It is early morning on Sunday, Jan. 1st, 2012. I have been up for about 4 hours and have spent some time thinking about the past year and what I hope for the next. Many people reflect on their lives this time of year, and around my age (40), and wonder if they are doing things right. Are they living the life they dreamed of when they were young? Are they accomplishing the goals they set for themselves? What things do they need to change or what would they do differently?
Where I’ve Been
There was a time when I am sure I, and most who knew me, wondered if I would ever get my shit together. Bad grades, poor attitude and a penchant for “partying” were putting me on the path to failure. I left Kent State when Tammy graduated and we moved to Columbus, got married, moved to Chicago, moved to Cincinnati and back to Columbus. Work consisted of late nights and weekends in the restaurant biz. Sometime around my late 20’s I decided that this was not where I wanted to be and with the support of my wife, Tammy, I jumped back into college and finally got a degree. During this time I was going to school full-time during the day while working full-time at night. While all this was happening we decided to have two children and Tammy was working full-time also in the retail business. To say things were hectic would be an understatement but we worked through it and have never looked back.
I had a good upbringing by two parents who loved me and provided the things I needed and also things I didn’t need but wanted. My Mother and Father worked hard to provide these things with the goal of spending their later years doing some of the things they wanted to do. Regretfully, both of my parents passed away before they had the chance. THIS is the one thing that drives me every day and is something I am always thinking about. I refuse to wait until later to do the things I want to do. May never get the chance. This does not mean I am going to blow the savings on fancy trips, hookers, and
beer, motorcycles, cars, food clothes(whew, got nervous I wouldn’t think of anything). It just means that making time to be with my friends on a regular basis and spending a few bucks on the things I and my family wants is ok.
Where I’m At
This might be better in list form…
- Reasonably good heath
- Loving/tolerant Wife
- Two truly good, healthy, normal boys
- Nice house in a good neighborhood with good neighbors
- Two vehicles that look good, run good, and are paid for
- A dog that thinks I am the best thing in the whole world
- “Spare” 1977 Jeep in the garage just for fun
- No credit card debt
- In-laws that could possibly be the most giving, caring, sharing people I have met
- A handful of truly close friends that mean the world to me. Not the normal everyday friends (although I have those too) but the kind who reach deep into who you are and still hang around
- Good job doing something I enjoy. By July 4th I will be the sole owner of 2 Automotive Repair shops that work on between 30 to 40 vehicles a day combined.
- I have a bit of weight problem
- Grumpy at times
Where I’m Going
The Good list far outnumber the Bad list and for that I am lucky. I plan to go into this year with the hope the those three bad things can be eliminated. #1 and #2 should be relatively easy if I put my mind to it. #3 is going to take a little work.
I tend to ignore all the good things and focus on the bad. The good has already happened so why dwell on it? The bad can possible be changed!! WRONG. I need to acknowledge the good things more often and spend less time upset about what others coulda/woulda/shoulda. I need to become comfortable with the fact that not everyone is perfect, like me, and accept their faults. I need to add some grays to my black and white opinions.
- I am not going to follow the political debates/elections. I know how I am voting. It WILL NOT change no matter how many ads/articles I hear/read.
- I am no longer interested in keeping up with the “gun debate” . Facts will never convince someone whose position is based on emotions. I have mine and there will be a hell of a fight if someone tries to take them. End of Story.
- Look at situations and determine if the other persons actions are directly effecting me, my family, or my business. If not, then I will quietly mumble “dumbass” to myself and let it go.
- Hopefully by cutting back on the food quantity and upping the exercise level the weight will slowly come off. It took about 22 years to acquire it so it won’t disappear in 6-12 months but with effort comes results.
All in all I have a charmed life that many people would love to have. The secret is in recognizing and appreciating all the good.