Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye, 2014

This is, most likely, the 81st and final post for 2014.

I'm ready to be done with this year. In fact, I was ready just after Thanksgiving. That happens sometimes, but I'm not sure I've felt it this intensely.

Twenty-fourteen was, like every year, a mix of good and bad. Sure there was great stuff, and I don't mean to imply otherwise. The beast known as HAN Radio was nurtured this year.

There is a lot to be proud of. There is a lot to improve on. Like me, it's a work in progress.

Of course, I also worked harder than I probably ever have before, and that was often to my own detriment. At times, it was purely to keep my mind occupied. At other times, it was because I needed to. No complaints though. This is a great labor of love, and as anyone knows: it beats the alternative.

Personally, I loved and lost and loved again. Perhaps not in that order but the sentiment is fairly accurate.

I stressed. I obsessed. I was depressed. I found success.

I saw friends come and go. Even if it might have been for the best, I still didn't like it when I lost them. I loved the friendships that grew. Those who remain in my closest circle generally get it with me.

I stayed true to what I am, like it or not. I remained passionate, stubborn, open-minded, flexible.

I adapted. I compromised. Sometimes I don't think that goes both ways.

I found my voice and lost it. And I was probably never prouder of that voice.

I was never one to lose sleep, yet I feel like I lost more sleep in 2014 than I ever have as I agonized and over-analyzed.

Despite, bluntly (and not to whine or bum you out) some of the deepest stress and depression I've ever known, I don't know that I'd change a whole lot of what happened in the past 364-plus days.

Oh I can sit here and make the BS resolutions...exercise, eat better, go out more, push harder for better financial security, keep an eye on my stress level, etc. It's all foolish to me. I don't need January 1st for any of that to happen. Any day will do fine, thank you very much.

I can resolve to write more. Sure. I quite agree that these 81 posts weren't enough. I hope - sincerely - that you do as well.

I thank those who encouraged me to stay on the horse. Mick McGowan, Jon Field, Susan Shultz, and a few others spring to mind when I think of those who tell me to keep going here. Damn the stats. Who cares who is reading? Just. Keep. Writing.

I'm embarrassed to write, and have been ever since I joined Hersam Acorn, but I continue to. I've said that before, but Susan and John Kovach have been emphatically behind me, saying, "You belong."

John always says, "We'll get you through it." He hasn't been wrong.

Susan wrote a gorgeous editorial in the Darien Times about resolutions. That's a great writer (um, hello? The Blacksmith?).

I argue with myself about social media. I try to step away, then realize that it's a big part of my professional and personal life. To Chris Erway, Chris Kaelin, and Ryan DeMaria, it's how I stay in touch with them on a near-daily basis.

But I do love the interaction. The "likes" mean so much to me, and I've told a few of you that personally. Not the person who likes everything that is posted. I have those, and my mom and aunt mean well and, besides, they're my mom and aunt.

That's why, when my friends step up with support, I know it's real. They review it and don't just do it by rote. They don't simply like everything just because, and I won't do that to them either.

I had misunderstandings this year. Too many of them. To those on the receiving end, I'm sorry. Deeply. Understand where I'm often coming from. Again, I'm a passionate, emotional person. I take this stuff all very personally, and feel it when I hurt or upset someone, even if it wasn't the meaning. Most of what I do is well-intentioned, trying to be the big brother, or the understanding friend. I want to see people succeed, and I don't want to see loved-ones anchored with bad news around them.

It gets overwhelming to think about what didn't get done, and what I want to do. I don't need a shiny new year for any of that.

I hate New Year's Eve. Let me restate that: I. HATE. NEW. YEAR'S. EVE. I hate the ball. Carson Daly? Ryan Seacrest? Anderson Cooper? Get lost. I detest the whole thing.

For me, I want music, The Honeymooners on channel 11, and good people to be with.

But mostly, I don't see the need to celebrate because we aren't even close to finding peace, and I feel like we're a little further away than ever. But I stand firm in supporting our troops, our firemen, and yes, our police. There are bad apples in every bunch, but these are the people who keep us safe. They should be applauded. Thanked. Supported.

Peace. Jesus, is it that tough?

I know what I want in 2015. I don't know if it's obtainable, but I know it. I can feel it, and it's strong.

I'll still be me at 12:01. Nothing will have changed. The same things that I said out loud to my fathers' grave on Christmas morning will still be real. We just keep trying - as we have for a long time - to keep moving forward.

Thank you - all of you - for everything in 2014. Onward.

If tonight is your thing, enjoy. I'll see you on the flip side.

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