I don't think it's a secret that I enjoy television and movies, though I usually wait for many films to come to television. It's no secret that I enjoy music either. I like to sing along with my car radio, much to the dismay of my riders. Actually, I think I sing fairly well if the music is in my range. Some might think otherwise, but I do enjoy music nonetheless.
When I see something in a movie, hear a line from a television program or film, or a lyric from a song that I can connect with a personal or teachable moment, or if I think it can help convey a message, I try to write it down, videotape it - yes, I still use VHS - or audio tape it - I still use cassettes too - and use it in situations where I feel sharing it might be helpful to someone.
I've done this in my classrooms, in the dugouts and on the sidelines with the teams I've coached, in the raising of my children, in advising kids who have come to me for advice, and, at times, in this forum too. Today is another one of those times.
J. Paul Lombardo
As the end of each year comes and a new one approaches, I try to look back at what I've done during the past year. It's almost like it's time to give myself a grade for the year that has passed - to look at what I did well and how I'm going to build on that, and what I didn't do well and how I might do better this time. I just can't break those teacher habits.
I always hope I have much more on the "well" side, than the "not so well" side, but that isn't always the case. When I sit down and do my yearly self-evaluation and the "not so well" list grows, I try to remember a serious line from one of my favorite hilarious movies, and it helps me keep things in perspective.
I love the movie "City Slickers," which starred Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby and Jack Palance. I watch it almost every time I find it while channel surfing. I think I laugh harder each time I watch it even though I know what's going to happen. There was a serious moment in that movie, though, when Mitch's (Crystal's) friend Phil (Stern) was lamenting his impending divorce and the possibility of not seeing his children regularly. It was at this point in the movie when Mitch and Ed (Kirby) reminisced with him about playing ball as kids and when the ball got stuck in a tree, they all yelled, "Do over!" Mitch and Ed tried to console Phil by telling him that his life could now be a "do over." They tried to get him to pick himself up, think of his life as a clean slate and to begin the rest of his life - not forgetting what happened in the past, but seeing how he could begin anew and move forward with his life.
I guess that's why I think of this at the end of each year. With many of the "not so well" things we did in a previous year, or maybe a job or personal relationship that didn't go the way we had hoped, we all get a chance to begin anew. We all get a chance for a "do over." We all get a chance to look at what we did well and see how we can build on that, and we get a chance to see what didn't go well and look ahead, change behaviors, tweak decisions, make amends, try new jobs or relationships, and begin our futures fresh.
Many say we can't live in the past, and they're correct. We can't go back and be like we were when we were kids, or when we got our first job, or when we first got married or whatever the situation. We can look back though. We can remember people, times and memories from our past, hopefully finding something positive from those people and memories that might help us in future situations, and often times we must look back at our own selves - at what are our strengths and at what are our weaknesses. We don't have to wait until the end of a year to do this; it should be an ongoing thing we do, but the end of the year always makes us think about what we want things to be like in the next year. That's why so many make resolutions as to what they will do the following year. That's a good thing, especially if those resolutions result from looking at what didn't go well last year, and try to make it better in the new year. I think that's what Mitch and Ed were trying to tell Phil, when they said, "It's a do over, Philly boy. Your life is a do over."
So, it's my resolution for the new year to try to see the things I did well in 2012 and make them even better - not just for me, but more importantly, for others. I want to take those times I may have slipped up, made a bad decision, not thought something through, and those times that may have hurt someone else or me and try to wipe the slate clean, or to move on from the job or relationship stuff that didn't go well and take advantage of the "do overs" life offers. I hope everyone can do the same and that 2013 is a happy and healthy year for all. Happy new year.