You say you want a resolution …

1 Jan

So, New Year’s resolutions are something that we all know are just promises that we attempt to make to ourselves but ultimately wind up being lies. I’m sure there’s a real stat out there, but I’d put it at 90% or more that those that make resolutions don’t follow through on them more than a few weeks.

I was no different – every year I’d say “this is the year I lose 30 lbs.”, “this is the year I get more fit”, “this is the year I’ll start running again”, etc. We all know how all that went. Then in 2012, well, life intervened. My heart made the choice for me – I HAVE to make the physical changes and reduce my cardiac risks or .. well, let’s not talk alternatives as they are not pleasant. My career is in good order and progressing, financially, I could always be doing better, but we’re doing OK and that’s plenty good. So, what’s to “resolve”? (And don’t get me started on the word “resolve” … as it has so many possible meanings.

Clearly, I’m committed to exercise and eating better. The results are starting to become present, and well, that’s motivation enough to stay on the effort. That and the whole “dirt nap” thing. So that’s no “New Years resolution”. I am always, ALWAYS focused on trying to have fun, trying to do more with my family, keeping my priorities straight, etc. That motivation comes from far more than just one thing – although I will quote a plaque that my Grandma Mildred had hanging in her kitchen: “Don’t hurry, don’t worry, and don’t forget to smell the flowers.” Good words on those little plaques in Grandma’s kitchen.

And clearly, I don’t take myself too seriously. Anyone who buys a decommissioned ambulance and drives it around just for laughs, well, enough said.

So, what to do? Instead of resolutions about behavior, let’s make a list of accomplishments:

Here’s a simple list of things I want to accomplish in 2013. All of these are designed to make me happier. Not that I’m unhappy – quite the contrary – but we could all use a bit more happiness, right?

  • Learn to play “finger style” on my guitar. I was taught this in 8th grade, but that one-hour lesson didn’t seem to catch. I’ll spend more time and learn this.
  • Learn to play blues lead guitar solos on my guitar. I’ve just never spent enough time learning scale patterns and notes on the acoustic guitar fretboard. Time to get on that and learn it once and for all.
  • Finish replacing the woodwork in my house – right now half my house has 3″ stained baseboards and the rest has 5″white ones. Just gotta make the time. But once it’s done I’ll be very pleased with myself.
  • Brew more beer. Simple. And this one starts this weekend, I think. Let’s set the goal at 4 batches in 2013. I only brewed two in 2012 and those were two weeks apart. Weak.
  • Spend more time with people that make me happy. Trust me, this one is critical. Hard to put an accomplishment metric on it, but I’ll know when I’ve done it by the lower readings on “BS Meter” and the higher readings on my “Happy Meter”.
  • Go back to reading my paper magazines. I’m subscribed to about six magazines and I spend too much time with my iPad and don’t read them. Time to get back to something I enjoy.
  • Learn to cook at least six good Vegan/Vegetarian dishes. I cannot see myself ever becoming a vegan or vegetarian, but certainly eating more plant-based meals will add some range to my eating and I’ll enjoy the cooking challenge.
  • Ironically, in the opposite vein, read more books, a habit enabled by my iPad and the Kindle app. Easy enough to read on the train and eBooks don’t weigh anything.
  • Plant some trees in my yard. This is going to get very important later this spring – we have an Ash tree that’s owned by the city in our front yard. Buffalo Grove is killing every ash tree in town to combat Emerald Ash Borer. So … plant a few of my own. And not ashes.

I think that’s enough to lay out there. I’m sure other goals will come up. And of course, I have my professional goals that my company tracks.

So that’s the game. Keep exercising and eating better, take my meds, reduce my cardiac risk. Then focus on the things above that will help me be a happier guy.

Have a great 2013, y’all.

As you were,

Stew

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