Hey New Years, It’s Been A While…

mountain-climber-899052_1281I’ve just realized it’s been a little over a year since my last post. Good grief. I mean, it’s not that it’s been too busy to write, or that there has been nothing to write about. Rather, I think the best way to explain this last year is as one long rollercoaster with so countless ups, a few downs, and unexpected turns just when you thought you’d come full-circle to the station.

{On a mostly unrelated note, having just ridden “Verbolten” at Busch Gardens for the first time, a roller-coaster whose design I’ve followed with some interest since it’s dubious announcement many years ago, I must say that all of my very high expectations were met and exceeded. Well done, Busch Gardens.}

But back to life. My last post was on a late night/early morning, 101 days before my wedding, my mind racing too fast for sleep. It wasn’t cold feet, mind you, but a steadily increasing awareness of the overwhelming joys and responsibilities soon to be mine. While after almost 10 months I can say that married life is the best, I also can’t and wouldn’t take back those nights. I’m married to my best friend, who can make me smile, laugh, cry, or vent; she can calm or excite me like no-one else. And yet, marriage is still by far the most incredible responsibility I’ve ever faced, and as time goes by, my appreciation for the magnitude of that responsibility grows, rather than shrinking.

So here, in a nutshell, are some of the biggest updates over the last year:
– Became a Vocational Counselor, working with individuals with disabilities
– Found a place to call home in the Richmond area [a huge deal for an introvert like me]
– Married my best friend [most understated update]
– Lost both of my remaining grandparents in the space of 24 hours
– Got used to a never-steady schedule, bringing work home every night
– Subsequently gained a vast amount of respect for my wife’s patience and forbearance
– Visited new family in Germany, and fell in love with Deutschland
– And just now: Starting a new job as a marketing assistant for a communications company [with a regular schedule and weekends off of all things!!]

It’s currently sprinkling snow outside on top of the 6 inches already down (a pretty big deal for us Richmonders), I’ve got my trusty french press of coffee, Vance Joy in the background, and I’m thinking of all that this year might hold. As always, my own plans of being more mentally and physically active are swimming around in my head, but I’m always skeptical of New Years resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, they can have great power for initiative. As frustrating as it is trying to find open cardio equipment in the first weeks of the new year, my comforting thought is always that of the 15 New Years Resolutioners in the gym with me, that maybe 1 or 2 will get hooked, and make a real positive change for healthier habits.

However, as a bit of a perfectionist sometimes, I always feel a bit down about my own New Years Resolutions, which never seem to turn into 100% reality. So this year I’m focusing not as much on Things, but more on Character. Rather than trying to set goals of sets and reps, consecutive days of particular behaviors, I’m prioritizing overall characteristics to fit into every day life. So here are my simultaneously simple yet lofty goals for 2017.

  • Love more selflessly
  • Nourish my mind as often as my body
  • Strengthen both my physical and mental abilities
  • Actively pursue furthering my passion for relationship-based counseling

This new year already holds a great deal of hope for some, nervous apprehension for others, but we’re all in this together. Love your neighbor, treasure those close to you, and always look for and seek the best in your spheres of influence. Because THAT is how real change happens, regardless of what the Kardashians are doing, how the stock market is trending, or who is sitting in the Oval Office.