The reflection post, circa 2019

photo courtesy Matt Altmix

If I had to make an observation about what it’s like getting older, I think I would have to say something along the lines of increasingly feeling like there isn’t enough time, like ever, for like, anything and everything.  Maybe it’s exclusive to me, or perhaps it affects millions of others, but I feel that I spent an inordinate amount of time feeling anxious about how I don’t feel like there’s time for anything, or at least, there isn’t an adequate amount of time that I’d like in order to do particular things, and therefore I simply don’t do them.

Like video games, or starting a new television series; typically, I prefer to have like a nice, 2-3 hour block of time in which I can dive in and be properly acquainted with something new, learn the controls, characters, look for critical information that might re-emerge later when stories unfold.  I’m not the type of person who’s ever satisfied with a short introductory period or just a singular pilot episode; subsequently, if I don’t get such conditions, there’s a higher chance that I simply don’t even begin, because there’s always something else I could be doing instead that’s probably actually more productive, or at least essential to my general pace of living, and then suddenly it’s the next day, and I’ve got to go to work, where there’s seldom adequate time for my team to get their tasks done because we’re constantly behind schedule, and are reliant on the partnership of other teams in order to get our jobs done, but they’re lazy and constantly coasting their ways to the next weekend, and then the weekend comes and then it’s almost over, and it’s back to work on Monday where we have yet another planning meeting on how we’re going to catch up, but then the people we rely on are already beginning their downhill coasting towards the weekend on Tuesday afternoon, and this cycle of constantly feeling like there’s no time continues to cycle and repeat.

All this being said, if I had to look back at 2019 as a whole, I would have to say that I think it went by pretty quickly.  Often times, I’ve given thought to how fast things have flown by, and amazed at the idea that when I was a kid, I’d often thought that time couldn’t move slow enough, and how I had all the time in the world to beat and master every single Nintendo game that came across my path.  About how when I was a teenager, I was able to balance time between numerous friend groups, family and responsibilities; like this one time back in 2001 where I somehow remember balancing my newspaper job, going to Baltimore to meet up with some friends who were arriving from out of town for Otakon, driving back to Virginia to meet up with some other friends that night so we could grill out, going to work the next morning, stopping on Columbia on my way back up to Baltimore to visit a cousin, then going to Baltimore for Otakon, taking 200 pictures, coming back home, whipping up a photo gallery and recap of the con for my website, while going back to work. 

Like, I couldn’t even fathom doing that many activities in the span of a week at the age of 37 now.

However, in spite of the perpetual feeling that the clock is spinning faster, this doesn’t mean that my quality of life is necessarily worsening.  In fact, I can say with tremendous clarity that 2019 was a pretty incredible year.  Without question, some of the most grandiose and life-changing events occurred within 2019 and have laid down the foundation for the rest of said life.  Most notably highlighted by the event of having gotten married to my beautiful wife, and having an incredible wedding celebration surrounded by friends and family who all poured into Georgia to celebrate with us.  But then the honeymoon didn’t last that long, or maybe I could say the magic of a Disney cruise was a little too OP in our case, because shortly afterwards did we discover that mythical wife was pregnant, putting us on the fast track to parenthood, and the jarring realization that I was going to become a dad.

Admittedly, I initially went through a pretty wild rollercoaster of emotions in the early stages, but I can also clearly say that none were resentful or any semblance of wishing that this didn’t happen, and I can confidently say now, as the year is winding down, that I am anticipating and looking forward to fatherhood, and I think mythical wife and I have the definite potential to be great parents.

So, getting married and mythical wife becoming pregnant are definitely the undisputed highlights of the year; sure a lot of other notable things occurred throughout, and I typically keep a running list of things that I want to remember the time by, but frankly so much of it just pales in comparison to the high points.  Especially considering so much of it ultimately sounds like a SportsCenter recap, and when the day is over Clemson, the Patriots, UVA and the Raptors winning respective championships and the Washington Nationals winning the World Series don’t hold a lot of weight in the grand spectrum of things.  Nor does the Popeyes chicken sandwich, Surviving R. Kelly, or Arya killing the Night King en route to a very disappointing Game of Thrones finale really stand out in a year where I got married and am expecting my first kid.

However, as much as I’d attribute the wedding and impending parenthood as the highlights of the year, I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that the year did not come without great costs in its own right; mythical wife and I have been to a combined four funerals this year, all of which were losses affecting our families and closest friends.  I’ve had lots of conversations with my sister and other friends, pondering on whether or not this was also a “symptom” of aging, as we are getting to the age where all 30-40-somethings’ parents and elder families are beginning to reach the tail ends of life expectancies.  Obviously death is always inevitable, but it doesn’t make the losses suffered by those left behind any easier, and this is one of those things that will always stick to the backs of all of our minds, even as the anticipation and excitement of bringing life into the world currently exists in mine.

Everything else in 2019, paled in comparison to the high points and low points of the year.  My job’s been pretty stressful, as there’s been a lot of turnover, and I feel like I’m in this weird mid-point of pseudo-management that I can’t necessarily say I’m too thrilled about.  Politics, on a state and national level are all sorts of fucked, and seldom has a pay period gone by where someone(s), somewhere in the country or world hasn’t opened fire on the public and taken lives.  Women, have made tremendous strides in the world of professional wrestling, headlining Wrestlemania and numerous other events, but the same can’t really be said in the greater world outside of it.  Social media continues to be an overall cancer that nobody in the world seems capable of not relying on, a third Star Wars trilogy has recently come to a close, and at the very time I’m writing this, the president of the United States has actually been impeached by the House of Representatives, but because the political system is all sorts of inefficient and spineless, it won’t really amount to anything other than a notable footnote in the history books of tomorrow.

But that’s really 2019 in a nutshell, as far as my little world is concerned.  It was a year that had some tremendously notable events that stood leaps and bounds higher than the happenings and bullet points that would ordinarily be the things I would usually talk about this time of year, but that goes to show the importance of the love I have for my family, my friends, my now-mythical wife, and the impending arrival of my future daughter.  Maybe in another year, the ordinary will be the highlights that I reflect upon, but this year was pretty extraordinary, to say the least.

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