Well, we made it back home from my trip to see my parents, and before I get back to the normal flow of stuff on my blog, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on some stuff from the past year. Because 2009 was a year I’d like to forget. My wife captured the essence of it here.
But watching my mom act like she was still hoping for someone to wake her up and tell her this past year was a dream, and my dad recount his blessings, it really brought home the idea that the perspective we bring to bear on any situation is so important.Whereas my dad has always been a glass is half-full kind of guy (sometimes naively), my mother has been the polar opposite and then some. Actually, she may see the glass as three-quarters empty. So I’ve always been a little jaded and cynical as a result.
But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to distance myself from that mindset, and have made it my goal to be better balanced. It’s more of an effort to understand things as the way they are, not as they might be perceived. I’m nowhere near to the point I want to be at, but it’s more about the journey than the destination and arrival.
My wife tells me she feels like she doesn’t have a relationship with my mom, largely because of the events of the past year. I don’t necessarily believe that, but it’s always had a lot more downs than ups. I also think her perspective holds things back as well, because if she always enters their place thinking that, it will always feel awkward. So I think the relationship is there, but it’s gone cold. With a little work and some adjustments in attitude by both of them, I’m sure it can be turned for the better.
It’s all a matter of our perspective.
It all leads me back to my one of the best metaphors I can think of, surfing. You can’t really do anything about the waves and conditions – they are what they are. But you can always work on being prepared to surf, you can find other things to do. Personally, I don’t mind it if conditions are sloppy. I’m not a good surfer, so 3-5′ glassy waves are just a wasted on me. I end up gargling salt water no matter what and we won’t even talk about where I find sand. But I enjoy it nevertheless. Especially if I’m out there with friends. I know where I am and I’m content with it.
And so that’s it. I’ll be back to looking at all of the stuff still in front of us in credit, the markets, and current events in general, because each new year begins where the old one leaves off. And we’re staring at a pretty full plate already and it’s only January 2nd.
But in the meantime I’ll probably spend a few minutes thinking about surfing down on the Carolina coast and how great it will be once the weather warms up.