Year in Review, The Music Anthology

First and foremost – in case you’re wondering where I’ve been the past few weeks: yes, I’m still alive, and yes, I’m still sober.  Suffice it to say it’s been a hectic and overwhelming end of the year and I’m glad it’s over. Not that I expect it to suddenly quiet down and become smooth sailing with the new year rolling in, but at least the holidays are over and we’re back to business “as usual”… whatever the fuck that means.

Since it’s 2018 now… and let me just go off track for a second to marvel at the fact that it’s 2018. I mean, what. the. actual. fuck? That feels like an impossibility. As a kid, I couldn’t even imagine the world of 2018. I mean, it didn’t even exist in my consciousness. As the magnificent David Byrnes so aptly said:

How did I get here?

Anyway, 2018… New year, new possibilities. Before I talk about what’s in store for the future, let’s quickly recap the past year, shall we?

What I Know for Sure*

  1.  Sobriety in months 12-18 are really not much easier than sobriety in months 1-6. It’s just hard in a different way.
  2. When you make yourself vulnerable to people who are important to you, they show up for you in really beautiful ways.
  3. Giving up cheese is really fucking hard.
  4. I am a better person when I meditate regularly.
  5. Despite knowing #4, I continue to not meditate regularly, which means I still have some learning to do.
  6. Losing weight in your 40’s is 4x as hard as losing weight in your 20’s. I know this specifically because my 22 year-old-son has lost 4x the amount of weight I’ve lost, despite the fact that we’re both equally committed.
  7. We have a long way to go in America to provide adequate mental health treatment for the youth.
  8. That whole “when one door closes” thing? Yeah, that’s real.
  9. It’s okay to make plans and have goals, as long as you remain flexible enough to access something you didn’t see coming.
  10. Gratitude fixes 99% of my daily problems.

* Yes, yes, I stole it from Oprah – I know, but it’s catchy and everybody’s using it.

So what now? Well, to quote another great, Curtis Mayfield, I’m going to “keep on keeping on“. Clearly, as evidenced from my list above, I’m still capable of learning even at this ripe old age. And clearly, as evidenced from my list above, I still have a lot of learning to do.  I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions, simply because I feel like we shouldn’t wait until some arbitrary date to do something. It’s like saying, “Some day, I’ll…” which is a flowery way of saying, “I have no actual intentions of doing this thing but it sounds awesome so I’m going to put a pin in it for now.”

I do have some things I’d like to accomplish this year, but these aren’t new things, really, just continuation from last year:

  1.  Continue to grow my business in a way that supports my family financially while not detracting from my ability to be there for them emotionally. And by ‘be there’ I mean, flexible enough to provide the support and nurturing my family (and I) need to continue to grow.
  2. Continue to improve my fitness. I’d like to say I’ll be back to running 5ks and 10ks (probably never a half again, but who knows?) but honestly, I’m not attached to that. I’m going to continue to work on my weight (maybe another 20 pounds), increased strengths and improved flexibility. My goal is to be able to easily handle either a 20 mile bike ride or a 3-4 mile run without dying. I’ll take either/or.
  3. Learn something knew – this will be easy. My work pretty much guarantees this as I’m constantly bullshitting my way into work that I only have marginal experience in and then have to frantically research so I can pull it off. So far, it’s working for me.
  4. Be of service to others, in some way. Yes, of course my family and friends, but also to the community at large. I’m not sure what this looks like yet. I’ve reached out a couple of times to volunteer my time to addiction/recovery groups in various ways, primarily professionally, but so far haven’t gotten any takers. I’m pretty certain that my growth as a human is dependent on finding a way to be of service to others, so this is something I”ll continue to open myself up to.
  5. Really dig into setting intentions. I’ve heard it from Jen Sincero, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss and Jim Carey, to name a few. Intention setting and visualization is critical. It’s something I know I should be doing more of, and I need to find a way to incorporate it into my daily life.  I have evidence that it works, so I’m not sure what the hell my problem is. Stay tuned for more on this.

So there you have it folks. Last year was quite the “long strange trip” (thanks Grateful Dead). Looking back to who I was one year ago, I can honestly say I’m an entirely different kind of person – it’s been an extremely pivotal year in terms of growth. That just goes to prove that we don’t stop developing once we become adults.

To close out this accidental musical revue, let’s hear from the beloved David Bowie…

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time

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