Would you run for public office?

Sitting in the front office at the newspaper means that I get to see pretty much everyone that walks in. And I can always tell when it’s an election year because of all the politicians that stroll in. I’ve seen Senator Deb Fischer, Senator Adrian Smith, State Senator Greg Adams; the list goes on and on. Basically, if they’ve run for public office in Nebraska, I’ve seen them walk through that door.

It’s always kind of fascinated me what it takes to run for public office. Back when I was a kid I heard stories about how my grandmother was asked to run for Senator (can’t remember if it was State or Congressional) and I thought that she would have been great at it. Then again, she was my grandma, so I thought she was great at everything.

There are a few folks I know that I think should run for public office. They have good, solid ideas on how to affect change and they would certainly get my vote. But then I come back to that point of what it takes to get into politics. I know a couple people on the local City Council and Board of County Commissioners and I wouldn’t have pegged them as being the kind of person to hold public office. Did they do it because they wanted to be more involved in the community? Did they see things they thought needed to be changed and figured that holding political office was the way to do it?

It’s interesting to me how it all works and I really want to make it to a City Council meeting. I hear they’re a bit dry, but it does concern the city and the people living here, so I should be paying more attention.

I’ll also admit that the thought has crossed my mind about getting more involved in local politics, but then I remember that it’s an arena I would be better off avoiding.

So would you run for public office? Do you think that you could make a positive change in your community that way? Because in many places, it’s getting to be that time for elections.

Maybe it’s your time to step up and see what you can do.

Not letting go of grudges….making amends

This week I started working on my New Year’s resolution to let go of grudges by writing an email to someone. It’s not one of the really big ones (I’m working up to those), but it’s still a pretty important one. However, as I worked on it, I started to realize that even though I may have been justified to be upset at the situation and how things were handled (and not handled), it didn’t give me the right to be a jerk about it.

As I thought about others on my list while writing that email, I realized that part of letting go of these grudges wasn’t to say that I forgave them; it was to apologize to them (except for one; that’s a totally different story). Because no matter how I was treated, my reaction and attitude to the various situations wasn’t appropriate. Understandable, possibly even justified in most cases, but that doesn’t mean it was the right way to handle things.

Due to that, I’m changing the resolution to say that I’ll try to make amends to the folks on my list. I’ll let go of the grudge and offer a heart-felt apology (except to one; that apology needs to come from their side) in an attempt to clear the air. It’s better to think of it as building a bridge (and getting over it) as opposed to claiming that it was all one-sided against me. Because all too often that hasn’t been the case.

I’m not saying that all of these will lead to friendships being rekindled, or that they’ll even respond to me, but at least I can say that I tried.

2014 Health Challenge

Once again it’s time for the denizens of York County to put their money where their resolutions are and start getting healthy. With $1,000 waiting at the finish line, a lot of people have signed up, ready to step on the scale to find their starting point and then spend ten weeks getting healthy and fit.

And even though we employees of the newspaper aren’t eligible for the big money (we’re the ones putting on the Health Challenge), we still have a few teams participating. It’s mostly for bragging rights around the office, but it’s also a good way to remind us of the need to stay healthy.

I’ll admit that I’ve fallen off of the health and fitness wagon over the past few weeks. No excuse for it, really; just got a bit lazy. Okay, yeah, I used the excuse that I was ‘preparing’ for the Health Challenge, but that was just dumb. I should have started and that way I would have momentum going into it.

The team I’m on (The Knights of the Buffet Table) weighed in on Monday, and I was pretty much the weight I thought I would be. I’m not happy to see that number again, but frankly, it could have been so much worse.

So ten weeks of getting healthy have begun. As usual, we wonder how many teams will actually see it through to the end. It seems that about half of them give up at some point throughout the process and then just don’t show up for the final weigh-in. Maybe life got in the way, maybe there was an illness. Or maybe it’s harder than some people thought. Whatever the case may be, I’m hoping that this year we have at least 75% of the teams cross the finish line.

