Jan. 1 not only brings a new year, it generally brings new year’s resolutions.
My resolution is to be more forgiving where my resolutions are concerned. By the third week in January my new year’s resolutions have all but disappeared.
What is a resolution? Webster’s Dictionary states it is “the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. or the act of resolving something.”
In years gone by, I have resolved to lose weight. I weighed more than 9 pounds when I was born, and I never did fit into a size-4 anything. One element that has added to this problem is that I love to bake bread; and there is an unwritten rule that hot, homemade bread has to be eaten with melting butter, right? Actually, I just love to cook from scratch.
There have been other years that I have resolved to clean all my closets, glean and burn receipts that are 15 years old, decide which of my kids’ kindergarten drawings to keep, sort out the clothes I haven’t worn in five years and give them to charity, and neatly color coordinate the clothes I keep.
About an hour into this effort, I find myself reading the cute little cards my kids gave me, griping about how much more costly electricity is now, and keeping the “cute” clothes I wore 20 years ago. Yes, I have clothes that are 20 years old.
I often take time to reflect on how I spend my time, another resolution. This generally happens during one of our winter snowstorms when we are snowed in. I browse through my address book and decide I haven’t called or written some of my old acquaintances and promise myself to make it a regular routine to get in touch during the coming year.
I write a few letters that same day, then as soon as the roads are plowed and I get back into the routine of life, this, too, falls by the wayside.
One resolution I have kept for the past decade is to spend more time with my mother and stepdad. Mum is close to 86 and is in better shape than me some days. My stepdad bowls in a league and fills in for the “oldies,” as he calls the senior league. He is getting to be an “oldie” himself but is in amazing shape.
Mum and I have like interests in family genealogy, local history, setting up and chronicling the historical stories of Westville’s residents and volunteering at the House of History in Malone. She is a faithful accession volunteer and I try my best to organize the photo collection. When break time comes, we enjoy a sandwich, cup of tea and a biscuit in the 100-year-old kitchen at the house. Each day is a special time for me.
So as we start a new chapter of our lives in this 2014, the pages are blank. Think about what you want to achieve this year, where you want to be at this time next year and how you are going to get there. I am sure there will be many surprises, some good, some not so good, some happy, some sad. Try to roll with the punches and keep moving forward. Welcome, 2014!
One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.
Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been associated with the Press-Republican since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at email@example.com. Reach her by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.