When we begin to appreciate how remarkable even the most basic things about our children’s lives are, then we as parents can better understand that everything beyond that is nothing short of a miracle! – Joe Dico
(In looking back, I saw that I wrote and posted these thoughts again on New Years Day last year. Although not everything turned out perfectly which of course is to be expected, there were more than enough blessings throughout the year to believe that the following mindset and approach still applies as the remainder of 2018 awaits to reveal itself.)
“The quality of our lives can simply be broken down and measured through the following: the initial choices we make from what we know, the circumstances which arise that impact those choices, and the choices we make in response thereafter to what we learn from both!” – Joe Dicochea
As we exit the previous year and enter the new one, we should remember not to dwell too much on the past because I’m not sure what good it will do. I encourage all of us to take the good memories from 2017 and cherish them for as long as we can recall them. As far as any mistakes, we should make whatever retribution necessary, learn from them, act accordingly, and just move on. We need to avoid beating ourselves up over them and anyone who wants us to continue to do so is doing it more for their benefit, not ours! I cannot engage in that latter practice because Lord knows, it’s hard enough focusing on my own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual growth, welfare, happiness, and harmony.
I hear a lot of people say that 2018 is either going to be a “good year” or “better year”, probably since it’s like the beginning of the MLB Season where all teams start with a clean slate with the unrestricted hope of the possibility of a championship season. As for me, I love optimism since as Winston Churchill once said, “I’m an optimist because it doesn’t make sense to be anything else!” However I have figured out that truly great things rarely happen by accident or mere chance. “Good” things happen to good people because they generally do good or correct things, or they have “good” people surrounding them for support and protection when needed.
I suggest we all take a moment today to at least take an overall look back on this year and then imagine where we see ourselves. If we want a better year, I suppose it’s logical to simply start by continuing to do what works but maybe doing it better. For those things that didn’t or haven’t worked, it makes sense to just simply change or approach them differently if we haven’t already learned to do so. Resolve to be consistent as the year progresses and just look back at the end of each month and see how 2018 is unfolding. I’m guessing that if we do so, we’ll get the year we’re looking for and probably a little (or a lot) more!
Along with your other New Year’s resolutions, please incorporate the following into them. “Go for it now. The future is promised to no one.”
I’m optimistic that we’ll all have a Happy New Year because it doesn’t make sense to envision anything else, you know?
(In looking back to when I first wrote this, it still applies! – Joe Dico)
“Joy and hope are never separate.
I have never met a hopeful person who was depressed or a joyful person who had lost hope…It is important to become aware that at every moment of our life we have the opportunity to choose joy. It is in the choice that our true freedom lies, and that freedom is, in the final analysis, the freedom to love.” – Henri Nouwen
I’m not going to elaborate much on this because it’s self-explanatory or should be. I do want to stress something I talked to your mom about. I’m doing everything in my power to keep you as happy or alternatively, not get in the way of how happy you can and want to be! How you use it is all on you guys. I strive to not lose my temper on the inconsequential, or when you’ve pushed every last one of my buttons. I’d rather laugh and try to make you laugh during those times because generally I’m one happy individual and as the adult and oldest one in the family, I guess I should exercise some maturity and proper perspective! Since I’m no longer as self-absorbed in the first place at the expense of your happiness, I’ve discovered it’s easier to find contentment within my soul through the happiness I create for you.
I’m sure I’m most annoying when I’m “insanely” happy about so many big and little things, most importantly you guys and our dog Dico. Wait! I’m annoying you because I’m happy about, and being with, my family? Something is flawed in that equation but then again, I’m the one with the brain injury. I’m sure I’m a bit much at times, given my penchant for extreme expressions, but maybe you’re not appreciating the source of what’s making me that way! Maybe it’s better not to ask questions and just hitch a ride with me because I’m headed in the right direction now and I’ve got room!
I am truly a shining example of my prior advice. When I think I’ve found a reason to be unhappy or in a bad mood, I easily find 10+ better reasons not to be. You may think its easy to feel this way given the routine of my days but try having the medical community label you as “disabled” and “brain injured”. I refuse to accept it but I have to work hard every day to prove I’m not and I willingly have embraced that challenge! I’m just a guy with a lot of joy and hope, especially since I keep myself surrounded by so many of the expected, and even unexpected, people who keep me that way!
One last thing. I saw a movie with Helen Hunt who is thinking about letting her sarcastic, neurotic boyfriend in her apartment. Before she does, she says “you can come in but please don’t try to spoil everything by being yourself!”
Let’s all try to do the same, huh?