Hopes & Promises

Published 8:00 am Friday, January 1, 2016

Much Ado WEB
This being the first month of the New Year 2016, many of us are making resolutions to do better. Some of us aren’t making New Year’s resolutions because we’ve tried and failed too often over the years and have just given up the battle of the bulge, the battle to stop smoking, the battle to exercise, the battle against junk food, the battle to be a better husband, wife, parent, adult child of an aging parent, employee, or person in general. But I challenge you, dear reader, to not give up… try, try again…

I look at resolutions as a combination of hopes and promises made mostly to one’s self. I hope I won’t have to buy 35-inch waist pants this year, and I promise to not eat the entire 16 ounces of California onion dip and family-size bag of Ruffles in one sitting. I hope to write the Great American Novel this year, and I promise to write at least a couple chapters. I hope to continue writing this column and articles for this magazine, Life In Our Foothills, and I promise to stop missing deadlines.

I’ll probably backslide on all of those personal hopes and promises, but I challenge all of us to look beyond our own shortcomings and strive, not to make ourselves better by some sort of extra effort or sacrifice, but to make the world a better place by using common sense. I hope, and I promise…

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I hope Donald Trump is not elected president, and I promise to vote this year. I hope we don’t destroy our natural environment, and I promise to use my wife’s recycling corner in our kitchen. I hope crazy terrorists stop cutting people’s heads off, bombing public gatherings, and shooting innocent victims; I promise to actually read those international Associated Press news stories and really understand why terrorists do these things. I hope terrorism stops, and I promise to not automatically get jittery when I see swarthy young men at the airport who “look like” terrorists.

I hope the Millennials are on the right track toward better lives, and I promise to be more open-minded to their way of thinking. I hope to get less junk emails, and I promise to stop signing up for them to begin with. I hope the elderly are treated well, and I promise to remember I, too, will be elderly someday and in need of a little patience and understanding. I hope television scriptwriters figure out the proper use of the pronouns “I” and “me,” and I promise not to say loud snarky reprimands when they mess up. (I’ll say them under my breath.) I hope the print industry makes a comeback, and I promise to keep buying real books, real magazines, and real newspapers.

If there is any one thing that I’ve learned about New Year resolutions it is to keep them to oneself. If you make a resolution, it is a hope for and promise to yourself… because no one else really cares. They are not tracking you, holding you accountable. They have their own hopes and promises to worry about. Besides, when you do fail, no one will be harder on you than yourself, and I, for one, am pretty hard to live with when I break a promise to the guy in the mirror. He can be rather unforgiving. I hope to be more forgiving, and I promise to start with myself.