So the new year is here and 2009 has been firmly and finally to rest. A few thoughts on the year that was in my life and the year to come.
I see a lot of folks talking about how terrible '09 was and I understand. At the same time this has been a wonderful and memorable year for me. We had some financial challenges even though we didn't lose our jobs (Thank you Lord). I wondered if my job would last through the year. We had to cancel or postpone two events. My least favorite part of the job. I had to make a very difficult decision that angered someone very special to me. It was the correct decision and I will shoulder the responsibility and the burden of it. I've struggled with the usual issues. No doubt they'll be back this year as well. We've had a modest number of car issues, including getting hammered by a deer (still waiting on getting the damage fixed. Maybe this week). At the end of the year I've backslid on my weight loss, putting about 10 pounds back on.
On the other hand:
Our health has been good. In fact I received several pieces of great news concerning my health. I lost 40 pounds in 18 months. I have to re-lose some of them and then a few more but I KNOW I can do it now. What a huge difference that makes. The weight loss and working out helped pull my blood tests back to normal and improved my outlook both short term and long term.
I blew away several physical/workout challenges this year. I climbed the Westfield hill a rise of just shy of 800 feet in the span of about 5 miles. For me it was like climbing Everest. And I did it first thing in the summer. I looped the lake a couple times (42 mile ride) and rode to work several times (21 miles in 90 minutes). In fact by summer's end that 20+ mile ride wasn't even a big deal anymore. That's simply astounding. I discovered I can play volleyball without embarrassing myself.
I cooked a couple spectacular meals, a whole lot of very good ones and only a couple really bad ones.
I wrote 50,000 in 29 days in the NaNoWriMo challenge. The kid always believed even when I didn't. Turned out she was right. Takes after her mom. I wrote 52 reviews of youth ministry resources in 52 weeks. Wasn't sure I'd finish that either.
I was named to a Standing Commission of the larger church.
I travelled to visit friends, on a mission trip to New Orleans (and saw my aunt Dorothy Dexter!), added some successful new wrinkles to our Senior High program, supported Sleep Away and served as Head Pop for a Happening Weekend. I made some life changing decisions at Lay CREDO #9 and made some great new friends.
I passed 27 years as a married man and 22 years as a father.
On the whole 2009 wasn't such a terrible year for me.
So what's happening in 2010?
A few more landmarks coming, 52, 28 and a child with a college degree. Amazing.
Starting in March I will be taking a Sabbatical. That's both very exciting and rather scary. As we get closer I'll be writing more about that. There will be some changes and challenges associated with that.
Later this year we (the Diocese of WNY) will elect a new bishop. That will be very important for me and the rest of the staff. Fairly important for the diocese too of course. Again exciting and a little scary.
More programs to get up and running and healthy again.
I have decided (and announcing here publicly for the very first time) that my new physical goal for this summer is to run a 5k race. You should have heard the silence at the other end of the phone when I told my middle brother that. He knows I don't run. Period. Full stop. So this is a challenge that is completely out of my comfort zone. And so it's a very good challenge. I will continue to ride and hope to extend my goals there as well.
I'm going to finish the process of losing weight. From where I am today I need to drop 20-25 pounds. The first half will be easy, the second not so much. But I will do it.
I'm going to love my life, my wife, my daughter, my family and my friends. I'm going to enjoy the young people that God brings me to serve.
I'm going to laugh, dance, pray, sing and finally really learn to play the guitar.
I'm going to read books and finish writing one. Then maybe write another. Or maybe some more poetry. Or maybe do some really serious work on my photography. Or teach myself to draw. Or all of the above! Why the hell not?
I'm going to stop being afraid. Fear has had far too much sway in my life for far too long. This old travelling companion can disembark, right here, right now.
I can hardly wait. Let's get this part started.
Peace (and love)