Working in the week between Christmas and New Year is like strolling downtown after stores close at 6 p.m. The only businesses open are the restaurants. I worked three days after Christmas. It was quiet, relaxed and quite pleasant. I actually had so much done, including some catching up that required focused attention. Who says that working while most are on vacation isn’t fun? It was earnestly fun in pragmatic fashion – because I got a lot done, and you know what satisfactory feeling that gives!
Well, the week after the New Year was different.
I worked in the office three days after the birth of 2019. Again, mostly quiet, with most still away. But that was different. Why was it that I almost wished I was on vacation, too? Perhaps, that’s what one is supposed to feel in the new year – taking things easy, while still making sure that the day’s goals are accomplished, or that the transactions waiting to be completed online get through the wires. They were done, but somehow, they didn’t give the same kind of satisfaction as the holiday week before. The side benefit, however, was that I got to carry interesting and fun conversation with a co-worker seated behind me, some bubbly criticisms of how certain bureaucracies hamper processes, and how they complicate what otherwise would be simple and routine. We laughed at some of the rigidities and absurdities of work pathways without really riling about individuals. It was a healthy and refreshing venting that pepped us up and surprisingly nurtured back our positive attitude. Maybe because we laughed a lot, and much of that was laughing at ourselves. Laughter can cure many maladies, they say, even the imagined ones.
So, those were my holiday weeks. Of course, the two holiday celebrations were awesome and most enjoyable. Not to be beat were the abundant arrays of food that everyone in our gatherings joyfully partook of. The conversations were lively, the games were funny and exciting, and the camaraderie was heartwarming. In short, Christmas and New Year were splendid!
I’m writing this blog the weekend before life all around winds back to being normal. The hustle and bustle of the workplace, the traffic on the roads, the demands to accomplish matters quickly, the squirming through ruffled expectations over mundane needs – just living life all so normally again. So, what’s the difference between 2019 and the year or years before? Actually, there is a difference. We approach the new year with a bigger resolve to follow through on resolutions. Do you notice? The resolutions echo what were last year’s or the years’ before. The resolve gets bigger every year, and every year sees the same chagrin over broken resolutions. But don’t we try again? The crux of the matter is, we never give up, and that’s good.
So what’s my resolution? My familiar list includes: I would like my grocery shoppings to be dominated with fruits and vegetables; I’d like to commit to a daily exercise routine at home; I would like to dedicate more time to my other writing projects. Early next year, if these are still on my list, you can guess what that means. You know what the sage says, try and try until you succeed.
[Epilogue: I attended a heartwarming memorial service for a 91-year-old dear member of our church. The church was filled to capacity. If numbers speak of the kind of gracious life one lived on earth, the numbers were staggeringly revealing how that man was so respected, admired and loved. The crowd was a diverse group of old and young from various professions and background. His memorial was a fitting message for the new year, when minds are turned to new or repeating resolutions to better one’s self and goals. In the ultimate, what matters is how life is lived according to spiritual precepts hinged on the true purpose for why we are in this world. A challenging world, yes, but a beautiful world advantaged by blessings and care from the One who created all. In the ultimate, through all the resolutions that emerge or renewed every year, what really matters is how we rate with God who made us. Irv, the man whose life was memorialized yesterday was a man of great intelligence, wit, humor, kindness, humility, and genuine love. A man who looked to meeting Jesus and hearing the prized words, “Well done, my good man.”
To every man, woman and child, that, in essence, should be the goal of every new year’s resolution, to live a life striving to receive those words in the aftermath, “Well done, well done”.]