Christmas is long over and 2017 snuck in like a bandit. At least for me. I read in a Billy Graham daily devotional book that making resolutions at the start of a new year may be a good thing because it makes you look at your life and find where you fall short of what you want your life to be.

A few years ago, I resolved not to make any resolutions and that worked out all right. But this year I decided to make a few corrections in my life. Just a few. That way I might have a shot at keeping them.

I resolve not to buy anything which is too good to use. I bought a blouse three years ago which I have worn twice because it is just too pretty to wear. I have worn it to a church function and a family wedding. I worried that the cat would snag it with his claws or barf on it. Or that I would spill something on it. Wouldn’t you know it, this Christmas someone gifted me with a shawl which is much too pretty to wear. I will just have to force myself to don it for a special occasion.

I think I came on this trait naturally, by heredity, from my maternal grandmother. She was given nice clothing by grandchildren and children for many years on birthdays and at Christmas. When she died in 1983, the shelves of her home in Vineyard Haven were stocked with new underwear, new sweaters, even a new Harris tweed coat she had never worn. I think I will wear whatever good stuff I possess while I am still here. I do not have anyone to pass it all down to.

I resolve to enjoy the outdoors more. There is natural beauty here on the Vineyard in great abundance. It is probably some sort of sin not to enjoy it. As kids, we Lambert’s Cove area tykes spent more time out and about on bikes and on foot than we spent at home. Now that I have a new hip, I have no excuse for giving hiking and walking a miss.

I would really like to become more familiar with the birds in our area. So many come to Mom’s bird feeders in West Tisbury. What must they be like in the wild without being lured and stuffed with sunflower seeds and suet? I so enjoy watching them beat ravenous fat squirrels to the food. It is hard to determine who is the winner in a skirmish like that.

When summer comes, I would like to go fishing. I resolve to try. It might be a challenge, given the psoriasis on my hands. I resolve not to be snotty because my father handed down this skin condition rather than his blue eyes. Dad was a great lover of the outdoors, so maybe some of that love flows in my veins.

I resolve not to point a finger at anyone who fails to keep a New Year’s resolution. I have been down that road so many times it would be hypocritical of me to scoff at someone who fails to reach, or even try to reach, a goal.

I do not think failing to keep a New Year’s resolution is a failure. Not at all. It is just a wish or dream deferred to another time. I think we all have those, and it is certainly nothing to feel guilty about when we do not reach a self-imposed milestone. Unless, of course, we have a life-threatening habit we need to give up to survive. That is an entirely different ballgame.

The life we live would be so dull if we were all cookie-cutter perfect people.

Now, does anyone have a suggestion on how to gently lose seven holiday pounds of weight? After all, you can only cover so much with a new shawl, no matter how gorgeous it may be.

For now, I am going to be content to watch the birds which gather outside the kitchen window. The red ones are cardinals. The blue ones are blue jays. As far as the numerous brown and gray ones go, I will figure that out another time. For now, I am just happy that they are here.

Fran Copeland lives in West Tisbury.