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A new take on a new year

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. I’ve also never been one to think that a date on the calendar can miraculously make everything bright, shiny, and new. Wow, I sound like a cynical wet blanket, don’t I? I don’t mean to, but I’m realistic.

Worries don’t get washed away with the turn of a calendar page. The pandemic is still raging on, whether people want to acknowledge it or not. Grief from losing a loved one doesn’t dissipate with a new year. Money worries don’t diminish (unless you win the lottery maybe). Our warring political parties aren’t suddenly going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya around the campfire. Hatred isn’t going to magically morph into unicorns and rainbows.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everything turned happy and perfect with the calendar change? If all these things happened? Unfortunately, that’s not how the world works.

You might be thinking, wow, she woke up on the wrong side of the bed. What a crabapple. Hardly.

While the calendar changing from 2021 to 2022 isn’t enough to solve the world’s problems, you are. You are enough. We are enough.

Although I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions or partying until the wee hours as confetti flies, what I do like about the New Year is it’s a reminder. A reminder to reexamine my goals, to reexamine my values, my actions, myself. Am I on the right track? Am I who I want to be? Do I act how I should act? Do I treat others how I want to be treated? What makes me happy? What makes me unhappy? What can I do about any of these things? What’s in my control and what’s out of my control? How can I be a better person? What goals do I want to reach this year? How can I do that? How can I make the world a better place?

Every year when I examine myself, I find things that need work. I had thought as I got older that maybe I wouldn’t need as much work. Ha! The joke’s on me. I must never stop wanting to improve, to grow, to become better. The day we think we don’t need to improve, grow or change, is the day we should never let arrive.

I also must remind myself frequently that I am human, and therefore, not perfect. I have had to learn to give myself permission to fail, while vowing to try harder next time.

I challenge you to ask yourself some questions on how you can become a better person, how you can make this world a better place. Here are some questions I’ll be working on in this new year. I encourage you to write to me about yours. We can perhaps motivate each other. My email is [email protected] Here is my list, at least part of it: How can I be more patient, especially with my children?

What can I do to show others I care? I need to focus on paying off some bills. How can I save money to do that?

I feel disconnected from my neighbors. How can I reach out?

I would like to be a better friend. I’ve let work, children and daily life wear me down to the point that I don’t make time for my friends. I miss them.

I want to take time to appreciate the small things, because they are important.

Even if I don’t agree with someone, I want to be kind.

BY SARAH NIGBOR

January 4, 2022