Go after 2014 with gusto

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It’s a new day, a new day and a New Year – 2014 has arrived, and with it the bright new promise of the future.

Last week, Covington County made news on two fronts – first, with the name of an Andalusia family’s newest addition spread like wildfire, and then, with the announcement of the closing of Florala Memorial Hospital.

First, let me say that I never in a million years expected that the name “Krimson Tyde Steele” would go viral when I posted birth announcements to the web Saturday. I bet when that mom submitted the information via our website, she never imagined the response she’d get either.

And as for the FMH closing, words can’t describe how saddened I was to hear the news. That hospital has been there for my family from stitching up sliced open fingers to saving my middle daughter from death from a collapsed lung.

Any time a city loses a health care option, it is a sad day.

While unconnected, the two events are the perfect illustration how when one story ends, another is often just beginning. It’s also the perfect illustration of what the New Year can mean to you and your family.

Today starts your future. I know that the upcoming year will hold many changes for my family because that is the nature of time. Every day we get older, and every day we have the opportunity to make our life – and the lives of our family – better.

Each year, we all make the same resolutions – to lose weight, to take a trip, to save more money and the like. This year, I would encourage you to aim higher. Don’t forget about those resolutions, of course, but think bigger. Do something to better your life.

Ever wanted to finish that degree? Do it.

Want to learn the salsa or the tango? Do it.

Become a painter. Be a volunteer. Do something to make you a better human being.

And if you need you need to lose some weight or quit smoking, by all means, go for it.

E.O. Wilson once said, “You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”

I plan to give 2014 all I can. I encourage you to do the same.