Steffanie Rivers

*The New Year, just like birthdays and anniversaries, makes people survey the past and contemplate the future. For the past three generations some people who claimed to want more affordable healthcare in America got what they asked for in 2010. But they were not willing to accept affordable healthcare in America if it came from President Barack Obama. It’s anybody’s guess as to why.

Parents of students in Washington, D.C. and Kansas City, Missouri (just two examples) had complained for decades about the mismanagement of education funds and their children’s future. But when new superintendants closed crumbling schools and fired ineffective teachers, parents and city leaders demanded they be fired.

Trigger happy lawmen in Detroit who fired their weapons first and asked questions later continued to remind us that even babies aren’t safe in their own homes and bullets don’t know the innocent from the guilty.

Erykah Badu streaked in downtown Dallas and exposed herself for all to see. But the mayor of a Dallas suburb chose to murder her daugther and commit suicide rather than be exposed at all. Whitney Houston became over exposed when she should have left well enough alone.

And while some people gave money and other support to Haiti after the earthquake, others tried to claim Haitian children for themselves, nevermind documentation.  Slavery is illegal now. Get over it!

On a personal note: I spent part of Christmas weekend going through old items trying to decide what to trash and what to keep. If I haven’t worn it or used it at least twelve times (once for every month) in 2010 it’s going to get donated or thrown away.

Those shoes that looked great at the store, but less than impressive once I took them home? Consider them donated. Those clothes that I’ve kept for years as motivation to get back down to – nevermind specifics – are on the way out too. I’ve gotten more compliments on the clothes that cost the least.

In 2010 I traveled to cities I’d never been and back to the city where some of my closest friendships began; I won another deadlift contest and hold a Texas state record; and I lost more than twenty pounds along the way.

I plan to lose at least ten more pounds, start a new business and put my passport to better use in 2011. And as long as you keep reading, I’ll keep writing. Thanks, Lee Bailey, for the opportunity. Thanks, readers, for your time and attention. Thank God for it all. I’m looking forward to a new year.

Steffanie is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas, Texas metroplex. Send questions, comments or requests for speaking engagements to Steffanie at [email protected]. And see the video version of her journal at youtube.com/steffanierivers.