I am resolved no longer to linger

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My first piano teacher was the Baptist minister’s wife. I dreaded the theory, scales, and books with songs I had never heard. It was only when she opened the Baptist Hymnal for me to play that my interest increased. I had grown up hearing these songs my entire life. To bring them to life on a keyboard was an instant achievement and I never stopped playing.

Some of the old hymns’ words are stuck in my head as much as the music. For instance, I never hear the word “resolved” without thinking of the opening line “I am resolved no longer to linger” in the hymn “I am Resolved” on page 216 (now page 378 in the new edition). “Resolved” means that you have decided on a firm course of action.

In thinking about my resolutions for 2012, I am resolved no longer to linger. It is time to get on with some of the decisions I have made for the future. To linger at this point is to invite failure or at least inaction.

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First, I am going to improve my Spanish. This isn’t driven by our recent entry into the Mexican Restaurant business but rather the recent change by Laura, our 2-year-old granddaughter, of the language on our television to Spanish. It is amazing what you can do by randomly pushing the buttons on the remote. A weekend of Scooby-Do can only be made more challenging by watching it in Spanish.

I am going to plan to take my dog to the pet motel on New Year’s Eve from now on. He is too old not to bark at the fireworks until long past midnight. I am too old to stay up long past midnight.

I am going to learn at the names of at least five of the more than 40 different plants in the gardens of our home and office. It is time I knew more than azalea, camellia and weed.

I am going to learn the rules of soccer, the likely choice of sport for my grandson, Henry. It is actually fun to watch. It would likely be more fun if I had a clue about what was going on. There must be a reason it is the most popular sport in the world.

I am going to lose 20 pounds. These may be the same 20 pounds I lost this year. The problem isn’t the difficulty in losing them; it is the ease in always finding them again.

I am going to read at least five books with at least one of them on my iPad. The appetite I had for books changed over the years to newspapers and magazines. It is time to revert back to some of the joy of just losing myself in a really good book.

I am going to visit my two best friends from college at least once. It has been two years since I have seen one of them. That is the longest period apart since we were at Auburn. It won’t happen again.

I am going to visit a country I haven’t been to before. Mary Lou can pick which one as long as it is somewhere she hasn’t been either. I have long had a bucket list about places I want to see around the world. It is time to get started.

I am going to attend my oldest niece’s high school graduation. Bailey is a senior this year. My oldest nephew, Stephen, is a junior at Auburn. Addison and Davis are right behind them. How time flies!

I am going to play at least four organ-piano duets at church this year. Compositions that take some time and effort to prepare. I am blessed to play with an extraordinarily pianist, Helen Bartosz, and it is a shame not to push the envelope a bit with her gifts. People might think I am better than I actually am.

I am going to work at becoming a better writer. I will write my columns earlier than my deadlines and seek to discuss a variety of subjects.

I am going to be a better husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and son. This is a hard one. I love all my family and they know it, but to be better requires my most limited resource: time.

I am resolved to linger. I have some extraordinary employees working for me. There is no reason not to enjoy more time with my family except for my own addiction to work.

Whether you made resolutions this year or not, I hope that you make some firm decisions about improving your life, your relationships, and your community. Just hum the old hymn … I am resolved … it will help you along the way.

Dan Ponder can be reached at dan@donalsonvillenews.com.