Four things I have to do next year

To be a better person, and more like the person I should be I need to do the following:

Call it what it is

In 2012 I will no longer use the phraseGay Wedding‘ as it isn’t needed anymore. In the same way that the marraige of a couple from two different ethenticiys is no longer call a mixed or inter-racial marraige, two people who love each other who happen to be of the same gender will be getting married and will have a wedding that is just that, a wedding. At breakfast I don’t have four slices of brown, multigrain bread, heated on both sides until crispy and then covered on one side by magarine or butter. I simply have toast.

We are so programmed to use labels or classify things in our day to day life that it can be hard to no longer do it. Walk into a music store and you will see that the CD`s are organized by genre. If you are a little more modern and have access to iTunes, you will see the same thing. Yes, it does help if you are looking for something in particular but just because it may be useful doesn`t mean we should put everything in a box and group it together with other possibly similar things. I like rock music, but I don’t break it down into prog rock, hair metal or anything else other than rock.

Let’s not put people in boxes or classify them as this or that. No matter the colour of our skin or the accent of our voice, we are all really amazing people and let’s treat each other as such. No matter what you look like, I am going to treat you with the respect you deserve. Too many times we focus on something about a person, such as their sexuality, and miss the big picture. 2012 will be the year I try to avoid doing that.

To have less as so to have more

My wife and I tend to buy first and think later. We have on occasion walked out of CostCo and had to unpack what we just bought so that we might be able to fit it into our car. I wouldn`t say we are hoarders but we do tend to have too much stuff that we just don`t need. I tend to like T-Shirts too much and also have more than I need, or even wear. It is the downside of websites that offer a T-shirt design for one day only for $10. Not a lot of time to think about it and if it is only $10 then why not? It is the same with rugby jerseys.

My wife on the other hand, likes her hand bags, and shoes, and other stuff. We do not need so much stuff to make us happy, and infact the fact that we have more than we need can actually make us unhappy as we are forever, and failing, to find places for it all. Kitchen counters that end up with lego and magazines and lunch bags and cat food. Our house may look disorganized but part of the issue is that we just don’t have places for all our things.

2012 will be the year to reduce the clutter, donate what we don’t need and to buy less. To have more of a life, we need to have less in our life. I will still want for things, but hopefully I will realise that if I don’t buy them, I can probably survive without them.

To make “out of the routine” more of the routine

It can be very easy to slip into a routine in your life. Get up, go to work, work, come home from work, watch TV, go to bed, repeat. That is not to say it is a bad thing but surely we can do more with the time we have? It is good to have favourite television programs but rather than wasting three nights a week glued to the idiot box, why not spread it out using a PVR or even a video recorder? Rather than 3 hours on Monday, 2 hours on Tuesday and an hour on Thursday, why not have an hour on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then one day on the weekend? That leaves a lot more time in the evening to do other things.

A long time ago, the phrase “saving for a rainy day” was used a lot, and it can still be used today. Why spend a beautiful day inside doing something or other, why not wait until a day when it isn’t so nice, or even one when it is raining. Let’s take advantage of those days that take your breath away, the days that Ferris Bueller would say “How can I possibly be expected to handle school on a day like this?” or “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It is true, we all need to take time to smell the roses, feed the ducks or whatever it is that makes your day just that little extra special.

I want to spend more of 2012 having adventures and fun rather than knowning every episode of my favourite television shows. I want to get sun burnt. I want to get lost. I want to have to stay in a hotel overnight because we wandered too far from home. I want to have more memories of the year than I can possibly remember.

Be nice for the sake of being nice

Smile, say thank you and please. Hold the door for someone. Let a pedestrian cross the road in front of you. Put your loose change in a charity box. Dance and sing in your car, bedroom, living room, local park and anywhere other place where the mood takes you. Pull faces at babies to make them smile and laugh, do the same to your loved ones. Tip generously. Compliment people. Realise that not everything is directed at you, centered on your or about you. Before you take umbridge or offense, do a mental check to see if what has upset you was meant to upset you or simply a miscommunication. Don’t waste your time holding grudges, they take up too much of your soul. Forgive and forget, it really isn’t worth the effort to remember every single slight against you. Tell the ones that you love, that you do love them, each and every day. If you appreciate someone helping you out, let them know that you appreciate them.

So many things we can do to improve and so few we will end up doing. If you have fun being nice, perhaps you will do it more often? Make someone smile and they will pass on that smile. It is like a virus. It is difficult to get out of bed and automatically be happy and nice, we are not all built that way, but we can make an effort to impact anyone in a negative way. Too many negative waves can affect a person, you know! Just because it is posted on Facebook, Twitter or even a news site doesn’t automatically mean it is true. Too many people think that Bill Gates wants to send them to Disney, or Facebook will soon start charging, or that everyone else is saying Happy Holidays rather than Merry Christmas. Don’t become one of them.

Why not make 2012 the year when everything got better because we tried to make it better? Not by doing big things but by doing the little things that affect people every single day. Don’t waste so much of your day worrying about things that are out of control, it is only your time you are wasting. Deal with what you can deal with, don’t worry about the rest. Let’s all avoid stress in 2012 and live happier because of it.

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