Anyone knows an ant, can't move a rubber tree plant.
But he's got high hopes. He's got high hopes.
He's got high apple pie, in the sky hopes
-- Frank Sinatra
|Yes, it is...|
What's the start of a new year without resolutions?
Every year, at least half of the people in America resolve to lose weight (one of my favorites), to eat healthier (another one of my top five), quit smoking, work less, spend more time with family, drink less (never on my list), be less stressed, etc., etc.
The problem is that ninety percent of those people fall flat on their face, like the fat girl singing on a coffee table on YouTube, within first few months of the year.
In my case, except for the year I vowed to read the New Testament and finally finished it in early August, it hasn't been much different. Except, I'm more like the girl with the clown mask singing Beyonce's Single Ladies by the TV set. Smack! Ooh, that's going to leave a mark!
Nevertheless, since I am a glutton for punishment, this is a New Year (you know what they say, "Hope springs eternal"), and I have a hard head (Just ask my wife), I thought I would set some new goals for 2016 and want to share them so you can hold me accountable!
In order of importance, I resolve to:
- Continue to deepen my faith and study of Catholic Christianity. Yes, I know; it's bit pious. But, this is one resolution that I have been putting on my list for several years and have done a decent job of fulfilling. Still, I got a long way to go. For me, it's about putting God first, since without Him, I am nothing. Among my concrete goals this year are to finish reading the Old Testament and various Church documents I have on my book shelf. Also, to re-listen to the dozens of faith CD's I own, which have gotten as much playing time over the past couple of years as RGIII did last season with the Redskins.
- Be the best husband I can possibly be. Instead of pictures of her running shoes and laptop, look for photos of my wife doing back flips tomorrow morning during her Beachbody work out! I'll be honest, I can get lazy around the house. It's one of my recurring sins in the Confessional. I can do a better job to help my wife and can also be more attentive to her needs. At least until the baseball season begins! (Don't judge; it's about baby steps!)
- Be the best father I can possibly be. Talk about absentee fathers, I was in total shock when my 8-year-old son didn't make his school's baseball team last year. To him, it was no big deal and he forgot about it quickly but, for me, it was a reality check. I have been in turmoil ever since, knowing that it was all my fault. I never have (or make) time to practice with the kid! This year, I hope to be less self-serving and pay more attention to my kids' needs, even when I'm tired! So, whether that means going to pick up my teenage daughter at a party late at night, playing Life or Clue with my younger daughter or practicing baseball or flying a drone with my son, I plan to be more present. At least, more than I have been.
- Be the best Managing Editor I can possibly be. Let's just say, this has not been on my list in recent years (if ever) but I've come to term with the fact that it's what I do. It's not who I am by any stretch but it's what pays the bills. I need to be more focused, continue to be a stabilizing force in a very chaotic environment and control my frustrations. Maybe, a good motto for me this year should be, "Lord give me coffee to change the things I can change, and wine to accept the things I can't."
- Blog more, which may conflict with the previous goals but I want to start setting time aside everyday to write. I really enjoy it. I like telling stories. Maybe, it's why I got into news in the first place (or why I'm still in it!). I want to start taking it to the next level this year.
- Be more generous of my time, talent and treasure. Look, I am very involved at my parish in various ways and am a regular contributor. But, I want to be more generous at home and with my friends as well. I have a tendency of being selfish with my time and effort. This year, I want to challenge myself to get off the couch and out of my comfort level to do things for others; even if that means, going for a run with my wife, or (say it ain't so, Joe!) going to one of her Zumba classes (Let's keep this last one to ourselves, just in case!).
- Be more grateful; have an "attitude of gratitude," as our Pastor says. It's appreciating all the blessings that God has given me, especially my wife, my kids, my parents, my brother and his wife, my sister-in-law and her family, my mother-in-law, our health, my job, our small house, my faith, etc., etc., Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate them all but regularly take them for granted.
- And, since this is the Year of Mercy, I want to incorporate the corporal works of mercy in my life; i.e. feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit those in prison, comfort the sick, and bury the dead.
I realize these are lofty goals and the odds are stacked against me making it without a bruise on my forehead or rear end from falling. However, this year, I got high hopes (not that in previous years I didn't but...) and, maybe, just maybe, I can be like the little old ant in the Sinatra song that keeps trying against the odds, even if I stumble and fall at times, so that, as the year progresses, I can hear Old Blue Eyes singing in my head, "Oops there goes another rubber tree, oops there goes another rubber tree."...