The beginning of a brand new year is an exciting time. It is a time to forget our past mistakes and look forward to new opportunities that lie ahead of us. It is a time of new beginnings. More than anything, however, we get a sense that the past year has gone by very quickly and that the upcoming year will go by just as quickly.
This is basically the reason we make resolutions, because we want to do good and purposeful things during the new year, focusing on things that really matter.
The symbol of the Baby New Year, seen wearing nothing but his diaper, a top hat, and a sash showing the new year he is representing, is an expression of hope that the next twelve months will be better than the last. And like babies, new year’s resolutions are easy to make but extremely difficult to maintain.
It’s been two weeks now since the first day of 2017, the question is, how many of us have really stuck to our promises? Moreover, how many of us have gone back to the same workday grind without thinking much of the time that just passed us by?
Many of us seem to think that tomorrow will be better than today just because we get things done. We put off so many things that are more important and we kid ourselves by saying that we will do them later… then sadly, later never comes. This is one good reason to reiterate the last statement of my first article for 2017: Carpe Diem! Seize the moment!
One of my favorite female columnists, Erma Bombeck, wrote an article in June 25, 1991, entitled just that: “Seize the Moment”. I am sharing an excerpt below so that you, too, can read, laugh, contemplate and be enlightened:
“I have a friend who lives by a three-word philosophy: Seize the moment. Just possibly, she may be the wisest woman on this planet. Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine. I got to thinking one day about all those women on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I’ve tried to be a little bit more flexible.
“… How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched… television?
“I cannot count the times I called my sister and said, “How about going to lunch in half an hour?” She would gasp and stammer, “I can’t.” Check one: “I have clothes on the line.” “My hair is dirty.” “ I wish I had known yesterday.” “I had a late breakfast.” “It looks like rain.” And my personal favorite: “It’s Monday.”
“She died a few years ago. We never got to have lunch together.
“Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect: …We’ll entertain—when we replace the living room carpet. We’ll go on a second honeymoon—when… the kids are in college.
“Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter and lists of promises get longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of “I’m going to…” “Plan on,” and “Someday, when things are settled down a bit.”
“When anyone calls my “seize the moment” friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk to her for five minutes and you’re ready to trade you’re your bad feet for a pair of roller blades…
“My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream… the other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy.”
The new year gives us a chance to “hit the pause button” in order to gain perspective on what we are doing with our lives. And if there were only one thing that we should teach our children, it would be to focus on the people and things that really matter in our lives.
If we have made resolutions for our children and ourselves, let’s make sure that they are resolutions that are meaningful and give purpose to our lives. More importantly, whatever we need to do, we should do it now!
“Today is the tomorrow you planned for yesterday, so start today.”