May 24, 2022

Some New Year’s Resolutions

Rehoboth Ramblings

Posted

This time of year I like to make New Year’s resolutions – for other people, that is. The thought of my own failings at keeping resolutions (cutting back on baked goods, sorting out paper clutter, etc.) keeps me from making my own. Last January I mentioned looking for the light at the end of the tunnel. But by now it feels like we had started to leave the tunnel (how I wish we had gone more places last June and July) and then along came another tunnel. We’re all completely tired of riding the Covid train by now. First the joke was about every day being “blursday” but by now all of 2021 seems like a blur.

The first resolution I would urge is that those who are still not vaccinated do so and those who need booster shots get them soon. Statistics have shown overwhelmingly that the risk is not in getting the vaccine; the risk is in getting the virus when you don’t have the protection that the vaccine can give you. Many thanks again to all those who volunteered for clinical trials back in 2020 to help scientists develop safe vaccines. And words cannot express my admiration for all the medical people who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for almost two years now.

Let us hope that things start to look up soon on the virus/variant front. I have long since resolved not to travel at the holidays. I’ve had some bad travel experiences at Christmas over the years myself, but nothing like this recent pandemic-caused chaos.  My greatest sympathy to all those who got caught in the miserable experience of all those flight cancellations the past few weeks.

Thinking of travel reminds me: how about a resolution for all those reckless drivers out there? (Yes, a reckless driver is seldom wreckless. English is a funny language.) I have seen more overly aggressive driving recently, including but not limited to weaving erratically in and out of the fast lane on the highway while doing 80. I have also seen a smash-up at the side of the road somewhere on nearly every car trip lately. This is in addition to reading about cars plowing into the front of houses (texting while driving, anyone?) on a surprisingly frequent basis.

Getting back to cleaning out clutter, when decorating the tree this year, I noticed that I was still hanging on to a few broken Christmas ornaments. Why? It’s easy to be sentimental about the holidays, but this is ridiculous. Here’s a thought to get you started clearing out your closets. The Victorian writer and critic John Ruskin once observed: “Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.” If you have old clothes you’d like to donate, both Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Epilepsy Foundation are now picking up used clothes and household goods again. You can find out more and arrange a pickup through their websites: www.bbbsfoundation.org or https://epilepsynewengland.org.

The one resolution I am likely to keep is getting outdoors for a walk somewhere picturesque on a regular basis, as long as the weather isn’t completely miserable. We need the sunlight in the winter and God knows we need to get out of the house. It finally dawned on me that one can walk along the bike path at Colt State Park to downtown Bristol; just make space for the bicycles whizzing by. It’s a straight stretch of pavement that’s an easy walk with nice water views and it doesn’t involve stumbling over tree roots on woodland paths.

Since I never watch movies or TV shows that I find too disturbing, lurid or just trashy, I don’t have to make a resolution about this. (No, I don’t use Netflix all that much.) But sometimes it seems that the only choice in entertainment is between the violent/ugly and the overly sappy. The newer Disney animated movies can usually be counted on for clever family films that adults can enjoy too (think of that hilarious scene at the DMV in “Zootopia”). The new animated feature “Encanto” now streaming on Disney Plus is such a movie. Some adults might recognize it as Latin American magical realism for children. There’s something for everyone, including music by the prolific Lin-Manuel Miranda. As we head into another bleak and challenging winter, we could all use a little magic now.

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