Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013: A Retrospective

Long ago, I concluded that New Year's Day is a useless holiday. After all, New Year's day really celebrates the national hangover after the festivities of New Year's Eve and a seemingly endless progression of bad football games and worse TV.

However, other than a day of miserable hangovers and football games, of marathon showings of "Dr. Who" other TV fare, the new year offers an opportunity to assess one's life and plan for one's future. David Allen would call it an "annual review". After all, "those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it." and "To continue to do the same thing and expect different results is lunacy."

So, how does 2013 look in retrospect?

My answer is "Pretty darn good!"

For me, 2013 was a year of new things, different things, and transitions.

My bionic bride celebrated her new hip by walking across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. I walked with her.

I retired after 31 years on the job and continue celebrate the incredible freedom that goes with it. The problem is not one of having too few but too many worthy and exciting options. There is not time to do them all, and prioritizing has never been my forte.

In 2013, I got serious about my health and developed the habit of walking two miles every day. I also visited a nutritionist and acted on her advice. As a result, I end 2013 fifteen pounds lighter than when I started. What I'm doing is working. I intend to keep doing it.

We traveled in 2013 -- locally to Washington, DC for my 50th High School Class Reunion, and Nationally to San Francisco for the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Reunion. We went to North Carolina to see our oldest Grandchild graduate from High School, to Key West to visit our son's family and to Holiday, Florida to visit Paula's mom and sister.

I indulged my inner farmer by growing a successful backyard garden, volunteering at a community garden and planting and harvesting potatoes for the hungry of western North Carolina. The process of planting a seed in the ground and getting food from it remains a miracle.

We had the exterior of the house painted, not a transition, but an improvement. We call our dwelling "Dunmoovin Manor". We intend to live here for a long time.

I was honored to deliver the Memorial Message at the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's Association Annual Reunion in July and a Veteran's Day Address to students at a local high school in November, both incredible experiences.

Not all transitions were positive. Paula's mom suffered a stroke and passed away in early November. Her passing leaves us diminished. We miss her. 

Some things didn't change.  We continue to buy an additional case of food every time we shop at Costco. We give it to the local food bank. We call it solving world hunger one meal at a time.

And some things didn't get done. I came nowhere near my objective of publishing a new post to this blog once a week. Neither did I do anything toward my objective of publishing a memoir of wartime experiences flying with the Pink Panthers. These will remain dreams, worthy objectives for the year to come.

That was my year, not a year without setbacks, but overall a good year and a successful year.

How was your 2013?

What went well for you?

What didn't turn out as you would have wished?

What do you plan to do about it?