Well the new year is upon me. I have had quite an eventful 2017. I worked this past year to refocus my efforts on myself. Not to be selfish, but there were things in my life that were out of balance. I had allowed my priorities to get out of order. So a year later, I look at myself and my life and see a better, happier and more peaceful me.
I have my God at the top of my list. He had slipped way down the list over the past few years. I once had a strong connection to my faith and my God. I had allowed that connection to weaken, never disappearing, but weak. I was simply not thinking of it or spending time on worship, prayer, meditation or study. I had stopped all active ways of maintaining that connection in my daily routine. I have spent much of the past year, reconnecting. I have adjusted my daily routine to make sure there is time for God -- often the first and last thing I do each day. This alone has brought me peace in so many ways. I am more grateful for the blessings God has given me - and there are many. He has watched over me in my journey, protecting and helping me with each faithful step taken. I know I am loved.
I have my family. The year has included loss and separation, but also includes a lot of unconditional love and mutual support. My brothers and I have talked more in the last year than the ten years before. My two boys and I are connected daily, which hasn't been the case for many years, even when we lived int he same house. I had let my family slip on my priority list, thinking that simply providing for them was enough. Bringing home the bacon was not making them an important part of my life.
I have my friends. I had people around me that I considered my friends at the time. I realize now that they were acquaintances not friends. I knew them, but there was only a connection at the surface. I was surprised to see how my year panned out with who stuck with me when I struggled, who reached out when I started my own company, who was there beside me. It hurt to lose some of them in my life. I have found however what a friend truly is and what connection to other people can mean. I have a circle of people around me that I would give everything for, and I believe that they would do the same for me. They love me for who I am, the good and the bad. They see value in me beyond what I can do for them in the office. My circle of friends take me out of selfish mode and into a place where I can be selfless. They have given so much to me that I freely give to them. Through this I have learned to give for the true benefit and growth of others around me. My God has helped me here too.
Last on this list I have my career. Yes, I have to eat and support myself, but that is not as critical as I once thought it needs to be. I don't have to make lots of money to be happy. I can make a comfortable living, be able to go and do things with others, wear decent clothing, etc. I can do these things without sacrificing my priorities. I started my own business where I can adjust my schedule to maintain the important things in my life. I do have a little fear, but I also have faith that God will continue to guide me in the way that is best. Courage is not the lack of fear, but the ability to act in the face of fear.
As I begin a new year, I do so as a new man. One who can see his past and learn from it. Ever looking forward except to reach behind to help a friend in need get back on his feet and catch up. May your new year also find a new you.