“A long December and there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last.” Adam Duritz
About ten years ago I was golfing with a guy who was getting ready to retire, and I asked him where he planned on moving. He thought for a minute while he picked up his wedge from the edge of the green and said, “I am going to put a snow shovel in my car and drive south until I find someone who doesn’t know what it is.”
As much as I hate to cry foul in my blessed life, 2009 has had its share of challenges. I’ve been too close to death (my mother-in-law, my neighbor), have had a family member contract cancer and several other personal and professional challenges. I turned forty and found my cholesterol is a little too high and when I complained to my wife that the print in the magazine was really small…she said maybe it was just my eyes. (And, I had my first prostate exam!)
But you know what? Life didn’t end. Strangely, as I look back at the last twelve months and ahead to 2010, I realized that through adversity you can find peace. You take stock in your blessings. The process can be arduous and trying for sure. But when you are faced with challenges, the essence of what lies most importantly in your heart will provide the strength and resolve to clarify even the foggiest of life’s issues.
I know I risk sounding preachy, so I will stop. Take your snow shovel; whether it is loss, grief, anger, sadness, and find that place where you never need it again. But remember, if it wasn’t for shoveling out your driveway, you’d never know how much you would enjoy not needing to.
“Just when you think you’ve learned your lesson, and swear to watch your step, a single moment off guard will pop up and hope springs high as ever.” Neil Cassidy, letter to Jack Kerouac December 17, 1950.