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.