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How do you want to drink your lemonade this year?

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L’Shana (secular) Tova, Oy! readers!  I have the distinguished honor of posting the very first Oy! blog post of the year. I have the tough task of bringing the first bit of inspiration in 2011. We know all too well that these late December/early January blog posts are chock full of retrospective glances at the past year and optimistic views of the year to come.  Let’s not mention all the good advice on how to set goals, make resolutions, and work off those greasy latkes you ate over Hanukkah.

I’ll do my best to deliver, but I’m sad to say that I am sitting here basking in the glow of the recently dropped ball in Times Square, realizing that 2011 doesn’t seem to bring us a whole lot of excitement.  There’s no election, no Olympics, and it’s not even a leap year.   The all new season of the Bachelor is kicking off, starring the all old bachelor Brad Womack.  Oh, and 117 million men were simultaneously left broken hearted last week when Natalie Portman announced that she was pregnant and engaged!

Meanwhile, the great economic recovery that was supposed to happen in 2010, well, no one’s sure if that even happened.  Many are even less sure that it’s going to happen this year.  Unemployment is high, prices are low, and inflation is flat.  The State of Illinois is hopelessly broke and facing an insurmountable budget gap.  Tensions in Korea have started again, the war in Afghanistan continues, and the conflict in the Middle East, Iraq, and Iran may never end.

Oh man, 2011 could really be a sour year for a lot of people.

This reminds me of an old saying that says, “When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.”  At the same time, I believe there is an even older saying that says, “When life gives you a lemon, just suck it up!”   The Vitamin C will do you good.  I wonder if there is a version that talks about spitting the lemon right back in life’s face!

I’m here to tell you folks that “things” might not be getting better in 2011, so it’s up to you to decide what YOU are going to do about it.  Charles Swindoll said, that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.  Attitude isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

So keep it simple Oy! readers, don’t worry about what you are going to do this year.  Worry even less about what everyone else is going to do.  If you must make a resolution, make a resolution to accept life as it happens.  You can spend your year trying to figure out if that was good or bad, or you can accept that maybe it just was— period.  Don’t allow yourself to be paralyzed and unable to move forward this year because you might make the wrong decision, a bad choice, or waste time.  I know personally, in the past I have been stuck in the mud because I knew that hindsight was 20/20.  I couldn’t bear the thought of looking back on all the things I would have, could have, and should have done, so I stood frozen and did nothing at all.  I have come to realize though, that unless you are flying a fighter jet, you don’t really need perfect vision to make the most of your life.

Oy! readers, let’s just embrace the next 365 days for the wonderful blog post they will become 12 months from now.  Make some lemonade, suck on a lemon or two, or just spit it out.

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