As I mentioned last year, I do not buy into New Year’s resolutions. I am no more likely to turn over a new leaf on January 1 than I am any other day of the year. Unfortunately, there are plenty of leaves that I need to turn over- probably enough to last an entire year. Oh, well. There’s always next year. But if you are interested in making a change for the better, I have some blanket improvements that seem to be needed by a good majority of the population. Perhaps one of them might apply to you. If so, please feel free to take it and make it yours. Consider it my New Year’s gift to all.
- If you speak on your cell phone in public places where other people can hear, you need to stop. This is especially true if you are over 40. We (notice I am including myself) tend to speak very loudly on cell phones. We remember way back when the reception was very poor and you had to aim your mouth directly into the three open dots on the receiver of the bag phone. Believe it or not, not everyone in the bank lobby is interested in hearing what you are going to bring to the small group potluck Thursday night. And, yes, they should mind their own business, but it is difficult when your voice matches the volume of your friend Wanda, because your phone is on the maximum volume. I promise, it really is that loud. Either learn to text, or stay in your car to use the phone.
- If you are not an expert, you might want to sit silently for a change. Some people feel an overwhelming urge to form an opinion and speak about every single topic that might come up in conversation. There is simply too much information out there for a person to be well-versed enough in all realms. Certainly, one wants to be thoroughly knowledgeable about a topic before committing to an opinion and debating in a conversation. Right? Right?! If it is possible that you do not know very much about a topic and might gain from simply listening to people who do know speak about it, then simply listening is always the best choice. Simply listening is really underrated, but highly advantageous in many settings. No one ever learned anything when his/her mouth was moving.
- Consider wearing real clothes when out and about. I know I am really showing my age on this one, but really. I have leggings and sweatshirts that are really just about as comfortable as my pajamas. I don’t think it is asking too much to suggest that folks switch out of nightwear and into different apparel before heading into town. At least brush your hair and teeth and wash your face. For goodness’ sake. I don’t expect business suits and a full face of makeup, but I am beginning to wonder if some of you have any real pants. You know, the kind that button and zip?
- If you are not going to drive at least the speed limit, kindly stay out of the left lane. I am not in any way suggesting that anyone break any laws. I happen to spend a large portion of time driving. In my travels, I find many drivers who seem to enjoy cruising along in the left lane for reasons unknown. That can and does cause traffic issues for those of us who are not cruising along at our leisure. If you are not passing another vehicle, you need to mosey along in the right lane. Sometimes, when you pop out into the left lane, you must forget to pop back into the right lane. While you’re singing along to your John Denver cassette, I’m behind you trying to think positive thoughts.
- Let’s keep the 6 feet apart rule forever. I know it’s hard in schools and with children, but for adults, can we all agree on this one? Can we all agree to stay 6 feet apart from people we don’t know, or even people we do? I liked this rule even before it was a rule. If you are a person who needs his/her personal space, this has been a real bonus from the pandemic. When I went into a store for the first time and saw those Xs marking where people could stand, I was just elated. I wanted to volunteer for the job of making sure people stood on the Xs and didn’t wander off of their Xs and mess up the system. I wanted to blow a whistle and point to the X. The Xs are gone now and I miss them. People are back to bumping me in the backside with their carts because they are talking too loudly on their phones and aren’t paying attention.
- If you think something nice about someone, tell him/her. It doesn’t matter how small or silly it may seem to you, it is worth sharing. There have been so many times when I have given just a quick compliment to a stranger and I immediately knew that the person had really desperately needed to hear kind words. Never underestimate what your words can do. We all see people everyday who could use kind words. We can offer them with little effort and at no cost. We simply have to open our eyes and hearts.
Happy 2022! I hope all of my friends have a wonderful new year!