Is there one moment you wish you could do over? What have you lost, what are you grieving? Did you discover a favorite song or artist in 2013?
I’ll start off by saying that I absolutely love this project, Reverb that is. On a day-to-day basis, it’s easy to get down on yourself and lose sight of what’s important. What having to reflect on the year that’s ending does, is really bring to the surface not only the negative things that sometimes get etched deeper but all the good things about the year. That has been the case for the last few years that I’ve taken part of reverb/reflect/resound.
I could pick a handful of days that I’d like to redo, but only to relive the many great days I had this year. I haven’t really let any days get away from me as far as needing to do things differently. This again fills me with happiness at the realization of what a great year I’ve had. What a great year we’ve had. I can’t say that I’ve lost anything other than weight, I’m not grieving that. Very different from last year, when asked to look back, it was not life that stood out but death and choices I made surrounding that death.
On to happy thoughts : Music is always a big part of my day. I run just about every day but Friday and, other than official races when taking in the crowd is best, I always listen to music. I’m a sucker for Sinatra and the rest of the rest of the Ratpack. Ella and Otis regularly calm my breathing when on the road. Their songbooks are so vast that it hardly ever leaves an opening for new material. Thanks to the likes of Spotify and just recently iTunes radio I’ll hear a new song every once in a while. Enter Dave Moisan one song I recommend you listen too is Mexico. It came to mind with this post because he’s basically singing about hind sight. Yes the song is about 2 years old but hey I just discovered it in 2013.
What was the bravest thing you did in 2013? What does your heart have to tell you? What storm did you weather in 2013?
I don’t know about it being brave. Especially in comparison with the various activities I took part of in my past life as a Marine infantryman. Yet in my current life it was one of the scariest obstacles I’d have to overcome. So with that logic, the “bravest” thing I did in 2013 was leave my job. It wasn’t gainful employment by any means, it was just a job. Either way after having been unemployed for quite some time prior to this job it wasn’t so much the unknown that I feared but actually another dose of the same. The hardships that we’d surely face and the idea that this time it was of my choosing and not a layoff.
I told many people that it was a choice that I did not come to lightly and that I knew in my heart that I was making the right one. I have never really been one to regret decisions but when weeks turned to months it is hard to say that I didn’t get frustrated and at times feel like there was no hope. Some days were better than others but I’m a strong believer of everyday being a good one and that although yesterdays decisions have a direct effect on my tomorrow. By that logic each new day is a chance to change my tomorrow.
This whole year was a roller coaster. Some very powerful emotions were felt by all. I mean someones birthday is usually a pretty big deal. Every single year it’s like we’re chasing a high we’ll never really match to that very first birthday, right? Yet in the very same calendar year I and therefore my family experienced some pretty horrible lows all because of a decision I feel I had to make. As understanding as family is and close friends are as well. I feel they too would have started to judge with the passing of time.
I am ending the year back in the work force. Regardless of how tumultuous the storm became I weathered it as best I could and am no longer drowning. (more like treading water) I’m certain I’ll be able to climb up on the boat in 2014. So I’m glad I had faith in what my heart told me. I was on a sinking ship and instead of going down I decided to jump. I still think that it was the pregnancy glow back in January that made me think everything would work out in the end. Even now it’s not the end.
What was the best moment of 2013? What made your soul feel most nourished this year? What was the most memorable gathering you attended (or held) in 2013?
The absolute best moment of 2013 was the birth of my daughter. Emotionally it was just as overwhelming if not more than when I first became a father. I’ve read that the moment before ones death your whole life flashes before your eyes. For me the same could be said at the moment of my children’s births. My daughter being born definitely took me back when my boy was born and what I will never quite understand is how overwhelming it still was emotionally. Last time it was an unknown avalanche of emotion, but I was certain that this time I was ready and would not be fazed, but boy was I wrong. It was clear to me as I heard her cry out, after what seemed like a deep deep breath, her entire life and all the milestones I’d now be a part of flashed before my eyes, completely different then with my son.
