by Dan Spoone
Happy New Year! Wow, it is hard to believe that it is 2020. We are 20 percent through the 21st century. I feel like it was just a few days ago that Leslie and I were singing along to the Prince song, “Party Like It’s 1999” at the Howl at the Moon piano bar in downtown Orlando. Twenty years ago Bill Clinton was president, the iPhone had not been invented, there was no Facebook or Twitter, I had a full head of brown hair and even experimented with a perm, there was only very limited audio description on VHS tapes from WGBH, Paul Edwards was the ACB president, Michael Jordan had retired for the second time, and the disaster of 9-11 was still 20 months away. I share these memories with you to reflect on how much changes in our lives. We have very little control over most of the big events and changes, but we do have the ability to influence our own reactions to these changes, and our attitude makes all the difference.
Each year Leslie and I take a few hours to make our new year’s resolutions. Luckily, we don’t need to get them approved by the resolutions committee or two-thirds of the general membership. Yes, I have had the resolution to lose 20 pounds for several of these years, and I’m always planning to do better with my finances. By the way, thanks to the Hawaii Association of the Blind (HAB), I can now take a visit to Hawaii off my resolutions list for this year. Thanks for helping us fulfill a dream!
Here’s how we go about our new year’s resolutions. We make resolutions in seven different categories: family, friends, community service, education, health, finance and fun. Of course, you can create your own categories, but I think this is a good exercise and we have lots of fun with it. So here are my 2020 new year’s resolutions.
Family – My parents have recently moved downtown to Orlando Lutheran Towers into an independent living apartment and sold their house in our neighborhood to our nephew, Sam. We really miss the convenience of an easy walk to visit them, but my resolution is to make the effort to visit them in person each week and call them each day to check in and catch up. They are a treasure and our biggest supporters.
Friends – My long-time work colleague, Mike Gallagher, and I have not spoken in over two years. How does this happen? I was the best man at his wedding! My resolution is to reach out to Mike and schedule lunch. We need to talk and rekindle our relationship. Has this ever happened to you with an old friend?
Community Service – I’ve been thinking about this one for several years. I would like to join the Lions Club. We may need your help on this one. I have reached out a couple of times with phone calls, but no one calls me back. Lame excuse! Please push me to make it happen this year.
Education – My friends with ACB Radio will love this one. My resolution is to load the Zoom program onto my computer and the Zoom app onto my iPhone and learn how to use them. This is a small step for mankind, but a big step for me!
Health – You guessed it. My resolution is to start back up with my morning walks. Get back on the elliptical and lose 20 pounds. Wish me luck. You think this would be easy with an aerobics instructor as a spouse.
Finance – Leslie and I work hard to budget our money. We have been avid listeners of the Dave Ramsey Radio Show for 15 years. We have no debt and use cash in our money envelopes for restaurants, groceries, yard services and our personal money. However, we keep trying to save money for a new roof, and we keep borrowing out of the fund for trips to Key West. My resolution is to save the roof money this year before the next hurricane.
Fun – We have been working really hard on all of our ACB responsibilities. We love the organization and it brings us great satisfaction, sense of purpose and wonderful friendships. Unfortunately, there are no set hours for ACB work, and it is easy to get consumed with the work at hand. My resolution is to take off several weekends each month to enjoy life outside the ACB bubble. Recently, we took off for several days and traveled to the beach to relax, listen to the sounds of the waves and share time with our friends. It did us a world of good. We do a better job if we allow ourselves some time off to recharge our batteries.
Once again, we wish everyone a fantastic New Year and look forward to seeing our friends in Washington, D.C. at the end of February for ACB’s leadership meetings. Maybe I’ll try that perm one more time. Does anyone have some hair I can borrow?