My six regular readers at the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin and some others are aware that I am leaving the newspaper world the last day of 2016. It has had its moments, and I have enjoyed most of the people with whom I have worked. I learned a great deal from many of them.
I had several thoughts about a final opinion column and the topic I might put forth. I am at a point in my life when I am sort of out of fresh topics. However, I still have some favorite nagging points that I love to share. Pay attention!
Be sure to get a colonoscopy after you turn 50. You do not have to like it; you just have to do it. Your physician will tell how often to you need to get checked again. Follow his advice.
Be happy. Find people who make you smile and be a part of their crew. Avoid the group that makes you frown.
Be brave and go for a walk in all kinds of weather.
Sing whenever you can. My husband used to say, “If only the birds with lovely voices sang, the forest would be a quiet place indeed.” So sing. Fill the forest with music.
Do not litter. Really, refraining from tossing garbage to the street is such an easy thing to do and it makes a huge difference.
Love your children. Be sure you tell them and show them often. Then, do it more often.
Adhere to your religion and serve your God.
You should plant milkweed for Monarch butterflies and abundant flowering plants and shrubs for bumblebees. We need them. Do your part.
Wear your seat belt.
If you are someone who can forgive, you are a better person than I am. If you simply cannot do it, stay as far away from the offenders as possible.
Get regular check-ups. Even if you feel fine, make an annual appointment and keep it.
Volunteer. Our communities all have organizations that can use an hour or two of your time, a special talent that you have, or a service that you could provide. Help them.
Exercise. Start slowly if need be, but start.
Shop local. Trends in shopping are changing, but your local merchants will support your community, make your life more convenient, and provides sales tax to pay for services you use.
Do not allow your children to bully others; and do not be an example of bullying.
Appreciate that which has gone before you. Appreciate your history and your ancestry.
Do the right thing, even if no one is looking — especially if no one is looking.
Put your cell phone down and talk to your friends, your spouse, and your children.
Several years ago, an older couple named John and Pearl walked around town for their health. As they walked, they gathered trash and litter and disposed of it at home. The community looked better for their efforts. Be John and Pearl.
Give. Give again, and then again.
Keep an eye on election dates. If you are unhappy with what the city, school board, or county commissioners are doing, you need to sign up and run for office.
Pay it forward. Do it often.
Thank you for reading my opinion column. Keep following the news in our communities by reading Hoch Publishing newspapers. Best wishes to you all for a wonderful 2017.