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A year ago I wrote a column about my New Year’s resolutions and asked you to share them and help with them in your own lives. Let’s take a look back and see what we accomplished; you can keep your own score at home! Go ahead, get a pen and paper – I’ll wait!

Ready? Okay, I was going to try to judge people less. Um, next… No, really, I did make an effort, but found it really difficult when I was confronted with foolishness at so many turns. And really, how can I not judge when I see logos and store signs either missing apostrophes or adding excessive punctuation?

I think I’ve done better with my students. I’ve tried to find out extenuating circumstances, but as I wrote recently, there also comes a point where the excuses have to stop. Do you not perform at your job and use some excuse from home? How far does that get you?

Are you ahead of me already? Okay, onward then!

I was going to try to be a better parent and husband. I’ve remained very involved in Jayna’s and Anton’s activities and have discovered just how much driving it takes to try to get to all their activities. There were too many times this summer that they both played ball on the same night, so that was impossible. And I’ve been looking at the upcoming basketball schedule – uff da! I see a night coming up where Jayna has a game in Blooming Prairie and Anton plays at halftime of the varsity game in New Richland. At least that’s not too long a trip!

I’ve really worked at listening to them more and not losing my temper at things I can’t control. It’s been tough with this freshly-minted teenager in the house. But then I think back when I’m upset about something. Not listening the first time? Okay, I did that too. Having a messy room? I had many rows with my folks on that one. Not finishing chores in a timely fashion? Well, I think I’m ahead of my dear daughter on that one!

When I think of my marriage, I think Michelle and I are stronger than ever. I’m still not great at expressing feelings, but I’m trying to pick my words more carefully. When Michelle hurt her knee, the struggle once more brought the strength of our combo to the forefront.

I love my wife and kids, and I think I’ve had some success with that resolution; hopefully you did too!

The last thing I was looking at was not being so busy. That’s tough, but I did find more time last summer to just sit back and read and relax. I turned down some education opportunities so I would feel like I had a summer. As a family, we also left 4-H. It was a tough decision, but we made it together. We just couldn’t dedicate the time to a fine organization that we thought it deserved. We didn’t want to just be half-hearted members. I’ve increased my workload with coaching by helping Anton in baseball and moving to full-time status as Jayna’s junior high coach, a much larger task than elementary coaching.

I think I can call that a wash. Two steps forward, one step back. So in reality, I was successful in one resolution and maybe stayed about the same in the other two. What’s your score?

A few other things to wrap up 2014, especially since there are lists everywhere else you look. Here are a few of my “bests”:

*Best movie: Tough one here, but Guardians of the Galaxy edged out Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

*Best book: Another close race, but The Book Thief nudges out Gone Girl. Without spoilers, the difference here was the ending. I’m not sure how I wanted GG to end, but it wasn’t like that!

*Best TV show: The Walking Dead continues to amaze me by how little it’s about the zombies, and the audience still cares! Honorable mention goes to the best NEW show this year, The Flash. You mean you’re not watching the best super-hero live action show on TV right now?

*Best sporting event: This will have to be a tie. I just can’t decide between watching the NRHEG Lady Panthers repeat as state basketball champs and seeing the Home Run Derby at Target Field!

And with that, it’s onward to 2015!

Word of the Week: This week’s word is fungible, which means interchangeable, as in, “The columnist thought two events were fungible, so they finished in a tie.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!


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