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Szymanski: New Year's goals, not resolutions this time, set for 2018

Lois Szymanski
Lois Szymanski

We are one week into the new year. How many of us are working on our New Year’s resolutions? And how many have already given up on them?

This is the first year I did not make a resolution, but I did make a list of goals. I must not be the only one doing this, because one of my friends wrote a Facebook post about how she was setting goals this year as well. I am not sure what is different about a goal, but to me, it feels less like a promise. Since I hate to break a promise — even when it is to myself — I went with goals this year, instead of resolutions. That way, if I fail, I can just carry it on to the next year or even change my list of goals and no promise will be broken.

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One of my friends online wrote, “My goal for 2018 is to accomplish the goals I listed in 2017, which I should have done in 2016 because I actually decided on them in 2015.” That made me laugh. I am not the only procrastinator out there!

My list of goals this year starts with the same one that always made the top of the resolution list. To lose weight. I have a head start on it this year. I lost a few pounds by sheer hard work when clearing the fields for the miniature horses. It was at that time that I decided to start counting calories and keep the trend going. Then we lost our dog and I stopped eating for a bit because I was depressed. By then, I’d lost 19 pounds. I did gain two pounds back over the Christmas holidays, but I am back to counting again.

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A quote from Jay Leno on this topic always makes me laugh. He said, “Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you’ve met your New Year’s resolution.” I wish it were that easy!

The most pressing goal on my list is to get a second miniature horse. Tater Tot, the sweet little miniature horse who moved into the field next to my house early this fall — the one who made me fall in love and drove me to look for a mini of my own — is gone. His owner leased him out to a therapeutic riding program and he left on New Year’s Day. Now, he is going to be sharing all that love with all the right people. I am happy for him, but my little mini, Georgie McLittle, is lonely now. This is one goal I WILL accomplish. I love that little boy, so I will find him a friend. In fact, I already have appointments to see several minis this week!

On my list of 2018 goals is to get more organized, help my husband paint, and to do more things with family. I also want to think more about how I react to things, to weigh things more evenly in the future.

Oprah Winfrey once said, “In this world, there are a lot of things that are beyond our control; but what you do have control over is how you react to whatever happens in your life.”

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The political climate in this country makes it easy to react in a way that is harsh on those who do not believe the same, do not look the same, do not act the same. I have a goal of weighing all sides to be sure I am reacting in a way that is all inclusive. That is the example I want to set for my grandkids.

The last of my goals is to start a new series of children’s books. I want to write the story of how the little miniature pony, Tater Tot showed up in our lives, because I know that he came for a reason. He not only prompted me to get Georgie, but those two minis helped me through the dark week after we lost our sweet dog, Ryley. I can’t help but believe they were sent with a purpose. Some greater being knew that we were going to lose Ryley.

So many things happen for a reason. I want kids to know that. Even when we don’t understand what that reason is, there is one, and often we figure it out in the days to come. I am hoping a series about the minis can start with that message.

Little Georgie’s heart — as big as Texas — continues to be there for me on the hard days. When he sees me coming toward the field he comes trotting to the gate, sometimes whinnying, “Hello!” And now that he has a friend coming, I know there will be a plethora of material coming that I can write about in a continuing series.

Brad Paisley was quoted on Twitter as saying, “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”

That’s what I hope to do. What will you do in 2018?

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