The Year in Review

I feel compelled to review my year. After seeing all of the other sad “This Year in Review” commentary, I feel that they all fall short in many ways. The most specific failure in these reviews is that there is no mention of me, hence my need to bring my narcissistic viewpoint into focus for all the world to see.

The first event that comes to mind is the misguided trip to that great golf nirvana that is Hilton Head with my brother. It all started out with a sixteen hour trip in an SUV on a sunny morning, and ended with an eighteen hour trip in an SUV through a blizzard. In between these two events, there were fifteen rounds of golf on chilly golf courses, alligators galore, a nearly burned down condo when we fell asleep with pizzas in the oven, fried oysters, evenings in the hot tub time machine, and an occasional cocktail on the veranda. We did stop to see my sister in Cape Hatteras on the way down, so all in all, we did grow closer as a family, so maybe the trip was not so misguided after all.

Last year, we lost my beloved father-in-law to cancer. He was a cheap Scottish farmer that grew up during the depression.  So you can imagine what it was like to be in a family wherein everything was held together with bailing wire and duct tape. He never owned a new car, nor did he ever build anything with new wood. This Christmas, his wife of 60 years entered hospice, so we are nearing the end of a chapter in my family’s life. My kids, who are now in their 20’s, grew up in a very close relationship with their grandparents, so we are thankful that they were able to experience that.

My business has expanded with new clients in Miami and Las Angeles, so more travel, but to nicer places. My wife has expanded her massage therapy business with a new office in Saratoga, so perhaps a faster transition to just being a lazy golfing gigolo for me.

On the music front, this was a year of transition for me. The transition was from leading and playing amplified swing and jump blues with the Jump Daddies, to playing acoustic blues and folk. I have met many great musicians, and am transitioning to a different musician community. The point at which this transition really hit me between the eyes is when I sold my beloved Gretsch 6120 to one of my musician buddies. I am sure that I still have visiting rights. I did acquire a nice Martin HD-28 and am looking for another small body Martin, so if you got one for sale – you know who to call.

I kicked my yoga up a notch and had a regular daily Ashtanga practice going. Ashtanga is a vigorous form of yoga, in which you move rapidly through a set of asanas with synchronized breathing. Great for cleansing your body of toxins with a purifying sweat. This was all recently curtailed by low back and sciatic pain. More on that later.

I started an organic garden this year, with the help of Inch by Inch Organic Gardens. I learned a lot, but based on the output and multitudinous errors that I made, have a lot more to learn. The great thing about gardening is that we get to start fresh in the Spring, as Winter wipes the slate clean. Zucchini was the clear winner in the battle for garden space, as it pretty much took over everything. Tomatoes were the clear losers – as I had lots of them, but they mostly stayed green up until the frost. Any and all guidance would be appreciated!

Golf was a high point this year, as I saw steady improvement in my game. Many new friends and golf buddies were had, as well as a few new courses. Pretty sure I am due for some new clubs this coming year, so that may be my next big investment once the snow clears.

A low point this year has been some lower back issues that have popped up and given me a wicked case of sciatica. I am trying to stay away from drugs and surgery, and instead am working through it all with physical therapy, chiropractics, and light aerobic exercise. I am seeing some success there and hope to be back in full swing soon. If it doesn’t resolve, I guess I’ll just be driving the golf cart next year.

I suppose we grow through pain. I’ve often heard it said that pain is just weakness leaving your body. So considering how crappy I feel today, I am reasonably certain that I’ll be a regular Hercules on January 1, 2015.  Happy new year to all!!