A new year, a new me

Published 9:24 am Wednesday, December 31, 2008

By By MaryClaire Foster
Being the eve of the New Year, I’ve decided to make a New Year’s resolution and stick with it.
I, like most people, have made resolutions in the past and not tried to keep them at all or lasted barely a week with them.
I always think I can do it, because when Lent rolls around I’ve almost always stuck to the sacrifice I’ve made that year, but that may be because I’m doing it for religious reasons and New Year’s is just personal.
From what I’ve read, somewhere between only five and 15 percent of people keep their resolutions.
I don’t know if it’s fortunate or unfortunate for me, but I have a long list of things I want to improve upon in my life or add to it, and have plenty to choose from for my New Year’s resolution.
I guess New Year’s is the perfect opportunity to start on that list, so I think the first thing I’ll pick is brushing up on my foreign language skills.
I took German for a few semesters in college, but when I decided I was not going to go through with my art history major, I ended the classes and have now lost most of my knowledge of the language.
What got my interest piqued again is meeting my friend Natalie’s new boyfriend Bernie, who is Austrian, over the Christmas holidays.
So, after stammering through responses in German and constantly saying “Was?” (what?) I’ve decided to pick it up again. Plus, I figure when I’m driving those long stretches to see family I can practice with some audio lessons.
Another big thing is keeping up with my finances better, and I’ve recently been directed to the Web site, Mint.com.
Mint is a Web site that you link your financial accounts to (i.e. checking, savings, credit cards, loans) and it keeps track of how you spend your money and offers ways to improve your financial situation.
I’ll have to admit, I wasn’t that surprised when the biggest piece of my pie chart was shopping. I should be cut some slack though because those were mostly holiday presents.
As you may have noticed, whenever I find something new that I like, I write about it, and I’m the same in person, telling people about my new favorite things. It’s one of my quirks. I want to share what I think is neat or interesting with everyone else, and nothing makes me happier than having my column and being able to share with even more people.
At least I hope it’s seen as quirky and not annoying, but you’d have to ask my friends, because I usually pressure them into doing or trying whatever it is that I like.
Actually, maybe that should be my resolution, lay off pressuring people to do things they don’t want to.
One thing I will be doing to start off my New Year right is spending time with family. We have the traditional New Year’s Day meal of black-eyed peas and greens, and we always have a quarter in the cornbread, which I’ve found recently isn’t that common.
I’ve also just heard you shouldn’t wash clothes or else you’ll wash someone out of your life and don’t forget that midnight kiss with your special someone, it’s supposed to ensure your relationship will make it through the year.
Most importantly though, be careful and have a happy New Year!
MaryClaire Foster is news editor for the Atmore Advance. She can be reached at 368-2123 or via email at lifestyles@atmoreadvance.com

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