Happy New Year everyone! It’s officially 2013, and despite the negative connotations of those last two digits, I am hoping this year is one of all things positive. My dad loved New Year’s Eve. I remember him and my mom getting dressed up to go out with their friends to celebrate and coming home with noise makers for us. Still, I’ve never been a big New Year’s Eve celebrator, and this year was no different. I do, however, always make those requisite resolutions come January 1 and again, this year is no different.
A resolution I always make that I have a pretty successful rate of accomplishing is learning something new every year. I’ve taken an Italian class, ice skating lessons, have learned to cross-stitch and golf, and dabbled in yoga before yoga was cool. This year, as I did last year, I hope to learn how to shoot a gun. I know the timing is perhaps questionable but it’s something I’ve wanted to do and hope to finally scratch off my list this year. As always I also hope to get healthier. I need to eat better, exercise more, and lose weight. I started yesterday and can’t wait for Coach Kim’s boot camp at work to start up again next Tuesday. I don’t love exercising and I love all foods that are bad for me, but I also don’t love being overweight and unhealthy.
Why are resolutions so hard to keep? Maybe we make them too unattainable. Maybe we are imperfect and weak. It all got me thinking back to Kristen’s high school yearbook senior ad. I wonder if what I wrote in it qualifies as resolutions for every year:
“Always remember to pray, dream, believe in yourself, believe in Santa, never give up, help others, respect yourself, stand tall, be grateful, be kind, be a lady, say grace, be honest, speak up, ask why, attend mass, vote, work hard, never settle, laugh, dance, sing, listen, keep your heart open and your eyes looking up, and never forget the house that built you.”
I also added the following quotes and scripture:
May trouble neglect you and angels protect you.
Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.
“In everything you do, put God first and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6.
“For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
They all sound easy enough, right?
My niece Tessa, whose married to a man from Japan, informed me that, according to the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 is “The Year of the Snake.” Hmmmm…what do I make of that? I hate snakes! Apparently under this belief, 2013 is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary to achieve what you set out to do. The Snake is the sixth sign of the Chinese Zodiac and is the enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animals Signs. It is a studious creature, preferring quiet predictability to ruckus and mayhem. Peaceful solitude is also its preference. Snake or no snake, that’s what I’m hoping for in 2013.
I’m also happy to say I’ll be having “high tea” with my friend Mary from Scotland tomorrow. This seems most appropriate being that “Auld Lang Syne” was originally a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many countries, especially in the English-speaking world, as the traditional way to celebrate the start of the new year at the stroke of midnight The song’s title is in “Scots,” the language spoken in Lowland Scotland and not to be confused with Scottish Gaelic, which is spoken in the Highlands, and may be translated into English as “old long since” or more idiomatically, “days gone by.” Consequently, “for auld lang syne” could be loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.” Singing the song on New Year’s Eve very quickly became a Scottish custom that soon spread to other parts of the British Isles. As Scots emigrated around the world, they took the song with them. Beginning in 1929, Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularizing the use of the song at New Year’s celebrations in America through his annual broadcasts on radio the song became his trademark.
So, as this new year begins fresh with new hopes and new dreams, perhaps Denis Waitley said it best with, “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist or accept the responsibility for changing them.” As I leave you with a prayer for 2013, I pray we all make choices that are healthy, resolutions that are attainable, and decisions that make a difference.
“Prayer for the New Year”
Give us the kindness to hear with compassion and to offer support, loving comfort, and care. Give us the courage to do what is needed and the wisdom to choose what is right and most fair. Give us the vision to see what is possible. Give us a faith that will help pave the way for a present that’s hopeful and a future that’s peaceful. Give us a heart to bring joy to each day.