According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Looking Forward to Next Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Forward to Next Year

I received a fortune today.

No, not money, but one of those little slips of paper in a fortune cookie served to me with my teriyaki rice bowl. I read my fortune to Sam. It said, “Remember one month from this date for good things to come.”

Hm-m-m. “Today” actually was yesterday, December 29, 2011, I guess I have to wait until January 29, 2012, to see what will happen. I wonder what WILL happen in the New Year. One thing I’m not going to wonder about is “What Happened to My Big Plans,” as an article in my wife’s January, 2012, Toastmaster magazine asks. I’ve stopped wondering what happened to my big plans. The Toastmaster article suggests reflecting on what went right in my life rather than what went wrong. Key points in the article advise me to ask myself:

1. How many times did I learn from my mistakes?

2. How many times did I make a comeback?

3. How many times did I refuse to quit?

4. How many times did I take criticism gracefully?

5. How many times did I let someone else have all the glory?

6. How many times did I make somebody’s day?

Okay. Let’s see, none, a few, a few, very seldom, more than I should have, and lots (I hope).

But actually, I don’t recall having big plans when I was younger (Sam’s looking at me sort of incredulously). Seriously, I can’t recall having a lot of ambition to set the world on fire. For a long time I thought being a cowboy would be cool. But at different times in my life I have been a grocery store clerk, a finance company collections agent, a sawmill worker, a postal carrier, a police officer, a real estate agent, a newspaper writer and editor, a pizza parlor assistant manager, the manager of a book store coffee shop, a right-of-way agent, a freelance writer, and a courtesy shuttle driver for an auto dealer. I guess like many of my peers growing up in the 60’s I have been mostly a rolling stone. I thought about becoming a teacher when I started college, but by the time I finally obtained my degree 40 years later, I had long since abandoned that plan.

For a short time, I did, somewhat seriously, consider becoming a professional singer. I have a pretty good voice. But the idea of traveling around the country living in motels did not appeal to me. Shortly before graduating from high school I considered attending the Coast Guard Academy and becoming a “coasty,” a very noble calling. But when I learned the academy was in Connecticut so far from my California home, I nixed that idea.

I haven’t really accomplished anything big in my life to speak of, at least not in terms of success that you might normally think of. But I have a wonderful wife, some wonderful kids, a great dog, a nice home, a nice truck and I’m not out on the street begging. I’m writing this blog, which gives me a great deal of satisfaction and I’ve just published a book with plans to publish at least one more. My life, though disappointing at times, has been varied and interesting, and looking back, I’m not sure I would have lived it any other way. I’m now looking forward with Sam to 2012. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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