Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year...

I am not one to make resolutions--at least not at the onset of a new year. It just does not occur to me on December 31. My birthday is in January so sometimes I make a resolution around that time or most often I make a resolution in the fall as September still has the feel of the start of a new year for me just like it was when I was in school. But today I was just looking at a book on Amazon and added it to my "Wish List." I thought about wish lists. They are usually things we want but do not need. But how many people right now are wishing for freedom, safety, shelter, food--all of the things that every single person I know probably takes for granted. Maybe if everyone had these basics, society would be a kinder place.

I find American society to be rude, angry, oblivious to others, and entitled. I ask myself why am I so angry when I have everything listed above and more? I tell myself and my husband, who asks me the same question from time to time, I am angry because every time I leave my house someone does something that is rude, nasty, or just shows that they believe they are entitled to break the rules.

There is trash everywhere in front of my house, so much so that even if I spent the entire day cleaning up the properties to the left and right of my home trash from the other houses would blow right back to my house in a matter of minutes (I have seen it happen). There are clothes on the sidewalk one door over that have been there since before Thanksgiving, let alone fast food wrappers, uneaten food that is rotted, unread newspapers, broken toys, unmentionable personal hygiene items, etc. within my view. People double park daily when there are wide open parking spaces available because they are too lazy to parallel park. They honk their horn for people to come out of their homes instead of using the cell phone that they are normally so attached to that they can not look up from it at "stop" signs, green lights or to just drive safely. They allow their 5 year-old child to be supervised by their 9 year-old child and then are surprised when the 5 year-old is hit by a car racing down the one-way street. (The child's leg was broken, but is otherwise OK.)

I see this deterioration of the family everyday at home and at work where my office is located near a shelter. I want to find compassion in my heart for these women and children who have no where to sleep, but I watch them smoke their cigarettes and talk on their cell phones and scream and curse at their children and just think, "and so it goes." It will repeat generation after generation and nothing will ever get better. It only gets worse.

The cell phone has made some people so self-absorbed and oblivious to those around them. What is so fascinating that cannot wait until you are no longer walking or driving? Why are you texting and driving when everyone knows how dangerous it is? Are one's own thoughts so boring that no one is able to just think--or not think--or just be in the moment--walking, or paying attention to the road ahead? (both literally and figuratively)

Maybe you have seen the new commercial for Weight Watcher's that features Oprah Winfrey and she asks a great question that can be applied to any change one wants to make in their life: "If not now, when?" It has stuck with me--I have lived over half my life so what am I waiting for to really appreciate what I do have and stop wanting something that I will likely never have. I am wasting precious time. Now is the time that I am going to put a real effort into obtaining the most important things on my wish list:

I wish....
  • I was a healthy weight.
    • I would stick to an exercise and healthy diet plan.
    • I had more energy.
  • I took action to help homeless, abused animals (besides making donations).
  • I lowered my expectations of others.
  • I was more patient with certain people.
  • and lastly, but most important: I was not angry so much of the time.

I believe if I would grant myself the the first four wishes (the sub-wishes are part of the healthy weight wish) the last wish would be a natural outcome.

Today a new year is in front of us--a new start for everyone. I hope all of our wishes come true!

Baci e abbracci!