2018 through the crystal ball

A new friend was catching up on an old blog of mine, this week, and I was reminded that I haven’t addressed the real elephant in the room this holiday season: what’s up for Tom in 2018?

I know. I apologize. I’ve had a lot on my mind this year, what with me getting sick this winter twice already and now the missus down, this last week, with a cold bug far worse than either of mine. Plus, you know, the Rams securing their first winning season since The Return of the King. And that whole November novel stuff.

But, fret not, I’m here. December is here. And when December and I get together we like to talk about the year that was and the hope inherent in the year to come.

I’ll get to the year that was in another piece, to save space, but suffice to say that it was insane. And I don’t just mean the clown prince of politics, and his rabid half-wit carnival cast, I mean so much more. I am happy to say that I was successful, personally, in accomplishing the humble list I made for myself for 2017, and we’ll leave it at that, for now.

For 2018, however, I have composed a new list.

So, before you fall off your chair in anticipation, or close this window to peruse something out there more universally appealing (like this riveting 10-hour video of paint drying), let’s begin, with:

Tom’s Very Important Goals for 2018
See a Doctor

I know, exciting right? The Rams make the playoffs, economic inequality is at an all-time high globally, world hunger is still a thing, and America has completely lost its moral leadership in the world, and the first thing on Tom’s very important goals for 2018 is “see a doctor.”

But, wait. There’s more!

No, really there isn’t. I haven’t seen a doctor since the year of the Miracle at the New Meadowlands and, as I’ve probably mentioned once or twice, I’m about to turn 50. Lord knows what’s going on inside the body of Tom, at this point . I’m going to have to ask someone with a hopefully-short finger to find out.

As the old saying goes, “we have nothing if we don’t have our health,” so the first thing on my list is “see a doctor” in 2018.

Finish the Novel

In November, at the urging of a very new and a very old friend, I started writing a book. Because of the rush of adrenaline involved in speed-writing 50,000 words in 27 days, to reach the NaNoWriMo goal, I did it. I wrote 2/3 of a novel in a month. My previous attempts to write a novel were stymied by my own perception of perfection, which had me correcting every word I wrote as I went. Not this time. This time, I just wrote.

I still have work to do. I’ve still got to complete the first draft (at a thankfully slower pace) and then see what I’ve got. I then have to write a 2nd draft. And a 3rd. And so on, until I have what I might consider to be a completed piece of work. How long will that take? Heaven knows. But as fate would have it I caught a fragment of an interview with author Jeffrey Archer on the Michael Smerconish show a couple of weeks back and Jeffrey admitted that he pens “12 or 13” drafts, by hand, before he’s ready for anybody to see it. That’s dedication.

However many revisions it takes Tom, I want to get them done by the end of the year. Then I’ll share it with the world. For what it’s worth, I want to finish the novel in 2018.

Expand the Blog

Similarly in scope to finishing the novel is expanding the blog. I started it in 2016, and spent months and months finding my voice, my stride. Speaking my mind but not feeling my oats, so to speak. That primarily changed in the Summer of ’17, with The Unnamed Tom Being Tom Dot Com June Writing Project. It started as a lark, and then a challenge, to see if I could post daily, whether I felt like it or not, and I did. I posted 31 new posts in 30 days. I don’t know if they were all interesting or polished, but I do know this: writing those posts changed the way I write, the way I think, and the way I personally look at the world on a day-to-day basis. It turned me from a guy who writes into a writer.

Coming off that run, I began to expand my reach. I looked around the universe and found others, out there, writing for pleasure and profit, who are smart and witty and better at this than I am. They inspired me. Befriended me. Enlightened me.

I want more of that.

So, next year, I will get more of that. I will expand the blog, expand my reach, follow more intelligent, thought-provoking, and wonderfully inspirational writers, out there, and let them change me the way only intelligent, thought-provoking, and wonderfully inspirational people can. Tom can be an even better Tom, by expanding the blog in 2018.

A Vacation for two

This year, we had a wedding in Vegas. On our 20-year anniversary, Suzie and I went to the boulevard where it all began and renewed our vows. Dozens joined us. It was, to be quite frank, one of the best times of our lives.

The year before that, we went to a wedding, too. I gave a speech. My cousin, one of the best guys I’ve ever known, got married, and I stood next to him as his best man. It was a part of a week-long celebration, a family reunion, and it was spectacular.

