Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Looking Toward a Brighter 2014

That's me hoping 2014 comes in and goes out with a smile.
My friend Betsy Gehman, who's 90 and would likely have some idea about such things, says that "2013 was the worst year since 1930."

I can't speak to anything prior to the 1950s, but Betsy's including some pretty bad years. Hell, some pretty bad decades. Here's what she believes 2013 exceeded in sheer disappointment:

The Great Depression, WWII, McCarthy witchhunts, Vietnam, George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Watergate, Richard Nixon (there's a trend here with the Republicans), fashion of the 1970s, Big Hair, Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Gay Rights, The Right, Wall Street Meltdowns I and II. There's plenty more, but that'll get your attention.

On the flip side, 2013 did give us Miley Cyrus's tongue, twerking and haircuts that defy description, and for that we must be ever grateful. Miley is the very definition of levity in an age when Ted Cruz is considered a presidential candidate and one of the boys from "Duck Dynasty" is solemnly looked upon as potential VP timber.

For me, 2013 presented some pretty serious challenges. I apologized publicly at least twice, once for an error in a magazine story that still haunts me. I quoted two people correctly, but attributed their quotes incorrectly. I gave each the other's lines in one spot. I screwed up a significant relationship (with great regret) and spent the last half of the year waiting for my son to move his family to Spain. They still haven't gone and may not until February. I've never seen such ineptitude as that exhibited by the people trying to get his paperwork straightened out. And this is not the first rodeo for those trying to get all this stuff right. Stress on stress on stress. But I did get more time with the fam, especially Oz and Maddie.

I finally published my first novel and for that I'm grateful. I think it's a good book, if not a great one and a story that's easy to read, easy to understand, easy to like. I sold FRONT, the magazine I co-owned, in order to get that book finished and I've run into a whole lot of freelance work since then (for which I am both grateful and nearly exhausted). I plan to get on with Novel No. 2 shortly. I have 245 pages written, but I don't really feel like I've started yet. There's Novel 3 sitting in the paddock area, awaiting a post time.

I'm sliding in to home tonight with a good book, a comfy lounge chair, my grandgirl spending the night and a quiet toast (non-alcoholic) to what's ahead in hope and dream land.

What's ahead, I sincerely want, is a lot of learning, a great deal of growing and understanding and a feel for what's right. I'm probably too old to be doing all the self-examining I've been up to of late, but there are revelations in there that will make me better if they don't kill me.

I hope your 2014 will be as good as the one I'm planning and I would like it a lot if my plan becomes a reality.

(Photo by my buddy Anne Sampson.)

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