Because being healthy may take work, but it’s worth it.

Good luck to all of the teams out there!

(Yes, even the other teams at the newspaper – because they’re going to need it! HAHAHAHA!)

The obligatory New Year’s resolutions

So last year I posted that people shouldn’t make resolutions, they should just go out and make the changes. While I still believe that, there is something about writing down your resolutions, plans, and goals. It gives you something tangible to look at instead of an abstract thought hiding in some dark corner of your mind that you only look at occasionally.

With that in mind, here are my resolutions for 2014:

1) Finish what I start. It’s true that there are times when I’ll start a project and then get distracted by the shiny allure of something else. It’s part of who I am, being a geek and all. I get obsessed with something and then proceed to wring every little drop out of it as quickly as I can. That doesn’t mean I’ll slow down, but I am going to make an honest effort to see things through to the end before taking off to something else.

2) Publish. I love to write and I do it almost every day. Thing is, 99% of it never sees the light of day. I’ll write down things like blog posts, stories, ideas, what-have-you and then promptly delete them or toss them in the trash. Because I’m convinced that what I write is garbage. It doesn’t matter that I’ve actually published my work or that I got paid for it. I still think it’s nothing more than throwing words at the wall like a monkey flinging poo – and the monkey is more entertaining. This year, whether I like it or not, I’ll publish as many things that I write as I can. Some things obviously can’t – or shouldn’t – be let loose, so I’ll make a judgment call.

2a) Write. One way I can do an end-run around resolution number two is to not write anything. So, I’m including this as a sub-resolution to make sure that I keep writing.

3) Let go of the grudges. If there’s one thing that I do very well, it’s hold a grudge. I’ve got one going on to over twenty years now. Maybe it’s time to let go of those old grudges and not take on any new ones. I wonder what it’s like to forgive people who screwed you over or treated you poorly or made – or make – your life a lot more difficult than it needs to be. This year, I’m going to find out. I’m going to reach out to those people (well, maybe all but one…I don’t know if I can ever let go of that grudge) to try and make amends. We still may not get along, but at least I can try to clear the air between us.

4) Play at least one new board game or play two board games that I’ve already played, every week for the whole year. Sure, it sounds like a softball resolution, especially in light of the others, but it’s a challenge I want to try and conquer. And it might help open me up to new experiences. Heck, it might even get to the point where I’ll like Agricola. No promises or resolutions on that.

5) Get back into the fitness groove. My shoulder being all messed up has really set me adrift as far as health and fitness goes. I’ve pretty much reached the point where lifting is problematic, but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to work around it. There are plenty of exercises and routines that I can still do and I should be doing. And there’s no excuse for letting my nutrition slip like it has. It’s time to get back to doing what I enjoy. I know I’ll feel a lot better.

So there they are. Five resolutions to help me become a better person. Or at least try to, anyway.

What are your resolutions for this year? Or have you forgone them?

Whatever the case may be, I hope 2014 is a good year for you.

Thanks for reading!

2014 – New year, new you (?)

The other day I was going over the details of a new project, writing things done and muttering to myself as I tend to do, when my daughter asks me what I’m doing. I tell her I had an idea for a project and was simply writing down possible materials. I then tell her that I’ll probably just put it off to the side as there really isn’t any need for it (yes, I’m being vague about the project on purpose).

She then pipes up with: “Hey, new year, new you, right?”

She’s right. It is a new year and with it comes the usual promise of things changing. Maybe it’ll be new challenges. Maybe it’ll be old challenges, but faced with new resolve and new tactics. Maybe it’ll be new people coming into our lives. Maybe it’ll be people leaving our lives. The only thing we know for sure is that things will change.

So instead of putting projects and ideas off to the side, it’s time to embrace them. To go after them and see what happens. Maybe it’ll be good things. Maybe it’ll all crash and burn.

Either way, at least I’ll be able to say that I tried.

Here’s to a new year and a new outlook on life.

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