How many years have you made New Year’s resolutions? Most Coastal Georgia Seniors have made several decades of them.
How many do you remember?
How many of them really changed your life? How many really changed someone else’s life?
As Coastal Empire Seniors, we are in a position to make some life affecting resolutions this year – many may not involve a lot of work from us, but by sticking with them, they can make a big impact down the road, for us or for someone else.
This year, examine your life and your family’s life and see if there are some New Year’s resolutions you can make (and keep!) that will really improve your life or someone else’s.
Every Coastal Empire Senior has a different story, situation, and family needs. There is no “one” New Year’s resolution list that will work for all of us, but we have put together some ideas. If one or more would enrich your life, or a family member’s, please feel free to use it.
- Georgia Senior New Year’s Resolutions: Share Your Family History: In most cases, you will know more about your family history than everyone a generation or more younger than you combined. Of course you know more about your parents and aunts and uncles and cousins. You also have picked up hundreds of scraps of information from informal family conversations from your childhood, listening to your parents while you were in the backseat of the car (no I-Pod when you were a kid), and reading the letters and mementos family members left behind. Write down what you remember and pass it on. At some point, each of your grandchildren and great grandchildren will have questions about where your family is from. If you don’t feel up to a full blown geneology project, give them the highlights – (Most of our family is from Scotland and England, or Germany, or Ghana or Russia), Pass on a couple of impactful stories, and if you’re related to anyone famous try to explain how. Whether your project turns into a full geneology and a hundred pages of family memories or is three or four pages written on a spiral notebook, it will be appreciated. Everyone wants to know where they came from. One challenge of sharing a family history is leaving it in a way your family can keep it for a long time. Options include having it published, putting it on a website, or passing down your notes from one family member to another.
- Georgia Senior New Year’s Resolutions: Prepare Your Autobiography. You are part of where they came from. Hopefully you’re around to answer their questions for a long time, but they will eventually have questions you’re not here to answer. Where did grandpa come from? How did grandma and grandpa meet? Where was grandma born? Was PopPop in a war? Leave behind some kind of autobiography that will answer their questions. Whether it’s ten pages or two hundred, it will be valued by your family. Today an autobiography can be done in video form, as a book or pamphlet, or as a website. Have someone assist you with getting your biography into one of these formats so that it can be shared for a long, long time. Savannah’s Ziggle Owl can assist you with turning your biography into a website or making a magazine or book you can pass on to family members.
- Georgia Senior New Year’s Resolutions: Fund Family College Programs. Your kids are doing a terrible job of preparing to meet your grandchildren’s college needs. If you rely on them to get their act together, your grandchild is either not going to college or will be crippled by student loan debt. Many Coastal Empire Seniors leave behind money to their alma maters or other charities (some small amounts, some leave large amounts). Before you do this, make sure your own grandchildren and great grandchildren are taken care of. Just because your kids have a good education and a good job, doesn’t mean they’ve prepared for our grandchildren’s educations. Many of our grown children are living beyond their means (car payments, private schools, fancy vacations) and will “get to their college funds soon”. Too often soon turns into when the kids are already in college. If you are able to, step in and set up college accounts for the grandkids on your own. Even if your child is the exception and contributing each month to a college account, there is no danger of having “too much money” saved for your grandchild – college costs are skyrocketing.
- Georgia Senior New Year’s Resolutions: Plan and Facilitate a Family Vacation. Is there a place you’d like to see? Coordinate taking the family, or some of the family. That doesn’t mean you have to pay for it. If you don’t have the means to fund a family trip that is okay, be a facilitator. If money is tight for you and your family, pick somewhere achievable – a short road trip to an area your family is from can be great. You can drive with them by the old family homestead, your old high school, and where you had your first “real” job. If money is less tight, consider helping your kids put together a family trip to Disney Land or a camping trip to the Ozarks. Memories are one of the greatest gifts we can provide. If money is no object, consider a trip to the Galapagos Island, the South Pole, or an RV trip to the Grand Canyon. Whatever the destination or budget, your family will remember going somewhere with you – and they will cherish those memories for a long time. It is good for them, and it is good for us as Coastal Georgia seniors. Deep down, we all want to be remembered. There’s a part of us that wants to live on, at least a little bit, in the memories of our descendants.
- Georgia Senior New Year’s Resolutions: Have your Grandchildren lost one of their parents? That means you’ve lost one of your children, and that is a horrible thing. I’m sorry for your loss. If your kids were young, it is hard and painful to believe but they will forget things about their parent. Put together something like a memory box for them. Include any videos, audio recordings, copies of photos, letters, and anything that can give them a connection to their lost parent. If you have a child who is dying but who is still with us get them to pen a letter or card to each of their children. It can be as simple as, “Always remember that daddy loves you. I will always be watching over you. I will always be thinking of you.” While you’re at it, your kids have the same needs. Take a moment to write them each a short personal letter giving closure where needed – “I may not have know how to say it, but I love you very much.” “I wish I would have done _____________ differently”. “I am proud of the woman you grew up to be”. “I think you are a great dad to my grandchildren”.
We hope that you can use one or more of the Coastal Empire Senior New Year’s Resolutions above.
Have you made your own special New Year’s resolution this year? E-mail it to CEseniors@gmail.com and we can share it with other Georgia Senior Citizens.
Happy New Year to all of our Coastal Empire Seniors!
We hope today’s Savannah Senior Holiday Guide has been beneficial.
Stay tuned for more Coastal Georgia senior news, events, and information.
Coastal Empire Seniors is your Savannah Senior Living Magazine – online and local, 365 days a year.
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