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Happy New Year, Dear Readers, and best wishes to all of you who have been following this blog I started six months ago. I’ve vowed to keep it going at least a year.

What I won’t keep going in 2017: my long hair and vegetarianism!

What I will keep going from my past: maintaining meaningful connections, even those where I’ve had considerable distance.

The hair: Much as I would like to pull off what my husband has for many years, it doesn’t quite work for me, and for several months it has kept getting in my eyes! As a distance runner, I’ve been blinded not by rain, sand from Hawaii beaches, but by my hair!

I also need to be free of my constant need to please which I’m sure is not always pleasing to others! So by cutting my hair, I’m taking a symbolic step to let that need for others’ approval go, and find more confidence and contentment flow from the love of my family and friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin.

Speaking of thin: For many years now, I have not eaten anything that has had a parent. Except if I think about it too much, plants have parents. I’m a distance runner who rarely eats meat and I’m down to 140 pounds and stand 6 feet tall. I need a lot of blankets at night, even in Hawaii, and am wearing sweaters during the day. I’ll strive to eat animals that are only humanely raised, and I’ll do it very gradually.

Maintaining meaningful connections: Over the holiday weekend I heard from people from my past: a wonderful friend who introduced me to my wife (my first marriage), but with whom I had not been in touch for nearly 20 years. I also heard from a person whom I greatly admire in the Quaker community where my family lived before we moved to Hawaii. A meaningful relationship usually is never clear and easy: it takes work and more work. But if you have one, my advice for the new year is to leave the door open so that a return is possible even if it has lapsed and much time has passed. An open door can lead to a place you might never have imagined possible.