Change and the New Year

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

I think I've said this somewhere before...but I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I don't believe in them. I can't think of any good reason to resolve to change once a year. Yes, I know, you can decide to make changes at any point during the year, but people make such a big deal about it at New Year's.

I don't think Old Ben meant that you should start in January working yourself over to be a new man. Instead, I think when the new year starts, the idea is that you're better than you were when the last one did.

Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland

There's an old prayer, rumored to be found in the Bible of a freed slave who died in battle during the Civil War.

"Lord, I ain't what I oughta be,
And I ain't what I wanna be,
And I ain't what I gonna be.
But Lord, I thank ya,
I ain't what I was."

That's what I think about during this time of year. I honestly do sit and think about how I've grown and changed during the course of a year. And where I'm heading.

On New Year's Day, my mother will ask us to share our resolutions. She's obviously never heard..

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty. ~John Selden

So, even if I did really, really make New Year's resolutions, I wouldn't share them.

All that being said, I do have a change I'm going to endeavor to make. I'm gonna stop cussing. It's really gotten to be too easy for me to let those 4-letter words slip out. I tried once before, even set myself up to put a quarter in a jar every time I said one. The idea was that once I'd gone 2 weeks without paying the jar, I could take the money and go do something fun. I made it to $4, then decided it was really stupid and did away with the cup. And kept cussing. (Should I note that the first $2.50 accrued inside of about 20 minutes?).

One last thought about resolutions and change, from dear Mr. Twain...

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~Mark Twain

For other thoughts on change, visit Sunday Scribblings.
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3 Response to "Change and the New Year"

  1. brian Says:
    Dec 28, 2006, 6:57:00 AM

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the poems.

    I'd like to think I am better this New Year than last, only time will tell.

  2. Crafty Green Poet says:
    Dec 28, 2006, 7:24:00 AM

    I don't do resolutions either but changing things for the better is a good plan for every day.

  3. JP (mom) says:
    Dec 29, 2006, 9:55:00 PM

    Wonderful post and quotes, Jayne! I too have avoided New Year's resolutions, but do take the time to reflect ... perhaps I will set some goals for the new year though ... some things I hope to achieve, but will not berate myself if I fall short. Much peace and Happy New Year's wishes, JP

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