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The only thing holding me back are my own excuses

I’ve never been big on making New Year's resolutions. Planning, and the details necessary to execute said plans, isn’t something that’s ever been up my alley.
Don’t get me wrong. Sure, there are lots of things I’d like to improve. I’d like to approach every situation with a cool head and rational mind. I’d like to be a little less rotund and a little neater and have a car that is so clean I can offer a ride to any one, at any time, without having to clean my seat off.
I’d like to swear off fast food and work out every day and feel great about doing both. I’d like to remember to return text messages and emails in a timely manner and keep my landscaping looking, well, like it’s been landscaped. I’d like to be less crabby when I travel, less judgmental of younger generations and less cynical pretty much all the time.
But mostly I want to be more aware.
I have this thing about cold weather. Like seriously cold, the exact kind we’ve been experiencing for the past two weeks. When temperatures drop this low, I don’t like to wear much of a coat. I want to experience the frigidness in its entirety so that I fully know what it’s like.
You should try it. You feel alive and in tune with your surroundings, in both the best and worst ways possible.
That’s what I want all the time. So this year I’ve decided to take up the task of having a proper resolution. I’m not looking for the kind that’ll leave me in a sweaty mess on my living room floor doing crunches before 6 a.m. Or the kind where I give up something I really, really love and then ultimately give in before Feb. 1 rolls around.
I want 2018 to be the year that I’m acutely tuned in. I want it to be the year when I choose listening over hearing, especially when it comes to the words coming from my wife’s mouth. I want it to be the year I notice little things, like the pile of my stuff that’s been waiting for me to put it away for three weeks. Or the chipped paint that needs redone on the door frame. Or the fact that my daughter is wearing pink Crocs with her Sunday dress to church.
Essentially I want it to be known as the year when “not being a detail guy” stopped being a crutch.
As people, we are only limited by what we believe. And oftentimes, at least in my case, I believe myself when I say I’m not capable of certain things.
But the older I get, and as I watch my own children struggle with many of the same shortcomings I’ve dealt with for years, I realize the only thing holding me back are my own excuses.
So here goes. Beginning today, I’m the new and improved Bryan Schaaf. I’m not promising it’s going to make me a better writer, but at least I’ll be more aware of those times when I’m not.

Published: January 8, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180109977