New Year, new choice

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Gary Tetz
Gary Tetz

People have wondered if I was awake to welcome the New Year.  I think it's another way to find out if I'm old, like one of those trick long-term care job interview questions that would be illegal if you asked it directly.

Let's say I'm applying for your facility marketing director position. “Now, Gary,” you would state with believable passion and vehemence, “as a company, we are committed to leveraging the talents of men and women of all ages. In fact, we couldn't care less how old you are if you have the necessary skills, which you obviously do. By the way, did you say you saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium?”

See how that works? From there it's just simple math, and you can probably do it in your head. You won't get fined, and I won't get the job. We both won't get something. That sounds like a win-win to me.

So anyway, here we are in 2015.  And, yes, I was awake to see it arrive. I'd actually gone to bed at 9:22 p.m. but was startled out of unconsciousness by celebratory explosions outside my apartment door. So though bleary-eyed and resentful, I still shook the New Year's hand and suggested we spend some quality time together real soon.

I always get apprehensive at the start of a new year, and this one reminded me of walking into Disney's Haunted Mansion as a child. Nervous, wide-eyed, not knowing what to expect, fearing the worst — and that was just when I woke up last Thursday morning. I have no idea how I felt at Disneyland. I was 5, for goodness sake. That's more than 20 years ago.

I may be a slow learner, but this January 1, life suddenly seemed a lot clearer. It turns out a new year isn't something that happens to us, like we're corks helplessly bobbing down the Futaleafu River. Sure, events and situations will present themselves, sometimes unbidden and unwelcome. But it's still up to us how we respond.

With our staff, our families and within ourselves, will we be a voice of optimism or cynicism? Afraid or energized? Compassionate or confrontational? A persevering friend or a tireless foe? 

No matter what happens, we get to choose. Who knew?

Things I Think is written by Gary Tetz, a national Silver Medalist and regional Gold Medal winner in Humor Writing in the 2014 Association of Business Press Editors (ASBPE) awards program. He has amused, informed and sometimes befuddled long-term care readers worldwide since his debut with the former at the end of a previous century. He is a multimedia consultant for Consonus Healthcare Services in Portland, OR.

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Things I Think

Things I Think is written by longtime industry columnist Gary Tetz, who resides in Portland, OR. Since his debut with at the end of a previous century, he has continued to amuse, inform and sometimes befuddle long-term care readers worldwide.