Sunday, December 31, 2006

Reflections On The Old Year

Hopes For The New One

Well, here we all are--posed at the end of the old year, looking at the beginning of 2007.

If you’re like me, you’re sitting there scratching your rear end head and wondering where most of 2006 went. I guess that the old adage really is true that the older you get, the faster time seems to fly.

Doing a quick calculation, I just figured out that I have thus far lived 17,274 days, so surviving another 365 sunrises and sunsets keeps getting incrementally smaller and smaller in the overall total of things.

For me, the year 2006 saw some fairly substantial changes in the planet in general and in my life personally--many good, and some bad.

The lowest point came in April when my Father’s Mother, my beloved 93 year old Grandmother Bessy, passed away after a short illness. In one day, with the passing of the woman who was married to the man I am named for, my immediate family went from four generations to three.

Then this summer my childhood friend, former Air Force fighter pilot and American Airlines captain Mike Parker, died of Stomach Cancer. I traveled back to southern Alabama from the Georgia Coast to celebrate his life with my friend Mark with several dozen of my high school classmates in attendance at the graveside ceremony. I guess that it is true that “only the good die young.”

On the personal health front, I managed to avoid spending any time in the hospital this year, after nearly buying the farm in August of 2005. That’s most definitely a GOOD THING. This fall we purchased two new Electra Townie bicycles and, while Pat is several hundred miles ahead of me on the odometer, I think that as the weather improves and the days get longer we’ll both see the health benefits of riding on an almost daily basis.

I wish I could just turn off the TV and let the world take care of itself without commenting because I am so tired of yelling at the TV picture tube while I watch highly paid STUPID PEOPLE say STUPID things that at least 51% of the population takes at face value. For that reason, I’m quite happy to have never reproduced and be closer to 50 than I am to 25. I’m just gonna die some day within the next 30 or 40 years and let the rest of you worry about things from there on out.

It looks like that the year 2007 will see my reentry into the engineering consulting business in a substantial fashion, with design opportunities coming at me from all sides. I hate having to admit that I’m excited to go back to work at the expense of my beach bum lifestyle, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

Later this morning we’re heading over on I-10 to southern Alabama to celebrate the New Year with some old high school friends, then we’ll move on to the northwest to spend most of the week with my mother while I do a little work on our farm. The cool weather will hopefully allow me to crawl around in the attic to replace a fan that’s been dead for years and do some work on outbuildings without dieing of heat stroke.

I guess that it is appropriate that I begin the new year in the area of the planet where I began my life--I’m very comfortable there because everything and everyone is so familiar. Best of all, it’s generally a low stress environment, and that’s my number one priority these days…

Avoiding unnecessary stress.

Here’s hoping you can do the same in YOUR New Year.


No comments: