Source: Sherman Publications

Second Opinion - Word for the Year

January 04, 2012

By Olivia Shumaker

2012 has quickly snuck up on us after the fun and hectic days of gift giving. So, now that the celebrations have passed, are you going to be one of those people who makes a New Year’s resolution and proceeds to break it less than one week later?

This year, let’s avoid those pesky resolutions, and since we are all about words here, let’s try to start the year with a new challenge. Instead of resolutions, ponder this, Lake Orion: what word will you choose to define yourself and your 2012?

Now, I’m a girl who loves words. I read when I can because I enjoy seeing how other people use words to make their point, I write on my own time because I enjoy playing with words and how arranging them in different ways changes their overall meaning. I landed this little gig here at The Review because I have a grand old time crafting words. Words mean a lot to me, and while there are quite a few words that could adequately describe what I want 2012 to be, the word I have chosen to define my new year is fairly simple: hope.

I hope that the cost of supporting a healthy downtown won’t be too much for Lake Orion. 2011 brought us the StreetScape project that left many of our beloved downtown businesses struggling.

I hope, in the new year, for our downtown, for all of Lake Orion, to be aesthetically pleasing and economically healthy, so that we don’t have to lose some of our favorite stores or restaurants—and the people who work in them—to more bad have to lose some of our favorite stores or restaurants—and the people who work in them—to more bad times.

I hope, along a similar vein, that the economy will look a little more kindly on our town and state in the coming days. We all know how long and hard the recession has been, and with Michigan’s unemployment drop in November listed as the highest of any state, there may now be a light at the end of the figurative tunnel we can look to. In 2012 I hope that less Lake Orion families, fewer families everywhere, will have to experience the pain and struggle of unemployment.

I hope that in the future we can save more lives from the tragedy of suicide. Too many families have attended funerals this year because of suicides, too many siblings and friends have been left mourning for the loss of a brother, sister, or peer. I hope that in the coming year we can save families from that kind of pain. I hope that in the New Year, and for many years after, we can take some time and appreciate one another and be there for each other.

I hope that Lake Orion Schools will continue to take assertive steps against bullying. I know, through the torment that my brother previously endured, how painful bullying can be. I also know, through my brother’s successes in school, athletics, and other aspects of life, how rewarding it is when a bullying victim can persevere, and come out strong. So I hope that, in 2012, more students can see that bullying will end, and that there are people out there who will appreciate them for who they are.

On a personal note…

I hope for sprinklers in the Lake Orion High School Sculpture Garden. After the endless hours of work I have put into that patch of soil, I want to be able to leave Lake Orion High School having left my mark in a permanent sort of way. I hope that I can leave Lake Orion with the promise of not having to still be watering the sculpture garden when I am 80 years old.

I hope that, with all of the colleges sending me propaganda, that I will find one that truly leaps out at me, the one that feels right, the one that immediately says “You belong here!” Then I hope that they, in turn, invite me to come, and while they’re at it, I hope they give me a little scholarship money to help me make it that far.

I hope that in the New Year I can survive three Advanced Placement courses at once. Please pray for me.

So, Lake Orion, I hope that you skip the resolutions. Take a minute and find a word that will help you define your New Year.

And I hope that your word can help you stay happy, healthy and safe in 2012.