Reverse resolutions might be easier to keep

NIAGARA, Wis. — I know I am not the only one who makes New Year’s resolutions. Every year I give it the old college try and make a list of about five things I would like to do better in the coming year. They usually center around having healthier eating habits or exercising more or getting to bed earlier. Retirement has changed the list a bit. This year, for example, changing out of my pajamas before 10 a.m. made the list for the first time.

When I began my retirement, a variety of very thorough cleaning and reorganizing projects made the list. And, I am happy to report, those resolutions actually were kept. I cleaned out every closet, file cabinet, cupboard, and drawer. I sorted and either threw away or gave away a ton of “stuff” that was clogging available storage space in my home and had prevented me from storing things I actually needed to keep. I even organized all of my old photos and now have an entire small book case filled with nice new photo albums and old memories. My husband used to tease me that I had pictures of every tree in the Upper Peninsula. I told him that he was, of course, exaggerating. But as I was sorting through photographs of every hike we ever took, I had to concede that he was right — almost.

Of course, now that everything was sorted and reorganized, both of us had to learn where things had been moved. I argued to a better place, of course, one that made more sense — if we could now just remember where that better place is. Quite often I find myself opening the dish towel drawer only to find a host of kitchen utensils staring back at me — no dish towel in sight. And I still cannot remember the new location of a certain table cloth — I found it on the third try yesterday. But, I argue, these are simply short-term inconveniences to having a better organized home. My husband just smiles and shakes his head.

As predictable as those resolutions are in January, my failure to follow through with them has been confirmed by March. I start with good intentions, but they fall by the wayside after a couple of months. So, it should come as no surprise that one particular article in my husband’s most recent Kiwanis magazine jumped out at me. It was titled “Just Don’t Do It” and was followed by an intriguing statement “Forget New Year’s Resolutions.” I knew I had to read further. The article continued with a list of 19 things that the reader should simply stop doing in 2019.

So here is my list of favorite “reverse resolutions” for the coming year.

1. Stop telling people what to do. There is a difference between being the organizer so things get done and micromanaging how they are done. Effective leaders know the difference and so do the people in your life. Stop and think if you offer advice that makes the task at hand easier or do you need to be in control of every step of the process. Micromanagement is the top complaint employees have about their bosses, and research has shown this trait can lead to employees actually becoming physically ill. So make a “to do” list of tasks, but leave out the specific “how to” instructions. Show confidence in your helpers by allowing them to find their own best path to completion.

2. Stop refusing help. No matter how often you have done something, someone else will have another way around the same challenge. And it just might be easier or faster or better than the way you have been doing it for years. No challenge has only one solution. So as competent and smart as you are, keep yourself open to suggestions and assistance. The old phrase “many hands make light work” is very true and can actually be a lot more fun than toughing something out alone.

3. Stop rushing through yellow lights. Taken as a metaphor, stop ignoring the moment in front of you to hurry and get to the next thing. Taken literally, just slow down. As you race through one yellow light and then the next, you endanger your life and the life of anyone else who is in the car with you — not to mention the other drivers also rushing through on yellow. And realistically, how much time are you actually saving in the course of your trip — two minutes tops? If you are a statistics person, contemplate these. Every year, the U.S. Department of Transportation reports approximately 2.5 million intersection accidents: 50 percent are serious collisions and 20 percent are fatal.

4. Stop apologizing without apologizing. Be direct. When you believe you owe someone an apology, say so. If you do not believe you are wrong, do not split the difference by saying, “Sorry if you were offended.” This is not an apology, screams insincerity and leaves behind more resentment and misunderstanding. Apologize directly or start a longer discussion to gain a deeper understanding of the situation and the person involved. An interesting piece of research shows that women overapologize, and men do not apologize enough. Also, apologizing to your children shows you are strong and value fairness — both good traits for them to emulate.

5. Stop taking yourself too seriously. You may be used to having lots of good ideas and to being a problems solver, but accept the fact that other people are as intelligent and have solutions to offer as well. Also, do not be so hard on yourself and withdraw at every perceived mistake. It is important to see your strengths and shortcomings as part of a larger world. Sometimes we tend not to participate because we think we cannot do a specific job. Fine — then just let someone else do that part of the task while you tackle something else that better suits you. Contribute what you can. Be a part of the group. Do your best where you can, for whomever you can reach.

