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Heartfelt resolutions

It’s the end of the year ... I’m really not ready to jump into 2014 yet. Our Christmas was wonderful, and quite frankly, I’m just not ready to let it go. Rather than think about new beginnings, I’d rather linger in the past few days/weeks, when the Christmas holiday brought so much more than just gifts under our tree.

But time keeps marching on, and in just a few days, 2014 will be a reality. There’s some excitement, anticipation as a brand new year stretches out before me — a year hopefully filled with opportunities, heartfelt moments and time, which along with good health is more valuable than I have ever realized.

Along with the start of a new year, the underlying issue of New Year’s resolutions plagues me like a winter cold that just won’t go away. I try to tell myself to be realistic; don’t bite off more than I can chew.

On the flip side of that New Year’s coin, though, there are those nagging thoughts of what I can do to be a better person in the upcoming year. Yes, perhaps it’s time to seriously re-evaluate life in general.

OK, there are the same regular resolutions that will inevitably make it to my list — eat healthier, get more exercise, blah, blah, blah ... I don’t know about you, but from a personal perspective, I need to be healthier.

But from a more heartfelt perspective, I’ve got a few other things I want to work on; things that ultimately tug on my heartstrings over and over again. These are the things I want to incorporate into my 2014 resolutions this year ...

• I can’t tell you how many leftover items get thrown out of my refrigerator every week. When garbage day rolls around, I clean out my refrigerator and pantry, and what I throw away is awful. Living in a neighborhood of older folks, there’s no reason I can’t share my culinary creations with those around me. I’d like to share a hot meal with some of my older neighbors every week before we dish up our own plates,

• On Christmas Day evening, I had a delightful telephone conversation with my great friend, Cathy, from Nashville, Tenn. We chatted for more than an hour about this and that, and I don’t mind telling you, I hung up the phone feeling great and so blessed to still have my dear friend after all these years (40 years!). Those telephone conversations with Cathy and other faraway friends/relatives are too infrequent. Yes, we text and email, but a voice-to-voice conversation doesn’t happen too often. In 2014, I’m going to try to have a real telephone conversation with my dear friends and faraway family members at least once a month. I’d also like to send a real, hand-written letter to someone at least once a month too.

• And last but clearly not least, I’m going to make a concerted effort to be kinder to people — not just those I love but to everyone I meet. We live in a place in time where kindness doesn’t always come easily. I am very blessed, and to share a smile, a kind word, a handshake, a brief conversation is easy, yet often elusive. What if we all tried to be kinder? I know it sounds like a pipe dream, but it has to start somewhere. Why not with me?

There are more matters of the heart I want to focus on, but that gives you an idea of what I want 2014 to hold for me. While it’s doubtful I will actually start an exercise routine where I walk a couple of miles a day and it’s just as doubtful I’ll give up chocolate and potatoes ... I can make these heartfelt resolutions work. Maybe that’s the key to a successful 2014.

May each of you head into 2014 with thoughts (and resolutions) that come from your heart. And may 2014 be a healthy, happy journey into a kinder existence for us all.

Tonica News Editor Terri Simon can be reached at

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