Thoughts on making the New Year a Better One

Posted in: Reflections Articles

– Susan McVey

The end of one calendar year and the beginning of another lends itself to reflection, review, forecasts, resolutions, and the launching of new initiatives. Many of us have probably engaged in at least one or more of these during the last few days. In fact, if we were to share our lists, we would probably find many similarities. Here are my thoughts:

I’ve lost some friends this year. Some I won’t see as often because of
their retirement. They have chosen their time to focus on other areas of
their lives and I wish them well. I hope to learn from their example in crafting a successful and rewarding new chapter in life. My father-in-law is eighty-eight now and though his vision is mostly gone as is his hearing, he continues to enjoy fishing and people. He inspires me with his refusal to complain or focus on what he can no longer do. I plan to reach out to newcomers in my life to make them feel welcome and included and to smooth their way as much as I can so they make a smooth transition.

One of my continuing resolutions will be to eat a healthy diet and stay active. According to Prevention magazine’s January issue here are the benefits of walking: just two hours of walking a week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%, 40 minutes of walking three times a week protects the brain region associated with planning and memory, 30 minutes of walking a day can reduce symptoms of depression by 36%, walking 3,500 steps a day lowers your risk of diabetes by 29%, 30 to 60 minutes a day of walking drastically lowers your risk of heart disease, and 75 minutes a week of brisk walking can add almost 2 years to your life.

I was struck by an editorial in the Oklahoman recently that identified all the poor health outcomes in Oklahoma and while recognizing the need for public policy to improve them noted that it is an individual decision that is required to make those changes. I am living proof that it is never too late to make those choices. I plan to support new people joining I see at the Y or at work who are taking action to establish new healthy habits.

Another resolution that I have identified for the coming year is to take advantage of more of the service opportunities for Rotary. In 2014 I helped with the Redbud Run and the Salvation Bell Ringing. I got to know some Club 29 members better by participating and felt I had helped contribute to a stronger community. I plan to find a way to say “yes” to Rotary in the coming year.

My last goal for the coming year is to have more fun. I plan to see the new baby elephant at the zoo, go to author events, visit China, and schedule more time with friends. I wish all of us a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year in 2015.

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