Well it is almost February 1 and the New Year has come and gone. For some, this was a joyous occasion filled with parties packed with horns, hats and lots of good cheer. For others, it provided a time of renewed hope after struggling through difficult times. For me,  it was a time of reflection and goal setting.

I googled New Year Resolutions for 2017 and the following is the list of the Top Ten resolutions:

  1. Weight loss

  2. Life/self-improvement

  3. Better financial decisions

  4. Quit smoking

  5. Do more exciting things

  6. Spend more time with family and friends

  7. Work out more

  8. Learn something new on my own

  9. Do more deeds for others

  10. Find the love of my life

According to the source “statistic” 41% of American’s make resolution yet only 9.2% actually succeed, while another 48.4% have infrequent success. I wonder why we set ourselves up to fail!

Several years ago I decided to consciously set 5 goals a year. I don’t set resolutions. Call it splitting hairs if you wish, but the very word resolution to me denotes negativity and failure. You are “resolving” to change something, not because you want to, but because you have resolved yourself to the fact that something exists and you must change it. I prefer goals; they are something to achieve, positive and interesting in their very nature.

This year, one of my goals is to learn to play the drums. I love to sing, though I do not have a good voice. I tried the clarinet in fifth grade, what a boring instrument (at least to a fifth grader). I had to learn the recorder in college believe it or not.  However, I do not know how to read music. What I do have is EXCELLENT beat.  So yes, I think I can learn to play the drums.

To prepare for this feat, my husband, Joe and I went to the music store in Shipshewana in December. I found an inexpensive drum head and sticks that fit very nice in my arthritic hands. As I read the directions on the drum head I discovered that it needed a cymbal stand. Not finding any in the store, I sought out the clerk to see how much one would cost or if I had overlooked their location in the store. This was not an item they carried so she began to look in the catalog.” $250.00.” “No thank you.” “$180.00.” “No thank you.” “$120.00” “No thank you. I really would like an inexpensive one,” I replied. The clerk said, “Oh yes. You probably want to make sure your grandchild likes the drums before you invest more.” “Oh no. These aren’t for my grandchild. These are for me.”  Here it comes folks, the punch line you have been waiting for…”Ohhhhh, aren’t you cuuutttte?” in her most adoring puppy voice. I shudder to think how many times you may have been treated to that voice, not meant to degrade, but certainly does feel like it.

We have the responsibility to show others through our actions that the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” became obsolete in the 20th century.  Take an art class even if you can’t draw a stick person. Write your family history even if you are the only one who will read it. Join a book club and read books you would never have otherwise. Learn a foreign language even if you will never speak it. And then tell everyone you meet of what you have learned today! Shock them with your new found knowledge. Let’s make them speechless!

I will let you know how I do on the drums.  I may have to have a recital later in the year. I hope you will join me with bells on.