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Words of Wisdom for the New Year

(ROCKWALL, TX — January 5, 2018) In the handful of days before New Year’s, I’ve written a novel, taken up fly-fishing, and I’m presently becoming an elk hunter. Yes, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but each of those bucket-listers started as a resolution. I’m a list-nerd, a goal-monger, a resolution-junkie, you could say. Each year before New Year’s, I scratch down some hopes with plans to accomplish it.

But with society going so loco, it would probably help to make some wise resolutions. For something like that I need to consult some loved ones who are no longer with us. So, here are words of wisdom from my dad, grandfather, and grandmother that I’m going to take into 2018 to live by.

“The oil is the life of a car,” Pappaw always quipped. He was a farmer and a mechanic, and taught me how to drive a stick and change the oil. This adage obviously has immediate practicality (your car will definitely never run again if you neglect it), but if you knew him, you knew this lesson was bigger. Pappaw mastered the pivotal moments in life that if ignored, brought huge consequences. He knew the best time to plow and plant and never wasted that time. Months later, we reaped a bounty of vegetables that filled our bellies. I think I need to make sure that in 2018, that I take care of those seemingly small, but deeply important moments: date nights with my wife, and fun outings with my kids, or whatever else that is pivotal but easy to miss in the daily chaos.

My dad was MacGyver before MacGyver, able to build or fabricate nearly anything. He constantly said, “If it can’t be done right, do it yourself.” From building decks to soldering pipe, he was never afraid to try doing something new. He’d study up, get the needed supplies, and give it a shot. If it didn’t work, he’d hit the drawing board again until it was perfect. This year, like so many in the past, I’m going the DIY way first. The excitement of learning something new and the personal pride that wells up when you see something your hands crafted beats anything you just hire out.

My Mammaw taught Sunday School nearly her entire life and the Bible she toted was a mere showpiece, for it seemed she had the whole thing memorized. “Scotty… in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths,” she would quote from Proverbs. It was either her favorite verse or her favorite verse for me, and I can still hear her voice inflection in every word.  Not trying to be preachy but I know my life always needs an anchor of faith, and it seems the world could use a good dose as well. So for this year, I’m making sure I’m consistent in saying my prayers and pausing once a week to remember how blessed I am. Goodness knows if we all did that, 2018 would be less of a circus.

By Scott Gill of Rockwall. Scott is a teacher, coach, and author of “Goliath Catfish.” Follow Scott’s blog at puptentpapa.blogspot.com and read his “Front Porch Ramblings” at BlueRibbonNews.com.

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