It started off with some excitement and hope at my job...after spending 2013 doing an extensive amount of work travel, I resolved to travel less and focus on different aspects of the business. I can't go into details yet, but let's just say things did not work out as planned.
I also suffered a serious physical injury right before my birthday which set back my fitness regime physically and mentally.
The combined effects of those 2 things impacted many of my creative activities. My various bands did not play live last year, my performing limited to playing holiday songs for children a few weeks ago. I did not record any albums this year, making this the 3rd year I did not produce a complete work.
I barely wrote pieces here, primarily due to a sense of pointlessness. I feel the national dialog around serious issues is so polarized it is all but impossible to even have discussion, and so many of the things I would have written about were so bleak it just seemed like an exercise in bumming myself and everyone else out.
The world around us also seemed particularly grim, with disappearing airplanes, increasing income inequality, and the militarized and seemingly out-of-control police forces being the only thing to displace news of the death of beloved friends and public figures.
The awful state of American politics merits a mention, but going much beyond that is too much for me at the moment without more coffee or bourbon or both.
The continuing spread of "gratitude culture" is perhaps an attempt to counter all that darkness, but I found it cloying and superficial.
Despite all that, there were a few real bright spots. Marriage equality seems to be a foregone conclusion nationwide. Marijuana continues its slow roll towards legalization. The Affordable Care Act is still live. I'm sure you can think of a few things.
Even my own year had its high points. I have tried to view my own obstacles as a kind of challenge or training. My physical health is better than I thought it would be. I played music with friends both old and new, and wrote a few songs I'm rather fond and proud of. I goofed off, I slept in, I pushed hard and took it easy.
I had wonderful coffees in the morning. My wife fixed great cocktails in the evening. In between I spent a lot of time with my friends and family, traveled, and had many good experiences.
I suppose they can't all be "the best year ever!" and perhaps we all need some trouble in our lives to remind us exactly how good we have it.