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We’re three weeks into a new year, which means many are struggling to fulfill their pledges of eating healthier, working out and being more philanthropic. I’ve never been one for making a New Year’s resolution but, as I head further on this journey of raising a child, having some parameters in ink seems like the perfect way to get my parenting priorities in order.

New Year’s resolutions are a tricky thing. Lots of people seem to take the idea with a grain of salt, and may even chuckle about January’s motivation — which leads to February’s decline and March’s inevitable disenchantment. But a lot of people are making resolutions they are serious about.

Have you ever noticed that every season is filled with guilt?

“Get your summer body!”

“Stay away from your favorite foods this holiday season.”

“Get back on track.”

“Bulk up this winter for a six-pack this summer.”

There is a culture of guilt in the fitness industry that makes the idea of staying healthy distasteful. Better health and fitness tend to revolve around getting a six-pack or losing weight instead of improving one’s well-being, confidence and performance.

It amazes me how so many seem to view the notion of “transgender people” as if it were something that magically winked into existence just five years ago. It’s as if the moment they first heard of transgender people is the moment transgender people came into existence, rather than it merely being the moment they stopped living in ignorance about the existence of transgender identity.

Q: It seems that the holidays sneak up on me every year and I find myself struggling to afford gifts and visits with family and friends. So I charge these expenses and then end up making payments well into the next year. There’s got to be a better way!

A: It does often seem like we blink and another year has already gone by. The key to managing holiday spending is to treat it as you would any other financial goal: Plan, budget and save. Financially happy holidays are a year-long endeavor.

My family of origin always has our biggest gathering on Thanksgiving. My spouse Helen, our son and I pretty much party from then until Helen’s birthday in early January, marking Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Day along the way. It’s both exhilarating and exhausting.

So, once again, we reach the closing of the year.

When I was much younger than I am today, as the scent of the Douglas fir my father set up in the front room would waft through the house and the glow of holiday lights would produce a diffused glow of color against the window blinds on my bedroom, I would find myself making my holiday wish list.

For each of us, the holidays bring up a variety of emotions, associations and expectations. For the luckiest of us, we think of mostly the good stuff: the bright lights of decorations, get-togethers with friends and loved ones and traditions such as eggnog and kissing under mistletoe. For many of us, though, the holidays are significantly more complex. While family can be a point of difficulty no matter who you are or how you identify, for many LGBTQ people family gatherings, and thus the holidays, can be an incredibly stressful and anxiety-inducing time.

Q: I’m a gay man in my 40s and I have struggled with credit card debt for years.  Now that I’m making a decent income, I’m determined to get on a better path going into 2019.  Can you please offer me some advice?

A: I’m sure other readers may have similar concerns, and I think it’s great that you’re making a commitment to take some positive steps to improve your situation going into the New Year.  Here are some thoughts to get you started.

Recently, a Dutchman named Emile Ratelband made a bold proclamation: He wanted to legally change his age. At age 69, he claimed that his age made it hard for him to score on dating sites, and requested to be 49 instead.

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