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health as it happens

Year in review and word for next year - Coshocton Tribune

Emily Marrison  |  Columnist

We’ve reached the turning point once again. I welcome the days getting a little bit longer each day now. I also embrace the opportunity to reflect on another year. To remember and be grateful for all we’ve learned together.

This year we looked at biases that keep us from saving money, heart health and eating disorders, making our own household cleaners and allowing kids to have a summer. We asked if cookbooks are still relevant and talked about the latest financial scams. Here are the top articles that I will remember from 2021.

3. Should I throw it out? The date on a package does not indicate whether a food is safe. Spoilage microorganisms are different from dangerous microorganisms that cause foodborne illness. Practice food safety by washing hands, keeping food refrigerated and cooking to correct internal temperatures.

2. Generation Rx – According to the CDC, nearly half of all adults in the United States have used at least one prescription in the past 30 days. The mission of Generation Rx is to educate people of all ages about the potential dangers of misusing prescription medications. I was able to teach this program to more than 50 older adults in our community with a major message to be your own health advocate.

1. Child Tax Credit – I wrote two different columns about this topic, one as it was first announced and another soon before payments were distributed. Though this tax credit is not new, the amount was raised through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which was signed into law in March. Another big change was that instead of getting this money as a tax credit when filing income taxes, the payments were sent each month from July through December. 

And now my thoughts turn from 2021 to 2022. For the past eight years I have chosen one word to be my theme for the year. This year my word came quite quickly. Thirst. There is a practical aspect to my word, but it also has a deeper meaning as well.

One thing I want to change about myself is to increase the amount of water I drink. There are all kinds of studies out there about the optimum quantity of water to drink. I don’t think the number is nearly as important as choosing water over other beverages. However, to give me a measurement to keep me on track, my goal is to drink at least 64 ounces of water each day.

We humans were created with the mechanism for thirst. But no amount of H2O can quench the thirsting of our souls. For that we need spiritual water, living water. Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” He promised “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ ”

My desire for this new year is to carefully watch what I thirst for and where I turn to quench my thirst. There is much in this world that promises to fill us. Thirst for achievement, revenge, even security can leave us focused on ourselves. My prayer is that we enter 2022 with a renewed sense of thirst for the Lord who loves us.

Today I’ll leave you with this quote from Leo Buscaglia: “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Emily Marrison is an OSU Extension Family Consumer Sciences Educator and may be reached at 740-622-2265.