It’s probably been more than 30 years now since my father and I made that trip to Canada. I remember sitting in passenger seat asking Dad about the old days. I wanted to know about his life, about where he’d come from and how he’d become the man he was. He told me stories of my grandfather who I’d never had the good fortune to meet. Grandpa died in 1935 following an appendicitis attack. My father was seven years old and emulated grandpa who was a well respected dairy farmer in the area.
It was in that conversation so many years ago that I asked my dad about what he wanted to do with his life. He told me about wanting to be a dairy farmer like his father had been. He told me about how life had gotten in the way of following his dream. He made choices, choices that were difficult but that he felt were right. He set his dream aside for marriage and children. He chose a full time job off the farm to keep his growing family fed and clothed. He put his family first and though he did crop farming he never got cows.
When I looked into his eyes and saw the sadness of a dream never realized I made a decision that defined my life. I decided in that moment that I would never look back on my life to see I hadn’t fully lived.
That decision has led me to living in eight different towns in three different states, leading community organizing efforts and fighting multinational corporations, traveling on three continents, hiking hundreds of miles, and now working at a university.
It’s been good so far, but recently watching my now aged father and a much younger family member who’s been dealing with major health issues, I’ve been thinking. My life has become rather routine and there is much to do, to see, to learn. It seems a year to write down some of those things that I’d like to have happen as a reminder to myself and a public commitment. So, here it goes. Presuming that I succeed with my efforts, there will undoubtedly be updates throughout the year. I hope you’ll read on and share the experience with me. I wish you the best in the new year! Here’s what I’ll be doing to grow.
- Writing at least 50 blog posts (here’s the 1st one!)
- Reading/ listening to 50 books ( I’m starting with “The Education of Will” by Patricia McConnell and “38 Nooses” by Scott W. Berg)
- Getting back on track with my healthy eating habits
- Running a 10k or 1/2 marathon (I haven’t decided yet, but I know more than 5k and probably not a full)
- learn to play guitar
- finish at least 3 or 4 knitting projects
- Get Buddy started with his therapy dog training
- Cutting my screen time significantly, especially facebook time
Those are my big goals for the year. My hope is that these will bring me more happiness along with some new skills, improved physical health, knowledge, and some cool projects. I hope you’ll find positive growth in the new year as well. Take good care!