Well, 50 is in the books and a new year for me is now a reality.
I love having my birthday on New Year’s Eve. There’s something very cool about assessing the past and present with your personal and professional desires on the same day you turn another page on a year. It’s also fun that everyone around the world is partying on my special day. Heck, someone is having a fiesta somewhere in the world right now!
I’m a writer, so I like to write. It helps me to think, to marvel, and to be in the moment. That’s why I write now and share with you…
50 was a tremendous year. My memorable moments include:
- One week after my 50th birthday bash with family and friends, Mom passed away. The loss, though not unexpected, was hard. My last parent; the person that I had known the longest; the person that outside of my wife and my children I’d spent the most time with; and the person that always believed in me “just because…” As hard as the “I regret to inform you” call in the middle of the night is, she was ready and is at peace.
- I got to take my own daughters to the Washington Athletic Club Father-Daughter Banquet in February. I’d gone twice before with Rotary exchange students (with my daughters’ blessing), but this one was with my girls.
- I traveled domestically to Billings, MT, Sioux Falls, SD, Washington DC, and Palm Springs. DC was great as I got to see old high school pals that I hadn’t seen in decades. Palm Springs was the 20th anniversary of my Jumanji group – a bunch of high school buddies getting together annually to play golf. 20 years…hard to imagine.
- I traveled twice to Colombia. The first visit was to Bogotá where I got to show off my beautiful wife for the first time to my family. It was a remarkable 2 weeks for Barb and me. The second trip was to Cartagena to speak at a conference. It may be my new favorite city. I purchased my first Cuban cigars there and have saved one of them for this afternoon!
- I have 2 crazy dogs that entertain, annoy, and bring balance to my life. There’s something very special about living with dogs that somehow or other makes me better. This year, I think they were at their nuttiest and finest all at the same time.
- I published my 3rd book, Unleashed Leadership. It’s always rewarding to accomplish producing a book, however I recently was blown away by a conversation with a business owner that had a copy of it. We were discussing his thoughts on it, when he opened the book revealing dozens of pink highlighted sections. He started reading to me what I wrote! To write a book is one thing; to impact and help others is another. That is just one interaction of several I’ve had since writing it. For that gift, I am also grateful.
- My daughter Kelli took me to the Seahawks-Steelers game. While this isn’t earth-shattering or unique, we had a great time together drinking hot chocolate and Bailey’s, climbing to near the top of the stadium and cheering our lungs off in one of the most entertaining games I’ve been to.
- My daughter Mindy got engaged to a really great guy. If you have a daughter, especially if you’re the dad, you pray from Day 1 that your little girl finds someone that will be good to her. My prayers were answered. 2016 is already full of excitement as we plan for the wedding.
- Finally, I was blessed to spend another 365 days with mi amor. my best friend…Barb. Next year will mark 30 years of marriage and each year gets that much better. She’s the best present I get every year.
To all of you that read my work, thank you. You’re also a gift for me. I appreciate your interest and support.
2016 is upon us and it’s an open gate for you. Captain Jack and I write often about the concept of dashing through that open gate with vim, vigor, and vitality. The last day of the year should be a celebration for you. It is for me in more than just my birthday. It’s a brand new opportunity to experience life and all that it entails – the good and the hard. For me, I’m already convinced that 51 is going to be off the hook.
I encourage all of you to bound into this new year full of passion for your life. Make new friends, try new things, accomplish more than you imagined. Here’s to hoping you slide in ahead of the tag in 2016!
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