After a lifetime of making resolutions for the New Year that were nothing more than distant memories by the time Memorial Day rolled around (if not sooner), next year things are going to be different. This time I’m going to stick to my resolutions, every last one of them. Following is my foolproof plan, and I’ll be the first to say that on paper it looks really good. Here’s how I intend to pull it off:
I’ll write down everything I want to accomplish in a public forum—a column in a local newspaper will do just fine—and promise that by the end of 2020 every single item will have a check mark next to it.
If not, drinks will be on me. (In which case I get to name when, where, and what we’ll be drinking.)
Some of you may have read my column last week mentioning I always try my best to do what I say I’m going to do. With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2020:
• Cut back on my running and replace those ‘missing miles’ by making sure our new recumbent stationary bicycle doesn’t turn into a coat rack, because we already have a treadmill for that. Last week I mentioned my predisposition for running a predetermined number of miles, as in the 155,000 lifetime mile mark I hit on Christmas Eve that, not so coincidentally happened to be my 15,000th consecutive day of running. I no longer intend to be a slave to numbers; I’m going to run each day according to how my body feels and supplement my exercise regimen sitting on my bike in the comfort of our basement. I gave the bike a test ride this morning and pedaled 10 miles in 45 minutes, and according to the computerized dashboard I burned off 16 calories. This could take some getting used to since I can burn off that many calories just by walking to the end of our cul de sac.
• Write the book about running I’ve always wanted to write. I can finally admit my running career—at least as I remember it—is over. Speed and endurance are both long gone; slogging (an unsightly slow jog, on a good day) and wheezing has taken their place. I’ve always dreamed of writing a book chronicling my life—in this case 41+ years of pounding the pavement–that reveals a side of running that hasn’t ever been written about before. And if that doesn’t pique your curiosity, I’ll be looking for a new agent. (Of course, that means I’d be firing me.)
• Start the business I’ve thought about since I retired in March 2018. Last November a young bride hired me to drive my 1953 Packard Clipper to her wedding venue to use as a backdrop for photographs, and after the ceremony and reception drive the newlyweds home in it. It was a huge success and gave me the idea for a business: renting out the Packard or my 1954 Chevy pickup truck for photo shoots and special occasions. I want to make business cards and promotional materials for Vintage Visages (at this time the working title of the business) so that I can ‘get it out there’ (industry terminology for ‘getting it out there’). Speaking of getting it out there, I think I just did. (In case you missed the inference, I’m my own agent. For now.)
• Promote the art of reading and writing. I’m of the firm belief that both are slowly becoming a lost art. Ask someone you know the title of the last book they read or the last time they wrote anything longer than the current character limit on Twitter. Although I’m not a Tweeter, I am a member of Coweta County’s Hometown Novel Nights and the Senoia Writer’s Guild, and I can assure you they’re both actively involved and dedicated to promoting reading and writing. If you’re interested in finding out more, send me a note. Or call my agent.
• Read the instruction manuals of the things I’ve acquired to improve my life since I’ve retired. I have a new miter saw and nail gun lying in my workshop still in their original packaging. If it weren’t for the fact that somewhere, someway, somehow I bleed every single time I’m down in my workshop using the tools I allegedly know how to use, I probably would have used the miter saw and nail gun by now. (By the way, I am now able to tell in the blink of an eye if a cut requires stitches, blood clotting spray or simply a Band-Aid.)
Go ahead and add one more instruction manual to the list: the one for the recumbent stationary bicycle. I plan on reading it as soon as I remember where I put it.
I’m pretty sure it’s in the same place I put the manual for the treadmill a couple years ago.