It’s 6 A.M. and finally quiet enough to get around to this over-due blog. And even though everyone is sleeping, I am still pacifying one dog with my left hand, and giving the other dog a belly-rub with my foot. But it is quiet enough, so it’s now or never. Or at least later, but all too often later becomes never.
I have always found the New Year holiday to be a bizarre time – spiritually, psychologically, emotionally. As a kid I loved it because we would head up to the country house with the whole family and play in the snow, go hiking, sledding… As we got older, some of them moved away, we had our own families, and it became more difficult to get together as a family. But the New Years holidays still remained the one time we would get together as a family, now with our own kids getting to know each other. It’s surreal to be the kid and the adult at the same time.
It’s a bizarre time because we place such an arbitrary importance on the transition from one year to the next – from one hour to the next – from one second to the next. With the passing of a tick on the clock, we are cleansed. Reborn. All is forgotten. We get to start anew. And why?
I have been accused of being cynical. And maybe I am. But I prefer to say I’m just realistic. And the older I get, the more realistic I get. I know that nothing changes New Years day. Evil last year will be evil this year. The selfish from last year are still going to be selfish in the New Year. The deceitful from last year are still going to be deceitful in the New Year.
The flip-side is that the good from last year will still be good this year. The generous from last year will be generous this year. Whatever was possible last year is still going to be possible this year. The only difference is that last year is written, while this year has yet to be written. Last year is contained, for good and for bad. The New Year is undefined. It is limitless (in the realistic sense).
2017 was a “big” year for me – not “big” from a financial perspective, but from a spiritual one. I wound up my litigation practice so as to pursue my true passion of viral videography (fancy talk for YouTubing), and there’s not that much short-term financial gain from doing that. I checked off a few bucket-list items – took a 3-week road-trip vacation with my wife and kids across the Western U.S (the longest vacation of my life). I went boogie boarding on Death Valley sand dunes, sturgeon fishing with my daughter on the Frasier River, and rode the longest zip line in North America.
I posted a video a day, every day, for a year. They may not have all been viral gems, but in my mind, they all respected my principle of contributing to the global pool of happiness. No rudity. No crudity. No nudity. No mockery. No crockery. My daughter has also started her own YouTube channel, and will hopefully create, and influence, in accordance with these very basic guiding principles.
The surprise my year: I won a Shorty Social Good Award in November for Best Overall YouTuber Presence. It was an honour. And in my mind, more than a recognition for past work, it confirms an obligation for the future (it also encouraged me to submit to two categories for the Shorty Awards in April, so fingers crossed! 🙂
My major takeaway from 2017 was, in fact, a culmination of the previous years of my life. You can only expect so much change in the world around you. But by and large, the world around you won’t change. It’s pretty much always been the way it is. And the last year will be a pretty good indication of what to expect in the New Year. If you don’t like slithering creatures, don’t surround yourself with snakes hoping they are caterpillars that will turn into butterflies.
And with that, I wish you health and happiness for 2018 and for years to come.