Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What I learned in 365 days.

What a difference a year makes.

This time last year, things didn’t look so good. I was in a bad way and pretty much drowning in a major shitstorm of my own non-stop negative thinking. There was a big black cloud hanging over my head just in time for the holidays. “Merry Christmas to me. What the %&@# am I gonna do?!” (I left the f bomb out of there because it’s the holidays — Merry Christmas to you.)

But that was then, this is now.

It’s been a challenging year to say the least — I’d probably put it in the top three or four most trying so far. But it’s also been one of the most eye opening of my 40-plus here.

I’ve put in a lot of hours and a crapload of hard work. A ton of soul searching and self fixing. I’ve focused in on who I really am, and what I’m capable of. Turns out I’m a pretty good guy who can do whatever he sets his mind to. Who knew? Just wish it hadn’t taken me so long to figure that out.

There were so many big lessons thrown at me over the last twelve months. But a few stand out as headliners that I’ll take with me the rest of the way:

2013 big lesson #1: The best way to get approval is not to need it.
So simple, so true. I don’t need anybody else’s approval but my own. Same goes for everybody. If you like you, that’s all that matters. If you think you need to make some changes, you probably do. If you don’t feel like you’re the person you could be, you’re probably not. It’s all about you. Doesn’t matter what other people say or think  — unless you’re a delusional egotist who sucks at life and has no clue how much you suck at life. In that case, what they're saying might be true. 

2013 big lesson #2: Getting lost helps you find yourself.
I’m pretty good at getting lost. Each time, I learn a little more. I might be a bit more jaded and the ball of anger in my gut a bit bigger, but I’m more aware of who I am. My advice — keep getting lost and keep looking, until you’re gone.

2013 big lesson #3: Take nothing for granted.
It’s not easy, but I try so much harder to take things a day at a time now. I do what I can to live in the moment, do what I need to do, right now. Because no shit, that’s all there is. I also know that just because things seem super dark one minute doesn’t mean they’ll be that way the next. Goes the other way too.

And last but certainly not least, 2013 big lesson #4: Less hoping more being.
An old high school teacher once said, “If wishes were horses, we’d all take a ride.”
Didn’t make any sense then, still doesn’t. But what I think he was trying to say is that nothing will happen if we just sit around and hope it might happen. I’ve done way too much of that in my life. It’s time for less want and more do. I’m learning the best way to be happy is to stop trying so hard to be happy. 

I don’t have it all figured out. Not by a long shot. But I’m learning, and for the first time in a long time, it’s starting to sink in.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday Baby Jesus — however you celebrate, whatever you believe — have fun, be safe and go be with the ones you love, or just love the ones you’re with.

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