Happy Happy New Year! I go into 2013 with mixed emotions. Mostly, I go into 2013 tired. I keep using the word “refreshed” around my friends and family. I kept saying throughout all of 2012 I could not get anywhere near refreshed. Granted, juggling a newborn baby and running a law practice, along with the responsibilities to my three year old son and wife, maybe getting “refreshed”just wasn’t going to happen. But hopefully that changes in 2013, because if it doesn’t, I’ll end up on a floor in the fetal position of a Motel 6 clutching a bottle of scotch and a stuffed cat named Dr. Meow.
In my home office, I have this photograph of my wife, Amy, and I next to a pool in southern California. We are smiling ear to ear, sipping Daiquiris, carefree. Like the photograph above, that photograph was taken BC. Before children. In more recent pictures, we look much more like I remember my parents. Frazzled. Tired. Hunched Over. Old.
And instead of making parenting better or more fun, December, unfortunately made it worse. We were all hit with the recognition that we are not safe, hit hard by incidents of not only Newtown, Connecticut, but shootings in Pennsylvania and New York. We saw Chicago’s homicide rate go over 500. Things are looking so bad that I was glad my grandmother passed away and didn’t see how bad our world has gotten.
As this realization hit, I had the good fortune of not going to the office. It was good fortune, because I got to hang out at home with my children. After Christmas, Amy went off to work as I got to stay home with the children, now 4 and 1, and played, hung out, and smiled. Watching my daughter getting more confident on her feet these last few weeks has been a blast. I am certainly still frazzled, tired, hunched over, and old, but being on the floor with the kids last week has at least brought genuine joy.
Unfortunately, tomorrow isn’t promised. So I resolve to take more time to enjoy those moments I have with my children and wife. In the end, I’ll likely be even more frazzled, tired, hunched over and old, but also more thankful.
Last week, I also had the opportunity to read Amy’s grandfather’s writing over the last twenty-five years. The family is putting together a book of his writing and I was tapped to edit the selections to be included in the book. When I started the project, going through all of Bernie Meyers’ writing was a task to be completed, something to cross of the list. But as I read and read and read, I found myself laughing and having a great time at listening to his voice, his discussions about his family and friends, politics and big business. Papa Bernie’s tongue-in-cheek self-deprecating humor is simply hilarious. But throughout the nearly thirty years of his writing I had the pleasure of reading that the love of his wife, children and grandchildren was constant. The love of his siblings and friends was constant. He was absolutely frustrated by his family, business and politics, but never changed his attitude toward life.
Over the last couple years, I have not made New Year’s Resolution. My thought was why wait to the New Year to do something good for yourself or others, might as well start today. I hope this year is a little different. I resolve to keep Bernie Meyers’ positive attitude toward life. Although I will continue to write (vent) about things political, I resolve to write more about life and how enjoyable it is.
For example, I hope to write about how enjoyable it will be taking a substantial loss on selling our home! As Goal #1 for 2013 is selling our Chicago home and moving to the suburbs. Which means I’ll enjoy decluttering the house, I’ll happily pay for storage, and happily pay for repainting and refinishing certain areas of our home. I look forward to sitting down with the relator and look forward to my smile when I subtract the current value of our home from what we paid for it in 2008. I resolve to be so freaking happy, that people will think I lost it!
Because, quite honestly, what choice do we have? Unfortunately, it is what it is. Stressing about the value of my home isn’t going to increase it. Plus, stressing about it will only get me closer to that Motel 6, lying on the floor, clutching Dr. Meow and Johnny Walker. And I much rather be next to a pool in California, with my wife, drinking daiquiris.
Filed under: Change of Pace