Kathy Manos Penn is a native of the “Big Apple,” who settled in the “Peach City” – Atlanta. A former English teacher now happily retired from a corporate career in communications, she writes a weekly column for the Dunwoody Crier and the Highlands Newspaper. Read her blogs and columns and purchase her books, “The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday” and “Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch,” on her website theinkpenn.com or Amazon.
Kathy Manos Penn with Lord Banjo
I'm not one for making New Year's resolutions. Sure, there were all those years when I resolved not to gain the usual five pounds I put on every winter. That never worked. The good news is I managed to take the pounds off in the spring, though that challenge seems to get harder every year.
I've worked out regularly for ten years now, so I don't need a resolution about exercise. Yes, I could resolve to walk more frequently, but I know it won't happen. Instead, I'm going to pat myself on the back for regularly visiting the MJCCA to work out.
Maybe I should simply resolve to continue doing what I've been doing-resolve not to take anything for granted. It's all too easy for things to fall by the wayside. For example, I try to write every day, but it takes an effort to pick back up after I return from vacation. In that spirit, here are the things I'll continue in the new year.
Whether I'm editing or starting from scratch, writing daily is a must. I write for two weekly papers, different columns for each. I was already pleasantly busy, and then I took on a new challenge. This year, I wrote my first cozy mystery and plan to complete the first draft of book two by early January. I expect book one to come out no later than February, and I hope to write a third in 2020 in what I'm calling my Dickens & Christie Mysteries. Hint: Dickens is a dog, and Christie is a cat. I'll leave it to you to figure out for whom they're named.
I see a weekly session with my trainer as a necessity. I had to find a new gym and new trainer in 2019, and I've been delighted with Amir at the MJCCA. Many thanks to the Crier reader who recommended him. I miss my workout partner of ten+ years, but we manage to meet for lunch or coffee from time to time.
Happily, I also reconnected with Mary Sue, another friend with whom I took yoga class until our instructor retired two years ago. Because we're both eligible for Silver Sneakers, and I knew she worked out at the MJCCA, I got in touch. Now we're attending yoga classes and the occasional Pilates class together. Knowing we're counting on each other to show up keeps us going.
Connect with friends:
Make time for lunch and travel with girlfriends. I'm fortunate to have friends from all walks of life-high school, college, my teaching days, and my corporate days. Add to those longtime friends the ones I've met in the Dunwoody community through yoga, writing, and my column, and I'm a lucky girl.
It's simple. Read at least two books a week, maybe more. Of course, if I hadn't taken up writing mysteries, I'd have more time to devote to this pastime. Lately, I've gotten so caught up in my writing that I often go upstairs to my office in the evening to write instead of to bed with a book. Whereas reading was once my only passion, I've now added writing.
Make the most of every day. Enjoy day-to-day life with my husband and take pleasure in the simple things in life. Whether we're eating a home-cooked meal, dining out, seeing a movie or a play, watching our favorite shows on television, or chuckling at the pets-we have much to be thankful for.
Perhaps the overarching resolution is to wake up every day saying "Life is good." The rest will follow.
Find Kathy's new book "Lord Banjo the Royal Pooch"
and her collection of columns, "The Ink Penn: Celebrating the Magic in the Everyday,"
on Amazon and her website firstname.lastname@example.org