Were this a cheap paperback mystery I'd be at my desk, in the dark, the neon of the city signs outside lighting the office purple and red, imperfectly reflecting off the glass of cheap scotch I never bring to my lips, the better to gaze into its buttery glow as I ponder the past year...
Instead I'm home, sweat pants, t-shirt and a robe in my living room, nursing a hot cup of tea to alleviate a case of bronchitis, and the only neon I can see in the bright light of the early afternoon are my son's crayons in an old mayonnaise jug. There is the fantasy, and there is the reality, and a large part of 2012 was accepting the reality of my situation at home, at work, and in my own mind and body. It was dealing with my son's eye surgery and the constant work we have to do to ensure his vision gets stronger and doesn't deteriorate to where he needs more. It was confronting my dissatisfaction with my job and making a conscious decision to change it. It was realizing that, at the rate I was going with regards to my health and specifically my weight, I would die before I could see my son do all the things he chooses to do. It was coming to the realization that I was turning away from the things I loved, and that turning away was really putting a strain on my wife, my family, my entire life.
Much of that came to a head in June, and I began the slow process of reversing the engine, turning the machine around. I dropped about 35 pounds, changed management and took on more responsibility at work, and - perhaps most importantly - started reading and making tentative steps towards writing again. And while I admit I probably put back on about 10-12 pounds and have a hell of a lot more to do, I think I can see a point on the horizon, where before there was only the wavy lines of an unending desert. In 2013 I'll turn 40, and although in the past I've never cared about age there's something about hitting that milestone that makes me strive to reach it as true to my heart as I can. This isn't the stereotypical "drive a convertible and wear a Rolex and date a supermodel" mid-life crisis I'm sure the national networks are struggling to get to pilot as we speak (check your local listings); I have always and still to this day disdain the ridiculous signs of status other people use to measure themselves against others. What it means is looking at myself in the mirror, knowing who that person is, and how he came to be.
And hope the smile on his face is genuine.
If this site is anything it's a place to document that process, to evaluate how each thing I do, whether by choice or circumstance leads me closer or further away from that sense of recognition. And while I'll endeavor to make it as entertaining to anyone happening to come across it as possible, I can also promise unfortunate navel gazing as par for the course (along with bad metaphors, apparently). Over time it'll work itself out, and I hope you choose to ride along and see where we end up.