I never make New Year’s resolutions. Number one, the turning of one year to the next has never struck me as particularly significant in any way. Moreover, other than tradition, it isn’t clear to me why a decision to do something new or better or to somehow improve my behavior should be linked to the turning of the year.

But for some reason, this year I feel as if I want to make a promise of change, a resolution. Feelings are different from thoughts. It’s not easy to figure out what to do with feelings sometimes. Thoughts, at least for me, are logical, analytical. It’s the way I have proceeded for most of my life, and the way I was taught to meet life from my mother and grandmother, and from my analytical philosophy ”“ my major in college ”“ professors.

But here I am feeling my way through this now, or perhaps rather than my feelings steering my way, they are the engine of the change. So what will I endeavor to change in 2015? The truth is, I am not just changing something incidental. This is a renaissance of sorts for me, a rebirth, and it started in 2014. The change that I began making has two parts: First, I was not going to allow society and other people’s social norms to dictate my life. In my mid-50s, it is time I live by my own rules, formed by my own conscience and sense of right and wrong, and, of course, the law. For most of my life, I have had a strong moral compass, and I am committed more than ever before to following it. Second, and this is the hardest part for me, I am working and will continue to work very hard to employ The Serenity Prayer, which reads as follows:

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

Accepting the things I cannot change is the hardest part. Much change has been thrust upon me in the last couple of years without my consent or control. But I have found that the more I accept what I cannot change, the happier I am, or at least the less unhappy I am. For me, this second part is a profound challenge, and thus, I am unlikely to simply change so dramatically from Dec. 31, 2014 to Jan. 1, 2015. Instead, I see it as a process, a process that began this past year and will continue probably for the rest of my life, hopefully with increasing success.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful, safe, peaceful and successful 2015!

— Bruce M. Hardina is the publisher of the Journal Tribune, a singer-songwriter, a philosopher, a student of life and the human experience, a columnist, an entrepreneur and a family man. To comment on his musings, email [email protected] or mail a note to Journal Tribune, Attn: Bruce Hardina, 457 Alfred St., Biddeford, ME 04005.

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