CONTRARY TO ALL probability, and the cacophonous, pugnacious prognostications of any number of people who are trying desperately to be somebody, the world has not ended.
In fact, current indications are that we might actually manage to stagger into 2018.
Yes, we’re a bit raggedy around the edges, and more than a little bit “beat up.”
Lots of people are mad as hell at lots of people and fear has become a commodity, bought and sold for mega-bucks, in pursuit of getting people to agree with the ever-present “us.”
The “us” that collides with “them,” meaning everyone who isn’t “us.”
But still, somehow, here we are — and here we go.
I confess that I certainly have my moments of hand-wringing worrying about this or that, shaking my head in disbelief and basking in my own self-righteousness.
But I try to get over that remembering that it’s highly unlikely that my beliefs, values and perspectives will materially affect the world stage.
At least, today.
So because we’re on the brink of a calendar-related event that we choose to call a new year, most of us are forced (out of habit) to consider New Year’s resolutions.
It’s odd, in a way, because one could argue that every day is an opportunity to begin again, but most of us have been raised with this “New Year’s resolutions” thing, and because most of us remain victims of our upbringings, here we are.
The typical culprits at this annual juncture tend to include weight loss, exercise increase, reductions in non-healthful behaviors and just about anything else that we believe will slow the march of time, as we celebrate the march of time.
If any (or all) of those apply to you, remember to try to establish bite-sized goals that you might actually achieve as opposed to setting huge, imaginary benchmarks that are actually remote.
For instance, being single-handedly responsible for world peace might be more realistically replaced by resolving to stop surreptitiously puncturing the neighbor’s village of large, inflatable holidays characters that are nestled in enough lights to land a 747.
Right: “Peace” is where you find it. Or make it.
Anyway, in hopes of inspiring myself to actual action and inspiring you to revel in the realization that you aren’t me, allow me to share a few New Year’s Resolutions, as we blunder into 2018:
• I resolve to eliminate all non-healthful behaviors by the day after tomorrow.
• … and, I resolve to be willing to forgive myself.
• I resolve to age gracefully, and to try to figure out more about what that means.
I suspect it includes accepting the passage of time as inevitable, and to quit grieving the loss of youthful superpowers.
Accepting, perhaps, that a modicum of wisdom and experience might be reasonably substituted for a testosterone overdose, and that contentment is a moving target. And, rightly so.
• I resolve to stop being right because, I’m often not.
Thus, I resolve to shut up and listen, and see what miracles might come of that.
• I resolve to stop believing everything I hear and hearing only the things that I already believe.
• I resolve to smile more, whether I feel like it or not.
• I resolve to stop imagining that I know why everyone does what they do.
The fact is, I don’t know but, if I make up reasons those imaginings become my reality and pretty soon I’ve created a truth about you that has nothing to do with you.
Please see above regarding listening.
• I resolve to stop stubbing my toes in the dark because I’m too lazy, stupid or cheap to turn on a light.
• I resolve to continue to be offended by offensive behaviors, understanding that silence can be construed as acceptance.
• I resolve to hold doors open for people and to thank the people who hold them open for me.
• I resolve to find the purpose in today, however small it might be, and to pursue it.
• … and, I resolve to be willing to forgive myself.
• I resolve to acknowledge the difference between greed and freedom, and to act accordingly.
• I resolve to embrace the opportunities to love. And not keep love a secret.
• I resolve to act as though I were not the only person on the planet.
• I resolve not to give up, understanding that every single day really is another opportunity to do better if I have the courage and the sense to grab it.
• I resolve to remember that very few people find my various aches, pains and maladies as endlessly fascinating as I do.
• I resolve to listen to people who are younger than I am, because finding the truth is like an Easter egg hunt, and those nuggets could be anywhere.
Spare my soul
• I resolve to spare my soul the burdens of anger, resentment, rudeness and cruelty, leaving a lot more time to …
• … Laugh.
I resolve to laugh, to find humor where it lives, which is, often, in my own mirror.
• … and I resolve to be willing to forgive myself.
Happy New Year.
Mark Harvey is director of Clallam/Jefferson Senior Information & Assistance, which operates through the Olympic Area Agency on Aging. He is also a member of the Community Advocates for Rural Elders partnership. He can be reached at 360-452-3221 (Port Angeles-Sequim), 360-385-2552 (Jefferson County) or 360-374-9496 (West End), or by emailing [email protected].