HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
January 15, 2007, Herald Journal

‘Accept the things I cannot change’


With the new year beginning, I have been trying to take time to reflect on the important things in my life. Years go by so fast. Each day comes and goes without much thought to the meaning of our lives.

During this time, New Year’s resolutions are being made that usually include change in a person’s daily habits. Seldom do you hear resolutions like, “I’m going to live each day like it’s my last,” or “I want to spend more time helping others.”

My New Year’s resolution, aside from exercising and getting in shape, is to reflect on my life and appreciate what it is that I have. So many times, we reflect on change and how to better oneself, and more times than not, we tend to fail. This results in disappointment.

This way, if I reflect on the good things in my life and learn to appreciate everything and everyone, it leaves no room for failure. How can I screw up with that New Year’s resolution?!

I am finding that when I appreciate what I have, I find myself content and less eager to change my life.

God gave me this life to live and I have to make the most of it. Yes, there will be hard times; for example, when it comes to paying bills, but I can’t let money rule my life. I will always have money problems, but that doesn’t define me or prevent me from living my life.

I think our society stresses “change” too much. We are expected to be better and improve. Like staying on top of the latest fashions or losing those five extra pounds. This gives people a false sense of self and teaches us that we are never good enough. Why can’t we just be satisfied with what God gave us?

Always trying to be better and improve also leaves more room for failure as well, like New Year’s resolutions. How many days have you gone before reverting back to last year’s behaviors and habits?

“A new year, a new you?” What was wrong with the old you? I’m not, by any means, saying that we shouldn’t change for the better. We should want to quit smoking, exercise and eat healthy. That shouldn’t be a new concept for the new year. It should be an everyday, all-year occurrence.

It’s okay to want to improve or change, but remember what makes you, you. Remember what it is that makes you happy. Remember the people that make you smile. These are the things that define you as a person, not how much you weigh.

One thing to keep in mind when making those New Year’s resolutions is the Serenity Prayer. It reads:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”