Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 1, 2014

Mark Maynard: Some resolutions for you in 2014: 01/02/14

Mark Maynard
The Independent

ASHLAND — Like everybody else this time of year, I’m going to write about  resolutions for 2014.

But these resolutions aren’t necessarily the kind that will be impossible to keep — like taking off 50 pounds or running a marathon.

No, these resolutions are events or activities that happen right here in our own back yard and some of us may not even know it. A refrain that repeats itself often in our area is “there’s nothing to do.”

To that I say, with all respect, you’re not looking.

So here are a few resolutions you need to keep in 2014. Put this on your refrigerator next to that picture your granddaughter colored. Mark them off one by one until you’ve completed the list.

And away we go:

‰Take in at least one local production at the Paramount Arts Center or ACTC theater. The professional shows are great too but you’ll be absolutely amazed at the local talent we have in this area.

‰Take up a cause — there’s plenty to get associated with in the immediate area — and really pour your heart and soul into it. You’ll never be the same.

‰Go to Camden Park, eat a corn dog and ride the Big Dipper. It’ll make you feel young again.

‰Participate in the Ashland Christmas Parade either as a spectator or, better yet, on one of the many floats. Nothing gets you in the spirit more.

‰Go to the Church Without Walls in Central Park. They meet every Saturday morning at 9. It’s basically church for the homeless but it’s a true blessing. Bring a bag of clothes or shoes you have outgrown. They can be a blessing to someone too.

‰Take in at least one show at Summer Motion. There are still many people in this area who have never been to one of the greatest festivals in the south. Take advantage of what is being given to you at absolutely no charge.

‰Take your lunch and eat it on the riverfront in the spring or summer. It can be a very relaxing place.

‰Get involved in your city government by attending commission meetings and asking questions. You’ll be surprised at how well our elected leaders listen if you’ll just talk to them. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

‰Write a letter to the editor. It can be a thank you for a good deed or your opinion on an issue. Letters are sometimes what gets the conversation started. Be involved in your community. And, by the way, we love letters — even if they criticize us.

‰Join a gym and pay three months in advance. If you do that, you may feel guilty enough to start going on a regular basis. Once going to the gym becomes a habit, you’re good!

‰Set a realistic weight loss goal and then revisit it after you’ve achieved it (see above).

‰Randomly pay for somebody’s meal behind you in a fast-food line. You’ll be glad you did. It’s amazing what little deeds will do for your neighbor. It may begin a string of paying it forwards that goes on for hours.

‰Visit the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. We’re lucky to have a museum of this caliber. Support it with your presence.

‰Read a book! I know where you can get some good ones — the Jesse Stuart Foundation. It’s right across the street from the Highlands Museum. You can knock two off your list in one afternoon.

‰While you’re at it, visit our downtown arts district. We have some of the best artists you’ll find anywhere. Adorn your house with some scenes of Ashland past.

‰Go to a high school football game on a Friday night. This year, Putnam Stadium will be especially special with a new look coming soon. It will be a showplace.

‰Support local high school sports in every sport. These kids still play for the fun of it. Kind of refreshing, isn’t it?

‰Go with a group to a place that has karaoke and let your hair down (that one is hard for me because of the hair).

‰Walk around Central Park at anytime of the year but especially around Christmas when some of the best lights anywhere make it a spectacle to behold.

‰Lastly, read your newspaper every day. You may be surprised at what you learn.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.