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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal in the New Year...

A little bubbly?
A new year is a time to let go of the past and start fresh with confidence and hope (despite what the Mayan calendar and Santeria priests in Cuba might say), or as an old Spanish TV station slogan once stated, "Borron y Cuenta Nueva," which loosely translates to “wiping the slate clean and starting anew” (which proved to be wishful thinking).

It’s a great motto for a new year, especially for those who had a rough one in 2011.

As a longstanding suffering New York Mets fan, a new year brings a new outlook for the upcoming season; albeit faint.

As a long-suffering Washington Redskins fan, it’s an opportunity to put aside another lousy season, which fortunately ended last weekend. (Hey, at least I root for the Heat; although that didn't work out too well last year, did it?)

But, sports teams’ futility aside, and despite my last blog about forgetting my wedding anniversary, last year was wonderful year for my family and me.

Yes, we lost our eleven-year-old Rottweiler, Garbo, in January, and our mischievous kids caused havoc on our plumbing system in March, but outside of that, there was little, if any, adversity.

Moreover, there was an abundance of blessings. After eighteen years as the Press Secretary for a local U.S. Congressman, my wife started a new job (as the Personal Assistant, aka Girl Friday, to the now retired U.S. Congressman), we had an amazing summer, with trips to North Carolina and Sanibel, our 4-year-old son started school with his sisters in the Fall, and despite the bad economy, we have not lacked for anything and were blessed with good health, love, faith and peace of mind; thanks be to God.

As for my New Year’s resolution for 2012, after failing to lose weight as I resolved during the past two years, usually losing weight up until May then gaining it all back by December (or sooner), I decided to make some adjustments.

I will try to eat better and exercise more but I’m not going to make it a resolution. I’m pulling a Roberto Duran here. I’m tired of getting my butt handed to me by the escalating scale needle and saying, “No Mas.” (Mrs. Vickie's Jalapeno chips aren't that bad, right?)

Instead, I am resolving to continue to grow (hopefully, spiritually and not in girth), by attending daily Mass (so far, four for four), continuing to read and study my faith, especially the Bible, as I did every morning a few years ago and Church documents, which I don’t read enough, and, more importantly, going out of my way for others, although, my wife would say, losing weight is going out of my way for others; her and our kids. What can I say? She loves me (or doesn’t want to raise three kids on her own!).

I am also resolving to be a less self-centered and lazy at home and more helpful, attentive and loving with my wife and children (although, aside from the loving part, this second tier of goals may be harder than trying to make it to Mass every day!).  Am I being too ambitious?

Eighteenth Century English poet, Alexander Pope, once wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” And with every New Year, there is new hope in our hearts and the optimism and yearning to fulfill that hope.

Nevertheless, as Pope Benedict XVI points out, "Hope is practiced through the virtue of patience, which continues to do good even in the face of apparent failure…” And unfortunately, failure is where most New Year's resolutions end up.

But, it's the first week of the year. Let's be optimistic!

Of course, you can disregard, if the Earth collides with Nibiru on December 21, 2012. Then again, wasn’t the world going to end in Y2K, or was that last year?

Happy and Blessed New Year…

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