By Lyndon Zaitz

For all intents and purposes 2018 is finished. All that is left to do is to declare our resolutions and ring in the new year. 

Some would say that 2018 was a less than stellar year, both nationally and internationally. But 2018 was a great year for those who married, became parents, graduated from school, received a huge promotion and raise or moved into a new house. 

There is nothing so promising as a new year, A clean slate awaits us to write our plans, dreams and wishes upon. The gloom of winter really can’t compare to the optimism we can bring with each new day.  Though some animals hibernate during winter, we humans can’t stay in a warm, cozy bed for two or three months. Whether we like it or not, life comes at us every morning. Obligations, duties and responsibilities await us. Many animals hibernate in winter, but we humans cannot stay in a warm, cozy bed for two or three months and wait for warm spring days. 

I have found changing one’s nest is a very good cure-all for winter blues. When I  need a change, a rearranging of furniture and a purging of storage goes a long way to give me a new perspective.

When we find ourselves in a day to day routine that seems more arduous because of the gray, cold winter weather, a change will do the pysche good. It’s too wet and cold to do any major gardening this time of year. Look inward. Make changes just for sake of change—rearrange the photos on your walls, switch the sofa around, move the television to a different room. The best thing? You don’t need anyone’s permission to do that.

If your home, however, is practically perfect in every way, there may be other changes during winter. For those with the means to get a taste of the tropics during winter, good for you. For those without the means, there are volunteer opportunities abounding in the community.

Barring a change of scene, the winter months are prime time for improvement. Simple chores such as washing all the interior windows will pay off when spring’s first rays of sun start streaming through. Or, go into the den and update your resume, go through files and discard what is not needed.

Spring is a new of renewal but getting the process started early in mid-winter is very cathartic. And you’ll face 2019 with courage and optimism. After all, the future belongs to those who plan for it.

(Lyndon Zaitz is publisher of the Keizertimes)