I've decided that I'm going to ignore when one year ends and another begins. It seems the last few years I have said I've had the worst year and that surely the next year would be better. Well... I just don't even want to think about it anymore. There is simply a new day. Every day. Today is a new day; tomorrow will be a new day too, but not until today has been lived. That's how I'm going to try to approach life now.
So, while it's true that some bad things happened in 2013 (the first time I've ever been fired in my 51 years, and apparently I lost a lot of good friends), there were many good things that happened too. I am not looking for some kind of miracle to make everything change just because we need a new calendar. The miracle is found in something Eugene Peterson said (actually, he titled a book with it): A long obedience in the same direction. There will be no resolutions, just taking one day at a time, trying to live like I think Jesus wants me to live. Certainly it won't ever be the way some people think it should be, but I'm doing my best and I'm going to start cutting myself some slack. I am who I am. I'm not perfect; I'm never going to be; I'm never going to meet everyone's expectations; people are always going to lie; everyone will let me down at some point... all that stuff. I'm just going to get up, put my clothes on, and go to work. Every day. I'm going to try to remind myself to smile, to not care as much, and just "be." As JR said, "The point is dying if we don't live when we're alive."
There... it's been awhile since I've sat down and wrote something off the top of my head and then posted it right away. So this may or may not make sense, or be what I really think, or whatever... It is what it is (whatever that means).
On a more pragmatic note - I do start a new job tomorrow. I haven't had a whole lot of "starting-a-new-job days," so I'm a little anxious. I started working at 16 (when I got my drivers license) and worked there for 10 years. Then I got a job one block from my house in one of the only factories in town, and worked there for 6 years. Then I went to seminary for 3 years and worked a little bit delivering office furniture. Then I pastored a church for 14 years. And now I will be starting this job. It doesn't pay a whole lot, it's not something I intend to do forever (but then, I only thought I would be at my last job a year or two), but I'm looking forward to it. I think it will be good.
Also, this past year I had a nice long break. I went from the 2nd week of May until the end of the year and didn't work or have any real obligations. That's the longest break I've had since I started working in high school. I have never not had a job before. It was a nice break, though, and I very much appreciate the opportunity. I also went to weekly counseling from February through October. That was very worthwhile. I continue to have a great group of pastor friends that I meet with (though that may not work out anymore). Tom and I have met together weekly for over 14 years now. I have a great family; both my kids have great spouses; my two grandkids are awesome; a third grandchild will be here in May; Jane and I had a great trip to Cancun; I am part of a great "posse" of friends who really stepped up this summer when we needed them to; and... a bunch of other stuff. Life has been pretty good to me. I'm going to try to forget the negative.
So... whatever year it is... tomorrow is a new day. That is all.
[I will probably edit this later. Now it's time for Jane's pancakes. Or... not]