I mentioned several times throughout the year that my 2019 word-theme was joy. All year long I focused on joy and wrote about it in my journal. I wrote columns in which I encouraged you to look for joy and indicated that I frequently find joy.

2019 was a good year

2019 was a year in which I experienced a great deal of joy. Earlier that year, we moved back to our house in the country. We sold our other house and found a great contractor who subsequently completed a minor renovation of our house in record time.

For many years I have dreamed of writing a book communicating what it was like growing up in Rome. I had an idyllic childhood in Rome, and I wanted to write about what makes Rome such a special place for so many of us.

In late 2018, I set for myself the goal of publishing that book. I reached my goal. I recently published my book. This book is a compilation of some of those columns that were published in the Rome News-Tribune. The name of my book is “People, Places, and Memories of Rome.” It is gratifying to achieve a goal like that, and I remain busy pursuing new goals and enjoying life.

Every year I reflect on my life and consider all the things in which I am involved, and how I conduct myself. I give serious thought to being the best person I can be. I wonder if I am making a difference with all the people with whom I interact every day.

A new theme for a new year

My tradition every year is to think of a single word that inspires me. In the forthcoming year, I use that word as a theme and focus on it through the year. It was so much fun focusing on joy in 2019 that I considered using it for my 2020 theme. So, after a great deal of thought, I decided to incorporate joy into my 2020 theme.

The new theme is, “Gratitude with a spirit of joy.”

Being grateful is a choice. I have numerous great friends, an extraordinary family, good health, a career I enjoy, and several writing projects — and I remember to thank God for it all every day.

Make it your goal to be grateful and look for joy in your life. You will find it if you look for it.

Wednesday morning we rang in a new year

Today is Jan. 2, 2020. A new year, which brings with it many blessings and delightful new things. Start your new year aware of, and grateful for, your many blessings. Seek to maintain that spirit of gratitude throughout the year. That is a noteworthy way to start the new year and an exceptional way to live your life. Maintain gratitude with a spirit of joy. Happy New Year y’all!

Native Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, avid cyclist, history enthusiast and ardent reader of Southern fiction. Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com.

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