New York City is full of history and it is very easy to forget about the incredible destinations we have in Lower Manhattan. Visitors from around the globe make the trek to New York City and specifically downtown and take advantage of places such as Ellis Island, the Liberty Bell, the World Trade Center, the Observation Deck at WTC, the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Building tour, the Finance Museum and Fraunces Tavern, as some of the more popular go-to spots in Lower Manhattan. My New Year’s resolution is to visit them all — before the end of the year!
The year is 2017, and what a time to be alive.
In the last year, we mourned the deaths of an unusually high number of celebrities and artists: David Bowie, Prince, Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder and Muhammad Ali. We watched as violence in the Middle East escalated to unthinkable limits. We wondered if Brexit might mean the collapse of the European Union, and we saw an alarming uptick in hate crimes against minority groups, including the LGBT community, at home. We endured one of the most tumultuous election cycles in American history. 2016 was a difficult year.
But 2017 is not going to get magically easier. Whoever you voted for in 2016, Donald Trump will be entering the White House on January 20th — and he is riding in on a wave of white nationalism so ugly, some analysts are warning that democracy itself is in jeopardy. This is why the New Year’s resolutions we make this year are extra-important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a doctor, or an investment banker, or a primary school teacher: you are in a position to contribute to a cause that is bigger than you, and the time is now. The actions we take in 2017 are going be remembered in the history books.
As a writer, I plan to continue my work with an increased sense of awareness and gravity. Here are my resolutions for the New Year:
- Highlight stories that inspire joy, kindness and curiosity
- Listen better and reflect more
- Give a platform to marginalized voices
- Share information that is helpful and actionable
- Focus less on praise and accomplishments, and more on the job itself
- Be honest, even when it means confronting truths I don’t like
- Dig deep
- Be kinder to the people I interact with every day
- Remember to count my blessings
- Know when to express anger or criticism; know when not to
- Harness my emotions for art, not arguments
- Keep reading, keep writing, keep going“I want every morning to be a New Year’s for me,” Antonio Gramsci wrote once. “Every day I want to reckon with myself, and every day I want to renew myself.” He was talking about how difficult it is to stick to our New Year’s resolutions, especially as time goes on. It is not enough to wake up on Jan. 1st and say that you intend to make progress and change. Progress is a daily battle.
So now that we have celebrated, in 2017, I wish us all the strength to honor our intentions.
For me, 2016 was a year of many firsts. There were also plenty of challenges, but in looking back, it was all worth it. Onwards and upwards!
Some of my hopes for 2017:
- Lose and keep off 15 pounds through steady diet and exercise.
- Have a fun, eventful and not-too-expensive wedding in Las Vegas.
- Finish decorating and straightening up our home.
- Interview more heroes and interesting people.
- Continue to live a fulfilling and interesting life full of family, good health and fun.