Reflecting back on 2014, it would easy to get hung up on how it was a “bad year” for me and for my family, because the first few months were difficult and the last few months have been especially difficult. But the truth is that I earned more money this year than I did last year. I finished writing my memoir. I made some really great new friendships and business relationships. My boys have been, more often than not, healthy and happy. So, while there were some extra-lengthy rough patches in 2014, I’m satisfied that we have done the best we could with what we were given and that we used what control we had, however limited it seemed, well enough to make progress this last year.
Now, as I look ahead to the coming year, there are several things I expect out of 2015. For myself, I expect to publish my memoir, several smaller works, and (hopefully) a novel. I expect to grow both my business and my advocacy platform as well. I expect to become healthier, more balanced, and more joyful. Finally, I expect to be able to help others more.
For Brandon, I expect a happy high school graduation. I expect him to discover more of what he wants to do after graduation. I expect him to start setting and realizing plans with which he can build the future he desires for himself.
For Willy, I expect him to explore his interests in greater detail. Instead of passively watching videos and playing games, I intend to encourage him to begin learning to create them. (I also intend to provide him with the tools necessary to do so.) I expect him to grow and mature and to take greater charge of his own life. I hope he can make another friend to bring home, too.
For Alex, I expect him to learn to use the new communication device he’ll be receiving shortly. I expect the trend of communication to continue to grow exponentially, including using more words like the very clear and appropriate “water” he just said. I expect him to use this new ability to share more of himself with us and others.
For Ben, I expect him to better regulate himself so that he can use his interests and energy in kind and productive ways. I expect him to grow in his communication abilities so that he can use words to express his preferences clearly. I hope to hear him answer the question “why” a few times, too.
Mark is always a tough one. I continue to hope that he will find ways to become more motivated and involved outside the Facebook/Twitter communities.
And I hope we all do better at appreciating and exploring the social opportunities available to us! As for the world, sadly I think it’s too much to hope for peace. Instead, I will hope for more moderation and fewer extremes in our national and international discourses.