Now that the final moment of Christmas is over and radio stations are no longer playing songs by Bing Crosby and Dean Martin, the focus now moves to the New Year.
In just a few days, it will be 2011. I miss the last century. Everybody knew what year it was. It was easily said, such as "nineteen seventy."
We have not quite figured out this 2000 thing. "Two thousand and eleven" is a mouthful. I'm sticking with "twenty-eleven." There are those who want to stick an "and" in the middle of it, but that's OK.
And what about the decade, we are about to enter the second year of the teens, or so I guess. I don't think anyone knows what the first decade was called. I don't know if it was the oughts, the zeros or something else.
New Year's resolutions have never really worked for me. As sure as I say I'm going to give up sweets, somebody brings me a wonderful, tasty pie.
But I'm going to try to do a few things better this year.
I want to care more.
Just before Christmas, I was in a parking lot and a woman flagged me down and gave me a tale of woe about needing money for gas to go to the drugstore and get someone some medicine. I gave her everything I had in my pocket, which was about $4.
I found myself worrying too much about whether I'm being scammed. I also found myself thinking about that Bible verse where Jesus talks about doing things for the needy. I shouldn't worry so much (add that to my list).
I want to spend quality time with those dear to me.
I owe a lot of friends and family a good visit. That doesn't mean sending an e-mail. Sometimes, we feel like we visit with someone when we exchange e-mails or say hello on Facebook. I want to sit down and talk and laugh. Remember talk? We used to do that face-to-face before the days of cell phones and the Internet.
Like a lot of families, the only time we see each other is when someone dies. Each time, we promise that we will get together soon and it doesn't happen. I'd rather sit on my deck than in a funeral home any day.
I want to pay a little more civic rent.
There are places and organizations in our communities that are in need of a little help. We all need to pitch in from time to time and give a little sweat equity to the institutions in the places we live. It might be reading to some children or picking up trash, but we ought to chip in.
If I said I wanted to eat less, I would be lying.
I don't want to eat less, but I sure as shooting need to. Why is greasy stuff that tastes oh, so good, so bad for you?
I know you have a list of your own desires for 2011. I wish you well and hope when this column comes to an end next week, we'll stay in touch.
Harris Blackwood is a columnist for The Times. His column appears in Sunday Life.