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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

New year’s resolutions: Sixteen people share what they’re looking forward to in 2022 – for themselves and the community

By Features Staff

Out with the old and in with the new – has there ever been an entire year that this could be said of more than 2021? Good riddance! To start the new year, well, anew, here are new year’s resolutions from some of Spokane’s notables in the food, health, music and arts and entertainment worlds. Happy New Year!

Abbey Crawford, performer and stylist: “My resolution this year is to be kinder. To myself. To be more gentle with my spirit, not be so angry at myself if I make a mistake, to make sure I’m feeding myself at the correct times with healthier foods. I rest when I need to rest and not push myself as hard as I have been. I always want to take care of everybody else, I mean heck – it’s what I do for a living. But I am choosing to take care of myself as well as I take care of others. Here’s to 2022!”

Adam Norwest, Spokane Comedy Club owner: “To be more open-minded to other people’s stupid ideas!”

Dr. Bob Hustrulid, longtime Spokane physician: “Health and happiness. The two most important words in life. It’s what we wish for our kids. It’s what we wish for ourselves. If we don’t have health, it’s best that we have some health insurance. As many people know, this can be a real challenge. It’s my hope that this year our elected officials will stop bickering long enough to come up with a plan for everyone to have affordable health insurance.”

Chris Bovey, artist: “My goal is to get the neon shop up and running into production to branch out and continue what I’ve been doing for Spokane – but in neon form, as well.”

Cody Winfrey, Luna bar manager and Cocktails by Cody owner: “Professionally, learn to delegate and nurture my staff and help educate and inspire new talent in the industry. Personally, re-establish weakened friendships, stretch more, start properly investing and pet more dogs.”

Dawn Wolski, Inland Northwest Opera general and artistic director: “Instead of ‘resolutions,’ we’ve been making a 2022 bucket list that can be crossed off any time in the year. Prioritizing family and experiences over ‘goals’ – but the former is nebulous. So, I’ve got lists that accomplish the same purpose: 12 live shows, 24 hikes, 12 camping trips, 12 new recipes, backyard tent camping, 12 family movie nights, 12 days entirely technology-free (no phones or iwatches even!). That kind of thing. Hopefully we’ll cross them off early and get into a new groove, but feel positive about crossing off actual lists rather than habits that see more failure than success. We’ll see!”

Eileen Grimes, Spokane author of “The Us Journal”: “When the new year rolls around, in place of resolutions, I choose a single-word theme. This word provides a vision for the year to help guide me in my decisions and goals. For 2022, my theme is ‘connection.’ With myself, family, friends and community; I plan to foster intentional and wholehearted connections. I hope that taking my own steps toward healing and loving relationships within my circle, I will inspire others to do the same. I am hopeful that we find healing for ourselves and each other in 2022.”

Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane Regional Health District officer: “To focus on mental health and wellness by spending more time with family and friends; thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, we can. To work with the team here at SRHD and our community partners in finding ways to empower all people in the community with tools and knowledge to help them make decisions that will keep the community safe and healthy. To see the world through the eyes of my grandson, Andrew, which will help me relearn the ‘why’ behind my work, my community giving and my life decisions.”

Garrin Hertel, Hot Club of Spokane, Zonky Jazz Band and Rockabilly Space Force bandleader and “The King’s Guide” producer and director: “Before 2022 is over, I want to perform at least one song, me and my guitar, onstage, I want to have the guts and competency for it to be just me and my guitar. I’ve never done a solo show. Every time I think I should go up and do a song real quick before the band comes in, I never do it. You inspired me to make this resolution.”

Ginger Ewing, co-founder and executive director of Terrain: “I recently listened to Beronda L. Montgomery, author of ‘Lessons From Plants,’ detail her research about what plants ‘know’ and how this is applicable to the human experience. Beronda describes that, generally speaking, the assumption is that plants will grow.

This means that if a plant in our home or in our garden is struggling, we have a tendency to ask ourselves a series of questions. Is the plant getting enough water? Too much water? Not enough sun? We approach the issue through a lens of what is needed, and as their caretaker, do what we can to improve their chances of survival.

