December 31 2013 is here, and I'm going to admit it wasn't the best year I've ever had. That's not to say there wasn't great things that happened, on the contrary there were some pretty awesome things that happened. But, as I sit here, my first reaction to the question of how was 2013 is that it was ok.
I started this year in moving back from Oklahoma to our home, which didn't sell in 2012. I started a new job in a new industry for a company that was dismal, who's leadership was spotty and cumbersome. Now that job lead to a better one, which job usually do, well they do for me anyway. I am very thankful for it. i'm still over weight, I still don't like living in Texas, I miss my friends who are my family spread out over this country and in others, I've made some good choices and some awful ones, I saw some cool things, ate some good food, drank some good adult beverages, experienced loss, and hid in my cave of introversion and introspection. BUT, I don't want to start writing something explaining all the things that happened and my reactions, and droll on and on about my ups and downs, I'm simply going to write about what I learned during my 38th year on planet Earth and maybe my hopes for my 39th.
I learned that loss experienced by others I love, is loss experienced by me. Family is important to me, but my definition of family has changed over the years. I am not one to make friends easily or express that sentiment well, but when I call someone a friend, I am calling them family. I care about their feelings, their passions, their lives, etc. I have friends that I do not speak to regularly, that when we do talk, or get together it is like no time has passed. Those are the best and when you hurt I do too, and your joys become mine.
I learned that honesty has to be the most important thing. I try hard not to lie, I fail often, but I believe that truth in any situation, tempered with tact, is far better than a white lie to spare feelings. Tact isn't my strong suit, my wife can testify to that, but we all have our short comings. I want people to feel at ease with me, to know that I mean what I say and say what I mean. I am far from honing this skill, but I feel it is worth the effort. Honesty with myself is the hardest part, lying to ourselves is the easiest thing to do, and the most destructive. Imagine where we would be in our relationships if we were honest with ourselves first, then honest with everyone else.
I learned that marriage is hard. You may be saying "duh" but saying it and knowing it are two different things. It takes a lot of effort, and an introvert hooking up with an extrovert doesn't offer the most consistent of temperaments. But we try, and I will always try because the other thing I learned is I married a keeper. I love her deeply, and respect her far more than I express.
I learned that being a dad is the greatest thing I've ever done. It is also the scariest, most frustrating, joyous, hard, invigorating, loving, grateful experiences as well. I look forward to seeing how it all turns out.
I learned that intention is a poor substitute for action.
I learned that being happy is my choice, and mine alone. If I give that up, it is no one else's fault but mine.
I learned that fiances are hard to keep track of, and even harder to budget. I really need to improve on this skill.
I learned that writing less, isn't helpful. This blog is therapeutic for me, and I need to do it more.
My hope for next year is that I grow, as a husband, father, friend as a man. I want to be better than I was. I hope to love more, laugh more, get out more, exercise my mind and body more, and hug my wife and kid more. In all I hope that all of you see a better me next year.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
One of the most significant arguments in modern USA culture has to be marriage equality. Arguments are being heard in the Supreme Court right now. Hearing both sides of the argument, I know which side I am on, but that doesn't stop me from trying to understand the point of view from those whom I disagree with. That's what a conversation means to me, where two or more different viewpoints can be looked at, discussed and understanding take place. I don't think the conversation ever happened. I think both sides are at fault on that failing, but that isn't what I want to talk about.
I wonder what this country (not to mention the modern world) would be like if Government would have stayed out of the personal affairs of first century Christians? I wonder if the history of their persecution is 'why' some, not all, but some tend to do the same today...
If you remember our (human) history, you'll remember it was the Sanhedrin, and other religious lobbyist who advocated the government to be in favor of Christian persecution… I’m sure they thought they were doing what was right, you know, sticking up for their God(s) obeying their doctrines…
Scriptures that come to mind: Luke 6:37, Luke 6:41, John 8:7, Romans 2:1, Roman 14:10, Romans 14:13, 1 Cor 4:5…
When I was a Christian I often had issue with why people got so bent out of shape of what other people were doing. I guess I still do, this issue is moot in my mind. Freedom for one group to do something and advocate to have it denied another when both are under the same Government falls under discrimination, which should have no place in our country, especially where love is supposed to the motivation for action for the majority of people who live here. I wonder what the issue is, really is?
Despite how history played out or will play out, a friend of mine posted something on 'FB' that I feel is worth sharing and sums it up for me.
This is the Jefferson Memorial, if any were wondering what the Founding Fathers might say today as the Supreme Court considers the "Defense of Marriage Act."
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Change is inevitable, it happens with us, for us, to us, against us and so on, and on, and on. I’ve never really minded change, or gave it much thought. I’ve always had a “roll with it” mentality that has served me well over the years, but nevertheless, the current changes in my life have caused pause, and reflection.
Why do some people resist change so much? I used to and believe lots of people think it’s just fear, fear due to lack of experience, or fear of losing something the currently have. I think it might be more than that, a lot more than just fear. What if it’s mixed with pride? Fear + Pride, pride in who you are at this moment, pride in the decisions you’ve made, pride in your job, talents, abilities, etc. or Fear + Pride + ignorance + faith? You work out the combinations, there are bunches.
Lots of change that happens is out of our control, like your favorite boss quitting and going to work somewhere else. This has recently happened to me, which is probably why this topic is on my mind. I had an awesome boss, he was good, smart, and honest and told you like it was. You knew where he stood, and that is rare in the world of covering up, and launching people under the bus to make yourself look good. The group I work with now has a new manager, and it has been interesting the different adaptations I’ve been witnessing in myself, and my teammates.
Old Guy is the coolest member in the group and is my Yoda when it comes to remaining calm and going with the flow. He is ‘Fonzie’ when it comes to adapting to changes. He is unafraid to jump the shark, and fearless in asking for clarification. I’m learning a lot from Old Guy.
Then there is Angry Guy. This struck me as odd, because he wasn’t like that before the manager swap. He got defensive during meetings where he was asked about his activities, and projects. He’s bitchy and moody, and complains about the work load. I don’t understand this one, is it fear of the unknown, is it fear of proving yourself to be the competent one that needs to be in that chair? I don’t know what the deal is, the new manager is a lot like the old one, and the only difference I can see is she lacks a penis. I personally think that gender is a terrible reason to rate someone. I hate to think it is because she is a she, but he is in his 50’s, and may have a different perspective on serving under women. Or is it something else, pride, inflexibility? I don’t know, maybe you can offer up a reason.
Brings us to New Guy, he started a couple of weeks before our manager left for greener pastures and seems to be ok with it all, but he and I both wonder about Angry Guy. I have noticed that he has become the group’s peace maker, olive branch provider, between Angry Guy and everyone else. This may be a trait he had all along, or a response to the changes that have been made, who knows.
Then there is Hidden Guy. He was always up front, look what I can do type. Not in a bad way really, just made a point to let you know all the stuff he was doing. He was just visible, but now he hangs in his cube, comes out for meetings and what not. Works and calls on others as needed. I don’t understand this one either. He doesn’t act depressed or stressed out, when we see him he seems the same as always without the bravado.
Now I know that all of this is skewed by my perspective on the different situations but still, makes me wonder. I know in my life I’m going through at least 6 changes, some are super slow, some have been quick, some are constant but it’s funny how each one brings me to different thoughts, different feelings, different conclusions and different questions. I personally don’t think things happen for a reason, we just find reason in the things that happen and attribute that to someone, or something else. Like now, as I’m writing this a quote popped into my head, and maybe it’s one of the secrets to adapting…
“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” ~ Marcus Aurelius~