Just Keep Swimming

So, How About This 2011?: A Personal Reflection

Wow, 2011 has been a big proverbial roller coaster. I had been reflecting on the year with Emily the other night and started talking about how this will not be a year that I'll be missing when it passes on. Then she brought up the fact that actually a lot of great things have come out this year so far, too. It made me realize that I've likely never had a year that has been so bipolar (and I wish you could 'cure' a year).

Let's first look at the amount of loss that has been experienced this year. All in the first half of the year my grandmother passed away, lost a childhood hero, and my parents' cat entered eternal sleep. Then there is the family emergency that I've eluded to before, but I've decided to not entirely divulge since this is a public forum (this tragedy involves more than me). To sum it all up, there has been a lot of heartbreak.

On the other hand, my grandmother lived an amazing and wonderful 96 years, which by any estimation is a very full life. She lived almost the entirety of it healthy and with independence. My parents' cat, Storm, was definitely more than 'just a cat', but he also lived a full cat life of 18 years. In both cases, there really isn't too much to be sad about because they got to spend many years with those who loved them. Though Macho Man Randy Savage died far too young, at 58 years old, he also left many fond and wonderful memories for his fans. So, death is crushing and heartbreaking but often it opens up your memory to the many wonderful moments that you can cherish for the rest of your life. And yes, there is likely one more awful tragedy coming, but right now my family will focus on the good times together and create those memories that we can hold on to for the rest of our lives.

2011 has decided to bring in a few more major stresses, that had caused me to think that this year should be shown the door and directed to the nearest bus station. But then I realized that I'm focusing on the awful and missing a great deal of awesome.

As you know, I decided to take my writing career full time back in April. This has been a journey I started at the beginning of 2010, when I decided that I'd finally pursue my life long dream of being a full time writer rather than just fantasize about the possibilities. While I am not diving into a sea of coins ala Scrooge McDuck, I'm doing relatively well for a guy just starting out his own business. I am doing well because I am making connection on a daily basis, I have a pretty steady stream of work, I'm actually making a livable amount of money, and most importantly, I am doing the one thing I want to do for a living. That last one is pretty priceless. These past few weeks, I've got to do some pretty interesting things thanks to my new career, including interviewing the type of people I'd likely never talk to otherwise and being paid to learn about some really interesting history. Plus writing is just fun and I'm constantly getting the opportunity to try new styles and formats and genres of writing. I love the challenge. So, 2011 was the year that my career really got the start and hopefully, leads to many more years of success.

I also became an uncle in 2011. One of the coolest moment of my life was being able to hold Joshua for the very first time. I look forward to many years of becoming the cool uncle and spoiling him rotten while the parents aren't looking. I've only had a few chances to see him, but I already know he is someone I love dearly. 2011 will always be the year that I got a new title to my name and started a relationship with a special buddy.

2011 promises to bring a lot more good too. I have a few projects that are in the works, and I'm incredibly excited about them. I've got a few events in the summer that will be incredibly exciting and wonderful. Summer promises the usual greatness like trips, weddings and gatherings. I look forward to that, and know that each will help make 2011 special and memorable.

It seems like life ends up balancing itself out most of the time. Yes, 2011 has been a hard year with the stress of being self employed and having loved ones pass away. But 2011 has brought several tons of certifiable good too. It is a reminder that even though tough and awful times will show up at your door, you need to cling to those really good times. The good times often show up while you're focusing on some of the bad. The key is to recognize the bad and do what you need to do with it, but to actually focus on the really wonderful things staring right at you. Even in the bad, there is often some good hidden inside. During the family tragedy I've mentioned, our family has become much closer and there has been an amazing outpouring of love. It is things like this that need to be held on to, and the things that will make for much better memories.

So 2011, maybe I'll let you stick around for 6 more months. I know you've got a bit more bad in store, but I'll decide to look forward to the promised good.


  1. Anonymous10:13 am

    Catherine Ho via Facebook:

    likes this.

  2. Anonymous10:14 am

    Catherine Ho via Facebook:

    yay cool uncle Chris :) :)


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