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Thank You.

Dear Christmas Tree 2011,


This evening you were relieved of your duty of bringing wonder and fulfillment to this year’s Christmas and New Year’s festivities.

Your task was not an easy one this year. Prior Christmas Trees that held this duty had an easier time of it. Our December got off to a rough start, and there were times when we felt like we weren’t going to find the joy that one expects in the holiday season. But every time I walked into our Great Room, there you were, looking lovely, green, festive and heartwarming.

You stood strong, didn’t shed hardly any needles and you added a beautiful aroma to our home long after it was expected of you. Your beauty brought a smile to our face and helped boost our moods when we needed a little boost. Your reminders always hit home.

Your presence embodied the love that never left us this holiday season and for that we say thank you. Thank you for sharing our Christmas with us.

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Happy.

So every year I start out the New Year with resolutions and goals. I ask myself, “What am I going to do this year to make me a better person?” I usually come up with a list of bullet points highlighting various areas of my life; financial goals, career goals and health goals. The latter usually includes shedding 15-20 pounds so that I can look like one of those models you see on the cover of Men’s Health; you know the guys, they’re the ones that the masses get all breathless about because they have a flat stomach, a full head of hair, arms that pop, a smile that dazzles everyone and a face that betrays their age by at least 10 years. After trying for the past couple of decades I have yet to obtain that magazine standard.

This year, I have just one bullet point on my list of New Year’s Resolutions.

* Be Happy

That’s it. That’s all I got. I have finally come to the realization that once I’m happy, everything else will fit into place. Being happy with who I am leads to be confident in who I am. And being confident in who I am leads me to finding new opportunities where I need to find them in my life. And this all starts with being happy with my physical appearance.

I weigh myself every morning. A lot of people say that this is a foolish thing to do, but quite frankly, I like to know what I weigh. In the past I did this so that I would avoid eating like a bird so that I could shed a few pounds here and there, but I’m not going to do this anymore. I’m still going to weigh myself, but it’s so I can gauge where I am and stay three steps ahead of a heart attack or something like that. I tweeted my weight for the first time in my life this morning; at last check I weight 206.4 pounds. I’ve weighed more in my life and I hav e certainly weighed less. A month ago, the 206.4 would have bothered me. A lot. But today it doesn’t, because if the weather was cooperative and I had a few practice runs, I could still do what I love to do, and that’s ride my road bike for 80 miles or so. I can still do that and I want to still be able to do that because it makes me happy.

My husband and family and friends love me for who I am. No one gasps in horror when I walk into a room. If they do, it’s probably because my beard has bushed out like some sort of fuzzy dog or because I’m wearing mismatched clothes or something equally horrific. I’ve had only two people in recent memory tell me that “wow, I’ve really gained weight” and quite frankly they’re not part of my life anymore because a comment like that is only a symptom of a deeper problem.

Steve Jobs once remarked that we shouldn’t do something day in and day out if we are not happy doing it. So I look myself in the mirror in the morning and ask myself, “Am I happy?”

The answer is an unequivocal ‘yes’. I am a very happy man. I can adjust a little bit here and there to sort of tweak the package for maximum enjoyment but as a whole, I’m a happy guy.

And as long as that remains true, I am going to meet my New Year’s resolution.