“The way the sun rises and the way the sun sets. That has not changed one bit,” a wise old fellow once told me. He said he’d seen many changes come and go in his life, but there are some things that never change.
Now a few weeks into this “new” year with a new number, lives are leveling out into the reality of January instead of elevated expectations of magical, instantaneous, life-changing reformations. The dawning of a new year is simply the turning of the page on the calendar, just like you did last month and the month before that.
However, it does set in motion thoughts of resolutions for this “new” year and reminds us that every day we have an opportunity to change, improve and do better. It also comes with a reality check of upcoming tax deadlines, long dark nights and higher utility bills.
New beginnings can be a million different things to as many people. From elections to promotions, destitution to diamonds, failure to success and sad to happy, the hope in a better tomorrow, a better next month and a better ending than the beginning, lightens the load of each day.
In arriving at a place of anticipation for these new beginnings, we first had to come through some valleys. The proverbial wilderness wandering is a part of life for those with human tendencies. I believe we can decide to be tired of wandering, stand up and be counted when new beginnings are passed around. It takes making that decision to be at the front of the line.
We live in a world long past understanding what is fundamentally important in life. Gone are the days when people worked back-breaking hard to just survive and didn’t have time to fuss over things that had no value in the survival scheme. They went to bed tired and woke in the morning thinking they were blessed.
Human nature today is to expect much and offer little until one of life’s realities hits us upside the head. Disasters have a way of leveling the playing field. Fires, floods, blizzards and more have rolled over civilization with no regard to rank or social standing. We’ve seen that happen repeatedly in recent months.
This country and its people are being tested, one test at a time. We are being put in a place to choose between fluff and value. The ability to do that is buried somewhere deep within each of us.
We are two generations away from any learned survival skills for the really tough stuff. Our hardest decisions usually revolve around satellite or cable, iPhone or Android, butter or margarine and whether to drink Starbucks coffee or not.
It is said that the three essentials for happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for. As a society, we stay too busy for our own good and we frantically grasp at something or someone to love. We hang our hats on the tomorrows we haven’t yet lived and in those, we have great hope for all things improved.
A resurgence of hope and those resolutions for doing better need to be followed by an action. I guess my question is—why do we wait for a future date on the calendar to be better to ourselves and to others?
Today is a good day to start. Let us not forget that tomorrow is never promised.
Julie can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.