by Lisa Adams Walter
Giving back to, connecting with others, and making both personal and
professional improvements top the 2015 New Year’s resolution list for
Napa Valley locals.
Every year, I undergo a period of post-holiday blues. Sometimes it hits between Christmas and the New Year celebration. Most often, it fully sets in during the cold, winter period following New Year’s Day. Usually my case of the blues fully manifests itself when I realize that there’s a very, VERY long stretch of time until the next, big, celebratory holiday: Independence Day.
Therefore, a few years ago, I searched for a cure for my post-holiday blues. As it turns out, making New Year’s resolutions pulls me out of my slump. A mini retreat with myself does the trick. At the beginning of January, I purposefully set aside a time to look both forward and backward. A walk during your lunch hour, or that time early in the morning before anyone else in the house gets up, or even a quiet, no-radio-allowed period while you commute to work, could each work well for your mini retreat. Open up your mind and focus on YOU!
For me, a designated effort at the beginning of each year provides a much-needed sense of peace. It is a simple and purposeful way to take care of yourself and those around you. Stop in the midst of the craziness and simply think about where you have been, where you are going, and where you want to be. It is only then that you can resolve to change something, try something new, or leave things alone.
Several Napa Valley locals have shared their resolutions for 2015. Many of the people that I spoke with stated that they don’t usually make resolutions. Once asked, however, they had some meaningful things to share. Perhaps being literally and figuratively shaken by the Napa Earthquake of 2014 has made all of us realize, individually and as a community, that certain things truly matter.
Being better to others, particularly to those we serve,
or to whom we are close, tops the New Year’s
Bob McClenahan Napa Valley Photographer, resolves to better serve his clients by bolstering his photographic skills, and his family by being a better husband and father. Along those lines, quality time with those that we love is key.
Kathy Briggs Napa Valley Esthetician, resolves to improve her family time two ways. “First, by not spending so much time on the phone and computer searching the endless web!” Briggs said, “I will spend that priceless time, time I can’t get back, by enjoying what’s right in front of me; my three children.” To take full advantage of that family time, Briggs is taking it a step further, “The second thing sounds much easier than it is – which is to say YES more often! Yes, we can go to the park. Yes, we can play. Yes, you can have that cookie!” For Briggs, this will improve her life in 2015 and for years to come. “I know this is the perfect resolution!,” she added.
C.C. Commander Interestingly, another local family is all set to improve its lives by saying, “No!” C.C. Commander of Napa said, “One of my New Year’s resolutions for this year is to work harder on saying, ‘No’ without feeling guilty. This will allow me the free time to say, ‘Yes’ for the things that truly matter.” Commander is focusing upon the simple things, the things that matter; her two children who are rapidly growing up, and creating projects with her husband, in which the entire family can participate, learn and grow. She is committed to getting back to the basics, and lives by this mantra, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”
Myles Davis “Last year, due to my fiftieth birthday, I believe that the year was all about me,” recalls Myles Davis of Napa who planned a solo adventure to Thailand and worked on his personal life in 2014, “So, this year, my resolution will be all about my daughters. Spending more time with them, helping them more and doing more things for them. I love my three girls and don’t think I’ve spent enough time doing things for them.”
Doug Bridewell Recently retired Napa City Firefighter has a lot to look forward to in 2015, “With the new chapter beginning in my life, my New Year’s resolution is to focus only on the things that make me happy in life: family, friends, travel, volunteering, outdoor activities, food and wine.” Happiness is contagious, so it sounds like a good idea to me. “I should also include exercise, so I can stay healthy to do all of these things!” Bridewell added.
Julie Perez Health, self-improvement and gratitude are also popular resolutions. More exercise and cleaner eating, which are obtainable with our moderate climate and agricultural community top the list for Julie Perez of Napa, “Generic perhaps, but I haven’t exercised in year and just started back… I feel great.”
Paul Stokey of Tesoro Flowers resolves to have more reasonable expectations and, fittingly, plans to remain thankful for the joy and bounty that surrounds him daily.
Anna Carminito of Napa declares that she will, “Worry less, and be more attentive to other’s needs. I resolve to be more of an asset than a drain, to give more than take.” Many of my own New Year’s resolutions for 2015 have already been mentioned. Living a healthy lifestyle, slowing down to enjoy the moments, practicing daily gratitude and, most importantly, making time for, and paying attention to, those close to me.
Denise Campbell of Yountville sums it up nicely, “New Year’s resolutions are about working on something in your life that you’d like to change or improve. My current life path is my most favorite path yet. I’ve got a wonderful husband, great kids, an awesome job with great co-workers, a lovely family, and fantastic friends. So, my New Year’s resolution is to be true to myself and continue on this path; Loving life!”