Goals for 2021: Make It Better Than 2020

The first goal on my annual list is what the headline says: “Make it better than 2020.” That’s a pretty low bar, but then Trump won’t be president, and it’s is one that can be achieved. If we can get him indicted and sent away (with his family and “friends”), all the better.

Last year, several of my most important goals were to lose weight, eat healthy foods in proper amounts, and to exercise. I lost 35 pounds during the Covid-19 pandemic (gained 5 back, but am maintaining that weight), was informed by my primary care physician that I’m no longer diabetic, and am eating fresh, healthy foods daily. The emphasis is on fruits and veggies with some lean meats. The special emphasis in 2021 should be on quantity.

There were other goals, met and unmet, some probably a bridge too far (world peace and the like), and those lead us into 2021. So here goes.

  • I’ll be 75 in late July and am still practicing my journalism profession after 57 years. I’d like to keep going, but that depends on the market. As long as editors want me to write for their publications, I’m here to do it.
  • I’ve been pecking around with my second novel, NEWS!, and it feels pretty good. I’d like to progress with it. I’m also writing some short fiction, a genre that I haven’t dealt with in the past. I’d like to get something published.
  • Helping young writers has always been a joy for me and I hope it continues.
  • I am hoping that should we finally get a grip on the pandemic and return to some semblance of our previous lives, Hollins/Mill Mountain Theatre’s Overnight Sensations will return and I’ll get to act in one of its short plays with my grandgirl, Madeline, who has developed an intense interest in the theater (mostly the technical side) and is studying it in high school. We were all set to act together in 2020, but, of course, were sidelined.
  • I will strive to live safely and with consideration of the health and safety of others by wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance until the “all clear” siren goes off for the pandemic. That could be a little time or a long time, depending on the vaccine, the competence of the government (the medical community’s competence is clearly high), and the willingness of our people to act responsibly.
  • I will continue to take a daily accounting of the myriad blessings I enjoy and will attempt to learn from my mistakes. I will promptly apologize when I am wrong and will not gloat when I am right.
  • I will continue to speak out when I see injustice and to act upon it when the opportunity arises.
  • I will continue to enjoy the Virginia forests, lakes, and rivers on a daily basis, walking for both physical and mental health. If I can get my weight down another 10 pounds, my bicycle and I will renew our long, but suspended, relationship.
  • I will treat Margie as the special person she is.
  • I will wake each morning looking forward to the possibilities of the day and will affect all that I can with a positive and hopeful outlook.

By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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