Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year
In 1960, my mom’s doctors told her she had an inoperable heart problem and should take it easy.  In that same year she bought a pair of red glasses.  She’s going to be 94 in a month; I guess the doctor got it wrong.  And she still has those distinctive red glasses.

Thing is, you never know.  So many die young, from all kinds of things; others live much longer.  Many do little with the time they have; others fill their days and lives with wonder and love, good things and bad, and activities and quiet moments: it’s seems right that as long as we’re alive there’s every reason to live life to the fullest.

And since it’s New Year is a time of resolutions, maybe the best ones speak to doing the most with our lives: every moment of every day. They speak about looking optimistically at the options and opportunities that present themselves, looking for ways to make the things we do have the most impact, looking for those who are looking for something and seeing if we can help, and looking to do what’s right even when it’s neither convenient nor fun.

How many opportunities do you think you’ll have to do things that matter this year?  How many chances do you think you’ll need to see whether you’ll live up to your resolutions?  How much do you think you’ll get out of life if you do, or don’t? How about if you remember, or post, these last three lines throughout the coming year?

My mom, at 94, still does a crossword puzzle and plays bridge nearly every day.  The picture (above) was taken last week as she celebrated this holiday season with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren: fifty-four years and counting since that fateful diagnosis.  

Some days she muses that maybe the aches and pains that slow her down mean she’s lived too long.  At times like that, she cleans those red glasses, puts them back on, and continues her journey. Those glasses, and her journey, are two of the many things I’m thankful for as we head into 2015.  So, my resolution is, like my mom, to do all that I can this year; and my prayer is that I should live so long.

My message this week is about taking responsibility for your actions and your life:

“To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility.”  Patrick Ness

What choice do you have today?  You can choose to be happy or sad, good or bad, productive or lazy, creative or repetitive: the choice really is yours.  To say you have no choice – maybe you don’t think you’re allowed to choose, or possibly you don’t feel competent to choose, or you think nobody would notice even if you did – those and other excuses just serve to relieve you of your real responsibility.  People who haven’t earned the right are rarely given the opportunity to choose between good, better or best, in which case they’re then challenged by General Schwarzkopf’s Rule 13: ‘When given Command, take Charge’.  You really do have the right, and the responsibility, to choose who and what you want to be: that’s called owning your destiny. Take that to heart, and then make your relationships, your responsibilities, your job, your life, today, and this year, all that you want them to be!

Happy New Year, and Stay Well!