a steep goal to accomplish these announcements. No wonder we often end up with stress, not only do we have bills to pay, appointments to keep and lives to live, but we’ve also got these unattainable resolutions which we, more often than not, end up failing miserably at.
I’m not saying that everyone fails at keeping a New Years Resolution, those that do keep their goals and attain them are the exception to the rule. We shouldn’t look our noses down at those people who happen to achieve their goals either, because they did it. They made it. For the rest of us, however, maybe it’s time we sat down and admitted to ourselves that maybe, just maybe, we need to scale back our expectations and re-evaluate what it is we want to achieve.
Maybe it’s time that we decided that some of these lofty goals just are not attainable if we keep fretting about the small stuff along the way. So maybe it’s time we took a look at the small stuff and decide what’s important in and amongst the small stuff, and what exactly it is that we should sweat about. It’s sort of like having that thing that you’ve carried around for ten or twenty years. During that time, you’ve never used it, only taken it out when you’ve had to find something else, and each time you do you think ‘hey, maybe I should find a use for this’. I’ll let you in on a secret. If, in ten to twenty years, you still can’t find a use for that thing, then it’s only going to sit around with you for another ten to twenty years gathering dust and taking up space. Maybe it’s time to take that thing and finally give it a mighty heaving into the waste receptacle.
That right there might be the best New Years Resolution that any of us can make. Don’t stress out about the small stuff. Goodness knows we don’t need any more stress with what we can’t control. So let’s deal with what we can control, move it out of the way, and then that will allow us to focus on the things that are large, grandiose, and beyond our control. For those things we’ll most likely need help. But we really can’t tackle those things, even with help, unless we take care of the small things first.
I’m not saying don’t make lofty goals at all. Indeed, we all need a huge goal to achieve in our lives. That one thing, or maybe a couple of things, that you can stand back and say to yourself ‘I did it’. Those moments are really very encouraging, especially if you worked hard to achieve your goal. Even when we reach those goals, however, we have to realize that they were actually quite realistic.
My suggestion for a good new year and a stress free 2013 is this: don’t worry, don’t panic.
Have a happy new year, and may your resolutions be attainable.
This editorial was published on the Church Directory page of the weekly newspaper, because it’s spiritual in a way, but also heartfelt. It was also the only place the editorial could fit. The author, me, wonders that if ever his (my) photo is used on the Church Directory page with an editorial in future that it should be updated.