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.