They say the Christmas season is one of the most stressful times of the year. There are various reasons for this, but at least in my case a lot of the stress is due to an organizational lag.

Basically, things begin to catch up with and overtake me as the year draws to a close. Every bit of procrastination I've managed to work into my schedule gradually creeps deeper and deeper into my schedule each month.

By December, that gradual creep has turned into a flood. Add that to all of the usual Holiday hustle and bustle and the stress recipe is fully cooked. Once everything's tied up by New Year's Day (I hope) the cycle begins again.

Though this year is no different than any other year in recent memory, it's time for a change. That's one of the wonderful things about marking the New Year, though it's a rather arbitrary social construct.

The New Year creates at least the feeling of a new beginning; an opportunity to set things right and start fresh. It's the time for resolutions, and resolution. Resolution is about clarity. Real resolutions require resolution.

Those fake resolutions we may make on December 31 have no resolution. They're often murky, last-minute feelings, rather than solid promises. And feelings are dangerous things to base any sort of plan or policy on.

Especially in our businesses, resolution requires solid data and a balancing of facts. Cases in point follow in the pages of this month's magazine.

Our resolution going forward into 2004 is to continue to provide perspectives from your peers that will provide additional insight into your own facilities and programs.

As we move deeper into our second year of publication we resolve to continue to improve, but we need your help. Your feedback so far has been invaluable and has inspired us to dig deeper to find answers, or at least a new way of looking at something.

Happy New Year, and let me know what your resolutions are this coming year. We'd like to hear about your plans and any issues you're dealing with, because it will help shape the content of Parks & Rec Business.


Regan D. Dickinson