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New Year’s: 2019

Maybe it’s much too early in the game.
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same.
What are you doing New Year’s, New Year’s eve?

-Ella Fitzgerald, 1960

New Year’s Day has always been the time of getting rid of the old and embracing the new. Traditionally, at our house, we take down the Christmas decorations on New Year’s Day. We take down the tree that has graced our living room since shortly after Thanksgiving. The glass snowmen, the Frank Lloyd Wright ornaments, the Swarovski Christmas Ornaments and the ornaments the kids made out of toilet paper rolls are all lovingly wrapped up for another year. But New Year’s Day is not just about the past to me.

New Year has always seemed to me like the beginning of a brand new opportunity for self-improvement. Kind of like pressing the reset button on your life. I no longer make detailed resolutions though, resolutions have a high failure rate and I have only vague idea about my plans for the future. I know the deck is stacked against me. According to U.S. News, approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February, so it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll keep any resolutions for the entire year.

In the past I have resolved to quit smoking which lasted about 3 hours, to lose weight which lasted a week, and to visit the gym more often. I have visited the gym once in seventy years even though I can go for free.

I hate to call them “Resolutions” anyway. This seems to put undue pressure on me. I think I will call them end-of-year goals or maybe goals for the New Year because that seems less stressful. Less like I have failed myself when I am unsuccessful.

In twenty nineteen I will start with the following personal goals:

First of all, I would like to lose about 30 pounds. Seeing as it has taken me over a year to lose 5 pounds I don’t think this will happen. Even then, the numbers on the scale dance up and down like a yoyo. I guess personal goal will be to just lose a few pounds this year.

I love music and always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. Even though I played the piano and the clarinet in my youth, I doubt this will happen. I have a friend that lives in Texas who can play the sax much better than I will ever be able to. However I recently bought a 17 key Kalimba that I have been practicing on. The Kalimba is a modern version of an African thumb piano, the African Mbira.

I have almost mastered “Row, row, row your boat” so far and I’m looking forward to becoming proficient at “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”

I would like to be more honest with myself. I should merely accept myself as a person who occasionally makes mistakes. This is the most honest way of my gaining experience and knowledge. Acknowledging my mistakes will make me a better person.

I would like to try and enjoy my life more because it seems like, at times, I have very little time for self-reflection, introspection and communication with my family. Sometimes it seems like the nearest and dearest people receive too little attention and care from me, so this gap will be filled and I will try to spend more time with my family and friends.

In the end, these are all things that I have already started working on, even before the New Year rolled in. Happy New Year Buffalo.

Lead image: By Buffalo cartoonist David Corbett. Cartoon presented by Hyatts – All Things Creative.

Written by Norbert Rug

Norbert Rug

Norb is a writer from Lockport. His email address is nrug@juno.com. If you have any fun stories or memories to share of Buffalo's "good old days", feel free to send him a note.

Norb has now written 500+ articles, over 90 restaurant reviews, and has been published in the Buffalo News, Lockport Union Sun and Journal, Niagara Falls Gazette, the East Niagara Post, The Lockport Star, The North Tonawanda Extra, the Niagara Reporter, and Artvoice. His work has been published on Press Reader, Good Cookery, the National association for Home Care and Hospice, and Konitono. He also has his own blog at whywny.home.blog.

Norb's writings deal with Buffalo nostalgia. He wrote a series of articles on early Buffalo television including Rocketship 7, Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody, and Mr.Rogers. Norb has also written on his childhood in the Bailey Kensington area, The Mohegan Market, and sailing on Lake Erie. He continues to write weekly on the city that he loves.

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