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How to seize the day – and spend it with your kids

One good idea for a home-based resolution for me would definitely be: Get more organized. Especially if you saw my closet – I have to dig through piles of shirts to find shoes, and vice versa – you might agree that'd be the place to start.

Another one could be: Start a modest garden. Just some herbs and stuff. When you buy herbs, you use some, the rest turn black; whereas if you grow them, you snip a few off, and they grow back. Surely even I, the least agriculturally inclined person on the planet, could keep a little, say, rosemary bush alive for a while. (Though if you saw the forlorn state of our lone potted plant, an aloe vera – which as a form of cactus thrives on neglect, but not the level of neglect it receives around our house – you might be forgiven if you pronounced this little venture doomed.)

But my true New Year's resolution with respect to home is: Make sure my house truly is one, by spending more time with my family, especially my three boys. (I already do spend a fair amount of time sitting around chatting with my wife; I'm not sure she could take any more, to be honest, and might even be wishing for a bit less.)

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I need to make a point of tearing myself away from my computer, and them from their various electronic devices, sitting them down in (say) the living room, in front of (ideally) a nice crackling fire, and performing some shared, non-digital, analog activity with them. Nothing says fun like a rousing round of crokinole or pinochle, right?

True, the boys might squawk at first being dragged up from their basement dungeon where they play endless rounds of "first-person shooter" games, Mindcraft (which should be called Mindbend from what I've seen), and watching Family Guy on Netflix.

But it'll be good for them, and for me, and they'll have fun in the end. They always do. I didn't do that enough last year. Chasing my career so single-mindedly, trying to (help) make sure those mortgage payments got made, I think I forgot a bit about what a house really is: a place to spend time with family and friends.

How will I remember to do this as the year unfolds? Maybe a few simple mnemonics, like: Every time I look my oldest son in the eye – he's almost as tall as I am now – recall how quickly time has passed since he was a baby, and how quickly it's going. Then glance at the tattoo on my arm (of a strawberry milkshake) that says "seize the day," and make sure I always do.

You too, dear readers. I'm not saying get a tattoo. But bear in mind: Time munches on, gnashing our lives in its masticating mandibles. This year, let's all remember to try to seize every day and hang on tight.

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