For the New Year, I’m making some changes
By Stephan Drew
Well, Christmas is over and New Year’s is almost upon us. This is the time of year when many people re-evaluate their lives, examine their shortcomings and promise to do better in the future. Usually, this self-examination ends with many resolutions. People write down their pledges to diet, exercise, clean their homes or remove all types of toxic things (and other people) from their lives. I was among those making guarantees to myself for many years. I would swear I was going to get into shape, buy a gym membership and wear myself out … for about two or three weeks. My commitment would die as soon as my mind turned to other, more exciting, entertainments. But even though I’ve sworn off resolutions, I don’t look down on those who still make that yearly list. And I do try to make alterations to the less-flattering habits that have become part of me. Since the last two years have seen us undergo drastic changes in our lives, I have come to a decision. For the New Year, I am only going to make one promise – I will do my best not to rush things. I often become impatient. It’s a very bad habit and has always been my nature. All my life, I’ve been one of those people who wanted everything “yesterday.” However, over the last 24 months, I have learned that being in a hurry usually does not serve any good purpose. It only leads to frustration, anger and disappointment. We may want something “right now.” But when we rush something, it frequently means that we are not able to take our time and do it right. And that means we end up with an inferior product or outcome. Doing this only sets us up to be disappointed each and every time. So, instead of running like mad this year, worrying about time limits, production or output percentage, I will organize my time and effort into making sure that whatever I do, it is done right. That’s another thing about me. I have always been a perfectionist. That doesn’t mean I’ve always done things to perfection. It’s just what I strive for. Unfortunately, speeding through a project often means something is going to be missed. Some small part of the process will be ignored or done “half-way” and that one part may be the key to the whole situation. I am working on changing my “anxious” nature and I hope I’m successful. I have decided on a few things that will help. I will be going to bed and waking up a half hour before my usual time. I don’t eat breakfast and I’m not usually late for work but it doesn’t hurt to get an even earlier start on the day. I will TRY to start eating breakfast – at least SOME of the time – but I’m not holding out any hope on improving this bad habit. It’s something I really have to work on. I will also try to stop eating late at night. Yes, I’m one of those people who get “peckish” about 9:30 or 10. I’ve already cut back some on my late-night snacks but it’s hard to break a lifelong routine. I’m also going to try to take things slower in my personal life. I love growing roses but, even with that, I am impatient. Instead of praying that they’ll hurry up and propagate, I need to stop, smell and enjoy them from time to time. And I have made one final promise to myself. I will do my best to always look on the bright side and acknowledge my many blessings. God has showered me and my family with an abundance of good fortune. Both of my parents remain here with me and, at nearly 90, they are still in fantastic shape. I continue to have the ability to benefit from their wisdom and life experience. They are the two greatest blessings in my life and I am extremely thankful for them. I live in a beautiful home in a true “paradise” (creeks, pond, gardens, farm and animals) and I work only four miles away. I have a wonderful job doing what I love and I work with an amazing group of people. I have access to any and all information I wish to inspect and, thankfully, God gave me intellect enough to understand most of the information I see. I have an amazing family, with members of all ages from all walks of life. If any of us has a question, we are fortunate enough to have direct access to some family member or other with that type of experience (no matter what the subject is). I am so thankful for these and many other things. And I will try, over the next year, to remind myself how blessed I am. There will be tough times ahead, I’m sure, for all of us. But for now (and, hopefully, the rest of the year), I will be glad. I will try to look on the bright side of things, take it a little slower and enjoy each moment. I suggest you spend some time doing the same. Happy New Year everyone! May 2022 find you happy, healthy and blessed!