The 2010’s: Goodbye and Good Riddance

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I know I’m probably beating a dead horse here, since I have hit on this subject numerous times lately, but I cannot wait for the 2010s to end.

Even though we’re not supposed to wish our lives away, I have been doing exactly that. Every day I wake up and look at the calendar, happier than the day before because this pathetic decade is crawling into it’s final days. Do I expect major changes when I climb out of bed on January 1? Of course not. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. After all, change doesn’t come from the calendar, it comes from within.

This decade was awful, on every level. I met so many people I wish I had never seen. I watched the Chicago White Sox struggle through nine losing seasons in 10 years. My mom had a heart attack in 2015 and I’ve watched her age 30 years in the past decade. I was introduced to the court system even though I never did anything to warrant it in 2017 and 2018. I put on over 80 pounds and watched my body go completely to hell. I pondered suicide. And I had to accept that I’ll be eternally single.

But I am trying to put all that negativity behind me forever, and I want to leave all of it in the 2010’s when I walk through the door to the 2020’s.

My Facebook blocked list has expanded exponentially over the past decade. As much as I hate Angie, as much as I would love to pick up the newspaper and see that she had been mauled by a bear or had her head caved in with a cinder block, I absolutely have to let that go and leave that anger and hatred behind me. Revenge will be in God’s hands, as Romans 12:19 so eloquently states (and gives me internal peace):

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Yes.

I have to let my personal dislike for Holly and Rebecca go. I wish nothing bad on either of them anyway, but I also don’t want to ever have to see, hear or think about either of them again. I want them as far out of my life as they can get, and the only connection to them that I want is their place on my Facebook blocked list.

I have to let go of the heartbreak of losing Beckett. I haven’t been able to do any of the things I enjoy that we used to do together, like watching Ghostbusters or playing DC Comics video games. I can’t let his worthless excuse for a mother get the advantage of me, and have that kind of hold over me, I have to let it go forever.

Accepting the fact that I’m on my own from here on out makes everything easier and I have to learn to love it, not just accept it. I can’t depend on anyone else for anything, and I have to be happy with it. Is it lonely? Of course, but it’s just a case of mind over matter. Is it fair? Of course not, there’s nothing wrong with me that I have to be alone, but the fact is I made my bed and now I have to lie in it. I have no choice now.

It may have been a mistake to be so anti-social in my 20’s but I have no regrets about that. It was definitely a mistake to date such gutter trash all through my 30’s, and I have nothing but regrets about that. But now I have to accept the consequences of the choices I made in the past because I never considered how it could end up.

On the positive side, I should be finished watching losing Chicago White Sox baseball for the next decade. There is no reason there shouldn’t be at least one World Series title in the future, and possibly more. This team is built for the long haul and as long as nothing unforeseen happens (like a strike) we should be set.

I’m also ready to change myself physically and mentally and that can’t come soon enough, but I also don’t want to burn myself out. I want to get myself back into the shape I was in 20 years ago. My body and my brain. I’m so sick of being a big, fat, stupid, lackluster lump of flesh. I want to feel human again. I haven’t felt like me in so long I barely remember what it felt like. Life took a steep downturn in November 2010 and it hasn’t come close to being what it should be since. Though the past week hasn’t been bad it better just be the tip of the iceberg as far as getting back to being “me.”

I’m not asking for anything specific for the upcoming decade other than I want to be happy. I literally am not asking for anything else. I just want to know that I have the intellect and knowledge to stop doing the stupid things I did in the 2010’s and know that whatever decisions I make in the 2020’s will be what’s best for me.

So here’s to the final four days of this God-forsaken decade, I can’t wait to wake up on January 1 and know that era of my life is finally over. I just hope the 2020’s live up to the hype I have built up for it in my mind. It’s all up to me now.

God bless, see you on the other side.

2019 [redux]

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I have updated this article since it was first posted.

