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I made fire – and whittled down my New Year’s Resolution list

Pam LeBlanc

I’m not going to lie. It’s been a rough year.

I lost my father to non-smokers’ lung cancer two weeks ago, and feel like I’ve been run over by a dump truck. Staying active and getting outdoors have become even more important than ever.

Yesterday, I headed to Earth Native Wilderness Survival School near Bastrop, where I checked off one of my 2014 New Year’s resolutions – I made fire using the friction method.

That was the top item on my list, actually. I like the idea of being self sufficient, and fire making seems like a useful skill for someone like me who loves to backpack. Plus, it’ll make good cocktail party fodder, don’t you think?

I’ve conquered six of the eight resolutions I set for myself at the beginning of the year. Besides making fire, I set a personal record in a race (the Big Bend Ultra 25K in January, where I shaved 20 minutes off my time) and swam a 100-yard butterfly set at swim practice.I think I’ve done pretty well with the whole “be a duck” motto, letting unimportant things slide off me like water off a duck’s back. And I’ve continued my “run with scissors” philosophy of trying new things and taking small risks – I stood astride two trotting Belgian horses, gave a Nerd Night talk and ran a trail race up a mountain in Montana.The very last item on my list was “Above all, enjoy life, family and friends. You never know when they’ll be gone.” I have no regrets there. I spent every evening but two of the last six weeks of my dad’s life with him. We had some remarkable conversations, and I got to know my step mom’s family a lot better during that time. I’m grateful for it.I didn’t do so well at two items – more yoga and worry less/relax more. Places to improve!

How have you done with your list?