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I generally do not make New Year’s Resolutions. They are just another reason to criticize and beat myself up when I break them about this time every year. I did not exactly make any specific resolutions last year, but in a general sense, I promised myself repeatedly to spend less time on social media, news sites, and television and more time reading and writing. I was constantly setting and resetting my social media time limits on my iPhone and iPad, and no matter how hard I tried, I always got drawn back in.

I do understand that Facebook has some advantages, but I have come to passionately believe that any benefits are far outweighed by the negative impact on my emotional and mental health and well-being. No matter how many times I adjust my settings, and no matter how good a friend I am with someone, there is eventually going to be a post that triggers some negative emotion whether it be anger, resentment, or even jealousy. This was particularly prevalent last year with the super charged political drama, and that is probably not going to change anytime soon. I did lose some friends because of it, which saddens me deeply. I have reached out to those individuals again only to be rejected.

I did read 88 books last year, which should be viewed as an accomplishment. However, it was just another reason to criticize myself for reading a lot of “escapist” books and not enough “serious” literature or poetry.

As far as 2021 is concerned, I am continuing my internal battle with social media, and I did commit during a counseling session yesterday, to begin to dig deeper and start to unravel that big ball of string that I have carried inside me for most of my life, regardless of where it may take me. I would also like to write more and maybe (just maybe) get a second collection of poetry published.

The biggest resolution this year is to be kinder to myself. I also want to expand this blog. I am contemplating more book reviews, more about my Appalachian roots, and more about my life as a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist.

I would also like to have more subscribers, but maybe there is little interest in what I write in this space. See, I have already broken my resolution to be kinder to myself.

Barbara Marie Minney is a transgender woman, poet, writer, speaker, and quiet activist. She is a retired attorney and originally from West Virginia. Now based in Tallmadge, Ohio, her first collection of poetry entitled “If There’s No Heaven” was the winner of the 2020 Poetry Is Life Book Award and is available at Follow her at

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I admire your honesty. Your goals for 2021 seem well thought out.


John B. Burroughs
John B. Burroughs
Jan 06, 2021


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