Like so many others, I was delighted to welcome in a new year and say goodbye to 2008 because as the money stopped flowing in, (Bob's in real estate), we lived sometimes on money transferred from our savings account/retirement funds. Worrying about money can put a damper on everything if you let it.
But I would be remiss if I allowed the money situation to overshadow the great blessings that 2008 brought in. Writing the good things down is a good exercise in keeping things in perspective.
Here are just a few, in no particular order:
1). Racing with Pamela in the beautiful wine country where I went on my honeymoon 13 years ago.
2). Watching and cheering at IM CDA with many blogger friends.
3). Going on vacation out west with the TriGreyhounds and the TaconiteBoy/Trimama families.
4). Visiting our dear friends in Iowa just riding our bikes and swimming in their pool.
5). Qualifying for Boston after 29 attempts (3:59:52)
6). Bobby's LegoLeague team qualifying for the State Championship and winning first place for programming their robot.
7). We are all healthy (enough).
8). Laura and Greg got married.
9). Tim and Karen got married.
10). Erin did her first Ironman.
11). The kids love love love their new school.
12). My children love the Lord.
13). I joined in a Bible study with a great group of girlfriends.
14). Bobby got to go to camp again.
15). Jeremy opened a new bike shop.
16). I PR'd in the half Iron distance (5:18)
17). I got a Mac.
18). My kids did well in school - only one B between the two of them.
19). Bob got to get away for a week of fishing with the guys in Canada.
20). My dad who had a stroke, took 60 steps in a row after having been in his wheelchair for two years.
21). My parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
22). Bobby got under 30 minutes in the 5K distance.
23). I am blessed with countless friends who love me and I love back.
24). [So far] we still live in this beautiful house in Wild Meadows where we walk on the private wooded trails where we can watch the deer, wild turkeys, pheasants and even a great grey owl.
25). The kids are old enough to stay home without a babysitter for short jaunts.
26). I can still swim 100 yards in under 1:10, with just a push off from the wall if I try hard.
Well, that was easy just to come up with 26 without having to think hard at all. So the score is "Life Is Good" 26 to "2008 Sucked" 1.
Are you grateful or grumpy? It's a choice, you know.
My goal for 2009 is "Practice Contentedness".
On New Year's Day we had to choose between jumping in frozen Lake Minnetonka or running the 5K. Since Bobby's friend Jeremy (son of my friend Guy) wanted to run, we ran.
Here is the start. As you can see I am not crazy for getting outside in Minnesota in the winter. I have LOTS of company:
... and here are the four of us before the start:
We came in at 30:18, which isn't bad considering we had to run on icy snow the whole way.
Afterward, Santi hosted a make-your-own breakfast at her house where Jeremy cooked up some fabulous scrambled eggs with veggies-and-ham for me, and Bobby made pancakes for everybody.
... then Jeremy came over to play video games with Bobby. We later took a long walk in the woods:
...and the kids got so tired out that they had to lie down and eat snow:
It was a wonderful day to decide to WELCOME 2009. Please join me in PRACTICING CONTENTEDNESS in 2009!
On another topic, did I ever show you guys the mural that my girlfriend Stephany painted in my upstairs laundry room? She just asked me for a photo of it, so I thought I'd show it to you, too. It's of a beach in the Galapogos Islands where I went for my 4oth birthday a few years back. When you touch it, the lava rocks actually feel gritty - it's like it's 3-dimensional. Very cool. I pre-designed the layout of the floor tiles just for someone to paint a future mural for me and I think it turned out great.