by Dan Spoone
Happy New Year! We are in a unique situation. 2020 was a year that will be studied by historians for the next century. This new year gives us a chance to not only look forward, but an opportunity to look back. Since I shared with all of you our 2020 resolutions last January, we thought it might be interesting to review them and put them in context with the events of this year. So, here’s my President’s Message from January 2020 with some current observations.
Happy New Year! Wow, it is hard to believe that it is 2020. We are 20 percent through the 21st century. I feel like it was just a few days ago that Leslie and I were singing along to the Prince song, “Party Like It’s 1999” at the “Howl at the Moon” piano bar in downtown Orlando. Twenty years ago Bill Clinton was president, the iPhone had not been invented, there was no Facebook or Twitter, I had a full head of brown hair and even experimented with a perm, there was only very limited audio description on VHS tapes from WGBH, Paul Edwards was the ACB president, Michael Jordan had retired for the second time and the disaster of 9-11 was still 20 months away. I share these memories with you to reflect on how much changes in our lives.
Wow, party and dance inside a bar! I vaguely remember those days. Leslie and I have not been inside a bar or restaurant in over nine months except to order food to eat outside. We worry each day about the health and safety of our family and friends. We are so very proud of our ACB family and thankful for the ACB community calls. We track COVID-19 counts like sport scores. We continue to enjoy life, and I’m still looking for a hair donation for my next perm.
Each year Leslie and I take a few hours to make our new year’s resolutions. … We make resolutions in seven different categories: family, friends, community service, education, health, finance and fun. Of course, you can create your own categories, but I think this is a good exercise and we have lots of fun with it. So, here it goes, my 2020 New Year’s Resolutions:
Family – my 87-year young parents have recently moved downtown to Orlando Lutheran Towers into an independent living apartment and sold their house in our neighborhood to our nephew, Sam. We really miss the convenience of an easy walk to visit them, but my resolution is to make the effort to visit them in person each week and call them each day to check in and catch up. They are a treasure and our biggest supporters.
My parents both celebrated their 88th birthdays. We didn’t get to visit them in person for over four months. I call them each morning, but my weekly visits have been limited to once a month. It has been hard, but their spirits are high, and Mom has renewed energy since she received a pacemaker. Hope all of your families are doing OK.
Friends – My long-time work colleague, Mike Gallagher, and I have not spoken in over two years. How does this happen? My resolution is to reach out to Mike and schedule lunch.
I reached out to Mike in March when the virus got started. He has not gotten in touch, but we hope and pray he is doing well. I’m going to give him a call this weekend.
Community Service – I’ve been thinking about this one for several years. I would like to join the Lions. We may need your help on this one. I have reached out a couple of times with phone calls, but no one calls me back. Please push me to make it happen this year.
I have not done it – my bad. ACB Lions, I’m officially asking for your help to get it done this year.
Education – My friends with ACB Radio will love this one. My resolution is to load Zoom on my computer and the Zoom app on my iPhone, and learn how to use them.
Yes, we did it! We have a Zoom studio set up in our living room with table, computer, headphones, microphone, lighting and background. Thanks to all those who helped get us over the finish line.
Health – My resolution is to start back up my morning walks. Get back on the elliptical and lose 20 pounds.
I’m halfway there. I’ve lost 10 pounds, but I’m not doing a good job of exercising on the elliptical. We are doing a good job of walking the neighborhood. It’s our only chance to leave the house on a regular basis. It’s wonderful to spend time in the fresh air and say hello to neighbors and friends.
Finance – Leslie and I work hard to budget our money. We have been avid listeners of the Dave Ramsey Radio Show for 15 years. We have no debt and use cash in our money envelopes for restaurants, groceries, yard services and our personal money. However, we keep trying to save money for a new roof and we keep stealing out of the fund for trips to Key West. My resolution is to save the roof money this year before the next hurricane.
The good news is that we really controlled our vacation travel this year. (Thanks, COVID.) Unfortunately, the fence blew over and we had to buy a new fence. They say our new white vinyl fence looks beautiful, but we still need to save some more for the new roof. It’s so much fun owning a 30-year-old house. Now, we just need to keep our ACB auction spending under control.
Fun – We have been working hard on all of our ACB responsibilities. We love the organization and it brings us great satisfaction, sense of purpose and wonderful friendships. Unfortunately, there are no set hours for ACB work, and it is easy to get consumed with the work at hand. My resolution is to take off several weekends each month to enjoy life outside the ACB bubble. Recently, we took off for several days and traveled to the beach to relax, listen to the sounds of the waves, and share time with our friends. It did us a world of good. Remember, we will do a better job if we allow ourselves some time off to recharge our batteries.
This is hard. We’re trying. We did take a trip to Key West after the convention and it was wonderful! Please try to take some time to have some fun and relax. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Laughter is the best medicine, and we certainly need each other to get through 2021.
Once again, we wish everyone a fantastic new year and look forward to seeing our friends on Zoom and ACB Radio at the virtual D.C. Leadership Conference and the 60th annual ACB conference and convention. Maybe I’ll try that perm one more time. Does anyone have some hair I can borrow?