By Scott Carlson
Resolved to resolve
By the time this issue of the Bugle reaches you, we will be already close to a month into the New Year.
Have you used the changing of the calendar to make resolutions for 2022? And are you keeping them?
I waver from year to year on whether I really want to do New Year’s resolutions. After all, isn’t it just another opportunity for failure?
Well yes, especially when I am feeling pessimistic about life or wondering what the point is with all this New Year’s fuss.
But usually I see the New Year and New Year’s resolutions as an opportunity to reassess my life and decide what I want to accomplish, whether small or big.
Sometimes, I strike it big with my resolutions. For example, it was a dream of mine to become a book author.
Six years ago, I got that opportunity when the History Press out of Charleston, S. C., asked me if I was interested in writing a book about the history of brewing in the Twin Cities. The contact came after another writer, who was scheduled to do the project, moved out West and suggested me as their replacement.
To this day, I don’t know who that fellow writer was, but I thank them. After two years of moonlight-writing on the side to finish my project, I got my book published. “Twin Cities Beer: A Heady History” debuted in 2018 in local bookstores and other venues around town.
Now, I have resolved to take on another local history book project with the History Press and hope to start that in 2022.
Meanwhile, I have made other resolutions for the New Year:
Get to bed earlier, that means by 11:30 p.m. instead of 12:30 or 1 a.m. Too often I am falling asleep in the easy chair for a half hour around 8 p.m. watching TV, then waking up wondering what I missed. And doing nothing to stay in the good graces of my wife. The bottom line is I need more sleep and I need to really make that happen every day going into this year.
Exercise more, that means getting in walks at least two or three times a week for 20 minutes or more. This is besides my weekly tennis practices and matches.
Spend more time in reflective reading, with less TV watching. That means that despite an anemic track record, I AM resolved to make reading books a higher priority in my life. And this year I’m going to do it. Generally, for me, carving out the time for book reading has been a constant battle. I start reading any number of books each year only to trail off after the first 100 pages or less.
What about you, dear readers?
What resolutions have you made? Please share your thoughts and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will share some of your more unusual resolutions and thoughts in the next Bugle.
Keeping sidewalks clear
Something that I have heard and observed around town: sidewalks and intersection corners caked with slushy, slippery snow.
It’s a common and reoccurring problem every winter. And this year is no different. That means staying on top of the problem is no less important than in past seasons.
Good sidewalk stewardship is a way that we can help our neighbors and build community. Here is how Pat Thompson, of Transition Town-All St. Anthony Park, put it in a guest commentary for the Bugle in November, 2020:
“Going above and beyond in shoveling sidewalks can be a next step, the . . . the simplest form of helping a community exist, by making it possible for people to get around on foot, especially during COVID times.
“This winter, let’s all pay extra attention to our next door neighbors’ sidewalks and even our whole block, if we’re able, to make sure everyone can get down our sidewalks safely.
“And let’s especially make sure that the curb cuts, hydrants and bus stops are clear. The folks who live on corners already have an extra burden with two sides to clear. Keeping the curb cuts and other areas at corners clear when snow piles up from late plows is an added challenge. Let’s help them out to help everyone out—all of us, on every block. If we break it down like that, it’s much less of a burden.”