by Ann Robson
It’s the beginning of a new year. Where did the old one go? What did we do with the time we were given a year ago? Did we keep any resolutions? Will be likely make the same ones again, ones that we’ve been making for years?
The world in general seems to be in such disarray that perhaps we need to re-think what we say we’re going to do. Individually we’re not responsible for the chaos around the world. Surely there must be something, however small, we could do to bring a measure of peace to our world.
Instead of a laundry list of things like not smoking, losing weight, saving money, getting organized -things we may all need to do-why not try for something simple like becoming a better person? As good as we may be, there’s always room for improvement. Small things like a smile here, a hug there, a few minutes with a friend in need or just quiet time with a child or grandchild might make a difference for both you and the person receiving your fellowship.
There are hundreds of ways to go about self-improvement. Just look at the self-help books and videos out there. Nothing will work unless we want to start with ourselves. Sometimes we have to take a step back and look at what we do or how we live to really see ourselves. Then we can decide what we are proud of and what we’d like to change. We’ve all been in a routine that became a rut and we began to think that was all there is. A new year seems like a good time to re-think our lives and make some adjustments. We can’t change totally in a few months and we may not need to change much, just a little here and little there.
Last year both my husband and I suffered mightily with the flu for weeks. There’s nothing like feeling you’re at the bottom of the barrel and have no idea how to get out. We did survive and wouldn’t wish that illness on anyone. On one of the days when I thought there might be some sunlight at the end of our tunnel, I started thinking about a very old dream I’d always had- writing and publishing a book. In the past
I’d always found an excuse, or life found one for me, not to give myself the time and attention needed to actually do it.
I pretty well dropped out of everything I had been doing and huddled over my computer for hours on end. About half of my journalism career was before the digital age. Typewriters, teletypes, hot lead, and leg work were my tools then. I had to translate them to a digital form.
It wasn’t as easy as just transcribing what I’d already written. I had to ponder over each piece to see if it was still relevant and would be enjoyed by today’s audience. Many memories, long dormant, surfaced and demanded my time. In the end I was pleased with the finished product.
The lesson learned was that it’s OK to set aside time for yourself to do something you’ve been thinking about for years. Perhaps that’s the answer to New Year’s resolutions: stop, think, do what means something to you as a person. Chances are that it will mean something to another.
Happy New Year!
Robson is the author of “Over My Shoulder: Tales of Life and Death and Everything In Between.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org