Over 4,000 years ago the ancient Babylonians took claim to be the first to make New Year’s resolutions. For them, the new year began in mid-March with the planting of the crops and the promises to the gods to pay their debts and return any borrowed objects. These promises were the forerunners of our New Year’s resolutions. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar changed the Roman calendar year from mid-March to January 1st. Romans offered sacrifices to Janus, the two-faced god (as he looks to the future as well as the past), and made promises for the coming year. By the 1700s, early Christians marked the first day of the New Year as a time for thinking about one’s past mistakes and resolving to do and be better in the future.

Below are some of our neighbor’s resolutions and why.

To focus more on experiences than on ‘stuff,’ was Ethan Hurley’s resolution.  “Time with our four daughters is moving quickly, and we want to fill the time with as many memories and experiences as possible. We will spend our time and money trying to show them that the value of experiences outweighs the value of ‘stuff.’”  Ethan is the Vail School District, Director of College and Career Readiness. He and his family live off of Mary Ann Cleveland Way.

Jean Vickers from Corona de Tucson quoted James Barrie “To be kinder than necessary,” and therefore to pause, breathe and reflect more. To stretch every day: my piriformis, my mind, and my comfort zone. Jean is the communications director for the alliance4action. The alliance4action encourages all of its members to actively reach out with “Letters to the Editor.”

Alex Argueta and his son Jamie are the principals of The Remington Group developers of Sycamore Springs, Sycamore Canyon, and Ocotillo Preserve. Alex and his wife Mary moved to Corona de Tucson in 2003. Alex’s resolutions are: “First to foster a closer and more loving relationship with family and friends, secondly to increase my amount of exercise, thirdly to eat better, fourth to appreciate what I already have and count my blessings, fifth to help others in any way I can, and sixth to increase my spirituality and continue to learn.” Then Alex feels if he could achieve continuity in all of his resolutions, he would become a better person in the coming new year.

“I usually don’t make New Year’s resolutions because the intent is always great; however, the follow up usually fizzles out in short time. This year I am making one and plan to keep it alive. I found myself becoming a political junkie, and getting angry and depressed, so I am giving up reading the political rhetoric that is so prevalent today. There are so many more positives in this country and so many wonderful people that I want to focus on the good and maintain a positive attitude.” Pam Felty is a retired CPA and her husband Rick a retired Pathologist. They moved to Coyote Creek in 2015 where she volunteers at the Vail Depot Thrift Show and is co-chair of the Vail Pride Day Parade Committee.

Emmy and Dave Stitt wrote, regarding our New Year’s resolutions, “we will have the usual ones like losing weight, eating healthy, and more exercise. But, our biggest will be to help our daughter and granddaughter adjust to their new lives in Arizona. It has been a big adjustment for them moving from Ohio and starting a new life, which included a new job for our daughter, buying her first home, and a new school and making friends for our granddaughter.” Emmy and Dave moved three years ago to Del Webb in Vail because of its small-town feeling and the weather is a huge improvement over Ohio’s.

Kristina and Benjiman’s life reads like a true love story. Married and recent graduates from college, they drove to Tucson to take care of Ben’s mom with late stage cancer. This year they marked their 25th wedding anniversary with 25-years in Tucson. Their family grew with the births of Remington, now a sophomore at Arizona State University, Chloe, a sixth grader at Vail Academy and High School, and Rebecca, a third grader at VAHS. In 2000, they adopted Isaelle from India who is now a senior at Empire and, in 2004, they adopted Kenny from India, who is now a freshman at Empire. Ben celebrated 20 years in new home sales with US Home that was purchased by Lennar. The Knauer Family is strong in faith, serving in leadership roles in their church, in the community, and supporting their children’s schools. Their New Year’s resolution should read to keep doing what they are doing as it works.

Matt Hoose is a Retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel. He is employed by Raytheon IIS. He is married to Tanya, a teacher at Desert Sky Middle School, and together they have seven children with three attending Cienega High School. Matt and Tanya serve as co-chair for Citizens of Vail for Education (COVE), a committee that drives the successful override and bond elections for the Vail Unified School District.  Matt’s New Year’s Resolution is to read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. He had read Atlas Shrugged years ago and is ready for another novel by this talented writer.

Claudia Anderson is the elected President of the Vail Unified School District that makes her resolution all the more relevant. Claudia’s New Year’s Resolution is to try to listen more intently. She clarified her resolution by stating she thinks that society as a whole has lost its ability to listen and try to understand one another’s point of view. “We do not have to agree, but we do need to treat each other with civility and dignity.” Claudia is married to Eric, and they live in Civano. Together they have two children, Sarah and Sean, who attended Vail schools from kindergarten to graduation. Sarah is a graduate of the University of Arizona and Sean is attending the university.

Along with the traditional resolutions of being kind, giving back, and living a healthy lifestyle, Connie Plummer says her resolution this year is to mentor and develop fitness instructors in order to provide a full and fun fitness program.  “As our community grows, the demand for fitness services will grow, and I’ll do my best to provide availability, especially to our active aging community. Connie is owner of The Pilates Station and oversees the fitness program at The Academy Village/Altura. Connie and her husband Bill live in Rancho del Lago where she is the Vice President of ReSources (Vail Food Bank and Vail Depot Thrift Store).

J.J. Lamb and her husband Ken live in New Tucson.  J. J. is the Executive Director and President of the Vail Preservation Society. J. J.’s new year’s resolution is to be an active listener and not make snap judgments. “Being a more active listener will make me a better mother, friend, and leader. Personally and professionally, I am committed to relationships and connections. That means really hearing and responding in ways that are not self-centered, and that honor those relationships.  We can’t judge a book by its cover, and we can’t react or have expectations based on what is visible in passing. In 2018, I will slow down and listen.”

May 2018 find all our resolutions achievable.

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Anne Gibson

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