“Remembering. I am half-smiling at ridiculous situations, crazy people and strange places, all with the benefit of hindsight. I admit I am choosing my memories selectively. I am quickening time, losing years and even improving my looks. I have never included the bad side which, I know, is an integral part of one’s memories. That was not for me.” — John Kemp, Sticky Wicket.
2009 was, to put it delicately, an interesting year. Much has happened. Much has not happened that should have. In any case, it has been a year of growth and deeper insight that has more than passing value. In accord with this humble blog’s annual tradition of wrapping up the prior year, I offer a few reflections about my life in 2009.
- I can’t fix everyone. I have spent a lot of time serving others as a counselor and mentor, trying to help people find peace with their inner demons. For some people, this was an exercise in futility; for others, it served them well. In any case, my willingness to fall naturally into “mentor” mode in some ways serves as a roadblock not only for my own happiness, but also — on occasion — for the happiness of others. I need to be OK with others failing without feeling responsible for fixing it.
- The struggle of making things work often throws the most important goals to the back burner. We get so enmeshed in the minutiae of today’s struggles that we fail to position ourselves effectively for greater success tomorrow. At some point, prudence must win out; long-term success occasionally entails short-term distress, and these various pains must be borne if we are to arrive at old age without a significant encumbrance of emotional baggage.
- The year past emphasized the importance of relationship-building. On one hand, I have a deeper and stronger relationship with some (Ryan, Jess, Charlie, Duane, Kate) even as others have sat in a holding pattern (Stacie, Emilie) or even declined (Andrew, Candace). I have made new friends (Jerry, Chris) and also met people who could have been friends but for some reason or another it just didn’t work (Tim, Aaron). Facebook has been an interesting tool for connection; I’ve kept some passing acquaintance with friends from college and high school, and I even managed to meet my dad’s significant other. All of this is to make the point: Relationship-building is tough work, and even deep and old friendships need to be watered and tended from time to time lest they wither and die.
- One thing about 2009 — it was the year I internalized that I am an adult. From personal relationships to financial obligations, the “don’t worry, it’ll be fine” attitude was revealed to be as juvenile as it is hollow. Lessons learned.
- My biggest accomplishment was getting serious about my business venture. Three cheers for finding my motivation and making it happen.
- My biggest missed opportunity was in losing focus on my goals — my weight crept up, I stopped doing karate, and I didn’t dive all year. No excuse.
- The big resolutions for 2010: Get fit again, continue to grow my business, deepen my personal relationships, and get back on track with many of my Project 810 goals.
May your 2010 be the best year ever!