What an incredible year 2013 was.
In January I was determined to buy a new home and relocate from Coppell. Wow, there is a lot involved in buying a home! After two months of talking to brokers, realtors and looking at a few homes, I learned it was going to take a monumental effort to buy a home. I was determined though. I now live in Lewisville, 5 miles north of Coppell. I still go to Coppell often. I feel like I just expanded my town instead of moving to a new one.
In March I hit the gym early and started swimming every day. I usually wait until spring, but I wanted to get a jump on the season in order to be in shape for a trip I had to make in May. That trip occurred – it was my daughter’s graduation from college – and I am glad I had the good sense to get in shape first. It was a 16 hour drive to her college, and we had to move her out of an apartment and lug all that stuff back to Texas. Two car loads! Seeing my daughter graduate magma cum laude was a proud moment. It signaled the end of my primary parental obligations to provide her the education she needs to be competitive. She earned two degrees, served as an officer in a sorority, traveled 18 countries in Europe while attending school in Germany, visited China, and graduated with honors. That’s a good start on life! With that trip completed, I returned to the task of buying a home.
I may not be the next to go, but I am the next in line.
In July I developed a mysterious illness. So did my dog. I would feel faint during the day for no reason. My dog developed vertigo. My illness was similar and it put a damper on my work schedule. My dog made a partial recovery. Her legs were giving out. The summer months are slow but when you are feeling poorly, it makes work more difficult. In August my daughter landed a job she wanted. My health was not getting better, but it wasn’t getting worse. In September I turned 60 years old and headed to the doctor for my annual check-up. I passed with good marks. I also made an unusually high sale that month which strengthened my cash holdings. By September my dog had become unable to control her bowels. Thank goodness for dry dog food! By October I was feeling better and searching for homes every day. Towards the end of the month we made the difficult decision to take our pet of 16 years to the vet one last time. She was in pretty bad shape. It was the right thing to do. We returned to house hunting, found one, closed on it in November. It took four weeks of 12-hour work days to get everything moved out and into the new home. A few boxes remain scattered here and there. I joined the Chamber of Commerce. We spent Christmas in our new home. I also had a record-breaking month at work.
On Christmas Eve, I learned that my Dad (82) was on the way to the hospital with suspected pneumonia following a brief cold. On December 31, the last day of the year, we learned that my father had passed away. I had long suspected that Dad was near the end of his time here, but the timing of his death was completely unexpected. His wife of 43 years had passed away last year, and it is common for the surviving spouse to follow quickly. His health was good, but his stamina could not withstand the pneumonia. I am the oldest son, and I am now the oldest generation in the family. That is part of life. I accept it. I may not be the next to go, but I am the next in line.
Taken in sum, it was an incredible year. A new home for my wife, a daughter’s graduation, a new job for her, a new shop for me, and my health has been consistently good for months. My Dad’s death is sad, but he lived a good life and went quickly and peacefully. (My Mom suffered for years before passing.) I still walk into the kitchen and expect to see my dog waiting to go outside.
2013 was a good year because I had a positive attitude every step of the way. It made all the difference. I set goals, I stayed focused and I remained determined. I can’t think of a better plan of action for 2014 than that. Life is short. It ends abruptly. But death only wins once, and is not able to steal away any other day of your life – unless you let it. So embrace each day and live your life on your terms.
Now let me jot down some goals for this year.
- Continue to focus on developing habits that promote good health.
- Increase business by 15%, and communicate more often with my clients through mailings and social media.
- Build two work stations in my new shop and install excellent lighting.
- Plan and take a real vacation.
- Make a real and measurable impact in my expanded market area.
- Enjoy each day. Laugh. Have fun!
That will keep me busy. If I can get that much done, I think I will look back and say that 2014 was a good year.
I guess I better get started. I wish for you a happy and productive year. Set goals. Stay positive. Be determined.
And have fun!