It’s not yet light out. I fell asleep on the couch watching a Leno re-run. When I woke up, it was about 3:30 a.m. I went to bed, but I haven’t really been able to get back to sleep since. It’s 6 a.m. In my head the words are swirling and I finally gave up. There will be no sleep until I get them out. I need to write a year-end reflection piece and it’s coming now. I’d much rather be in bed sleeping, but I don’t always get what I want. Sometimes I get more.
This blog, now a little more than a year old, has been a regular dumping ground for everything from commentary to introspection with occasional quotes from philosophers, politicians and others. Sprinkled in are a variety of photos, many honorably stolen from the Internet and, more recently, those from my own lens. Throughout it all, I have tried to be objective or at least open to other points of view. However, my thoughts and opinions are the result of my experience and my experience is… mine.
This past year, now nearly finished, has been a banner year for me. It is definitely one of the top-five best years of my life. In many respects, it has been the best ever, but it’s impossible to compare on a head-to-head basis the years from different periods of life. There were experiences in my teen years, for example, that cannot be duplicated now. Nonetheless, all things being equal, it was a very good year. And it was no accident. I worked for it.
I’ve worked much harder than I have ever worked for anything before. The funny thing is much of it didn’t seem like work. Oh sure, I have written of the situational pressures that have crossed my path, and I have documented many of the trials life has served up, but underlying all of those challenges was a sense of optimism. There was no whining, oh-no, no time for that. There was, however, plenty of assessing – processing out-loud, really. It was an unexpected fringe benefit, courtesy of blogging – and other bloggers.
Over the past year I have had and still do have a number of regular readers – you know who you are. Some comment regularly, some never do. However, just the knowledge that my musings are being read is encouragement enough. But to those that do leave comments and feedback, I am especially indebted. If it were not for the interactivity of this medium, I probably would not still be doing it. I write for a number of reasons – one is to be read.
I’m not going to enumerate the many milestones and accomplishments that have punctuated 2006. They are readily available in my archives – it would be an exercise in repetition. Besides, I said it best and, more importantly, most honestly in the moment. Although I could probably write each and every post “better,” I couldn’t possibly make them any more authentic. With only a few exceptions, everything written in this blog was written as a single draft. The posts developed as the words flowed – there was no plan.
In many respects, it is the way I have been living my life this past year. Although I have a couple of medium-term goals (one is now short-term), I have been letting life unfold for me one day at a time. There are a limited number of tasks I must perform in any given day. Although the nature of a specific task might vary, and often it is dictated by the events of the day or days before, the number is always limited. If I can do just those things, it’s a good day. If I do more, it’s a great day. There have been a record number of great days this year. Success has come in unexpected areas, but success itself is hardly unexpected anymore.
Ironically enough, for the past 20+ years, there has been no real plan either - no goals to speak of and no real direction. Again, I don’t want to re-hash what I have already written this past year, but the missing element seemed to always be that little, four-letter word: W-o-r-k. I was always after the short cut. I had no time for the journey; it was all about the destination. As a result, life was passing me by. If it wasn’t for the nearly life ending experience I had in October of 2000… well, I just don’t know where I’d be today. I reflect back to those miserable days in the hospital more often now than I did two or three years ago, it seems to amplify my gratitude.
So here’s to a wonderful, enlightening, healthy and prosperous New Year. Next year, some of my goals will have been realized, new ones will be set, and more than a few surprises are in store - I’m sure. I am hopeful that my country can improve its world image and in so doing, improve the world. Domestically, perhaps our new congress can make some headway on the issues we face as a nation such as health care, education, poverty and crime. Locally and personally, my wish is that everyone fulfills his or her dreams - and that you dream big. I am living proof that anything is possible.