It’s the start of a new year, a time when well-intentioned resolutions are usually made. Many in Sampson County acknowledge that New Year’s resolutions are often difficult to keep, a reality that discourages some from even making them in the first place.
“I never have a New Year’s resolution because, when you resolve to do something, there’s nothing to hold you to it; there’s no real commitment,” says Steve Hulen, an employee at Clinton Appliance and Furniture Co. “I just always strive to be a better person.”
“I don’t make resolutions,” adds Clinton local Paul Tilly. “I really don’t think of the start of the new year as any different from any other day.”
While some have abandoned making New Year’s resolutions, many in Sampson County continue the tradition.
As usual, one of the most popular resolutions is to take better care of one’s self and improve one’s self physically, but it’s also one of the most difficult goals to keep.
Clinton post office employee Pam McDew says, “Like everyone else, I’m probably going to try to shed a few pounds.”
“I want to start going to the gym daily and eating better,” shares Dana Warwick, a waitress at Sandpiper Seafood.
Dickie Smith, city executive at BB&T in Newton Grove, is more cautious in his resolution of “trying to eat more healthy (sometimes) and exercise more (sometimes).”
In addition to health-related goals for the new year, another popular resolution in the county is spiritual growth.
“I resolve to spend more time in Bible study and prayer this year,” acknowledges John Hobbs, a local farmer and pastor of Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church.
“I really want to grow more in my Christian faith,” adds Ashley Holloman, another Sandpiper Seafood waitress.
Sandra Matthis, a teacher assistant at Salemburg Elementary, specifically wants to “be more committed to doing my daily devotion,” believing that “it’s the best way to start the day.”
Matthis’ husband, Doug, adds that he resolves “to count my many blessings,” noting that doing so would likely take more than a year.
Improving one’s self by being more “others” focused rather than “self” focused is also a reoccurring resolution among Sampson County locals.
Gail Smith, an employee at Clinton Appliance and Furniture Co, resolves to “be a better person than I was last year, kinder and more considerate.”
“My resolution is to smile more, and do more kind deeds for family and friends,” says Eleanor Cannady, an employee at BB&T in Newton Grove.
“I want to spend more time with my family,” adds Sandpiper Seafood employee Denise Matthews.
Other locals’ resolutions are not quite as predictable, ranging from enjoying life more to doing something that scares them.
Clinton post office worker Atarah Parker is determined to “get over my fear of flying. I’m going to get on a plane this year.”
“I just want to try not to get sick again,” says Leta Naylor, an employee at Sandpiper Seafood who dealt with heart-related health issues this past year.
Fellow Sandpiper Seafood employee Wanda Cain hopes for less stress and more time to enjoy the simple things in life. “I’d like to be able to take the time to smell the roses.”
Everyone who has made these and similar resolutions hope they can keep them as they days of 2013 come and go.
Whether they know it or not, they all have one resolution in common which Susannah Hobbs, music director at Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, put so well: “This year my resolution is to follow through with my resolutions.”