6. Stop ignoring that pain. Pay attention to how your body feels, and do not ignore pain. Most often, pain means that something is wrong. It could be nothing to worry about, but you are not the one to make that determination — and neither is the internet or Facebook or your group of friends. Did you or any of your friends go to medical school? The body is complex, and aches will not go away, like bees, if you ignore them. Some common — yet potentially serious — pains you should never ignore include: sudden and severe headache, severe stomach pain, pins and needles in your feet, swelling and pain in one leg, and sudden difficulty breathing.

7. Stop wasting time. As we go through the working years, there seems very little time to waste. Now that retirement has arrived, you may have more time than you know what to do with, so put it to good use. One does not have to look far to see someone who could use some help, whether it be a neighbor or a community organization looking for volunteers or a church group. The clock keeps ticking. An hour becomes a day and pretty soon we are turning another month over on the calendar. Writer Annie Dillard penned, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Spend yours fruitfully.

8. Stop wasting talent. Everyone has something they are good at. Some lucky people do it every day. But many don’t — because of limited time, resources or personal circumstance. If you are in that second group, don’t give up. By making your talent even a small part of your life, you give yourself a small jolt of fulfillment. Find the time and a way to exercise your talent.

9. Stop complaining — too much. Goodness knows, there is much in the world to complain about. And it seems as we age that we begin to find many more reasons to verbalize our displeasure. The next time you feel a complaint coming on, pause and ask yourself instead if this is something you could help to fix or solve. If you can do something about it, take action and help to make things better. If, however, the problem is completely out of your hands ask yourself if complaining about it will do anything to make the situation better. If not, just be quiet.

10. Stop saying “yes” too much. Nothing spells burn-out faster than agreeing to help every time you are asked or joining yet another organization that needs members no matter how good their cause. During retirement, it is easy to get into this situation because many days stretch before you without a lot of commitments – until you begin to fill them and then to overfill them. Being over-scheduled ushers in feelings of stress, fatigue and eventually resentment. Identify your strengths, match them to what gives you joy, and then commit your time. And remember, just because there is a blank date on your calendar does not mean you have to fill it. Let yourself enjoy some downtime.

11. Stop believing everything you read or hear. Advances in technology have brought us many conveniences over the years, and the internet has put a wealth of knowledge only a couple of mouse clicks away. It is important to remember that all information is not good or true or accurate. The next time you encounter an outlandish headline or rumor, take a second look or get a different perspective. Misinformation can do real damage. Need medical advice for yourself or your family? Make an appointment with your doctor. Seek information from reputable sources. And remember, in this country we are, indeed, entitled to our own opinion, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

12. Stop trying to reason with unreasonable people. You have by now probably discovered there are folks out there who just will not believe sensible things. Even worse, not all of them are 2 years old or 2 feet tall. The good news is that you are not responsible for them. If you have tried to have a conversation in an attempt to “enlighten” someone else who simply does not want your information, just change the subject and move on. And remember this to save your own sanity: you cannot reason someone out of an opinion they haven’t reasoned themselves into. Don’t try.

So, if, like me, you are having a hard time keeping those New Year’s resolutions, try picking a few of the items listed above and don’t do them. Good luck and have a good year.






Scenes and Sounds, 11:30 a.m Sunday through Saturday.

Sunday: Uno, 1 p.m.; dunking donuts, 2 p.m.; church, 2:15 p.m.

Monday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; brouhaha, 11 a.m.; line dancers, 1:30; ice cream social, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Craft, 10:30 a.m.; reminisce, 1:15 p.m.; Kentucky Derby, 2 p.m.; evening visitor, 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: Room visits, 10 a.m.; rosary, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; movie and popcorn, 3 p.m.

Thursday: Reading buddy,11 a.m.; Crystal Hogan, 2:00 p.m.; laundry day, 4 p.m.; dinner theater, 5 p.m.

