New Year’s HodgePodge


New Year’s HodgePodge

By Charlie Hodge.

Like thousands of Canadians, and others around the world, I welcomed in the new year of 2020 Tuesday night in the traditional way, with friends.

For Moi, however, my friends consisted of wife Tez and our five children (cats) Scaredy Cat, Chaos, Trouble, Bandit, and Fluffy Little Bear. Suffice to say it was a relatively quiet, relaxed night at home tucked up with warm blankets, movies, popcorn and yes… a little bubbly. Purrrrrfect night in my world.

I suppose if I was healthier and able to stay awake past 9 p.m. we might have ventured out somewhere but after 50 years or so of finding any excuse to party at New Years I am just not really there. Lord knows there was not a lack of places we could have gone had I the inclination. On the other hand not a lot of invites rolled in this year, largely because we have turned down plenty of offers the past few years. My health issues dictated common sense. When you say no so many times the phone stops ringing and understandably so.

A number of my past New Year’s events were spent listening to a live band, laughing and dancing into the new year. Most of those evenings held a special connection as I was either managing, running lights, booking or just best of friends with whoever the band was that was playing. That bonus made the nights all that more memorable.

Tuesday night, however, was extra special private evening as it marked a night of celebration that I am blessed to have. A year ago this week I was on life support, pretty much dead from CO2 poisoning. Having the chance to spend new year’s eve with my wife and kitties held extra joy for all of us. (I arrogantly believe I get to speak for my cats).

Tez and popped some bubbly and sipped to our good fortune.

One thing I did not do this year (and have not done for several years) was make a new year’s resolution. I am not sure whether that is because I am superstitious about making promises involving time in the future – or simply feel like there are no resolutions I need to make. I already have a simple goal in my mind every day which is to simply stay alive. I do not need to make a resolution in order to keep that foremost in my little brain.

In general I believe folks make personal resolutions to change something in their lifestyle to improve their life i.e.: health, finances, relationships… While my world is far from perfect I have most of those looked after as best as possible and recognize that making a resolution to change such is not going to really help. If I am too stupid or lazy to not look after certain scenarios they will come back to bite me.

Of course some resolutions are of greater broad value such as treating others better, making the world a better place – resolutions that help others.

I suppose another reason I’ve stopped making resolutions is that in the past I rarely succeeded. I cannot begin to count how many times I vowed on a New Year’s Eve to quit smoking. Sometimes I lasted a month or two months, however most of the time it was less than that. I suppose I eventually succeeded since I no longer smoke, however the odds are good that the year when I actually quit I’d probably vowed to do something else.

Regardless, I digress. I made a resolution a few years back to give up making resolutions and so far I’ve kept it.

What I still do, though, is make up a ditty for the upcoming year.
In 2019 I pledged, “Be kind not mean in 2019”.

This year is simple. “Laugh and Love plenty in 2020”.

So, what’s your ditty and or resolution?

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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