Sunday, January 08, 2017

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

A week into the new year

by Julie Carter

We are here again – working our way into a new year with new numbers. As for all that other new -- new opportunities,  new hope, new excitement. I surmise it’s the same as it was a month ago, we are just now taking time to revive and review it.

It is traditionally a time when many re-evaluate their lives, make resolutions and look
with great hope to the months ahead. “This will be my year,” we say. Experience says we humans don't usually keep those promises that we make to ourselves and “my year” becomes “maybe next year.”

I’d bet that after the first three days of January, the falling away from self-imposed “goals” happens in an avalanche manner. Some of us have gotten wise enough to know it takes more than a new calendar to make a difference in our lives.

Personally, I've learned to circumvent that disappointment in myself by not making any resolutions that aren't already part of my character. You know, those things like breathing, sleeping, eating. I promise to do all those things this year and every year I get the chance.

I will admit to taking a bit of time to think about what I should do for my health, wealth,
happiness and the greater good of mankind. It can be an exhausting process due to the length of the mental journey required using limited resources. And most of the time, it’s a walk in a circle.

Firewood splinters, fireplace ash dust everywhere on everything and a perpetual
lingering smell of cedar smoke mark the season. As does lowering mercury on the thermometer and full time gazing at the weather reports that more often than not, mean absolutely nothing.

With cold, sometimes snow and gloomy skies dominating the weather surrounding many of us, we handle it by eagerly anticipating the wonders of the spring season that is surely just around the corner. We welcome the death of flies and mosquitoes in the cold of December and one day later we are yearning for spring flowers and green grass.

A wise old fellow once told me that in all his 90-some years, he had seen changes come and go but that there were some things that never changed.  “The way the sun rises and the way the sun sets. That has not changed one bit,” he said.

I believe we can decide to be tired of wandering, stand up and be counted when new beginnings are passed around. We live in a world long past understanding what is foundationally important in life. Gone are the days when people worked back-breaking hard to just survive and didn’t have time to fuss over things that had no value in the survival scheme. They went to bed tired and woke in the morning thinking they were blessed.

In that same world of today, we expect much and offer little. Disasters have a way of leveling the playing field. Fires, flood, blizzards and more have rolled over civilization with no regard to rank or social standing. We’ve seen that happen repeatedly.

This country and its people are being tested, one test at a time. We are being put in a place to choose between fluff and value with the ability to do that buried somewhere deep within us. 

We are two generations away from any learned survival skills for the really tough stuff. Our hardest decisions usually revolve around satellite or cable, butter or margarine, and finding the gas station with the cheapest fuel. And making sure no one hurts our feelings.

It is said that the three essentials for happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for. My promise to myself is the same as it was in prior years. I resolve to be happy, laugh more and try to infect every person I meet with the same.

Remember your past wildernesses, but don’t let them predict your future. And let us not forget that tomorrow is never promised.

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.com

 Julie, color me infected and Thank You for another year of your wonderful columns.

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