David Treadwell

David Treadwell

Well, we’re off and running — or stumbling — on our New Year’s Resolutions. You know the drill: eat less, exercise more; be kinder to (fill in the blank); learn to say “No” (or “Yes,” depending on your own proclivity); prepare for the future (or, in the case of us older folks, live for the moment). And on and on.

Resolutions make good sense, especially if you keep to them, which most of us don’t, including this writer. Any “successes” I’ve achieved in life have resulted from working toward specific goals. And any “failures” have stemmed from putting insufficient emphasis on the things that really matter. The key, it seems, is balance. People who just live for the now seldom get anywhere beyond hungover or in trouble. People who just live for the future never taste life.

Okay, then, what about 2016? Same old same old? Maybe not. At least for me.

We Americans are coming off a tough year; peace seems impossible and hope seems hopeless. Turn on the television and you’ll get blitzed with threats, chaos, and carpet-bombings — and I’m just describing soundbites from the recent GOP presidential debate! Read the “New York Times” and you’ll find yourself skipping past the latest political flaps or wildfires or Middle East horrors right to the crossword puzzle. Fear flies; pessimism reigns; terror triumphs.

We need a time-out. Well, okay, I can’t speak for you. I need a timeout, a break from TV talking heads and news of 10-hour waits to shop Black Friday or see the latest Star Wars movie (“The Force Awakens”). And don’t forget the mass shootings, which spawn non-stop media coverage, which in turn inspire copycat shootings. No, L.L. Bean and Land’s End and Sears, I don’t need daily emails pushing your latest deals. And a word to all non-profits: Just because emails are easy to send doesn’t mean that’s the best way to raise funds. And, oh yes, if you run a restaurant please remember that most patrons don’t like loud music. They’d rather be able to converse with their dinner companions, as surprising as that may seem. Hey world, more is not more.

So during the coming year, I plan to let more peace into my life. Take more walks in the woods. Spend more time with good people. Turn off the TV and turn on the music — soothing music. Do more yoga. Read more poetry. Even write more poetry and not worry if it will get published. Settle down. Be still. And know peace.


David Treadwell, a Brunswick writer, welcomes commentary and ideas for future “Just a Little Old” columns at [email protected]

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