By George Brown
I’m a little late with making my New Year’s resolutions this year but this is a privilege that comes with retirement. Besides, I subscribe to the notion that today is the first day of the rest of my life so I’m really not late.
I have one resolution I make every day. It is a resolution I share with the late Erma Bombeck. After learning she was facing a terminal illness she wrote a short piece titled, If I had My Life to Live Over. The final lined read, “Given another shot at life, I would seize every minute – look at it and really see it, live it, and never give it back.”
We cannot do anything about the mistakes of the past except, hopefully, learn from those mistakes. Conversely, there is no profit in worrying about the troubles tomorrow may bring. But today – this moment – belongs to all of us, “to really see it, live it, and never give it back.”
As for New Year’s resolutions, I’ve decided to keep it simple by making only one, and to assure success I’ve chosen one that I love to do. Who said resolutions have to be unpleasant or difficult?
This resolution came to mind last Saturday as Yvonne and I were sitting on the back porch enjoying the balmy 65 degree temperature and, yes, talking about New Year’s resolutions. We agreed there is one thing we enjoy doing together more than anything else. I’ll give you a hint. It is also the thing I enjoy doing most even if I’m by myself.
I practically grew up in the woods. I don’t remember my first hike but I’m sure I was still in diapers, and no doubt carried a little backpack. Yvonne, on the other hand, grew up in the shadow of the Elberon Avenue viaduct in Cincinnati and probably didn’t see three trees standing together before she was 18 when she first went for a walk in the woods with me (I’ll save the story of that walk for another time.)
To keep this story short, Yvonne quickly fell in love with me and with walking in the woods, although I’m not sure which happened first. Over the past 46 years we have walked state and national park trails from Hawaii to Maine, from Alaska to Florida, and an untold number of trails in between. You guessed it, my (our) resolution is to go for more walks in the woods during 2013. It’s nice that we have time to do so, and I’m sure this is a resolution we can keep.
You may not be able to go for walks in the woods, but I encourage you to consider Erma Bombeck’s words, discover the joy that comes with living in the moment, and spend more time doing what you most enjoy.
George Brown is a freelance writer. He lives in Jackson Township.