The holidays for me have always been a time to look back at what I was thankful for at Thanksgiving to what I wished for at Christmas; this year was no different.
When I was a kid, we had a Christmas party at our house where the relatives would come over, bring snacks, drink a variety of things and just have a merry good time. We felt that our second Christmas in our new home would be a good opportunity to try to expand well beyond our small attempt the year before. Warning: If you invite them, they will come. I'm just kidding a little on the invite, but be careful, if you invite 50 people, you may get 50 people, and we were pretty close. The party was fun with tours of our "home" (the former St. Cecelia School). Games were played, jokes told and yes, snacks and drinks aplenty were served.
The best comment of the night, and I'm paraphrasing, was "you have the room to display what everyone else wishes they could." It is true that in a 16,000-square-foot school we do have room, but to use it all would probably end up with us having a two-part episode on "Hoarders."
For Christmas itself I gave and I received gifts with sentiment and those that I can eat or wear to help pass the cold winter days away mean a lot. The girls are getting older, yet they kept their requests modest which further encourages me that their parenting has been good so far.
New Year's is around the corner and instead of resolutions, I've decided that changes are needed but to call them resolutions would be setting me up for failure. Last March, I opened a store with one partner along with the help of my mother and a friend of the co-owner; we've broken the stereotype that "no one shops at the mall." Correction, you must actually draw people to your store first and then they will shop. Our change for the New Year: expand inventory and thank customers more, thank you.
I've put on 20, OK, 25 pounds, due to some injuries but mostly due to food being so yummy. But I've come up with a few strategies for getting my weight back down. The first is to think before I eat. Am I eating because it is time to eat or eating because I'm bored? Having set breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack times is the key, but stopping and thinking may play a larger role. The second one is to exercise daily. This doesn't mean that I have to run 5 miles a day or swim 50 laps. This means that every day I must do something active such as playing basketball, taking a hike, lifting some weights or simply taking a walk with my wife.
The only "resolution stress" I'm putting on myself is that this is it, this is the year I make the change or I decide to stay fat and happy. I have exercises for a bad knee that I can do, stretches for my back, yoga for the rest and the playbook is there. It is time to execute the plays. We all live with some kind of pain either emotional or physical that we have some control over how we "deal" with it. For 2012, I'm treating my health like a job and I love to work so hopefully that will be the best approach.
Lastly a friend, a wise friend, Lyle, passed this year. I will never possess the wisdom he had nor be able to pull off the wry smile that made you wonder if you were part of the joke or were the joke. I can only hope that my life is as full as his was. You'll be missed.
Happy New Year to you and yours and may 2012 be your best year yet.
Brian Foreman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.