Monday, January 02, 2006

Remembering 2005

Bethany the newlywed from A Picturesque Life tagged me for a meme, and loyal Attention Span readers know that I mostly avoid those things. But this is a nice tool for me to look back on my life over the past twelve months, so I'm playing along this time. I'm not tagging anyone, but feel free to borrow the questions if you'd like.

What did you do in 2005 that you’ve never done before? Um... Turn 44? Not a lot of risks taken by yours truly this past year. Not necessarily unwilling to try, just few opportunities and fewer finances.

Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions and will you make more for next year? I don't do New Years' resolutions. I didn't this time, although I am beginning a read-through-the-Bible-in-a-year campaign today. I'll also be blogging a journal about it here.

Did anyone close to you give birth? Not this year, but my sister is due in February.

Did anyone close to you die? One close friend, Kenny, whom I had never met face-t0-face. Then my neighbor, George passed away on New Year's Eve. George was the man who really made us feel welcome when we moved here. He plowed the snow out of our yard. He fixed and serviced my lawn mower. And every once in a while, he'd drop by a gift like a grocery sack full of sweet corn or a pickup load of firewood. George's first wife died after a long illness and a year later he married his second wife. Shortly after they were married, she was diagnosed with Altzheimer's. She is in a care facility with no memory at all. Until his cancer became unbearable George visited every day, despite the fact that she didn't recognize him at all. His funeral will be Wednesday.

What countries did you visit? In the movie, The Blues Brothers, the barmaid at Bob's Country Bunker tells Jake and Elwood Blues, "Oh yes, we have both kinds of music -- country AND western!" In that sense I've been to many countries. However they've all been inside the borders of the United States.

What would you like to have in 2006 that you lacked in 2005? Materially? Maybe a laptop. But I've been waiting for that for a few years anyway, so I can wait a few more. More than anything though, I'd like to have more consistency. Instead of catching a few minutes here and there during the day for Scripture, I'd like to have an established time. I think it would be nice to have a consistent bedtime and "get-up-time" and maybe a weekly schedule. I also know that this is pretty near impossible, but it's something that I'm going to work on in '06.

What date from 2005 will remain etched in your memory and why? I'm guessing my days just aren't memorable enough. Aside from my birthday, anniversary, kids' birthdays and Christmas, I doubt I could remember any specific date. But then again, I'm getting old...

What was your biggest achievement of the year? Perhaps it was keeping this blog up and running for most of the year. Aside from Attention Span, most of my year has been pretty typical, achievement-wise.

What was your biggest failure? Same thing here. Aside from my daily failures, nothing seems to stick out.

Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope.

What was the best thing you bought? Gas. It may have been pricey at times, but it always worked!

Where did most of your money go? To my wife. After that, I don't know. She keeps the books, after all. If I were to venture a guess, I'd think most would go for the mortgage, van payment and paying off other debt.

What did you get really, really, really excited about? I'm not sure I have a great answer for this one. I really got into watching my boys play baseball and football. I love watching my daughter, who is learning more and more every day. But one event doesn't come to mind.

What scripture is a theme of 2005? 2005 and every year:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. - Romans 7:15-19.

Compared to this time last year are you: a. Happier or sadder? Still happy. Not sure I can get any happier.

b. Thinner or fatter? Probably about the same. Should be thinner, but I'm not.

c. Richer or poorer? I'd guess poorer this year than last, but it's not by too much.

What do you wish you’d done more of? Reading and studying Scripture, playing with the kids, kissing my wife (can I say that?)

What do you wish you’d done less of? Wasted time, some of it surfing useless websites.

How did you spend Christmas? Christmas Eve with my family at our house. Candlelight service at church at 8:00, then a trip to see a live nativity scene. Christmas morning at home, then a two-hour drive to my mother-in-law's for my wife's side of the family.

Did you fall in love in 2005? Every single day.

What was your favorite TV show? My new favorite is Criminal Minds (Wednesday night on CBS). Not as graphic as CSI, but still mysterious. I'm drawn to these enigmatic characters in a mystery setting - Agent Gideon, Gil Grissom, et. al. Keeps thing interesting. And it helps that these shows aren't produced in serial fashion, so I can miss one or two and not get behind.

What was the best book you read? The book that made me think the most was Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz. I plan on revisiting that book this year.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2005? Probably my son. He has really blossomed as a guitarist. I even like listening to him practice. Now things are changing, though. He's plugged in. His new guitar is acoustic/electric, so he's been able to try his hand at a little Jimi Hendrix feedback. Not the best way to wake up, let me tell you.

What did you want and get? I'm trying my best not to want. For Christmas 2004 I received Sirius Satellite Radio and spent some time playing with that. I realize that wasn't 2005, but close enough for me!

What did you want and not get? I'd still like to get a laptop, but that's for another day.

What was your favorite film this year? I'm trying to think of a good movie I watched in 2005, but I'm coming up blank.

What did you do on your birthday? Mostly watched it snow. Good size storm that day around these parts.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Seeing more spiritual growth from myself and my church.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2005? Fashion? Me? Ha! How about sweaters in cold weather and t-shirts in warm? Add the occasional suit to preach in and that's pretty much it.

What kept you sane? Sleep, and lots of it.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Oh, please. When most people become famous they lose all appeal to me.

What political issue stirred you the most? I'm mostly apolitical. I don't believe that there are many politicians with altruistic motives and they dominate the conversation and twist the information. I've tried to keep an eye on the situation in Iraq, but the politics get in the way.

Who did you miss? Comin' up blank.

Who was the best new person you met? I'm not sure I met anyone new who is a big part of my life today. Most new people in my life are the on-line kind, like many of you stopping by here at Attention Span. In almost one year of blogging, I've gotten to know some very interesting and stimulating people and I thank each of you for your friendship.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2005. I'm learning about the need to be loving instead of simply being right. That's a tough habit to begin.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I'm glad you asked.

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
Those kicks were fast as lightning
In fact, it was a little bit frightening
But they fought with expert timing

Oh wait, that's the wrong song. Let's try this one:
Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You're

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me

I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Thanks, Lord for a great 2005. I can't wait to see what you have in store for 2006.

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