By the time anyone reaches the age most of us who hang out at Time Goes By have attained, we have learned the futility of new year's resolutions. “I'm going to lose 15 pounds.” “I'll save more money.” “I promise I'll hit the gym five days a week.” And so on.
Resolutions just lead to guilt when we find, usually by the end of January, that we've already failed. If that's you, you're not alone. A 2007 British survey found that only 12 percent succeeded in their resolutions.
Nevertheless, it is hard to resist the idea of starting over with a clean slate. I like paying bills each month knowing, when I'm finished, that I am even with the world for the next 30 days. Best of all, I get to feel that way 12 times a year.
That's what I like – renewable goals that pay off regularly.
If you don't count extra body weight, what I most want to change is the amount of time I spend working on Time Goes By. That's a double-edged sword because I also like doing it – big time. It's my job. A job I chose because the topic, the research, the writing, the interaction with readers all interest me.
You might call aging and all that relates to it my passion and I never had a passion in life before this blog. The problem is that there are other things I want to spend more time on.
So instead of making a resolution to reduce the time here by X hours or X percent at which I would fail before next week, I've made a list of other things I want to do that I am looking forward to. For some of them, that means you'll get some photographs.
It also means, however, that except for the daily link to The Elder Storytelling Place, sometimes there might be a blank page here. I have no doubt you'll survive.
Oh, and one other little thing that I suppose you could call a resolution, but it's not difficult.
There is such overwhelming evidence from many different research sources that even minor, regular exercise dramatically improves cognitive function and short-term memory particularly in elders, that I have renewed my walking promise to myself.
Every day at about 2:30 or 3PM, I go to the mailbox. The new regimen is that I must walk for at least 20 minutes before I pick up the mail. How hard is that? My walking goal falls off in winter, but even in cold weather, even in rain, 20 minutes isn't long if you dress for it. The only thing I can see preventing a daily walk is icy sidewalks and that doesn't often happen here.
We'll see how it goes.
What about you? Do you take advantage of the clean slate of a new year to make changes? Do you still make resolutions? If so, do you stick with them? Have you found other ways to make changes you want that are more successful? Or do you just ignore such things now?
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Mary B Summerlin: Cousins