This is one of my favorite times of year. January gives everyone a chance for a do-over. That’s right. Whatever happened in 2009 can be viewed as a learning experience, and you and I get the chance to move into the new year a little wiser.
I definitely would be considered an optimist (in almost every situation), but I really feel like the mood and views of people I encounter in town are a little happier … chirpier … more energetic. More than not, the people I have chatted with have a good feeling moving into our brand new year. And I love that!
I know that there are problems in our world — I’m not naïve. But I think if you tend to dwell on them in your own life and don’t sit down every once in a while and count the blessings you have, the negativity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You know what I mean. There are those people around you that can never see the silver lining. It is exhausting. I cannot surround myself with those people; it really takes a toll on my sanity.
Most people have spent the last few weeks checking their own sanity … how did the year go? Did I make the right choices? Did I take enough risks? How can I make a difference? How can I help turn things around? Then, resolutions and plans for the future are cast. It’s fun to strategically plan your life when you know that your goals and dreams are only met by thinking it through, working hard and never giving up.
I’ve been thinking it through lately, too. I want to help our state make some things happen. You’ve probably been processing the same kind of ideas — especially if you listen to the news. A friend and I decided we would initiate an educational program called the Horizon Conference. We all know that the economy has shifted. The way people do business and the industries we once relied on are changing. We have to change, too.
This conference will educate women in four areas: students, those who are reentering the workforce, individuals who want to move up or change careers, and entrepreneurs. It feels like it will take an eternity to plan and get going, but I believe it will be worth it. I know there are others out there right now working hard to make a difference.
Michiganders are not quitters. We won’t give up on our beautiful state, and we’ll work a little harder to make things happen. Take Jessica Yorko for instance … she’s as spunky as they come. I know that she has been working to make life in Lansing better for some time. She went through an election to sit on Lansing’s City Council to make sure she does whatever she can to set policy and a positive direction for our community.
She would proudly call herself a tree-hugger, and is trying to help people see the environmental implications in riding bikes and walking to work. I know that in January this seems a bit crazy, but she practices what she preaches. She makes it to her meetings with a red nose and chilled toes.
There is another group of women starting a network group called ATHENA WIN (Women’s Interest Network). It’s just another example of how women are trying to come together and make magic happen for our area. This will be a great group to connect with and learn from. Just like them, I resolve to make this world a little better
I encourage you to resolve to do at least one good deed each day. It doesn’t have to be big or showy, but even a kind word has a way of making a difference. I was chatting with someone the other day who was told by someone recently that something she had said more than 10 years ago had given him hope. I think it’s amazing to consider how much one kind word can mean to someone.
I hope that you will take every opportunity to say something nice to those who least expect it. I can definitely say that the people of this community make it great, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
For you, I hope this year is the best yet. Happy New Year!