What will 2017 bring?

My friend, Leanne, was raised with the belief that what you do on New Year’s Day, you will  do all year long. Today I ran outside for the first time in a month, baked biscuits, ate fresh veggies and homemade (by me) baked beans, played board games with my family, called my mom and listened to an audiobook while doing dishes. It was a lovely, relaxing and satisfying day. If my entire year could be like this, it would be the absolute best year of my existence.

But we know that’s not going to happen, right? More than likely, this will be a year of turmoil. In the United States, we will have a new president in just a few weeks and many of us are worried how his presidency will affect our lives, our country and our world. I can’t say I have a lot of good feelings about this, so I’ll just be watching, listening, hoping and acting when it seems right to do so.

My mother’s health is still in decline. We had a pretty good autumn, but just in the past month her memory, weight, medicine consumption and hygiene have all diminished. I’m not quite sure what to do yet, but have appointments coming up that might help us.

Unfortunately my father is now losing his short term memory, too, but no one seems to know why. And now that he’s refused to see any more doctors, we may never know why. “As long as I know who my wife and kids are, I just don’t care,” he said. And honestly, I don’t blame him. He’s 75 years  old, is a recovering alcoholic and has been morbidly obese for much of his adult life. He’s amazed he’s lived this long!  My brother’s health is not fantastic, either, but still better than two years ago. We’ve been living on hope and good thoughts for this long, so why not keep going?

I have to believe that 2017 will not be completely horrendous. My son will turn 10 this spring. Double digits!!  My husband and I will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in the summer. My sister is getting married in the fall. My husband turns 50 on Halloween and if the spending moratorium keeps going well and the car holds out, we will go on our lovely Disney vacation in November. I have several colleagues having babies this year, friends are writing books and creating art, and Star Wars: Episode VIII comes out in December. Some good things WILL happen.


Now for a resolution. Last year was probably the first year I didn’t have a resolution. I had wishes and dreams for my family and friends, and unfortunately not one of them came true. But this year, in tandem with a movement being created by the Pittsfield Public Library and the Heart of Pittsfield called “The Year of Kindness”, my resolution is to carry out an act of kindness every day. That’s 365 acts of kindness. Minimum. As I told my family about it this morning, I said that my first act of kindness was actually to myself. I went for an outside run that was long overdue. My husband thinks that’s stretching the definition of an act of kindness, but since I’m rarely good to myself, I decided it was ok. (I also wrote a little note to a fellow colleague and complimented her on her writing and how awesome I found it to be. That could be considered an act of kindness, too.)

What about you? Do you have any good thoughts about the upcoming year? Any resolutions? Suggestions for acts of kindness? Would love to hear about your hopes and dreams for 2017.



My one intention

Typically I love the beginning of a new year. It’s so full of possibilities. This is the year I’ll finally [fill in the blank]! So many people scoff at the “lose weight” or “exercise more” resolutions that are made, but you know if that’s what you want to do in the upcoming year, then screw the naysayers. Some people just want to see you fail, no matter what your goal is. So don’t worry about everyone else, just do the best you can for yourself.

In the past, I’ve made some of those same resolutions and I eventually succeeded.  I lost over 50 pounds one year and have kept it off. I ran over 600 miles in 2012 and completed a half-marathon in 2013. But I’ve also said I’d try something new each month, which I’m pretty sure never happened, or to be happier with myself, which will just be an ongoing battle.

This may be the first year I don’t have any kind of resolution or goal for myself. There are things I would  *like* to do or become–I want to be physically stronger, I want to write more, I want to run a smidge more than I did last year, I want to bake gluten-free bread in my oven successfully–but if these things don’t happen then they don’t happen. No harm, no foul. Honestly, right now there are other people’s lives that will impact my own in such a manner that I don’t really want to have any goals. Not any personal ones, anyway.

Instead I have hopes and wishes for others.

I want my mother’s memory and health to stabilize for an entire year. I want my brother’s heart and health to maintain a good state. I want both my son and husband to enjoy moving their bodies.  I want my best friend to find true love.

I want all of us, all of you, to be happy.

But the only thing I really intend on being this year is sane. If I can balance my day to day life–the work and parenting and keeping in shape and caring for Mom and making dinner and doing laundry and taking care of the house and being a wife and a friend–and still find a little time for me to read and write? Then sane I will be. Or rather become. I’m pretty sure I’m not there yet.

So happy new year, my friends. May all your resolutions or goals or intentions come to fruition, and may all of our wishes and hopes and dreams come true.