Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2008

At the end of each year most of us recap the year and make New Year resolutions. Many people often times use the fresh start to a new year as motivation to help them leave behind old habits, determined to break old habits and to leap into the New Year with a fresh new approach to life. These New Year resolutions are often times broken just a few days into the year which can lead to depression as it is looked on by that individual as a sign of weakness or failure.

On that list of common News Years Resolution’s we see things about drinking, smoking, losing weight, eating healthier, exercising more, and in general just taking better care of ourselves. However we also start out with many other types of New Years resolutions which may include being wiser with our money, being a safer driver, being a better neighbor, being a more understanding parent to those teenage children living in your home or neighborhood. Or simply being a better person to everyone you meet especially those lonely looking people you meet on the street or in the grocery store. To smile at those people doesn’t cost you a dime and goes a long way towards brightening another person’s day.

You could also make 2008 the year where you decide to greet everyone you meet by being the first to say “Good morning!” If you’re not a morning person and like to sleep in of course you might have to rephrase that to “Good afternoon!” Then flash them. Wait a minute let me finish after all this is my story, a big smile! I can’t believe what some of you were already thinking!

No matter how grumpy that person looks in that grocery store, smile at them and tell them good morning. In fact, in 2008 go out of your way to find the grumpiest looking person you can find and make it a habit of telling those people good morning!

Now that we are working at being friendlier and happier lets expand a little more by simply doing a few more things every time we go to that grocery store. After you park, look for someone putting their groceries in their car. Offer to take their shopping cart back in for them and then you could also help them finish loading their groceries. Never under any circumstances start handling their groceries without first telling them your plans and wait till your eyes meet first. Never under any circumstances grab a woman’s purse or startle a woman especially if she has a cane! If you can’t find someone to help simply make it a habit to take a shopping cart back into the store with you. When you are done loading your groceries at least put the cart back in the area designated for them. Don’t use up a parking spot by not putting your cart where it belongs.

Make this a family game every time you go to the store, each member gets so many points for every cart they return to the store and bonus points for also helping someone unload their groceries and other items, triple points if they are elderly. If everyone going in the store took a cart back in with them the store would not have to pay employees to go haul them back in!

Imagine it being twenty below zero and the parking lot is full of shopping carts scattered all over the parking lot. Your job is to go haul all of them back in, there is just enough snow to make them push hard and make your job miserable. Your tired, you feel a head cold coming on and you’re just not having a good day! Suddenly a family pulls in and starts running for the store hauling in the shopping carts.

Two, three, four at a time and soon they are all back in the store! The family brightened someone’s day, got a little exercise and even had a little fun and it never cost them a dime! Perhaps members of one of our local high school teams could make a deal with some of the stores to come by once a day and take all the carts in for a small donation. If the store manager says no, do it anyway as it might still prove to be beneficial.

Kids if your bored, frustrated and depressed don’t do things that will get you in trouble. Take your anger and frustration out at the store parking lots by taking in shopping carts. Besides doing something worthwhile it is also a great spot to look for loose change!

Like most of you I too have New Years resolutions too; (1) I intend to keep score from the comforts and heat of my truck as the rest of the family competes in hauling all the shopping carts back in the stores. (2) My father-in-law (Rev. Richard Wagner) once told me that if someone wants to do something nice for me, I should let them. If I refuse it may discourage them from ever wanting to do something nice for someone else again, “Besides John you don’t have to do everything yourself!” I agree so this year (2008) my old Jiffy 3 H.P. ten-inch ice auger will be used by my wife Taby! She will drill all the holes this year while I watch! On the days she has to work she will get a list of the lakes we plan to fish that day and can go out ahead before work and drill the holes for me and the other fishermen! That way she will get some alone time (while driving to the lake) a workout, and chance to get some fresh air besides warming up my truck! If she would hurry perhaps she could even have breakfast done before going to work! Besides being very helpful she would be doing something nice just like her dad said. (3) On the days my wife doesn’t have to work I will allow her to set up the fishing shacks. Since we have seven shacks she might want to get started a little earlier, especially if we are changing lakes everyday. Life is great now. not only is my truck warm the shacks will be all set up and warm too!

I’m not going to push my luck by asking her to clean the fish too, after all the kids will need an opportunity to do something nice too. Besides due to all the snow Taby might still be pushing shopping carts in at Fred Meyer. I’m beginning to like this “ Let someone do something nice deal!” Thanks Richard!

On a more serious note, each year it seems like things get just a little tougher on our senior citizens to make ends meet. Governor Palin pledged to reinstall the longevity bonuses to our seniors. Please remind her of her campaign pledge to help out our senior citizens. With gas over $3 a gallon and high heating cost many of our people are really struggling to make ends meet. Please do your part to help those in need, and in 2008 end all your prayers with “Lord keep us all ever mindful of the needs of others!”

See you next week!

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