Friday: What’s cooking, 11 a.m.; bunko, 1:15 a.m.; Golden K bingo, 2:00 p.m.; happy hour, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Meet and greet, 10:30 a.m.; daily newspaper, 11 a.m.; spinning records, 1:00 pm; bingo, 2 p.m.

Iron County 

Medical Facility

Crystal Falls

Room visits: 9 to 11 a.m. Sundays and 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Exercise: 11 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Sunday: One-to-one church visitors, 8:30 to 11 a.m.; hangman, 10 a.m.; afternoon matinee with popcorn, 1:30 p.m.; Church of Christ, 3 p.m.

Monday: Crazy hat crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; VFW bingo, 2 p.m.; Sunshine Club, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Book club, 10:00 a.m.; prayer, 10 a.m.; mystery ride, 1:30 p.m.; travel film, 1:30 p.m.; current events, 2 p.m.; western movie, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Community breakfast, 8:45 a.m.; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; pass the prize, 2 p.m.; night bingo, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Puzzler, 9:30 a.m.; bowling, 10 a.m..; wildlife film, 1:00 p.m.; Christ United, 2 p.m.; happy hour, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Crazy hat crafts, 9 to 10:30 a.m.; crazy hat party, 2 p.m.; drama movie, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Puzzler/scavenger hunt, 10 a.m.; geri-gym, 11 a.m.; intergenerational social hour, 2 p.m.



Wet your whistle, 9:30 a.m. daily.

Exercise, 10 a.m. daily.

Movie, 10:45 a.m. daily, and 3:15 p.m. Monday through Saturday .

Popcorn Day, every Friday.

Sunday: Morsels and more, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant church, 3 p.m.

Monday: Did you know? 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 2 p.m.; po-ke-no, 5:45 p.m.

Tuesday: Trivia, 10:15 a.m.; Lutheran church, 2 p.m.; movie and manicure, 5:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Table talk, 10:15 a.m.; St. Patrick’s Day party/Golden Throats, 2 p.m.; flip five, 5:45 p.m.

Thursday: Crosswords, 10:15 a.m.; Golden K bingo, 2 p.m.; crazy for cards, 5:45 p.m.

Friday: Finish lines, 10:15 a.m.; Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; chips ‘n’ chatter, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday: Current events, 10:15 a.m.; pot o’ gold bingo, 2 p.m.

Maryhill Manor

Niagara, Wis.

Rosary, 8:30 a.m. Sunday through Friday.

Sunday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; derby day, 10:15 a.m.; bingo, 1:30 p.m.; Protestant service, 2:30 p.m.; Christian fellowship, 5:30 p.m.

Monday: Spelling bee, 10:15 a.m.; nickel jokereno, 2 p.m.

Tuesday: Rummage bingo, 10:15 a.m.; resident council, 2:00 p.m.; you be the judge, 2:30 p.m.; Yahtzee, 6:15 p.m.

Wednesday: Protestant service, 9:00 a.m.; baking,10:15 a.m.; jokereno, 2 p.m.; chapel of divine mercy, 3 p.m.; Family Feud, 6:15 p.m.

Thursday: Catholic Mass, 9 a.m.; St. Patrick’s crafts, 10:15 a.m.; help your neighbor, 2 p.m.; whammo, 6:15 p.m.

Friday: Lenten retreat/stations of the cross, 10 a.m.; exercise, 10:15; trivia, 10:30 a.m.; happy hour/St. Patrick’s Day party with Ray and Mindy, 2 p.m.

Saturday: Baking, 10:15 a.m.; pamper and polish, 2 p.m.; bingo, 5:45 p.m.

Victorian Pines

Iron Mountain

Juice time, 10 a.m. Sunday through Saturday.

Exercise, 11 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Shopping days: 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, must sign up.

Sunday: Bible study, 1:30 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Monday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Tuesday: Ladder ball, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Catholic Mass, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m. 

Thursday: Crosswords, 2 p.m.; rosary, 3 p.m.

Friday: Bingo, 2 p.m.; refreshments, 3 p.m.

Saturday: Movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.

Florence Health Services

Florence, Wis.

Morning news, 6 a.m. daily.

Beauty shop open on Tuesday and Thursday.

Sunday: Bingo, 10 a.m.

