The Year That Was

by Bill Brenner on January 6, 2014

A lot of folks have made comments about what a shitty year 2013 was. There were deaths, divorces, miserable jobs, layoffs, etc. I didn’t end the year feeling bitter, though. Many good things happened.

Mood music:

In 2013 I started an excellent job, made a lot of new friends, got in lots of quality time with my wife and kids, and learned to play guitar chords written by my musical heroes.

We made more progress sorting through Duncan’s ADHD and other challenges than the two previous years combined. Erin’s business continued to flourish. Out of nowhere, it seems, Sean started to become a man. His wit and sense of humor were sharpened at my expense much of the time, but I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t enjoy it.

Both kids got serious about writing, which makes their writer-editor parents proud.

The year was crammed with blessings, for sure.

But it wasn’t all roses, either.

I had to come to terms with the fact that I’m getting too old to keep my weight in check with diet alone. The no-flour, no-sugar program didn’t keep away the weight gain. It turns out I have to exercise a lot more than I have in recent years. I had to start wearing a CPAP mask to bed for sleep apnea, and my new doctor put me on blood pressure medicine.

I’m not blind. I know the health issues are my own fault. I never should have slackened the exercise regime. I admittedly let my eating to get sloppy in spots, especially during vacations and business travel.

Given all the work I’ve put into my health in recent years, these developments were a bitch to swallow.

We put the kids in a new school so Duncan could get the attention he deserves. It’s a great school, but it’s been a hard transition with a longer commute and a different culture to adjust to.

As awesome as my new job is, there are still cultural adjustments to make. I’m writing as much as ever, but my work writing has to be more nuanced and careful. It’s what I signed up for, but it’s taking some getting used to.

The year has been one of peaks and valleys. Like the year before it, and the year before that.

For most people, there’s a certain relief that comes with the end of the old year. The end of the year brings the ability to exhale; we need that so we can keep moving forward and growing. The new year provides the hope we need to get through the daily trials.

It’s all good.

The key, as always, is to make the most of the clean slate and not let it go to waste.

I think we’re up to the challenge.

merry new year!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

C. Z. January 6, 2014 at 4:56 pm

2013 was both really shitty and wildly amazing for me; odd juxtaposition, I know– but I swear it’s true.

It just goes to show you that “all that glitters” isn’t gold, I guess, and that the good and the bad come together. Things aren’t always what they seem… not just to others, but even in our own experiences. I guess what matters more is how we feel about it, and what we do with it.

Here’s to hoping we all learn the lessons of 2013 and make an (even) better year of it this time around!

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