With January 1, 2008 soon to be on the calendar this is the time for fresh starts. Some will say that serious New Year’s resolutions are not wise as there is too much stress with the holidays just passed, and therefore large goals should be implemented differently to be successful. That always makes sense to me if the goal is to lose 40 pounds, or to end a gambling addiction. But my resolutions this year, much as in the past, are more tempered in the day-to-day living of life.
When I first moved to Madison in late December 1986 I would often say that I lived in Madison, but my home was back where I grew up in central Wisconsin. Over the years that has changed to where I am truly now home in Madison. It took a long while to make that mental leap, but I love where I am now! Yet I have never done a serious reading of Madison history. I know bits and pieces and can weave the general narrative of the city to a stranger, but I wish to better understand the place I now call home. So the first book of the year for me will be “Madison, A History Of The Formative Years” by David Mollenhoff. The book came with our new/old house in 2007, and I am eager to start my voyage through the rich history of this amazing city. In addition, I want to further understand the house I live in, and the people who once also called this place home.
High on the agenda is my continuing effort to learn to play the piano. This past year did not afford me the time required to become the next Floyd Cramer. But I do enjoy music and have personal incentives to drive me. I plan to spend some time each day learning and practicing. I am reminded as I write that Archie Bunker once likened Edith’s singing to that of cats being strangled. I hope the neighbors will think more kindly of my musical efforts.
The aim of low stress living this year is one that both James and myself will try and abide by. In that effort we are not going to garden our two vegetable plots, as they are a great deal of work throughout the summer. Instead we are going to concentrate on the flowers and landscaping at our home. I have already planned where the sunflowers will grow in the backyard, and am looking forward to expanding the flowerbeds and plants that will someday overtake the lawn. Less grass is more attractive! The flowers are not only fun to grow, but also provide the perfect place to sit around with a good read on a warm summer day.
I have always been quite good with geography but still find that while reading international news a more obscure city or river cannot be placed in my head. So the new geographical dictionary at my desk is going to be used frequently while reading this year. In addition, I am going to once again read a magazine that I loved for many years. In December I subscribed to Columbia Journalism Review. While working at the Capital I would buy it from Pic-A-Book on State Street. Reading some stories online is fine, but I love to discover that our mailman has a magazine in the mailbox.
Oh…and I plan to follow politics too………