Goodbye 2011. What I Will Change in 2012?

On this, the next to last day of 2011, I’m looking back as well as forward to see what I might do differently in 2012.  I heard on the radio yesterday that losing weight is not in the top three for resolutions any more.  Instead reading more, traveling more, and volunteering more are the new top resolutions.

Well, since I’m halfway through writing my own book and just got a Kindle for Christmas, I’d have to agree with the first one.  I also love to travel and have visited nine other countries and gone around the world.  I’d love to add more to that total.  But I think I’d change the last resolution slightly.
In 2011, I volunteered six hours a week for the American Cancer Society.  I ran in charity 5Ks.  I worked in a soup kitchen, sent items to soldiers and pajamas to orphans and donated to several charities. I helped lead an American Cancer Society Relay for Life team for my church and raised donations on my own.  I gave food and money to food banks. I sponsored a child in Africa and sent Christmas presents to a local child and one in Russia.

Because I do a Facebook page on volunteering and charities and write this blog and my Heart to Heart one for Working Mother magazine online, I know of myriad volunteer opportunities and ways to help others. So many wonderful organizations are out there that are making a difference in our world.
Knowing all that, what would I do differently? I always want to be open to helping others and I also want my family to do the same.  I’d like to get my son involved in doing some 5Ks with me and more charitable work. I’d like to do more together as a family. Don’t get me wrong, my son has helped me do some of the things I mentioned above and my husband has his own things he does as well.

But honestly, my son would rather watch TV than walk the dog. He’s also very shy when it comes to meeting new people. I think volunteering together to help other people would help him with that and he certainly could use the exercise as well. I always like to quote Antoine de Saint-Exupery that "when you give yourself, you receive more than you give."
I’ve actually tried to do this some already. I wanted us to help at a food kitchen together at Christmas time and called our local one to volunteer. They were already booked. What a nice problem to have!   

A couple years ago, my son and I talked about running together and he agreed to give it a try.  But by the time he gets home from school, it’s so late that I am tired and don’t want to run.  The same goes for him.  For a while, we were walking the dog regularly, but then we drifted away from even that.
With daylight savings time, there’s little light left once we get home, too.  We’ve got to get out immediately and walk or jog. So there it is. How can I make sure to do something that’s good for me and can also lead to helping others through charitable 5Ks? I’d love to hear your suggestions and comments.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

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