Ch-ch-ch-changes... - Denese Rodgers

It is that time of the year again, for us to say farewell to Father Time and hello to Baby New Year.

I have had several things rolling around in my mind as we close out another Christmas and face the opportunities of another year.

In the world of social services, everything is gauged, measured and funded based on measureable outcomes. So, in essence, we're always focused on the planning, startup, execution, and measure of any project in which we are engaged. What did it take to do it? How much did it cost? What'd you get out of it?

But there's something that we overlook. The transition. More specifically, the value or the process of the transition. In yoga, those funky poses are called asanas. The whole of a yoga program consists of moving through a series of postures to relieve or reinvigorate your whole body.

One of the components that the instructors stress in developing your own exercise regimen is to focus just as much on the transition from one posture to another. When you concentrate as much on the movement from one point to another, you develop grace and balance, rather than having the appearance of a frog hopping between lillypads.

There is an inherent value or learning that is gained in the process of going from one state to another.

We do this to some extent with our New Year's Resolutions. When we make a resolution for something, we are simultaneously relinquishing something else. Choice, Decision, and Consequence.

If my resolution is to go on a diet (the number one, most-popular resolution), then, the decision is to forego yummy, unhealthy food, and the consequence is a smaller waistline.

In the transition, we develop personal discipline and, perhaps, a predilection for foods that are healthier. Even if you don't wind up as an aficionado of bean sprouts, having pants that fit may be the worthwhile payoff. You'll learn in that process what works for you and what does not.

The best way I can describe it is to think of the hair salon/barber shop. We go because we have to. Unless you whack it off at home with dog clippers, you have to go get someone else to do something to your head when it starts looking like the south bound end of a north bound mule.

That is the starting point. What they do in the middle is the transition. The shops that are popular are the ones that make that transition process a pleasant experience. The ending point is where you walk out feeling a little better about how you look.

For the most part, you won't really recall how you looked when you went in, and you won't be able to recreate the look they gave you, on the next day. But you will recall what you went through in the process of "gettin' 'er done."

This New Year's, I think I want to put more into what, and why, we celebrate, and less into the competition of what we spend or how late we stay up. Aw man, does that mean I'm growing up?

Denese Rodgers is executive director of Connecting Henry, a social-services, networking, community organization in Henry County.