There are 23 days remaining in 2018, as of the time I write this blog entry.

I want to address my New Year’s Resolutions, and what I hope will be a personal New Year’s Revolution. While 2018 was a good year in many ways, and one of the best I have had in many years, it still came up well short in a number of areas. The way I figure it, 2018 was for licking the wounds of years’ past. In 2019, it’s time for me to take a big step forward.

Here are some of the basic changes I want to make for 2019 and beyond:

I. Get my body back in working order

I know that it’s a common practice for people to plan to get themselves into better shape when each new year rolls around. In my case, it’s more a matter of survival. I’m 41 years old and I’m around 60 pounds overweight, maybe as much as 80 pounds. I certainly can’t continue on the path I am on. Most of this weight is due to a decade-plus of overeating due to an insane amount of stress and unhappiness.  Now that I am at a happy place in my life, it’s time to turn things around and put my broken body back together.  I want to look like I did when I was 22 again.

II. Get my mind back in working order

This could easily cover two resolutions. First, I want to do what I should have done in 2018 but didn’t due to the fact that I didn’t know what was happening in my life for the first several months of the year. I was going through a period of trying to “re-establish” myself, so to speak, rebuilding friendships that had been lost over time, and gaining new friends. But I didn’t take enough time for myself, as I tried to navigate through a world I was unfamiliar with. I had a hard time getting my “sea legs” under me and learning what it was like to be social again.

Second, I want to start learning again. I didn’t pursue my passions for years and I have a lot of regret inside of me because of that.  And I don’t like carrying regret with me.

I have a thirst for knowledge, and in 2018 I started studying some of my favorite subjects again, from mathematics to physics to anthropology to engineering to astronomy. I want to expand that exponentially in 2019, and soak up as much knowledge as my brain will hold.

III. Learn to leave the past in the past, and concentrate on the future

This is a BIG one, and I’m not just talking about the unhappy parts of my life, either, few as they may be. One of my problems is that I spent way too much time sitting around reminiscing about 1982 or 1995 or 2002 or 2010 instead of focusing on the time at hand. This is a mistake I have made all my life. I long for happier days, instead of making the present day happier. In high school I longed for my childhood. In the early 2000s I longed for my high school days. In the late 2000s I was yearning for the early 2000s.  To this day, I still find myself reminiscing about happier times.

Living in the past has eaten me up at times over the years.  Back on December 29, 2008, I tried to relive December 29, 1995.  Yeah, I went to the same places and did the same things to the extent that I bought the CD copies of two albums I had bought on cassette on that same date in 1995.  While I can’t deny that 1995 was the happiest year of my life, I absolutely have to let it go.  I spent times that were just as enjoyable (the early 2000s, for example) longing for 1995.

IV. Clean up the trash in my life and put it where it belongs

As I have brought new friends into my circle, I realized that not all of them are on an acceptable level, and some cleaning will need to be done. Two years ago, at this time, I had 162 Facebook friends and around 200 Twitter followers and I didn’t even have an Instagram account. As of now, I have over 1,100 Facebook friends, nearly 1,300 Twitter and 600 Instagram followers.

While I managed to clean out the gutter trash, there is still some sidewalk trash that needs to be swept up and thrown away. I have an excellent and well-earned reputation and I intend on keeping it, which means eliminating the riffraff from my life. Permanently.  So, I see a mass deletion in my future, and I’ve already begun to compile a list of people who won’t see me by 2019.

V. Learn to forgive, by trying to forget

I carry grudges.  And sometimes, those grudges completely eat me alive.  I can’t eat or sleep, all I can do is picture justice being served.  I still carry grudges against people who wronged me 35 years ago.  And that is completely ridiculous.  This goes back to leaving the past in the past.  If someone wronged me in first grade, or as a high school freshman, or when I was 28 or 41, it doesn’t matter.  The bad memories and injustices need to be left back at the point that they happened.  Being annoyed or carrying hatred for things that happened in the past doesn’t do any good for anyone.  Especially when I let it eat at me day in and day out for years.

