Goodbye 2008

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Goodbye 2008.  Good night and good luck.  Good riddance, I hope I never see you again.  I loved 2007, and I am looking forward to 2009, but 2008…get lost.

In the last hours of 2007 I found myself in my brother’s kitchen, surrounded by some good friends.  We were enjoying a beer, and waiting to go see a rock show at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill NC.  Someone suggested we go around the room and announce our new year’s resolutions.  Maria, the person who suggested the idea, thought we might keep the resolutions in mind if our good friends were aware of them, and supportive when need be.

I announced 3 resolutions, and I remember really believing I could achieve them at the time.  I was so high off what 2007 had been, a year of success in business, and plenty of great time spent with my wife and children.  I resolved:

1.  To lose 20 pounds through eating better and starting a regular exercise regimen.  I announced I wanted to be more like my friend Jonny, if only on the weight scale.

2.  To stop cussing, once and for all.

3.  To take my kids camping in our Volkswagen Campmobile at least 6 weekends throughout the year.

I failed miserably at my resolutions.  I lost about 2 pounds in 365 days, not 20.  I still cuss, did so today.  And, we camped one weekend this year in the Campmobile.  Miserably.  Miserable.

So, I figured making resolutions was a waste of time; no time to focus on what’s not going to happen.

But, Christmas evening intervened.  First, I heard on National Public Radio a story about some professor at some university, talking about what he’s spent his scholary lot on recently, a study that proves his hypothesis that if you make resolutions, and if you make resolutions and tell others about them, the chances are much better you will acheive them.  In this professor’s study, more than half the people whom adhered to this idea completed their resolutions.

Then I watched this very “cute” movie with my wife, “Run, Fatboy, Run!”  In a one sentence synopsis, a guy feels all is lost in life, he wants back his previous life, that with a wonderful woman and their son, but feels all is unattainable.  With the help of his landlord and best friend, both whom have ulterior motives in his success, he realizes achieving the unattainable is always possible if you believe, in this case, in the idea an out of shape guy can train for and run in a marathon in about 2 weeks (or an hour and a half in movie time).

These two items gave me this wonderful hope of success I chose to believe in.  I thought, “I’ll make some resolutions, announce them here on my blog, and maybe work harder to acheive them, fearful of the crushing weight of embarrassment that would result if I did not live up to my end of the bargain!”

The glow of this great idea lasted a day or two after Christmas, and now, New Year’s Eve, back to work on my 15 hour a day schedule, all that glow is gone.  I should have known better.

So, instead of resolutions, I’ll end 2008 by sharing with you the biggest lesson I learned this year.

The biggest lesson I have learned is that when you are faced with the prospect of losing what is most important to you, you will spend hours each day counting all the things in your life you used to think were so important, and wonder why they don’t seem to mean a damn anymore.  That’s what I learned.

Wait a minute, if I don’t announce a New Year’s Resolution I will feel so left out of the American life and customs.  So here’s one!

My New Year’s Resolution for 2009 is to never, ever see a rock show, music concert or public performance of any kind again!  I have seen so many great rock shows over the years, and it used to be something I really enjoyed.  But the last 2 I attended this year made me feel as if someone of a higher power was trying to get me a message.

In August I was so excited to see one of my favorite bands, Wilco, rock out at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary NC.  “See” was the word.   I saw the concert alright, but this last minute flood of emotions and thoughts hit me with the force of a Buick at highway crusing speed, and instead of the sweet sounds of Jeff Tweedy and company, I heard this howling white noise the whole time.  God Bless my brother, the king of finding copies of concerts online and burning them, for bringing me a copy of the very same concert I attended so I could finally listen a few weeks later.

A month later my brother and I made it to the Pour House Music Hall in downtown Raleigh NC, to see Blue Mountain, one of my all time favorite bands whom had recently reunited after years apart.  3 songs into their set, someone accidentally dropped their PINT GLASS off the second story landing, and it landed right on top of my head!  Blood ensued.  My brother thought I should go to the ER, but I was not missing Cary, Frank and Laurie make that sweet music onstage.

Come on 2009, I need you!  I am ready to make it a good one if you are!  All I ask is that I consume my musical enjoyment in the confines of my own home.

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