"The world is not to be put in order. The world is order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order." - Henry Miller
Well, that's it. Another year in the bag. I am now officially 46 years old.
As I usually do, let me take stock of where things sit as I turn another page in my book of adventures. There have been many changes since last year, and yet many things remain unchanged.
I have a new job, which is interesting and exciting. I also have a lot of new friends, colleagues, coworkers, clients as a result of this. I am back working in Akasaka, near to where I was when I joined JP Morgan in July of 2005. It has nostalgic memories for me, and I like how the area has changed.
All the birthday messages I received from around the world showed me that I have engaged in and interacted with a huge number of people all over. Since I believe we are all connected, the greater the number of peoples' lives I touch, the happier I am. This has been very rewarding and I feel truly blessed for knowing the diverse group of excellent people I know.
I started Crossfit this year, which is an awesome way to work out and think about fitness. The coaches are smart, the workouts are savage, and it is a great community of professionals who really care about achieving their peak performance. Crossfit motivates me to do my best.
Our Kali group has grown bigger, with many new faces. Every Friday we have 10-12 people, which is much bigger than last year. Our group is really a great little community of friends who train hard together and support each other. My more experienced intermediates are well-regarded when they go to Singapore, and the new students are coming along quickly - we must be doing something right. The KM Japan Study Group remains a cornerstone of my life and something I really look forward to every week.
George and Ray grow bigger, stronger, and more energetic year by year. It goes so fast. Their dialogues become more complex, but they are still at an age where we can spend time together and enjoy being a family. I am blessed to have such happy, healthy kids.
We went from one pug to two, adding our Xie Xie as a companion to Butch. Over the year she has settled down quite a bit and proven to be a great member of our family. We watch "The Dog Whisperer" regularly, and I have to say we have a "good pack" at home.
I have been reading a lot, especially books about Austrian economics. This has really turned me more toward a fundamentalist about the US Constitution and given me much more respect for the foresight our forefathers had when they imagined our government and what would be needed. It is still every bit as relevant a document now as it was when it was written - and that says something very important. Sadly, however, I am reminded how far from it we have come, and how my beloved country --- the Land of the Free and the Home of The Brave --- has become the Land of the Oppressed and the Home of the Apathetic.
Today we re-elected a man who will do his best to increase the size of government and our citizens' reliance on it, who at the same time will quietly take away our rights and liberties and replace them with a police state, and who will tax us all into debt slavery. He is somehow still seen as "the better man", but ultimately our proud nation is doomed to be globally marginalized even further than we were. This is truly heartbreaking.
I love what my country has stood for, and it is unbearably sad to see it sink into irrelevance. We only have ourselves to blame for allowing this to happen to us.
Overall, it's been a good and productive year with a lot to be thankful for.
I am looking forward to a great 46th year on Earth and can't wait to share this journey with all of you.