Another Year Over, a New One Just Begun

Well, it’s a new year; time for resolutions, reflections and  reality.  By that I mean that the holidays, which began at the end of November with Thanksgivvukah, are officially over;  and it is time to look ahead.   It was a wonderful month and a half from the end of November until the beginning of January-family, food and fun, in that order and lots of it.  But now the new year is upon us.

I have learned, over the past fifty-two years, to take things one day at a time while keeping my eye on all the opportunities that each day presents.  I try, really, really hard, to live in the present and enjoy every minute that I have.  I see enough around me to know not to take any of it for granted- my physical health, my mental  abilities, my fortunate circumstances, my wonderful family.  I wake up every day and stretch, happy to be able to stand on my own two feet and do so with pleasure.  Although the holidays, filled with lovely and fun times, are over, my reality is pretty darn good; so when I hear or say the phrase “back to reality” I am more than okay with that.

So on to resolutions…. I do have some of the usual ones. I will stop some of my bad habits (not naming any of them here in public, just admitting I have one or two that need stopping); I will maintain my energy and patience with the challenging bunch of bananas I call my kindergarten class, no matter what they and their families launch at me; I will share my time with, and make donations to,  groups that support people less fortunate that I am.  But I have a few additional resolutions as well. 

For one, I will continue and put more focus on the fight to save public education in this country.  Parents and teachers, a growing grassroots group of us, are engaged in a fight for children and for the future of public education.  I have been and will continue to share and disseminate information on the campaign to destroy access to learning for every child that is being waged by corporations and at best, misguided politicians.  Look for a separate posting soon on the topic.

 I will get back into working out and exercising with more regularity. I know, everyone says that.  And, like everyone, I will probably only do so consistently for a few months and then slack off.  Still, I have to put that one on the list. 

 I will read more literature.  I have been dedicating a lot of my time to inane activity on the internet and my iphone: Hanging with strangers, Dice with strangers, Scramble with strangers..all a nice distraction from the stresses of everyday. But they take time from reading- an act which enriches me while I escape reality. I have a constant and constantly-growing pile of books next to my bed. I reach for them at night when I am too tired to remember what I read; and so what happens is that I read the same page over and over again.  I used to love sitting and reading- I want to love it again.

 There are more “resolutions” but I won’t bore you with them.

 As for reflections…where I am, where I came from, where the heck am I going?  Well, at the moment I began writing this entry, I was 28,000 feet above sea level, heading to a 90th birthday party for my aunt in Tucson, Arizona. It was a family reunion to boot, and included family members I had never met who flew  in from all over the world. I planned to  re-connect with college friends and former colleagues as well, since this is the first time I had returned to the Old Pueblo in many years.  I am now once again at 28,000 feet, on the way home from said reunion and celebration, and am still digesting it all.  It was really nice to be back in the desert, visiting places I had not been for a long time; hugging college buddies I had all but given up for lost, and spending some quality time with the family. 

 As for the rest of the year and the rest of my life, I have exciting and interesting plans.  We are hosting a wedding celebration for my daughter and son-in-law at our home. It promises to be a delightful and happy coming together of two families and many groups of friends to fête the young couple, as well as ourselves. We are planning a few fairly local ski experiences, hopefully with a couple of our kids as well as with friends, and two big trips in Spring and Summer- one to Florida to visit hubby’s brother and family; and the other a foray to Spain to explore our daughter and son-in-law’s temporariy adopted country.  I intend to keep writing and taking photos to document my thoughts, sights and experiences. And there are business and investment opportunities shaping up to help us into and through our retirement years, which although still a ways off, loom ever closer. 

 This time of year, full of reflection and attempts to ward off sun-deprivation-inspired gloominess, lends itself to pondering and pontificating.  Snowbound, or at least, cold and dark bound, I spend more time thinking about both past and future.  I know, “best-laid plans” and all that, but in my opinion, it is better to have goals, hopes and dreams to reach for than to just let it all happen and deal with the consequences.

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