January 9, 2010 7:50:00 PM
Roger Truesdale - firstname.lastname@example.org
On New Year''s Eve I spent a quiet evening at home with a cheap bottle of champagne and off-the-shelf caviar -- a tradition I started many years ago, even when I had a life.
I try to avoid inexperienced New Year''s revelers at all cost.
In spite of my being a world class procrastinator, I had taken the Christmas tree down and stored away most of the Christmas set-arounds. A few presents were still scattered around that hadn''t been put away, put to use or carefully re-boxed to be selectively re-gifted later on in the year -- not the most festive setting, for sure.
To be honest, New Year''s is not my favorite time of the holidays.
Way back in the day, I spent several New Year''s Eves with a thermometer in my mouth and Mama putting cold towels on my forehead in between scoldings (that never registered), as I drifted in out of a self-inflicted coma. Holiday breaks spent going to Christmas parties Delta-style had a way of weakening my immune system. I named it the New Year''s flu. Unfortunately, there was no vaccine. Only preventative measures by those with exceptional self-discipline could stave off this dreaded disease.
Mulling it over
As always, the champagne, caviar, soft jazz and solitude created the ideal atmosphere to ponder my station in the universe.
I thought back to the end of ''08. I was so thankful to have No. 1 son home safe and sound after he spent the last half of the year dodging IED''s and bullets directed at him by Afghan nut cases. I was warm and dry, not hungry, and free of pain. However, as with most other owners of small businesses, it was not my best year financially. To be perfectly honest, for the first time, I was worried -- no, scared -- for my prospects for 2009.
A confession. I''m always a mite envious of friends who include chronologies of the past year along with their Christmas cards that list exotic travel, job promotions, acceptances to Ivy League universities or the ultimate jackpot, a child engaged to a doctor -- the variety that accepts Blue Cross.
Had I sent out Christmas cards along with one of those epistles, it would have simply reported that 2009 turned out to be a pretty good year, all in all.
I told some friends of mine the other day that as I looked back over 2009, every problem (most of them small, thank goodness) I had was a result of my shooting myself in the foot. There was not a problem on my "list" that I couldn''t have remedied with a little more love, hard work, understanding and patience had I "woulda-coulda-shoulda" just done it.
Want to make a guess as to what all the good came from? You got it, those same four things.
I don''t know what 2010 holds. I know that the pitches are going to keep coming, and I better be at the plate swinging.
Just before I dozed off shortly after midnight on Jan. 1, 2010, I told myself my favorite motivational story:
Once upon a time a rabbit ran past an old man sitting on a fence rail. A hungry fox was right on his heels.
"Mr. Rabbit, you gonna make it?" the man yelled as the rabbit ran past.
The fox answered.
"Man, I gotta make it."
Roger owns Bayou Management, Inc. and is also a semi-pro guitar player.