I’m back, it’s snowing, it’s cold and getting colder, and I love it. I mean I must love it, right? It’s Michigan, and I choose to live here. Of course I also love my serious snow thrower and my down parka with deep hood, both of which make the occasional bout of really raw winter weather tolerable. Anyway, I’m back to writing after a nice holiday break; and thinking about the new year and how it will be different from last year.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. Did you make any? Have you broken any yet? I think maybe I don’t like them and often break them if and when I make them, because I don’t make them about the right thing. So what would be the right thing about which to make a resolution? Hmm…
Maybe if I reflect a little on the last year something will come to mind. Big family changes, big moves, tough business cycle, improved retirement outlook, fun visits to both east and west coasts, 400thBirthday Anniversary Reunion, no camping at our favorite retreat, continuing marginal health, conquering major depression, suffering minor frustrations, happy times with grandchildren and family, reconnecting with old friends, losing an old friend too soon, making new friends and even starting and maintaining a new blog that a few people actually read.
What’s the common thread? I think it’s my attitude about what made me happy, what made me sad, and what made life worthwhile for me. Those times when I was happiest were the times I was with family and friends doing things that were new or just catching up on things that weren’t. When I disappointed others, I also disappointed myself. When I was moping around others ended up being down, too. When I was happy the people around me also seemed happy. When I wanted someone to change I wasn’t happy because I wasn’t in control. And what is the only thing I really am in control of? Me.
I can’t control others, nor can I control what they think of me or expect of me. But I can control what I expect of me, and I can make those expectations realistic and achievable. I can push myself and set the bar high, or I can make it easy and set the bar low. Whatever I do, I need to be happy with and love myself, and feel like I’m making a difference in the lives of my family, friends, and others.
I don’t know if I can lose 75 pounds, but I do know I can weigh less at the end of the year than I do now. I don’t know if I can exercise 150 minutes a week, but I do know I can exercise more than I do now. I don’t know if I can maintain a paleo diet for the year, but I do know I can eat more wisely this year. I don’t know if I can close $50,000 in new business this year, but I do know I can close more business than last year. I don’t know if I can sing in the choir for the whole year, but I do know I can sing in the choir now.
I can’t undo the past, but I can move in a good direction starting today. I can take each day as it comes, as the present, as the gift it is, and make the best of it. If I don’t make the best of it I can forgive myself and start over tomorrow.
This I can do; this will be my resolution on this, the first day of the rest of my life…Pops