2014, Thank God It’s Here

I am usually a glass-half-full guy but it is hard to look back on 2013 without thinking about how crappy it was at times. I won’t dwell on my job woes because they have gotten much better but they did test my mental fortitude in a way that I haven’t experienced in quite some time. The wreck my daughter survived and the tragedy of seeing the young life of her friend suddenly ended impacted us greatly as a family and we still grieve in small ways even today. We have had other injuries in the family, an uncle who broke his arm, a nephew with a minor skull fracture, another nephew who needed stitches. It seemed at points during the year that the #13 was indeed unlucky for us. Other close family members have had job woes as well and in a tough economy, finances are always a bit uncertain.

It wasn’t all bad though. We’re all still here and on the mend. We’ve come to appreciate just how important the love and support of family is. There have been laughs and little personal victories to celebrate. I was given my first opportunity to be published. We took trips that were both much needed and fun for all involved. I have had some great hunts and we still have a month left in the season.

As I type this I sit in my comfortable home, well-fed and content after the holiday break. Looking at the calendar stretched out before me it is a time to dream big and also plan for a better year. Last night we tried a new activity. Our New Year’s Eves have been pretty boring for the last few years so I had the idea to do some family brainstorming about 2014. We rolled a long sheet of butcher paper out on the kitchen table and sat around it with colored pencils. We wrote down wishes for the new year. Not really resolutions but things we would like to see happen. I would like to lose about 20 pounds (my doctor would prefer 30 but let’s be realistic here). My wife and I need to make more time for dates and weekend trips. My youngest daughter wants me to take her hunting more. I need to spend more time with my mom. I am hoping to start graduate school. Taking more walks, visiting with friends, eating better and enjoying each other’s company.

Of course the change in the calendar is arbitrary but I have always believed that we need those kinds of opportunities to reset our priorities. That is a unique ability that humans should and do possess. We have the luxury of doing this as we live in a country and a society where reinvention is possible. So I am looking forward and as always, that includes all of you. Here’s to a fantastic 2014 and a Happy New Year to you all.

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