Almosting It: Come on! Dive in! (I did.) week, our regular guest columnist Terry Gallagher is taking the helm …

IT’S DAY 2 OF 2013, and I imagine a few of you already have failed to keep a resolution or two.

But not me. That’s because I’m “almosting it” this year. I mean: I’m satisfied with getting close enough. For me, it’s meant that I always keep a harmonica handy to practice the very limited skill I picked up a few years ago, to tootle out some old melodies or folk songs. While I really wish I could play the blues like the great Little Walter, I’m glad I can peck out the Tennessee Waltz whenever I feel like it.

Another thing I picked up as an adult was learning to swim. While I knew how to float and wasn’t afraid of the water, I couldn’t swim. So in my late 40s, I signed up for a class at the Y. By far the hardest part was finding myself in swim trunks standing on the pool deck among a group of strangers, but after I got over that hurdle, and with some excellent coaching, I was soon swimming.

It was definitely one of the best things I’ve done for myself as an adult, to make myself comfortable in a new environment: horizontal, not vertical, and in water, not air. I still go to the pool pretty regularly, and every now and then think that maybe I should try to go faster or further. Or maybe learn a different stroke. Or maybe try to do a flip turn. Or get my lifeguard certification.

But then I talk myself out of it. Just being able to swim at all is good enough. I’m almosting it.

How about you? Are you tempted to try almosting it?

Do you have other variations on resolutions to suggest?

Please, leave a Comment below.

Originally published at, an experiment in civil dialogue about American values.

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