There are eight simple words emblazoned under the arched main entrance of Old Barracks that I passed through every day for four years during my tenure at the Virginia Military Institute:
“You may be whatever you resolve to be.”
Although never said in a speech, this particular phrase is attributed to one of VMI’s most famous (or infamous?) instructors: Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. However, the underlying message of the quote is one that permeates every aspect of our daily lives, especially during this time of year:
- The World is What You Make of It
- The Early Bird Catches the Worm
- Strike While the Iron is Hot
- “Gather ye Rosebuds While Ye May”
- Carpe Diem…Seize the Day!
I feel like standing on top of my desk now and shouting “O Captain, my captain!”
Nostalgic college memories and dated Ethan Hawke movie references aside, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my New Year’s resolutions lately. In my delusional, bed-ridden, New Year’s Day state of existence (thanks, Norovirus!), I was pretty sure that my only resolutions this year would be to quit smoking and gain 20 pounds. Since I A) Don’t smoke to begin with and B) Love beer and wings, I felt like these were two resolutions that I could actually keep for once…rather than making a drastic change only to revert back towards the norm six weeks later.
Thankfully as I recovered last week, I started to take a less pessimistic view of things and realized that there are three huge areas that need improvement in my life this year. In no particular order, they are:
- Church it Up – Being actively involved in our church community is something that fell off the map during 2012, and it’s something that I’m hoping to return to in 2013. Whether that means getting back into a semi-regular playing rotation, connecting through small groups, taking a class with Missy, or even just attending church regularly again rather than just live-streaming it from our living room (or kitchen…or playroom…), I hope to get our spiritual lives back in the groove!
- Date Nights – One thing that’s sorely lacking in our lives right again is the date night. We started them up again a few months ago, but during the cold winter months and busy holiday season, our date nights have been relegated to RedBox Movies and a bowl of popcorn in bed as we fall asleep. Which, don’t get me wrong, is still great…but getting out of the house with just Missy, and maybe even occasionally with another couple…is something that needs to start happening again. Without the monitors to listen to and cries of lost paci’s to attend to, it gets us out of Parent Mode, even if only for an hour or two.
- No Yelling – I don’t do it often, but it happens more than I care to admit…raising my voice towards the girls. While rarely does it happen in anger, I does tend to happen out of frustration when trying to talk above the fray, or when I find myself repeating the same instructions three times over (because when you tell one girl “NO, your ketchup isn’t finger paint…please don’t smear it on the table!” you have to tell each of the other two girls “NO, your ketchup isn’t finger paint…please don’t smear it on the table!” as well. Your first “NO…” doesn’t apply as a blanket statement. Two-year-olds don’t understand the concept of a blanket statement yet. I’m learning.). The point is that yelling raising my voice at them, out of frustration or otherwise, will only ever lead to distance and resentment down the road…this will definitely be a work in progress.
It’s obvious that this isn’t an all-encompassing list by any means. Are there other things I’d like to accomplish this year? Sure. Lose weight…reconnect with old friends…fix my yard…eat better…all the usual New Year’s resolutions that you typically hear. But those are almost like sub-resolutions…the list above takes priority.
Needless to say, a lot has changed since the last time I did this…so I can’t wait to find out what this year has in store for the Hardinge Six. What are your resolutions in twenty-thirteen?