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Happiest New Year

I wasn’t going to do one of those looking back, looking forth kinds of posts this year, but this is the last day of 2019 and my first chance to  post since my last post, so here we are. Looking back. Looking forth. And Cheryl, over there, challenged me. Sort of. I said 2019 was the best of times, the worst of times. She said, “what best?”

In Tom World, that’s a challenge.

So, eschew the bad. We have plenty of war and plague and famine and death, every year. The end is always nigh. This is about the good stuff, the best stuff. A reason to be.

For starters, how about those inspiring women? AOC. Greta. Megan. Michelle. Ilhan and Rashida. Nancy. And that’s just a partial list. The barriers they broke. The power they displayed. Barack was right. The women were the best part of 2019.

But there’s more. Americans are shifting left, becoming more progressive. We have a major presidential contender really talking about universal basic income. Universal health care is on the lips of every candidate that matters. Most people understand the benefits of a wealth tax. More people want to remove Donald Trump from office than do not. We’re getting smarter. You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, as they say.

But setting aside politics and the amazing accomplishments of these women, there were many other great things about 2019. Avengers Endgame. CBD. Science. Health. Same-sex marriage. Single-use plastics. Baby Yoda.

And these are just a few things, and mostly from my decidedly US perspective. I betcha you can come up with some really great things that happened near you, here and abroad. In fact, I challenge you to do so. In many ways I’ll bet you’ll find 2019 was the best year yet.

It all depends on your focus.

Personally, and then I’ll wrap up, it’s been a damn good year. With the American economy enjoying its longest expansion ever I’ve had a pretty good sales year. The boss has asked me about taking over the biz. This January, we paid the first mortgage payment on my new home, which I affectionately call “the best place on Earth.” The Rams made it to the Super Bowl. We expanded the family. I happily turned 51. The NFL kicked off its 100th season. I officially got ordained. I resurrected some old blogs. I watched the system work the way it was intended, to check power on the corrupt. My best friends became my neighbors. Mrs C got a job she really loves. We had a great Thanksgiving, a great Christmas. A great year.

I’ll bet you that you did, too. I’ll bet you if you focus on the good, and eschew the bad, you’ll find that 2019 was one of the best years yet. And that 2020 will be even better. I challenge you to sharpen your focus.

A secret I taught myself some years back is the secret of focus. It’s not “The Secret,” but it’s something like that. Focus on what really matters, to you, in life. Set your intention. The top of my home page is a quote by Goethe (or, apparently, WH Murray), my favorite of all time. The full text reads like this:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves also. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.”

It is what I noticed, as a young man. Wheresoever my focus is, there is the path. If I focus on all the things gone wrong today, my day is ruined. If I focus on all that goes well, my day goes well. If I want to be a writer I notice writing opportunities. Should I want to be a business owner, there come the opportunities for business. Wheresoever I focus, there is the path. Try it. But the most important thing to remember is that although you are in full control of your own focus, you have absolutely no control over the focus or actions of anyone else. The very moment you put your day, your happiness, or your life into the whims of another, your focus – your fate – is no longer your own. Providence moves elsewhere.

This was a fantastic year. Next year will be one, as well. Great things are happening all the time. Bad things are happening, too. In time, we will all be gone and what we focused on in life will matter very little. That is a sad reality, yes, but a true one. But while we are alive, we get to choose.

Today is a new day. Tomorrow a new one again, and 2020 a whole new year. I can spend mine hoping that something happens to me that will make me happy, or I can focus on the things that already do and build from there. I choose that focus. I welcome providence.

Happy New Year. Everybody. The happiest yet. ❤️

34 thoughts on “Happiest New Year

  1. This is such a spot on post and a good reminder about the power of perspective. We may lack a lot of control in life, but we can choose our reactions and pro-active measures and we can choose what we focus on, be that the ‘bad’ and negatives, or those positive things, learning curves & silver linings.
    Wishing you all the best for a bright New Year!
    Caz x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Caz! “Choose our reactions” is exactly right. Great point. Life is gonna throw all sorts of detritus our way. We don’t have any say in that. What’s the old prayer? Change what we can, accept what we can’t, and be wise enough to know the difference. Hope for you the same!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow….so now you are not Pastor Tom but, Philosopher Tom! What wonderful words, and true may I add. Thank you Tom for such an eye opening post. May you, the Mrs and all the doggos have a spectacular New Year! 🎉🥂🎉🥂🎉🥂🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well done. And thanks for shedding a little more light on the the positive, in this political climate it seems we need it more than ever.
    Glad to hear 2019 was a good year for you and yours.
    How about I challenge you to have an even better 2020?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very happy new year to you, Mrs. C and your furry menagerie! And I, too, heartily concur with President Obama’s assessment that if we wish to save the world, we need to elect more women leaders. No reverse sexism there, it’s just the truth.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well done Tom! I like what you had to say… I don’t concur with it all, but what fun would I be if I did? The most important thing is that you and Mrs. C are healthy, getting wealthy, and pretty darn wise! (And there is more to wealth than money.) I enjoy your observations about life in general, and I wish I could be more Tom-like in 2020. Maybe that should be my new resolution!?!? Shoot, I don’t do resolutions. Maybe in 2021… Rock on Brother Tom! A very Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kim, and right back at you and that wonderful man of yours! We are already wealthy in so many ways (as Mrs C says, looking at our dogs, “we’re rich with gold!”) and life just keeps getting better. Bad stuff always happens, too, of course, so maybe 2020 will be the year I dump negativity onto the blog every quarter to show folks I’m human!

      Nahhhh… 😉

      Enjoy the first day of the new way, sister, and spread love everywhere!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I almost threw up on my shoes at the 4th paragraph, for the life of me I don’t know what you see in any of those horrible women but the rest of this is nothing short of beautiful.
    I want to tell you something Tom and I don’t care of all of your readers see it… You have made me a better man just by reading your posts.
    A perfect example is my immediately taking you to task about your fondness for the progressive women. An older version of me would have stopped reading also. Instead, I asked myself if there was anything there. There wasn’t… But I tried and that’s the point. I kept reading. And it’s great.

    You have encouraged me to be more open minded, more open, less rigid in my thoughts and to open up to other ideas. I’m better for having discovered your blog.
    You’re a great man, Tom and a beacon of reason and and I can’t wait to go into the new year reading your blogs.
    Happy New Year

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmao! I would explain the greatness of those women but if you don’t know I probably can’t tell you. 😉

      Billy, you are my friend and my inspiration. Your battles, and how you handle them with kindness and insight – I just can’t imagine having a heart so true. In the halcyon days of D&D you would have been the party Paladin. If you’re going to charge forth into 2020 with gusto then I’m gonna follow. Period. Happy New Year, my brother, and Go Pats!


  7. Happy New Year/Decade, Tom and family!
    As my (now departed) father always told me, “Every day you’re alive is a great day.” A sort of Stoicism-in-nutshell: live every day as if it’s your last.
    Here’s to each new day in the new year being a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! Your father was a wise man. This is the first day of the rest of our lives, every day we awaken. The entire field is open to us; the future undecided. Live every day like it’s your last (as you say) but don’t forget to pay the electric bill. 😉

      Happy New Year! I admit this one is starting with a slight hangover. 😁


  8. Happy New Year!
    I was going to write a post about perspectives, too. However, I decided to throw myself in the whirl of real life and skipped a couple of posts. I had the same observation – there might have been bad things, but was the year really all that bad?

    Liked by 1 person

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