Charlie Brown’s New Year :: Rules for a Better Life and a Fat Dog

Charlie Brown New Year

I regularly tow the fine line between being the optimist and the realist. I haven’t taken a personality test in ages, I don’t know what Enneagram I am (I don’t even know how to pronounce the word- gasp!), and don’t ask me to characterize myself on the Myers-Briggs scale. It’s not that I don’t want to know how I am characterized in all of those ways or am blindly turning an eye away from my own weaknesses. It’s more that I tend to feel contained by those assignments of type without an opportunity to grow, change, or evolve. 

Reflecting on 2020 made me realize the growth I have conquered, we have conquered, as a mother, wife, sister, friend, business leader, and community member. Twenty-twenty required growth and I feel as though I met the challenges while stumbling through grace to do so. We started watching all of the Charlie Brown specials with our 18 month old this past holiday season, and in Charlie Brown’s New Year Special, Charlie says it best about new year resolutions: 

Patricia “Peppermint Patty” Reichardt: It’s been a great year, Chuck. You’ll have to admit that. What you do think, Chuck, would be good rules for living in the new year?

Charlie Brown: Keep the ball low, don’t leave your crayons in the sun, use dental floss every day, don’t spill the shoe polish, always knock before entering, don’t let the ants get in the sugar, never volunteer to be a program chairman, always get your first serve in, and feed your dog whenever he’s hungry.

Patricia “Peppermint Patty” Reichardt: Will those rules give me a better life, Chuck?

Charlie Brown: The better life, and a fat dog.

What I love about Charlie Brown’s response is how simple it is. How often do we overthink and analyze for our resolutions (no matter what time of the year they come at)? Taking a note from Charlie Brown, I came up with some simple rules of my own for a better life and a fat dog: 

  1. Know when to push yourself 
  2. Know when to give yourself grace 
  3. Have the wisdom to know the difference between the two 
  4. Let a toddler feed your dog

I look forward to a year full of grace and a fat dog in 2021.


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