Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Annual Resolutions Wrap-Up

Almost the only thing I still do on this blog is post my New Year's resolutions.  But at least doing so puts them all in one place for future reference.  The tradition continues....

Let's just say that I need a good fresh start in 2014.  I didn't do well at all with my 2013 list.  My Bible study and prayer habits have been a hot mess, I had my first-ever DNF in the Charleston Marathon, my personal disciplines and organization have been a shambles, and my goals involving personal health habits were basically non-starters.  Somehow, in the midst of all that, I was awarded the Gibbes Award for excellence in teaching at the end of last school year, and we won our third-straight state title in track, by the largest margin in league history.  We also won our 4th consecutive cross-country state championship, and my school's alumni magazine ran a feature story on me as if I were doing a lot better than I feel like I am.  Go figure.  This new school year has been one of the most challenging of my career in the classroom (lots and lots of change--my oft-repeated one-liner of the semester has been that if we could have picked any 3 or 4 of the big changes this year, I could have handled them well, but a dozen at a time was a bit much).  On top of all of that, my athletic director (and good friend), Ed Steers, is retiring at the end of the school year, and I have put my name in the hat as a possible replacement.

So here I sit, unsettled and anxious.  I am possibly entering my last semester of classroom teaching, but I don't know.  We have the opportunity to win state again, which is good, of course.  And I am ridiculously proud of my family.  What's more, I came across some of the goals I wrote back in about 1997 and look at them now with a sense of pride.  Although I haven't been the runner I once was, I quietly logged another year of over 500 miles, and take some pride on being in significantly better shape than lots of guys turning 45 this year.

So--looking ahead, what will I resolve?  I can't really resolve to win the AD job; it's a goal, but one I have no control over.  I will go ahead and claim the goal of winning a 4th straight boys' track title.  The more difficult one, but what I really hope to do, is add a girls' title to match.  I think we're close.  Obviously, the athletes have to do their part, and I cannot do a thing about the quality of other teams. But I will be very satisfied if we can pull that off.  It will definitely take my best work.

I do want to read the Bible through again, as well as get back in the habit of "aerobic kneeling" (serious prayer).  This will require more discipline with my mornings.  I really, really want to regain that element of control over my day.  I also want another 500+ mile year.  It gets harder and harder to be consistent, but those are big ones.

Whether or not this is my last teaching semester, I want to do a better job than I feel like I did last term.  Lots of folks have said nice things about the results, but I have not been satisfied.

I also want to do a better job managing our family budget and my time with family.  Neither have been that bad, but both could be better.  And what these items all share is the same sense of "winging it," being out of control, and accepting the good rather than insisting on the best.  And the answer is the same for all of them: discipline.  So that's going to be the watchword in 2014.