Cowgirl Sass & Savvy: Change what you can

Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.

Julie Carter

A wise old fellow once told me that in all his 90-some years, he had seen many changes come and go but that there were some things that never changed.

“The way the sun rises and the way the sun sets. That has not changed one bit,” he told me.

In reality, the dawning of a new year is nothing more than turning the page on the calendar, just like you did last month, and the month before that. And yet for so many, it seems to bring hope, a promise of change and brighter days ahead.

New beginnings can be a million different things to as many people. From elections to promotions, destitution to diamonds, failure to success and sad to happy, the hope in a better tomorrow, a better next month and a better ending than the beginning, lightens the load of each day.

In arriving at a place of anticipation for new beginnings, we first had to come through some valleys. The proverbial wilderness wandering is a part of life for those with human tendencies.

I believe we can decide to be tired of wandering, stand up and be counted when new beginnings are passed around. It takes making the decision to be at the front of the line.

We live in a world long past understanding what is fundamentally important in life. Gone are the days when people worked back-breaking hard to just survive and didn’t have time to fuss over things that had no value in the survival scheme. They went to bed tired and woke in the morning thinking they were blessed.

Human nature today is to expect much and offer little until one of life’s realities hits us upside the head. Disasters have a way of leveling the playing field.

Fires, flood, blizzards and more have rolled over civilization with no regard to rank or social standing. We’ve seen that happen repeatedly in the past year.

This country and its people are being tested, one test at a time. We are being put in a place to choose between fluff and value. The ability to do that is buried somewhere deep within each of us.

We are two generations away from any learned survival skills for the really tough stuff. Our hardest decisions usually revolve around satellite or cable, iPhone or Android, butter or margarine, and finding the gas station with the cheapest fuel.

It is said that the three essentials for happiness are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.

As a society, we stay too busy for our own good and we frantically grasp at something or someone to love. We hang our hats on the tomorrows we haven’t yet lived and in those, we have great hope for all things improved.

There will be, God willing, a New Year that brings with it a resurgence of hope and resolutions for doing better.

I guess my question is — why do we wait for a future date on the calendar to be better to ourselves and to others?

Let us not forget that tomorrow is never promised.

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.comVisit her website at




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