Seasons Greetings Joey Style (2010)

( #2011, #Resolutions )

Happy New Year my friends! This year feels like it went by quickly yet when I look back, 2010 has been a game changer in so many different way. So let’s all take a minute to stop and reflect what this year has brought us both good and bad.

[Changes in 2010]

When you wake up every morning, do your routine, go to work, come home, and then go to sleep – ddoes it feel like anything is ever different? Things change, but it is more of the same… isn’t it? Not so much. The status-quo that has been in place for the last few years got shattered by a few things (I am going to do this chronologically):

  • My nephew being born: I don’t see him nearly as much as I should and we can slot that into 2011 goals, but Luke being born changed the dynamic of my immediate family. My sister has come into her own and has matured in a very graceful way. Cobra Commander has been demonstrating admirable nurturing and protective personality traits . My mother is fully embracing her roll as “Nonna”, and even Mean Joe is starting to warm up to the idea of being Grandpa Meanness. The coming year is going to be a sweet spot for me when his mother asks me “where did he learn that word?”
  • Graduate School: It feels good to read some of last year’s goals and see that I am accomplishing them. I have my opinions about the education system, but finding WGU has been rewarding and immediately helpful in my career. I needed to do this to remain mentally fit.
  • Mean Joe’s Heart Procedure: For the outside reader – my father needed a triple by-pass this year. I was never worried that he would die, whether he had too much mean left in him or knowing that my cousin Dr. J was overseeing the whole thing – I knew he would be okay. Even though I was confident that he would survive to continue to terrorize 9th Street, his weeks in the hospital reinforced bonds with my parents and family.

There were tons of other milestones/issues this year: other family medical dramas, re-connecting with old friends (and learning to forgive and forget), more babies (Congrats to Mike, Laurie, Alex, Paul, and Aimee), becoming a semi-professional blogger… this could go on for a while….

I tend to get obsessive about how I spend my time (especially after 13 hour work days), who I haven’t seen or spoken to in a while, and worry about not doing things I feel like I should be doing, but in the end it all levels out. While there is always room for improvement, I felt like I did the best I could in most cases.

[Looking at 2011]

With school set at a decent pace and my semi-professional writing career making some progress, the thing I need to work on 2011 is my weight. If you have read this blog since the start or have known me for a while, you know I managed to knock out about 170lbs at the peak of my health kick and while I haven’t gained it all back, I have been slowly gaining weight the last 4 years regardless of my work out schedule and dietary efforts. Its time to get back on the wagon again…hardcore. Fingers crossed.

Babies for Joey and Allison in 2011? Probably, if not this year, early 2012. No point in being coy about this, I am not getting any younger and neither is my lovely wife. We have a plan in place (to everyone who says you can’t have a plan – be quiet, because you can) and now we just have to see how fate treats us.

My thoughts on everything else? If you haven’t been reading the blog weekly, you should because I cover it all there, but to summarize right now I would say focus on job creation. I had a conversation with a manager this year who said America is country of innovation and all the jobs should focus on that. While I agreed with the concept, I don’t think America is made up of 100% innovation labor force, hell I don’t think it is 20%. How do we employee the rest of the country long term? Personally, I think American companies should take advantage of the lower labor costs and refocus on domestic manufacturing while keeping the unions in check (sorry union supporters, they do kill companies over time).

For everything else – we should continue with green ideologies when they make sense, try to get away from our dependence on foreign oil, and focus on reducing national and personal debt. Politically – all of these jokers are the same; as long as we allow lobbyist groups to set direction for special interest organizations we will continue to be managed by an enormous corporation instead of a government. I will add – get involved if you don’t like what is happening to your country, town, city, village, school, sandwich shop…

[Closing Thoughts]

Once again, I respectfully request leeway from anyone that I missed in my year end thoughts and thanks. As always this is the trickiest part because people tend to get pissed when I leave them out. With that in mind – here we go…

If it hasn’t been made clear yet, I want to thank my parents, wife, and expanding family for being a centering force. Genetics is a hell of thing because as much as I cursed my parents in high school, I become more like them (or see wisdom in their “bad decisions”) as I get older.

I can’t do one of these without saying thanks to my cousin Tony because I talk to him every day and whenever I get freaked out about life (especially having kids), he puts me in the right frame of mind (unlike Slobbert).

For the friends in my life, I am thankful for you and for the experiences you collectively share. For the friends that have stepped back, I am thankful for that too because time is not infinite. Not to sound like a brown-noser, but I would like to thank my boss because even though work gets nutty – I feel like I can say what I need get the right advice, attention, and focus.

In conclusion, don’t bullshit yourself. Only you know what you are capable of doing, so if you are sitting around complaining that you need to get something done, or want to start something… Do it. If you can’t – get some help and get it done. I wish you get everything you wish for yourself this coming year.

Smell you later,
~ Joey

Previous Editions: 2009 Seasons Greetings

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