Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Out With Old, In With The New...

Potpourri, Quality of Life

We have a need, it seems, to usher out old years and to usher in new years.  It must be that we seek the psychological effect of casting off that with which we're dissatisfied in favor of that which we 'know' has to be better than that we just finished.

2009 was a year just like any other year.  There were people taken from us that caused us to stop and think of our own mortality...for an instant...before we resumed what it was we were doing without change.  There were 'problems' for some that translated into 'opportunities' for others.

I have listened to several programs and read several articles where people have shared their views of the old and their hopes for the new; it seems this is a requisite process that only ends when we end.

We are told that "hope springs eternal" and yet that isn't really true.  Some of us have been given the gift of hope with which we contend with today's adversity knowing that somewhere in our future is that hoped for nirvana.  Others of us have been cursed with regret for the 'lack of opportunity' that was represented in the old year.

In the end, this becomes whatever each of us decides it will be.  We will be hopeful if that is our inclination, and we will be regretful if that is our inclination.  Each of us makes our own vision of the past, the present and the future.  We may be condemned to be ever-regretful or ever-hopeful, but either take some doing on our part.  We can change if we recognize that we are one or the other, but many of us seem unable to undertake the introspective analysis necessary to determine what we are versus what we wish to be.  That could be likened to the old saw that says if we don't know where we're going, any road will get us there.

It is true that each of us has a different set of circumstances, and it is true that circumstances will rule our lives if permitted to do so.  It is also true, yet apparently undiscovered by many, that circumstances can be altered if we set about to make that occur.

Long story short, as a good friend says:  our take on the old year is a reflection of how we approached it when it was a new year.  Following that path, our take on 2010 is likely to have been predetermined by our approach to it and by our willingness to either change circumstances or to continue to forge ahead ignorant of our ability to change our circumstances. 

How is it that one person is cheerful and views life through a positive lens while another is glum and views life through a negative lens?

It is a matter of one taking responsibility for his or her present condition and resolving to make changes to improve that condition.  Before this can occur, though, there must be an honest appraisal with a strong resolution to change and that must be followed by the incremental "one bite at a time" approach that is necessary to effect any major change..

That brings us to the issue of 'New Year's Resolutions'.  We know, whether or not we admit it, that the vast majority of these 'resolutions' are destined to be thrown off early in the new year because they are made without the necessary internal conviction to make them happen.  We make resolutions because we are expected to make them, and because they make us think we will be better off after than we are before.

We kid ourselves unless and until we really take a long, hard look at who and what we are contrasted with who and what we wish we were.  If we can't do that honestly, we are destined to be whatever it is that we are at the time.  If we think that we are what we are because of some outside force beyond our control, then we are destined to continue to plod along until our lives are over.

My 2009 could've been better but that is my fault.  My 2010 will be better than my 2009 only if I make it better. 

I will be given 24 hours in each day here on earth with which I can do what I wish.  If I squander those hours, I have only to blame myself; yet, if I benefit from the use of those hours, I have many others to thank for my good fortune since we don't go through this life without touching and being touched by others.

My prayer for each of us that we may touch and be touched by many in the next year, and that we can reflect on a year well-spent with thanks for the rewards with which we were blessed.

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