• Carmen Marie Fabio

Love and Rockets

Did you know you can take the letters in the words 'New Year's resolutions' and rearrange them to spell 'only we aren't serious'? I take that as permission not to make any resolutions and would much rather look back on the previous year and figure out what, if anything, I've learned over the last 12 months as opposed to vowing to make some sort of major lifestyle change that I'm highly unlikely to keep. I'm not fond of getting older but I can handle getting wiser.

I've learned that sometimes I can successfully talk my way out of a traffic infraction ticket and other times, it's in my own best interests to just keep my mouth shut.

I've discovered that about seven newspaper staffers can easily eat a four-pound bag of Rockets Halloween candy in a little over a week.

I know exactly how long it takes to get to the Valleyfield courthouse, but even if I'm running late, the security guards usually know what story I'm there for and are kind enough to direct me to the right courtroom.

Thanks to statistical feedback of Facebook and website hits, we're able to see exactly what readers like, what gets viewed the most, and what goes absolutely viral. The truck that took a little trip over the side of the Île aux Tourtes Bridge in June had tens of thousands of shares, eliciting comments from throughout North America.

A September story we ran about a group of motorcyclists called Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) who volunteer to stay at a kid's side as he or she is shuttled through the court system not only went viral, but after getting hundreds of thousands of hits, is still getting Likes and comments from as far away as England and New Zealand.

After being without a dog for almost a decade, I'm rediscovering the joys of dog ownership and I'm sometimes stymied trying to grasp exactly what he's telling me with his whines, barks, and varied canine vocalizations. All I know, and all I really need to know, is that he's awesome.

I've learned, without looking, to differentiate between a police, fire truck, or ambulance siren, a talent of which I'm immensely proud but, quite honestly, impresses no one.

I've learned that I can try reasoning with people but facts and logic, in some minds, are simply barriers to their own agenda. Who am I to convince anyone that Barack Obama does not have a personal vendetta against them and is not out to kill them?

I've learned that, despite the amounts of Likes and Shares offered by the connected collective when someone goes missing, some stories don't have happy endings. That's never an easy lesson.

I refuse to learn how to mature as I think it's entirely overrated. I plan to always get excited over the first snow fall, Christmas morning, and seeing my family at the end of the day, and I wish the same for you.

Peace, love, and happy holidays.