Monday: Bingo with Bette, 10 a.m.; resident council, 2 p.m.; reminisce, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Plant flowers, 2 p.m.; social hour, 3 p.m.

Wednesday: Manicures, 10 a.m.; trivia, 2 p.m.; room visits, 3 p.m.; music with Grace and Dave, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Pastor Jason, 10 a.m.; potato chip party, 2 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10 a.m.; Valri singing, 2:30 p.m.; flippo, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Bingo, 10 a.m.; movie and popcorn, 2 p.m.; reading, 6 p.m.

Pinecrest Medical

Care Facility


Busy Bee, 12:45 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Sunday: Grace church, 10:15 a.m.; ball toss, 10:30 a.m.; Lutheran service 2 p.m.; life stories, 3:30 p.m.

Monday: Life connections, 9:45 a.m.; worship and communion service, 1:30 p.m.; rosary, 2:30 p.m.; bean bag toss, 3:30 p.m.; checkers, 6 p.m.

Tuesday: Baking group, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; Pictionary, 3:30 p.m.; book cart, 6 p.m.

Wednesday: Tea party, 10:30 a.m.; Jim Clement, 2:00 p.m.; crafts, 3:30 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Exercise, 10:30 a.m.; bingo, 1:45 p.m.; cards, 3:30 p.m.; trouble board game, 6 p.m.

Friday: Catholic Mass, 10:30 a.m.; St. Patrick’s Day party with Marion, 2 p.m.; one-to-one visits, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Karaoke, 10:15 a.m.; trivia, 10:30; ice cream social, 2 p.m.; reminiscing, 3:30 p.m.


Note: All centers ask for 24-hour advanced reservations for lunch. If you have meals delivered and will not be home, notify the center.

Alpha-Mastodon Center


Meal at noon every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Amasa Center


Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Lunch at noon.

Bingo on Tuesdays.

Free meal drawing on Thursdays.

Breen Center


Meals Monday through Friday.

Pasty sale every third Saturday of the month — except on holidays.   

Cards and games available 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 2 p.m. 

Hostess on duty Monday through Friday.    

Treats and coffee, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Center retail store is open 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; volunteers and donations are welcome.

Birthdays acknowledged every day.

Evening meals are on the first and third Thursday of the month. Salad bar opens at 4 p.m., with dinner at 5 p.m. Donations are $4 for those 60 and older and $5 for 60 and younger.

Crystal Falls Center

Head cook: Lucy Korhonen


Monday: Soup, salad, beef stroganoff over noodles, vegetables and homemade dessert, Tuesday: Soup, salad, pork chops, rice, vegetables, and homemade dessert,

Wednesday: Soup, salad, chicken stir fry, rice and homemade dessert.

Crystal Lake Center


The center is closed on weekends.

Monday: Woodcarvers, 10 a.m.; mahjong in dining hall, noon; Les Artistes Art Club, noon; Bridge Club, 12:15 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: Pinochle, 12:30 p.m.

Thursdays: Two-person team cribbage from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: Billiards, 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday: Spinning Spools Quilters Guild, 1 p.m., crafters, scrapbookers and others also welcome; knitting and crocheting class, 1 to 3 p.m.

Friday: Smear, 12:30 p.m.

Last Saturday of the month: Music jam starting at 1 p.m. Admission is free. 

Dances take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on the second and fourth Fridays of the month. Admission is $6; coffee is free. 

The Photo Club meets 1 to 3 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.  

The kitchen currently is closed due to plumbing issues, and meals are being served at the Breen Center. Christine McMahon has information for all meals and can be reached at 906-774-2256, ext. 235. For transportation, call Buzzin’ Around Town at 906-282-0492. Rides are $3 for age 60 and older, and $3.50 for younger than 60. 

Transportation is available from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

Felch Center


Meals served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Wednesday.

Bingo after lunch on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

A congregate jigsaw puzzle is done daily.

Aging and Disability Resource Center of Florence County, Wis.


Director: Tiffany White

Suggested donation for seniors older than 60 is $4 per meal. Residents younger than 60 must pay $7. Reservations and cancellations needed 48-hours in advance.

