The beautiful Christmas carols and other seasonal tunes have taken flight from the airwaves and it’s somewhat bittersweet to say good-bye to music that helped transform the dark and rainy days in this wintry season. One moment, we’re sharing good times and making happy memories —and it seems like in the blink of an eye, we’re back to our usual routines like work and school and other responsibilities. Let’s hope the Christmas season lingers in our hearts throughout the next several weeks and we can look back and enjoy those special times long after the thank you notes have been written and the decorations have been put away.

I’m beginning 2018 with a heart full of gratitude for the return of strength and energy following surgery just a couple weeks ago. The words, “you are free from cancer,” are almost as beautiful as, “I’ll love you forever and a week,” a phrase I never tire of hearing even after 36 years. I hope that all young women will do breast self-exams every month, and that all women over 40 will have a mammogram every year. Medical research is the key to a cure, and we are so fortunate to live longer and better lives as a result.

With the New Year just right around the corner, it’s time to think about making resolutions — something most of us do as a matter of habit — or having thoughts about making positive changes in ourselves and our lives. It seems like we all plan to lose 20 pounds and love our enemies and be one with nature and the world, at least for a couple of days or so. Then reality rushes in and most of the unrealistic expectations disappear as quickly as they arrived. Wouldn’t be great if we could make some positive resolutions everyone can all live with — and enjoy the good results — in the coming year.

Take the time to clean out the closets and drawers filled with all the things you don’t wear and haven’t used in awhile. There are many organizations that provide families and individuals with much-needed clothing and household items, and they are a phone call or a quick stop away. While you’re at it, look through the cans of food in your pantry and see what you can take to the Ella Curran Food Bank to share with others.

Our Central Lions Club invites all MI Town seniors — and family members — to begin the New Year with a complimentary breakfast at the Monmouth Senior Center on Jan. 1 beginning at 8:30 a.m. What a great way to begin 2018. Happy New Year everyone.

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