The New You

I knew a girl just after I got out of college who was dating a buddy of mine. She was about 20 or 30 pounds heavier than she probably should have been, according to all those medical associations that know those things, but she had a spirit that was undeniable. She lived life to its fullest but in the end she was too much for my friend to handle. Her giving ways left him feeling ignored, but she soon hooked up with another fellow who was a lot like her. He too was a bit heavy and wore thick glasses, but what a power couple they became. I recall them coming to my apartment right before Christmas with a van full of people, and they drove us down to the local hunger center, where we fixed sandwiches and soups for the homeless. On another winter evening, they asked a few of us to come along and bring sandwiches rolled up in blankets that we gave to street people, huddling in doorways against the weather. When friends got married, she made them huge scrapbooks, chronologies of their lives. They married, and often their cars didn’t start and they lost their keys or misplaced her purse, but they laughed and loved and lived and cried in a way that made me so envious. She was always finding the most unique restaurants and places of interest, and as the years passed, they had kids who were well-adjusted and happy people.

In short, they were beautiful people that I always wanted to be around. They made the world a better place wherever they went, and he fed off her energy like an addict. They could always “spin” a story to the good side. When I hear people complain about the crow’s-feet near their eyes (laugh lines), or the belly fat they have to lose (wife is a good cook), or the cost of college (improving their children), I really value these friends who always see life in a positive way. Their inner beauty outdoes the importance of physical attributes in a way that makes them a “model” with which the Sports Illustrated swimsuit girls could never compete.

Let’s look at 2007 as an opportunity to do something different instead of committing the same mistakes and falling into the same pitfalls. Be firm with yourself and decide that you will give people more of your time. Find ways to be generous with your heart and soul. Let your inner light shine and start to feel good about the daily contribution you make. I bet you any money your body will make physical adjustments based on how good you feel about yourself that would make Jack LaLane proud.

Ron Ciancuttiis the Purchasing Manager for Cleveland Metroparks. He can be reached via e-mail at

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