Wednesday, December 30, 2020

How to make a better year happen

Thanks to Roger Carlton for his informative and interesting articles this past year. He is a columnist for the Graham Star Newspaper.

This has been a difficult year for most folks. The only good news to some is that the year is nearly over.

In a few days, we move on to 2021. We tend to segment time and history into decades. The Fabulous Fifties and the Roaring Twenties come to mind. What historians and pundits will call the last decade will be interesting. How do you find a phrase that melds hope with despair? That will be the challenge.

This column is about moving forward in a positive manner that will allow us to find emotional peace in difficult times.

Here are a few thoughts that help me to be positive and maintain a sense of balance:


  • Who cares if the glass is half-full or half-empty? The key is which direction it is going. Try to keep the glass filling up.
  • History and its impact on our lives is like a pendulum on a well-wound clock. The pendulum can only go so far to the right or left until it swings back to the center. The key is to keep the clock wound up and not let it run down.
  • Always tell the truth. Then you don't have to remember what you said.
  • Follow the wisdom of our new Secretary of the Interior Designee Deb Haaland regarding the environment in which we live. Think of the world in terms of the Seven Generation rule. Make all decisions with the next seven generations in mind. What we do today will impact our descendants whom we will never know.
  • Don't try to eat elephants. It can't be done.
  • Turn off your devices and news feeds for at least 30 minutes in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Use the time to think and chill a bit. Whatever riled you up may not be as important later or may change more to your satisfaction in the time it took to relax.  
  • Schedule only what you can accomplish each day. Not everything can be finished in one day, but progress can be made. Jot down what you haven't finished at the end of the day and walk away. There is no need to obsess over the undone if it is on your "To Do" list for the next morning.
  • Learn from the past but don't live in it.
  • Read Carlos Castaneda's Journey to Ixtlan. He profoundly writes "We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."   
  • Listen to the Bee Gees wonderful song Words if your challenges seem insurmountable. "This world has lost its glory. Let's start a brand new story. Now my love, right now. There'll be no other time. And I can show you how my love." We all need to start a brand new story in some way. 

This columnist would be remiss if he did not thank his wife Beth for her editorial insights. Further thanks go to Glenda Beall for her being the muse who helped me learn what "Creative Non-fiction" was all about. Thanks also to Kim Hainge and Jim Kreiner. Their dedication to the natural wonders of the world in which we live is an inspiration. Finally, thanks to David Brown, Kevin Hensley and the Graham Star staff for keeping our local paper alive and remembering that sunshine is always the best disinfectant.



Elephant's Child said...

Less talk of rights and more acceptance of responsibilities would help too.

Glenda Beall said...

EC, can you believe the mess going on in the USA right now with Trump saying he won the election and it is obvious Joe Biden won. I will be so happy when the results of today's election are over and I don't have to see the lying and name-calling ads on TV.

Elephant's Child said...

I am watching in horror. And in fear. I don't know whether your current President or his enablers worry me more.