New Year’s Resolutions or Work-ons?

The calendar has turned over to another year. People are making resolutions and looking forward to a better life. But will flipping a page on the calendar really make a difference?

Unrealistic expectations are a sure way to be disappointed. A friend of mine doesn’t make resolutions, but she chooses “work-ons.” Following her example, I am not going to resolve to post on my blog once a week and on special occasions. Instead, I have decided to “work on” posting more often and especially posting on significant days. If I made it as a resolution, I would be disappointed the first time I missed a week or two and would be inclined to give up. But if I’m “working on” posting more often, I haven’t failed if I miss a week. I will just continue to “work on” posting more often, and hopefully, I will reach the point that I’m posting as often as I would like.

The last couple of years have been tough for everyone. The pandemic has disrupted our lives and our future plans. The economy has made it harder for many to make ends meet. Our resolutions or work-ons won’t change those problems. We have to do the best we can in the circumstances we are in, maybe finding new ways to stretch a dollar to feed our families or activities to make restrictions more tolerable.

There is, however, one very important thing we can do. We can choose our attitude. We can focus on the negative—on the things we don’t like, the hardships we face, the difficult people we encounter—or we can choose to focus on the positive. Instead of complaining because our food budget doesn’t go as far as it used to, we can find creative recipes with less expensive ingredients that our family enjoys just as much as old favorites. If we aren’t allowed to visit a sick relative in the hospital because of COVID restrictions, we can try to bring them cheer through cards, letters, phone calls, or whatever is allowed. In the midst of a difficult situation, we can look for the good.

This year, I’m going to work on focusing on the positive, looking for the good in every situation, choosing to be happy even if life is not ideal. I hope you do the same.

O MOST loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee, who carest for us; Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which thou hast manifested unto us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1928 Book of Common Prayer

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