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I’ve spent the last few days trying to start this review in the most dramatic, heart-wrenching manner possible, using musical quotes and Bible passages like my brother Victor did (showoff). I wanted  to write a moving review about challenges and victory and all those… writer-drama-type things.

But well, it’s December 31 and I haven’t written a damned thing.

It’s not like my year hasn’t been dramatic. I’ve gone through the most stressful time ever as a person, as an employee, learned the most difficult behavioral lessons, caused, experienced and solved the most painful drama relationship-wise, and basically lived through a period in the year I termed as “one week one trouble”.` For the most part, 2014 was something I went through with one hand in front of my face, trying to learn the important lessons and find my way through each day.

So, let’s be plain old boring and make a list, shall we?

I learned Compassion

This is probably the most important lesson I learned in 2014. The world isn’t always black and white, and the truth is sometimes, even when it looks like people are wrong or get what they deserve, sometimes you don’t deserve (or even need) to stand in judgement of anyone. Learning to look at a person’s situation with simple kindness is the best thing you can do, and sometimes can help you make the best out of any situation. Being right isn’t something to hold on to all the time, and the ability to correct in kindness and love is an achievement not many mortals unlock in their short time on planet earth.

I learned to ask Questions

I made a lot of mistakes in 2015 because I assumed a lot of things. Said the wrong things to the wrong people, sent the wrong emails,  and basically made a mess of many things that could have been easily resolved if I’d realized that my Allspark of Wisdom and Encompassing Knowledge was somehow damaged and dependent on input from actual people. These days I clarify everything. No errors, no misinterpretations.

I learned Strength

“Some days, you don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only option you have left.”
I’d build on this but… I’ll let it slide.

Okay, I’m tired of this list.

2014 was a challenge. It showed me things about myself that I didn’t think existed, and built me in ways that I wasn’t expecting.

I’m grateful to God for carrying me through it. For providing me with the perfect person for me, who’s helped me shoulder this burden and see through the many distractions life seems to offer us from time to time. And as I type this, sitting across the room from her on our 2nd Anniversary (I know right?!), I have to pray that we go from two to twenty, from eight to eighty (okay maybe not that long), learning, loving, and leaning on each other all the way.

I’m grateful for the joy of Fatherhood. Watching my munchkin turn two and grow into a beautiful little bundle is something I still don’t know how to reconcile. Some days I hear her call me “Daddy” and I can’t believe she’s talking about me. But then she wakes up and that’s the first thing she says in her confusion (yeah, she got that from me) and I feel that pride that only she can instill in me and I know that I may not be getting it all right, but well I’m still on the right track.

I’m grateful for trials and challenges. This year had a lot of rough patches; training, moving house, work issues, etc. Some days, I thought it was all too much and I wouldn’t be able to handle to pressure. But the good thing about handling challenges is that you always do. And I’m happy that I’ve been able to come through each one stronger, and willing to handle the next thing.

I’m grateful for Friends (no, not the show). I’ve mentioned over the last few reviews (yes, I’m a veteran here) that my friends are everything. But, I think we found ourselves a bit more this year. We’ve come a long way from 2012, and no matter how things look sometimes, we’re stronger than ever, and know we have a lot of good stuff coming our way.

This is probably not what you were expecting. Neither was I.
Maybe it means I’m becoming an old man and losing my flair for the dramatic. Maybe it simply means I’m more grateful for the simple things I go through or get.

Or maybe I’m just a lazy old Panda.

But this is where 2014 ends for me.
May your 2015 be as epic as I hope mine will be, and may the lines always fall in pleasant places.

Goodnight.

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We hope to wake the sleeping Panda very soon. We love the drama, the tension, the suspense and the depth. Here’s to a reinvigorated Panda in 2015! Love to the lover and the Tiger Lily.

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