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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



The first column of the new year. When I think about it there is something inherently exciting about changing the calendar from one year to the next. It’s as though we are allowed to do a little spring cleaning in our lives and get rid of things and have a fresh start. Any of you who have read my column long enough are well aware of the fact that I despise New Years resolutions. Mostly because we all get these grand goals in our heads and then a few weeks into January we slip right back into the same old path and suddenly before you know it, not only is it July, but we still weigh the same, or have the same bad habits that we’ve carried with us for the last few years.

So rather than think about things I would like to change in the new year, I’ve decided that I’m using the new year to think about the things I’m going to leave in 2010 and not allow themselves to clutter the majority of my life that I really like. Now, mind you, doing this while surrounded by a room full of moving boxes overflowing with years and years worth of compiled treasures can be somewhat difficult but I’m going to do my best with this one.

First of all, there’s this grudge I’ve been carrying around with me for a while. This chip on my shoulder that for what ever reason I’ve not been able to get past, to move on from, to let go of. It is time to leave it where it belongs. The grudge itself hasn’t really fixed the problem, nor has it made me feel any better about the entire situation, so what good has it done me in the end? It’s made me bitter, and angry. Now before we all join hands and sing kum-by-ya around the campfire, know that I’m still angry and hurt, and maybe a tad bit bitter, and that’s ok. When we deal with feelings of the heart, no matter how much sense we try to make of them, they never quite make sense anyway. It’s not those feelings that I can’t logically explain that I’m letting go of. I’m probably just going to continue to ignore them and hope they come up less and less, but the grudge I’ve been carrying needs to go before it handcuffs me and doesn’t allow me to live life.

Maybe in a way you too have carried a grudge a little too long. Maybe someone hurt you, maybe you have a broken heart, maybe someone at work stabbed you in the back. Whatever that hurt is, that grudge that you carry with you, know that leaving it where it belongs probably is the best way to move forward.

Secondly, I’m going to leave my ability to worry in the past. This might be really difficult because it was one of the few things that I’ve mastered and been really good at. Worrying about everything from is my house clean enough, to what people think to all those little things that pop up from day to day, takes up way too much effort and time that could be better spent on important things. Things like taking time to be a Dad, enjoying putting away the boxes and boxes of things in the house, and taking naps. Yes, more nap time will be a better way to use that time. Spend more time “being still” and less time worrying about what happens if I take the time to do that seems to be a good way to start.

Finally, I’m going to leave one more thing in 2010. Fear. I’ve lived and died by fear. Fear of failing. Fear of hurting feelings. Fear of never quite living up to potential. Fear has kept me from jobs, relationships, and has become this easy crutch to blame things on when they don’t go right. Not happy with your job? Why not find something better? Fear allows you to say, “well I’m just lucky to have a job.” True, but what if there was something better out there? I think it’s high time I take a chance or two on life. Not allow myself to live in fear and spread my wings and take the leap. Hopefully I’ll remember to flap my arms when I do!

Take some time this week, as your laying around trying to figure out ways to use up the rest of the turkey leftovers to think of your own things you would like to leave behind in 2010. It doesn’t have to be anything major…baby steps are the best ones sometimes, and take that leap into the new year. You’ll be glad you did.

See you next week…remember, we’re all in this together.