On the contrary, when dealing with human relationships, we tend to look at someone who is struggling as a deficit of the individual. My resolution is to think more like a caretaker of plants. Do the human beings around me have what they need? As a society, are we setting them up for success? And if not, how can I affect their environment in a way that allows them to flourish.”

Jake Schaefer, Spokane Civic Theatre executive director: “2021 has been the kind of roller-coaster ride where your hands hurt from gripping afterward. While certain challenges are sure to persist into 2022, unimaginable opportunities are ripe for the picking. With Civic’s Welcome Back season kicking off Jan. 28, followed by the unveiling of our soundproofing and revitalization project, our new year’s resolution is to remain resilient, safe and focused on Civic’s community, mission and fast approaching 75-year legacy as a fundamental part of the arts community in the Inland Northwest, as well as a fixture in downtown Spokane’s North Bank. Here’s to a wonderful 2022.”

James Lowe, Spokane Symphony music director: “I don’t usually go in for resolutions as for me they tend only to last until mid-morning on Jan. 1. Having said that, my resolution for 2022 is to try to listen better. This may sound surprising coming from a conductor (listening is essentially my job), but I think we can all benefit from remembering that there is a world of difference between hearing and listening. We live in an era where people wear inflexible opinions as a badge of honor, certain that anyone thinking differently is not only wrong but also morally bankrupt. I’d like to explore the nuance and the middle ground that lies between us. As a conductor, that means not just insisting on my own interpretation but to really listen to the ideas a musician offers. The truth, perhaps, lies somewhere in between us.”

Jayne Singleton, Spokane Valley Heritage Museum director: “As I consider resolutions and goals for the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum and what the new year may bring, my thoughts wander through the year about to close, as 2021 was another year where the museum’s operations, public history presentations and history tours and visitors were significantly limited or canceled. COVID-19 controlled everything except our gracious generous supporters. The museum not only survived because of them, but also thrived in new unanticipated ways.

“The most fitting resolution for 2022 is to find new ways to express the gratitude that fills me with wonder every time someone shares their treasures, photos or donates. I will, to my last breath, always be in awe of the many giving people who care about the legacy of our shared community history. And 2022 will be the 18th year the museum has had the honor to safeguard and share our unique history. No doubt the new year will give us challenges. But it will also bring gifts and opportunities to be thankful for. We will resolve to give thanks for blessings yet to be revealed.”

Korri McElfresh, Vieux Carre NOLA Kitchen owner: “I have a few resolutions this year! My first is to have a better work/life balance, as opening a new restaurant has taken a lot of my time and energy. In 2022, I need to create a healthier balance to be more successful in both areas of my life. My second resolution is to keep a gratitude journal, as I want to be more aware of everything life has given me. I believe that taking this time daily will give me the opportunity to recognize all there is to be thankful for!”

Ricky Webster, Rind and Wheat chef and owner: “I don’t love resolutions because you usually find that halfway through January, you’ve fallen off the wagon and end up canning the whole idea in an overwhelming sense of defeat.

“This year, I’m starting with a bit broader of a topic and putting less pressure on myself. I’m focusing on self-care; from eating better to mental health, I’m going to work on the things that can help me be a better me.

“I plan to set a weekly goal in my calendar and each week reflect on how I did the previous one. Then I’ll set a new goal for the coming week. The goals can be as simple as packing a lunch daily or taking a few walks during the week ahead. The point is they’re small measurable goals that can change and keep me moving forward.”

Yvonne A.K. Johnson, Spokane Valley Summer Theatre executive artistic director: “2022 looks bright and hope-filled for our community. Spokane Valley Summer Theatre looks forward to producing a dynamic blockbuster season of ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ (regional premiere), Disney’s ‘Newsies’ and ‘Sister Act’ for audiences across our region this summer.

“Additionally, we continue to progress forward toward our goal to producing year-round productions and educational opportunities by bringing the Spokane Valley Performing Arts Center to fruition. The facility will serve as a legacy and beacon of light for generations to come in 2024.”