Today is the day. The last normal work day of 2013. How do you feel? Lost? Confused? Excited? Hopeful? Probably all of the above.
New Year’s is always a very strange time. Everyone has overdosed from holiday ridiculousness, many have consumed too many desserts, and the rest are all scrambling to change their lives with shallow, un-impactful platitudes that scream I’M A REALLY LAME, UNORIGINAL PERSON. I just can’t understand people who chose not to grab the world by the horns and bend, slam, and coerce it to their will. I would much rather fail at a huge, towering goal that I spend 100% of my energy tackling than to obliterate 10 goals that a small child could perform with ease.
NYE, much like Christmas, has enough pomp, circumstance, and sugary anticipation to get the average person overwhelmed long before the actual event arrives, and there are countless pressures to make the holidays “awesome, fantastic, wonderful, glorious, and perfect.” Ouch. That’s just a bad combination. The average American would likely admit that the pressures to make it the “best time of the year” are immense, burying, and stressful. No wonder all those gyms are full the first few weeks of January and empty by February…
I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the implications of 2014. I just got back from a weekend excursion to my high school city for a fun reunion with a handful of friends from many, many years ago. It’s always a tough realization coming back from such a trip when you’re slapped in the face with the facts of life:
- People change
- Friendships change
- Relationships change
- Life is constantly changing
- WHY IS THERE SO MUCH CHANGE?!
The way you relate to people who were heavily involved in your past life is constantly in flux. They get married, move, start new hobbies, and in turn you go off on your own having new adventures, spending time and energy with new and different friends, and make your path your own. I still don’t understand why my friends won’t come to Reno. What the eff people?! Get on it! My days of returning to Vegas are quickly coming to a close…actually, they may have already arrived.
I’ve already cleaned my desk in preparation for the upcoming year, changed to a fresh calendar, and began flagging some potential vacation time. Probably the greatest lesson I have learned since 2011, the year when I completed my first half IRONMAN and really started making huge changes in my life, is that work should be productive, fun, done well and correctly, used as a learning experience, and primarily used to A) pay the bills (oh, groceries) and B) to be used to support and encourage the life that I lead outside of the work world.
I have places to go, people to see, photos to take, and races to race. I refuse to be in the majority of Americans who simply rot at their jobs, rot at home on the couch, and slowly rot away while sleeping. Life is meant for so much more, and should be tapped into appropriately. I’m not a proponent for shirking on work to support the “fun” stuff, but a life lead of too much work and not enough self-discovery is no life at all. I exhibit hard work in everything that I do. I train hard. I race hard. I dedicate myself 100% to my company, my teammates, and my boss, and I reap the rewards. I travel well. I eat well. I enjoy the four legged member of my family well. I thrive in my social circle well. I live life… well.
As I’m coming to the end of today’s thoughts, I think I’ve finally identified what is unfun about the New Year. It’s a sadness that the greatness from the past months is coming to an end. All the experiences, fun, hurt, frustrations, and epic moments won’t happen again and all we can look towards is the blank slate sitting in front of us. It’s that unknown that creates apprehension, fear, and sadness, at least within me, and I’ve always grappled with that. Year after year, a new year has been anticlimactic and generally not cool. Perhaps it is time to change that…
Considering I’m a pretty decent swimmer, I tend to experience a floundering sensation far more often than I care to. But really, floundering in a river may simply be the experience of being whisked by the current to new and wonderful experiences, which it often is.
My challenge for 2014 will be to live in the moment. I never, ever live in the moment except in my racing. If I’m planning the next great party, my mind is already done and moving on before it even starts. If I’m on a trip, other than snapping my photos I’m thinking about the next great adventure that I can partake in, and in work I learn something and immediately look for the next looming mountain out on the horizon that will allow me to climb and stretch further. The quest for learning is a great and healthy. The pursuit of perfection is not. What a balancing act we must all maintain…
Here’s some food for thought from two of my new breakout band favorites!