The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Enid Features

December 31, 2013

Making resolutions

Are you making your New Years resolutions?  

With only a few hours  into 2014, how have you done so far?  Now, this is really something to think about. It is so easy to make the resolutions and so hard to keep them. We always have such good intentions, but it is so easy to slip and fall, and often it is the end of them for another year.  

My grandma used to remind us often, “Don’t look back except for inspiration.” That is, don’t dwell on the past. It is gone.  Just look back long enough into the old year to see if what we have done is worthwhile. If it worked, even temporarily, then repeat it. If is didn’t work, then drop it and go forward with a new plan.

One cannot relive the past, so there is no need to try. Just use what we have learned in the past to help us go forward and upward. Eventually we will get things right.

Resolutions can be made any time.  They don’t have to be made just at the beginning of a new year. However, it just seems easier to start anew with a clean slate on Jan. 1. It seems that we have company in our endeavors, when everyone else is making new beginnings too.

Most of us probably have kept our resolutions of last year. Most everyone I know is exercising more. I am pleased and surprised at the dedicated, ardent people who go nearly every day to Jim’s rehab classes.  They are a hardy bunch of people who want to live every day to the fullest. It takes determination to go to those exercises. It is not just for recreation, it is for survival that they are so faithful. That inspires me.  

Along with the  exercise programs, the participants and their fortunate spouses can attend the classes on nutrition and positive living. One such class dealt with happiness. Being positive and having the right frame of mind brings happiness, no matter what the circumstances. There always is someone worse off than we are.  

One of the hardest resolutions to keep is to learn to say “no.” We all want to do our part in volunteering, and there is such a need for people to help in so many, many ways. But, there comes a time when we need to sit on our hands and not give all of ourselves away. We can easily get burnout if we spend no time for ourselves. Choose which volunteer programs we wish to support and then give them our all, but don’t spread ourselves so thin that we hate what we are doing. We miss the entire point when we go home tired and irritable and disgusted and used.

Taking better care of ourselves is always a great resolution any time. We cannot depend on medications alone to keep us healthy. We have to use good sense. All the pills in the world cannot help us if we just eat junk food and not good vegetables and fruits and whole grains.  Nobody loves to cook and prepare meals more than I do, but cakes and pies are not what we should be eating all the time, so I do try to cook wholesome foods most of the time to stay healthy and help the doctors help us.  

I have learned a lot from my four sisters. One thing that stands out is that when they need to make a change, they don’t wait for New Years. They start their resolutions whenever they feel the need. They just decide to change — and do it. What an inspiration that is to me.  I need to make several changes in my life and there is no better time to change than today.

Several years ago, I decided (with the help of my dearest and best friend) to drive  our car more. I do not want to be one of those “poor things” who cannot drive or keep a checkbook or figure taxes or do basic business transactions if I am the one left behind. Jim already knows how to do laundry and cook and do all of the above things, so he would be self-sufficient if the need arose. I think that was a good resolution and I am thankful I have kept it. I cannot say it has been easy, but I drive quite a bit now and am glad that Helen insisted that I do it. I am a stronger person because of it.   

We don’t have to be perfect in our resolutions. We just need to  be persistent. Practice makes perfect. We just need to keep on keeping on. Nobody ever expects us to be perfect. But, we do want to strive to be the best we can at what we are doing and being. Little by little does the trick, as the fox and the crow did in the Aesop fable of filling the glass with rocks so the crow could drink. I think of those wonderful old stories often that Grandma used to read to us. The stories always had a moral to them and a little lesson to be learned. Persistence pays. It also improves us.  

One of our New Year resolutions is to be the best great-grandparents we can be.  We are adding to our family again this year with three new great-grandchildren.  That makes a total of five. Each one is a precious gift and brings great joy to us.  By the time you read this, we will have spent a late Christmas with them. I am writing this early so I can spend every minute with them, baking more cookies, making candy and being in the kitchen or doing whatever they want to do. What a wonderful change they make in our lives.  Having sweet grandchildren and great-grand children give us a reason to live.  We are dedicated to protecting each precious child and teaching them about life in the old days. They, in turn, will give us hope and  and faith in the future of our world. This is just a better world because they are a part of it. They make a difference.

It is fun to make supper in a crock pot during these cold winter days. This is so simple it is hardly a recipe but we enjoy it. Serve over  mashed potatoes or cooked noodles or rice.  

Smothered Steak

tenderized round steak, cut in serving size pieces

cream of mushroom soup

Place steaks in crock pot. Pour undiluted soup over it and cook on low for several hours.

Have a  Happy New Year. Live it well.

Send your comments to: Peggy Goodrich, Food For Thought, P.O. Box 1192, Enid, OK 73702.

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