The past year brought about more challenging economic times. For every blip on the NASDAQ or DOW Jones markets, there seemed to be another bank bailout, currency calamity or other forces to create uncertainty and fear in the global markets. After 20-30 years of an entire generation of yuppy apathy placed alongside prosperity and soaring market returns, the 401K generation is now feeling the pain. While it isn't as bad as the fall/winter of 2008-09, the financial and job uncertainty remains as our generation worries by tweeting comments into $499 iPad2s or the latest DROID with its $150+ monthly fee.
We complain about an economy that includes a must-see TV diet of HBO and Showtime, ESPN and the Food Network. Without them, we are nothing.
Network News has become a combination of ratings-driven fluff and stuff, sprinkled with talking heads screaming at each other. Where in the world are (Chet) Huntley and (David) Brinkley and their no-nonsense approach? Give me John Chancellor or give me death.
Instead, I have Piers and Anderson Cooper, I flip past Bill O'Reilly and the FOX hoax but enjoy the entertainment news/comedy work by Jon Stewart and his team of talented writers, wondering just how did a news and entertainment show on the Comedy Network actually become the prime source of non-filtered, non-glamorized telling of the truth.
I admire Brian Williams (NBC Nightly) and Ann Curry (NBC Today), among a small handful of others. I think the world of Robin Roberts on GMA but wish her co-host, George Stephonopoulos, would head to Washington to start-up the be all, end-all of 2012 campaign coverage where he could anchor a show that has one mission: Sift through the spin and ridiculousness, hold the 2012 candidates accountable for their actions and inaction (inaction, standing by and doing nothing about problems seems to be the Republican way).
I recommend to all readers of The Blog at Terry Lyons (dot) com to tune into Global Post for some insight and perspective and meanwhile, in the year 2012 and beyond, please be sure to support, comment, share your thoughts and suggestions about my two new business ventures online, DigitalSportsDesk.com and MediaForward.tv - Try 'em, you'll like 'em. Then, please do all the things you need to do in this day and age to follow a reliable source - that means bookmark them, share them, tweet about them and retweet them some more. Facebook follow, like and post away. Quite frankly, it's the new-fangled word of mouth in the year 2012 and beyond.
We'll need plenty of support and input from the many trusted friends I've been privileged to meet along the way. From the readers who I do not know, I hope to get to know you through this blog, through your participation online, especially on MediaForward.tv and -- coming in January 2012 -- just hours away -- you'll see me blogging at my MediaForward.tv blog soon to be "MediaForwardU.com - catchy eh?
As the year of 2011 comes to a close, you might be surprised to read that I have no special words of wisdom. Like the NFL analysts who I love to criticize for stating the obvious (limit turnovers, run the ball, stop the run, limit penalties), I, too, will go down that road to state the obvious. Here are my goals for 2012 which I recommend to one and all:
1. Try to save some money.
2. Invest wisely and carefully but keep on investing in funds that will pay dividends and grow slowly.
3. Exercise. (This is my #1 goal). Burn the stress and keep the mind and body healthy. Do all the things they say: Drink water, go for short walks, sleep well, read and read some more. Learn.
4. If you have children invest in their Education. It is the future - their future in which you are investing. If you do not have children, you're paying taxes and that helps fund the local schools. A great investment, so don't look at it so critically and selfishly. If you don't have children, you can still go down to the local school and participate, volunteer, donate supplies or maybe just drop a few StarBucks cards for the teachers.
5, Live. Laugh, Learn, Think and - like Jimmy V said - you might have to cry (at times!) "That's a full day," he said as his death neared.
6. Join something or plan for something - whether you can sign up for a marathon, 10-K, 5-K fun run, bike race, tennis lessons, nature walks - whatever. Set a goal and follow through.
Here are my goals for fitness for 2012:
1. Start a basic work-out program.
2. Begin prep and training for the Pan-Mass Challenge bike race and fund raiser (August).
3. Sign up for the local Newton Tennis program so there is an immediate need for better conditioning.
4. Take more walks in the morning.
5. Fewer Diet Cokes, more water.
6. Plenty of vitamins, OJ, milk and fruit/veggies.
To close the year of 2011, I will pass along a classic. It doesn't need any further introduction. Enjoy, sleep tight. Wake up in 2012 and get ready for the rest of your life.
Good Night and Good Luck.