Opinion – 1/3/2003

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 3, 2003

The Panolian Editorials : January 10, 2003

For additional opinions and articles,
pick up the 1/03/03  issue of The Panolian

Resolving to Worry Less During 2003

Happy New Year!  I always like the beginning of the new year.

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It’s sort of like having a clean slate. A fresh calendar. A good time to reflect on what’s important and what’s not and where we should place more or less emphasis.

Last year in January I started writing down every cent I spend to see where it goes.

I was entering it in a Quicken program and going to do pie charts and all that kind of thing.
Admittedly, I abandoned the project before long… partially because I didn’t have the program figured out and partially because… it was a pain.

Also, I usually know where my all of my coins go and I work hard to save.

For those who don’t know where their money goes or are looking for "extra" cash, one can try the little notebook method and do the same for a couple or three months.

Looking after finances is one of the better traits I inherited from my mother and the experiences that have shaped her. I’d like especially to resolve that I won’t worry so much. I worry about things I have absolutely no control over. Like what the future will bring.

It’s one of the less-desirable traits I inherited.

My mother’s always been a worrier. She worries about her future – financial and otherwise – and always has from what I know.

Part of it goes back to a tough childhood for her and going through the Great Depression.

When I read, hear older people talk or see programs about that time it is hard for me to imagine how tough it was.

So, part of my reflection this week will contain thanksgiving for the good life I have – thanks to people like my mother and others that come from what author/TV anchor Tom Brokow calls "The Greatest Generation."

To mitigate my propensity for excessive worry, I do keep a small framed "Serenity Prayer" in close view at home.

I resolve to read and reflect upon it at least once a week. I’d like to say every day, but that’s probably not realistic.
If you aren’t familiar with that, it’s the prayer that’s said at AA meetings and by other 12-step groups at their meetings.

Frankly, it’s a good prayer – or practice – for any of us. And, now, in the New Year, it is an especially good time to take it to heart.

It says:

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change…
courage to change the things I can …
and the wisdom to know the difference.

(Kate Dickson can be reached by email at: editor@panolian.com)