The most important reminders and realizations in my life always seem to come completely unexpectedly. Tonight was no different.
With Christmas just a couple of days away, I keep catching myself saying, “I can’t believe the year is almost done already. Where has the time gone?” My dad is down here visiting and will be spending Christmas with me. As we were driving tonight, he mentioned that he couldn’t believe he has already been here for over a week, and that the time seems to pass by too quickly in Florida. I’ve always felt that life in Florida is a confusing combination of a laid-back, slower-paced lifestyle mixed with the constant rush of a big city. When my dad mentioned how the past week has flown by so quickly, I responded by saying, “I’ve been here for almost two and a half years, and it feels like I just got here.”
As soon as those words came out of my mouth, I had a flashback to the summer of 2014. That summer, I played over 100 rounds of golf. It was just a typical summer. At that time, I had no clue yet that I would be moving to Florida a year later to start working toward a career as a golf pro.
As I kept thinking back, I started to remember that even throughout most of the summer of 2015 I just had a feeling that something was going to happen to keep me from moving. I was determined to avoid anything negative and ignore anything that could potentially impact my plans.
Every year, I take some time at the end of the year to reflect upon everything I’ve experienced throughout that year. This year, I keep finding that I am looking more at the big picture than just this year alone. It’s hard to look back at this year without also looking back at the previous year and a half to see how everything has ended up happening.
Each year, when I look back, I realize a common theme that has come up repeatedly throughout the year. I still don’t know what the theme of 2017 was for me, but I already know about 2018. 2017 hasn’t seemed to make a whole lot of sense to me yet. 2018, however, has a ton of potential. I’m calling it, “The Year of Great Potential”. There’s a lot in the works right now that would make 2018 the best year of my life, if it all falls into place. I won’t go into any details right now, but I feel like maybe all of the confusion will end up making more sense in the coming year.
I still have a lot of questions to which I have no answers, but those answers seem to be closer to being revealed now. 2018 could be the year where things that would have seemed like a ridiculous dream back in the summer of 2014 when I was pretty much living on the golf course end up becoming reality. I’ve learned not to get too excited until things actually happen though. Stay tuned…
Some of the questions that I have answered this year, and hope to continue finding answers to in the next year, have to do with the people in my life. When you spend most of your time alone, you notice things you didn’t notice before. Specifically, you start to realize who does and doesn’t fit in your life. You realize who does and doesn’t put in the effort to be involved in your life. You learn to recognize the difference between people who say they care and people who ACTUALLY care. If somebody wants to be a part of your life, they will show you. They will put in the effort.
I think one of the greatest lessons I have learned this year, if not THE greatest lesson, is figuring out who deserves to be a part of your life. Surround yourself with people who make you happy, build you up, and support you. Surround yourself with people who care. You will notice a difference immediately in your level of happiness when you make the people who deserve to be in your life a top priority and they do the same for you. You need to take responsibility for your own happiness, but having the right people in your life takes that happiness to a whole new level. They add to your already happy life. If they make you happy, tell them how happy they make you. Appreciate them. Love them. Tell them you love them. Hopefully they will do the same for you, too. People aren’t mind-readers. Tell them what is on your mind. But don’t stop there. Don’t just tell them. Show them, too. Words are great, but actions speak louder than words.
Whether it’s professional progress, personal growth, newfound appreciation for the people in your life, or any other progress/improvements you have made, take the time to slow down and enjoy it. Life passes by insanely fast. Slow down and remind yourself how far you’ve come once in a while. You will probably be surprised how much your life has changed without you even realizing it. Day-to-day life usually seems to never change much. Small changes over a long period of time really do add up. Keep on living and enjoy every step of the journey. No matter how big or how small, every step counts. All great journeys start with a single step.