“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” ~Benjamin Franklin
I am a quote girl. I find them inspiring and admire those who can succinctly capture the everyday truths of living with a few well-chosen words. I love this quote by that wonderful rascal Ben Franklin. This is the time of year when, like a rite of passage, many of us decide to start the new year with fresh, bold, intentions of changing something about ourselves. Every year I have the same tired intentions of losing weight, running a half-marathon, growing my nails, blah-blah-blah. Boring stuff. Been done to death. However, when I stumbled across this pithy quote from Franklin, I knew THIS was going to be my mantra for 2011. It simply covers it all in 22 words.
“Be always at war with your vices…”
My vices? They are many. Except for the fact that I quit smoking about 15 years ago, I still have most of the same vices that I’ve had since I can remember…well…having vices. You name ’em, I’ve got ’em. And yes Ben, I AM always at war with them. I want to change. Every year I swear I’m going to stop making inappropriate hand gestures to the people I share my morning commute with. Most of my New Year’s resolutions contain something about eliminating my obnoxious need to be right when arguing with my husband/daughter/friends/strangers I meet on the street. Whatever they are, and they are plentiful, I am going to do what Ben suggests. It’s a war on my own stinking vices for me.
” at peace with your neighbors…”
Aside from the miserable old lady who lives next to us, and whom I refuse to speak to (long story), I AM at peace with my neighbors. We borrow eggs and coffee and tinfoil from each other all the time. I think we all watch each others backs and try to be considerate of one other. There, that was easy. Well, I guess maybe I should consider making peace with that miserable old lady who lives next door. Maybe this won’t be so easy after all.
“and let each year find you a better man.”
Ah. This is the one that I need to focus on. It captures all that I want from myself this and every year. I simply want to live better. I want to be better. Better than that 2010 version of me that lost sight of my health too much and couldn’t figure out how to lose some damn weight. The 2010 version that sometimes wasn’t the best friend or wife or mother or teacher that I should have been. The 2010 version that paid a price for not keeping in touch with beloved friends and lost one of those friends in a horrific moment.The 2010 version that I swore on December 31, 2009 I was going to change. This time, I mean it. This time, I’m reaching deep. This time, I’m doing what Ben says.