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  • Writer's pictureJayna Newbold


Happy New Year, Dear Hearts!

And what a year it will be!

First of all, strap yourselves in as it is a leap and an election year! 2020 also comes with its own fun calendar magic! We’ve all seen the social media memes declaring excitement over the fact that Valentine’s Day is on a Friday; Cinco De Mayo lands on Taco Tuesday; Fourth of July and Halloween both fall on a Saturday; Christmas is on a Friday; and a three day weekend for New Year’s!


Start calendaring those long weekends now and maybe even plan a few getaways throughout the next twelve glorious months!

Now, Dear Hearts, I am not one to declare a New Year’s Resolution. I typically do a very low key celebration with either an intimate gathering of close friends or home alone in my pajamas by 6:00 p.m. and barely making it [awake] to midnight for the ball drop; however, I am determined to hike more in 2020 than I did in 2019. I didn’t tell anyone about my intention; yet, one of my Christmas gifts was a county park pass containing all sorts of free goodies and a book of trail details around my area!

Again . . . Sweet!

Consequently, with a huge writing project on the horizon and the remainder of my doctoral dissertation to complete, I anticipate 2020 to be a busy but great year. However, each of us would be wise to heed the instruction of the mom of our girl, Melinda Gates, when she told her daughter at a very young age: “Set your own agenda - or someone else will.”

Therefore, I will keep my own comments short and add two more items:

1) Sound advice from an old farmer; and 2) Recommended reading list from Bill Gates (plus a tiny one from yours truly) Advice from an Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.

Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.

Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.

Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.

Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.

Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.

It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.

You cannot unsay a cruel word.

Every path has a few puddles.

When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.

Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.

Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.

If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.

Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

- Author Unknown

Bill Gates Recommended Reading List for the Winter:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

These Truths by Jill Lepore

Growth by Vaclav Smil

Prepared by Diane Tavenner

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

And finally, Dear Hearts, if the above reading list is too overwhelming as the incoming year begins to take over, check out my quick-read New Year “Holiday Short”: Happy New Year, Darlin'!

Meanwhile, off to the library I go! Have a Happy New Year and a great 2020!

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