From the Desk of the Editor

By Scott Carlson

Reprising New Year’s resolutions

By the time this issue of the Bugle reaches you, we will be getting ready to welcome in the New Year.

Are you going to use the changing of the calendar to make resolutions for 2023?

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. I like the idea of fresh starts and new beginnings. And, there is something reassuring about the cyclical nature of life and time.

Something else to consider: Working to meet resolutions need not be limited to a just a 12-month window. Some things in life are not achieved in only a year or less, they require diligent efforts over an extended period of time.

For example, 11 years ago, I began collaborating with a local Alzheimer’s information advocate on a children’s book about caring for those who are sick or disabled.

After a long hiatus, we recently revived “Betty The Bald Chicken” and now are scheduled to have Twin Cities-based Kirk House Publishers release the book in early 2023.

So, how did I do with my resolutions in 2022? Here’s my scorecard, how I fared in 2022 and what I am going to do with those resolutions in 2023:

Get to bed earlier, that meant, for example, 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, perhaps, sabotaging my bedtime effort. Unfortunately, I made very little progress on this resolution in 2022. Time to double down on it in 2023.

The bottom line: I still need more sleep time and I need to really make that happen every day going into this new year.

Exercise more, that meant getting in walks at least two or three times a week for 20 minutes or more. That was in addition to my weekly tennis playing.

In 2022, I made good progress on this goal. That particularly occurred this past summer when I had a series of minor surgeries and I couldn’t engage in any heavy physical activity. That meant tennis was out but walking, which was OK, was in.

At my peak, I was walking nearly every day for 20 to 40 minutes.

In 2023, I will be keeping this resolution again.

Spend more time in reflective reading and less TV watching. As a neophyte author, I should make reading books a high priority.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make much progress on this resolution in 2022. But I think it’s a worthwhile resolution to pursue again in 2023. The way to make some progress on this resolution is to settle on having regular quiet time to read.

The first thing to go will be watching a steady stream of cable TV news programs every weekday night. Just eliminating one hour-long TV program an evening alone would free up five hours a week to read.

Are you making any resolutions this year? If yes, consider sharing them on the Bugle’s Facebook page. Or send them to me at editor@parkbugle.org and we will post some of the more interesting ones.

Social media update

Rolling into 2022, the Park Bugle made a significant New Year’s resolution that we hoped our readers would notice: Vastly expanding our social media presence.

As the Bugle edges ever closer to celebrating 50 years as a vibrant community newspaper, we knew that we couldn’t simply remain a print operation.

So, to expand or enhance our online presence, the Bugle in early 2022 hired Laura Adrian as our first social media specialist. Her goal has been to support the Bugle with its “efforts to leverage online spaces to share news stories and foster a sense of inclusive and diverse community.” 

What that means, in practical terms, has been a lot more social media activity including Facebook and Instagram posts. Our goal is to make the Bugle’s social media interactive and engaging.

After several months, Laura reports that social media posts, followers and engagement are growing. We now are logging more than 1,300 Facebook followers in an average month and reader engagement is rising.

For example, for the period of Oct. 10 to Nov. 10, “the best posts for Facebook were Throwback Thursday and history series posts,” Laura said. “The posts with most engagement for Instagram were Cat Amewsement and Halloween decorations around the neighborhood.

We look forward this New Year to seeing continuing growth in our online and social media initiatives.

My wish for your new year: May you have a great 2023! 

Scott Carlson is managing editor of the Bugle.

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