As my voluminous output for December demonstrates, it's been a freakin' busy month. Trade shows, gup tests, XMas planning and execution, weeks of house guests and the overall blur of things-to-do that accompany all of these things have all contributed to an incredibly high-pressure / low-pleasure holiday season for me. Frustrating, to say the least.
On the up side, it's nearly over. One more party tonight (someone else's, for a change), a day off tomorrow, and then we plunge into an extremely busy quarter here at the office. The kids get back to school on Thursday, which will hopefully go a long way toward getting their behavior back to normal -- the complete lack of structure over the past couple of weeks has them acting like loons, not to mention stomping repeatedly on my last nerve. And this weekend we'll have our house to ourselves again, so with any luck we'll be back on an even keel by next Monday.
One thing I've learned about myself this past year is just how much I like my routines. Not that I live a terribly regimented and rigid life. But I like having a pretty solid idea of what I'll be doing on any particular night during the week. Training Tuesdays and Thursdays, sometimes Mondays as well. Gumdo on Friday evening. I like knowing that once the kids are down for the nights I can look forward to a couple of hours of just relaxing on the couch with Christine, watching the tube or reading a magazine or whatever. Knowing that Saturday goes like this: I get up around 7:30 and make a pot of coffee. While it's brewing I make 2 shots of espresso, and use one of them to make Christine a latte. Then I sip coffee, read email and news on my iMac until about 9:00. Then we start rallying the kids for 10:15 family class, after which we hit Starbucks so the kids can get their respective treats (Trevor: vanilla bean creme. Miranda: tangerine juice blend made with the cream base instead of tea). Then, typically we run by Target, do a little shopping, then head home and just chill out for a couple of hours. Maybe play some video games together. Then, maybe some dinner with friends, or invite some folks over to watch a movie.
That's what our Saturdays usually are, except we haven't had one like that since prior to Thanksgiving, what with all the "fun" of the holiday season. And I haven't been able to just relax on the couch with my wife after the kids crashed for nearly a month. So I'm really ready for the whole holiday season to end so I can get my humdrum on.
So, 2007 is pretty much over, and I couldn't be more pleased. While we've made it through alright, this was not a good year, characterized predominantly by Too Much Change. I am atypically, enthusiastically embracing the illusory "clean slate" that January the first theoretically brings. And with this come a few general goals -- not exactly resolutions, so much as ideals. This year, I'm going to try to laugh more. I'm going to try not to dwell on things I can't fix or change. I'm going to try to count to ten before reacting when under stress. I'm going to play Rock Band at least once a week. I'm going to take one really amazing vacation with my wife and not freak out about how much it costs. I'm going to take my kids someplace that's not a theme park that they'll remember for the rest of their lives. I'm going to pay more attention to tending my friendships.
And I'm going to train my ass off. Tang Soo Do got me through some very rough spots this past year. And even though I'm feeling a bit stagnant right now (not testing again until February, and I'm getting antsy) my commitment to achieving my training goals hasn't wavered a bit. I've got a small tournament coming up at the end of January, my first as a red belt. Much higher levels of competition, especially from the more established 2nd and 1st gups, so I'll need to train hard to have a shot at bringing home anything shiny. But I'm going to try my best and see what happens. And then I've got testing in February, after which the tournament season will kick off in earnest in March/April, capped off with the Nationals right here in Texas in July not to mention the Lone Star Invitational (Master Nunan's tournie) in August or September. Big year for us Tang Soo Do Mi Guk Kwan Texans, I'll tell ya.
So, here's to 2007, and the setting sun. And here's to 2008: may the best things that happened to you in the past year be the worst things that happen to you in the coming one.
Now Playing: Death Cab for Cutie, "Transatlanticism"