The Year to Change?

Posted: January 6, 2014 in World On The Edge

DSC_1326-2No doubt this is the time for new resolutions, the beginning of a brand new year in our lives. No doubt, too, we make those resolutions–and too often break them, even before the year has a chance to get going.  Because change is hard,  and commonly, we’re fallible people.

Is it possible to make this year an  uncommon one ?  I do have that capability.

But do I have the drive it will take?

Can I  look at myself honestly, realizing that true change isn’t a walk in the park, but something that may require my blood, sweat, and tears?

Oh, I don’t like the sound of that even as I write it.

The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked in our local bank as a teller, the same bank in which my father worked. I was able to use the money I made to buy clothes I’d need for college. Except I hated being a teller. I didn’t like fooling with other peoples’ money, and God knows I could never balance my window! Always, I had to ask the experienced tellers to help me.

And that hurt my pride.

I had worked there only one pay period when I told my father I was tired of it and wanted to quit.

He looked at me without expression. “How many outfits were you able to buy with the money you’ve made?”

“A few,” I had to admit–some really cute outfits hung in my closet, ready to be packed for college. Still, I whined. “But Daddy, I just don’t like being a teller.”

“Let’s see,” he said, summing up, “You don’t like the work, but you do like the results of the work?”

What could I say, but yes.

Lesson learned.  I needed to keep my eye on the prize— what I was working toward. So  each time I wanted to quit, I pictured my closet full of really cute college clothes.

Many, many years have passed since that summer working at the job I hated. I barely remember the mistakes I made in the teller’s window, or the embarrassing times I had to ask for help. But I surely remember the day I unloaded a closet of clothes on my first day at college, and the pride I felt that I’d seen the job through.

When we make resolutions, we have to decide how important to us they are. And we have to accept that changing ourselves is often a big job and that we won’t like the process, because some bad habits most definitely  give us pleasure–a guilty pleasure, but pleasure nonetheless.

I must try to let go of that transient pleasure and aim for the result of  what ‘letting go’ will do for me in the long run. Maybe the result is a greater respect for my own body, allowing it to be healthier and stronger. Maybe it’s  a more loving relationship with my family or with God. Maybe it’s sharing the talents or abundance I have less selfishly. Whatever it is, I suspect we all know in our hearts what we’re being called to do.

And we  can’t allow pride or fear or laziness stop us. We can’t blame our reticence on certain people or situations.  We have to stop talking, be still and look at ourselves honestly, and then commit to change  for a prize of greater benefit.

  1. Cheryl says:

    I just read a book that has helped get a little further down the path of humility, and I highly recommend it. It’s Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart by Father Jacques Philippe.


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