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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Focus on what’s important in 2013

I’m not sure why — maybe Christmas travel, holiday indifference or just absentmindedness — but 2013 snuck up on me.

Some of my tardiness can probably be attributed to the fact that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost my tolerance for making resolutions. I’m not sure what specifically triggered the change but I’m of the opinion now that if I want to improve something in my life, why would I wait until the first of the year to do it? When I was younger and would ring in the new year with a pledge to be a better person in some way, I, like so many others, failed miserably to make them stick. Come to think of it, that might be the exact reason I stopped. 

After all, nothing reeks of absolute failure quite like the resolution to lose weight only to somehow pack on the pounds during the first few months of the new year. I mean who among us haven’t tried the “I’m going to hit the gym every day of the week” resolution? I know I have and I should have known that I would fail from the get-go. If going to the gym equalled driving past the gym on my way to somewhere else, then I did indeed accomplish my resolution.

I, too, have tried the “I’m going to read a book a month this year” resolution. That, once again, was a complete failure, unless you count the times I looked at a book on my way to picking up my iPad, iPhone or any number of electronic devices to keep myself entertained. 

I just don’t do resolutions. 

That being said, I thought maybe this would be the year I should think about changing certain aspects of my life.

I spent Christmas in Auburn, Calif., with my wife and kids, who were there from Rapid City, S.D., and my in-laws. The following weekend I spent with my parents in Fruitland, Idaho, and both visits reminded me that the value of my life — really anyone’s life — should be defined by the connections made with family and friends. Being reunited with my family was the best present I could have received. It was a great way to put a cap on 2012.

However, like the saying goes, “All good things must end.” That always means vacations, as well. Work, bills and responsibility always beckon and this was no different. 

But I hope to use the experience of my holiday excursions to help me focus on what’s important in 2013.

No, I’m not going to make any resolutions to save money or lose weight; instead, I’d like to begin to make the personal and professional connections here in La Grande, so I can build a place for myself and my family that feels closer to home here in Oregon. It is those types of connections, in my opinion, that make life worth living no matter where you are.

That’s what I’m shooting for in 2013 and I hope our readers and subscribers also find what makes them happy most in the new year.

Andrew Cutler is the managing editor of the La Grande Observer. He can be contacted t This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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