IT IS THAT TIME OF YEAR to stop and take stock of ourselves and launch into a brand new year. It is a blank canvas, clean slate, or fresh start, however you want to express it, and it is time to make things better for ourselves and those around us. New Year’s resolutions are fun to make (especially after a few glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve) and they make us feel good. We are really going to do such and such this year.

About half of Americans make these resolutions though most of them are abandoned by February. The top New Year’s resolutions include: spending more time with family, falling in love, helping others, quitting smoking, learning something new, staying fit and healthy, enjoying life to the fullest, spending less and saving more, getting organized, and losing weight. I admit that in one year or another I have committed to them all. Spending time with my family has always been a priority so that has pretty much been accomplished. From childhood to adulthood I have looked after grandparents, parents, siblings and the next few generations. Fortunately, I like my family and enjoy time with them. I feel very sad for those without family and am very thankful to have this blessing.

Falling in love used to be a lot easier in youth. I am not sure if aging jades you or maybe you lose interest at some point. Then, just how do you define love anyway? There are so many degrees and variations of it. Definitely one of life’s big mysteries.

I have no problem helping others so I have succeeded in doing this. I really like to help people. My problem is finding the line between giving help and being taken advantage of. Everyone should at least make a good effort at helping themselves too.

Quitting smoking is probably one of the most difficult things to do, at least for me. I was never a heavy smoker but I couldn’t give it up no matter how many times I tried. Several doctors have told me it is a worse addiction to give up than heroin, so I have a lot of sympathy for smokers. About 35 years ago I visited a good friend at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. She had survived major cancer surgery and couldn’t speak. I asked her what I could do for her, and she wrote down “QUIT SMOKING!” That was the best thing she could have done for me and that year I stopped and haven’t smoked since.

Learning something new and exciting sounds interesting, I like to learn. Deciding on something specific is a little more difficult. I have always wanted to write a book. Maybe I will commit to accomplishing that for 2022. It would be enjoying life to the fullest too through lots of hard work.

I am pretty good about spending less and saving more. My Scottish ancestor, the Duncan one, kicks in whenever money is involved. Maybe I should resolve not to watch QVC on the TV this year. That channel is like being in a perpetual auction with all the hype and excitement. They really know how to promote stuff.

Now we have come to the top two New Year’s resolutions. The first is getting organized. This has been one of the most difficult things of my life. Even if I accomplish the organization of something it requires maintenance. Ugh! I am a hopeless procrastinator, so most years I don’t even try.

The most popular resolution and probably the universal wish of everyone is to lose weight. It is the first I promise each year, and at least succeed at it until Easter. It gets me down a significant amount before launching into summer. The trick is not to regain it. So this year I am committed to losing weight and keeping it off. I plan to spend time with family, help myself for once, save money, and write a book! Happy New Year!

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