Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome, 2014, Thanks for the White Canvas

It's the biggest white canvas I've ever seen.  There are miles and miles of fresh snow all around me.  It's time to start painting our pictures for the New Year.  It may be cold outside today, however, that won't stop me from making bold brush strokes to start 2014 in style.  Nor will the -20º forecast tonight excluding windchill put a freeze on my plans.  Wherever you are and whatever you're doing, my hope for you is that you enjoy painting new pictures of what you want your life to look like in the New Year.  Here's my approach for the New Year.  The canvas is divided into five inter-connected segments:
  1. Faith.  This is the belief there is an all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God who wants to be a part of our lives.  Now more than ever, I thank God for delivering on the gift I first prayed for back in my teenage years when my world appeared to be unraveling.  I will use my faith in God to paint pictures of hope for others.
  2. Family.  When we first moved to Iowa from California nearly two years ago, there was much uncertainty about how much family time we would have.  The biggest challenge about living on the west coast was being separated from my wife's family and that's the main reason we chose to relocate.  All three of our children decided to call Iowa their home.  We are closer than ever.  Our youngest son is having the time of his life on the high school wrestling team.  And my boss at my day job is setting up work schedules that allow me to watch most of the matches and tournaments.  Last year I discovered a lost branch of our family tree.  This will be the year I get to meet them face-to-face.
  3. Friends.  Some are going through some tough times right now.  My hope for this year is that I can be a good friend even though I may be far away geographically.  If we are connected and you know someone who can benefit from these messages, please share this blog with them.
  4. Finances.  In recent years, this area of my life was mostly covered in red ink.  I plan to write an e-book about my experiences once I figure out how to eliminate the last pieces of shrapnel from my financial wounds.  The good news is I'm finally off of life support and I see the light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.
  5. Fitness.  This was once the easiest part of the picture to paint.  Fitness is easy when you live near the beach and the weather outside is constant at about 70º.  The challenge is to stay fit when Mother Nature is throwing snow balls at you and you can barely see out the windows.  I resolve to pay more attention to this segment in the New Year.  There are no excuses.  My wife told me this morning she wants to start using her yoga and Pilate videos that are stashed away.  I resolve to join her.  Once our debts are all paid off, the next step will be to join the recreation center adjacent to our home.
Yes, this New Year is a blank canvas.  I'm ready to paint a new picture.  How about you?  What picture do you want to paint this year?  Remember, it's important to pace yourself.  Make sure you use each day all the way to the end of the year.  Don't ever stop painting.  Don't ever give up hope.  Be patient.  And have a Happy New Year!

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