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Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010: The Year the Rules Changed

How could I not take a few moments to look back on 2010?  The interesting part is that, by virtue of my own official blogger rules, I really can't write about some of what happened during the year.  However when I look back on some of this year's postings...and having the benefit of the "Steve decoder ring" (which one or two other people also have)...I can see that I actually did write about quite a bit of sensitive stuff, all be it in an exceedingly indirect way.

So here we go...2010, the year the rules changed.

Doing Big Things
It's no secret that the past few months have been somewhat *difficult* for me personally.  It's also not an understatement to say that I was unprepared for all that has happened, but sometimes life is like a swimming pool:  every once in a while you just have to jump in (or I guess "jump out" in the case of divorce). Now I'm not claiming that I am over the difficult stuff, because I am not, and I readily acknowledge that fact.  What I can claim in some way is that I've expanded my capacity to handle the difficult stuff, which I hope puts me in a good place for the future.

Yes, the skin is a bit thicker and I've experienced some emotions in quantities that have been unnerving (at best), but I'm here to write about the experience, and that in and of itself is a good thing.

Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends
I've written about this before, but one of the things I've learned in 2010 is that friendship is more than just one a way street.  For years I think I was a friend to some folks, but that friendship was more about my helping them than anything else.  That's not because others didn't want to help me, but rather because I simply never asked for help.  That was wrong, and I have been stubbornly pig-headed for far too long.

Feeling Feelings, Not Thinking Them
I've learned that feeling are to be felt, not analyzed like some kind of Algebra problem.  I also learned that, in my personal life, I need to be more simple and direct with my feelings.  There is no sin in saying "I am angry because _______" if you are actually angry.  In fact, it's healthy.  Funny thing is that I have that kind of thing handled in my professional life, but never really in my personal life.  That has started to change, for the better.  I can now be angry without feeling guilty about being angry.  Small miracle, to be sure, but a miracle never the less.

Faith Matters
Let me say this right up front:  I am not claiming any kind of religious revival.  But I have seen and experienced a few things over the past two months that have me thinking that maybe, just maybe, there are things in this universe that simply can't be explained as being some kind of random accident.  Why do our lives take the turns that they do?  Sure, some of it is random chance based upon the choices we make.  However what is so random about getting that helping hand precisely at the moment when you are just about to fall off the cliff?    

I do not believe that we are somehow "controlled" by some old white dude who lives on a cloud; that's a fiction best left to children (and people with the intellect of children).  Free will don't you know.  But I do (now) think that sometimes our lives may be steered in certain directions.  Why?  Best I can figure it may be so that we can have the opportunity to grow and become more of what we are capable of becoming for the people in our lives and the world around us.  

Now the trick is to figure out what I should be doing with these kinds of thoughts.  Hint:  tent revivals are not in my future, but perhaps some additional faith exploration is in the offing.

By the way, my definition of "faith" may be different than yours.  For me, "faith" is the idea that you believe in something even when there is no proof to support that belief.  It doesn't have as much to do with dogma as it does in having your mind open to the notion that we are not capable of understanding it all.

I'm A Lucky Guy
I really am a lucky guy.  

I have three intelligent, beautiful, insightful daughters who make me very proud.

There are people who care about me.  

I have a job that enables me to pay my bills, help my children through college and still have enough left over to buy a toy every now and then.

I'm reasonably healthy.  

I have my wits about me.  

I've had the opportunity to learn some really, really tough lessons in life and live to tell about it.  

At 46 I'm still interested in learning new things.  I actually now have a copy of the Brandenburg Concerto.

Here's to 2011 & a new set of rules.

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