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Pamela Loxley Drake has some advice and self-reflection as 2022 comes upon us.

COURTESY PHOTO - Pamela Loxley DrakeHm. 2022. Hm.

No need for resolutions. No need to make plans for future events. So we will just ease into this new year.

Last year, we thought we were heading into a better year with schools open and life going back to normal. Now I feel like I'm in an instant replay.

2022. Hm.

When we grew up on the farm, New Year's was just the beginning of a new year of farming, a new year of growing children, a new year of hopefully great crops. We thanked God that we had all made it through the last year. We looked forward with joy and anticipation. We had no idea what would lie ahead with global warming and COVID.

This is not a column to get you down. In fact, it is a column filled with encouragement and hope. Let's take the first one.

Encouragement

Regardless of the reasons you do not want to get a vaccine, please remember the season we are leaving. It has been a season of goodwill. Of love. Of thinking of others. Of appreciating our families more than ever before.

So why put it off?

The vaccine is the most precious gift you can give your family. It is a sign of love. And, it is a sign of a country working together to show the world that we can step up to a situation and take charge.

Hence, I encourage you and your loved ones to get your vaccine and the boosters. Let's make the New Year one of togetherness.

Hope

How about hope? Seems to me that we have had hopes trampled the last couple years.

Teens had hopes of senior year memories. Schoolchildren had hopes of classrooms and friends. We all had hopes of being with our families and friends whenever we could. We had hope for an end to COVID.

So many hopes cast aside, leaving us in a state of flux.

Well, I still have hope. I have found it in the way our family worked together to see that two elementary grandtwins had support and consistency in their schooling. We came up with new ways of entertaining bored children. We found ways to tell our college kids that we love them. Perhaps like me, you found that life is so precious that you need to tell others how much you care.

Hope. It does not come from the outside. It comes from inside each of us. And, perhaps you have noticed that hope grows. Positive words, a smile, a letter, a silly rhyming poem that drives grandchildren into belly laughs.

Hope. That is definitely what we need for the new year.

On to 2022

I hope you have your own conversation with yourself after reading this. Really, I am having this conversation with myself, thinking I might was well share it with you as I do.

I encourage you to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. I encourage you to step away from what you have always known and see if you can broaden your horizons.

I hope for you a healthy and very happy new year learning to roll with the punches and to create new avenues of hope.

Happy New Year from a woman having a conversation with herself.

Pamela Loxley Drake is a Beaverton resident and self-described lifelong "farm girl."


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