2015: In The Rearview Mirror
(originally written 12/29/15)
My primary goals entering 2015 were to continue working hard at handling life's challenges better and conducting myself more like a 35-year-old man rather than a 21-year-old goof. Did I? Possibly. It's not like I could have handled life's challenges any worse, or behaved any more childishly as I had through 2014. So if nothing else, I achieved those goals by default.
I came up with many "systems", if you will, to keep myself calm when the world around me proved irritating. Most of the time they worked. "Most" is not "all", however, and I figure it's just a matter of time until I vent my displeasure at persons who are short-tempered (like me), but real violent (unlike me) and wind up a statistic. If it weren't for my kid, it'd have probably happened already by now.
Violent attack is about the only thing I wasn't medically treated for this year—various maladies forced me to the doctor's office about a dozen times in 2015. These setbacks ranged from pneumonia in February to a scratched cornea brought on by (too embarrassed to admit, but nothing graphic), to ongoing knee treatment, to skin issues, to a badly pulled back muscle brought on by slightly lifting my child, to mysterious pain in my once-fractured wrist, to the kicker—waking up in late November with a mysterious lump in my neck.
It came from nowhere, and while my doctors believe it to be a thyroglossal duct cyst—usually harmless if/when treated right—they won't rule out worse. So on 12/29, I get to make my first-ever visit to the operating room. As I told Chicken, if the anasthesiologist is comely, carrying this giant testicle in my throat will have been worth it.
Keeping on the medical topic, readers of this blog may be aware of my history with depression. If not, here's the history: I have it and take meds for it.
Well, I did, anyway. Three years of downing clunky pills every day got old in early 2015. So I gradually took them less...and less...until I wasn't taking them at all anymore. Believe me—if I felt a return to the dark side was imminent without them, I'd continue for society's sake. But nothing really changed upstairs, so nowadays rather than five pills daily, I just take one when I start to feel uneven (or am about to embark on a potentially "triggering" activity). Nothing negative to report as of yet.
Aside from one hour-long summertime BP session, 2015 was the first year in many, many years that I did not play baseball or softball even once—a big comedown for a guy who played 250-300 times in the preceding decade. I'd officially retired from the sport in '14 after losing every single one of my skillz and finding little fun in the game, and to my surprise, wound up not missing it at all. Many times in my life I declared I could never, ever get tired of competing on the diamond. Shows what I knew.
2015 was also a year of big-time fitness changes for me. I'm proud of the progress I did make—eliminating fast food binging as a regular endeavor, regularly exercising even when I didn't want to, adding veggies and fruits to my diet—but there is still much work to be done.
After a sizzling start to 2015 helped by joining a ju-jitsu class, the aforementioned pneumonia curtailed my fat-burning momentum, and while I did eventually resume "The Reduction", it was never quite the same. I'm almost positive that had that momentum not been broken, I'd have ended 2015 60 pounds lighter, rather than just 40. Thanks to my boyz Jonathan and Armando, for the class and for arranging regular calorie-burning hoop games, respectively.
As my daughter wrapped her sixth year in 2015, I realized that I was almost as much buddy as I was daddy to Josie at times, and that needed to change.
With some sound coaching I reaffirmed my parental stature while working to preserve the special bond between us—which I deem vital to raising her down the road. As a child from a broken home of a child from a broken home, she's already got one strike against her...my work is cut out for me. At least the ex and I got through the year without any blowups.
More from 2015: who could forget the glorious day my months-owned car overheated on 87 nowhere near an exit, and had started to flame when I finally could exit...good times. Or arriving at my mom's one Friday evening to find the kitchen had burned. Or BART screwing me and my family out of seeing the Warriors championship parade in person (at least I got to go to two Dubs games...it had been a while.)
Or returning to Stinson Beach for the first time in 15 years, and quickly remembering why I hadn't been in 15 years (at least the car didn't burn on that treacherous road.) Or creating my first-ever sports podcasts? Or regularly adding to my growing number of public encounters with weirdoes? (Click here for the rundown. All unbelievable, but all true.)
Good things happened to my peeps this year; dawgs Nate and Dave acquired new houses for their families, dawgs Juan and Fleazoe welcomed new daughters into the world, and dawgs Raff and Chicken became engaged (not to each other). Shout-outs and raised glasses all around.
In summary, 2015 was a decent all-round year. Not great, not awful—just decent. I did not reach every professional goal I wanted, and that house for myself and child is still years off. But I got through the year without getting fired or otherwise disciplined, and didn't lose anyone I cared about (at least not to death)—score!