Too Late for Change?

By Doug Mayberry

December 30, 2019 4 min read

Q: People around me have been talking about their plans for the new year, especially their resolutions for 2020.

I always liked making my own resolutions but haven't made any for the last several years. Because of my age, I make excuses that any plans don't matter and that my health could fail me at any time.

When our family was talking about New Year's resolutions over the holidays, my son teased me by mentioning that I have the same excuse every year. Even if I didn't care to hear that, I realize that he has a point.

How can I make a satisfying goal that doesn't feel like a waste of time?

A: Make specific goals that fulfill one of your wants or needs.

Many seniors fall into the trap of focusing on the big picture. Realizing that they're old, they resign themselves to their age and stop making plans for the future. But resolutions for the future aren't exclusive to the younger generations.

Personal goals look different at all ages. Even if your perspective on life has changed, you are still around and can reap the benefits of your own actions.

Nobody knows how long they have left on this Earth. Instead of resigning yourself to obsolescence, you can choose to look forward to every day.

When crafting a resolution, decide on a concrete goal. Put a number to it. A nebulous goal like "I want to write down my life story" is less likely to work. Without the specifics, you're likely to forget about it or do the bare minimum.

Instead, set a reasonable goal and work backward. Once you've chosen your goal, figure out how much time you want to spend on it every day or week. Break the schedule down into smaller increments.

Change works best if you make it part of your routine. Make the most of the time you have. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter


Q: Over the holidays, our family gathering went to hell in a handbasket. My brother and I have very different personalities and interests, but we do love each other.

This year, we were both tired and cranky from travel and the stress of the season. During a family dinner, we got into a heated debate over politics.

He said some things about my life and past relationships that stung deeply, and I left angry. We're both still in town, and he called to apologize the next day.

I've always found it difficult to forgive.

What should I do?

A: Learn to forgive and forget.

Recognize that things got out of hand in the heat of the moment, and that the situation exacerbated small tensions.

Spending time with our families is a fantastic opportunity, but it's also exhausting. It's easy to remember the good moments, but the bad ones have a way of inserting themselves.

It isn't worth it to hold grudges. When a loved one offers a sincere apology and their contrition, forgiveness is the best option.

Whenever you're frustrated, look at your side of the argument. Did you say or do anything you regret? Now is the time to make amends.

No relationship is perfect. Even the most loving bonds take care and effort to maintain.

Let go of your pride, and accept the apology. — Doug

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Free-Photos at Pixabay

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