The ADRC can assist area seniors and those with disabilities with transportation Monday through Friday. Transportation reservation should be made with meal reservation.   

Fence Center/Town Hall


Meal at noon Wednesdays only. Reservations are requested. Cribbage and cards are available.

Florence Community Center/Town Hall


Home-delivered meals are available as always. Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. at the center on Friday only. 

The meal site is temporarily closed Monday through Thursday due to a staffing shortage. 

Tipler Town Hall


Serving lunch at noon on the second Thursday of the month.

Hillcrest Senior Dining Center, Aurora


Meal is served at 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday. Transportation arrangements can be made to and from the meal site.

Hermansville Center

Coordinator: Pam Haluska


Meal is at noon Monday through Friday. Suggested donation is $3 for age 60 and older and $7 for those younger than 60. Morning coffee is available daily.

Fifteen games of “fun bingo” are played each Tuesday and Friday, along with a 50-50 drawing.

Tuesday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Wednesday: Cards played in the afternoon. Call ahead to see if a game will be going on.

Friday: Bingo, 12:45 p.m.

Monday through Friday: Walking in the gym, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A treadmill also is available.

Enjoy friendly interaction with other crafters.

Iron River Center


Meals served 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; a $4 donation is encouraged from those 60 and older, and a $5 payment is required from those younger than 60. Thursday meal, 3:30 p.m. soup, 4 p.m. salad bar, with dinner at 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Home-delivered meals are available — call 906-774-2256 and speak to Christine Tramontine at ext. 235 or Stephen at ext. 230. Menu for the week are:

Monday: Beef burrito, rice, mexicorn, fruit and milk.

Tuesday: Fish, cheesy hash browns, peas and carrots, fruit and milk.

Wednesday: Sweet/sour chicken, rice, oriental vegetables, fruit and milk.

Thursday: Meat ravioli, wax beans, breadsticks, dessert and milk.

Friday: Drop off donated baked goods for the bake sale from 2 to 4 p.m.

Saturday: Pancake breakfast, 8 to 11 a.m.; cost: $5. Bake sale at same time.

Niagara Northwoods Senior Cafe and Center

Meal site manager: Corrie Maule, 715-251-1603

Senior center director: Jill Anderson, 715-251- 4154

Noon meals served Monday through Thursday. Transportation is available to the meal site for those living in the Niagara, Wis., area. The site welcomes any senior groups that would like to use the meal site as a meeting place — come for lunch and then stay for a meeting or social time. Wii games, cards, puzzles and board games are available to play. 

Other activities are in the works — suggestions are always welcome. 

Those who have not been at the meal site/senior center are invited to give it a try. Those who haven’t been here in a while are encouraged to come back.

Norway Center

Director: Susie Slining


Monday through Thursday: Meals served at noon, with salad bar. Soup also is available at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Milk, juice, bread, fruit, tea and coffee served daily. Meal donation is $5. Reservation for the meal should be made in advance.

Two special-themed meals take place each month on Tuesday, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50 drawing.

Two evening meals offered at 5 p.m. on the first Monday and third Wednesday of the month, with bingo, prizes and a 50-50.

Monday: Center board meeting, 10 a.m.

Menu for the week:

Monday: Spaghetti or polenta, meat sauce, carrots and onions, garlic toast, salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Tuesday: Chicken divan over egg noodles, winter blend vegetables, soup and salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Wednesday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad bar, fruit, juice and dessert.

Thursday: Finnish pancakes, hash browns, sausage, strawberries, muffin, orange juice, soup and salad bar.

If Norway-Vulcan area schools are closed due to bad weather, so is the senior center. If the schools are on a two-hour delay, the center remains open.   

Cards are played daily after the noon meal.

Craft and exercise classes: Mondays and Thursdays.

Ceramic and art classes: Wednesdays.

Puzzles always in the works.

A senior coloring class meets daily. All are welcome. Some materials will be provided.

Telephone reassurance is available for any senior who doesn’t get out much and would like a friendly daily phone check to see that all is well.

Note: File of Life packets available at the center.

Sagola Center


Meals: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m.

Cards: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Commodities every other month and quarterly commodities are every three months. A puzzle table is available to enjoy. Volunteers are always welcome. 


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