It’s five days shy of the new year.
Not sure if it goes without saying, but every time the calendar reaches the last page and more days are crossed off, it tends to become the season for self-reflection and assessing the events of the past year. I hate looking back – mainly because I’m a sentimental fool. It’s a slippery, emotional slope. But yet I do, year after year, because sentiment teaches me how to pay better attention while I’m making my way through today.
This past year, I’ve run the gamut from riding an ecstatic high to having my cup checked on more than one occasion. Between my freelance business, time with family, time in the woods and on the water, travel, making new friends and building stronger relationships with the friends I already have, it’s been a crazy 360 days – and I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not always as appreciative as I should be with the fantastic cards I’m being dealt. As a matter of fact, I know I down-right suck at it many days. I also know that it could all go away in the smallest of heartbeats.
And so, I stop and look back – allow myself some time to be sentimental and run through all of the joy, sorrow, peace, turmoil, hopelessness and fulfillment that come with it. I let myself ease on down that slippery slope.
But just like sliding down that riverbank to the spot on the river that painful-few brave souls try – cussing myself out because I’ve punctured my waders, dropped fly boxes and snagged my face and hands on thorns before stopping, looking back, smiling and turning to the river and it’s un-pestered denizens – so it is looking back at 2012. This year has been fantastic. And I’ve jumped through my own ass to get to this day. But it’s not about jumping through my own ass. Now it’s about finding my center again – and re-focusing on being the best dad, husband and friend I can be.
So, here’s to a little sentimentality in all of our lives. Have a safe and fantastic New Year.
And now, because I had a year in which I actually experienced what it’s like to be able to generate fish-porn, in addition to being on the water with the kids more than I’ve ever been, here’s a little retrospective from ought-twelve.