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Elizabeth Woodworth: Make resolutions but keep them to yourself

updated: 12/27/2017 12:35 PM

It's New Year's resolution time. It's been a long time since I pretended to make any. Never seem to keep them more than four or five hours. It's hard to declare that one will eat sensibly and lose weight when New Year's lunch consists of beans and slaw and cornbread, and leftover Christmas goodies. Fudge, ribbon candy, eggnog -- and the like -- are just not conducive to losing weight.

In 2017, I decided that I needed to exercise more than I do. Sister spends two to three hours in the gym almost every morning. I wasn't thinking to be that healthy, just needed to do something. So I have been doing arm exercises with a 3-pound weight since last New Year's Day. Started with just a few reps and built up gradually. No muscles, but when I have to take 220 Genealogical Society quarterlies to the post office, each quarter it is easier to get them in and out of the car and into the office. All told, I have missed 11 days. While it took a month or so to establish the habit, one missed day and I was ready to never lift again.

I think a resolution, like quitting smoking, is best done without outside knowledge. If you miss a day, you just start over the next day with no one pointing out your weakness. Make your resolutions, keep them to yourself, do your best. (An x on the calendar, or a gold star if you are so inclined, does wonders for your resolve.)

Between today and Dec. 29, travel conditions should be the best of the holiday season. (Unless another airport fire puts everyone in the dark for hours on end.) Listen for the tufted titmouse to begin mating calls, foretelling spring. Chances for precipitation rise quickly as the last weather system of the year approaches. The New Year's cold front is one of the most consistent of all weather systems. This year, expect heavy precipitation and travel complications, especially since the first full moon of 2018, the Bedding Plant Moon, occurs on Jan. 1 and reaches perigee on the same. When full moon occurs on the same date as perigee, it is a Supermoon, making deep cold and blizzard conditions likely. (2017 had only one Supermoon, coming in December; 2018 will have two, both occurring in January.) Jan. 1 is the first day of deep winter, the coldest season of the year. Full moon and perigee are likely to intensify the first high-pressure system of January. Expect precipitation on New Year's Eve with severe weather to follow. (Countryside)

Starlings are back. They are my least favorite bird. I think it is because their tails look as if they came out second-best to a cat. Just an ugly bird, and they tend to bully the little ones. The snow birds are here. I think technically they are chickadees, but have always known them by the other name. When it's cold, I worry about the little ones, no bamboo to huddle in. I don't know where they go now, since I have no evergreens to protect them.

Did you get a "rotisserie chicken" candy cane in your stocking?

I don't know where I found these "Seven Rules of Life," but I think it is a good thing to post by the mirror until you know them by heart.

• Make peace with your past so it won't disturb your future.

• What other people think of you is none of your business.

• The only person in charge of your happiness is you.

• Don't compare your life to others. Comparison is the thief of joy.

• Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

• Stop thinking so much. It's alright not to know all the answers.

• Smile. You don't own all the problems in the world.

I wish you all a Happy New Year filled with peace, happiness and love.

"When woods are bare and birds are flown, and frosts and shortening days portend, the aged year is near his end." (William Cullen Bryant)

• ELIZABETH WOODWORTH is a weekly columnist based in Saline County.