The new year is almost among us, and I guess it’s what we have all been waiting on. There’s always been this terrible reasoning that as soon as 2020 was over, so would be our problems. I don’t think that’s going to be the case at all, but I’m not going to think about that now. I’ll think about that tomorrow.

I really had a very good Christmas. Michael was off for four days in a row, and it’s the longest I’ve had company and help with the children since COVID.

I didn’t cook or wash the dishes for two days straight, and it was so wonderful that I wonder if I don’t want to just quit those things all together. I also had time to traipse around in the woods by myself. The boy wasn’t too happy to be left behind, but sometimes a person just needs a minute to herself.

A while back I said I wasn’t going to have any sort of resolutions or goals for the new year, because I never follow through with anything. But now I’ve decided that I’m going to say I’m going to do as many things as I want. Everybody knows I hardly ever stick with anything I start or see any idea through to its end, but that’s just me. It used to embarrass me a little to be that way, but I can’t help it that I have so many interests and so many ideas that I just can’t seem to get anything done.

This year I am going to learn to play my ukulele, write a novel that becomes a major motion picture, take a trip to Missouri, camp at the beach and learn primitive survival skills.  Will I do any of that? I mean, it could happen.

If I can get a minute to concentrate, I might be able to pick up the ukulele and learn to play something. The one time I tried to learn “You are my Sunshine” I got confused, because I accidentally looked up guitar tabs instead of tabs for the ukulele. And little sister wasn’t having it anyway. Good thing she got all her own musical instruments for Christmas this year.

I’ll be reading “Hillbilly Elegy”, which was turned into a Netflix movie, and the two new Fannie Flagg books I got for Christmas. She wrote a book that turned into a major motion picture. That’s like doing research if you ask me.

I’ll be ordering my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. I might reread the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. The Wilder home place and Baker Creek Seeds are both located in Mansfield, and the reasons I want to visit Missouri anyway. So even if I don’t make it this year, it’s not like I’m totally abandoning the idea.

If I don’t make it to the beach to camp this year, I guess I could go ahead and buy a tent and plan for next year. But I really think I might get around to doing this. I went with my cousin once a long time ago and it was a lot of fun. This time I will remember not to leave garbage around, because the raccoons kept me up all night rifling through our trash.

 And I know I will watch a lot of survival television shows, which is basically the same thing as learning primitive survival skills, right?

So see, even if I don’t  get around to doing the actual things I say I want to do, I’ll be doing things that are relevant to those things. I’ll just go ahead and consider it a personal achievement.

Happy New Year!

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at

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