She joined our family in early August just about a month shy of her expected date of birth so just like my son she made an early appearance. Yet this single moment was the culmination of what seemed an entire year of waiting for her arrival. As a family we all waited anxiously to meet her and every thing we did or thought about revolved how she would change our lives as we knew it. It definitely nourished our family and myself before hand and now that she’s been part of our family for a while now, we all wondered how we ever went on with out her. As happy as I am about that it absolutely fills me with pride and love to see how my son has embraced his role as a big brother.
All that being said 2013 will always be the year we added a new character to our story. Yes G and I became parents for a second time but that did not stop our friends and family from being happy at our good fortune. Our baby shower was really incredible and friends old and new stopped by to thanks us for sharing our love fest with them and to commend us for the great job we’ve done with child number one. I suppose that’s why it meant so much more. The baby shower the first time around was like a bachelor party of sorts where we said good by to our “single” days. This one was more of like a 10 year anniversary where the connection has been tried and we made it through with a passing grade.
2014 will bring plenty of first with our little one but 2013 will always be when I met the second girl to steal my heart.
At the start: Where did you start 2013? Give us some background on this year. / How do you feel, on this first day, in your mind? In your body? In your heart? In your soul?
I started the year with a lot of hope for the magic to come. After all I knew I’d meet my second child. Our first child is literally the best thing to have ever happened to me. I just knew I’d be just as happy to hold my second. I also knew that the situation I was in, could not be the one the baby would arrive into. My job at the beginning of the year was just a job, and one that was soul crushing, so before it killed all of me I needed to cut it out of my life. I had settled in the past and it ended badly so I would simply remove my self from the situation before it was truly toxic.
As December kicks off I feel that the various decisions I made through out the year were the right ones. In my mind it is all playing out the way I thought it would. I have just recently gone back to work at a job I feel is a perfect fit. Like I mentioned it’s new but already I’m not being judged or worst of all having to put up with others being treated like crap because of circumstance they had no real control over.
My body as always could use a little help from the nutrition gods because i can’t seem to outrun my bad habits as far as food but I still feel like a million bucks after a run. Today started with a hilly 13.14 miles. I still feel that I’m putting in the work that will have me running my marathon faster than the previous one.
My heart is content about the decisions it inspired. After almost 12 years of marriage I couldn’t possibly love my wife more. As I have a conversation with our son or when I stare in awe at our daughter I think back to when I first laid eyes on her and how sure I was that she was the one. She has grown up to be an even more selfless woman than I could have ever imagined she would be. I guess the signs were always there but I remember no one around me believed me or understood exactly how I could be so certain of something so deep at the age of 17, at 32 I’m still there and as cheesy at it sounds it’s one of the few things I’ve never doubted. Even if I don’t always like admitting to her.
My soul is still hungry for more and I’m ending this year with hope in my heart that if I stop getting in my own way I will be able to fill the void that a lot of struggles have left me with. Some self inflicted and some just a by product of experiences only a few will ever truly understand.
Our little girl was born 3 months ago. I’ve fed her and changed her countless times. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night more times than I’ll ever be able to count.
Last Monday though was the wife’s first day back at work. Which means it was my first official day as a stay at home Dad. For all the times I told my wife that I’d be OK. I will admit that it was a very scary undertaking. I was more hands on with my boy. When, at the time, my young wife would hesitate to do or take care of something, I pushed forward with out pause. My wife would argue that at times stepping in too much and not allowing her more hands on time. Fast forward 8 years and in an effort to allow her more bonding time I admittedly took a more relaxed position. I would help out but not to the point of being over bearing.
Now all the “baby bonding” time is over. Or so the state of California says it is. Well for me that meant every single feeding and every single changing. Wet and dirty. When she got fussy I went down my mental checklist of what she could be trying to tell me and when I succeeded melted I saw that smile. She didn’t sleep as much as I knew she slept on a regular basis. I’m convinced my little girl missed her mom, as much as I did. Anytime I felt even a little bummed though or began to really question if I could do this for the long haul, she would smile and I would realize how lucky I am to have this opportunity.
The days leading up to my first day were full of doubt and fear. When I put my head on the pillow that night I couldn’t help but smile at the notion that I have quite a few more days like this one to come. Yet I’ll never forget my first.