The year before that and the year before that and the year before that, and so on and so on, the missus and I celebrated some spectacular weeks with the most spectacular people, and we wouldn’t change a thing.

But, this year, we need something for us.

Yes, there will be another reunion in June, and we will be there, all week long. Don’t fret, fam. We wouldn’t miss one of those things for the world. I can’t wait. We’ll talk about how President Ryan is doing. 😉

But I want to take another week, this coming year, for just we two. I don’t know where we’ll go, I don’t know what we’ll do, and honestly that doesn’t matter. It only matters that, finally, we’ll get some time away, just her and I. We’ve earned it. Believe you me. So, in 2018, I’d like to get my wife out of town, and away from the world we know, on a vacation for Mrs C and me.

Joy to the World

This year has been a tough one. The changes in this country, the insanity that has crept into the mind of America, has brought me down. Even though I knew it was possible, I was never really prepared. How can you be? When you’re an uplifted, positive person, wanting what’s best for the world, a setback as devastating as Donald Trump can be eviscerating. And it has been every bit as bad, or worse, than was feared.

But a friend, who agrees with me, turned to me the other day and said to me, “you’ve got to get this out of your head a bit, Tom; you look tired.”

I am. I am tired.

That doesn’t mean I will stop fighting. That doesn’t mean I’ll give it a pass. Expect more of the same, as long as true evil holds the reins of power. But I need to stop internalizing it. I need to stop letting it get to me. I was a prisoner of hate, some days, in 2017, and that’s not what Tom is about.

Tom is about joy.

So, one of my strongest vows, this holiday season, is to bring back the joy. The light-heartedness. The sleeping at night.

A wise old saying goes something like this: change the things you can, accept the things you can’t… and know the fucking difference. I know the fucking difference. And the only one that I can change, is Tom.

So, one thing I want to do more, in 2018, is bring back joy to the world, of Tom.

But, don’t push it, trolls. You bite me, I bite back. Joyfully.

Save More

Very quickly, the 6th thing I’d like to do in 2018 is save more money. I’ve done a fair job of this over the last couple of years, but I ran the numbers on my retirement a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to say I’m on course. I’ll be able to retire in 2060, at the age of 92.

Luckily, thanks to the nanites, 90 will be the new 60 by then.

So, I have four more decades, the way I look at it, to enjoy my 50s.

But only if I see a doctor, first.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my annual update this December, and I hope you’ve taken the time to reflect on the year that was, for yourself, and the year that is to come. What do you hope to accomplish in 2018?  Can you name anything you’d like to remember, or leave behind? What would you like to see from President Paul Ryan, next year? 😎

Thank you again for being a part of all this. Have a Merry Christmas. A Happy Hanukah. A Spectacular Kwanzaa. A Beautiful Bodhi. A Wonderful Winter Solstice. A Happy New Year.

And be good to each other. Every day.

15 thoughts on “Looking To 2018

  • Very admirable goals. I haven’t been to a doctor for many years, either, but I doubt that will change in 2018. As far as my health goes, I’ve always been of the opinion that what I don’t know can absolutely hurt me but as long as I’m blissfully unaware of it, it won’t keep me up at night.

    • As I recall, you are a couple of years behind me, chronologically, so I understand if 2018 is not yet your year. It was December of 2010 when last I went, and although my doctor desperately wanted to find some reason to have me “cut back on the beers,” I was the picture of perfect health.

      Closing in on that half-century mark does change our perspectives, though. I have a couple of minor things I want to get checked out, to ease the mind if nothing else. Besides, if I’m going to live forever if I make it to 75, then I have to make sure I make it to 75. 😉

  • Ah, the “Seeing of the Doctor” that’s a good one. As is the “Seeing of the Dentist” I loved your Joy to the World section. It is so easy to get blue about the state of things and sometimes you have to bring things back to you, your house, your relationships, your neighborhood, your community. Brilliant.

    • I’m happy to say I’m a habitual dentist visitor, twice a year, at least. The doctor? Not so much. I may have to explore internally the “why” of that one, eh? It may be very simply that the dentist reminds me when it’s time, and the doctor, I have to seek out myself…

      And I agree, it’s time to “bring it on home” now. Enough with the silly fear and anger, stuff, Tom has some Tom-ing to do. 😉

    • Haha! #TeamTom … I like that!

