Let’s Make Promises We Can Keep

29 December 2010

For good or ill, this time of year when we all look back and think – what we could have done differently or better.

“If only I had spent more time watching sports instead of with my family.”

“I should have invested in that that Book of Face thing; I could have been a millionaire by now. Then I really could have watched more sports and dumped the wife and kids for a more pleasing (read: younger) wife.”

Usually, people start making resolutions like:

  • I’m going to quit smoking – As soon as things get less hectic.
  • I’m going to start exercising – Does a walk to the fridge count?
  • I’m going to enjoy life more” – I’m going to buy a boat.
  • I’m going to get out of debt – Hey look a credit card offer with 9.25% APR for the next ten minutes.
  • I’m going to write my great novel – At least I started a blog.

I do not make resolutions. I never keep them and they are too easy to break. Instead, I make goals that I can modify along the way. For example, in 2010, I had a goal of running 750 miles. I only fell about 360 miles short, however, in June I modified it to 360 and guess what? I hit my goal! In fact, I surpassed it by 39 miles. Why did I change it? The weather in Atlanta this year was not conducive for running.  Another goal I had was to do 100 push-ups at one time. I hit that one in early September. I only trained about three weeks for it. I did real ones too!

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging and other forms of “social media” we have gotten so much closer yet we are so far away. What happened to us? We used to see each other. We used to talk on the phone. I have about 160 “Facebook Friends” and I have 81 contacts in my email list. Sure, there is some overlap. I wonder how many of these fine individuals I have seen in the past year, or two or three. I have 60 “Facebook Friends” in Atlanta, a dozen of them I have never met. They are friends of friends or radio people I mildly stalk. (Yes you Margot “Smith”.) I have 100 friends who live out of town; I actually do see some of them once a year. Some I have not seen since I graduated high school. (Yes you Patti Baron Simon.)  I have lived in the South for 13+ years and many of my “Facebook Friends” live down here too. At some point, they must come through Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. It is the busiest in the world and every flight in the South stops here it is a law.

As a society, we have lost the personal touch. We do so much on line now that personal communication is gone. We have to get it back. Besides “communicating” we shop, download music, movies and we get our news from the Internet. We use our phones for everything but their intended purpose. My 17-year-old nephew Nathan uses his when his mother grounds him from the computer. He updates Facebook, goes on line to check email, texts his friends and uses it as a clock. His younger brother, Danny, the one who had to have a phone so I bought him one, uses his to collect dust in a dresser somewhere. My adorable, 12-year-old niece Alissa has a phone but never brings it with her. Another niece, Marianne, began begging her mother for a phone when she was eight-years-old. Two and a half later, her mom has showed amazing resolve and not given in, despite constant whining. (As I compose this, my old running buddies from Myrtle Beach, Gordon and Mark Chickering, are planning to come here for the Chick-Fil-A Peach Shake Bowl. They didn’t even call me. I found out on Facebook.)

This year I have one main goal – to get back in touch with you. I mean it. We are going to meet or talk this year, face to face, or at the least, ear to ear. We are going to be social without the social media. If we have never met, send me a message and we will get together. If we haven’t talked in a while, expect a call soon. We have been friends for quite a while yet we do not speak or see each other, that is not a friendship.

Why am I doing this? Do I have a hidden agenda? When we see or talk to each other will I be pitching you on Amway or a time-share in Boca (it has a great view and prime weekends are still available.)? None of the above. I am sick of this non-communicating communication. Posting a picture of your recent trip to Darwin, MN is not the same as hearing or seeing you discuss it. (If you don’t know what is there you had better look it up, there will be a quiz.)

This is not a national movement but it would be cool if it turned out to be.

Thank you for reading my blog this past year. If you enjoyed reading it half as much as I have enjoyed writing it than I have enjoyed it twice as much as you.

“The World’s Largest Ball of Twine” is located in Darwin, MN. I hope you knew that.

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