Ok, maybe it wasn’t ‘super fog’, but it was foggy enough that though the posted speed limit is 70, I was going 35 over the Jellico Mountains back to Easter Tennessee from being on Christmas vacation. Normally we hang right around the speed limit, seemingly speeding past the semi’s as we make the trek in our four cylinder up the one side. Even without freezing temperatures, a slight mist was falling or combining with the fog to make me be pretty cautious.  In that moment, as I climbed the mountain, I tapped off the cruise control, resisted the urge to tap the breaks and switched on the emergency flashers, and slowed to roughly half the speed limit, keeping an eye ahead of and behind me.


I almost felt like doing the whole drive on the 2nd of January was supposed to be some type of metaphor for what I could expect over the next 12 months.

  • We have no idea if congress is going to figure themselves or the rest of us out.
  • There are questions about North Korea’s plans for this year
  • Iran apparently has had some success with their recent missile tests
  • There are no Olympic games this year
  • and the list could go on….

My own goals, for what I want to accomplish are just about as foggy.  I’d like to finish aproject I’ve been working on for my kids.  I have some research that I’d seriously like to give some time to and have it published.  I’m working on some ideas about instructional design, blended learning and what that all means within the context of where I work – which I’d like to formalize somehow.  I’ve become rather excited about some vacation plans we’ve put in place for this year that I’d like to give some time to (photographically preparing for).  I’d like to help get our littlest potty trained this year – or at least help to get a start to it.  I’d like to, this that and the other.  I just about feel like I did in high school – so many years ago (this year will be my 20th – and no I have no plans on going to the reunion). That feeling is knowing that there are so many exciting opportunities – so much to do – not as if it’s ‘work to get done’ but more like what Charlie felt when he entered the Chocolate Factory – so much to do and see and experience, and the the very deep desire that I don’t want to miss a single opportunity.

The problem is, I’m thinking (as I relayed to someone else earlier today) that saying yes to some things is not intentionally saying no to others at least not directly,  but rather consequently – and therefore not malicious in nature.  My problem is, I have to decide. So where to begin, where to start my decision making process?

Wait, – I think the fog has just given me a clue: slow down, don’t make any rash decisions, but also don’t slam on the breaks.  I need to look ahead, keeping an eye on just how far in front of me I can actually see – knowing that I have a destination in mind – far beyond what I can see and know that I will take the necessary steps (rather than leaps and bounds) to get there.  On the one hand, it’s really all I can do at this point anyways, and yet by taking each step, I can savor each one, the way I might savor each bite of a great desert, rather than hocking it down all at once.

So here’s to the first, second day of the new year and the great lesson of Fog on the Mountain.  Hopefully it’s not just all down hill from here – I like a challenge or two.


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