I’ve been reading articles in the newspapers and in recent magazines where writers have been speculating on the success of New Year’s resolutions, or more often on the lack of success. Some people talk about resolutions to finally take a long-awaited wonderful vacation. Some accept encouragement from TV advertisements on weight loss and make a resolution to finally lose weight in 2017. They may resolve to learn something new, reduce stress, or eliminate a bad habit.

One writer declares that New Year’s month is not a good time of the year to give resolutions much of a chance of success. People are just too busy to make it happen and it’s too easy to lose sight of a special goal unless it is put down on paper and posted where it will come before us whenever we begin to slack off. It needs to be posted with the pictures of the family on the refrigerator door, or on the computer, pad or cell phone’s home page. If help is needed from our friends, make those 2017 goals for life as a part of the home page for Facebook where everybody can comment with reminders and encouragement. Ignore the “friends” who predict that you won’t succeed.

I could set an example and make a resolution to “not fly in an airplane into the Bermuda Triangle” or to “not ride a buckin’ bronco in the Rawhide Professional Rodeo at the 2017 Jefferson County Fair.” I am 100 percent sure that I would have no trouble keeping either of those resolutions. Over the past year, I have observed some things happening around me that I consider to be worthy resolutions to be accomplished. I will list them as suggestions to be followed that will improve my own quality of life.

Resolution # 10 – Don’t scatter trash along the road. We live in a very scenic part of the country with nice green grass and wildflowers growing along our roads. Fast-food containers, bottles and cans, and other discarded trash spoil that appearance. Little plastic bags are readily available for carry-outs from local stores and it’s usually possible to find a little knob to hang them in the vehicle. Then take them home and put the bag in your own garbage and keep America beautiful.

Resolution # 9 – Improve products coming out of industry and make things work the way they were designed to function. Case in point, rolls of toilet paper! They are designed to have little perforated lines between the sheets on the roll. I find it frustrating when trying to tear off a piece of toilet paper and have it look like a wild bird has been ripping it off the roll to prepare for building a nest. Add to that, having the paper loaded in the holder so that it comes off the back instead of the right way – over the top and down over the front of the roll. On a few occasions in public places, I have felt obliged to turn the roll around to my satisfaction.

Resolution # 8 – Don’t tailgate on the road or play “Peek-A-Boo” with oncoming traffic by darting out on the center line to look for an opportunity to pass, then back to the right, and then back to the middle. I earned a speeding ticket a few years ago and I have concluded that speed limits are rules that I should follow, or at least pretty close. Even when driving at legal speeds, it is very quick and easy to become the leader of a pack of vehicles that get too up close and personal, and whisk by at the earliest chance to pass, sometimes setting up a dangerous situation.

Resolution # 7 – Don’t abandon shopping carts in the parking lot. If you sit in most parking lots for a few minutes, you will see what happens. A store customer will come out with a cart-full of stuff, unload into their vehicle, look guiltily around to see if anyone is visibly watching, then just give the cart a little push, jump into their car and drive away. That leaves the cart just sitting there for somebody else to bump into it when parking, or maybe launch the cart into somebody else’s vehicle. I recommend parking near one of those “cart corrals” where it’s easy to stow the used cart out of the way.

Resolution # 6 – Be courteous and safe in the use of cell phones. We keep hearing the risks involved with cellular calls while driving as well as the laws, but I still see many people driving around and talking. It is annoying when they walk the aisles of the grocery store while visiting loudly with a friend and sometimes continue that conversation while trying to check out and pay their bill. Have you been in a quiet restroom and had someone open a conversation? After responding to their comments, how embarrassing it becomes when you realize you’ve tried to enter their private cell phone conversation.

Resolution # 5 – Devise a different method of advertising in magazines. The most bothersome are the ones bound between pages on stiff paper. Every so often when I lose my grip on the magazine, it will op back to that page and I’ll lose my place. There are often long disclaimers about the safe use of a product, designed to protect the manufacturer from a lawsuit. I’d rather just talk with my friendly neighborhood druggist about the risks of that product when it has been prescribed for me.

Resolution # 4 – Find an easier way to keep food packages safe from contamination. I have a problem opening the seal on my corn flakes, my Saltine crackers, and almost everything that comes with a heated seal. The companies that make all these food products need to confer with the people who have created the sticky substance for the Post-It Notes. People tell me that they’ve resorted to clipping their food packages with scissors. Do we need to set the table with a pair of scissors along with the knife, fork and spoon?

Resolution # 3 – Advertisers must stop providing me with email messages, all sorts of mail in my daily mail from the Post Office and, even more importantly on the phone. I understand that some people are trying to make a living by tele-marketing but it is certainly a big nuisance. One day last week, we had five phone calls within a couple hours around lunch time. By the time my phone rings three times or so, many have already gone on to harass somebody else. It’s hard to not answer since it may be an important call and even caller-ID does not always provide a clue.

Resolution # 2 – Follow recording rules when doing a video for television sports news. When “Our Town, Brockway” was recorded for public television, we were advised to zoom-in or zoom-out, but don’t sweep across a scene too quickly for eyes to follow. When sports are shown on TV however; professional camera people do sweep as they follow the action, especially in basketball. The player shoots and hits or misses the basket, but much of the action is just a blur as it occurs. Back off, I say and get the whole picture from a little farther back.

Resolution # 1 – Cut out the family bashing on TV sitcoms. Whole families on TV these days, have a snappy put-down for almost everything someone else says or does. I’d hate to think that real families think and act that way. Our schools are encouraging kids to support each other and to support their own siblings, parents and friends. It is also irritating to me for “canned” laughter to erupt after each comment that is supposed to trigger my funny bone as well. I would certainly prefer family shows where the characters show respect for each other and what is right wins out in the end.

That’s it. In my opinion, following these 10 resolutions would make the world a better place for all of us. And they are all easy enough to keep that even I can do it. Can you? Please give it a try!

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