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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

On the New Year

Friday, January 4, 2013

The date is January 3rd, three days into 2013. Hence, I thought it fitting to pull out a magazine article relating to this time of year. The article that I wish to bring up is titled "Of Regrets and Resolutions," written by Dieter Uchtdorf. As the title implies, the article is categorized into two parts: regrets, and resolutions.

This early in the year, it is easy to reflect upon the choices and the events of 2012.Taking words directly from the article, "we remember many sweet moments that give warmth to our souls and joy to our hearts. But we also remember the regrets - the things we wish we could go back and change." What are the regrets he talks about, you may ask? Well, he lists three: "I wish I had spent more time with the people I love," "I wish I had lived up to my potential," and "I wish I had let myself be happier."

The more I watch the news and the more I witness the things that go on in this world, I begin to realize that one cannot simply avoid having regrets, but one cannot AFFORD to have regrets. Especially when it concerns the people we love. We all know that it is humanly impossible to evade mistakes. But it IS possible, however to limit our mistakes and prevent them from ruining our lives.

For example, a bad decision would be to drink and drive. A result of that bad decision would be to have a head-on-collision with a minivan containing a young family, killing the wife and their newborn baby. This scenario would cause regret: something that can never be fixed, no matter how much sorrow or pain is felt by all concerned. It may sound ridiculous why someone would make such a disastrous decision. Yet it happens all too often.

Regrets also arise when we don't become what we envision ourselves to be. Our priorities, the way we spend our time and how we spend it, make an entrance in these paragraphs. It gives the point that we should not settle for mediocrity. The final words in this subtopic resound: "we are capable of so much more."

And then there's happiness. "So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness." It is easy for all of us to relate when it says "sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey... Life is not meant to be appreciated in retrospect."

So yes, 2013: a brand new year. Complete with a new set of challenges, experiences, and opportunities. It is a time of looking back, but also a time of looking forward. The two Rs: regrets and resolutions; that is what the New Year brings us. Mistakes have been committed in the past; therefore, we resolve to do better. And right now, it is the perfect time to do it. At the end of Mr. Uchtdorf's wonderful article he writes: "I pray that we will not wait until we are ready to die before we truly learn to live."

Taking those words to heart, with the resolve to do better this year than last year, may 2013 be another great year full of opportunities, hope, and love.

* Jacob Olson is an Iowa Central Community College student from Storm Lake. He contributes a weekly column for the Pilot-Tribune