New Years Eve – how I used to dread this day. Expectations to have a wonderful, best night ever were always unfulfilled. These attempts at forced revelry normally resulted in the beginning of a new year with a hangover. Over the last year I have realized many things but one in particular is that I drink excessively when I am unhappy. I see this now because 2014 was a transformational year for me and I drank less last year than ever I have. The reason for this? It was a happy year for me.
It is a bit of a cliche to say that life is a journey, but being a cliche doesn’t make it untrue. Getting the most out of any journey means keeping your eyes open. This year I saw a lot and have learnt a great deal about myself. It’s somewhat surprising to get to this point in my life and realize there is still stuff to discover. You’d think that by now, closer to 50 than 40, I would know who I am.
For the longest time, until very recently apparently, I knew what I didn’t want and spent a lot of energy and effort running away from that. But starting with meeting my wife, continued and accelerated by the arrival of my son, my focus has slowly changed from what I didn’t want to what I do want. This last year has been like a fuzzy idea slowly coming into focus until the scene suddenly snaps sharp.
At the centre of this focus is my desire to be a good role model for my son. From my observations, my reading and studying this past year it is clear that children model themselves on their parents. There is a genetic component, which I suspect plays a larger part in a young persons development than we give credit for, but a lot of their behaviour is modelled on the adults in their lives. This realization has forced me to be a better version of myself. So the days of the beer swilling, wine guzzling, video game playing, sloth are done. Now I am actively trying to better myself. I am trying to read, exercise (still working on that) and be a good husband and father each day. I feel like bettering yourself is a lot like giving up smoking. Damn hard. Sometimes I regress into former bad habits but I try not to don’t myself up too much, I am human after all. Next year I will keep on trying to be a better version of myself because my son (and my wife 🙂 deserve that.
2015 has the potential to be a great year. A year that consolidates what we as a family began in 2014.
So Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s hoping that 2015 brings peace and happiness to you, your family and your friends.