My most memorable Fourth of July was in 2001. My good friend Kathy and I took kayaks out on Murtaugh Lake west of Twin Falls, Idaho. It must have been over 100 degrees that day — that dry desert heat that makes you feel like you are in an oven.
We paddled around the cool lake, inching up to several grebe nests with eggs nestled in their centers. Sitting on the dock eating our lunch and quaffing our cold beers, I thought, “It doesn’t get any better than this.” Then came the line that Kathy — who never forgets some of my offhand comments — reminds me of to this day: “Fourth of July; next thing you know it will be Christmas.”
So, of course, the reverse saying has become my standard, too. “Christmas; next thing you know it will be the Fourth of July.” Christmas is over for another year and now the entire year of 2019 has evaporated. Remember when we thought it would be hard to call the year “two thousand”? Now we’re staring into the headlights of 2020.
It occurred to me that 2020 sounds sort of cool. I was born in the first year of a decade, and it’s always been easy to figure out how old I am because multiples of 10 are very easily calculated. This year’s multiple number is looking like it’s from a foreign country. Next thing you know you’re in a new decade wondering, “How did I get here so fast?”
Another saying that most everyone has uttered at one time or another is: Hindsight is 20/20. Maybe as we sit in 2020, we can look in the rear view mirror of life and give thought to the things we might have done differently had we known what we know now – hindsight. A New Year brings a fresh start and a time for reflection and change; hence, New Year’s resolutions.
A study first published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology in 2002 (“Auld lang Syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers”) found that those who made New Year’s resolutions had a 46% success rate compared to 4% of those deciding to make life changes at other times of the year. So, go ahead and make that resolution with confidence that you have a fairly good chance of being successful — if you do it today!
In January, each day gains between 90 seconds and 2 minutes of daylight. February bumps it up to 2 ½ minutes added each day. The vernal equinox in March is the time when the sun begins its ascent from the lowest point in the southern sky. Up here in Mazama, we are ecstatic about that. Ole Sol drops behind Lucky Jim Bluff and Sandy Butte very early in the afternoon, leaving us in the shadows during the winter months. We know the sun is shining somewhere because we can see it in the distance, but not in our backyards for a while.
Onward we go into this bright new decade. Resolve to make it a good one!
Update: Alison Naney, LMP, is now offering her massage services in Winthrop on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Her new space is in the “old Skate Barn” building at the top of the hill across from the Red Barn. She will still be in her studio in Mazama on Tuesday and part of Thursday.