As you know if you’ve read my 2014 New Year’s resolution review, I am not the best at following through on my good New Year’s intentions. But one thing I am good at is making up lists of new resolutions for the next year. And much like the Democratic party, I’m not going to let a total lack of results keep me from trying the same thing over and over again.
With that said, here’s my list of big goals that I plan on revisiting with disappointment this time next year:
— Finish the book: I’ve been working on a novel for an embarrassingly long time (yeah, I know, so has everybody). But even though I work in fits and starts, I’ve finally reached the point where I can kind of see the end from here. So, the time has come to behave like an adult and write with a purpose this thing that has been laid upon my heart. I’m not saying it’ll be published; I’m not saying it’ll be good. But it will be completed and polished in a form that I can be satisfied with.
— Don’t forget how to play golf: Every year, I stop golfing completely when it starts to get cold in November/December, and I don’t pick up a club again until the following April. In the intervening months, my muscles completely forget the mechanics of the golf swing so that it takes until mid-August before I get it back enough that I can swing without dislocating my elbow and hitting myself in the head with my own club. I am committing to practicing, consistently, even on cold days, so that I don’t waste half the summer using my clubs as very expensive gardening tools.
— Cultivate focus in my son: My three-year-old boy is made out of pure energy. Always moving, always active. And I think that if we could focus that energy, we would get a beam that would cut through steel like Chris Christie cuts the line at the buffet. This year, I want to start giving him the gift of focus. It’s not a project that’ll be completed this year, nor would I want it to be. He’s still just a kid. The only place you ever see focused four-year-olds is in Children of the Corn movies. But I want to try to do things that encourage him in that direction.
— Cultivate joy in my daughter: My eleven-month-old is the happiest baby I’ve ever known. It seems like God put an extra helping of joy in her, so I want to do whatever I can to preserve it. How do I do that? I don’t know. But she seems most full of joy when she’s sharing it with someone, so I’m going to do my level best to be joyful with her.
— Love my wife better: No, pervert, that’s not what I mean. (But, then again, it is kind of part of what I mean. Sorry about the “pervert” crack back there.) More generally, what mean is that now that we have two kids, my wife and I are entering that phase of life where couples start letting their children become the center of their relationship. My kids are very special and important, but my relationship with my wife only has two people in it: her and me. I want to make sure I do the things that demonstrate that she is the center for me (if you know what I mean; wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
— Kill anger, or at least viciously beat it into submission: I am angry way too often, and the reason is that I care too much about too many things that I can’t control and that don’t matter anyway. This year, I’m going to try to stop caring about those things. It’ll be hard, because I have this crazy idea that goodness and justice should prevail, and I’m a news junkie. So, it’s going to be hard for me to avoid the fact that I live in a world where goodness and justice have been saved to IRS hard drives, placed on a VA waiting list, incinerated, ground into a powder, and mixed into a lacquer that’s used to smooth Al Sharpton’s hair. But be that as it may, this year I’m going to try to control what I can, be happy about it, and let everything else take care of itself.