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Do These Three Things to Start Your New Year on the Right Track

The Ontario County Courthouse, Canandaigua, NY
The Ontario County Courthouse, Canandaigua, NY

Happy New Year to all of my Finger Lakes Living readers. Writing a blog takes a considerable amount of effort and it has been quite a while since I have received any feedback on my posts (other than from Jeanette and a few close friends in Pennsylvania and Texas). The contact button at the top right hand side of my blog has now been repaired and you can reach me for comment at Just hit the contact button on the right hand side. Your comments are important to me as I sometimes wonder if anyone reads my posts. I post positive articles about the Finger Lakes because I enjoy living here in this beautiful region of New York State.

Over the Christmas holiday, I thought about three things that I need to do so I can start the New Year on the right track and I want to share them with you:


Now that the Christmas holidays are over, there is a pile of catalogues that need to be recycled. There’s no way that I am going to order anything more from these people. Thanks to the catalogue merchants  for keeping the United States post offices busy, but I am broke, and even thought your catalogues thoroughly entertained me, even when I can’t sleep at night, it’s time for you to go.

Jeanette knows that I have a bad habit of saving everything and now my office is piled high with things that should have been junked, filed, or put away a long time ago. So I must force myself to get busy and clean up the place.

There’s a lot more serious junk that comes our way via the television and internet. The really sad thing about this junk is that there is no way of knowing if the information received is true or false. People used to be innocent until proven guilty. Now, their guilt is assumed and left to be proved innocent by the number of internets tweets or Facebook comments. And why do I need to see the same pictures of floods and other people’s miseries for days and days on end?  Shut off the television and take a walk.


Because of our modern communication systems, we only see perfection: the perfect golf shot, the beautiful news broadcaster who has been perfectly made-up and never stumbles while reading the prompter, the Hail Mary football pass which is caught in the end zone for the win despite three other defenders. We don’t see the endless hours of practice and coaching that goes into this “Cinderella” kind of perfection. I like the story about Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone. In back of his workshop he had a pile of over 1100 phones. When he was asked if they were his failures, he replied, “No, they are just examples of how not to make a telephone!” We learn from our failures. If there are no failures, there is no learning!


Life without having someone to share it with would be intolerably miserable for me. I miss my old friend Bob Stackhouse who passed away in 2008. But the wonderful thing about having friends to share your life with is that there is no limit on the number of friends that you can have. And as you know, friends come into our lives and then seem to drift away for one reason or another. I had a surprise phone call from an individual who lived in the same dormitory when I was in college freshman in Indiana some 57 years ago. He found my name in the college directory and even though he now lives in Louisiana, he decided to give me a call. (I certainly can’t find fault with keeping touch with family and friends via the telephone.)  I didn’t recognize his voice and he sure had me guessing for a while as he kept telling me to turn down my music. I did have a hifi system while in college and a room-mate who liked progressive jazz! We had a ton of things to talk about as we tried to catch up on each other’s lives over the past 57 years. So pick up the phone and call someone that you haven’t heard from in years. You might be surprised at what you have been missing.

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