New Year’s Eve – A look back… and forward.

It’s hard to believe that 2009 has almost completely gone. In a lot of ways, I’m relieved. It was a hard year that kind of punctuated a cluster of hard years.

The negative tried to outweigh the positive, but at the end of the year all I feel is overwhelming gratitude that as hard as it was, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

It’s important to keep perspective. These trials we went through were there to teach us important lessons, and here’s what I’ve taken away from it all.

1.) I need to focus on my health. Turning 40 was a stark reminder of mortality, especially with all the unexpected deaths this year of people who weren’t that much older than me. But not only that, much of the reason that we’ve struggled so much these last few years have been because of my health. It was either my back or my wrist, but they were significant enough to not just jeopardize my job but our very survival.

When you can’t work, you can’t earn a living. If you can’t earn a living – you face sacrifice of the greatest kind.

We’re not just talking about doing without what you want… we’re talking about losing everything that you need.

Glenn Beck making that boneheaded comment that poor people don’t understand sacrifice still sticks under my craw.

We invented it.

When a mother goes without food so her kids can eat, and she can only afford one serving – that is sacrifice.

It’s not about not affording a nicer house, a new car or an iPhone… it’s about deciding which bill you can afford to pay this month.

It’s hard enough to feel like you’re trying to patch up a train while it’s careening down the tracks. It’s harder still when you’re doing that when you’re not 100% healthy.

So first thing’s first. I’ve gotta work on the health – which means I gotta deal with the weight.

When you have as much weight to lose as I do, the best way to approach it is by smaller, more reasonable goals.

While I’d like to shed 8-10 pounds per month, that’s not as important to me as including healthier habits into my routine. The main goal is to make it to December 31, 2010 without my back going out or getting so sick I miss a week or more of work at a time.

But as much as I’d like to ditch the weigh-ins completely I can’t. I need the accountability. I’ve turned my health into a gamble, when it needs to be a job.

Whether I will make these necessary weigh-ins public on the blog or not remains to be seen.

But the journey itself will definitely be documented.

It has to be. It’s the only thing that works.

And I can’t afford to stick my head in the sand anymore.

2.) The second area of improvement is going to be financial accountability. I’ve worked out a budget and I plan to follow it as much to the letter as physically possible. Of course as we’ve learned these last few years it’s impossible to predict all the pitfalls and financial surprises that come up just in everyday life… but those things we can control (like impulse spending) will definitely be curbed.

I definitely won’t be blogging details about the money, but I will be writing blogs to work through these new habits as I develop them.

Impulse spending and impulse eating definitely go hand in hand. To tackle one, I have to tackle the other.

For some reason I have allowed both to prevent me from living the life I never had the courage to pursue.

Which brings us to….

3.) I will get produced/sold/represented in 2010. This is a difficult goal in that so much of the career path I’ve chosen is subjective. I can’t make anyone like my stuff enough to buy it or represent it… but I can also do a helluva lot more to actually find the individual who will. I have enough projects now I can dedicate a month to pushing at least two for publication/sale/representation (one book/one screenplay).

This one I definitely will be blogging. This is the hardest of all the goals for a lot of reasons I’m not exactly clear about, and that’s going to require a TON of accountability.

I’m going to create tags that you can filter the subjects you care about vs the ones that you don’t; and I promise to keep my political rants reserved specifically for the blogs where that content is welcome or intended.

This blog is going to be more personal, more intimate.

More me.

It will not be a journey for the faint hearted.

So I welcome you to follow along, and give you permission to keep me honest if you see me going astray.

I’ve given year #40 a theme: “Epic”… and every day is going to be a step in that direction.


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