Skiers get a lift up the hill at the Homer Rope Tow on Ohlson Mountain in this March 2014 photo in Homer, Alaska. Opening day for the Rope Tow is at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. (Homer News file photo)

Skiers get a lift up the hill at the Homer Rope Tow on Ohlson Mountain in this March 2014 photo in Homer, Alaska. Opening day for the Rope Tow is at 11 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 2. (Homer News file photo)

Best Bets

When a New Year rears its head, it’s almost impossible to meet it face on without reflecting on the year before.

Social media certainly does its part to encourage looking back on the accomplishments, changes and upgrades of the last 365 days. Though, as we all know, a lot changes in a year, and not all of it is bound to be positive or able to be distilled into a cute, concise Instagram post.

Life is messy and it can often take more than a calendar year to sift through and understand some of its more complex twists and turns.

Still, taking time to reflect and review personal choices, decisions at work, relationships and more throughout 2019 and how they’ve affected where we are now at the beginning of 2020 can be a useful exercise in understanding change, understanding ourselves and understanding what we want out of the next year.

For some, 2019 was the best year so far — full of new adventures, a promotion, a growing family or any number of welcome life changes. For others, this year was surely one of their worst — marked by death, destruction, loss or displacement.

As we walk through the world, there’s no way of knowing at a glance which of these two people we’re meeting on the street, in the store, waiting in line in traffic. As 2019 closes and 2020 opens, endeavor to enter every encounter with the grace you’d like if you’d just had your worst year ever and the hope and friendliness of someone who just had one of their best years.

And while you’re pondering potential resolutions, or just setting some positive intentions for the New Year, take a ponder at some of these best bets:

BEST BETTER HEALTH BET: Walk with a Doc Homer is from 9-10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4 at the South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center (SPARC).

Katie Ostrom, MD, Surgery Department Medical Director at South Peninsula Hospital, will be the featured guest. Dr. Ostrom will discuss new methods utilized before, during, and after surgery to prevent the need for patients to use narcotics to manage post-operative pain. Following her brief talk, you can spend the rest of the hour walking, talking and asking your health questions. The free event takes place at SPARC (South Peninsula Athletic & Recreation Center) at 600 Sterling Highway, Homer. Please bring clean indoor walking shoes to change into. There are also free blood pressure screenings available, as well as coffee and refreshments. Contact wellness@sphosp.org or call the SPH Health & Wellness Department at (907) 235-0970 for more information.

BEST BETTER TECH BET: Need help with your device? Stop in to the Homer Public Library for Drop-In Tech Help from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 4. This class is led by Tomasz Sulczynski, who answers questions and helps solve problems with people’s phones, tablets, computers and devices. The class is driven by the needs of the participants. Drop-In Tech Help meets twice a month, the first and third Saturdays. No registration is required.

BEST POW BET: Head up to Ohlson Mountain Road to enjoy opening day for the Homer Rope Tow for the season from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5. The Rope Tow is located 2.5 miles down Ohlson Mountain Road. The hill is covered with snow, but there is no base to speak of. Not for the faint of heart, but first tracks are always worth it.

BEST CELEBRATE WINTER BET: Wynn-ter Sunday Fundays are back for the season! Head up to the Carl E. Wynn Nature Center on East Skyline Drive for a kickoff event on Sunday. Held from 2-4 p.m., this free, family-friendly event will help you get to know the Wynn Nature Center’s trails, historic cabin and natural play space — all while being led by their naturalist. End with hot dogs and s’mores over the fire. Dress for the weather. The center will provide the snowshoes if needed.

BEST BACK IN THE DAY BET: Learn a little more about your natural surroundings by attending a lecture on 50 years of Kachemak Bay State Park at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center. This is a presentation being put on by the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park.

BEST RESPONSE BET: Curious about CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)? It’s a group that meets every second Wednesday at Kachemak Bay Campus and is dedicated to increasing the resiliency of our community. Attend and get trained in emergency recovery techniques. The next meeting is from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8 in Room 209 of the Pioneer Building on Kachemak Bay Campus. For more information, contact Laura at 907-399-7357 or llpeek7357@gmail.com, or Trish at 907-399-3530. Membership is not required.

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