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Less than a handful of Schuylkill County school districts started their first day after Christmas break two hours later. The rest of us, business as usual.

Waking before the 5:15 a.m. alarm I set to get a load of laundry containing uniform pants for my daughter done, I glanced at my phone to find no alert, voicemail or missed call regarding a two-hour delay due to the extreme cold plaguing the Keystone State and most of the United States. Shoot, even Florida was showing 47 degrees this morning (per the weather map on ABC’s “Good Morning America”). Ouch!

Despite the cold, both kiddos made it to school on time and awoke in rather pleasant moods. No grumblings. Both got up early enough to have something to eat and drink for breakfast. My son put on his hat AND gloves (that almost never happens!). Overall, a nice start to the second half of the school year.

Call the on-time arrivals, pleasantries and bundling up little victories. Perhaps I shall as a new year begins and the second half of the school year begins. Conjuring up a hashtag, #itsthelittlethings

I came across a meme that appeared on Facebook in late 2016 and again in 2017 — just with the year changed on it — with some of the little things in mind. Taken from the page of David “Avocado” Wolfe, an author, entrepreneur and product spokesman, It reads (all in capital letters), “If you want 2018 to be your year: Don’t sit on the couch and wait for it. Go out. Make a change. Smile more. Be excited. Do new things. Throw away clutter. Unfollow negative people on social media. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Don’t gossip. Show more gratitude. Do things that challenge you. Be brave.”

There’s lots of good advice in that meme for a parent, or anyone, for that matter, to use. Smiling seems like one of the easiest things to do. The other things might take a little motivation and discipline, in my humble opinion. They are worth a shot, though, don’t you think?

Welcome back to the reality of the continuing school year, extracurricular activities (if you were lucky enough to have a holiday hiatus) and the work week. May it be a good start to the new year and a good time to take stock of goals and priorities in our lives.

Happy 2018!