- Lose Weight/Get Healthier - Check, and check! 2012 marks the 2-year anniversary of my quitting smoking, and by the end of the year I've dropped 40 lbs. You read that right. I no longer weigh in at 240 pounds, I can now outrun most of my Kajukenbo students, and my pants fit better. I've worked hard to get this way, and I'm planning on keeping the weight off.
- Publish More - I don't know if this counts as "more," but I did have two books come out this year. The first one, ECTOSTORM, was the third of the "Stanley Cooper Chronicles." The second, DROPLETS, was bittersweet because, while it was a collection of all my short stories, the proceeds helped to fund my wife's fight against cancer. Nice of the publisher, sad that the situation arose where I'd need such help.
So what's on tap for next year? Lessee....
- More Weight Loss - I'm planning on getting down to 180 pounds. That's twenty more pounds to go. Yes, I can do this. Yes, I will do this.
- Publish - Really, this is more up to my agent than me, so I think this should actually read "write quality things that publishers will pick up."
- Write More - I've been a bit distracted this year, and the writing has taken a back seat. With all the garbage going on in my personal life, it's easy to get bogged down. And that's just what I've done. But I'm getting back to it. I have ideas for not one, but three books, and I'm going to try to finish two of them this year.
I'll spare you the depressing wants for next year. I'm sure, if you follow this blog, you can guess what they are. What I will say is that I look forward to the new year with a considerable amount of trepidation, a bit of uncertainty, and not a small amount of dread of things that might come to pass. But also, hope. I have, and will continue to have hope. I am not, by nature, an optimist. I'm more a pessimist or (as I prefer to think of myself) a realist. I have no illusions, but hope springs eternal.
And now, a challenge for you. Are you up to it? I hope so. Over the course of the new year, make a life change. I don't mean resolve to exercise and give it up after a month, make some real life changes. Things that irrevocably alter your vision of the world. Things that make you a better person. Stuck for examples? Glad you asked.
- Exercise - I don't care if it's walking around the block or running a marathon. Take up exercise. Get healthy. Do it now. Don't wait until your health fails you because you failed it.
- Try New Foods - My wife once made this horrifyingly putrid-looking substance she called "football dip." For the record, it's made of cream cheese blended with picante sauce. It looked awful, but she made me try it. I need to tell you that this stuff is like food crack. It's addictive, bad for me, and wonderful. Try new food. You never know what you'll get.
- Get Into the World - Have a new experience. Expand your experience. Something you've always wanted to do? Now. Do it now. Something that terrifies you that you've never done? Try it. You might like it.
- Adopt an Animal - Maybe I'm having a case of missing my dearly departed pup, Bogie, but it's a good thing to do. Go to a shelter and adopt a dog or cat, puppy or kitten. Adopt a creature that wouldn't have a chance to survive without you. I can tell you, honestly, it's one of the best things I've ever done, and you'll get a friend for life.
The last thing I have to say may fall into a "no shit, Sherlock" moment, but I'm saying it anyway. Tell someone how much you love them. Your wife, husband, partner, children, mom, dad... Tell them. Even if you've said it, say it again. You never get those moments back. You can never say it enough. Let them know that they're loved. Don't let it ever be too late.
See you in the new year.