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Many of you were probably up late ringing in the New Year last night. Go ahead and put on some coffee, I can wait.

To be completely transparent, last night I rang in 2022 watching my talented fiance sing karaoke. I am not much for going out and my anxiety prevents me from enjoying large crowds, but I brave the crowds to hear him sing.

For many the new year is a day focused on all you want to accomplish in the coming months. “Every man should be born again on the first of January,” wrote Henry Ward Beecher. 

It is a day that marks not just the beginning of a year, but the next chapter in your life. 

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day,” wrote Edith Lovejoy Pierce. 

After the last few years we have had as a people, as a community, and as a country…. doesn’t a fresh start sound good?

There’s something about the new year which inspires change. Jumping into a new year can motivate you to finally do that thing you have put off.  This is why New Year Resolutions have been something people have been doing for centuries. 

Resolutions for the new year have been found in writings dated back to the 1600s. Although, they were not referred to as New Year’s Resolutions at the time. On Jan. 2, 1671 an entry from the diary of Anne Halkett, a Scottish writer, contains a number of pledges, typically taken from biblical verses such as “I will not offend any more”. Halkett titled this page “Resolutions” which would possibly indicate that the practice was in use at the time.

Resolution is defined as: a firm decision to do or not to do something.

Haven’t we all made a resolution on more than one occasion, even starting off strong to follow through, only to find we have failed or simply given up within a few months. 

Don’t worry, there is a long standing tradition of people making resolutions to which they have never succeeded at accomplishing. In the early 1800s it was so normal for resolutions to be made and failed,  it was even satirized in popular magazines of the time. 

Some people find making resolutions, having found them either impossible to keep or a trivial idea in the first place. 

So why do we do it? 

Why make a list or just a mental note of things we want to do or stop doing when our calendars turn the page to January 1? 

I believe it is because as humans we know change is a necessary thing in life. It comes whether we want it to or not, so resolution lists give us some power over this change. Although we can make a resolution at any time during the year, a new calendar can be a big motivator for us to evaluate our health,  finances, personal life, careers, and more. 

A new year brings with it unlimited possibilities. Author Neil Gaiman once said, “Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, do it.” This sentiment can be felt strongly as January 1 rolls around. 

This New Year day make your resolutions, give yourself moments to think about your goals and your dreams. Whether that is in making resolutions or just focusing on your wants and needs for a little while. If you follow through great and if you don’t know you are not alone. 

We will soon fill our calendars with hours of work, activities, and commitments. If we are lucky we will allow ourselves moments in 2022 for play, pleasure, and time to make meaningful connections and memories. We will become busy and will unfortunately have days where we forget to focus on filling the blank pages with meaningful memories but instead will fill them with the mundane routines we get stuck in. Just know this is something all of us go through. 

As for me, I don’t usually make a physical list for resolutions, but I will this year. I want the typical things like to lose weight, get my health in better shape, and continue down the career path which has led me to write for this amazing paper. But most of my list is about personal relationships and self care. 

- Marry my best friend and partner in life in April.

- Take a vacation to visit my son, who moved to Florida last year. I really miss him!

- Spend more time with my ‘grandbabies’ and my stepdaughter.

- Read more books, books are my happy place…

- Try not to be so self critical

- Do something out of my comfort zone at least once a month

- Spend time with friends and family more

The new year will bring changes, as is inevitable. These changes can be challenging and uncomfortable, but they’re a necessary part of life. I have found it is best to face them head on. I hope our community continues to grow and come together to make great things happen for the residents in the area. 

A new beginning is a beautiful and valuable thing in individual lives and in communities. We can embrace them while still holding on to the values  which make us unique. 

I would like to take a moment to thank those who have made 2021 a better year than I expected. To my co-workers who always make coming into the office something I look forward to, to my amazing publisher who has helped me make this transition into the world of journalism, those who have allowed me to tell their stories in the paper, to those who have read my stories, to the communities in Stone and Taney Counties… thank you all. A special thanks to my children, who all have encouraged me and given me strength to become who I am. Lastly, my fiance who makes everyday an adventure, who makes me feel safe and at home just with his presence… everything!

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