Well, I'm ringing out the old year somewhat under the weather. My nose is running like Niagara Falls. I have a concussion from the sneezing. My body aches all over, my head is pounding and even my eyes hurt! This was not exactly how I wanted to spend my time off. Nor is it the way I would like to be ringing in the New Year. Oh well; such is life. All I can hope for is that this is not an omen of things to come in 2010. Needless to say, seeing 2009 fall by the wayside won't be that hard to do. Not that it was a difficult year, (I've had worse), but, when evaluating the past 365 days, I can see room for improvement.
From a health standpoint, now that I have hit the big Five-O, I have to pay closer attention to my diet. Diet meaning more along the lines of what and how much I am eating as opposed to going on a diet. Diet's are good for some, I suppose, but if you want to constantly fail, I wouldn't recommend it. Especially for me. For one, I like to cook. And two, I like to eat what I cook. Part of the problem this past year has been injuries to my old body which has slowed my recovery period. I usually play sports all year long. Pick a season and I will tell you the sport. And this past year, I have added bike trekking to the list. And when I am injured and can't get out there doing what keeps the flab off, well let's just say, it ain't pretty. When I look down at my feet, I can still see my toes........barely. I'm still a couple of weeks away from my knee injury to completely heal and then, with any luck, I can get back out and play the rest of my hockey season. Fingers crossed!
Another way I wanted to make a change for 2010 was in donating to worthy causes. One in my backyard and one in somebody else's.....so to speak. On Christmas morning, while sitting back having my coffee, there was a program put on by The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. With every gut-wrenching story, my heart went on a roller coaster ride which did not always end happily. To say that I had leaky eyes would have been an understatement extraordinaire. Recognizing that every little bit helps, I made a monthly pledge that, based on what I heard, would help to generate enough money to continue to further the research in children's illnesses and find the cures or at best, assist in the treatment. I have no doubt that if you saw the little one's that I saw, your heart would melt too!
Now, earlier this year while I was getting ready for work, I was watching one of those Breakfast Television shows that we all have. My favourite is Breakfast Television which broadcasts out of Toronto. The upbeat atmosphere of this particular morning crew always ensures that I leave for work in good spirits. Earlier this year, Jennifer Valentyne, who does the Live Eye segment of the show, traveled to Rwanda with The Courage Brothers and World Vision to witness some to the water projects that this group has devoted part of their life to. Tomorrow, at 2pm sharp, they will be conducting their Polar Bear Dip 2010. You can read up on it here. Needless to say, it is a chilly affair, well worth the cause and generates money for creating clean water for those communities that so desperately need it. This is one of the options that I am thinking about.
A second option is to sponsor a child from one of these countries in need. Hopefully, whereby the money is more focused on the individual child. Decisions, decisions.
Okay, before I go any further, I need to say this. As a general and personal rule when it comes to charities and donations, I never and I mean ever divulge any of my actions or intentions. The reason being is that I think broadcasting it takes away a certain part of the action itself. To me it should be selfless and humble. But I think, once in a Blue Moon, if you tell people what you are doing, it may generate some action within them as well. If possible that is. Dropping money into somebody's hand is a different matter because to me, it helps an individual with a face immediately. What they choose to do with that money, I have no control over. Money handed over to the likes of World Vision where they seek out the best possible way to spend and distribute that money well, I will leave that up to their expertise. Personally, I used to hate such organizations because the feedback coming back was that executives were lining their pockets with the donations. Or, that corruption within those countries in need was always front page news and didn't seem worthy. Now my thoughts have changed based on the hands on actions such as The Courage Brothers and Jennifer Valentyne.
I took a bit of a pause here because I did make up my mind and chose to do both. Tomorrow, I will donate to the Polar Bear Dip. I'm not that brave (or stupid) to plunge into freezing cold water (not intentionally at any rate). Let's face it, my heart would probably stop. What I did just finish doing was to sponsor a child. Her name is Fatimata, she is six years old and comes from Mauritania. I'm supposed to receive an information package withing the next couple of weeks and will post more information and possibly a photo of her. I know you will love her. She's a cutie.
So, where am I going with all of this. A new year is upon us. Everyday we have our own personal struggles that life tries to trip us up with. But, compared to some others, we live a life that is fairly safe and somewhat secure. It's pretty safe to say that we do not expect to be overrun by a bunch of fanatics hellbent on trying to murder us in your sleep. And it's also pretty safe to say that if you are thirsty, all you have to do is to turn the tap on in your kitchen and fill a glass of fresh clean water without any side effects. For literally the price of a coffee a day, we as individuals, can make quite a difference in a child's life either in our own backyard or the backyard of one of our World communities. Open up an atlas, close your eyes, and randomly pick spot and I am pretty sure that somebody there could use your help. On the World Vision web page I was on, there were another 2011 names waiting for a heart like yours.
So, as I sniffle my way out of this year, I would like to convey the very best wishes of a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all of my Blogger Friends and their families out there. I know that in some cases life has presented many obstacles for you. It tested your patience, your understanding, compassion and empathy. But you survived the year so don't lose focus on the pluses. Remember every time you needed to go to the well, “just one more time” and remember not just the journey but the experience. It may come in handy some time soon if not for yourself, then maybe for one of your neighbours.
I will leave you with this little poem by William Arthur Ward:
“Another fresh new year is here...
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt and fear,
To love and laugh and give!
This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest...
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!
I have the opportunity
Once more to write some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”
Happy New Year Everybody