January 2015 Column Winner

A look ahead to 2015: In one year and out the other

Jeff Mullin, Enid News & Eagle

Somewhere, at this very moment, sits a person no one has ever heard of.
It may be a man, woman or child. This person could live in this country or anywhere in the world, in the heart of a large city or in the middle of nowhere.
By this time next year, this person’s name will be known all over the world.
They may be known for doing something wonderful, or terrible. They may find a cure for some terrible disease, release a song that sticks in everyone’s minds, perform some unbelievable athletic feat, start a new business that takes the world by storm. Or they might murder multiple people, get caught stealing copious amounts of cash, blow up some well-known landlord or rise to prominence in one of the world’s myriad terrorist organizations.
At this time next year we will be reflecting on news events we can’t even conceive of today.
The nascent year 2015 is a blank slate.
What will you write on it?
It is the time of year for making resolutions. You know the definition of a New Year’s resolution, don’t you? It’s a promise to ourselves that we rarely, if ever, keep. We make big, sweeping resolutions, telling ourselves we are going to lose weight, volunteer our time, quit smoking, get a better job, save money, get fit, get a better education, eat healthy food, manage stress, manage debt, take a trip, reduce, reuse and recycle and drink less alcohol.
Those, according to the government website USA.gov, are the most popular New Year’s resolutions in the U.S.
And most of those are broken. The two most broken New Year’s resolutions in the country, according to Time magazine, are losing weight and getting fit, followed by quitting smoking and learning something new.
So why do we bother?
Why do we promise ourselves we will do things we know we will never do?
How about setting some realistic goals instead?
Instead of saying we are going to lose weight, get fit and eat healthy, why don’t we resolve to eat one less fast food meal per week, to drink one less soda per week and to walk more every day, even if that means simply making two trips to the mailbox and back instead of one.
Here’s a realistic goal for 2015, resolve to live your life in such a way that your mother would be proud of you. Your mother may no longer be living, but you know what would have made her proud.
Whenever I pick up the newspaper or turn on the television and see the glum faces of those poor souls arrested for one thing or another, whether it be drugs, violent crime, petty theft, rape, child molestation or grand larceny, one sarcastic thought pops into my mind — I’ll bet their mothers would be so proud.
Think about it. How much better would this world be if everyone lived their lives with the goal of making their mothers proud?
It is pretty simple, really.
Don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t steal, don’t drink, smoke or chew or go with women who do. Be nice to people even when you don’t want to. Say please and thank you. Don’t snack between meals. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Eat your vegetables, whether you like them or not. If you don’t have something nice to say, shut up. Keep your hands to yourself. Wash your hands before you eat. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident.
Floss, brush and always flush, not necessarily in that order.
Don’t leave your clothes on the floor. Pick up your toys. Don’t make her turn this car around. Pick up your feet. Watch your language.
Don’t put that in your mouth, you don’t know where it has been. Don’t get on her last nerve. If you’re too sick to go to school (or work), you’re too sick to play outside. Wipe your feet. No matter what the question is, the answer is always, “Because I said so.”
Try that for 2015. Live your life as if your mother is constantly looking over your shoulder. You’ll be a better person, or you’ll wind up in therapy, one or the other.
And as you begin the journey through 2015, cheer up. The majority of people polled by the Associated Press and Times Square Alliance say they expect the new year to be better than 2014, or, at least, not any worse. Of those polled, 48 percent expect better days in 2015, while only 11 percent say the year just begun will be worse. Thirty-nine percent say the new year will be about the same as the old.
So lets set some goals for 2015, shall we? Laugh more, love more, move more, hug more, smile more and worry less.
And remember, if you do make news in 2015, make sure it is for something good, not something for which they make you hold numbers in front of your chest while they take your photo.
Don’t forget, your mother is watching.

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