HELP LINE: It’s time to make resolutions for 2019

IT’S ALMOST NEW Year’s Eve, and you know what that means:


And, well, sure. Why not?

Another thing that New Year’s Eve inevitably means is resolutions.

Indeed, it’s the time of the season when we devise ways to be better people than we’ve been so far.

And who can fault such an honorable endeavor?

True, we often tend to set ourselves up by resolving to do things that, so far, we’ve been unable (or, unwilling) to do, relying on the magic of a new year to carry the day.

It won’t. It never has.

The only thing in the universe that will change Jan. 1 is that we’ll have to remember to write a different year on our checks — beyond that, nothing.

But that doesn’t mean that we can’t change ourselves; meaning, we certainly can change what we do (or, don’t do which can, at times, be more compelling).

So, allow me to share a few of my own resolutions for 2019.

If any of them seem applicable, feel free to make them your own; if not, remember that your goal in life is not to be more like me (Lord knows).

So, in 2019, I resolve:

• To remember that the more I talk, the less I learn;

• And that everyone has something to teach me, regardless of their age, gender or any other immutable characteristic;

• To show up, pay attention, tell the truth and let go of the outcome;

• To remember that perfection is not required. The pursuit of perfection is;

• To put the toilet seat down and keep my head up;

• To acknowledge that “doing the right thing” isn’t usually tough to figure out, and when it is, simply remembering to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me” generally clears things up;

• To remain steadfast in the simple realization that your business is not my business, unless you make it so. And, vice versa;

• To think for myself, instead of just thinking what other people told me I should think;

• To remember that I can act the way I want to feel and, soon, I’ll feel the way I act;

• To keep my promises;

• And to be smart about the promises I make;

• To wash the car occasionally;

• To be grateful for the wisdom that age has provided, and anxious for the wisdom yet to come;

• To remind myself that I am not the only person on the planet thus what I want or think I need, at any given moment, might have to change, which doesn’t make me less;

• To remember that humility is no more than embracing the staggeringly obvious;

• To remind myself that most people who want power, shouldn’t have it;

• To remember that simple courtesy goes a long way;

• To admit that chocolate is probably not a major food group;

• But it does have its place thus, moderation and deprivation differ;

• To keep repeating (to myself) that courage is not the absence of fear;

• And that love is always stronger than fear;

• To recall that it is not my job to have the best idea, but it is my job to know the best idea when I hear it;

• To remember that, “It’s always been that way” is an observation, not a sentenceand, in all likelihood, not true;

• To admit that my mind is not always my best friend, so there is, often, a difference between what I imagine, and what is true particularly when it comes to people;

• To note that interruptions might be opportunities;

• To celebrate the fact that each day brings glorious possibilities along with laundry, vacuuming and dirty dishes. So it goes;

• To accept the fact that I am, in the end, my own problem;

• And my own responsibility.

• And, finally, I resolve to stop saying that “I can’t save the world,” because I can save the world. I can save the world from more suffering, more fear, more pain, more sadness and more dehumanization, simply by being the best me I can be.

So can you.

Happy New Year.


Mark Harvey is director of Clallam/Jefferson Senior Information & Assistance, which operates through the Olympic Area Agency on Aging. He is also a member of the Community Advocates for Rural Elders partnership. He can be reached at 360-452-3221 (Port Angeles-Sequim), 360-385-2552 (Jefferson County) or 360-374-9496 (West End), or by emailing

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