By Norma J. Kirkpatrick

Guest Columnist

Do you ever wish you could start all over again?  I hear people say they want a “do over.”
There is always hope in another chance or in the opportunity to get it right with just one more try. The first verse of a well-known poem expresses it well. “I wish that there were some wonderful place called the Land of Beginning Again, where all our mistakes and all our heartaches could be dropped like a shabby old coat at the door, and never put on again.”
Here it is already: another New Year. Some of us resolve to improve and change our lives; determined to drop our weaknesses and imperfections at the front door of 2015, never to put them on again. Some folks keep their resolutions a secret because they are pretty sure they won’t keep them. Some people don’t make resolutions for the same reason.
It is interesting how well we know who we are and the things we could do to improve our life, our health and our relationships. We see the uphill path ahead leading to the future; it is always a steep incline.
We have no respect for things that are too easy and don’t see them as a goal, because we are there already. Effort, focus and self-discipline lead us to the place we want to be. And who shall be the untiring task master?  The toughest boss we will ever have while working toward worthwhile goals is ourself. Wishing and longing are not fulfilling and only lead to dissatisfaction with one’s self.
There are lots of opportunities for “do overs,” but it is easier to get it right the first time, which we seldom do. We will never be perfect in this life; and neither will anyone else.  That puts us all on equal footing.  But, there is something we can all be – and that is “better.”
Keep your eyes off of that shabby old coat at the door; it doesn’t fit you anymore. You have a new coat and look better already. Actually, you are better, and you are getting better, because you are trying to reach the reasonable goals you have set for yourself.  Determine daily to continue up the path to where you want to be.  Soon you will discover you are in the “Land of Beginning Again.” It is not a place, or a reward, but a process. The best thing about the journey on the path is that as long as people exist, you will never want for company on the way. Remember, if they can do it, so can you.
Kirkpatrick is a guest columnist for the “Opelika Observer.”