About The Author


Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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January 05, 2009

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New Year's Resolution

     I haven't picked one yet. And considering we're more than a few days into 2009, the pressure is on. I think the problem is this New Year feels weightier than most because my family lost two wonderful people in the closing weeks of 2008. One was an actor, the other a retired X-Ray technician, and both lived rich, full, adventuresome lives. 

     It can be hard not to contemplate your own mortality following the loss of a loved one. In the days after a funeral, I'll find myself considering the state of my own life, and more often than not, resolving to live it more fully, more honestly, and more closely with friends and family. Considering such thoughts, my recent New Year's resolutions (stop biting my nails in 2007 and be a more responsible recycler in 2008) sound ridiculous. Instead I feel a good deal of pressure to come up with a core, meaningful resolution -- one that will honor my lost loved ones and contribute to the life I share with others. I hope I come up with something good soon.

     In the meantime, I wonder how seriously the rest of the blog takes the clean-slate opportunity that each New Year brings. Do you tend to be a resolution maker (and keeper), or do you consider self-improvement a year-round pursuit, regardless of the date? 

     I'm willing to bet more than one of us chose a resolution having to do with the field -- whether it's related to performance or just spending more time outside. Anything along those lines sounds good to me. One of my family's recent losses sparked conversations about long gone bird dogs and afternoon fishing trips. It's really something that -- during a funeral commemorating 9 decades on earth -- those field memories in particular bring so many smiles. It certainly speaks well of any resolution having to do with heading outside. -K. H. 

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Comments

Judy Black

I have never been one to keep a New Years resolution even though I make them in the back of my mind. It just seems like if there is a prize attached to a goal, it is easier to accomplish. Like, lose 20 pounds, go on a tropical vacation. Turn 50, book an elk hunt.
But today I turn 51 and once again I feel honored to have made it this far in my life. But it also makes me stop and think, how many more years do I have to accomplish what is on my mental list of things to do.
So like last year and probably for however many years to come I make the resolution to be happy, enjoy my family and get out and hunt and fish like today is the last day of my life.
I have shared the story before of the horse back riding friend I lost from a bee sting. And to this day I believe that tomorrow is not a guarantee.
Be happy, be healthy and do the things that you enjoy the most.
JB

Lou Alexander

I'm not a resoultion maker either, if I need to set goals I can do that in July too. I think the new year things sets people up to fail. Choose a goal and go for it in baby steps so you'll have a better chance to achieve it.

If a list is a must, go with the bucket list concept. Like Judy says, we can't guarantee tomorrow so why not try to improve ourselves on a daily basis.

Yeah, I'll let you know how that concept works out with me :) I want to spend more time outside with my whole gang, I have a 13 year old who just may become a PETA member so she doesn't dig the hunting thing. We spent and unusually warm morning Sat. hiking on our property, having a great adventure and making wonderful memories, it made me want to do the family thing more, both my girls will be gone before I know it and I don't want any regrets.

Jan

1st let me say Happy Birthday, Judy! Nothing like a birthday to make you start to reflect back...and plan ahead. At least that's been my experience. Hope your day was good!

I'm not much on New Year's resolutions. When I used to make them, I never was able to follow thru, and ended up feeling like I'd let myself down...again! So I just stopped making them. Lord knows there's much that I can improve upon, and much that I would like to accomplish. I guess I have a "mental" list of those things and try to work on them thru out the year. (like Lou said...in baby steps!)

When my first grandchild was born, in 2001, I decided that the role I would play best in life was being Riley's grandmother. She's 7, and now we have a 3 month old grandson, and just found out yesterday that we'll have another grandbaby in August! I spent the day yesterday with the 7 yr. old, bream fishing off of our dock. She caught over 40, (w/a barbless hook), and never seemed to get tired. I was exhausted at the end of the day, but feeling so blessed to have shared that with her! Can't wait until the other 2 are big enuf to take fishing and hunting!

I suppose it's a good thing for some folks to resolve to "do", or to "go", or whatever, at the beginning of a new year.....but it's just never worked for me. Guess what I do is much like what Judy said....try to live each day to the fullest, enjoy my family, and be happy.

Kim, Sorry for your loss. I hope that when I'm gone, those grandchildren will say to someone that I lived a rich, full and adventuresome life!

Paula

Happy Birthday Judy! Hope it was special, I did the 51 thing in June. I don't make resolutions anymore, I think it crossed my mind, but left just as quickly :) I have in the past and not stuck to them. I am sorry for the losses in your family Kim, I hope the happy, fond memories ease this sad time.
I think the sudden death of my sister was the start of my new life. Before that I lived most of my adult life doing what someone else wanted me to do, so eventually I unloaded my baggage (no it wasn't menopause as my ex likes to claim) and started over. I adopted the little boy I had met at a boat race several years before and spent quality time with my grown son who lives away from home. My family, myself included were always so busy with our own lifes and families that we hardly ever saw each other, now my brothers and I are close friends and in constant contact even though we all live in different states.
My New Year is each opening day whether it's fishing, archery or firearm and I do make resolutions then; I am going to have a great season!

Sarah M.

This year I did decide to make a New Year's Resolution, well 4 resolutions actually. I'm making up for the last few years that I didn't make one I guess. They have nothing to do with hunting or the outdoors (one is to cuss less) but so far I'm doing well.

Kim- sorry for your loss. I know that losing someone that is close to you is hard. For me, the pain took awhile to go away but all of the memories got fonder as the time went on.

And on a lighter note, Happy Birthday Judy!

If anyone else made resolutions, good luck. And even if you didn't, we all make goals throughout the year- good luck on those too.

Laura Bell

Very Sorry for you and your families losses Kim.

I've never been one to really set New Years resolutions. I'm a believer that goals are set year round. So no matter the time of year, go for it. I have a couple things that are on my list that need my attention, like get my first Bow kill, actually if I wasn't so picky about it I probably would have accomplished it already.
Then there's learn to drive a stick shift.
Also a couple other things, but those are a little embarrassing to list.

Judy Black

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. I certainly appreciate them.
With a husband that recently had surgery on his hand, a father in law in the hospital with a staph infection and the nursing of our injured/very sick dog it wasn't a birthday celebration to remember. Calgon take me away.
Oh well, this too shall come to pass and once they are all well maybe I can go to a "happy place".
Kim, I forgot to give my condolences in my original post. The loss of a family member or even a close friend is never easy. I have felt that loss too in October and it isn't something that goes away over night. But, the memories are the best.
Enjoy your day everyone.
Judy

Jen

Kim,
I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope that someday the feeling of loss can be replaced with gratitude for what these people brought to yourlife.
As for resolutions, I tend to look at them this way: On New years eve, I think of all of the things I've carried as 'weight' the past year, and I agree with myself to lay them down, since I've done all I can with them. ( I definitely pursue self-improvement daily, rather than yearly) After I've allowed myself to let go of these things, I remind myself of all things accomplished and enjoyed this past year. When the clock changes to midnight, I celebrate this, and hope for more to be thankful for!

Don't stress over resolving, allow yourself time. New Year's is only symbolic, and it only means what you make it mean. take care,
Jen

Thank you so much for the well wishes, and I'm sorry to hear about other rough times on the blog. But on a happier note, it's great to hear about the birthdays and new babies! 2009 is off to a pretty good start from the sound of it. -K.H.