It’s time to reflect back on 2017 and look forward to 2018. For most of us, time seems to pass more quickly. Is it our fast paced lives, or are we just getting older? It is probably a combination of the two.
2017 was quite a year (but I said that last year). Of course there are many negative things that happened – some of us faced challenging health issues, maybe the world grew less stable and our country seemed more divided. On the other hand there are positive developments. Just look around and you can find them. I wrote 12 positive essays in 2017 while resisting the temptation to be critical. When I started writing this newsletter in 2008, I decided to only write positive or humorous essays. In 2017 I also assembled my favorite 50 essays into my first book – “Pushing the Edge on thought, Possibilities and Action.”
January is a convenient time to “hit the reset button”. But what should we start and what should we stop in 2018? My prediction is that the most popular resolutions are losing weight and quitting smoking. With all good intentions, life will likely get in the way of our New Year’s resolutions. They will probably show up around this time next year with an ounce of guilt. If you are struggling with a positive New Year’s resolution consider one or more of these.
Volunteer for a day at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
Share your time and give hope. You will receive a gift of appreciation.
Visit a library
What does a 21st century library look like? Visit your local library – it is so much more than books.
Go hiking at the Blue Hills or one of our state parks
The open space is tranquil and ideal for walking, picnicking, jogging, biking, cross-country skiing, or simply enjoying nature and the outdoors.
Visit a state trial court
Bring a child and let them see the fair administration of justice delivered with respect, dignity and compassion.
Participate in town meeting or attend a city council meeting
Town meetings are democracy at its best. Each year citizens gather to vote on issues that determine the quality of life of our communities and for future generations.
Attend a local high school student event
Your local high school is more than academics. Each year hundreds of students participate in dozens of co-curricular activities. Attend a sporting event or a student theater performance.
Attend a different house of worship
Each city and town has diverse places to worship. They are all open and welcoming communities. Attend a service and talk to a parishioner. You will learn that we are more similar than different.
On a more personal level we might reflect on the behaviors and actions that might make us happier. If we build these actions (or non-actions) into habits maybe we can be a bit happier in 2018 and that’s a good thing. Happy 2018!