2014 – It Was a Very Good Year.

Old Blue eyes sang a song called “It Was A Very Good Year”. The song is a reflection on his life, and how his tastes and life had changed, perhaps matured over time. I suppose that’s why I scribble away on this thing, so I can reflect later, and see how things have changed. My, how things have changed.

Of course, Sinatra didn’t write that song. Hell, he barely wrote anything. For a guy who sang about how he did things his way, he really did things the way they were written, by someone else.

That’s sort of a liberating thought, that at least what I have created, I’ve done with my own mind, my own two hands. Of course, I don’t have legions of followers, and girls framing pics of me to swoon over. That’s okay though. I can still take some solace in the knowledge that nobody is immune to the sands of time. Time changes us all, waits for no man, and this last year was no exception.

For me it was a bunch of personal stuff that is completely ordinary in the grand scheme of things, but to me life changing. I have a girlfriend as of May 2014, and with that my life changed in all the obvious ways. I deleted all the girls from my phone, blocked some completely, and just left it all behind. I made a real effort to continue living my life the same way I had, not be that guy who disappeared because of a relationship, and have done well to keep things that way since. Some people didn’t like that I became involved, but that’s their problem. I don’t work that hard on other people.

I’ve done SO MUCH with her that I used to daydream about. All the times I was out third wheeling with people, sort of wishing I had someone to share the good times with, well, now I do. All the times I wanted to share something special with somebody, now I have someone to do that with. All my weird little quirks that nobody ever seemed to relate to, are now completely understandable to her. Validating perhaps, but totally enjoyable either way.

This all sounds very corny, believe me, it’s not lost on me.  I don’t care. It’s my life, right? “I Did it My Way” right?

Then there’s the additional motivation, the enthusiasm.  I’m going back to school. As much as I love my job, I want more. Better still, I’m doing something about that “want”. Action. Movement. That fire under my ass that has been missing for a little while. Ever since the band I was in broke up, and the stage left me behind, I’ve felt a little listless. A bit like a boat without a sail.

Well, now the wind is back in the sail, and the momentum is picking back up. That’s exactly how I feel. I’m not sure where it’s going, but my hand is back on the rudder, and I can provide some direction again.

More than that though, I feel like I’ve been reinvigorated. My house looks better, completely different from what it was a year ago. My cars are all getting attention, I’ve lost one dog and gained another. I’ve actually installed a new fridge and stove in my kitchen, which used to be the ultimate bachelor kitchen. I mean, I didn’t even have a stove! Now I can cook full meals, even make beer inside. Awesomeness.

What a year though.

Seattle, Mammoth twice, San Diego a bunch of times, back to Tijuana, San Francisco three times, about 30 fishing trips, about ten camping trips, back on a snowboard, about 20 batches of beer, a triathlon (biking portion of a relay)  probably 20 loaves of bread, so many concerts and Dodger games, a freaking chicken farm, some legitimate theater, it was a very good year. I checked my horse racing account, and I’m up a total of $28 on the whole year. That’s a pretty damned good year. I’m sure I’m leaving out a ton, but it really just feels like I’ve got a renewed vigor, a renewed lust for life.

The crazy thing is I’ve only played one show, for a friend’s birthday. It was a little show out in the valley, and it felt crazy to perform in front of somebody I loved. I can’t say that I’ve ever done that before, which is insane. Maybe once or twice, with my first real girlfriend about 20 years ago. So long ago, such a different person, a completely different life.

Usually when I write out these types of retrospectives, it’s a somber feeling. Like another handful of sand out of the hourglass of my life. Like maybe the best is behind me. I don’t feel that way this year. I feel like maybe I’m right at the middle of it, and that’s okay. I have the wisdom of my years, and still have my health and strength, what more could I ask for? I can play a wicked bass, and intend to put that to some use this year. More than that though, I’m inspired to do so. It’s no longer just something I’m continuing. It feels like something new I want to do because I am motivated and really moved to express myself.

Today I heard someone say “History forgets people who don’t finish things”. It’s never felt more obvious or true. And while I don’t expect my life to be some great mile marker in the annals of time, I do expect myself to finish some things this year, whether anybody cares or not.

So happy new year everybody, and thanks for your continued support. It means very much to me that I see people reading this little blog every day. I wonder who you all are? Drop me a line sometime.

– Fred.

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