Only twice in my life have I ever made a new year’s resolution. Both times I flunked.
I have never made one since, and I don’t ever intend to, because we have a habit of making a resolution about things that interfere with our lives, so therefore, failure ranks high in the results.
Learning not to inflict mental pain on oneself is a key factor in not tearing oneself apart, leaving the way open to enjoying each day as it presents itself.
So, at the end of a year, I like to reflect on just how much I’ve learned and experienced. Here are some of the things I’ve learned.
Having just come through a turbulent year, I find that not too many folks came out of it unscathed, and we are no different. For one thing, we are aging, and this past year made us realize that fact.
For instance, retirement and finding out that the rosy petals fell off the stem can take the shine off the golden years. Pensions and just how far they can be made to stretch becomes a major concern.
Because of my weekly columns, some people have called me wise. I hate to, but feel that I need to, inform them that wisdom left the train station just before I got there.
Clichés of all kinds come to mind, like, “the older I get, the smarter my father became.” Or how about: “the older I get, the less I find that I actually know.”
Your children learn more and more of your vulnerabilities and come to a realization that dad does not know everything, nor is he able to fix all things. That hurts at times.
In one’s senior years, age itself inflicts more and more ailments, so learning to deal with them makes the doctor’s office much like your second home, and the degree of sympathy one gets is tantamount to abuse. Especially when he makes comments like, “Suck it up princess, everyone who gets older has many of the same issues; you can’t change that.”
I find myself at a point of reflection, where the past is now behind me and the new year is staring me in the face. Just what am I to do with it?
On the first day of the new year, I looked out my window and the sky was blue and the sunshine filled both my home and my mind. So I have come to the conclusion that I have so much to look forward to.
I have learned that for every day this year, the sun will rise every morning without my help, and that it will also signal the end of each day.
The snow we now have will melt, and once again, the grass will turn green and the trees in the park across the street will break out in a new coat of foliage. The warmer weather will bring with it all the smells and scenes that always seem to bring us much joy.
The love of my wife and my children and my four grandchildren are some of the main reasons that I can look forward to this coming year as well.
Also, one of the benefits of retirement is that we can travel to see our children whenever we want and they are willing to have us. Working with my son in his guitar-building shop, and spending time with grandchildren, makes for the enjoyment of a blessed life.
Just being able to share in the lives of our children and their families makes us some of the richest people on this Earth. Combining this with reasonably good health will leave us with hope and always looking forward.
Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.