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  Friday, October 24, 2014
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No Resolutions This Year
By Brianne R. Fitzgerald, RN, MPH

     Make no New Year’s resolutions this year.  Why set yourself up for failure, shame, disappointment and guilt when you can’t loose weight, stop smoking or keep up with an elaborate exercise plan?  It seems that each year around this time we promise ourselves and our family to become a better person, to change ingrained patterns, and to do it all in January.  We hope to become a better person; we want to be healthy, less irritable and irritating to those around us.  Let us consider changes less drastic and absolute than usual, if for no other reason than that we know what has happened in the past. 

     Pick out a book that appeals to you and read it over the course of a month or six months.  Take the time to sit in a chair and slow down long enough o savor the few paragraphs or pages that you will read on any given day.  I have picked out Jimmy Carter’s “Our Endangered Values”.  Find a painting or writing course to take over time.  Give yourself the opportunity to try something different just for fun.  There are several local writers and artists who offer these courses at a nominal cost.  Doing something like taking an arts course is not a test, it is an opportunity to explore a part of you may not yet know about.   If you read the Globe, try the Herald once a week.  If you read The New Yorker give the Weekly Standard a whirl.  Our country seems to have morphed into camps of zealots and partisans who are unwilling to listen to or talk with those whose opinions differ from our own. 

     Are we capable of freeing ourselves from rigid and self-righteous beliefs?  Perhaps this is the year we can begin to see the fine colored nuances of grey rather than the red or blue of our unyielding political leaders.  The goal is not to change your beliefs or opinions, but to consider how we each make our decisions and how others make their choices.  Consider options and alternatives to our own way of doing things.  Talk with your neighbors, classmates, office mates, friends, family and others about the world we live in.  We seem to have lost a sense of compromise or collaboration, and I for one think that we, as a people need each other now more than ever.

     Let’s do it differently this year.  Smile more, listen to others, and recognize that we do not have to have an opinion on everything.  Take some time to explore yourself, your community, your family and friends.  Be gentle with yourself and your loved ones.  Most of us do the best we can in a world beset by technological wizardry and 20 second sound bites that intrude upon every aspect of our life.  Try some diplomacy rather than confrontation.  One does not have to attend every fight that they are invited to.  Happy New Year.  Bfitz38@msn.com.



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