My daughter is always urging me to take care of myself, so that I can take care of others. Her analogy is the oxygen mask dropping down during a flight. I have to use it first, before I can assist others. So here are the ways I’m going to take care of myself in 2017: 

  • I’m finally going to lose that extra 5 pounds;
  • I’m going to personally deliver a tip to the person who leaves my newspaper on my top step. 
  • I’m going to fulfill my lifelong dream of playing piano in a public place — where no one is listening too carefully.
  • I’m going to land a job as a tour guide.
  • I’m going to finish my detective novel, now that I figured out who did it and how. 
  • While I’m at it, I’ll also renew my Private Detective license.
  • I’m going to teach local history at a community college.
  • I’m going to continue to teach writing and hope to conduct a park district class.
  • I’m going to continue hanging out in Forest Park joints — where I find the best stories.
  • I’ll do my best to support local businesses in print and in person.
  • I’m going to teach my grandson, Troy, chess and have him listen to classical music.
  • I’ll continue to cuddle with Brody and delight in Will. 
  • I’ll further improve my texting skills.
  • I’ll continue to make new friends and re-connect with my old ones.
  • I’ll play more than three rounds of golf.
  • I will stop falling asleep sitting up and waking up with a stiff neck.
  • I’ll continue taking long walks with my wife. 
  • I’ll read more than the cartoons in the New Yorker.
  • I won’t watch any more news shows, real or fake. 
  • I’ll also avoid radio talk shows. 
  • I’ll learn how to post on Facebook.
  • I will not learn how to tweet. 
  • I’m going to finally get my documentary to the finish line. 
  • I’m going to sell the electric guitar that no one plays.
  • I’m going to attempt another landscape painting.
  • I’m going to try each new restaurant that opens in Forest Park. 
  • I will bowl more often at Circle Lanes. 
  • I’m finally going to take tennis lessons at The Park. 
  • I will be available to babysit, when my kids need a break. 
  • I’ll bury the pain of the past and face the future with optimism.
  • I’ll continue saving for that trip to Paris in 2020.
  • If something goes wrong during the flight, I’ll take a deep breath before I share the oxygen mask. 

John Rice is a columnist/private detective, who has seen his business and family thrive in Forest Park. He thoroughly enjoys life in the village and still gets a thrill smelling Red Hots, watching softball and strolling through cemeteries.

John Rice is a columnist/novelist who has seen his family thrive in Forest Park. He has published two books set in the village: The Ghost of Cleopatra and The Doll with the Sad Face.

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