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Editor's Notebook January/February 2024

Craig Mongeau - Editor in Chief - February 2024

Happy New Year! We hope all of you, your families and your crews had a wonderful, healthy and safe holiday season. With 2024 rung in, now is the time for resolutions, right? Hopefully, by the time you're reading this your resolutions are still intact. I was never especially good at them, so I stopped trying to do them years ago. I figure, as issues pop up, I'll handle them then and always try to do better, even if I don't succeed most of the time.

But I was curious about what the top New Year's resolutions were, so I consulted the Internet. Not surprisingly, among those who still smoke, quitting that addiction is tops on the list. And of course, losing weight is another popular resolution. Anyone seen the Jardiance commercial? It's like a Broadway musical about Type II diabetes.

Spending more time with family and friends was another highly mentioned resolution. That's a hard one, too. Unless you're retired, there aren't really many opportunities to do this. Same goes for another popular resolution: reducing stress. OK, sure, good luck with that as long as you're still working. And that's essentially the problem with a lot of New Year's resolutions: they're not realistic or even possible, so they're sure to fail. And this goes back to what I said earlier — I pretty much try to take things day by day. I figure a success here and there is heck of a lot better than an abject failure on January 10 or whenever my resolution falls apart.

However, among all the popular resolutions I saw listed online at various sites was a really great one: break a smartphone addiction. Absolutely. Everywhere you go you see people looking at their phones. Many of us are looking at it before we go to bed and it's among the first things we do when we get up in the morning. You see people in the supermarket line looking at it and worse, you see them in their cars fooling around with them. And spending more time with families and friends doesn't count if we're scrolling our phones while with them. Thanksgiving, anyone? Humans have never been particularly good at communication and smartphones are just a 24/7/365 way to be bad at it. Seems to me, staying off these devices as much as you can is a great way to reduce stress. So, OK, I'll give that one — no, two resolutions, actually — a shot.

Again, have a great 2024 and let's all hope we can meet back here in this column a year from now. P