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Perspective: How'd I do in '22?

Lonny Cain

Around Christmas time I opened a special gift. It was a letter I wrote to myself basically asking: How did you do with your goals in 2022?

Here's what I had on my wish list: Keep writing (get that book done), read fiction and nonfiction as often as I can, learn something new or refresh what I know, stay active ("Don't let the old man in."), and go to bed often thinking, "Today was a good day."

Also: Have conversations with my three sons that go beyond, "Hello, how are ya?" Tell family and friends how important they are. Allow grief the time it needs to hug your heart — whenever it wants. Meet and appreciate someone new. And do something heart-pounding and a bit scary (probably thanks to my wife). I also urged myself to find special ways to thank my wife ... for just being there.

As I was reading all those pledges I felt like a teacher grading a final exam. I think I'd give myself a B.

My last request in that letter was: "Tell me what I need to hear … to begin a new year."

So here's what I'm telling myself: Go ahead. Steady the course. Pursue these worthy goals. But ... be more aggressive. And savor the interruptions.

Well ... I'll do my best. I hope the same for you.

I’m Lonny Cain … and that’s my Perspective.

Lonny Cain, a graduate of the journalism program at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, has been in the newspaper business for more than 45 years. He and his wife have three sons. They live in Ottawa, where he was managing editor of the local daily newspaper for 30 years, retiring in December 2014. He continues to be a columnist for The Times in Ottawa and is pursuing other writing projects.