I’m not sure why — maybe pandemic fatigue, holiday indifference or just absentmindedness — but the end of 2020 has sort of snuck up on me.

Make no mistake, I’m as ready for this year to be done and in the rearview mirror as everyone else. I just hadn’t put much thought into the fact that this is the final week of a rather forgettable year.

Maybe some of my year-end apathy can be attributed to the fact that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost my tolerance for making resolutions. I’m not sure what specifically triggered the change, but I’m of the opinion now that if I want to improve something in my life, why would I wait until the first of the year to do it? When I was younger and would ring in the new year with a pledge to be a better person in some way, I, like so many others, failed miserably to make it stick. Come to think of it, that might be the exact reason I stopped.

After all, nothing reeks of absolute failure quite like the resolution to lose weight only to somehow pack on the pounds during the first few months of the new year. I mean, who among us haven’t tried the “I’m going to hit the gym every day of the week” resolution? I know I have, and I should have known that I would fail from the get-go. If going to the gym equalled driving past the gym on my way to somewhere else, then I did indeed accomplish my resolution.

I have also tried the “I’m going to read a book a month this year” resolution. That, once again, was a complete failure, unless you count the times I looked at a book on my way to picking up the TV remote, tablet, cellphone or any number of electronic devices to keep myself entertained.

I just don’t do resolutions.

That being said, maybe 2021 will be the year I think about fine-tuning certain aspects of my life.

I spent most of our Christmas break doing a lot of thinking. It was the first Christmas holiday without my father, who passed away in June. Truth be told, it was probably my first chance to really mourn the loss — or rather allow myself to mourn the loss. I spent a lot of time remembering prior holidays and what they were like with him around. That emptiness, I believe, is something that I will probably live with for a while.

On the flip side, Christmas 2020 was my first as a grandparent. My grandson, Hudson, was born in November. So, the holiday afforded the chance to be optimistic about the future and to look forward to providing the same kind of special memories for my grandson that my father provided for his grandchildren.

My Christmas reflections reminded me that the value of my life — really anyone’s life — should be defined by the connections made with family and friends, and I’m hoping I can use that as a guide for focusing on what’s important in 2021.

No, I’m not going to make any resolutions to save money or lose weight; instead, my focus will center on continuing to build meaningful and lasting relationships — both personally and professionally — and making sure friends and family all know what they mean to me. Life, as 2020 has certainly pointed out to all of us, is too short to take for granted.

That’s what I’m shooting for in 2021, and I hope our readers and subscribers also find what makes them happy most in the new year.

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Andrew Cutler is the publisher/editor of the East Oregonian.

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