09.Jan.2014 “If you’re done learning, you’re done!”

This New Year, my resolution has been to slow down a little bit.

People who know me may scratch their head when I say that because, while I do have talents and good qualities I’ve been given and do use, I can also be an air-head too and be accident prone. I can be a little slow from time to time, if you will. I am being a little hard on myself, sure, but I also know I’m telling the truth.

Some of this is a little hard to avoid, given a sometimes rigorous work schedule when there are so many things to keep track of that anybody is bound to screw something up. Overall though, the Daily Globe does a fantastic job of giving me time off. We have a talented and hard working staff so that I don’t have to be the only one covering events.

That is resolution number one —to use my head a little more and be more careful. It should go without saying, but oh well.

Another area I could stand to slow down in is learning things and trying new things and, with this one, I feel like I’ve been doing better.

I listen to a lot of Contemporary Christian radio, and I have a select few songs on there that I simply cannot stand. I have to turn off the station because they’re so bad. I listen to a wide array of music, but I feel these Christian songs are maybe the ones that are the most significant for me, or they should be. I should probably slow down and pay attention a little more to them, even if I can’t stand them. One of my most significant actions in the New Year has been a policy of not turning the radio to a different station just because I don’t like the song. Chances are, I will notice a lyric I hadn’t thought about before. It is from these moments I grow. It is like when you’re young, and you try broccoli for the first time, and then you realize that it won’t kill you.

I also have a hard time stepping out of the sports arena. I’m a competitive guy and care a lot about doing well at what I do. That includes keeping up on what area teams are doing and includes learning the finer points of the sports I cover, which comes a little harder for me because I never played any of them. I wouldn’t say that I eat, live and breathe sports — or whatever it is that they say —but it’s close.

I enjoy following the Green Bay Packers and recently enjoyed the Iowa Hawkeyes’ bowl game with sports editor Doug Wolter, even though our beloved black-and-gold fell short. Prior to that, I went home over Christmas and was reminded of my times growing up in a house where my dad did not like sports. He despises sports. He is of the opinion that all athletes get high on themselves, get rich, and rot their lives away. Some do, but I know most do not.

So I was home for three days, at 26 years old, and I was under orders from my dad that I was not allowed to watch sports. Sounds rotten? It wasn’t so bad. We get along well, but we just don’t agree on our enjoyment of sports. I put up with it, and the time away from my craft was good.

What do I learn from all of this?

It’s okay to try new things and branch out from what you’ve always done. I am the type of guy who watches the same movies over and over and orders the same thing each time I go to a restaurant. I love pizza and have seen “Airplane!”, “Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail” and “Anchorman” about 10,000 times too many. On the other hand, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say “That is how we’ve always done it.” Hypocritical, maybe.

Maybe I need to start taking my own advice. That is my call from the sidelines of life.


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