Well, it’s that time of year again.
The time to make New Year’s resolutions, to look back at the past year and think about what happened in 2010.
It also is the time to look forward to what the new year 2011 might hold and what we hope will happen in this bright and shiny new year.
It’s a time to take stock, think about what’s important to us, and what we need to do to live a better life.
“We’ve had a traumatic year,” said Maryln Bandy. This past year, both her nephew and her brother-in-law died and her mother is seriously ill right now. She also went through some life-altering changes when she retired in May from Oak Grove Elementary School.
“In 2011, I’m looking for things to get better,” she stated.
Her husband “T” Bandy just plans on continuing to serve the Lord and sing his praises — literally. “T” Bandy sings regularly in the Bradley County Senior Center’s gospel group, as well as with his cousin once a month.
“I promised the Lord to sing gospel until I turn my toes up,” he said. And that’s what he resolves to do in 2011.
Friends of Bandy from the Senior Center — Grace Ownby, Anna Lakins and Mary Jane Howle — resolve to go to the center more often. But other than that, they don’t plan on making any other New Year’s resolutions.
Next year, Lisa Cable, owner and operator of Cable’s Hair Studio, said she hopes she will finally be able to go on a stress-free cruise in the Caribbean. She hasn’t been on a vacation in eight years.Only 16, Kaiden Henrey, a student at Cleveland High School, already has some big goals — and not just for the coming year.
For 2011, he wants to do better in high school so he can graduate with a good record. This is important because his long-term goal is to join either the Coast Guard or the Navy. It’s a family tradition, he said. Most of the guys in his family are in one branch of the military or another. Once in the military, his goal is to become a lawyer in J.A.G. — the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
Sharon Westfield, senior center service coordinator, doesn’t make resolutions.
“I made some before, but never kept them,” Westfield said. This year, however, is different. This year, Westfield just started her new job at the Senior Center and resolved to make the Cleveland center the best in Tennessee in 2011.
“This resolution I am going to follow through on,” she declared.
Westfield also has a grandson, Zonell Westfield, a lance corporal in the Marines, who already has served a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“Thank God He brought my grandson back,” she said.
But her grandson is also scheduled to go back to Afghanistan for a second tour of duty in 2011. So, by this time next year, Sharon Westfield hopes the war will be over.
Isabel McFadden is making a New Year’s resolution to be healthier this coming year.
Edwin Martin, administrative assistant at the Senior Center, said he also always seems to make the same resolutions to improve his health every year, but, after a few weeks he doesn’t follow through on them. And, although he knows this about himself, he still makes them.
“Even though I never do them, it’s always nice to make them anyway,” Martin said with a big, hearty laugh.
Delois McCleary, nutrition coordinator at the Senior Center with Westfield, also is going to start a self-improvement program.
“This past year was wonderful,” McCleary said. And she is ready for more new adventures. A lot of great things can happen in a year’s time.
“I plan to get rid of the negative and bring in more of the positive next year,” she said.
Mom, Cindy Cross, and her daughter, Maranda Reffner, 20, would never have imagined the type of year 2010 turned into at this time last year.
Not only did Reffner get married, but she also recently gave birth to a little baby boy, Landen.
“Last New Year’s Eve, I had no idea!” Reffner said. “I never imagined this!”
For 2011, Reffner is hoping their little family of three will be able to buy their own home. And, despite everything already on her plate, in 2011, Reffner also would like to go back to college, probably at Cleveland State Community College, and major in early childhood education.
Grandma Cross is looking forward to watching her only grandchild grow up. But for a personal resolution, Cross would like to lose a few pounds and get in better shape, the two most-often cited New Year’s resolutions.
Cross’ extended family, however, has two cousins who are currently serving overseas — one in the Army and the other in the Marines. Cross also hopes for an end to the war and to bring all the soldiers home safe and sound as soon as possible.
Betty Jenkins doesn’t make resolutions because she doesn’t keep them anyway.
“But I do wish for good health,” she said.
Her husband of 53 years, Don, acknowledged they both had some health problems in 2010, but his wife most of all.
“But her health is getting better, so we’ve been blessed. Now, we both just enjoy living one day at a time. That’s our resolution,” he said. With improving health and two children and five grandchildren in their family, the couple feels they have truly been blessed.
In addition, Betty Jenkins also hopes for peace around the world and enough jobs for everyone, just as many others are hoping will happen this year.
“I’d like to think (the world situation) will all turn around,” Don Jenkins said.
That’s his wish for 2011.