I have made one New Year's resolution - and that is not to make any more New Year's resolutions. What is a New Year's resolution anyway, except a promise to yourself and, since you're the only person it involves, you feel that you can break it with impunity.
So, rather than resolutions, I think I'm better off just making suggestions. Like, instead of resolving not to eat too much ice cream in 2014, I can just make a suggestion that I should cut back on the Moose Tracks ice cream and, since I'm the only one involved, I can put one less teaspoon in the bowl and I am keeping my suggestion, as opposed to a resolution where you may go as far as specifying stringent amounts and be bound by your word to yourself, which means that you're apt to take refuge in the lie that you'll do better tomorrow.
How many people resolve to maintain a rigid exercise regimen in the New Year and don their sweat togs and high dollar athletic shoes, effect a steely countenance and attack the extra pounds they've put on over the holidays with the intentions of recapturing the physique in the old pictures they were looking at just the other day?
And, with bulldog-like tenacity, you stick to the torturous pace you've set (for all of fifteen minutes), then decide that you have set the bar a little too high and realize that you should go back to the couch and redesign a more sensible program - a task which is going to take you until the next New Year - when you will make a fresh, more "this time I really mean it" resolution and repeat the whole process.
And, if you resolve to do a better job of controlling your temper, the first idiot who runs a stoplight on you brings a string of words out of your mouth that a Barbary Coast pirate would be proud of and, right there, with your foot on the brake and murder in your heart, you realize that you've done it again.
How about this one? You know that you are spoiling your grandchildren and you make a resolution that, in the coming year, you will take a firmer hand, display some discipline, and get a handle on things.
May I encourage you to make this one a suggestion rather than a resolution? Then, when you're walking out of Toys 'R' Us with two shopping carts on your way to Baskin Robbins, you won't feel like such a hypocrite.
I personally think that setting goals and taking control of our lives is a good thing and I think that any honest attempt to become a better or stronger person is admirable, but sometimes I feel we tend to look around us and measure our persona and our success by what someone else has accomplished and, maybe, ignore the unique God-given traits, abilities and talents we each possess.
I played football in high school and made the team, not because of athletic ability, but because the pool of talent was small and because I had a burning desire to play on the team and was willing to work as hard as it took to make it.
I could look around me at the guys who had natural athletic ability and instincts and realize that they had something I would never have, something they were born with that, no matter how hard I worked, I would never have.
But, none of them could play a guitar or a fiddle and I could.
So, I could spend my time pursuing an impossible thing or spend it pursuing something that had the potential to make my wildest dreams come true.
My advice: never measure yourself by someone else, as it can cause either envy or self-importance.
Follow your own star and, if your path splits off from the main highway headed into points unexplored and parts unknown, follow it, ignoring those who warn you to stay on the road most traveled, because the stuff dreams are made of is out there for those bold enough to diligently pursue it.
Concentrate on your strengths, deemphasize your weaknesses, remember that criticism is only somebody else's opinion, seek the wise counsel while shunning the unwise, put your shoulder to the wheel, your nose to the grindstone, and keep on pushing, uphill, downhill wherever your trail of dreams leads you and watch your life turn into an exciting, fulfilling experience.
If you want to make a resolution this year, just resolve to be yourself.
As I begin this New Year, I want to very sincerely thank my Heavenly Father and all you people who have enabled me to live my dream for 56 years, and I will make one New Year's resolution.
I will put my all into every show I play.
Come see us.
Happy New Year, one and all.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America