Sunday, November 06, 2011
This morning I had breakfast surrounded by my wife and children, and couldn't be happier.
I am much healthier than last year, and in addition to managing my diet (mostly vegetarian/vegan), swimming and running, training harder in Kali, and becoming less angry all the time I think I am finally reaching a lasting happiness in my life.
There were many down points this year, too. My father died at 90 years old, which makes me sad, but I am also glad for him to leave this world behind and take the next step in his soul's journey. He taught me a lot through his life, and more still through his death.
He lived pretty stress-free, even until the end. He did what he wanted, when he wanted and was beholden to no one except at the very end. He made no apologies for who and how he was, and always kept it simple. In dying, he chose when to let go, and kept as much dignity as any of us could hope for in such a time. He passed knowing we loved him. If I do as well when my time comes someday, it will be more than enough.
I still don't have a job, and it has been one year now that I am out of work. Initially, my pride made this very painful. Over time, it has helped me understand that I AM NOT MY JOB. I am not my business cards, my college degrees or my career choices. I am my family, and the returns that really matter come not from my investment in the markets, but from my investment in my marriage and in my children. These are the dividends and value which will sustain me through every downswing in my life. This is real wealth, and by this measure I am rich and always will be. This year has taught me to really appreciate the balance between work and life and to pay full attention to them both.
At 45 I am still learning, and proud of the fact that my desk has a big stack of books on it, 9 of them, actually. I have a lot to do, but this is not the stress of urgency - it is the motivation of purposefulness. I hope I can keep learning and growing for the rest of my life. My quest to become a better person continues, unrelenting.
What are my goals? What do I expect to write about next year at 46?
1) LOVE MORE --- make sure those around me know how important they are to me
2) SHARE MORE --- people love each other through participation. Don't be afraid to share both good and bad. The good makes us happy, the bad makes us stronger.
3) GIVE MORE --- give of my time, my knowledge, my experience, my spirit, my resources to those who need it.
4) NO STRESS --- we cannot change the outside, so we must change the inside. Change the way you view the world and you change the world itself.
5) LET GO --- so much of life is about understanding what to keep and what to let go. Keep the positive, let go the negative. Think about this in every circumstance.
6) BE HERE NOW --- enjoy every moment for what it is. Never wish to be anywhere else except where you are at each moment. Experience life fully. Squeeze out every last drop.
7) BE MORE YOU --- use this journey to explore yourself. Never want to be anyone else, but rather to become more "you" than you have ever been. Find your good qualities and amplify them. Take your bad qualities and change them. Change yourself, change the world.
8) NO COMPROMISE --- never settle for anything less than the best for important things. Let go of trivial details for everything else. Focus 100% on what matters and waste no time on that which does not.
9) LISTEN --- open your ears, mind, heart, and soul to those around you. Listen with your whole being and you will be successful.
10) TREASURE IT --- we each have one life, one precious life. Use it wisely. Revel in this chance to grow. Have no regrets.
In 45 years I have made several lifetimes of mistakes already. I regret none of them, for they brought me here; to this place, this time, this understanding. I am very hopeful as I look forward to the upcoming year. Please share it with me.