Dr. Bill Atwood

Happy New Year

Happy New Year - It is difficult to believe that we have celebrated the end of 2014 and are heading into 2015. I remember how nervous we all were for the changeover from 1999 to 2000 and the concern for the computer glitches that could have happened. Not a student in our local schools can remember that as a current event because even the high school seniors were too young to be concerned. It’s ancient history to them.

This new year will bring challenges to our world, country, state, county, and our community. We will have political strife and international conflicts with which to deal as well as outbreaks of diseases and famine. We will hear of tragedies and we will hear of traumas that will tug at our hearts and fill us with concerns and fears. However; we look forward to each year with a sense of optimism because we have confidence in ourselves and each other that we can solve our problems and get past those bumps in the road.

I believe that most of the people on the planet have good intentions and just want to take care of themselves and their families. They aren’t a threat to me and I am not a threat to them. We just want to be left alone to pursue our own interests. If my neighbor needs a helping hand I am there to assist and I know it will work to my benefit when I need the assistance.

This past year some neighbors lost homes and treasures to the fires and we stepped in to help out. Not in the form of loans but in the form of a gift of love that let them know we were with them through the tough times.

When disasters hit around the world Americans are ready with money and manpower to help mitigate the problem. We send supplies and our well-trained teams in along with equipment to get the mess cleaned up and then we don’t send the victims a bill for our services. We depart to help the next in need.

The new year will bring challenges to many. Some in my family have medical issues. We deal with them. My wife has had to deal with issues of poor health for 21 years. She doesn’t complain. “What is, is.” There are many others much worse off. I feel honored to get to be her care-giver because she would do the same for me. It is a way we can show what we feel for each other. That’s the deal contained in the wedding vows. “In sickness and in health…” We meet others who have much worse medical stories and it reminds us how blessed we are.

We have friends who will have to help family members through tough times, medically, emotionally, or financially, and they will find that their circle of friends and family will encircle them and will be there to help.

Many in the business community look at each new year as an opportunity to expand the business in order to claim more market share or just to survive in a tough economy. We need to shop locally and do our part by being good and faithful customers. I like to shop where I know the folks by name and where they treat me as a friend. We get that here in our area.

This new year will be a time when kids will graduate and leave for college, the military, jobs out of the area or to seek greener pastures. We will see kids marry, have children and turn into adults right before our eyes. We will watch as that circle of life reminds us of the importance of enjoying each day.

As the clock ticks away the few seconds of each outgoing year and the calendar changes, we need to remember that there really isn’t any difference between Dec.31 and Jan. 1. It is simply a benchmark we have created to mark the passage of time.

What we need to do for this new year is to resolve to become better to ourselves and to others and to remind ourselves to remain positive in our outlook.

When we get discouraged we need to work the problem, seek out help, and get on with the task of resolution. We were never promised a rose garden but we did not get tossed into a briar patch either. I remind my students to make sure to enjoy every single day that ends with a “y.”

One thing is for sure. Between Jan. 1, 2015, and Dec. 31, 2015, there are 525,600 minutes and we have the chance to use those minutes in a positive manner. We make our own weather.

Happy New Year.