If I tilt my head upward about 30 degrees I will see the bulletin board that sits atop my computer desk (because, in all the years I’ve had it, I haven’t taken the time to attach it to the wall. For that matter, I haven’t even taken the plastic covering off of it. Evelyn gave it to me as a gift who-knows-how-many years ago, but it’s served me well just the way – and where – it is). Well, I said I would “see the bulletin board.” The unvarnished truth is that I will see very little of the actual bulletin board for all of the papers that have been push-pinned into it over the years. I really need to sort that stuff out.
My point is that, among all those papers, is one little slip of paper that I pinned there four years ago listing only seven goals for 2017. They are:
1. Stay alive.
2. Publish my book.
3. Set up and maintain this blog site.
4. Sell cartoons.
5. Play my guitar more.
7. Transfer VHS tapes and LP’s to DVD’s and CD’s.
Having a list like that staring you in the face every time you look up can be downright discouraging.
In the last four years I’ve managed to accomplish #1 (thank the good Lord) and #3. The rest are still up for grabs.
Not that a stab here and there hasn’t been taken, mind you. Pertaining to #2, I have researched potential publishers who would be interested in the junior-high-school age audience for my manuscript, which has been “in the can” for about five years now. Speaking about #4, I have sent several batches of cartoons to the “Funny Times” monthly newspaper. As a result, I am keeping a growing file of “thanks for thinking of us, but we can’t use your stuff right now” letters (a. k. a. “rejection letters”).
I may actually find myself achieving more of #5 since the acquisition of my new 12-string guitar, an amazing Christmas gift from my loving wife. However, I am inhibited about playing it in the house because our house is so small, I’m afraid I would be disturbing the rest of the family with my music (not that it’s so bad – it’s just a sound they would have to try to block out in order to do whatever it is they were doing). Evelyn assures me that she loves listening to me play, but I still can’t get over the feeling that my playing would be an intrusion.
I’ve already started journaling more. Technically speaking, that is. Daughter ’Chelley and family are sending me a book, “The Mediterranean Diet for Beginners,” which I requested for Christmas. The book has yet to arrive, though, so for the time being, they gave me a note pad to keep track of my eating habits. That’s journaling, isn’t it? OK, so not the kind I had in mind four years ago. I find it hard to get into a separate habit of journaling because I do so much other writing. If anybody wants to find out what I think or how I feel, all they have to do is read my emails and texts. Or check out this blog, for that matter. The crime of it is that I have a beautiful journal with my name in gold on the cover that a pastor friend and his wife gave me about five years ago, but I have yet to put pen to page. This may be one of the more challenging goals to reach.
And, with #7, I actually did begin this project shortly after my sister Kris and brother-in-law Jim sent me their video transfer tools. Evelyn bought me a turntable for the LPs. I have all the equipment. I just need the incentive and time.
To make matters even more interesting, I have new goals for 2021 that involve my physical health. Related to the Mediterranean Diet I plan to espouse, I’m hoping that doing so will help me lose five pounds a month until June, when, should I succeed in doing that, I will have reached my goal weight. Should I say it? Yeah, why not put it out there – I’m about ten pounds heavier now than I was as recently as last August! And I’m 20 pounds heavier than my goal weight, which is why I believe a loss of five pounds a month is realistic and achievable without going to extremes. One thing I know for sure – I have GOT to file for divorce from Little Debbie. She and I have been “like this” (crosses fingers) for years, and it’s time I let her and her sugar-crammed goodies go bye-bye.
So, during this first week of 2021 those are my main goals (call them resolutions, if you will). There may be less important goals to accompany them, but if can make some headway on the ones I’ve mentioned here, it will have been a good year when December 31st rolls around.
All the best with whatever you aspire to accomplish, too. May it not take four years to … you know.