Sunday, January 2

Reflection on resolutions

'Tis the season to look back.  Why is it that we look back and review the top 10 business stories, the top 10 sports stories, the top some number of whatever?  News magazines publish top photos of the year as well as top stories, etc.  We look back at the highlights as well as the low points.  I hope we want to learn from our mistakes, though we might just reminding ourselves how miserable humanity can be.

I believe, however, that we hope this fresh slate of a new year will help us stand straighter, put our shoulders back, and proceed with hope and confidence.  I believe that's why some people make resolutions to stop some vice or to start some healthy habit.

I like to say I don't make resolutions, but I know I do.  I hear whispers in my head about blogging more regularly, getting that tattoo, writing real letters more often, staying in more regular contact with my family, and, oh yea, working out more.

I think we make resolutions because we recognize that humanity can be miserable; that each of us occasionally, maybe often, falls short of what we want to be, what we need to be.  Perhaps what drives us to improve or change is something spiritual or an inner desire to have a few regrets as possible or a competitive spirit of looking for an improved personal best in something or a whole host of reasons, some of which collide and interwine.

I rarely get my Christmas cards out on time any more.  That's why I like the ones that read "Season's Greetings;" I can always add a personal greeting and "Season's Greetings" is sufficiently general that it could mean Christmas, Epiphany, or even winter.  Each fall I resolve to get my Christmas cards out.  I don't even try for "on time" any more; just getting them addressed and in the mail by Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas can be a Christmas miracle for me.  Sure, Epiphany is in January, but it is when the Magi were to have visited Jesus, so it's still during the season.  I won't digress to far here, but the Christmas season doesn't really end on December 25 or even December 26 with all of the returns and post-Christmas Day shopping.  The season of Christmas never really ends, I suppose, but is marked by Epiphany.

January 1 did mark the beginning of a new year.  The sun rose as it always has, and I thank God for that.  The Rose Bowl Parade went off without a hitch and bowl games were played.  In many ways, January 1 was no different from any other day.  And today, January 2, is the day we check to see how many resolutions we've broken already.

But here's what's really cool.  There is always tomorrow, or so we hope and pray.  And as long as we have a new day, we have hope to improve.  As long as we take time to reflect and to learn from our actions or mistakes without wallowing in self-pity, we have hope to improve.  Today is the only day that matters.  Yesterday is done and gone.  Yes, reflect on it, learn from it, and move on.  Tomorrow isn't yet and will bring its own issues and concerns. 

Yep, today is the only day that matters.  Resolve to live it well.

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