Why do people make New Year’s resolutions in the first place? I saw a quote the other day: Some people call them New Year’s resolutions. I just call them my to-do list for the first week of the year. The notion of making a resolution is likely usually grounded in some desire to want to do better than we did the year before. After all, we don’t wake up in the morning with the idea that it would be a good idea to make bad decisions. We want to do better than we did before. Trust me when I say I feel this way every time I try to play golf. Please, I almost beg, let me hit the ball. Please let me not embarrass myself. Or, if the dreaded happens and we end up having to play with another couple (for me as a newbie golfer, this is a fate worse than a dentist appointment), “please let me not embarrass Dave”.
We had lots of family visit over the Christmas/New Year’s holidays and we all talked about what we hope the new year holds. For some, it’s a fresh start from a not-great relationship, for others, it’s a move to a new home and all that entails or a pending retirement (which is filled with all the excitement that entails). I subscribe to the idea that maybe instead of making a new year’s resolution, I should instead live one day at a time to the fullest. Each day, I want to ask God to help me be the kind of person He will be able to say “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Let me be the first to say I don’t always live that way. I worry, I project, I regret, I worry some more. But for all that worry and fretting about that which I cannot change, I seldom get further ahead than when I simply take the day (or even the moment) one step at a time---for what it is. That doesn’t mean I exist as an ostrich, sticking my head in the sand. Eating a mouthful of sand while saying, “Gosh I wish things were different” just seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? And yet…I think I have done that a time or two. Wishing and hoping don’t make things happen for me, in my experience. Getting off my hind end and making a step to improve my lot (and particularly my attitude about my lot) is the action that usually helps me feel better. This action, coupled with getting outside myself and doing something for other people, has a remarkable way of making things seem a bit more palatable in my life.
So, whether it’s playing a better round of golf (which, by the way, is going to require a continued and possibly never-ending bout of golf lessons) or simply engaging in less approval-seeking emotions or actions, I think I have two things I need to do:
*accept things I am unable to control
*take action and do something about the things about which I can do something
Hmmmmm….and I guess I should also tack onto those the ability to be able to tell the difference, so I am not banging my head against a wall with worry about the things on which I could be taking action nor am I running around like a crazy person trying to manage things to which I have not been given “management rights”. Neither is helpful.
Do you see a bit of a pattern? Yep, I do, too. Simply practicing the Serenity Prayer will, for today, take care of all my self-made problems.
So…just for today, perhaps I can employ not just one but all three of the tenets of the Serenity Prayer even in my golf game.
And for you? What will it take to make 2015 the year of the best you?