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New Years resolutions I can keep
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It is the season of those wonderful New Year’s resolutions. I don’t know what bothers me the most, making them or breaking them.

Back in the 1980s, someone asked me what sign I was born under. I’m pretty sure it was a sign reading “All You Can Eat Buffet.”

Just as soon as I get through dreaming of a white Christmas, I start dreaming of a smaller girth. I usually wake up hungry from that dream.

When I was a boy, clothing makers used polite names such as “husky” to describe lads like me. At first, I wasn’t offended by that term. Then I realized it was the same name they used for dogs from Siberia who are used to pull cross-country sleds.

After you get a few years older, you graduate to the big and tall department. I remember the first time I ventured into that territory. A sales clerk asked me which of the two I was looking for. I’m 5-foot-4, do you think I’m looking for tall?

Every year, I think this is the year. Then, I see those old girls who I’ve hung out with for decades. You know them: Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Fields, Little Debbie and Sara Lee, just to name a few.

Will I resolve to lose weight and exercise more? As sure as grits are groceries I will. Succeed? Let’s hope so.

If this is your year to lose weight, more power to you.

In the meantime, I think I’m going to focus on some much smaller resolutions I can complete and feel good about. On top of that, I have 365 days to make them happen.

  • I want to write more — not columns. One per week is plenty. I want to dust off my stationery and write people for no particular reason. Just to say thanks or I care or you mean so much to me. Emails are a cop-out. It takes a little thought to put pen to paper.
  • Call people for no reason. There are some people who I would like to call and just say hello. Maybe they’re not the Internet type and a phone call would make their day.
  • Do something nice for someone on just any day. Buy someone a bouquet of flowers on a day that is not their birthday or take a sick friend some hot chicken soup. Sometimes people just need a little touch on an ordinary day.
  • Attend the funeral of a stranger. Ask local funeral directors, if they occasionally have customers who have few friends or family. I want to just go and pay my respects to someone who deserves a little kindness as they leave this world.
  • Go visit someone when you don’t know what to say. Your action of showing you care will speak volumes.
  • Give a kid a dollar for no reason. A man did that for me one day and I thought it was a great moment. I still think about it.

I can add more to this list, but you get the idea. This is a list of resolutions I can really do something about and I would imagine some of them would get repeated. If I stay busy enough with things like this, I won’t have time for a snack.

Happy New Year!

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on

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