Dear 2021,

I’m so glad you’re finally here. It’s like opening a fresh can of tennis balls. Pssst Vrrak! And the smell of brand-new fills the air. I hope you’re just as happy to spend a whole year with us Oak Parkers. I promise I will be different. For starters, I’m going to eat blueberries, nuts and broccoli because slim people do, and they always seem very smart. I also promise to:

Get up from the couch after an hour of drooling over Netflix.

Stop watching TV shows about people dying in gruesome ways.

Walk 10,000 steps a day so I can wear a swimsuit come summer.

Use small plates to make food portions look bigger.

Smile at slow drivers who don’t use turn signals.

Smile at fast drivers who scare the living bejabbers out of me.

Carry a magnifying glass to scan labels for high fructose corn syrup.

Trust that all dog owners pick up.

Not be a gossip unless it’s really necessary to warn good people about bad people.

Stop hating haters.

Listen to bird song and be grateful for the early morning wake-up call.

Enjoy loud children laughing and generally having loud fun.

Not scowl at iPhone users who want everyone to hear their side of the story.

Not be scared of mosquitos.

Not take things personally even if it’s personal.

Study neurons and change how my brain works.

Remember how beautiful our planet is.

Believe that every person has some good in them, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

Believe a leopard can change its spots and become a small and perfectly formed tabby.

Not get upset if the dishwasher is filled badly.

Enjoy a snoring partner.

Enjoy salad.

I believe in you, 2021, and I promise to do my part to make you one of the best years of my whole entire life.

Your biggest fan.

P.S. I might just accept myself and enjoy life to the fullest. 

Val Gee 

Oak Park

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