If I’m not riding my bike, I spend a lot of time thinking about them. Or about this blog, or some other cycling related person, product, or activity. As I mentioned a couple weeks back, I’ve already started thinking about both personal and community cycling related hopes and dreams, but the last few days of the year have me thinking about other goals in my life as well. Yes, it’s true, there’s more to me than just bikes, and I’m hoping to accomplish more than just riding as much as I can. Keep reading to see what’s been on my mind….
On my old blog, which started out as a sort of accountability journal for my weight loss efforts, I used to muse about anything that would cross my mind from time to time. I don’t often post about those other topics too often any longer, but while I was sitting in a snow covered parking lot this past week, waiting for a buyer for my Karate Monkey to show up, I jotted down some loose goals for the new year. In no particular order, I hope to….
Give Some Attention To My Music – After playing guitar for over 20 years, I figured I should give a shot at writing some songs, hoping not to only churn out just a bunch of crap that only my mother would love. For a year or two, I really poured into my efforts, and wrote and recorded some songs that weren’t half bad…for a beginner anyway. I re-connected with some folks in Nashville, played songwriter round when I went back, and signed a song to a publishing contract. Nothing ‘big’ ever came from it, except that I discovered I actually loved the songwriting process. But life happens, and as other areas of life got busy, writing took a way-back seat, and has been pretty stagnent lately.
Also, for playing guitar for over 25 years now, I’m still nowhere near the guitarist I’d like to be. I tend to fall back to what I already understand, and lean on the theory I’m confident I know, rather than stretching and expanding my knowledge and skills. I really would like to become more than just a chord-strummer, and be able to sit in and just let loose, and actually pull off something cool.
I believe that music is one of those life long loves — something you can do until the day you shut ‘er down, so the good news is, I don’t have to figure it all out this year.
Learn Some More Spanish – Most of you that know me personally know that I’ve been hispanic for pretty much most of my life now. In fact, I really can’t remember a time I wasn’t brown. Yet, I grew up in Dallas, Oregon, where frankly I wasn’t surrounded by many other brown people (at the time) and nobody spoke Spanish around me, except for my Grandparents, and even that was more of the exception than the rule. Usually my grandmother was firing off rough attempts at English saying things like “lets go to Joojeen,” (Eugene) and “want any cereals?” as if you had to eat them in mulitples. At any rate, I never fully learned the language of my people, and often wish I knew it better.
Yes, those who’ve been with me at El Fogon, or other local eateries know I can bust out a few key phrases when the time is right. I even can pull of the correct annunciation and accent, but if I couldn’t get anything constructive done if I needed to. I’m better and understanding, than recalling on my own. So it continues to be a goal to cozy up to the language of love each year.
Lend A Helping Hand – I could pull out a bunch of oft-said phrases like “People Need People,” or “It Takes A Village,” or “C’mon People Now, Smile On Your Brother, Everybody Get Together Try To Love One Another,” but the reality is that it’s true….we all need community. I know the snow and ice sucked for many, but I really enjoyed the opportunity to give rides to folks, dig people out of the snow, cut up fallen trees, make someone a good cup of espresso, and generally just lend a hand where we could.
The world would be a better place for sure if everyone would look for big and small ways to help someone else out. I’m convinced that’s not a natural thing for most people. If I look at myself honestly, I’m a pretty selfish bastage, but I’m going to continue to keep my eyes open for ways that I’m supposed to be doing something for someone else.
Be a Better Husband and Father – This is always the most important one for me. Everything else I do, really, is folly. I’ve long said that I know where the most precious treasure for me is, and that’s right with the 5 people I most closely share life with. Time is fleeting. In two short years, our first born baby will graduate from high school, and if she chooses, can move across the country to attend school, and possibly establish her new world there. Dang.
They are always on my mind, those 5. Am I doing enough for them, am I teaching the kids all that I should. Have I explained enough to my young-man son how to be a gentleman and treat the opposite sex? Am I laughing enough with them, am I listening enough. Are we teaching them how to love others? Am I loving my wife, and making sure the kids see how we treat one another? Am I helping her reach her goals and dreams?
And in the end, I know I’ll look back and realize I could have done more..but hopefully it won’t be for lack of trying. And not for placing enough importance on the goal of being a better person for them.
So there you go….a very non-cycling related post. Some things that will be on my mind through the new year and beyond.