New Year's has never been a big holiday for me. In my twenties, the parties seemed a little desperate, people trying too hard to act like they were having fun. I do celebrate in a low key way -- have some champagne and hang out with friends on the 31st, then watch the Rose Parade. But for me, the shift from December to January has always been more about a flip of a calendar page rather than something momentous.
Last year, I tried making a resolution -- for the second time in my adult life. In my early-twenties, I, along with a group of four friends, made a resolution to stop smoking. Every single one us wound up smoking a cigarette before the end of January 1st. (Though we did all subsequently quit, a group resolution wasn’t the way to do it.) Last year's resolution was to challenge my comfort zones -- emotional, mental and physical. Like most writers, I tend toward introversion, so this was a great experience for me. And I had fun doing it. I started volunteering at our local botanical gardens -- weeding, pruning, planting. I also added a third yoga class to my weekly schedule. I met new people and broadened my social circle.
This year's changing of the calendar is far more fraught than those of the past. I suspect 2017 will be full of challenges. In the face of what may be coming, my resolution for this year is to speak up more, contact people in power, and act out; all with the goal of keeping my vision of our country alive.