Every year, I think about new year resolutions. Sometimes I make them and sometimes I don’t. When I make them, I rarely keep them for long. So, what should I do differently?

New year resolutions seem quite futile in the face of a pandemic.

With Omicron I think that the normal we crave is years away. My age group may never know life again without vaccination for COVID-19. New year resolutions may not be realisable in an ever-changing social setting. From week to week, month to month, we won’t know what life and business will be like. Yet, that mindset is no way to approach a new year!

I found it irritating and ripped it off any time I was alone

We do need to get on with our lives. The pandemic has afforded us too much time to consider our vulnerabilities. We’ve got to get beyond it by accepting that it is going to be with us for a while. For the most part, unbeknownst to ourselves, we have got on with life. I hated wearing the mask in school. I felt stifled by it.

I found it irritating and ripped it off any time I was alone. I still worry that it hinders communication with children when they cannot see my lips making the shape of words. Yet, now there are evenings when I drive in home and only remember to take off the mask before I go into the house. So, we can get used to anything.


We need grounding to put our own problems in perspective. The recent interview between Ryan Tubridy and Charlie and Claire Bird on The Late Late Show was difficult to watch but it certainly grounded us. Charlie was such a fine reporter and his voice was so recognisable during his working life – it immediately called for attention.

Seeing him less able to manage his voice was harrowing for viewers and heart breaking for him and all who know him. How we love and need to communicate with each other.

The most gratifying feelings come from helping others

We are still in the Christmas season and we should try to make time to talk to someone we haven’t spoken to in a while or maybe, where it’s safe to, we could go to the nursing home to visit a relative.

Many families are completely tied to their caring duties

The most gratifying feelings come from helping others. Maybe a worthwhile resolution might be to do just one thing that will make a difference to someone else. Do a spot of babysitting or allow someone who’s caring for a child or adult with special needs a little time off.

Many families are completely tied to their caring duties and just to know that someone cares and recognises their situation can mean a lot to them.

The luxury of allowing someone to go for a walk alone could be a real gift of kindness and far more worthwhile than a resolution to give up chocolate!


How do I make a resolution and even keep it for a while? It’s probably wise to acknowledge that I might not fulfil it.

Still, I find it motivational to lay out some broad parameters of the things that I would like to change or achieve. Learning to prioritise these goals may get them done.

There are two ways to get something done: make it a priority and do it yourself or get someone else to do it. Things become a priority if the deadline is tomorrow, the application closes tomorrow or auntie Mary is coming to stay. The current priority in this house is that there’s a Bord Bia inspection today.

Fortunately, we are good at recording events as things happen on the farm, administering medicines, storing of supplies appropriately and so on, which all make for an easier inspection.

The aim is always to do better than the last time

Records and recording has become a lot easier with so many online applications. While an inspection is a nuisance in the normal day-to-day management of a farm, it is also a chance to evaluate ourselves and our practices guided by an expert eye. The aim is always to do better than the last time.

We had a Cross Compliance inspection during the year and the lead up to it was stressful. It came and went and life went back to normal.

It’s a good practice to consider a Bord Bia inspection as a training run for a Department of Agriculture inspection. Maybe a good resolution might be to be ever ready for the various farm inspections. Wouldn’t that reduce the stressful days?

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