My resolutions for the new year are unlike any resolutions I’ve ever made. Quite creatively, I’m pushing the resolution envelope and making resolutions that should improve my life here in upstate New York. Indeed, I’m done with all the get-healthy resolutions that fall off in February and going for local gold!
Topping my resolution list? Smile more around town. As odd as that resolution may sound, I’ve often caught myself in department store mirrors and gasped, “Oh, lordy, who is that dour individual with the scary frown? Oh, shoot, that’s me!” Listen, I don’t mean to disparage our fine city (once labeled Smugtown USA), but we are not a city of big smilers. I observed this phenomenon when I moved here from Ohio years ago, and I am reminded of it whenever I travel south. So, I, too, have gotten into the unfortunate habit of not smiling so much. The thing is, when you smile, people smile back — and the world is a better place.
Next up? Broaden my restaurant and entertainment base to include more diverse establishments. I can be so stodgy when it comes to going out, now that I’m older and revel in familiar surroundings with folks who also turn in by 9 p.m. But that’s not always a good thing. For example, I’ve been itching to check out Radio Social, an entertainment complex that features bowling lanes, games, a restaurant and bar, and probably some of the best people-watching in the city. I’ve hedged, however, because I’m closer to playing bridge with the Grim Reaper than not. Well, nuts to that in 2019!
Another resolution: breaking my worst bad habit — complaining about our weather. Although I can tolerate days of miserable weather, I eventually snap by the third week, whining about this and snarling about that. I lash out at weather reporters, I curdle my husband’s ears with incessant grousing and I ultimately take my misery public, pulling innocents into the mire of my wretched weather woes. It’s awful, really. Anyway, I’m determined not to gripe when the foul weather gets under my skin.
I also intend to work harder at keeping my car clean during the harsh winter months, inside and out. I’m tired of finding “Clean me!” etched into the caked-on salt residue. And I never appreciate it when someone gets in my car, winces and asks, “What smells?” I’ll tell you what smells: weeks of food droppings, stagnant air and nervous sweat from all the potholes I hit. But, the truth is, I feel better when my car is clean and I drive better, too, respecting rules of the road with renewed gusto. Oh, and being able to ferry folks around without them hanging their head out the window like a sick dog is an incentive, too.
Finally, I would like to embrace Lake Ontario more, all year long. Even though I live but 30 minutes away from this Great Lake — and am awestruck by its beauty the rare times I do visit — I forget it’s there. To keep it alive in my memory bank, I first plan to attend this year’s Lakeside Winter Celebration, a festive event with carriage rides, ice sculpture demonstrations, a chili challenge and a polar plunge. Since I’ve never visited Lake Ontario during the winter, I’m excited to attend this event, and am especially looking forward to the polar plunge. Rumor has it Speedos may be worn!
Anne Palumbo writes this column for Messenger Post newspapers. Her email is