All-in-all 2016 has been a decent year for me. I could have done without the election drama and finding out that offering any thoughts on politics means I am an uninformed, idealistic Satanist.
I’m not a fan of all the celebrity deaths nor the manner in which they died. What happened to plane crashes? We have modern medicine and these people are wealthy, they aren’t supposed to fall victim to heart attacks. They should be cyborgs with turbine hearts like Dick Cheney. At least go out on a crack bender so we can remember the good times and feel a little better about not being rich because of what it does to your mental stability. Let’s be honest, I only play the lottery with hope that I can buy an immortal computer body and if celebrities keep dying in these ho-hum ways then my dreams of an android afterlife are all for naught.
Then there were the fires in the Great Smokey Mountains. Truly heartbreaking to see the damage and loss of life. At the same time, it is inspiring to see disaster response anywhere in rural America. When trucks, chainsaws, and donation centers get to work it is a force to be reckoned with. I’m proud of my home and the humanity that lives just below the irrational day to day discussions.
All that being said, I feel that 2017 has some potential. If it wanted to, 2017 could do some great things.
The idea of great things has been at the forefront of my mind along with the concept that great things are the result of small actions over time. The idea that for an ant to eat an elephant it has to do it one bite at a time. I want to use the age-old New Year’s Resolution to resolve my actions, not necessarily my goals.
- Health has to be a front runner because everything else stems from that part of your life. I don’t have a goal to lose X numbers of pounds or run a marathon. I need to start smaller. I resolve to not kill myself with a fork. Each bite can be good or bad bite so I will try to focus on that. Maybe this will be the year I kick caffeine? Hahaha. Just kidding. Small steps. No need to sink this ship before it gets out of the harbor. That reminds me, I need to fix my coffee. Brb. Okay, where were we. Oh yeah, actions.
- I want to be a better father/husband. That isn’t a clear goal in and of itself but I can resolve to listen more, talk less, and make decisions out of love instead of fear or personal preference. That will mean saying yes to more things and no to some others. Jane got a guitar for Christmas, maybe some lessons would be a good idea. Maybe I’ll try to learn some too. I need to work on structure and being more involved with parts of their life outside of making jokes and having fun. Yay for chores and homework!
- I have the privilege to lead a group of talented people at my job. We have lots of exciting things going on and most of the time we are fighting fires and jumping around from subject to subject. Part of that is my communication and reluctance to delegate. There are new technologies and uncertainty in what the future holds. We are already leaders in the type of work we do. My long-term goal is for our group to be total badass rock stars. That starts with doing the small things well and getting routine problems solved quickly. Less talky more do-y.
- I’ve always wanted to write a book. I have gotten really close a few times. A couple of times I have thrown away a pile of pages because I woke up and hated the thought of anyone reading my ideas. I have always struggled with public speaking for much the same reason. People who know me are always a little surprised when I tell them that public speaking gives me panic attacks because I do speak in front of groups on a regular basis. Fake it ‘til you make it. The solution to writing and talking might be to focus on a story. If you write a story long enough you will have a stack of pages that might as well be a book. I could print all my blog posts and have about 300 pages. I don’t know that an editing company would pick it up because it is random and fluctuates between insightful and blatant potty—mouth ranting but you get the idea. Books take time. Public speaking requires a story. Putting yourself out there is one of the toughest things I can think of for me. That will be my small step, put it out there more. Whatever that looks like.
- I want to keep a strong connection with family. It is a hard thing to do. Families are constantly growing and moving and spreading. Time is accelerating. I want to do better at keeping up with everyone and try to visit at least annually. To find meaningful ways to spend an afternoon and help my kids have relationships with their family as well. One of the things I noticed this year while visiting different places is the tendency I have to mingle and visit while telling the kids to “go play”. Usually it is with some cousins but when all of the holiday is spent at different events then the personal time gets lost in the mix. That’s why I’m glad we spent Christmas Day on the couch in our PJ’s. After that maniac-depressive rollercoaster of presents and sugar, we were ready to spend some time apart again.
Not a very long list and most of it may fall by the wayside by January 5th but maybe not. If you have things you would like to do better or get accomplished, this post is for you. You’re welcome. Maybe the small-steps-approach will add up to an incredible 2017.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.