I was on the phone with Aunt Vera, an amazing lady who possesses 101 years of wisdom and a mind that’s still sharp as a tack. After we wished each other a Merry Christmas, we talked about how different Christmas was this year and how sorry we were not to be able to see her in person, as we usually do over the holidays.

We talked about how excited we were at the news about COVID vaccines, and how happy we will be to visit her when it’s once again safe to do so. We also talked about how much we were looking forward to the New Year, and to 2021 being much better than 2020. She then asked if I’d made any New Year’s Resolutions.

“Just one so far,” I told her, “a health-related one. I’m going to try to eat an apple every day.”

I still make New Year’s Resolutions every year, and usually do a pretty good job of keeping them up, at least for a while. Some actually become habits and routines in my daily life, while others accomplish a specific goal. And, of course, some fade away or never really get off the ground. Sometimes I rework those resolutions for another attempt later on.

My New Year’s Resolutions usually cover some combination of self-improvement, health and nutrition, and efforts to organize and declutter my home and my life. When I told this to Aunt Vera, she responded that it’s nice to do things that help others, too.

Like I said, 101 years of wisdom.

After we got off the phone, I started to think of New Year’s Resolutions I could make that would be of benefit to other people. At first, I thought this would be difficult, since we’re still following COVID  precautions and practices that keep most of us separated from each other. But then I realized how many things I can do, even from a distance. A phone call or email to someone I haven’t talked to in a while, or who may be going through an especially difficult time right now. A card or note to someone just to let them know I’m thinking about them. A Zoom chat with someone who’s living alone and may be feeling especially isolated. Or even a special prayer for someone who strikes me as being in need of one, or someone I’m especially grateful for, for any number of reasons.

I’ll start with Aunt Vera. And I’ll make a special note on my desk calendar as a reminder, day by day and week by week, to make a point of doing something nice for someone else. Once I establish the habit, and the mindset, I’m sure I will get as much – or more – pleasure from it than the people for whom I’m doing it.

The next time I talk to her, I’ll be sure to tell Aunt Vera about this, and how much she inspired me. I’m sure she’ll be pleased with this New Year’s Resolution.

Which means it’s working.

January 2, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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