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To: My Fans!
From: Ann
Happy New Year!

January 2002

I loved sleepover parties when I was younger, but never more than on New Year's Eve. Best friends, flannel nightgowns, scary stories, new hairstyles, lots of great food and late-night television all added up to make this a very special night. I was never very good at staying up past midnight, but I was wide awake and ready to count down 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-HAPPY NEW YEAR! when the ball dropped in Times Square. (I think I was asleep five minutes later!)

Part of the fun of New Year's Eve was making up a list of resolutions for the next year. The resolutions I wrote as a twelve-year old are different from the ones I write now, but the idea of setting goals and making little promises to myself has stayed the same. (And the best part is that I'm the only one who knows if I succeed!)

This time next year, I hope to be able to say that the huge project of organizing my photographic history is a done deal. In 2002, if my sister asks me about the picture of the two of us on Santa's lap, I want to be able to walk over to the bookshelf, yank out an album, and hand it over to her. (You have no idea how impossible a task that is right now!)

I'm also hoping to say that I have not skipped a single day of flossing my teeth. I write this, I'm thinking this may be a little too rigid. I'll change it to never missing more than one day in a row. That's a resolution I think I can keep.

My dog, Sadie, is the most wonderful pet a person could want, but she's gotten into a bad habit of begging for food. And yes, I'm guilty of giving in sometimes... she's just so-o cute I can't resist! I'm going to have a little talk with her to let her know that starting on January 1, I may not be such a pushover. Sadie is so sweet and eager to please that I'm very optimistic about our chances for success.

Although I'm not computer-savvy, I'm actually very impressed with the little I've learned so far. But maybe this year I'll go further. I could burn a CD! I could send some friends a picture that I scanned! I could learn how to play one of those games that I see everyone else playing on their computers! It sounds cool just saying this stuff.

I'm definitely resolving to write more personal notes this year. E-mail is easy and it's certainly convenient, but it makes my day when I find a personal letter from a friend waiting for me in my mailbox. I've got a book of stamps and my favorite stationery close at hand, so this should be one resolution that's easy to keep.

There's no doubt that our country has been through a difficult and tumultuous time, and like most people, I'm looking forward to a more peaceful new year. My most important resolution is to take a moment every day to be grateful for all that I have — my health, my family, my friends, my writing, and a home where I feel happy and safe. To all my readers, I hope the new year brings happiness and good health to you and your families.