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The courage to dream

POSTED January 6, 2010 12:01 a.m.
Turlock is not starting out 2010 in the way that I had hoped. In fact, after reading Journal reporter Sabra Stafford’s article on the mini-crime spree that rang in the new year and reading the police call log for the past weekend, I’m thinking about moving.
Just kidding, I have become far too attached to my adopted hometown to consider relocation. But the multiple assaults, arsons and auto thefts that seemed to crop up as soon as the clock struck midnight on Jan. 1, are not the best harbinger of things to come.
I guess it was Pollyanna of me to think that area criminals would view the coming of a brand new year as a time to reflect on past mistakes and take steps to be a better person in the future.
It seems to work for the rest of us.
Haven’t you noticed that special aura of energy that surrounds the vast majority of people recently? It’s not because everyone is finishing off the last of their New Year’s Eve liquor. I have found that come the beginning of January every year, optimism is in high supply. In fact, for a very short period of time, almost everybody is convinced the future is bright. Tomorrow is another day. The sun will come out tomorrow and, well, every other glass-is-half-full pop culture saying you can think of.
I am not immune to this optimistic delirium. I have already planned out four vacations for the coming year and decided that every room in my house needs a paint job. I have been collecting paint color samples and have designated a specific month for each room to be completed. Ha! As if I could possibly keep to this schedule. Even as I plan out my home improvement work days I know deep down that the chance of my following through are about a million in one.
Don’t get me wrong. I am perfectly capable of setting a goal and then attaining it. It’s just that in January I seem to forget about my busy life — my commitments at work, home, church and to my service club — and attempt to fill my time with new and exciting pursuits.
Yes, I am one of those who have a closet full of past January dreams. I have a yoga mat, sewing machine and bee keeper’s gear collecting dust and waiting for me to fulfill my prior new year’s goals.
But, while many — OK, most — of my January resolutions and plans don’t come to fruition, I still make them year after year. Because every new year I see potential for change and improvement. I see the path for a new beginning and have the courage to step forward.
Maybe that is the difference between the criminals and trouble makers and the rest of us. We have the courage to see ourselves as better people.
Who knows, maybe if we tell everyone we see that they, too, have the power to dream of a better future at least one less person will decide to steal a car. And that car could be mine or yours.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.

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