Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 29, 2012

MARTINO: New year brings some new commitments

Martino plans to hit his ‘reset’ button

By John Martino
Tribune columnist

— Well, it looks like the Mayans were wrong and we’ll all get the chance to enjoy another year. But with all the hype and hoopla regarding the end of the world, couldn’t we have had at least one dead guy rise from a shallow grave and stumble around zombie-like for a few hours?  

Each year about this time I sit back and do the same thing many of us do. But this year will be different. There will be no long list of resolutions. Oh, I do have one goal I’m going to make that should be pretty easy to keep.

I plan on taking more pictures and sharing them with everyone important in my life. After all, we now live in a technological world so visually oriented and it has never been easier to take pictures. Heck, most of us have a camera everywhere we go these days with our phones.

One of the first big tests for me will hopefully be in a few short days. Unlike last winter, this year looks like we could have enough cold weather for ice fishing. I have always liked this wintertime sport, because unlike other outdoor activities, ice fishing can be social in nature. Sharing time on a lake’s frozen surface with family and friends can warm the coldest of days.

I still smile when thinking back on a particular ice fishing trip with my friend Jim Baker. The ice was as smooth as glass and the north wind ripped somewhere around 35 mph. Before he could anchor his portable shelter, the driving wind grabbed it like a sail, threatening to blow it across the lake. Luckily he grabbed the rope just in time.

“I could sure use some help when you’re done laughing!” he said rather rudely, as the shanty began dragging him across the slick, frozen surface.

Yes, this year … many more pictures will be taken. I promise.  

But I plan to do much more during 2013 than take additional pictures. This year, however, I’ve chosen not to call my plans resolutions. In the past I have made plenty of New Year’s resolutions. Some have panned out, others — well, let’s just say realistically they probably never had a chance.

So, for that reason this year I plan to just hit the “reset” button on my life. Honestly, I know what I should be doing and it’s so easy to get side-tracked or “off-track,” so to speak. But that’s easy to happen because life gets extremely busy. Unforeseen circumstances always get thrown at us and good intentions are much easier to make than carry through on.

That’s why I like this time of the year. It sort of gives a person a chance for a new starting point. Sure, it’s a good time to look back at your life, but this year I would rather look forward and focus on that.  

They say happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it’s almost impossible to make others happy if you’re not happy yourself.   

To all who read this column, I sincerely hope you’re able to do whatever is necessary to make 2013 your happiest and best year ever. If you’ve lost some of the deep emotion you once had for sitting in a frigid deer stand or getting up hours before daylight before picking your way to a duck blind, here’s hoping you too can hit the “reset” button and regain some of that lost passion for time spent outdoors.

Time waits on no one and the older I get the more I realize just how precious our time spent on this earth truly is. That’s why it’s important to make a commitment to yourself not to squander any opportunity to spend time with family and friends. Let’s all do whatever is necessary to use the outdoors to enhance our lives in many different ways during the upcoming year. Then, let’s make another promise — how about we meet back here next year about this same time just to see how things are going?

Happy new year, everyone!

John Martino is the Tribune’s outdoors columnist. He may be reached by email at jmartinooutdoors@att.net.