Do y’all make New Year resolutions?

Most people I know don’t really do it. They just sort of have an idea of things they’d like to improve on in the new year — from getting fitter or healthier to spending more time with family or giving back to the community. But it seems like, for many of us, it’s tough to keep that going throughout the year.

And truth be told, even those that do make an honest-to-goodness resolution still have a tough time sticking to that.

But 2020 was such a crazy year that I think going into 2021 we ALL need to be changing up some things. And I don’t mean individually. I mean as a community, there are some things we need to try to be better about.

So I’ve compiled a list of New Year’s resolutions for Rome. This includes all of us. As a family, we are gonna make sure 2021 is a great year. As a community, we as Romans and Floyd Countians resolve that in 2021 ...

1. We will not rush over to a new restaurant the day it opens. We will remember that the new restaurant will still be there a week from now, a month from now and a year from now. So we don’t have to sit in a line of traffic around an entire block just so we can eat at a restaurant that we’ve already been to in another town.

2. In the Jan. 5 runoff election, we will announce our voting results in a timely and efficient manner and we will not be the very last county in the state to do so.

3. We will not blame all our community’s problems on green slabs of concrete. The tennis courts are NOT the reason our child is doing poorly in school or why the fountain at the Town Green is turned off or why you just got a speeding ticket on Martha Berry Boulevard. The tennis courts had nothing to do with that.

4. We will not dump our trash on the side of a country road.

5. We will do our very best not to turn onto Broad Street from Second Avenue at the busiest times of the day because we realize that this is selfish and inconsiderate and blocks traffic behind us for SEVERAL cycles of the light. We understand that we can easily get to Broad Street a number of other ways that don’t make us terrible human beings.

6. As a community, we will check our sources of information before flooding social media with unfounded and irresponsible information. We know that doctors and scientists probably know more about viruses than Randy, the guy at the end of our street who breeds beta fish in his basement.

7. We will have our pets spayed or neutered so that the streets and the local animal shelter aren’t overrun with the products of our carelessness and irresponsibility. And while we’re at it, we will do our best not to bring a new puppy home only to chain it to a tree outside for the rest of its life.

8. We will remember that revving our truck engines loudly while driving down Broad Street does not impress anyone.

9. When we’re done loading our groceries into our cars, we will put our shopping carts in the cart return rather than just leaving them in our parking space because we are not animals.

10. God willing, we will bring the skating rink back to the Forum River Center in 2021 because it’s one of the most enjoyable winter family activities in town.

11. We will not call 911 for an unruly child or because our neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking or because we need legal advice. We will ask ourselves if this is truly an emergency before we call 911.

12. We will try not to panic if the weather changes suddenly. And we will remember that it’s precisely the panicking and overreacting that causes the shortage of milk, bread, toilet paper and gasoline.

13. We will understand that our city and county government meetings are public and we will attend those and take an active part in our government instead of just complaining on social media after the fact.

Lastly, we will take care of each other and take care of our community by doing our part (however small it might be) to make sure it stays healthy and vibrant. We resolve to make 2021 a great year for Rome and Floyd County.

Severo Avila is Features Editor for the Rome News-Tribune.

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