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.