      Thank you, my friend! And a heartfelt happy 2018 to you, as well. It’s going to be a lot of fun sharing our adventures into the new year. I really appreciate you being a part of the journey… go Team Tanya 2018! 👏👏👏

  • Happy 2018 to you, and I hope you achieve all your goals! I’m so glad that I found you–I really enjoy reading your posts–can’t wait for the novel!

    • Thank you, Suzanne! I honestly can’t wait to get to the 2nd draft, so I can clear up some inconsistencies that have developed as the story progressed. 😂

      I’m glad you find me, too, and verse vise-a!

  • Hey new friend. That was so sweet.
    No honestly, WordPress hates me. How come I never get notified of your new posts? I’ll have to file a complaint. Anyway, I’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
    It’s weird, my next post deals with pretty much the same thing. I guess, it’s this time of the year when we think over what we did, what we didn’t, what we missed doing or wish we did differently.
    Now, about your plans-I think it’s great you’re writing a book. Once you have it published, you’ll have at least…how many of us are there who follow you? So, I guess we’ll all buy it. Way to go.
    Next, this renewal of vows you’ve mentioned is not sth common in Europe and before I always thought of it as a bad cliche. Luckily, I grew up and everyone has the right to change their mind, right? So I did and I’m glad for me, myself and I. Now, I think it’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a while, going back to the place where it all started and reliving the magic. You guys seem to have a very harmonious marriage. I didn’t expect it differently of Tom. This smart, eloquent, well-read, inquisitive, amusing Tom has to be married to an equally amazing person, right? (How’s your ego doing?) Give my best to your better half and take care of each other. What you’re sharing is very precious.
    Next, politics. This might take a while and since we’re both into it, I think I’ll pass and leave it for some time in the future. (Way to go Alabama!!!)
    Last but not least, when did you say you last saw a doctor??????? Get your ass there (you too Paul) ASAP and get everything checked. And try to make it a regular practice in the future, once every 6 months, promise? I’ll make sure I remind you, in case you forget. Got that?

    • As a matter of fact, my ego is BURSTING! 😂

      In reverse order, then:

      It was December of 2010 last I saw a doctor, and I never followed up on the precautionary probing I was supposed to set up, in a very uncomfortable place (no, no the back of a Volkswagen). So, I’m way overdue, and promise to fix that right after the holidays. Really. Promise. I appreciate the follow-up! Why don’t doctors do that? My dentist sends me, like, 400 messages leading up to the date.

      Mrs C and I have a spectacular relationship but, obviously, nothing is ever perfect. I sometimes spend too much time on the computer, or I nit-pick some dumb thing, and then have to make up new ways to apologize. Now, THAT I’ve become good at. 😉

      On the subject of WordPress, I think the problem you’re experiencing is because I built my site through BlueHost instead of WP, so I might not always appear in the Reader? Or I appear late, and out of bounds, or something like that. There is a link to e-mail follows if you like that sort of thing, but be sure and click that pretty new blue link at the top of my sidebar that says “Follow Tom Being Tom” or something like that. Or, I could jump on BwB and prompt you with an irritating “I JUST POSTED!” as a response to your latest entry… whatever works. 😎

      In closing, I’ll address your opener in response to my opener in this post: I’m ecstatic to be your new friend! 😊

      Thanks for the amazing response. In fact, a series of them! You’re astounding, Bojana!

      • Whose ego is bursting now?
        As for the delays, it makes perfect sense. BlueHost. I haven’t really noticed it. I’ll make sure to click the follow Tom button. Just to be on the safe side, I JUST POSTED is highly appreciated.
        See u around, any time…

  • Hi Tom, I feel as though I got to know you through this post ( the first of yours I’ve written) so thank you. I can relate to much of this. I’m a couple of years older than you with some very similar goals: I want to expand my reach, expand and enrich my blog, write my book, oh and I have to see a doctor too but I’m trying not to focus on that. I’d prefer to focus on enjoying life and the people in it. This weekend hubby and I are heading away to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary and I’m very excited. Warmest wishes to you for the year ahead. 🙂❤️

    • Happy Anniversary, Miriam! 25 years, gosh! The missus and I just celebrated #20, in style, in Vegas, with a couple of dozen friends, and had the time of our lives. Happy New Year to you; hope it’s the best one yet!

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