On Jan. 1 each year, before we sit down to black-eyed peas, cabbage and cornbread, my husband and I partake in another New Year’s ritual. I call it “The Reading of the Calendar.” In this ritual, I take an inked-up calendar from the newly old year and recite aloud the highlights — day by day.
I also recount to-do lists for that year — goals recorded legibly, optimistically for each month. The idea is to see how much we actually got done.
My husband approaches this ritual with about as much enthusiasm as someone cleaning out a junk drawer or garage, which are always on the list. But he humors me. It’s futile to resist the list.
I’m a firm believer in resolutions and goals, and putting them in writing. For me, lists provide structure and order in a chaotic world. A single list can contain the mundane and the meaningful. Not long ago, I found an old list in an old purse reminding me to buy quinoa and make a living will. The former I achieved, the latter still is pending.
My calendar serves as a mini-diary, keeping me honest and accountable. Did I run that half marathon as vowed in 2020? Nope. But I did run 10.5 miles on Jan. 11 — there it is in black and white with a smiley face.
Did we exercise at least 300 times this year? Maybe, but I won’t know until Jan. 1, when I make an official count.
What I do know already is this will be The Reading of the Calendar like no other. March 11 marked the first appearance of the word “corona,” when I noted the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo had been canceled. There are scratched out events, galas and gatherings that never happened.
There are odd, random entries. On March 13, I forewent my dutiful notation of meals and caloric intake and wrote the single word “cake,” marking the prelude to the pandemic pudge I’m still working off. Then there was the cryptic July 22 calendar entry “resistance,” which, after some puzzlement, I realized referred to a weight-training session.
If 2020 had a theme, it was health and why we should and could take better care of ourselves.
This issue is dedicated to people of the upper Texas coast who, despite illness, pain and the disruptions of daily life, made resolutions, set goals and stuck to them.
What makes them so remarkable isn’t that they set and met their own goals, but that they so willingly helped many others meet theirs.
We hope this issue inspires you. Whatever is on your list of goals for 2021, Coast Monthly wishes you success. And we wish you a happy, healthy New Year.