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One or two Diet Cokes too many and insomnia rears its familiar head at 3, 4, 5 and finally 6 a.m.  I decide not to fight it anymore and walk downstairs.  A perusal of my usual web haunts and a few hands of anonymous online poker and then flipping on the TV.  Donna Reed and Lucille Ball.

A rather inauspicious ushering in the last day of 2013.  Par for the course considering what a shitty year it’s been.  And I’m not talking about all the crap that happened here in the U.S. or around the globe.  I’m talking about me.  It’s my name on the top of the page after all.

It was the year I celebrated the 50th anniversary of my birth by cutting off my two-year-old growth of hair . . . and for the record, it WAS time.  It was also the year I lost my job.  A job I didn’t particularly like working for people I didn’t particularly respect.  Yet, the loss was devastating.  I expected it and at the same time was not prepared for it.  Like many elements of my life, I took it for granted and in the end, felt a certain level of humiliation.

It was a year in which I began to feel old.  I felt pain in places I had never felt the  pain before.  At 50, without a job, I began to wonder where my life was headed and how little I had accomplished over the past 3 decades of adulthood.  I’ve worked, I’ve lived, I’ve loved and seemed to have little to show for it.

Gratitude has never been my strong suit.  To realize and understand that having a wonderful wife, a home, a dog and three cats and the wonderful family and friends who love me in spite of myself is a great gift. I’ve forgone the concept of New Year’s Resolutions, because, after all, every day is a new beginning.   But, if there’s one resolution I truly want to keep this year, it’s being truly grateful for what I have and who I am.

I have hope for 2014 (Damn, 2014!!!)  The Yankees will hopefully stay healthy.  I will hopefully find a job for which I’m truly qualified and in which I feel a sense of fulfillment.  Hopefully the country will not continue to dissolve into an ongoing us/them mentality.   Oh yeah, World Peace. Like I said, I have hope.  All things are possible.

Tonight, celebrate the symbolic new beginning in whichever way you choose.  Enjoy the time with family, friends or your pillow. Tomorrow . . . is another day.

Happy New Year!

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