2009 was kind of a rough year for me and my family and I’m glad it’s over. That doesn’t mean 2010 will be any better but I have hopes that it will be.

I’m sure 2009 was rough for a lot of families due to the tough economic times, horrible housing market, and the topsy-turvy job outlook. Why was it rough for us? Here’s why:

  1. Yesterday marked exactly one year that I’ve been in my new job in Dallas, Tx. I was fortunate to get this job considering the economic hit the construction industry took in late 2008 but working in Dallas, Tx with my family living in Jacksonville, FL wasn’t something I had planned for. They stayed in Florida because we can’t sell our home due to the poor real estate market and because our oldest daughter is a Senior in high school. Over the last year I’ve seen my wife and three girls several times and got to spend two weeks with them at Christmas. That’s a far cry from being able to see them when I get home from work everyday though. I missed birthdays, performances, dances, anniversaries, family get togethers, and more. I honestly thought when I left the Navy in 2006 that I was done with the family separations.
  2. My wife had a significant surgery to have both jaw joints replaced. She suffered from TMJ for many years and over the last couple of years went through several minor operations to fix the problem. The final step was to replace both joints. I was there for the surgery, and several days afterward, but not being there during the one year recovery period has been rough (she has four months to go). She’s doing good but still has some hard days.
  3. Being by myself this past year I put in a significant amount of time during the summer training for my first century. As luck would have it, I noticed some damage to my bike two weeks before the event that prevented me from being able to ride. It sucked to have put that much time into training and then not be able to do the event. When training for that century I saw dramatic improvements in my health that have been erased over the last few months while I’ve gone bike-less. I still don’t have a bike but have continued to harbor the desire to ride/train. With any luck I hope to have a bike soon (life has a way of getting in the way though).

Those are just the highlights. Looking back it’s hard not to get down, or depressed, and I must admit that at times it was very tough both physically and emotionally. As a man, a father, and a husband, it puts your mettle to the test.

Don’t feel sorry for me though because I’m thankful. Unlike a lot of people I’m fortunate enough to have a job. I hear of and see examples everyday of husbands and wives being out of work for months. My family is healthy and not living on the street. They’re provided for, aren’t going hungry, and have a roof over their heads. Not everyone has that. Isn’t it interesting how tough times bring a better understanding to what’s really important?

What will 2010 bring? I don’t know. I have high hopes it’ll see me permanently re-united with my family but only time will tell. I want to ride that first century and perhaps I’ll get it done this year. Maybe I can really start to shed these unwanted pounds by riding again.

I’m not going to list those as my goals for 2010 because, honestly, I don’t have much control over them. That doesn’t mean I can’t look forward to 2010 with higher hopes.