New Year, New You

  • Published
  • By Col. "Tip" Stinnette
  • 39th Air Base Wing commander
Jim was pushing 40 when youthful memories of days gone by brought him to the local Harley-Davidson dealership. "It was a mid-age crisis," he told the reporter. "I'd see dudes with women and thought a motorcycle would be the perfect addition to the new me." When the dealer delivered the gleaming new hog to Jim's front door, his eyes lit up like a boy receiving a 200-shot carbine air rifle with a compass in the stock, and no grownups around to warn him that his new toy could put an eye out.

Jim started the engine and felt its pulsing, guttural power. He revved the engine and listened to it purr. He was sure that he had found the perfect magnet to draw good-looking women to his side (aka: babe magnet). He kicked it into gear and roared off down the road. Born to be wild.

Ten seconds and a tenth of a mile later, Jim slammed into a neighbor's utility trailer at 40 mph as he tried to figure out how the throttle worked. The cops who investigated told him it was a miracle he was alive. He survived with a few broken ribs, some damage to his pride, and the realization that his new-you exceeded the physical limitations of his old-you. He said, "I hurt in places I didn't know could hurt." Jim sold the restored babe magnet for $800 less than he paid, but every few weeks, he continues to receive mailings from his complimentary membership in the Harley Owners Group ... some dreams die hard.

Resolutions, restitutions, retrospectives ... all three come with each New Year and they are usually accompainied by a commitment to create a new-you. And by February the new-you is on its way to becoming a dream memorialized by complimentary mailings. Rather than resolving to create a new-you maybe we should merely restitute the old-you by looking forward through a retrospective lens. Let me put this a little more clearly, resolve to be you by repairing yourself and not repeating yesterday's mistakes ... we are Team Incirlik, we had a fantastic year, we have some things to work on, and we will not repeat our mistakes. New Year, new you ... naw, the old-you is perfect ... embrace it, enjoy it, and embellish it while ensuring freedom's future.