And so another year passes into the log books. There was a time when I looked back on years for highlights and lowlights, but the fact is, it’s all relative to what one’s idea of a “good year” and a “bad year” is. Turning 60 makes you focus on the here and now: while, sure, everyone should have a long-term plan in place for what you want to do with the rest of your life, I find myself content with relatively short goals; that way, if you make them it’s all fine and dandy, if you don’t you already know what your next short-term goal is. I find myself trying to cherish every day for what it is and what it brings, good or bad, and trying to make or take something positive out of it. I know I’m alone in that regard.
Personally (to quote Frank Sinatra), I thought it was a very good year. Tracey and I – and her sister Tammy, of course, that’s our nuclear family – maintained our health and our relative happiness (I say relative because I can only speak for myself), and the same is true for my parents and those I love and care for. (I would venture to say from all our gym work that the three of us are, in fact, in better shape at the end of 2015 than we all were at its start!!) And once you get past the basic fundamentals of health and well being, the fact that we all still have a roof over our heads, food to eat, and clean air to breathe and water to drink, everything else after that is truly relative, isn’t it?
Both Tracey and I managed to stay employed for another year – which in this day and age is nothing to sneeze at by any means. We also managed to cut our debt in half: not as much as we would have liked, but considering other factors such as a myriad of car repairs, irrigation system fixes, and a sewer line replacement we still put ourselves in a good place to finish the deed in 2016, God willing. Most importantly, while it took most of the year to do, we finally replaced the car we lost back in August 2014, and my 1999 Saturn with its 163K miles should be able to look forward to a far less taxing 2016.
For the furry members of our household, 2015 was a mixture of sadness and gladness. Our family once again lost a rabbit: Tammy’s much-adored Floppy, which, I think, makes it something like eight straight years where between the three of us we’ve lost a rabbit. It’s not anything anyone is doing wrong it’s just the ebb and flow of beasties coming and going at a given time. (Unfortunately, we expect that streak to continue as I’m guessing our oldest rabbit Cosmo has seen his last New Year’s. But he’s had a great life and we’ll worry about that when the time inevitably comes.) On the positive side of the ledger, Tam’s rabbit Butterscotch was given new friends when Floppy was replaced by “the Ghurkins”, Midget and Bailey who, five months later, remain beyond cute and remind you of why you fell in love with rabbits in the first place.
2015 was the year my golf game made some truly great strides thanks to Hunter Mahan and my swing coach Alex Black. With Goodboys partner “Cubby” Myerow, we finished in second at the 2015 Goodboys Invitational, and, with recent changes in my short game I’ve definitely reached a new plateau that I can (hopefully) build upon that in 2016. Around the Richard hacienda, in addition to the fore-mentioned sewer pipe fiasco, 2015 was also the year of the honeybee invasion and the Tiki bar roof replacement – all major efforts in terms of effort and cost. Here’s hoping 2016 is a little more tranquil in that regard, as there are certainly no major plans for any house or backyard renovations. But, as every homeowner knows, that kind of thinking can change in an instant!
Looking ahead to 2016 I don’t really hope for much. I’d like to stay employed where I am but need to be ready to move to the next challenge if I am not. I’d like for Tracey and I to spend somewhere nice for our 30th anniversary, but that all depends on what progress we make on our debt by the time September 28 rolls around. I’d like to drop the necessary 5-7 strokes to get me to a consistent mid-90s average for my golf rounds. I hope to be a concealed-carrying gun owner. And I’d like to get back to Vegas again, of course. And New Orleans if at all possible – it’s been far too long! But again, in the grand scheme of things, that’s what they call “small ball”. Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?
What I wrote in last year’s final post still holds true. No matter what 2016 might bring, all one can do is hope for the best and cope with the rest, control what you have control over and deal with what you can’t. It’s important to cherish the small things: the sound of palm trees rustling in a summer breeze, a hot cup of coffee on the patio on a pleasant Saturday morning, and later, a little late-night nitecap under the moonlight. Whacking golf balls on a sun-drenched driving range or golf course. Enjoying a glass of pinot grigio and enjoying the good life at the Parasol Up at Wynn Las Vegas. Being able to use the bathroom every morning without someone (or something) to assist. I mean, I get it – I’ve never taken for granted the stuff most people do. Good health, a job, food on the table, clean water to drink, a circle of loving friends and family. It means the world to me.
Finally, before calling it another year, I would like to say to all who continue to make Goodboys Nation weblog a part of your daily Internet travels a big “thank you!” for your patronage and comments. We may not always agree politically, but it’s OK as long as we respect (or at least tolerate) one another’s views. Maybe a year from now we’ll all be able to look back and say, “there, there, Great White Shank, that wasn’t so bad, was it?” One can only hope.
To all of you and your families, my best wishes and prayers to you and yours for the happiest and healthiest of 2016s!
And as is custom every year at this time I’m pleased to say, take us outta here, George! May you rest in peace. You are missed.