Sunday, January 3, 2016

Facing 2016

CHRISTMAS PAST

There are few times when the word never really attains its meaning. However, we can with full assurance say we'll never see the year 2015 again. Saying "good-bye," even when it's to a number, hasn't been easy. 

Today is the first day since December 30 I've awakened feeling like it will be a good day. My riotous happiness came to an end. For days I sat at meals of roasts, hams, pies, and cakes in the brilliant company of rabble-rousers and comedians.

The pandemonium of our conversations echoed from brightly lit candles to shiny Christmas balls and ribbons. Chatter, interrupted by screams and chasing children, filled the rooms. At one point, one of my sons spent some time trying to convince me that benevolent dictator is an oxymoron. There's a story there, but it would take as much time as the discussion.
The Grandkids (except for Ivan who's 3 years old)
 We did things we should do more often—like play poker and sing songs. Went places we should go more often, like the Riverbanks Zoo, the SC State Museum, and Emily Douglas Park. (One of our favorites, the Riverwalk, was closed due to flooding.)
At the SC State Museum with Granddaughter Camilla 

My family visitors have gone home. The television is the noisiest sound in the house. Christmas garlands, greenery, sparkle and shine are on their way to the basement. 
On to 2016!
 When in a group, if I ask for New Year's Resolutions, more often than not the answer is "I gave up on that years ago," or "What's the point?" Maybe that comes from our awareness of the poverty, misery, and violence in the world today. We would like to resolve to make life better for children in Africa. Or resolve to bring peace to the Middle East. And in a way, we feel guilty if we don't try to help the less fortunate in far-away places. 

Notwithstanding that, we can resolve to improve what we can. Our control over our own life is so much less than we think. Even at that, we can try to improve what we can. And my first resolution every year is to try to recognize what I can improve and to leave to fate what I can't. 

I'm not going to resolve to "lose weight." That's rather like "be happy." These aren't resolutions. They're hopes at best and more likely dreams. My resolutions are ideas I hope I can put into effect. With that, on to the resolutions!

— Eat no desserts except when in the company of guests
— In the mornings on waking, remind myself of 3 things I'm grateful for
— Revise and publish a Lily sequel, working title "Smoke Across the Swamp"
— Draft a collection of prose poems based on slave narratives of the 1930s
— Buy with Doug a house with more space and easier access (Sell our house)
— Contact family members once a week (email, phone, face-time)

Thank you to the readers of my novels who posted comments on Amazon and Barnes & Noble—especially those of you who gave my books 4 or 5 stars.

All the Best in 2016!

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