Jan 2, 2008

Broken Resolutions, Repentance, Fear, Faith

By Anna Laurene Arnett
(I know most of you don't know my middle name, but it's still mine. My maiden name is even more unique--Liljenquist, with the 'j' pronounced as a 'y'.)

This is only the second day of a new year, and I’ve already broken my No. 1 resolution. I should have followed Rene’s lead and set only one goal—to put the Kingdom of God first. Instead, I’ve been beset by a determination to bring more order into my life, and to keep the commandments found in D & C 88:124, especially the part that says, ‘retire to thy bed early’. I kept that pretty well during my younger years, but since I became an octogenarian, I’ve failed miserably. Oh, I retire early if you consider one or two or three o’clock in the morning as early. Maybe half a dozen or so times I’ve actually not gone to bed all night, which is utter stupidity. I’ve often gone for weeks averaging four or five hours sleep per night. How dumb can one get?

So, taking a cue from Benjamin Franklin, I determined this year to work on one fault at a time until doing it right becomes habitual. My first concern is go to bed by around ten every night, and get up by six.

Before even getting this goal down in writing, on New Years Eve I found myself at two in the morning trying to catch up on my email. Even so, I still awoke at six, saying, ‘tonight, I’ll retire on time’. And I almost did. By ten I donned my nightgown, and headed for bed. Before dropping to my knees, I remembered I had not reported my writing and editing time for the day, and opened the e-mail. I had 27 unread messages! I simply had to read them first. Forgetting all about time, I even checked a couple or three of the personal blogsites I’d missed. After finally posting my report, I remembered I’d planned to read daily in scriptures other than the BofM, so read in Matthew and the Ensign. I retired two hours late! Worse still, I slept until nine this morning!

Is there any hope for me? Because I’d re-read Elder Quentin L. Cook’s conference talk on living by faith instead of fear, I decided not to give up. I remember as a child quoting a jingle, ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Besides, what’s so special about New Years Day? Isn’t every day of our life new to us? Isn’t every breath we take in essence a new beginning? So go ahead, Anna. Post this. Yes, it’s already past noon, but there’s always another chance to be early, or at least on time.

So I say to all (but especially to me) never give up on worthwhile projects. Fear not, but learn from both failure and success. Hang in there, keep writing, keep smiling, and have a prolific, profitable, peaceful, productive, proficient, persistent, and almost perfectly Happy New Year.


  1. I think I needed the encouragement. I too failed first day out on my resolution. But I'll stand up, shake myself off and try again.

  2. I loved your blog!!! I'm with you about staying up too late. Last night I didn't make it upstairs until after 2am. I'll try harder. Thanks, christine

  3. YOu've got a lot on the burner, Anna. I admire your spunk - and completely reasonable logic. Looking forward to more pearls in '08, Rene

  4. Anna, I love you! I love reading your words of wisdom, your wit, and your "realness." I admire your ability to bring light to everything and everyone.

    I didn't keep my resolution either...and I am going to try to keep moving forward. Starting a hour ago...I am sugar free...again. lol...and I will keep trying. Especially since I have discovered that sugar seems to be a big culprit in managing/not managing my depression and physical pain. Imagine that!Since I choose to be pain free and enjoy a positive outlook, then I choose to take into my body only the things that will help me get there. Hmmm, more info than you wanted, I am sure..but now that I have said it publicly...perhaps I'll feel more obligated to follow through.

  5. Kari, you ought to get with my youngest daughter, Karlene Blair. She's big on cutting out manufactured sugar, etc. She's working on a cookbook for tasty, nutritious meals, and almost makes me a believer. My trouble is I've been blessed with great enough genes that I have to hurt really bad before I notice it. I am seldom ill, and can get away with more than is good for me. I do agree we're a product of our thought, our action, and our eating, and we really ought to use our agency to choose the best of these, so as to get what we want because we deserve it. Might even give us more time and energy to serve better.

  6. "Retiring to bed earlier" was one of my resolutions, too, but I haven't been to bed before midnight (or 1 AM or 2 AM) since New Year's Day, and here I am, just beginning to check out the ANWA blog at 10:30 PM, and I still have to do the dishes, and clean the kitty boxes, and I *have* to read something before I go to bed, because that's one of my resolutions, too! What's a late night, procrastinating night owl to do?

  7. Oh, Anna, I'm with you. I am an owl who has been forced into larkdom. No matter how late I stay up, seminary is there, forcing me up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning is my salvation.


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