New Years Resolutions. Everyone, it seems, makes them. Everyone breaks them.
I’ve never understood why anyone would choose to start off a brand-spanking new year – a year filled with nothing but promise and opportunity — with a list of things to give up! Or an arduous “To Do” list that makes the dawning of January 1st nothing but dismal (as if the weather in New England isn’t bleak enough at that time). I refuse to participate in such a masochistic ritual. Instead, here’s my list of resolutions for 2008 that I’m sure I can keep – and will be happy doing so!!
Eat Better. My cooking abilities are just fine thank you. But living alone again after a recent divorce, I find that I don’t cook as much as I used to. Instead I’ve been having a lot of soggy cereal and sodium-rich canned soups for dinner. No more! I’m committed to eating better in 2008. Solstice in Kingston…East Bay Grille and the Roo Bar in Plymouth… with all these great restaurants nearby, it should be a snap to eat better in 2008! What’s better than dinner out?!
Drink Less Alcohol. They say alcohol has a lot of empty calories. Vodka…gin…bourbon…whiskey…who needs it? I’m sticking exclusively with red wine! Wednesday nights from 6p.m. – 8p.m. you’ll be able to find me at The Vine in downtown Plymouth for their wine tastings. Just $16 gets me 4 half-glasses of wine, appetizers and an enlightening education. When I find a wine I really like and want to take home a bottle – or two – for myself, I head to Jamie’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Carver. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jamie himself (at The Vine, actually). He really knows his stuff, and can help you in making wine selections you’re sure to be happy with.
Save Money. Since moving to the South Shore from New Hampshire about 6 months ago, I’ve found lots of ways to save money here! (Sales and Excise Tax aside.) Did you know there’s a Talbot’s Outletin Hingham? I’ve picked up lots of quality-made fashions for one heck of a bargain. Summer skirts and tops for $10! Fall and winter fashions at prices even I was happy to pay! Between that and the savings coupons I seem to get every other week from Macy’s, I’m saving up a storm — almost enough to take myself shopping at the Wrentham Premium Outlets!
Get a Better Education. My college education from Suffolk University wasn’t exactly what I’d call rigorous. But I am a big believer in life-long learning. BraintreeHigh School offers an extremely robust Community Continuing Education Program. Their catalog is over 50 pages and it’s chock-full of classes in the arts, cooking, languages, writing, computer literacy, Tai Chi, Pilates, Yoga, and other forms of exercise. When I want to enrich my soul, I take in a concert at the Phil – The Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra. There are concerts coming up in March, April and May. Music Director Steven Karidoyanes offers pre-concert talks before the classical concerts and the Phil has a “Student Rush” ticket program where any full-time high school or college student has the opportunity to attend a Philharmonic subscription concert for just $5 – now that’s an education worth getting! (Call the Phil for details at 508-746-8008.)
Take a Trip. I enjoy traveling – I think it’s a great way to reward myself for all the long hours I put in at work. Last June I took a 10-day trip to Northern Italy, and I’m already planning a trip to Paris this May. But I work hard damn it! And a big European vacation just once a year isn’t reward enough for all my efforts. Luckily I live in New England where the states are small and so varied from one another that in just a few hours drive I can experience the rocky Maine coastline, the rolling green hills of Vermont, the harbor towns of Massachusetts, New Hampshire’s wilderness and the luxuries of Rhode Island. What’s more, from Boston it’s just a 4-hour bus, train or even car ride to New York City. I’ll be taking a gazillion day trips this year! Any restaurant on Federal Hill in Providence or Boston’s Café Vittoriain the North End is as close as you can get to visiting an Italian Ristorante without the 8-hour flight. A visit to Newport’s Mansions is like traveling back in time. For me, so is a trip to Cape Cod, but that’s more like traveling back to the idyllic days of my childhood — rather than the Vanderbilt’s 1800’s. Is there anything better than an ice cream cone from the Sundae School in Dennis, Mass? People who didn’t spend their summers on the Cape claim this ice cream is no better — some say not even as good as — plain ol’ Ben and Jerry’s. But I wouldn’t take these people with me anywhere – not even on a trip to the town dump!
See my point? Doesn’t this list of resolutions sound much better than “Give Up Chocolate,” “Lose 10 Pounds,” “Exercise More.” Shouldn’t we look forward to the New Year? Shouldn’t we awaken on January 1st and feel good – well, as good as we can with a New Year’s hangover? Shouldn’t we start the New Year feeling positive about all we hope to accomplish over the next 365 days, rather than already feeling guilty for not going to the gym (because who wants to work out with hangover anyway)? I say: Live life to the fullest in 2008! Now that’s one resolution we should all put on our list.