I don’t place too much emphasis on the New Years resolution. I tried it once but I think I baked it too long and ended up throwing it all out. I just set the bar really, really low for myself. In fact, I lay the bar on the floor and scoot around it. In actuality, I believe you either do something or you don’t. I personally don’t need a new year to be resolute about something. Stop teasing us Menifee. You either build that movie theatre or not. Just stop telling us for a decade that it’s coming soon. They are like the weatherman who tell us there is a 30% chance of rain. That just tells me there is a 70% chance that it won’t rain. The landfill of resolutions gives off a nasty stench of excuses.
We had to go to the store on New Year’s Eve. The cashier had the nerve to wish us a Happy New Year and asked us what our plans were for the evening. Without hesitation I said, “We are going dancing.” She glanced at my walker and just smiled at my sarcasm. I didn’t tell her that it was my lack of rhythm, not the fact that I was using a walker that prevents us from dancing. Everyone knows we are party animals, like a sloth or bear in hibernation. My wife enjoys staying up late and seeing in the new year by watching all the finest programming that television has to offer. She watches programs showing the countdown like I watch a Time Life Music infomercial. The fact that she was a New Year’s baby partly explains her behavior so for that we’ll give her a pass. I prefer to get my beauty rest. There is something odd to me about people cramming together in the middle of winter to watch a clock countdown and a ball drop. What I find even stranger is trying to make a six hour television show about it. I’d rather watch a Dr. Pimple Popper marathon. Isn’t it time somebody at least made a game out of it? Then it might be worth televising. Someone please get ESPN working on that asap.
I had to use the restroom the other day at the grocery store. Seems a local up and coming artisan felt compelled to carve their initials into and graffiti the toilet seat. If anybody needs a reset button this person does. Im just guessing that there are school desks, bus stops, possibly detention facilities with that same calling card on them. What kind of habits do you have if you practice arts and crafts in a human litter box? His parents must be so proud. I have no problem making the wrong choice. I try not to make a habit of it. I can think of a few poor menu choices I made in restaurants that yielded some pretty unfortunate results. I have learned where to go and what NOT to order. Some people however, never seem to learn. New years resolution or not, they make bad choices a habit. My guess is that the same people will more than likely make the same bad decisions this year that they did last year.
I had an encounter recently with a young man down at the lake who desperately needed a do over. He hobbled up on crutches and collapsed into the bench next to me. I thought for a brief moment that perhaps I would have a nice interesting conversation with someone other than the ducks. I was wrong. The ducks were way more interesting. His only dialogue with me was to ask me “do you smoke?” My standard reply to that question is “only when I’m on fire.” Not long after he arrived his mom appeared. She informed me that he had his foot run over by a semi and was refusing to take his antibiotics and that perhaps I could talk some sense into him. Is that even possible? Can you really talk sense into a person, especially someone who puts their foot in the path of a semi? They either have sense or they don’t right? If they don’t have it, they have to be open to acquiring it. He didn’t have it and he sure wasn’t open to getting it anytime soon. When was the last time “listen to your mother” worked? The real obvious question was, you have your foot run over by a semi and your only treatment is to take antibiotics? I wanted to tell him about our friend Cindy who is battling glioblastoma and doing it with a level of class second to none. I knew it would be lost on him. I’ve learned to conserve my energy. When people have their minds made up about something, there’s really nothing you can say or do to change their mind no matter how wrong they might be. They’ve chosen to believe something then so be it. At the moment he seemed resolute to not have a happy new year. But it got me thinking. What does one have to do to get their foot run over by a semi? I normally don’t stick any part of me anywhere in the path of a 20,000 lb. vehicle so this one escapes me. Talk about sticking your foot where it doesn’t belong. I’ve put my foot in my mouth, on someones back side, I’ve even put my foot through a door, but never in the path of a semi. He may have been swimming in that same recessive gene pool as our modern day Michelangelo, the toilet tagger or it’s possible he was just having a real bad day.
As I write this we are preparing to make another pilgrimage to yet another doctor appointment. Of all the doctor appointments, this particular one ranks as one of the least favorites. Not that any trip to the doctor is a walk in the park. This happens to be my oncologist. Right before Christmas I had to have a triple MRI of my entire spine. I am extremely claustrophobic so just one MRI is a challenge. Today we get to find out the results of those scans. The anxiety gets ratcheted up tenfold. A great way to start the New Year maybe, or maybe not. We all have a choice how we respond to situations. I found joy in living in the moment. Leave the past where it is and don’t get too far ahead of yourself. Turn off the noise and let yourself enjoy the little things life has to offer.
The last several years have been a struggle for us. We’ve been challenged with a myriad of unforeseen issues, my health being just one of them. You never know how you’ll handle a crisis until you are right in the middle of one. It’s easy to sit on sidelines and judge the players and coaches. You never truly know what someone is going through until you step into their shoes ie my lakeside semi-foot friend. There are things that happen that you are never prepared for. Just when you think you have a handle on things, life can throw another curve ball at you. You never know what situation you will be confronted with. Sometimes it’s best to just set your expectations aside and get to work.
Each new year brings hope that it will be better than the last one. With all the problems we face in this life, it seems a daunting task to be happy sometimes. Just getting through the day can seem monumental. Our happiness shouldn’t necessarily be contingent on the people or situations around us but that is a rather tall order sometimes.
So what constitutes a happy new year? Faith in our risen savior Jesus Christ should be all the reason we need. When we focus on Him, all of the issues of this world somehow don’t seem so insurmountable, no matter what year it is.
Copyright © Brian Dietz