You can feel it can’t you? It hangs in the air this time of year … over all of us … a chance for a new start … something different … something unique. Time to say goodbye to the old and welcome in the hope of a new year … something that will be wondrous, and exciting, and in the end leave us changed.
This will happen .. whether we want it to or not. The people we are now will not be the people we are in 365 days. For better or for worse, we will be altered throughout the coming months. Children will be born and others will pass … and we will be renewed … either as a better version of ourselves or … well … not. I don’t think any of us enter a new year thinking that we will be worse people … we all want to be better … we want to be looked at as if we are “good” men … “good” women … role models.
A new year is like shedding a skin isn’t it? Whether it’s real or not we all look at the passing as a chance to renew ourselves, to finally lose the weight, or to run that marathon, or to be a better . Unfortunately by the end of January we have given in to most of them. This is why I do not make resolutions. I have my list of things I want to do (I won’t call it a bucket list either) and I add to or delete as I go through every year. There are things that have been on my list for many years, and others that have just been added, but I have always looked at a resolution as dangerous because there is a time element involved. “In 2014 I am going to do THIS”, so when 2014 ends and you have not done THIS it comes across as another failure.
And to be frank, I am tired of failure.
The past three years have been awful … yes there have been good things here and there but overall it has been the most trying time of my life (and this is a life that included cancer, the USS IOWA explosion, Desert Storm, etc.). The last three years saw my bankruptcy, still fighting to keep my house, my step father passing away, my house deteriorating around me because I refuse to put any money into it until I know if I can keep it, health issues creeping up again, my stalwart partner in crime moving away … just one thing after another. The thing with items like Cancer, and the IOWA, is that you deal with it .. it doesn’t become a constant thing because it’s not in your control, if that makes sense. You deal with cancer because you have no choice … you have it … this is the plan … and you move forward. What happens happens. The IOWA was an event that still haunts my dreams (I call them, affectionately, my “navy dreams”), but it was my job … as was Desert Storm … you just … did it. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I was recently sent a book by a Facebook friend that states, basically, that everything that has happened to you in your life is due to decision you have made. I think I believe that (to a point … I don’t think the cancer was due to a decision I made, unless it is linked to the Navy, and I decided to go in the Navy ..so maybe). The bankruptcy was caused by losing a job where I was well paid. Even though it was not a fair thing, it was a result of a decision I made, so it was my fault. I think that’s what makes it so hard to deal with .. all the struggles I am having is due to a bad decision I made … maybe it is just really sinking in that this is the case … and that makes it even harder to swallow. But if it was a mistake I made, than it is also something I can fix, right? I can get myself out of this.
As someone with pretty messed up self esteem as it was, it is not something that helped at all. It is constantly in my head that I am “not good enough” and this is why I am where I am. I even think the weight gain I had was part of that. Inwardly you think “Well, I suck, I am not attractive, I always get the short end of the stick, so does it matter if I am fat too?” It’s a dangerous curve to get stuck in. Some of you reading this are probably shocked by that admission because I try to not come across that way in writing (especially on the social media sites). I’ll say things like “Yeah I am 50 but I make it look good” or “I am fat but I am still sexy”, but that really REALLY know me in real life also know that it’s all BS. And even when told that I have been instrumental in getting someone off their couch, or that Andrew and I podcasting for the “back of the pack” (or “boppers”) has helped and inspired them, I say “thanks” but inside I have a hard time believing I have that affect on people. I can hear Kate and Kendra (NSNG’ers) yelling at me now to “accept the damn compliment”.
I think my current mind set can be illustrated from a dream last night. In the dream I was in my house and it was falling apart. The roof was leaking (actually pouring water) and there were roaches coming out of the wall. I was running around trying to fix everything but nothing was working. Then Spencer (my brave little wiener dog) was barking at a drawer, so I went over to check it out and this HUGE freaking snake was in it. I stepped on his head (the snake .. not Spencer) and was calling for someone to come get Spencer and to bring me something to kill the snake … but no one would come. My son was standing in the doorway and refused to get near the snake to help me or to get Spencer away.
Weird dream, but after telling Jennifer about it I think she hit it on the head.
“You just feel overwhelmed and out of control”.
Man, talk about a moment of clarity, eh?
I need top think positive. By the end of this year I will have completed, or attempted to complete, my first 140.6 mile triathlon in Chattanooga. I will be changed by this attempt I am sure. A lot of work stands in front of me to get this done, and there will be many challenges and roadblocks on the way. 2014 is going to be a watershed moment in my life … I am positive of that …