Out of the Woods: Never too late to heed six words of sage advice for a new year

During the holidays, I separately asked my wife, daughter and sister what my New Year's resolution should be for 2015.

They all said the exact same words in the exact same order:

"Live one day at a time."

It wasn't exactly new advice from them, recalling that they have been a supportive, three-women cheering squad for many, many decades.

This time, however, at the mellow age of 85, I have decided to carry out their wish. But like the reporter who has been challenged by one of his toughest assignments, now I wonder, where do I go from here? I have been so busy, working and writing and researching and interviewing and reading and taping that I have always felt work, in and of itself, has brought me a sufficient amount of joy to fulfill the good life.

In other words, I have now learned to enjoy each day for the pleasure and experience of the journey far more than the material benefit of personal recognition that has come my way. Work is the engine that drives the intellect to new horizons and the body to limitless boundaries and the imagination to unthinkable concepts.

In a phrase, there are more brave new worlds out there awaiting us. We must catch up with them, with the help of wise men and women, and go for the gold.

The main challenge for Westport parents, I believe, is to restrain themselves from lavishing material comforts upon their children in the mistaken belief that this twisted form of bribery will bring undevoted affection from them. It would be much better if they drew lines in the sand and stuck to their guns. Then, their kids would learn something about values. In any case, if this sounds like taking a hard line, it is. It works.

Still, I will try and find more room for forgiveness, compassion, kindness and compromise in the year ahead.

It's never too late, do you think?

Woody Klein is a Westport writer, and his "Out of the Woods" appears every other Friday. He can be reached at wklein11@aol.com