Writer’s Block: New Year, You You… Again

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

We nearly one full week into the new year and I wonder how many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions.

It’s ok. It happens.

In the time I’ve been here my previous columns for the first week of January have also been about new year’s resolutions. I’ve written about my plans, how technology can help people meet their goals, and more. There’s optimism for the possible in those columns. Looking back on them now, however, I see I haven’t been nearly as successful in  sticking to any of them.

It’s ok. It happens.

And there’s comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has experienced this. Setting goals and failing to achieve them, or to achieve them as well as one hoped, is part of being human. When you’re your own critic it’s important to remember that. It’s also important to remember that not achieving a goal isn’t the same as failing, especially when it comes to new year’s resolutions.

That’s the beauty of new year’s resolutions. We often make the same kinds of resolutions every year: eat better, exercise more, get more sleep, pursue a hobby, become more organized, spend more time with family, learn a new skill, etc. We’ll turn some of those resolutions into lifelong good habits. Others, we’ll falter with, but revisit with renewed commitments — sometimes once, sometimes several times.

It’s ok. It happens.

I’d say I’ve been more successful than not in staying faithful to my goals for 2017. I know the year is still young. A week isn’t long enough to judge the success of a new resolution, after all. But I’ve made better strides than I have in the past.

I often write of the amazingly diverse flora and fauna that call the Rio Grande Valley home. I am enthralled with the beauty of the creatures that truly make this place the Magic Valley. I try as often as I can to encourage locals and tourists alike to take advantage of our local resources — our local city and state parks, as well as the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge system — yet I don’t always take my own advice. I don’t get out into our green spaces nearly as often as I should. I plan to change that this year and help achieve two resolutions in the process.

To that end, on New Year’s Day I trekked out to the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge to purchase an annual pass. You couldn’t ask for a better bargain. For just $10 I bought a pass that grants me, plus anyone who can fit in my compact car with me, access to both Laguna Atascosa and Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuges for the entire year!

The Refuge is quite literally our next door neighbor here in the Laguna Madre communities. Its 97,000 acres offer miles of hiking and biking trails to explore, meaning it’s a great place to get in my fitness goals with my goal to be more cognizant and appreciative of our native habitats.

Currently, there’s only one road available to get to the refuge, and it’s in a bit of disrepair, but travelling slowly over the potholes is very much a worthwhile effort for the payoff. I’m certainly looking forward to exploring. And if life gets in the way and I don’t get out there as often as I hope?

It’s ok. It happens. But I will renew my commitment again, happily and hopefully.

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