Commentary on 2012, life resolutions for 2013
Unquestionably 2012 was a challenging year, starkly confirmed by newly-released American Red Cross statistics. The organization responded to 113 large-scale disasters in 42 states and U.S. territories through Dec. 1, 2012. My appreciation for this long-enduring service organization has increased exponentially. Primarily staffed by volunteers who often travel long distances from home for extended time providing aid to those felled by tragedy, it was founded in 1881 by American philanthropist Clara Barton. Our nation has endured hell this year. Thankfully the majority of us survived, even though we are potentially impacted forever by several of these heartbreakingly memorable events.
The start of a New Year is an appropriate time for both reflection and assessment of our lives, beyond the typically tried-and failed New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and be nicer to your mother-in-law. Did you accomplish something of personal pride during 2012? What do you want to change in your life for 2013?
Many of us talk about having a “bucket list” but are those personal goals written, posted and shared with a significant other or a close friend? Nothing boosts self-confidence more than challenging yourself to try something new and (hopefully) succeeding. And if failed, at least you attempted to master something outside of your “comfort zone.” Sharing a new adventure with a spouse or partner can solidify a marriage or relationship and be a source of shared memories. Volunteering as a couple can provide both beneficial time together while also helping others.
Are you taking proactive measures to prevent illness or physical maladies? Exercise is essential for both a healthy body and mental acuity. If a gym membership is not of interest, how about swimming as an alternative? The two-year-old Meek Aquatic Center on Ohio Wesleyan’s campus is an undiscovered gem to most Delaware residents. If the pool is uninviting, there are a multitude of other local exercise options.
Beyond our neighborhoods, there are numerous areas in Delaware County offering nature trails perfect for exercise. Preservation Parks has nine sites in our county including Gallant Woods Preserve just off of U.S. 23 North, Deer Haven Preserve accessible from Liberty Road, and Emily Traphagen Preserve in Powell, with some offering summer concerts in addition to educational activities and walking paths.
Three of my favorite stay-in-shape activities are running with my dog, ballroom dancing, and yoga. The Humane Society of Delaware County (HSDC) has many deserving companion-ready canines, and felines too. Nothing keeps you moving and is more conducive for meeting others than walking a dog. How about saving a life and acquiring a faithful friend? The annual “FurBall Valentine’s Celebration” fundraiser for the HSDC is Feb. 9 at the Medallion Club. Also, our city is fortunate to have a ballroom studio on U.S. 23 offering almost-daily group classes, individual instruction and regular Friday-night parties. No matter how bad your day, once you start dancing, “happy hormone” endorphins are activated, making it seemingly impossible to remain in a melancholy mood, along with using muscles you might not know ever existed. Other options include free yoga offered downtown at Perfect Harmony Fitness at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. For cancer survivors, the Cancer Support Community on Sawmill near the intersection with Powell Road also offers free yoga and a multitude of other no-cost wellness programs to heal both “body and mind.”
Should a personal tragedy or life-ending illness occur during 2013, do you have a notarized will? If so, is it somewhere accessible and do family members know its location? Are you organized with other important documents such as your Social Security card, automobile title, birth certificates for you and your children, bank statements, prior tax returns if you are audited, marriage license, and military discharge papers?
And finally, have you expressed wishes to loved ones concerning the potential of being an organ or tissue donor, along with plans for your funeral? Presently, more than 117,000 Americans are awaiting a compatible organ at 244 U.S. transplant centers. Leaving a legacy of giving someone else a second-chance at life could be the best gift of all.
Yes 2012, it is great relief you are now behind us. As we welcome 2013, my hope for everyone reading this is that you challenge yourself to try something new and beneficial, get in shape, become better organized, save a life, volunteer, invest time and effort in important relationships, and prepare NOT to “live forever.” Achieving a few of the ideas I have mentioned versus the perpetual failure cycle of stale New Year’s Resolutions might make 2013 a much-improved year, while positively impacting your life for the long-haul versus just the short-term. And finally, start penning that “bucket list” since we never know how many days we have remaining.
Mariann Main is a Licensed Counselor and a Delaware native. Her column appears weekly on Wednesdays. To submit a question and have Mariann answer it anonymously, visit delgazette.com/life-questions-with-local-answers or send mail to the Delaware Gazette office, 40 N. Sandusky St., suite 203, Delaware, OH 43015.