Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year!

I can’t believe it’s the end of 2011.  Nor can I believe all that happened in 2011.

The United Nations designated 2011 as the Year of the Forest…that’s amazing since there was absolutely nothing in the news about that.
I guess all this other news drowned that out:



The Arab Spring, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the economic roller coaster, Prince William married Kate, the tornado in Joplin, Dr. Kevorkian died (of natural causes), Governor Blogojevich went to jail, more sensational legal battles (Casey Anthony and that guy from the IMF), NYC had an earthquake, tornado and hurricane, the endless Republican debates, the Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandal, some team won the World Series, there were killings everywhere (Arizona and Finland were the most notable), Occupy Wall Street became a movement, Bin Laden was killed, Steve Jobs died, Joe Paterno retired in disgrace, the European Union nearly imploded, the war in Iraq ended (really?) and too much more to mention here.

So what about The Year of the Forest?  My friend Virginia puts this on all her emails: The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.  The second best time is NOW. Maybe the UN should do the same!

Maybe all the news that we see and hear each day isn’t what’s really important.  Maybe we need to slow down and focus on just a few important things in our lives. Maybe we have to stop running as if there’s someplace important we have to get to:

There’s a set of escalators in New York’s Grand Central Station that many people use every morning to get up to street level.  Escalators are nice because you don’t have to climb the stairs – right?  But people push to be able to run up these escalators as if that will give them some extra time to complete the things they have to do.  But really, how much time can they gain?  And does that really make a difference?

Fact is, we are all rushing around rather that slowing down to smell the proverbial coffee or roses.  The days, months and years all keep rolling on and unless we each make a commitment to doing something meaningful then nothing much is going to change.  And this leads me to this week’s punch line: maybe that’s why people make New Year’s resolutions!

So what’s your resolution going to be for 2012?  What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish in 2012 that will make a difference?  Sure we all want to be better, or lose weight, or see some beautiful winter scene, but what will you commit to in 2012 that will really make a difference?  That’s the question of the hour and now’s the time to answer it.  If you haven’t already made a resolution, stop right now and do it.

At times like these my mind tends to go back to the songs I’ve learned and sung.  Maybe one year’s ending and the new one’s beginning is like that line from the song All My Life’s a Circle by Harry Chapin:

                        No straight lines make up my life, and all my roads have bends; 

                       There's no clear-cut beginnings, and so far no dead-ends.

Where will your roads lead you in 2012?  And what will you do to steer the course you choose?  Those are the questions that are on my mind as 2011 ends, and I’ll spend 2012 trying to find the answers.

I hope you have a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

Stay well!

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