Monday, December 5, 2016

320. 10 Things (Part 2)

This is the second part of my Christmas letter. I’m writing this just before my coffee kicks in, so it may not be all that coherent for the first few lines.

6. Soccer is good. I’ve been a sports fan most of my life. Soccer kind of took over this year. I saw about a half-dozen live games, which was more than any other sport I saw this year. I went and saw a bunch of Minnesota United games. I went to Chicago to see the United States Men’s National Team play, and I saw some European professional clubs play in the new Vikings Stadium. I also now spend most of my Saturday mornings in front of the television watching soccer. All good things.
7. It’s good to have a mission statement. There are days when I sort of floated through the ether of social media just kind of posting and scrolling through my life. I don’t want to do that anymore. I wrote my mission statement the day after the election: I will use kindness and empathy to build bridges, heal wounds, and fight injustice. I don’t how successful I have been, but it’s sure made how I think through things a lot easier.
8. Feelings are good. This may sound a little touchy-feely, but I started listening to my feelings a little bit more this year. What does that mean? Well, for starters, I just allow myself to be different things. For example, my love life didn’t quite work out as planned numerous times this year. I would just kind of brush it off and move on, and head back into the dating pool. Later in the year, I gave myself a time period to allow myself to be upset. I allowed myself to blow off some steam, be upset, and retreat into myself. I tried not to make it a long time, but sometimes even just a night was all I needed. It’s good to allow yourself to do different things.
9. Growing is good. One of my favorite parts of the year was seeing my goddaughter Melanie receive her first communion. I was able to go to Ohio to see it in person. Many of my friends are having kids. Seeing them grow has been pretty great as well. It’s been fun to be an “uncle” to a bunch of kids.

10. Live in the contradictions. When I’ve been reviewing my blog posts I wrote this year, one has stuck out for me the most. It’s when I gave the advice to a friend to “live in the contradictions.” I realized that the art I like best, the movies and culture I like best, all embrace two different things. It’s good to find things that make you both sad and happy, angry and inspired, joyful and sorrowful. I think life is far too complex to be shoehorned into the categories that humans have come up with. The world is big and complex, you just have to go outside to look at it.

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