Everyone keeps asking if I’ve kept my New Year’s resolutions.

I have only one thing to say on that topic: “No comment.”

Besides, haven’t you heard?

Resolutions are yesterday. Today is all about writing a Purpose Statement.

This statement should outline what you want your life to look like, what goals you have, and how you intend to reach those goals.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Of course, there’s a down side.

Most of us have no idea what we want out of life much less how to get there.

Not to fear. Proponents of the Purpose Statement have suggestions on how to figure this out.

They suggest you write your own epitaph–ask yourself what you want people to say about you after you’re dead. Imagine someone giving the eulogy at your funeral.


First, imagining my funeral seems more than a little creepy, OK?

This summer I had to face the possibility that I might meet my demise a few years earlier than I had hoped due to a cancer diagnosis.

Fortunately, things turned out okay and I’ll probably be kickin’, screamin’ and harassing county commissioners until I’m 100, but for a time, I had a lot to think about.

And think, I did.

Mostly, I decided that if my time was limited, I wanted to make a difference, to do something that had lasting, positive impact on the world.

That’s pretty general. I mean, I’m not a doctor. I’m not going to cure cancer or any other disease. Doubt I’ll ever write a deeply profound novel, my attention span isn’t that long.

Making a difference seems pretty broad for us normal folks. For now, I’ve determined to be a better a person. To be a little nicer. To help others when I get the opportunity.

I remember a movie with Richard Dreyfus. His character, a high school music teacher, wants to write a great musical composition, known as an opus. (Not being musical I have no clue what an opus is, but I’m sure it’s BIG and IMPORTANT).

As Mr. Holland grew older, he became depressed that he had never met this goal. Then one of his students told him, “Mr. Holland, we’re your opus.”

The teacher had impacted many students lives–some in small ways, some in large ways. Just by living his everyday, ordinary life, caring about others, and doing his job well, he had made a tremendous difference in the world–one person at a time.

We all have those opportunities.

Still, wouldn’t we all like to do more, be more?

Apparently a Purpose Statement is how to get there.

But back to my funeral.

I have this theory about that.

I will be dead.

Who cares what people say about me?

What is more important to me today is that I’ve learned whose opinions matter to me NOW, while I’m alive.

I’ve been called a lot of things, many of which I cannot put into print in a family newspaper.

Those with more tact have called me: eccentric, assertive, gregarious, curious, and determined.

Those with less tact have called me: weird, aggressive, big-mouthed, nosey, and stubborn.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Anyway, if my critics would just answer my questions before deadline, I’d be easy to get along with!

As far as my personal life... well, I’m learning to soften those traits up a bit. Give myself and others a break.

So, lacking the willingness to imagine my own funeral, I am left floating, apparently purposeless, through the universe.

And maybe, that’s OK for me today.

I do know how I want to live TODAY.

Just for today, I would like to be the best newspaper reporter, mother, grandmother, and friend I can be.

Just for today, I would like to live my life based on integrity and spiritual principles.

Just for today, I would like to overcome a few of my less admirable character traits.

Just for today, I would like to create good memories that leave no regrets for things done or undone.

Just for today, I would like to be a blessing in someone’s life, to live a little better than I did yesterday, and to forgive myself and others for our shortcomings.

Right now, I don’t have a lot of long-term goals. I figure, those doors will open when the time is right.

Who knows? Maybe someday, they’ll compile my columns into a book that will have world-changing impact on countless lives!

Maybe not.

And just for today, that’s OK.