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In This Together: New year starts with full slate of hopes
Jan 02, 2014 | 3074 views | 0 0 comments | 63 63 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Louise R. Shaw

Clipper Staff Writer

New year, new hope: Hope that they’ll stop talking about the 2016 presidential election at least until 2015. Hope that the people in Israel will start working things out after all these years. And their neighbors too. 

Hope that the storms will stop getting worse. Hope that Congress will keep talking and that the Constitution will stop being used to defend things it wasn’t written to defend. Hope that someone will figure out how to improve the air quality over the Wasatch Front. 

Hope that the solution doesn’t require me to stop driving everywhere I need to go when I need to go there. Hope that gas prices stay down and the stock market keeps going up.

Alas, maybe it is more wise and less hopeless to hope for things over which I have some control:

Hope that I will eat less stuff that tastes good but is made of stuff that’s bad for a body. Hope to have the ability to part with a few of the things in my storage spaces that haven’t been used for 10 or more years. Hope that I will have time to do one or two of the things on my want-to-do-but-don’t-have-to-do list. Hope to have a few hours in the week to breathe.

Alas, maybe it is more wise and less hopeless to hope for things over which there is a chance I will control:

Hope that I will enjoy what I am doing as I am doing it.

This I hope for you too.

If, like me, you find your life as cluttered as your closet; if, like me, you find your body in one place but your mind in another, you may want to consider a resolution such as this:

A goal to embrace the present. A goal to be fully, in the very place that you are.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve found yourself sitting in one spot with thoughts swirling about what you’ve got to do as soon as you leave.

Perhaps, like me, you’ve found yourself listening to a conversation only to realize that you are not so much lending an ear as worrying about how much time there will be left for the next thing.

Holding a baby may seem like something you can do while planning more important things. But in fact, holding a baby should require all your attention.

Reading a story to a toddler may seem like something you can do with your mind somewhere else. But in fact, reading a story should be fully engrossing as you engage in what is on the page and what message it is sending and how the child with you is taking the new information.

Sitting in a meeting isn’t a chance to let your mind wander, your mind can benefit from total concentration and total involvement in what is happening. 

Going for a walk isn’t a mindless pastime. It can engage all the senses as you look, smell, see and feel.

If you’re eating things that taste good but are bad for you, fully experience it: taste it, relish it, and maybe, just maybe, you won’t have to eat as much of it if you’re fully participating in each bite.

If you’re at a place in life that you can’t wait to get through because you’re quite sure that the next place in life will be better/easier/funner/more rewarding or allow more free time, then stop thinking ahead for a while and look around and give where you are all your attention. 

Fully experience it. Taste it, smell it, feel it, embrace it.

If you’ve got little children, don’t wait until they’re grown. If you’ve got teenagers, don’t wait until they’re away. If you’ve got a good job, don’t wait until you’re retired. If you’re retired, don’t wish for those years when you had children, teenagers or a job.

Life is full. Wherever you are, be there.

And have a happy, hope-fulfilled new year.

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