Evidently, the Mayans were wrong. 2013 came roaring in last night. I’m sure it was accompanied for many of us with midnight kisses, too much champagne and the headaches that come with the first morning of January. (For those of us with the flu, medication-induced comas allowed us to sleep through the revelry while still enjoying the post-revelry headache. But that’s for another blog post).
January 1st always brings with it the clean slate of a new year. It’s a time to start over; to begin again. I WILL lose fifty pounds. I WILL go to the gym. I WILL drink less. (Pay no attention to the fact that that zeal only lasts until the first bowl game of the day).
We’ve all been asked. What’s your New Year’s resolution? We usually pick the obvious answers. If commercials are to be believed, a majority will find ourselves joining gyms and ordering Nutrisystem by week’s end. We want to lose weight, stop smoking, or eat better.
I can’t help but notice how shortsighted our resolutions are. Most appear to be born of the previous month’s holiday pig out sessions. The rest are a jumble of Dr. Phil inspired clichés. It feels a little too new age, self-aware, and, well, hippie-ish. (LSSU hasn’t banned “hippie-ish” since it’s not actually a word).
Wouldn’t it be great if our resolutions lasted longer than a Kardashian marriage? And had more impact on the world around us? With that idea in mind, here are a few suggestions for 2013.
1. Volunteer more. It doesn’t matter if it’s a soup kitchen, a food bank, or coaching a local kids’ sports team. Getting involved in your community makes you more invested in that community. It’s good for you and it’s even better for those that benefit. While it’s important to donate our money, it’s just as important to donate our time and talent.
2. Go to church. No treadmill or diet plan can do what this can. There are Sundays when the warmth of my bed seems like a better idea than Mass. Yet, when I’m in that pew, I ALWAYS hear the lesson God wanted me to. You’ll never regret choosing a worship service over sleep.
3. Vote. Tip O’Neil once said, “All politics is local.” He was right. School board elections, township elections, mayoral races; they are all important to the political hierarchy of America. We cannot immerse ourselves in the national political process while ignoring what goes on in our own backyards. Let’s resolve to vote in every election held locally for the entire year. Encourage friends and neighbors to do the same.
4. Stop Reading Michael Moore’s New Year’s Resolutions. Because he’s a tool. And a hypocrite. The joy of the 1st Amendment is he can write what he wants but I don’t have to read it. Which brings me to our next resolution.
5. Read the Constitution. It’s the lifeline of our great nation. Learn it. Understand it. Embrace it. Then forward it to Michael Moore. Consider that an extension of #1.
6. Read more. Don’t stop at the Constitution. Read everything. Support your local paper and buy a subscription. Read blogs and books and online news sources. Read the classics and the current NY Times best sellers. Read Mr. Giles’ new book. Read my blog. (Shameless plugs are encouraged in 2013).
7. Go outside. Enjoy the world God gave us. Hunt, fish, or hop on a boat. Take a walk in the woods or down a busy street. Go to the beach or the mountains.
8. Turn off your phone. Spend one evening a week “media free.” No phone calls, no texting, no computer or television. Use that evening to play a board game with your kids. Take your wife on a date. Join your husband in the garage for a car care lesson. I don’t care what you do, just make it technology free.
9. Apologize less. Never, EVER apologize for who you are. The left doesn’t corner the market on this one. I am a conservative. I am a Christian. Neither requires anyone’s acceptance. Neither requires an apology.
10. Speak out. You know what you believe. You won’t apologize for it. Now you have to stop running from it in the name of political correctness. SAY what you mean and mean it. This is the year you stop being a doormat. This is the year you stop being polite. (That sounds way too much like the opening lines to The Real World. Yikes).
Whatever your resolutions, here’s hoping they’re more successful than Congress. Happy New Year!