I'll be HOME for Christmas

Priorities for Another New Year

Is it just me, or is time going FASTER?

Someone once observed, “Life is like a toilet roll. The nearer you get to the end, the faster it goes!”

As yet another New Year rolls around, my grandfather’s comment is becoming more relevant. “Well, Bill,” he used to say, “that’s one day more and one day less.”

The question is whether you focus on the one year less, or decide to make the most of the one year more. Personally, I want the next year count … after all I have already passed my allotted “three-score years and ten”, so I don’t want to waste it!!!

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I just don’t have the will power. Besides, the moment you “blow it”, (which is usually by January 2nd) you give up on resolutions, and slip back into more of the “same old same old.”

I prefer to set GOALS. Things I want to accomplish in 2018. You can work on those all year. My objectives are focused on what is really important in life.

My goal is to play more and work less. (Mind you, when you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life!) I will play more and not worry about how well or how badly I do … I will just enjoy the fact that I have the strength to swing a golf club, the moments to enjoy the open air, and the opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of good friends. Finding the occasional golf ball in the rough will be an added bonus!!

I’m going to enjoy my own back garden more and worry about the weeds in the lawn less. And if my neighbor’s grass looks greener than mine, I’m color blind, so who cares!!

I’m not “saving” anything. We realized last year that we only brought out our good china and crystal for strangers and guests. This year I want to use it for the people who are really important to me, like family. And we will use it for every special event, such as Sunday, birthdays, pizza night. “Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing, hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.

My goal is to listen more and try not to interrupt as much. It is amazing how many conversations are dialogues of the deaf, planning our next response while the other person is talking. I will try to listen more closely to what people tell me, and seek to understand the meaning behind the words, not just what is being said.

My goal is to offer more random acts of kindness. Sure, that means helping with the dishes, mowing the lawn without having to be asked, fixing the light etc. But it is far more than these everyday tasks. It involves more evident signs of affection to the people I love. More notes left on the counter for my wife, or hidden in places where she will find them days later. It means a chocolate bar for the neighbour’s young grandson.

I want to offer more frequent words of appreciation to people who do things that I have enjoyed or treasured. I want to make it my mission to be nicer to checkout counter people, and the people in life who far too often are unappreciated, neglected, and often mistreated. Because helping them feel good about themselves makes their day … but it also makes mine. Sometimes a simple compliment can make a huge difference … “thanks, you did a great job”; “I appreciated what you did”; “you look great in that outfit”; “great supper, dear”. All these compliments can be of enormous value to those who may feel they are being taken for granted.

My goal is to laugh more. Let’s send more e mail cartoons, or clever articles or jokes to each other. We all need a good laugh now and then.

My goal is to show a cheerful disposition. While it is probably inappropriate for grief counsellors to always be cheerful around the people you meet, at least try to lift people’s spirits and be positive. And while we are at it, there is no excuse for being nice to clients and colleagues during the day, and then being miserable to your family when you come home, adding to their burden.

Whenever possible, life should be a plethora of experiences to savor, not to endure.  I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.

So I’m going to try to live 2021 as if it were my last, while doing everything I can to ensure that it isn’t. And for those who take that attitude, the best is always yet to come.