Mark Kolke
3 min readDec 30, 2021


December 30, 2021

As the clock clicks over soon to welcome the new year, we are all at the same place in time and circumstance.

I expect your first thought might be a NO because we are different ages, genders, nationalities, and locations — and as well we are economically disparate, which is more attitude than facts … but let’s not dwell on that right now.

We are more the same than we are different.

We are going down the same path together.

We are genetically all cousins or descended from close relatives …

We are all alive on earth today.

Nearly all of us will live the whole year.

Nearly all of us are fully capable of managing our lives, homes, money, diet, and lifestyle.

We all have at least one friend.

We are all flesh and bone — we are the same species, and when we get cut, we all bleed red blood and experience comparable pain from similar ailments.

When we are kind, people are kind in return. OK, not every time, but most of the time.

When we smile, others smile back.

When we laugh, others laugh with us.

When we cry, we cry alone — but almost always, someone will offer us a shoulder, a tissue, or a bad joke.

We live for a reason, we all do, and we are all in search of explanations to the same questions: why?, why me?, why not me?, where am I going?, and how am I going to get there?

We care about something.

We care about someone.

We are all performance artists — reconciling who we are with what we show the world.

AND a year from now, we will have memories, experiences and occupy a better life than we have today. Not for everyone, but nearly everyone.

And, in case you don’t know this already — you are not rich, famous, or worthy of a footnote in the history of the world; a year from now, the same will likely be true. Not that richness, fame, or noteworthiness should be our only aims — but if anything is going to change in your life in the year ahead, it is likely not one of those …

So, having said all that, what thing(s) should we focus on?

We might have very long to-do lists, wish lists, strengths lists, weakness lists, opportunity lists and threat lists — as we should, but what goal(s) or focused concentration should we put at the top of the list, at the front of the line, as objective #1?

Photo by Catherine Hughes on Unsplash

For me, #1 is health.

A year from now, it will be better, not worse. A year from now, it will continue to be my primary focus. Sure, I want love, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, a good life, and energy to pursue everything on those lists. But, without health, we cannot pursue or enjoy the fruits of our labour.

A list of resolutions?


Only health.

With it, I am wealthy beyond measure.

Without it, I’ll be lost.

Photo by David Hieb on Unsplash

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Mark Kolke

Writer ( ), speaker, recovered alcoholic, publisher, real estate, advocacy/seniors, empathy/people with disabilities, addictions.