I had some excellent moments in 2017

Another new year has come, and there you are making the same old promises to yourself.

“I will lose weight this year. I will work out. I will be nicer to people. I will stop arguing with my crazy family members and friends on social media.”

We all say these things to ourselves, and they are all pretty much the lies we tell ourselves to start every year. Before long we are stuffing pizza into our faces, which we have delivered because going out to get it is too much work. Plus, it cuts into the time we spend telling off those jerks on our Facebook friends list.

No promises from me. I’ll just try to make the new year a good one, as I always do – with varying degrees of success.

I can say that 2017 might have been a crazy year for the country and world, but I personally had some real excellent moments and successes that I would like to share. I hope these will encourage you as you jump into 2018.

* I had the greatest parallel parking moment of my driving life in 2017. It was at a local restaurant in Rockford, and I squeezed our car into a space that a Hot Wheel would have a hard time fitting into. Plus, I did it in one sweet move: Pull forward, and smoothly back in. Job done. I believe that moment should be made into a TV movie.

* One of the dangers of riding a motorcycle is the people on the road driving cars. Many in the motorcycling community call them cagers. Car drivers generally don’t look for motorcycles, meaning we often have to dodge cars to save our own lives – repeatedly. In 2017, I did not once get into a physical altercation with a driver. After being nearly run off the road numerous times, that is quite an accomplishment. I will admit that some less than civil words might have slipped out, however.

* The last year saw me cut down on my use of hair products by 50 percent. Not a big deal, you say? Well, as a guy who was once so addicted to a certain hair “fiber” product that the company president had me on his Christmas list, this was a big step. I still get a haircut at a salon every three weeks without fail, but I am getting better … and older.

* I played my fist gig with a band in 10 years. As a musician, playing live is where it is at for me. In 2017, we finally got the band back together and played our first live gig in 10 years in Minnesota. In February, we will be making our debut in the 815. Here is to much more rocking in 2018!

* I managed to not eat any raisins, lima beans or fish in 2017 – even accidentally. Trust me, that is a big deal in my world.

* In a time of the deepest political division in my lifetime, I managed to maintain friendships – one at least 40 years long – with people who spout and believe things that I find mind-bogglingly crazy. I have matured, but vodka also helped. (Editor’s note: I am not advocating anyone drink to excess or even drink at all. Be responsible people!)

Looking back on 2017, it was a good year for me. My adult children are doing great; I continue to be married (somehow) to a beautiful, intelligent woman; I have a lot of wonderful friends; and my hair has not fallen out.

Don’t underestimate that last one.

Have a great 2018 folks, and remember – it’s the little things that matter most.