New Year resolutions and more

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

A New Year means a new start and for many people it’s a time to assess their lives and make a choice to change something—a New Year’s resolution.

New Year’s Day has traditionally been a day of strangeness for me.

New Year’s 2000, I awoke with the flu and the world had not ended. My resolution that year was not to buy into the end of the world theories.

And yes, I know some say 2012 is it. I don’t buy it.

New Year’s 2006, I awoke with a raging lump in my neck. My neck and face were swollen twice their normal size and I was in pain. After a trip to the doctor, I discovered I had a mineral deposit in my salivary gland from drinking the water where I lived.

That year’s resolution was pretty basic: Don’t drink the water.

New Year’s 2009, I awoke in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in my big toe. It felt like I had slammed it in a car door only the throbbing pain wouldn’t go away.

A trip to the doctor confirmed what I feared: I have gout. I learned I probably have trigger foods that set me off.

Since I had consumed an entire jug of cranberry juice in the 24 hours prior to the toe incident, I self-diagnosed that cranberries were not my friends. My resolution that year: Don’t eat cranberries.

I have never been a big fan of the New Year’s resolution; it seems by day four or five I have already begun to slip. And no one wants to be a failure, just a week into a new year.

I am proud to say, I no longer drink tap water or eat cranberries. I succeeded in two resolutions, but let’s just say I am not going to mention the number of failed resolutions.

New Year’s 2012, I awoke to ponder my New Year’s resolution and I am happy to report I had no strange physical ailments.

As I pondered the many things I want to change about my life in 2012 like lose weight, quit smoking, save money, vacation more, wake up earlier, eat healthy, spend more time with my family and more, my phone rang.

My new year was now off to a sad start. My grandmother had passed away.

Despite living more than 16 hours apart, we were very close. We talked on a regular basis often four or more times a week. She knew what was going on in my life and always offered me advice whether I wanted to hear it or not.

My grandmother wasn’t your typical sweet little old granny sitting in a rocking chair knitting and sipping tea. Yes, she enjoyed crocheting but she also enjoyed her bi-weekly bridge games where losing wasn’t an option.

She frequently called me in the evenings to let me know she was drinking her brandy and sometimes she made me drink a beer with her.

We talked about silly stuff. She tried to make me blush when she was watching the news one night and educated me on cuddle parties. It became our personal joke. She’d say she had to get off the phone because she was on her way to a cuddle party.

She always said what was on her mind. Sometimes people didn’t like it, but she gave them hell anyway.

“I am old enough to say and do what I want. When you get my age, you can too,” she’d always tell me.

And she did. She made people mad sometimes, but she said what she thought.

I had the opportunity to fly to Illinois to spend a few days with her in August. We lived it up—sipping wine at 4 p.m., playing cards, talking and just being together. The rule was you couldn’t drink until 4 p.m. (I think that’s because it was 5 o’clock somewhere).

Don’t get me wrong, grandma wasn’t a big drinker, she just enjoyed pulling my leg, having a beverage in the evening to help her sleep and giving people hell. Her sense of humor was unlike any other.

Parting ways on our phone conversations, I’d say, “Grandma, you behave.”

She’d say with a snicker, “You know I won’t. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

As 2012 began, I was knocked back a step to know I won’t be having those long phone conversations about nothing and everything with Grandma anymore. However, as I have been reveling in the memories, I am glad I have them. Nothing can take away the time we spent together and the memories we made.

I know 2012 will be a new year filled with adjustments, but I am staying positive it will be a year filled with abundance and blessings for all.

And I promise not to do anything my grandma wouldn’t have done! (Look out world.)


Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.