“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
New Year's Resolutions for 2014
Cheering in the new year at Times Square in New York City on December 31, 2013.
YEAR OF 2014
“A sunrise is God's way of saying, 'Let's start again.'”
Geib's 2014 New Year's Resolutions!
What should I do? Where to go?
How to live?
- Eye on the Ball!
The daughters -- after seven long, exacting, and exhausting years --are well launched. Do not let up in your focus and continue to do as you can to give the inestimable gift of a happy childhood to daughters. You want the prize, you pay the cost. Attention. And energy. The three girls you live with are the most important thing in your life.
STATUS: Success. But the hair is a little grayer, and fifty years of age a bit nearer.
- Mini-Dinner Dates
The daughters are finally asleep more or less at the same time, leaving you about two hours of "adult time" each night. Use this time to have "mini dates" with Maria on a semi-routine basis. Doesn't have to be a big deal with huge preparations but carve time for it: quality over quantity in terms of undiluted attention on Maria and the marriage in our busy lives.
STATUS: Failure. After a full day of work and family, by the time we finally get the girls asleep, there is little energy for anything else substantial.
- Maria Half-Marathon et al.
Do everything I can during first five months of year to help Maria in her 13.1 mile race this May: good counsel, leg massages, support team on race day, etc.
- Start Writing For Self Again
Transition from putting in the soul-sucking effort to be a standout teacher who routinely worked sixty hour a week over some fourteen years... and move to shoulder a more modest workload which enables time to write for self. Stop being a martyr for your own students in developing their thinking/writing skills and grow your own soul through introspection and the written word. Why is it you write so much less than your Advanced Placement students? -- "Physician, heal thyself!"
STATUS: A few choice nuggets, but not much volume. Busy, busy.
- Good Eating and Drinking Habits
You have made considerable progress in incorporating some healthy foods into diet. Continue this trend and adopt a few new healthy recipes into lifestyle. Cut down as many preservatives and artficial chemicals as possible. Simple. And natural. Sustainable lifestyle to age gracefully.
STATUS: Some success. Ate mountains of vegetables. Still work to be done.
- Continue to Pre-Habilitate and Mature as an Athelete
Continue to closely observe and learn from your body as you age yet still push your body to its limit: you are now (more or less) a 4.5 tennis player, and so grow into this role in a sustainable manner while cross-training and preserving your joints. Prehabilitation. Functional strength and flexibility with maximum fitness, while still competing and competitively "red lining" your body. Manage the routine and unavoidable niggles and nags without major (or disabling) injury. Continuing to enjoy on a routine basis the testosterone rush that hardcore athletic competition brings - and has brought you since you were a boy - as you age. (How many of your friends almost never "red line" their bodies anymore?)
STATUS: I won club singles and doubles tournamens at 4.0 level and got promoted, but then ended the year with painful injury. And the worst of it is that I could have avoided rotator cuff injury if I had listened more closely to my body, and not felt so pressured to compete by teams and peers when hurt. Richard, be as wise and smart as you are zealous and dedicated.
- Really focus on making your serve a weapon
You are never going to be a speedy grinder at the baseline able to run everything down indefinitely and counterpunch a la Agassi. But you are big and strong and well-coordinated, and so learn to maximize your strengths. Get a serve ritual down and obey it fanatically while focusing on an effective opening of point with purpose and agression, rather than just getting the point started and spinning in serve. Develop the tennis game that suits your native physical and emotional gifts, and play that and no other. The answer is within you and the time you take to reflect, not what you see from some pro on the ATP Tour.
STATUS: This did happen, to an extent. Now find a way to employ serve as a weapon without ruining your schoulder. Smooth easy motion and then the easy power in a service motion which is well grooved.
- Practice overheads
Often tedious and sometimes frustrating. But doubles will be your game soon enough, and a competent doubles player can put away overheads in his sleep.
STATUS: Success. But perserve shoulder!
Here is the reading lineup at this time:
- "Arthur Ashe: Portrait in Motion" by Arthur Ashe and Frank Deford
- "This Is How You Say Goodbye: A Daughter's Memoir" by Victoria Lustalot
- "Joe Rochefort's War," by Elliot Carlson
- "The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News--and Divided a Country," by Gabriel Sherman
- "Occam's Racquet" by Marcus Paul Cootsona
- "I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban" by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
- "The Last Ship: A Novel" by William Brinkley
- "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know" by Meg Meeker
- Gone Girl" by
- "Pier Rats" by Bruce Greif
- "Gray Mountain" by John Grisham
- "The Secrets of Spanish Tennis" by Chris Lewit
- "Generation Unbound" by Isabel Sawhill
Note to self: List is atypically short for a reason: stop reading so much and start WRITING again!
Make some kind of dent in the Netflix queue --
- Killer Joe
- Late Quartet
- Captain Phillips
- The Wolf of Wall Street
- Before Midnight
- American Hustle
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Narco Cultura
- The Intouchables
- The Armstrong Lie
- Ender's Game
- How I Live Now
- All Is Lost
- Don Jon
- Fruitvale Station
- The Intouchables
- Much Ado About Nothing
- 56 Up
- Out of the Furnace
- Blue is the Warmest Color
- The Interview
PAST YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS:
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