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Jan 18, 2021 | Jessica Rolph

At First Farmers Bank & Trust, we’re welcoming 2021 as the year of “What If”. At times that may be a question, but we choose to look at it more as a challenge. What if this is the year your business grows? What if your dream home hits the market? What if he pops the question? What if you turn your dreams into plans and start taking action?


In the spirit of January, a time where so many of us feel motivated to start tackling those What Ifs in our lives, I’m sharing this 3 part story about a new year’s tradition seen in a different light, and what that might mean for Andy and Dreena, our two main characters.




The phone’s alarm faithfully went off at 4:30 AM, just as he had programmed it. Andy rolled over in bed, grabbed the offending device from the table and hit the snooze button. It didn’t work. The innocuous melody that suited his phone as a wake-up call continued to blare out of its tiny but surprisingly loud speakers, and Andy groaned.


Last week, before the new year had rolled around, he’d still be asleep, but he’d been caught up in the spirit of resolution like so many other people. He’d decided that 2021 was the year to GET IN SHAPE. Exercise. Eat healthy. And when you work long hours and have a family relying on you, that means grabbing what free time you have. Hence the 4:30 AM alarm that Andy was now legally bound to abide by.


“Why’d I do this?” he thought to himself, stretching and heading for the coffee maker. He hit the button to brew up some morning motivation, but nothing happened. With a mumbled curse, Andy grabbed the waiting water bottle, slid on some tennis shoes, and headed downstairs to the gym in his apartment building.


He wasn’t surprised to have a lot of company in the gym. Getting in shape is a popular resolution, and once you’ve made it, you have to keep it. Andy found an empty treadmill and started jogging. It was going to be a long year.


When his friends had discussed their plans for 2021, most of them threw a resolution or two out there. Jenna wanted to learn how to cook. Joel was going to travel abroad. Andy, for whatever reason, went with more exercise. Only Dreena had chosen what Andy thought of as a rougher resolution to keep: starting a business. How was she going to pull that off? 

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After a surprisingly satisfying breakfast of eggs and fruit, Andy headed into work. He knew he’d feel the day’s extra early start later, but at the moment, he was full of energy and tackled emails and phone calls quickly. Later he’d have lunch with Dreena and see how the new business ideas were coming along.


“Probably have to eat a salad,” he thought to himself.


At lunchtime, Dreena filled him in on her own progress. “I’ve been thinking...I’ll need help to start a business. I’ve wanted to start selling the furniture I make for years, but I don’t know anything about running a store or taking payments. What do you even charge for a coffee table?”


Andy, staring morosely at his grilled chicken salad, shrugged. “I don’t know, Dreena. I think I could help out some. But it’s your resolution.”


Dreena shot him a less than friendly look, but pushed the rest of her burger and fries to the side. “Tell you what,” she said, smiling sweetly. “You help me with my business, and I’ll help you with your fitness. We’ll work together.”


“Alright,” Andy agreed. “I could use the encouragement. I’m already dreading my alarm tomorrow morning. Let’s shake on it.”


As they shook hands, Dreena grinned. Andy might not be too excited about his fitness plan, but she couldn’t wait to tackle her resolution. Starting a business wouldn’t be easy, she knew. But after years of thinking about it, she’d finally committed herself to the resolution. No matter what else might happen, she’d be a business owner come next January.


Make sure to check back next week as Andy and Dreena keep working on their resolutions. If you knew you had to follow through on a resolution, would you still make one? Until next week, from First Farmers Bank & Trust, I’m Jess, and I’m listening.