I can't believe it's almost 2013, and as our cover story suggests, it's time to look ahead to next year, because there are 31 things that we must see or do. That theme strikes home for me, because I have always lived my life thinking about the future.
When I was just 6 years old, I had a crush on a fifth-grade girl who used to be my teacher's helper. I thought that next year, when I was a big first-grader, I would get my chance to ask her out or at least ask her to sit with me at recess. That didn't work; she had already moved on to junior high school. I was crushed, because my next teacher's helper was this ugly guy with zits.
The next time I looked ahead was when I was living in Florida as a fifth-grader. I was all set to graduate elementary school and join all of my friends in junior high. But then we moved back to New York, where I began school as a sixth-grader. I lived in Florida for just two years, but I still came home with a Southern accent. I didn't make new friends so quickly.
Flash forward to 1971: I was just 19 years old and dating. Without realizing it, the girl of my dreams lived across the street. We weren't in a committed relationship until it dawned on me that I'd better put a ring on her finger quickly or I may lose this one. At the tender age of 20, I decided to put the only ring I could afford, a smoky topaz, on her finger. I again looked ahead and married her just shy of my 21st birthday. This time everything worked out. I got the girl, and the planning ahead paid off.
Once again, in 1975, we moved to Richmond. I was a young married man living in NYC. One year out of college, I was offered a sales job here. I had never sold anything before, and I wasn't sure if the job offer was in Richmond, Calif., or Richmond, Ind. I again had to think far ahead and see myself going back down South. I had picked up the Southern accent once before, so this move would be easy, I figured.
I have found that whenever I looked ahead, I have been more lucky than not when it comes to making the right decision. Right now, as I look forward to 2013, I want to keep selling ads and perhaps work on my Southern accent again. I have two grandchildren living here, and they don't have a clue what
I am saying half of the time.