Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year's Day 2014


TURNING THE CORNER TO 2014 

My husband, brother-in-law and sister Nila declined to make New Year's Resolutions while we were seeing in the new year. Nila said she never kept hers anyway, so what was the point? Well, for one thing, it’s an opportunity to look at your situation and decide on improvements. Just because you haven’t lived up to your resolutions in the past is no excuse for not making them for the future. 
Me and my sister Nila (right)

RESOLUTIONS FOR BONNIE STANARD

1) MY WRITING
Finish the sequel to my antebellum stories. By finish, I mean complete the first draft (I thought I’d have that done in 2013 and I got close.), send it to my editor, and rewrite according to his suggestions.

2) MY SOUL (YES, SOUL...)
I’m going to church once in a while (I know this is fudging but I can’t say once a month because I know I won’t do that), even if I don’t have a home church. To clarify, I’m Catholic and would like to be more supportive of the church, but I’m not going to hang around when I’m treated like a second-class human just because I’m a woman. Father Lehocky at St. Peter’s Church in Columbia was a wonderful pastor and he kept me in the church longer than I wanted to stay. But he’s retired and I haven’t been back. Pauline Church at Fairview, SC (my mother’s church) is an independent church where many relatives and friends go, but I always get the feeling the pastor bases his sermons (and the church’s doctrine) on the translation/meaning of one word here or one word there in the Bible.


The Bible was a high school graduation present. Sorry to say, it stays in my bookcase most of the time. One day ... maybe in 2014

3) BE A FRIEND
Spend a day a month with my friend Ginny, who presides over the Columbia II Writers Workshop. I take her for granted so much of the time, assuming she’s puttering along like the rest of us, but she’s not like the rest of us. She has Friedreich’s ataxia and faces challenges every single day of her life. She is so strong and courageous that she makes her limitations seem like mere inconveniences. She’s fun. She’s generous spirited. She deserves good friends.

4) THE WEIGHT THING
I’m not going to resolve to lose weight. That’s a losing resolution. However, I resolve to drink water with meals and avoid sweets except on special occasions. I’ve found that regardless of the diets I’ve tried (Atkins, no white stuff, low fat, etc.) I’ve only been able to lose weight short term. Without going the “diet” route, I’ve controlled my weight the last several years by being selective about what I buy in the grocery store and staying away from fast food. Best of all, I haven’t starved myself nor had to eat broccoli.

5) SPECIAL EVENTS
Go somewhere (lunch, ball game, museum, event, church) once a month with two people I take for granted and see on a “sometime” basis. Miriam Poole is like a second sister, but I don’t make a point of visiting with her on a regular basis. In my busy life, it’s easy to forget my brother Danny, who is unmarried, lives alone, and is becoming more of a recluse every year. He must be lonely, but he never complains nor requires anything of me.

6) I HATE EXERCISE, BUT...
Walk three times a week. Any more is unrealistic for me. There are weeks when I can walk four or five times and other weeks when I’m lucky to get in one walk. By walk, I mean about a mile (seven blocks) near my house. My husband frequently sends me links to medical studies that show how walking increases longevity, improves mental function, and wards off diseases, among them heart problems.

7) WORK AT A SKILL
Play piano an hour a week. I took lessons as a child from the mother of a friend of mine until I went to Pelion School, which had a music teacher who also taught piano. I signed up and began taking lessons with a cousin. At the time, my family didn’t own a piano and I had to walk a bit to Mr. Gus Collum’s house to practice on his piano. This wasn’t a warm and wonderful household, and I hated having to use their piano, which meant that I often showed up for lessons with Miss Dickerson without having practiced. While I sat on the bench protesting that I couldn’t play a piece, she plucked her eyelashes (she plucked them all out) and said “Bonnie, you need to improve your personality.” I don’t know exactly what I said to prompt those words, but I’ve never forgotten them. They affected my relationship to my cousin, for I was always embarrassed about what Miss Dickerson had said. I quit lessons and would like to have quit Miss Dickerson, but she also taught chorus. I still hammer away on the piano, but I wish I had more training and could play better.  

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