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“Another Auld Lang Syne” Redux

January 5, 2016

Happy New Year! This is the time of year where I assess how I did as far as blogging and other resolutions I made for 2015  and possibly make a few new ones for 2016.

First, how did I do in 2015? About one year ago, I wrote the following (excerpts only provided , if you would like to read more of my witty and humorous banter, please see my post from January 4, 2015 entitled Another “Another Auld Lang Syne”):

“Resolutions for 2015: ….”

  1. “I will avoid all hospitalizations and surgeries during 2015…”
  2. “I will make sure to visit with my friends and family often during 2015…”
  3. “I will workout by walking 3-4 miles every day (or virtually every day)…”
  4. “I will swim almost every day and up my swim to 32 laps or about 1/2 mile”
  5. “I will eat mostly vegetables, whole grains, fruits and other good for you stuff”
  6. “I really will post 20 times this year”

OK, how did I do with my resolutions last year? To make this a bit easier, I have decided to use an academic grading system (and the current grade inflation that is in vogue) in celebration of my new part-time vocation. (as this will undoubtedly make my resolution performance seem better).

  1. “A-” – Hooray! I had no hospitalizations and no surgeries though I did have a benign cyst removed from my middle back, but as an outpatient procedure. On the negative side, I was told that the cyst would come back at some point as it did on my neck. (I seem to have a condition where stuff just grows on various parts of my body, which sounds a bit like Jeff Goldblum in “The Fly”). Anne did have some minor wrist surgery which was done under sedation. So I just get an “A-” (Technically, I should get an “A” but it kind of felt like I was in surgery when I was spending several hours in the waiting room, eating fast food for lunch, telling Anne where and who she was when she came too, etc.).
  2. “B+” – I was able to visit my two daughters in NYC twice during 2015. I also saw my mom up in Cleveland a couple of times and we (Anne or I ) brought her to Columbus for a couple of other visits. So family visits gets an “A”. Visits with friends only gets a “B-“. In particular, this was downgraded because I managed to miss my 35th reunion from Stanford business school. But I plead “not guilty”  because it was ALL the fault of the NEW American Airlines. (Apparently, the ‘new” part does not include getting you there even remotely on time.) My flight was cancelled on Thursday morning and AA (the first A stands for American, second A, use your imagination, as this is a “family” blog) told me that they could rebook me so I would get in late Friday afternoon. I would miss several events and barely get their in time for the class dinner Friday eve and I was scheduled to return Sat Am so I said no thanks get me a refund. This was to appear on my credit card statement in a month or two, but surprise of surprises, no credit yet.
  3. “A-“…..I really did walk a lot. Roughly 5-7 times a week. Haven’t quite got up to 4 miles yet (more like 3-3.5 miles), however, I did consider changing my stride length setting on my fitbit to 3.5 feet which would get me pretty close. (though it would be quite comical to see me actually try to stride that long while walking).
  4. “B-”  – I did swim around 5-6 times per week on average but my laps have fallen off to around 20 these days so it is a pretty short swim. I blame everything and everyone I can think of (except myself). In the summer, in the Adirondacks, the lake I swim was pretty darn cold this year. The outdoor pool club that I joined (solely to do my laps) for the summers here in Columbus, has a habit of closing when there are thunderstorms or lightning in the vicinity. ( I mean what’s a small risk of electrocution when it comes to getting your laps in!) The indoor pool that I use in the winter, spring, and fall is closed on holidays such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter and early on New Year’s eve and Christmas eve. How can I possibly be expected to expand my laps with such distractions?
  5.  “A”, if chocolate is counted as a “vegetable”, “B”, if it is not…..I mean cocoa beans do grow on a plant right?- OK so I did the usual. Did great during most of the year and failed miserably during the holidays when the candy and desserts take up residence in our house. Did I mention that I have a pretty broad definition of the holidays?
  6. “C–“ Hmm,  I posted 16 times which ,for the mathematicians out there,  was 20 percent below my target of 20. However, in fairness, some of these posts were really long (“and quite good” – he said objectively). And I do have a lot of excuses. First, l blame the Islamic terrorism of the fall in Paris and in California, which simultaneously made me extremely sad and extremely angry that we had not done much more to prevent such attacks from happening. (Kind of hard to write a serious public policy blog when you are in that kind of mood). Then there was the fact that it seemed like I spent much of the last 4-6 months transitioning from AEP and getting ready to retire, which turned out to be a very busy time, ironically enough. Did I mention also that I travelled a lot and was quite busy with the last year of my Chairmanship of IETA? So there were good excuses which means I don’t flunk at least.

So assuming chocolate is not a vegetable and using approximate averaging with some generous rounding up, I ended up with a “B”  grade overall which isn’t bad, but isn’t great either, particularly when I noted last year at this time that the resolutions for 2015 were “easier” than in past years.

So for this year, let’s make it a bit more direct and quantitative. No excuses just hit the numbers!

  1. I will lose at least 10 pounds from my current 210 pounds and get below 200 pounds for the first time in more than 10 years, which will also be what I weighed in my 20s and early 30s.
  2. I REALLY will stop eating all desserts, sweets and sugar other than a few rare occasions.
  3. I will continue to  both swim and walk at least 5 times a week, and the other two days do one or the other.
  4. I will limit my alcohol intake to no more than 2  beers or drinks a day other than special occasions. (This should be easy to hit THIS year because my expectations for OSU football will be much lower in 2016 than during the Michigan State game in 2015 when I was so frustrated I had to drink mass quantities of beer!)
  5. I will blog at least 20 times this year, with a goal of hitting 2 times a month or 24 times for the year. (No excuses, as I am now”retired” from full-time work)

To monitor my progress, I will set up a spreadsheet. (Hey, I’m a quantitative sort of guy so making this mathematical is bound to help).

Happy 2016 to all. And I hope I hear from many of you via comments on the blog, emails etc.

Best, Bruce

From → Humor

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