Yea, we know Christmas is over, but we just couldn’t resist this picture of our manager Adam Daywalt’s chocolate Lab “Fancy” shortly after opening all of her Christmas Day presents. Remind you of someone?
Well, here we are beginning another New Year. Considering the alternative this is good. Really good.
You know, there’s something about starting a new year that drives us to try harder to accomplish what we may have given up on the year before. Call it a fresh beginning or just a simple reset for the best intentions of 2011 that didn’t quite get done.
I’m not going to bore you with a list of what I need to work on in 2012. I do have my list. I’ll bet you have one as well. My problem is I’m not sure this is such a great idea, for you or for me. Seems that a “to do” list for 2012 sort of dampens all the good stuff that we should be celebrating that happened in 2011. Rather than kick back and smugly acknowledge the things that went well this last year, we, as typical human beings, feel the need to resolve those disappointments of 2011 during the year ahead. And we simply cast aside and forget about all the good stuff from the year before.
All this last week every newspaper, TV show, and many web sites made an effort to summarize 2011 and the events that were noteworthy over the last 12 months. Most were bad things that happened. I guess we learn a lot through experience, perhaps more bad than good. The end of the year is a great time to take stock of just what we learned over the last 12 months and perhaps make adjustments when necessary. But in doing this don’t we risk casting aside all the good stuff from 2011?
How many of us made it through 2011 with good health and the love of our family and friends? How many still have an interesting and challenging job? How many of us are proud parents of wonderful children (or grandchildren)? How many had one or more “special moments” in 2011? As much as the beginning of the new year is a logical time for recommitting to some goals or improvements, don’t let this keep you from appreciating all the good stuff that happened in 2011.
Now I know there are some of you who have had a rough or even terrible 2011. But I also suspect that most of you had a wonderful year. I know Dixie and I did. We spent time with our 7 grandkids and our 3 daughters and son-in-laws over the recent holidays, we went to the Cayman Islands for our youngest daughter and her husband’s 5th anniversary along with our entire family and grandkids last May. We had a fairly mild summer in a part of the country known for oppressive, sweltering summers, and we both lost some weight (amazingly). We also enjoyed some wonderful times with many of our friends and were able to see a lot of good things happen to many friends and customers. And American Legacy Fishing’s touring pro, Jacob Wheeler, won the FLW American Classic Tournament (and $100,000) in 2011. Yep, it was a great year!
But one of the best things to happen to us in 2011 was we were able to add many, many new fellow anglers to our list of friends met through American Legacy Fishing. Whether meeting new friends while traveling, testing the latest tackle, or simply trying to assist someone in our store, 2011 was a spectacular year. Many, many more fellow fishing enthusiasts became friends in 2011 than in any previous year. That alone would make 2011 a simply wonderful year for both of us.
So, what does this have to do with fishing? Well, fishing makes both Dixie and I happy. We enjoy getting outside and being on the water and experiencing nature. We enjoy the challenge of trying to outsmart various species of fish. We like using different gear and techniques in different locations. Fishing supplies us with an abundance of good memories we can carry with us well into 2012 and beyond. There are always new (or renewed) goals as well as very fond memories. Best of all, we can pass on our experiences (and hopefully some degree of expertise) to our grandkids as well as other youngsters who we support through our ALFC outreach locally. As I have said many times, fishing is a great character builder and something every kid should be exposed to. We take this mission very seriously and expect 2012 to see even more effort on our part in making sure this happens for many local kids.
Do we have any “New Year Resolutions? Yes we do. We want to be better Christians and find time to help others more. We want to meet more of you personally and hopefully even spend some time on the water with some of you. We want to try and make our community, our state, and our country a better place. Fishing-wise we’re still after our “trophy” fish: A 10 lb largemouth bass. A 20 lb northern pike. A 6 lb smallmouth. A 20 lb lake trout. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) these are the same goals we had for 2011! But even if we didn’t achieve any of these goals (or “thresholds” as Dixie likes to say) we sure had a great time trying! Maybe 2012 will see some of these goals come to fruition!
You know, it’s as much the journey as the destination. It’s enjoying the ride as much as it is getting from point “A” to point “B”. And that’s our most important resolution for 2012. We resolve to stop and smell the roses more. To tell more people we love them. To not just be sympathetic to other’s adversity, but to try and help in some small way.
So when you’re thinking about those New Year resolutions don’t forget the best of 2011 along with the optimism of 2012. The beginning of the New Year is naturally a way to start with a clean slate. We have an entire year in front of us and so much potential. Who doesn’t get excited at such a fantastic prospect?
This is our first newsletter of 2012, so we figured we would start the year off with a Great Deal Saving YOU some money as well as some great new products that are just now showing up. Plus, we have a super duper fishing line we’re introducing and lots more “good stuff” in this first newsletter of 2012. Be sure to take a look below at all the “good stuff”.
We hope everyone had a great holiday season. We know we did and really appreciate your friendship and patronage throughout 2011. We promise that 2012 will be the best year ever for all of our friends and customers. We have a lot of new products coming on line and are sure you’ll be as excited about these as we are. Stay tuned for information in upcoming newsletters.
We wish all of you a most prosperous and healthy 2012!