OPINION: Be it resolved … in 2010 to do …

By virtue of New Year’s Day 2010’s falling on Friday, you and I have the chance to share some resolutions to make us more useful – or at least more grateful.
– JANUARY: Get on a written budget and show the federal government that it’s possible to live within our incomes. Read “Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey, which emphasizes spending, saving and giving.
– FEBRUARY: Start our own tomato seeds to set out in April. Garden centers can’t stock all the hundreds and hundreds of varieties that have endeared themselves to devotees. Read “Food Rules” by Michael Pollan.
– MARCH: Borrow a kid who’s never been fishing, and show him or her the finer points (ha!) of sticking baited hooks into the middle of a bream bed. Read “Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain and be a kid again.
– APRIL: Do a big spring cleaning. A big garage sale or charity donation not only helps declutter our own lives, but stuff that once served a purpose for us can be useful again, for someone else. Read “Simplify Your Life” by Elaine St. James.
– MAY: Cut the lawn – in half. Any time freed up to walk the neighborhood instead of riding in circles must be a good thing. Read “Walden,” by Henry David Thoreau, who surely would not have considered lawn maintenance an act in deliberate living.
– JUNE: Walk barefoot, ride your bike everywhere and dig a tunnel halfway to China. Read “Dandelion Wine” by Ray Bradbury and be a kid again – again!
– JULY: Embrace liberty by embracing personal responsibility. Read the Declaration of Independence, and find some candidates who will work for its principles.
– AUGUST: Volunteer to teach phonics to a child who’s having trouble learning to read. Read “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”
– SEPTEMBER: Attend the Audubon Society’s Hummingbird Migration Celebration in Holly Springs. Read “Attracting Birds, Butterflies and Backyard Wildlife” by David Mizejewski and Glee Barre.
– OCTOBER: Visit people in a nursing home. (They’re not nearly as hard to coordinate schedules with as most people.) Read the Book of Ecclesiastes, and remember to “remember your creator in the days of your youth.”
– NOVEMBER: Plant some trees, either on your own land or, with approval, on public property. Read “The Man Who Planted Trees” by Jean Giono (but understand that it’s fiction).
– DECEMBER: Watch the lunar eclipse on the 21st and feel how big God is. Read the first few chapters of the Book of Luke, and marvel that God became man.
Contact Daily Journal Oxford Bureau reporter Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.

Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal