NORMAN — The first full week in January always seems like its make or break time for those resolutions.
So, to combat failure, this year I decided to not make formal resolutions. Instead, I’ve decided to just become a better version of myself.
I didn’t want to pinpoint anything specific and get all bogged down with one area when, quite frankly, there are several areas of myself that could use a good tweaking.
I’ll admit that running through the grocery store the other day, I slowed down to a snail’s pace when I saw the big bag of lady fingers. They looked so good. They were on sale, too. And, did I mention that the bag was big? But, no, I was there for specific things and not junk food.
Even though the thought came through my head that I could share these massive amounts of calories with the massive amount of family I’ll have at my house for a late Christmas celebration.
I shook my head, realized those lady fingers had no possibility of making it another week in my house before company comes, and I moved on.
This yearlong project extends farther than the scale or the grocery store.
It hit me the other night that sometimes the little things are all you really need or want. Things you don’t really think about on a daily basis, until they are gone. When this reality sank in, I was in a meeting at the Moore City Council chambers concerning grant money that the city had acquired.
Residents were asked to voice their opinions on how a $26.3 million grant should be spent in efforts to recover the city.
The opinions were very few, but those who spoke mentioned the simple things: sidewalks, repairing roads that weren’t damaged by the tornado but have seen better days since large construction trucks have frequented the hardest hit areas.
Another resident asked for assistance to help complete houses, his included, that would be sustainable following a disaster such as that of May 20.
His home, although experimental, is made of concrete and will be equipped with solar panels and would have its own water supply. Simple things that, in the event of another disaster, would keep him and his family afloat, at least temporarily.
A few nights later, I realized as I was driving through a neighborhood hit by the Moore tornado that although some people have somewhat recovered or have began the phases of recovery, others are still struggling.
It’s nice to see the construction. It’s nice to see the resiliency of my neighbors.
But some of them are still having a hard time grasping that, indeed, their lives got picked up and tossed around in only a few minutes.
A friend of mine told me that even though she has a new home, she lacks closure and said everything is still a blur — almost eight months later.
So, I’ve resigned myself that while I’m in the grocery store, not buying lady fingers mind you, that I’ll make more of an effort to smile, look other customers in the eye and go above and beyond being nice.
The one thing about this tornado business is that very few people walk around with a shirt that proclaims they are a May 20 survivor.
I’ll never know if the checkout clerk lost everything. I’ll never know if the lady who cut in front of me in line dreams of having a new sidewalk in front of her rebuilt home.
All I know is that I can smile. I can make polite conversation. I can open a door or even offer to let someone officially cut in line in front of me at the grocery store.
Who knows? It’s quite possible that a small gesture is the only thing keeping that person together at that moment.
It’s not a huge change. And I’ll admit that it won’t be very difficult to be nice. But it’s a change. It’s a movement toward a better person — a person who is determined to be a better version of herself, and not go back to the grocery store for those lady fingers.
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