We all have made New Year’s resolutions. Last year I wrote a different column about them in which I included both my own New Year’s resolutions and some wishes for others, the world, and myself. This year, rather than repeat another set of resolutions and wishes, I’m going to do a baseball scorecard, based on the results from last year. And, like last year, there will be no particular order, though unlike last year, I will have a score at the end.
- I had hoped for a conciliation and dialogue between our political parties and each other on our political differences. Score: Strikeout. Nothing more need be said on this one.
- I expressed the desire that my boys deserved more respect from me and be heard and listened to more carefully. Score: Double.
- My wish was that there be less acrimony between divorcing couples, more concern for children’s welfare in so-called Family Courts (which I had dubbed and still dub “Anti Family Courts”) has sadly not changed in the least. Score: Strikeout.
- I strove to appreciate my wife and be more patient and concerned for her welfare given the amount of adjustments she had to make in joining and blending with our family. Score: Triple (yeah!).
- We all depend on e-mail far more than we should. I do and that was a declaration last year that I’d try harder to use the phone both with my wife and with others. During the past year, I’ve added Twitter to my communication tool-chest, so I’d have to say I’ve allowed the problem to worsen. Score: Strikeout.
- For the first time in my life, after a bad ski accident on Memorial Day of 2008, I gained 15 pounds and vowed, last year, to lose that added poundage. Instead, I gained another 15. Score: Strikeout.
- My son has had the goal of achieving a “B” average at school to earn the privilege of getting his driver’s license, which had been a long-time family rule. He struggled and worked hard at reaching that goal but did not achieve it. However, we as a family have found a way to replace that goal with other requirements, so a sort of reasonable compromise has been reached. Score: Single.
- My wife had a rough work year and I had wished for an improved year for her work life and her hard work paid off this year. Score: Double.
- Patience. A word I’ve never understood. Slowing down. Something else I’ve never understood. My work life ramped up so I guess didn’t make much progress in this area, but I didn’t really fail either. Score: Walk.
- For nearly a decade, I was in a men’s group. One of the things we talked about was how often we let our “little boy” control our actions. What that meant was letting our emotions, like those of the little boy in us, control our mature side when we really knew better and I had resolved to better control my “little boy.” I would say I made progress in this regard in many ways, mostly in my marriage but, ironically, I also realized that my need to be part of my men’s group was no more and I quit it last year. Maybe I had graduated? Maybe I had learned what I needed to learn? Score: Stolen Base.
- My last resolution was to argue less and make love more (with my wife). I’m not saying which I succeeded with; all I will admit to is that I did succeed with one more than the other. Score: Double.
After completing this list, I can’t really say a final score is merited. I clearly didn’t strikeout completely nor was there a home run in the game. I suppose it was like most things in life and like most games–you win some, you lose some. But, as far as this man is concerned, staying in the game is the measure of the person.
For next season, my goals rather than resolutions can be summarized simply in a single paragraph. I want to continue on the path I’m on. I want to be the man I declare I am on my business card, in the order I chose to describe myself on that card: dad, first and foremost. Second, writer and, third, radio show host, the job/career that didn’t even exist when I compiled my resolutions and wishes for last year. And, isn’t that what makes the game of life so interesting? We wake up one day playing first base and end up in left field the next day.
The challenge is to be open to changing positions, to rolling with the punches, to adapting to new opportunities, and to having a little fun along the way. On these last clichés, I bid you all a great new year.
Bruce Sallan’s second book is an e-book only – “The Empty-Nest Road Trip Blues: An Interactive Journal from A Dad’s Point-of-View” – and costs a whopping $2.79 for PDF and $2.99 on Amazon/Kindle. It’s a travelogue, an emotional father-son story, and it contains 100 photos and 7 original videos. Bruce is also the author of “A Dad’s Point-of-View: We ARE Half the Equation” and radio host of “The Bruce Sallan Show – A Dad’s Point-of-View.” He gave up a long-term showbiz career to become a stay-at-home-dad. He has dedicated his new career to becoming THE Dad advocate. He carries out his mission with not only his book and radio show, but also his column “A Dad’s Point-of-View”, syndicated in over 100 newspapers and websites worldwide, his “I’m NOT That Dad” vlogs, the “Because I Said So” comic strip, and his dedication to his community on Facebook and Twitter. Join Bruce and his extensive community each Thursday for #DadChat, from 6-7pm PST, the Tweet Chat that Bruce hosts.