While negotiating this surreal season of masked Santas and mugs of eggnog clinked 6 feet apart and stockings stuffed with hand sanitizer, I’m looking ahead to 2021 and the resolutions that may come with it.

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see robinconte.com.

Most of us probably figure that the trials of 2020 granted us a 10-year pass to forget resolutions and indulge in whatever vices we might possess, just to even the score. But as it is typical at the end of a year or the beginning of a new one to revolt against our bad habits, we might still find ourselves entertaining the idea of resolutions. And what are resolutions, after all, but our own personal battles?

We have constant little skirmishes with ourselves:

“Don’t eat the cake!”  “But I want the cake!”

“Go run three miles.”  “But it’s cold outside.”

“Time to write the column!” “Be quiet. I’m texting.”

Simply put, resolutions are commitments to a goal. Here I come to the real purpose for focusing on this topic: writing this column has been the realization of a goal that I have held for years, one that I am ever grateful to have had the opportunity to meet. But as this year ends, so will this column. I’ve decided to embark on other goals.

Maybe I’ll finally learn to stand up straight. Maybe I’ll be a nicer person. Maybe I’ll learn to belly dance (and pick up with the lessons I started 20 years ago).

It occurred to me that it has been seven years since I was taken on by the Reporter. So perhaps there’s a seven-year itch response built in here. But it’s not them, it’s me. To them, to my editors, my publisher, to all the staff and board of the Reporter, I offer my utmost respect and gratitude.

Truly, writing this column has been a privilege, as has been working with all of you. For my part, even though I didn’t make it a full decade, this seems like the right time for me to close the laptop.

And since I’ve got about 150 words to go, I’m going to leave with a few musings that might have once been fleshed-out into fully formed columns, but for now will be bones on the page:

  • People say that your true personality shows when you’re drunk.  I disagree.  I think it shows when you’re driving in traffic.
  • Do you ever wonder why you’ll spend 15 minutes rearranging the plates in the dishwasher rather than stopping and washing the dish?
  • During a trip to Disney World, my 8-year-old son ordered alligator, which blew my mind because I couldn’t get him to eat broccoli.
  • Have you ever watched a movie and then had to go to Wikipedia to figure out what happened?
  • I waited all day for my kids to get home to change the TV channel. And then I didn’t know whether to be disappointed or relieved when they couldn’t do it, either.
  • Someone called me “precious” once, which I believe she meant as a compliment. I didn’t take it that way, though. “Precious” is an adjective reserved for cats and old people. And I’m not a cat.

And here I will deftly transition from “old” to “auld” to “auld lang syne,” and use that phrase to offer my farewell and best wishes to all of you who have read and enjoyed (or not!), for the sake of seven years gone by.

And most of all, thank you.

Robin Conte

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see robinconte.com.