Happy New Year (belated)

Happy New Year! (this is just my way of acknowledging those of you on a linear time-space continuum thingie).  Haha!  Whaaaaat??!?  Yes.  Well.  It is also my excuse for being, oh, say, 12 days late coming into the New Year.  What can I say?

First off [getting down to business—kind of] think back through your life, year-by-year. (and yes, it’s OK to use the venerable linear timescale we call a calendar).  Can you pick a year and say, “Hey!  That was the best year of my life!”  What year was that?  Why was it so special?  What did you do (or what happened to you) that made it so grand?  How much control over that year did you have?  Were you responsible [at least in part] for the best year of your life?

Now let’s get to the second step. (See?  We are moving quickly now!  Haha!  Look out 12 days gone by!)  Now that you have picked out the best year of your life, think on this:  What would it take to make 2012 better than that year?  Uh-oh.  I can hear some of you thinking loudly here—and you are already ahead of me—you see where I am going with this!

Yesssssssssssssss!  Step 3.  Here’s what I want: For all of you to have 2012 be the new best year of your life!  It can happen.  Many of you have probably already made some New Year’s resolutions.  Have you broken any yet?  How does that make you feel?  Are you seeing new successes or does 2012 feel like any other mediocre year?  Any good plan has to have a way to measure your success along the way for you to get from point A to point B.  If you cannot measure it, you will never succeed.  Why?  How can you tell when you’ve achieved your goal if you can’t measure it along the way?  How do you know you got there?

Four paragraphs, Greg, and you haven’t even mentioned birding once yet!  Hang on to your hats friends.  You’ve gotten this far.  Besides, it’s only been since…wait…when was my last blog on birding?  Yeah.  Some time before Thanksgiving last year.  In this day and age, that might as well be the Jurassic Period.  I have not been out birding much at all since that time.  I came back from New Mexico and got sick.  Both ears clogged up so badly I had a hard time hearing human conversation.  It was bad enough that I missed a Christmas party or two just because it was so embarrassing to not hear well enough to hold a conversation without having the other person repetitively repeating the same thing over and over again. (now there’s a piece of grammar!)  Ahhaa.  Thankfully, over the last couple days I’ve seen some improvement in the hearing.

Back to our blog…how did I get so sidetracked?  What birding goals do you have for the year?  I hope they are fun ones!  Are you going to a conference you’ve never gone to but have always wondered what it was like?  Are you going birding in a new area that you are curious about?  Are you going to log your sightings (shameless plug for ebird!)?  How about something to promote birding?  Are you taking out someone new to birding?  Are you going to mentor a birder?  Are you going to introduce someone completely new to birding?  Are you going to join/support a birding or conservation club or organization this year?  How long are you going to put off doing things you’ve always wanted to do?  Maybe this is your year! (it sure should be!)

And finally, my blog-reading friends, the DVD for the movie, The Big Year, is due out on January 31, 2012.  Netflix & Redbox—you’ll have to wait for the streaming version until February 28, 2012.  You should read Laura Erickson’s fine review of the DVD, too, on the American Birding Association’s blog here.