So here we are, the end of another crazy year and also, the end of my 30’s. As I look to the age of 40, I am still just as lost in the madness of trying to find and discover the American dream. This decade of life was very good to me– finding the education that I had wanted to achieve for so many years (Go Cougs!!) and having the ability to go to another country, one so foreign to me as China, but still making the change. As you all know, it was a life changing experience. It was there that I met my beautiful wife Lilifer, a german woman with much of the same passions for traveling and experiencing life as I have. We knew right away that we had something special and even though it took a long time to finally live together as man and wife in America, it was well worth the struggle.
Then Elliott came along in October of 2011. What a joy this little man has brought to our lives. It makes it that much harder to get up each day and head off to the working world. Everyday you see some new form of development with him and it makes you happy to be there experience him– but it is true, they grow up way to fast. Just the other day I was astonished as his ability to learn and do new things– he is always hungry for more things to do and experience.
2012 was really just a great continuation of the things that have happened in my life over the last several years and although the concept of turning 40 isn’t quite what I thought it would be– I remember when my parents turned 40 and I thought, man they are so OLD (I was 17!!)– when I turn 50, I am going to be old and my son will be turning 12– but that is just the way things are now.
For me, 2013 is going to be a game changer. I am going to finally put an end to the nasty smoking habit I have had since I was 19– I fear that if I don’t fully quit now it will be the death of me someday– and I am going to also work to slimdown and get more time walking and being more active. These feel like the constant new year resolutions, but this year, with the changing of the 30’s into the 40’s, I think it is more obvious that changes need to be made.
2012 brought a lot of things with it. The over spending of campaigns in both the local, state and federal elections should cause people in this country to seriously ask what is behind this machine that can generate so much revenue for a small group of people and we still have people struggling every day to make ends meet.
The choatic weather also had a direct effect on the election with Hurricane Isaac ripping through the middle of campaign season and causing the DNC party to start a few days late. But the big weather system was Hurricane Sandy, leaving people on Long Island out of Power for weeks. One would hope that these weather events will eventually cause people to consider global warming as a real threat, but, much like the way that we approach Guns and assult rifles in this country, rhetoric wins.
Which brings me my final moment of pause: Sandy Hook elementary. 20 children under the age 8 shot and killed. Most of these children has 4-5 bullets in each of them as a “crazed” young man rips through the school. Gun advocates were quick to point out that the discussion shouldn’t be about the guns, but moreso mental illness. Soon the Mental Illness professsionals seized the opportunity to point out that this is a national epidemic that has gone without a voice for too long– further clouding the issue that I have yet to hear any good use for any American citizen to own a weapon that can shoot at that rate and be operated so easily by a young adult. This discussion also led to the statistic that between 20 and 30 people are killed in the United States by a gun (but not a heavy duty assult rifle like the one used in Sandy Hook) which should cause most people to pause and question how is benefiting most from the flexibility of gun ownership– it certainly doesn’t feel like society as a whole is benefitting from guns being so available.
The link for further reading on the article is here:
I think Slate did a very good job of discussing this.
I feel like there are a lot of elephants in the room when it comes to our current political climate– and these are things that I am in constant deliberation about.
That being said, I do appreciate living in a country where we can speak our minds about these things and that we have the technological advancements to be able to have these discussions as a group of people. I think that this will be one of the things that really will help to advance our society because the freer privledged information is available, the more people can begin to make informed decisions in regards to the people that they are voting for– and I think the hope is that when Elliott is my age, he will look back at these blog discussions by his dad and hopefully wonder what the hell I was going on about– that there havent been dozens of people killed by guns in years– that people weren’t living in cardboard boxes while others have multiple homes…
In the words of Fight Club: It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.