Resolutions I can live with

Published 4:51 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Once each year, we have the opportunity to reassess and reset.

Typically, all of us, at least think about setting down some New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions may be what men think about during commercials of bowl games. It may also be what women think about during the game, while they wait for the next commercial. We can all pick out common resolutions and I’ve written about those before—exercise more, watch what we eat, get in better shape, spend less money and spend more time with the family.

Those are the obvious resolutions and you already know what you should do. If you have a need to enforce one of these—and don’t we all?—I hope you will recommit yourself. I’m not going to tell you the same old things. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of “Resolutions I Can Live With.” Maybe you can live with them also.

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I want to make better use of water. Supposedly two-thirds of our planet is water. God made a whole bunch of it, maybe because He knew how we would abuse it. He is a loving God who makes allowances for our shortcomings! What I’m most concerned with is how I use the part of the water globe that I come in contact with.

Somehow, we cultured folks decided that while water was nice, we could make it better. We add all kinds of things to the water we drink. Usually what we add does not benefit us; in fact it often has the potential to harm us. I want to be careful about what I accept in my water. Tea and coffee are fine in moderation, but how do you define that? I say moderation should mean, minimize! I want to drink more plain ol’ pure water. I don’t do soft drinks. They are worthless from a nutritional standpoint and diet drinks may irritate the bladder. I’ll continue to discourage the consumption of such. If you drink more than one soft drink a day, you may want to minimize.

I also want to waste less water because it may make a difference in the health of future generations. We are so blessed in our country and we fail to realize that such blessings are not guaranteed around the world, or even into our future. I need to conserve water better. To me, that means running the shower at a low rate, cutting off the water as I brush my teeth, and trying to do a better job of using waste water to water my plants. I need to be water conscious!

Since I’m already on the conservation bandwagon here, how about cutting off those unused lights and adjusting the thermostat to save resources? Do you believe in global warming? Even if you don’t, you should at least realize that our country’s over-consumption of fossil fuels means there will be less and less for future generations. As resources diminish, expenses go up.

In my way of thinking, in a country where we haven’t yet figured out how to pay for Medicare into the future, those of us in the wage earning force need to be prudent in our spending. Over the next decade, what percent of my paycheck will be required to pay for Social Security and Medicare and how much will be left over for gas, heat and air? As a point of argument, I ask you, have you ever seen taxes or gas prices go down long term? I don’t want to contribute to waste, when it may affect my financial future or that of my children. I predict paychecks will get even tighter as time goes by!

Even today, as you are well aware, we live in a time of financial insecurity. I need to live in such a way that my resources are not strained. Money woes lead to stress that can show itself as nervousness, sleepless nights, mood strain, irritability or an all-consuming feeling of hopelessness. Not being sure how the bills will be paid can lead to marital and personal problems. I don’t want to over-commit now or into the new year.

It is tempting sometimes to get discouraged and become negative. I want to smile more in the year to come. I want to seek out cartoons and funny movies, play jokes on my office staff, work harder to surprise my wife, and become more positive. It is really just a state of mind, and I’m moving into a better state! Won’t you join me?

I’m turning that dang TV off more! If we actually compared it, I think we would find that the show we are watching is taking up less of that 30 minute block than ever before. We are bombarded by commercial after commercial! If the commercial is not convincing us that we need to ask our doctor about a new medicine we most likely won’t be able to afford anyway, it is trying to convince us that with that next purchase, we will find true happiness and satisfaction.

I say, “get real!” I’m happy. I’m not going out of my way to ask for extra medicine and I sure don’t need to be enticed into spending money I’ll have to pay off later. And, the shows themselves are increasingly crude! We need to limit the pollution of our minds! Cut that thing off if you are not watching a show of true interest to you. When you are watching, try muting the commercials! Remotes do have their benefits!

Lastly, I want to move ahead in my walk with the Lord. As I age, you might say the path to eternity is getting closer all the time. I don’t want to wait until the last moment to grow in inner peace. I will work on my prayer life and spiritual growth. As I pursue that path and my inner joy grows, all these others concerns will fall into order and take on proper perspective! Won’t you grow with me? The time to reset is now!