Friday, December 31, 2010

What Do You Get?

In the mid 1950's, singer Tennessee Ernie Ford had a hit with the song "Sixteen Tons". The chorus went, in part, "You load sixteen tons, and what do you get? Another day older and deeper in debt." On this last night of 2010, I find myself asking a similar question. "It's the end of the year, and what do you get?" Certainly, another year older, but no longer in debt for the first time in over 40 years! Our goal is to remain that way. What else did we get? A good feeling, the feeling of independence, and the freedom to pursue new adventures in 2011. What else did we get? We got two weeks in Alaska. We got memories of brown bears and wolves, moose and caribou in Denali National Park, of Mt. McKinley exposing its summit through the clouds, of massive ice bergs calving off Hubbard Glacier, and of eagles fishing the Mendenhall River near Juneau. In 2010 we mourned and celebrated the lives of friends and family members who departed this world for the next. They shall not grow older as we grow older. There were none like them before and surely none shall follow in their stead. They are sorely missed. But now, it's 2011 and what do we get? We get the promise of a new year! Where we have met our current goals, we get a "keep up the good work!" Where we have fallen short, we get a "do over." Where we want to re-invent or re-image parts of ourselves we get the opportunity to do so, or to try and try again. And this opportunity is renewed every day. In 2011, I resolve to make the most of every second of every minute of every day -- to be all that I can be, and to live every instant to the absolute fullest. I resolve to pursue every opportunity placed before me. And I resolve to enjoy myself in the process. May you also be blessed with limitless opportunities to be everything of which you are capable.