Van Beek: Some New Year’s resolutions
As the holidays come to a close, we shift from getting goodies to payback — also known as New Year’s resolutions.
Did you really think all that stuff wouldn’t come at a price? Remember that list the old guy in a beard was keeping … well, it starts all over again this week; and the difference between naughty and nice is blurred. There is nowhere on the list for, “Let me explain.”
The definition of “resolution,” according to the Oxford Dictionary is: “a firm decision to do or not to do something.” That’s about the level of commitment that most resolutions are made, particularly those that are influenced by the prior night’s celebrations.
As Mark Twain said, “New Year’s Day … now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them, as usual.”
I posed the question to the many fine people we have working at the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. I’ll be checking out the availability of psychologists, later this week.
Here are a few of the New Year’s resolutions. Names have been hidden to protect the not-so-innocent.
- Eat more donuts 🙂
- Perfect coffee-making skills to accompany the donut resolution
- Pick up a new hobby, other than playing with the flashing red lights and siren
- To cut back on my use of expletives, darn it!
- To never again take a sleeping pill and laxative on the same night
- Reaching out to those that ancestry says are family but look more like a relation to my pet
- To attend more events that have cheese boards
- To avoid writing 2019 on documents by the time June 2020 rolls around
- To cheer as obnoxiously for our youngest child, as we did for our oldest … wishing he would take up a sport that didn’t involve frostbite
- Learn a new language so that I can curse, and no one knows what I’m saying
- Take up tap dancing so that I’m not just doing it figuratively, when in trouble
- Consume more water … without adult beverages added
- Schedule more “spontaneous” fun time … yes, you read that right
- Make new friends because my current ones are beginning to discuss homicide, and I think it’s towards me
- Get more rest before the aforementioned friends arrange it for me, as in RIP
- Stop declaring my pet tarantula as an emotional support animal — it freaks people out in theaters
- Travel more, so that I can get new material for my jokes
For the more serious …
- Continue my formal education, to accompany the more challenging, life-lessons
- Set” impossible” goals and spend my time accomplishing them, in the service of others
- Create more fun community and professional events, where people can share good food and good times, while getting to know one another better
- Teaming with agency partners on social media to build closer relationships
- Spend more time with family, noticing and appreciating those small special moments
On a more personal note …
I’ve always been in a profession where excellent physical condition was a requirement. Yet, as I get older, the bar from which I gauge my physique has become more flexible. However, when I heard of an 11-year-old boy, pledging to run a mile for every law enforcement officer who dies while on duty (through “Running 4 Heroes”) I realized that I needed to demand more of myself, and am joining in on the challenge.
I want it to be more of a celebration of life, than grief of loss. These are heroes who paid the ultimate price, doing what they had a passion for … protecting others. It is up to us to continue that mission, and what better way than to work with others, as young as 11, in honor of their sacrifice.
According to the Officer Down Memorial page, there were 131 line-of-duty deaths in 2019, but it is rising daily; as of Tuesday morning, two more were reported. My heart goes out to their families and I am committed to making sure that it was not in vain.
Make 2020 a year of happiness, success, togetherness, love, and commitment to one another.
James van Beek is the Eagle County sheriff. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.