• TheConfused Father

How to Ring in a New Year

Yesterday marked the beginning of a new year and with a new year comes New Year's resolutions. At least for some people. Not for Erin or I (or probably lots of other people). The two of us have never made a new years resolution. Not when we were younger, not after we met, and again not this year.

The concept of a new years resolution has always seemed strange to me. When people are committed to something they swear it on something important. Movies have people swear on family members because that seems dramatic. Courts have people swear on bibles because there is no higher authority than God. But when you make a new years resolution you are swearing on something that has no real value. It is just the day that someone (Pope Gregory XIII) once upon a time (1582) decided was where they would begin counting from chronologically.

Goals build on such a loose foundation are sure to fail. Every year we watch the gym attendance at our local YMCA shoot up right after the first of the year then fizzle back to the normal crowd of familiar faces by February first.

Now I am not trying to badmouth anyone for trying to improve themselves. I am simply suggesting that they pick a different day of the year to start the change on. If your goal is to lose weight for example, start dieting the Monday before Thanksgiving. If you can keep it up till Christmas you will already be 15lbs better off than you would have been otherwise.

Instead of making New Year's resolutions and staying up till the wee hours of the morning to watch clock go from 11:59 to 12 just like it had 12 hours prior, we went to bed early on New Year's eve. Then we did what we always do if we want to improve our lives. We woke up early and used our day off to get work done. But not work for companies, work for ourselves.

In the last 48 hours, my mother, father, Erin, and I have run roughly a quarter of the wiring that we will need in our new home. For those of you who have never done electrical work that is a lot. My father is a licensed master electrician and we have helped wire several of the houses for other people in our families. So when it was time to start deciding where the "sweat equity" in our home would be, electrical was the first item up on the chopping block. The contractor who we had quote the job gave us an estimate of $18,000 dollars. Dad and I are estimating around $4,000 for the material, plus pizza and beer pay dad for his labor, which gives us $13,900 we can use somewhere else on the house. This also means we have roughly $14,000 in labor to do as well. We took a big chunk out of it this weekend.

In my opinion, there is no better way to have started a new year. At the end of the day, today walking through doing our double-checks and picking up our tools I could feel that it was a good day's work. But more than that I know that I am well on the way to making something better in my life and for my family. That is a great feeling and one that we are all striving for whether we realize it or not. A sense of accomplishment is not one of the 5 senses that was gifted to mankind but is one that we all need in our lives. I hope we are all able to accomplish great things in our own lives this year.

Until then though, I hope this post has found you in good health and of a sound mind. I am just another confused father...

Hoping that we will all do great things this year!


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