VI. The UCLA Conundrum

This will make no sense to anyone who reads this without some explanation.

And frankly, I don’t want to dive too deeply into it. I’ll simply say this: In 2019, I want to make a decision once and for all as to whether I am going to get NCAA Football 14, NCAA Basketball 10 and MVP NCAA Baseball 07 out of my attic and play a full career as a three sport student-athlete at UCLA. This project has been done twice before, once in the late 1990s and once in 2004. I have wanted to do it again in the 14 years since, but have never had a better opportunity.

The problem lies in the fact that I’m 41 years old and I haven’t watched a single college sporting event since the West Virginia vs. Marshall football game in 2012. I’m not only out of the loop, I’m not even in the same area code. And I don’t know if the desire is even still there. It may be time to put my UCLA project out to pasture. I’ll know better around April of 2019, because if I do decide to go through with the project one last time, I’ll want to start in August 2019.

VII. Decide once and for all if I want to be a single man for life

I have debated with myself on every side of this issue. Yes, I want to get married and have a family. I think. The fact remains the best thing that ever happened to me is the fact that I have never been married.  I saved myself a lot of problems over the years.  Of course, to be completely honest, I never once had a situation in my life where I ever came close to getting married.

Do I want to? Or do I want to just continue as a happily single man? I don’t know.  I don’t know how I would fit into a marriage.  I’m too much my own man, and to quote Stone Cold Steve Austin, “nobody tells me what to do, and that’s the bottom line, cause Stone Cold said so.”  I like the idea of being married, I like the idea of falling in love and having someone fall in love with me, because my experiences in that department are minimal and it’s been a long time since anything close to those kinds of feelings have risen up inside of me.  In fact, it’s been 23 years since I even would have considered marrying a girl.  So I really don’t know if I even have it in me anymore.

But as 2019 progresses, I intend to find out. And I mean that, once and for all.

VIII. Maintain this list, not just for 2019, but for the rest of my life

I don’t want to sit down here one year from now and have to think about the same things I’m thinking about now. I want to be past that. Once I have climbed the mountains before me, I want to move on to other mountains and climb those as well. And more after that.

I wouldn’t trade my life to anyone for anything. I would change a few things if I could but I’ll take what I have been blessed with. I just want to take better advantage of the gifts I was born with. I will not deal in the slums anymore. I will not waste my days reminiscing or lamenting about past happenings. I’ll make the most of what I have.  I’m moving forward and not looking back.

IX. Get back into video gaming again

I haven’t gamed regularly in years. In my younger days, I played daily, whether it was Tecmo Super Bowl or Super Mario Bros. 3 or something entirely different. I have neglected my gaming over the past decade or so. I had made a good turnaround after buying my son a PlayStation 4 and several games he enjoyed for his PlayStation 3, including Ghostbusters and Batman/DC Comics games. Now I want to get back into retro gaming. I have a Retron 5 console that plays NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, Nintendo Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games. I also still enjoy titles from all four PlayStation consoles, and I have a backward-compatible PlayStation 3 that plays PSOne, PS2 and PS3 titles. And a PS4.

I purchased a number of well-known Western games, from The Lone Ranger for the NES to Gun for the PS2, Call Of Juarez for the PS3 and the entire Red Dead series. I also bought as many Star Trek titles as I could find, from the NES to the PlayStation 3. And, of course, I used to make a habit of playing Grand Theft Auto III every October/November years ago.

In closing, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read and know that I am absolutely convinced that 2019 will be the best year of my life, so far. There will be good times upcoming, and there will be bad times, but as long as the good outnumber the bad, I’ll not complain. My life as a whole has been far, far more good than bad. The last decade? Not so much. But I will do whatever it takes to make 2019 the most successful year of this millennium for me.

Peace.