BIRD WATCH: Remember to make, keep resolutions

THERE IS ALWAYS some looking back when a new year arrives.

After perusing columns written for other New Year’s, this one stood out.

I enjoyed rereading it.

I hope you will too.

“Thirty-two years ago, when this column was born, if someone had asked what I would be writing about for the year 2000, I probably would have questioned my seeing the end of this century.

“It is impossible to reach any milestone without looking back, but too much looking back is a sign of old age.

“When we begin a new year, it’s time to think about the future.

“That’s why we make New Year’s resolutions.

“Have you made yours?

“We will begin a new century when this one draws to a close one year from now.

“Are we going to greet that century with the same old resolutions, or will we have some exciting new ones?

“It is hard to let go of the past.

“How can a New Year’s resolution list be written if it doesn’t include: 1) I will lose (?) pounds. 2) I will clean out all the cupboards and closets. 3) I will conquer the piles of mail covering the counters and desk.

“These resolutions land on my list every year, but so do others I am loathe to let go.

“4) I will add more birds to my North American Life List. 5) I will read more. 6) I will spend more time with those I love. 7) I will spend more time outdoors.

“These are resolutions I can make, knowing I will keep them.

“The others are just ‘shoulding’ on myself.

“I ‘should’ do the first three, but I want to do the last four.

“Those resolutions belong to the 20th century.

“Some I will either master this year or drop them forever.

“Some I will carry into the next century.

“Next Jan. 1, I hope I will have some new resolutions that will be a bit more exciting than the ones I’ve struggled with for too many years.

“That is my one new resolution for this year.

“I’m going to be looking forward, seeking out goals and challenges that will be new and exciting. (And I don’t mean trying skydiving or bungie-jumping.)

“Determining my New Year’s resolutions for the 21st century calls for some hard studying.

“So, I am going to do what I said we shouldn’t do.

“I’m going to do some looking back.

“I’m going to study as much of this past century as I can because there is much to learn from it, from the lives of the individuals who shaped it.

“One of those individuals was Roger Tory Peterson.

“This name might not be well known to most of the world, but in the world of birdwatching and bird watchers, it represents the evolution of birdwatching in the 20th century.

“Peterson’s simple but ingenious field guide identification system revolutionized birdwatching.

“What he put into print for the layman set the standard for generations of birdwatchers.

“There are hundreds of individuals like Peterson.

“They touched our lives and in many instances changed them.

“Before I draw up resolutions for the 21st century, I want to study the lives of some of these people.

“The greatest challenge will be choosing the books best suited for the task.

“The first one has been chosen.

“It is, ‘American Greats,’ edited by Robert A. Wilson and Stanley Marcus.

“It is a collection of essays I am looking forward to not only reading, but being inspired by.

“One is about John James Audubon.

“It is about the task he devoted many years of his life to, painting all of the birds of North America — life-size.

“That’s no small task when you include flamingoes and whooping cranes.

“Our New Year’s resolutions should inspire us.

“I’m looking for that inspiration by reading these essays and choosing other similar books to read.

“Only if we want to keep our resolutions, will we keep them and in doing so, add something special to our lives.

“Now it’s on to 2000 and getting ready for the next century.

“We can only wonder at what changes this year will bring — to the world and to our lives.

“Exciting to think about, but scary too.

“Happy New Year.”

And, once again — Happy New Year and on to 2018.

________

Joan Carson’s column appears every Sunday. Contact her at P.O. Box 532, Poulsbo, WA 98370, with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for a reply. Email: joanpcarson@comcast.net.

More in Life

OPEN’s Spring Tack Sale is Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 251 Roupe Road (off Hooker Road). Proceeds benefit rescued horses, minis, ponies (such as the one pictured with grossly overgrown hooves) and donkeys. Western and English saddles, saddle pads, halters, sheets, bits, bridles; western jewelry, clothes, boots and more. (photo by Valerie Jackson)
HORSEPLAY: Clean up after yourself and your horse

CLEAN UP ON aisle 7! Remember: Unlike a grocery store clerk who… Continue reading

The Olympic Kiwanis Club reports that its recent electronics recycling event was even more popular than planned for.
Kiwanis recycling event a success

The Olympic Kiwanis Club reports that its recent electronics recycling event in… Continue reading

Future Chefs contest names cooking contest winners

Sodexo and the Port Angeles School District have announced… Continue reading

A GROWING CONCERN: Get the dirt on soil

SINCE WE TALKED extensively about you growing your own award-winning vegetables, we… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Finding solace in song

WHEN OUR DAUGHTER Maggie died, I found so much comfort in listening… Continue reading

OUUF speaker scheduled

The Rev. Bruce Bode will present “Are All Humans… Continue reading

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith.
Unity in Port Townsend planning for Sunday services

The Rev. Pam Douglas-Smith will present “Love is Orange:… Continue reading

The Rev. Cindy Akana
Program scheduled for OUUF on Sunday

The Rev. Cindy Akana will present “Nurturing Your Inner… Continue reading

Andrew May/For Peninsula Daily News   
Now is the perfect time to lay down some rich, organic compost and rake in a high quality grass seed for a beautiful lawn come summer.
A GROWING CONCERN: Garden chore list grows in spring

SPRING HAS SPRUNG, the grass has risen, now’s the time to get… Continue reading

Some of the evidence recovered when they were arrested.
BACK WHEN: Jail break on the Olympic Peninsula

THE STORIES OF life and crime can take many twists and turns.… Continue reading

ISSUES OF FAITH: Be a bastion of truth against the onslaught of lies

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth… Continue reading

Weekend hybrid program planned

Ari Ostlie will present “The Wealth of Spirit” at… Continue reading