Serenading on the mandolin and other resolutions for 2012

I've been thinking about the resolutions I halfheartedly made for 2011. I wanted to learn a little Spanish, take off some weight, write some fiction. Was I wanting to learn the mandolin? Well, I lost weight and put a little back on. I never learned any more Spanish. I haven't written a word of fiction, unless you include some of my more outlandish posts here. And I haven't touched a mandolin.

More Real Life in Punxutawney

Phil Connors essentially received a mulligan for every encounter. Could you imagine having the ability to undo a mistake? Cruel words could really be un-said. Receiving someone’s forgiveness means they’ve really forgotten about it—because it never actually happened. Or you could take risks, knowing you always had another shot. Like when I was a kid in junior high and never said the funny thing out loud that some other kid ended up saying, even if I’d thought of it first and would have delivered it better.

Real Life in Punxutawney

Last weekend we watched the movie Groundhog Day on Netflix with our girls. I’d forgotten how much I’d loved the movie about egocentric Pittsburgh weatherman Phil Connors, who goes on location to Punxutawney, PA, for their annual Groundhog Day celebration, awaiting the dreaded forecast. It’s funny now to watch the movie, having moved from a city to a small town not unlike Punxutawney. It’s not a groundhog we celebrate but a pig—the biggest event in town is the annual pork festival, bigger than the county fair.

Making Change #5 – Simplifying

Standing there in his shop, I concluded that Edison may be entirely responsible for our hectic pace of life more than a century later. That we can work all hours into the night, instead of retiring to bed with the setting of the sun, is largely due to artificial light. I write this in a dimly-lit coffee house staring at a back-lit LCD screen. Even the keys on my notebook computer are softly lit. ... In this post I’ll focus on simplifying and embracing rest, and in my next post I’ll offer some tips for tackling your to-do list.

Making Change #4 – Health & Fitness

Our character and relationship with God and with others deserves a far superior focus. There is no denying, however, that our physical health also weighs on us spiritually—pardon the pun. Eating healthy and getting active honors the temple we are. As does quitting smoking and eliminating dependence on caffeine. At just 5 foot 9, depending on how big my hair is on a given day, I weighed almost 190 pounds about a year ago. ...

Making Change #3 – Money

Probably within the next ten days or so, you’ll be getting your credit card statements in the mail. You may not have planned on making a resolution concerning money but you likely will, even if it’s simply, we shouldn’t let Christmas spending get away from us again. Maybe you’ll set a goal to get out of debt or start saving for college or for unplanned expenses. Like any goal, however, you’ll need a plan or you’ll never reach it. When Cindy and I were working our way out of debt in the first six years of our marriage, we didn’t have much of a plan, which is why it took so long. If only I knew then what I know now.

Making Change #2 – The Bible

I’m starting this MAKING CHANGE series with something I feel has been the most integral in my life as a believer in Jesus. It’s more important than what I could say about money or setting fitness goals. I have embraced reading and studying the Bible, and it has helped me to know God and myself better. (Giveaway at the end of the post.)