Well, once again, another year raced by too fast and furiously. As I get older, the wise old saying rings so very true: ďLife is like a roll of toilet paper. The more you use it, the faster it goes!Ē Okay, so it not wise, but you have to admit, it sure is true!

Itís been a rough year for many Americans. Will 2010 will be a year of economic recovery? I pray it will. Even if this does not materialize, Iíll try to reflect on the positive, reminding myself that compared to the majority of people in this world, we as a nation, enjoy many freedoms and abundance. Iíll remind myself that this freedom comes with a heavy price ó paid for by the brave men and women who have served in the current and past armed services.

As I reminisce over this past year, I have mixed emotions. The 2009 roller coaster ride felt at times like those older wooden roller coasters I remember riding in my younger years. The rattle shakes you up so much, you feel like you have to check for lost body parts! But alas there were the joys and Godís abundant blessings and of course, the ever present challenges. What remained constant was hope. Itís the gift we have the power to grant ourselves every day. The start of a new year gives us the opportunity for new beginnings.

Reflection also gives way to evaluating areas of our life where we need to make improvement or changes, to resolve to ďturn over a new leafĒ with habits, attitudes, and relationships. For some, itís about giving oneself the gift of peace Öreleasing the feelings of anger, resentment, and hurt towards others.

Letís not forget the humor. Laughing more than I presently do both at life and at myself is one of my own resolutions. If youíll join me in some humor, the following New Year humor will hopefully bring you a laugh, but Iíll settle for a smile.

A New Year Prayer for the Elderly:God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

New Yearís Day Prayer for One and All: Dear Lord, so far this year Iíve done well.

I havenít gossiped, I havenít lost my temper, I havenít been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent. Iím very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, Iím going to get out of bed, and from then on Iím probably going to need a lot more help.

As we make resolutions for the year ahead, seeking wisdom from others always helps. In my own quest, I found the following:

Recipe for a Happy New Year

Take twelve fine, full-grown months; see that these are thoroughly free from old memories of bitterness, rancor and hate, cleanse them completely from every clinging spite; pick off all specks of pettiness and littleness; in short, see that these months are freed from all the pastóhave them fresh and clean as when they first came from the great storehouse of Time. Cut these months into thirty or thirty-one equal parts. Do not attempt to make up the whole batch at one time) but prepare one day at a time.

Into each day put equal parts of faith, patience, courage, work, hope, fidelity, liberality, kindness, rest, prayer, meditation, and one well-selected resolution. Put in about one teaspoonful of good spirits, a dash of fun, a pinch of folly, a sprinkling of play, and a heaping cupful of good humor. Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness. Youíre bound to have a happy new year. Author Unknown

A New Yearís Prayer

Dear Lord, please give meÖ

A few friends who understand me and remain my friends;

A work to do which has real value, without which the world would be the poorer;

A mind unafraid to travel, even though the trail be not blazed;

An understanding heart; A sense of humor; Time for quiet, silent meditation;

A feeling of the presence of God; The patience to wait for the coming of these things,

With the wisdom to recognize them when they come. Amen. Author Unknown.

Finally, letís pray for the safety of our troops. God bless them and their families. I wish you abundant blessings in the New Year . . . good health, prosperity, joy, peace and more laughter!

Mary Garza Cummings is a free-lance writer. The Town Crier does not warrant the information as valid. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure validity of the information. If you have comments, email Mary at askseniorfocus@aol.com