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Columnist ponders New Year’s resolutions
Woman Reads Book

GAYS MILLS - Ah, the New Year, 2020! Bring on the resolutions, reflections and incidents of writing 2019 and scribbling it out over and over for a few weeks. 

I am really terrible at keeping ye olde New Year’s resolutions, but I am sincerely hoping that 2020 will in fact be my year of success. With all the trials, tribulations and hurdles fading in the rear view mirror of 2019, I’m feeling ready to take on a new decade. Well, I guess as ready as a slacker like me can be. 

I’m scrambling, this, the day before the eve of the New Year, to construct my blend of traditional resolutions with a few fresh new ones–hopefully shooting them out into the world via my column will help me stay accountable.  So far I’ve come up with these:

• Lose weight! I think that is on just about every resolution list. My social media feeds are FILLED with promotional ads, promising easy, quick results for weight loss.  Last year, I ventured into the world of Weight Watchers, jumping on a bandwagon special price deal they offered. However, the mere $20 a month didn't seem to be enough to hold me accountable enough to log into the app and tell them everything I had been eating. Although I lost a few pounds of baby weight, they seemed to stack back on, as soon as I began to stray. My plan this year is to team up with some other people I know, one of which who is already on the weight loss train and seeing lots of success. 

• Ditch the device! I, seemingly like the rest of the world, tend to plug in and tune out a little too much. I work in front of a computer screen all day, but find myself zoning out into my own tiny device at times, when I could be doing many other things (like getting up and moving, to help accelerate goal number one!). I am strongly against my kids using devices, watching YouTube, or playing games on tablets or phones. However, I myself zone into social media, read books on a screen or generally waste time.  So, 2020 will be my year of less device usage! I will ‘walk the walk’ that I expect of my kids, and lead by example, showing them there is so much more to life than screen time. 

• Read more books! Real, live, page turning books! I feel like this one goes in waves for me. I get on a streak of reading two or three great books and then don’t pick another one up for six months or so. Although I am constantly consuming children’s books and forever on the hunt for more, I just don’t take enough time to feed my own mind. I know the more I read, the better it will make my own writing, so I should just take the time and consider it job training.  I’ve kicked this one off early by cracking open a new book I got for the holiday. ‘Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter.’ If you haven’t read it, I urge you to pick it up. It’s a riveting tale of Rosemary Kennedy who was a victim of a very traumatic birth, which affected her cognitive ability and made her unpalatable to the Kennedy image. Rosemary eventually underwent a experimental brain surgery and later, spent her days living hidden away in Wisconsin.  

• Declutter! I am a clutter bug. There is no pretending that isn’t true, but, to compound the problem, I live in a open concept home. There are no closets, not really many walls, no doors and hardly any storage. My stuff is all over, my kids stuff is all over, and Chasca’s stuff is all over. How much of it do I need is the real question that I hope to tackle in the next 12 months…

• And finally, the kind of far-out-there goal–start writing a novel. I have a long commute and lots of time to rattle my brain around and have been trying to formulate more recreational writing in my noggin.  This seems the most daunting off my self-assigned goals. Where does one find the time, space, or bit of quiet to do this? I have a feeling that if I can stick to my other goals, this one might just flow right in. Finding more energy and clarity in my mind from a healthy diet and exercise, check. Not wasting so much time on social media, double check, reading more books and refining my brain, you betcha. Creating a space that is less distracting and more purposeful and relaxing, bingo–everything a writer needs. 

Time will tell in terms of which off these stick to the wall for 12 months, but I’m going to throw them all out and hope for the best.