Another year, another list of resolutions

You just have to love a new year.

Well, once I get rid of that annual headache and stomach virus I seem to come down with every New Year’s Day (my father used to call it the “bottle flu”), I start to like the new year. See, the new year comes with new hope. It’s almost as if you’re annually handed a clean slate (though my credit card companies apparently don’t accept that logic), and you can start out fresh. It’s a new chapter in your life, and while there are other characters who figure prominently in the plot, it’s up to you to write the words.

The one think I’d caution as you write these words is that it’s easy to lose track of your focus and stray off track. Like, one time, I was writing about tax incentives for small businesses and my mind wandered off to a special on television I had seen the night before on the mating habits of hyenas. It was actually a pretty interesting show, but what really blew my mind was this commercial that came on for a commemorative ...

But I digress.

My point is that each new year gives us both a new calendar (remember, we have new Coastal Point calendars at our office featuring the best local photography!) and a new start. As I mentioned before, credit card bills, tuition payments and other obligations remain in place, but this is more about personal advancement than a “do-over.” Getting one’s financial affairs in order is certainly one resolution that many of us would enjoy meeting, but there are other ways to go, as well.

For instance, I was outside Monday morning clearing snow off cars and shoveling my driveway. It was deep. Each stab at the snow with my shovel accomplished two things — a small dent into the seemingly endless blanket of snow, and shooting pain through my knees, back, shoulders and pride.

The entire experience was a not-so-subtle reminder that I am now comfortably in my 40s, and a harsh realization that “comfortably” is not a word that goes easily with “40s.”

In short form, I was in some pain after I had gotten the cars free of driveway pergatory. In long form, I’m sitting here on Wednesday morning typing this column and I’m in more pain. It’s as if my muscles and joints are making a point to me about waking them up from their 15-year hibernation.

Point taken.

Therefore, I resolve to be a little more active this year. Following my last big knee surgery a few years ago, I kind of got used to just sitting around on my back side and watching television. It was comfortable. But I’m too young to feel like this a few days after shoveling some snow, and I’d really like the chance to walk up the single flight of stairs at our office one time without having to stop halfway up to affix an oxygen mask to my face and take a nap.

I also resolve to eating a little healthier this year. I lost some weight two years ago, found much of it in 2010 and would like to lose a couple of those pounds again in 2011. But, more than that, my tumble with mortality in the driveway on Monday convinced me that it’s probably a good time for me to start caring a bit more about the engine. More fruits and vegetables this year, less chocolate-covered-deep-fried-pork rinds.

Probably. Maybe.

I resolve to find the Hemingway mojo again this year. This actually hits me every few years, and I go back and read several Ernest Hemingway books. I know, the guy was a mess in his personal life on many levels. But I love his tight writing style and his sheer ability to tell a story. He’s my favorite writer of all time, and “Old Man and the Sea” is my favorite book of all time. Time to treat myself to his work again this year.

I resolve to keep working hard with our reporters this year to give the most comprehensive coverage of this area that we can. It’s an incredibly talented and eager staff and if we fail, it’s my fault.