John Lennon
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It’s over.  Goodbye 2010.

For me, as you’ve seen from the previous six posts, it’s been a year of great upheaval in my life.  There have been more dark times and valleys in this past year–maybe to outshine all the others combined.  Ones I am convinced I’ve passed through for a reason, but also have regained the determination to put them very much behind me.

From a life of abundance to a life of barely what I need

God has led me through a rough time.  I’m convinced with each breathe of air I take, consciously or not, that God has put me on a mission and 2010 was only conditioning to get me ready for some new and incredible adventures that only he could prescribe.  At the beginning of the year, and certainly the past 18 months, I was living comfortably in life.  Sure, there were challenges, hills and valleys, rights and wrongs.  But I was managing them.  Then a dam of emotions, financial, physical and personal frustrations broke over my head.   I had people rip me off this year.  I had people try to rip my head off.   I had people rip that which I had fairly earned, paid for and worked for right out of my hands.

Away from a life of ego and folly to one of meaning and social impact.

There will be some who read this Treatise on Life in 2010  in anger and disdain.  To them: I’m glad you are so moved. That means you know down deep that what I say is true. Others shall read it and fail to comprehend it’s significance. Honestly, I do not know which is worse. My three older daughters get it.  They’re 13, 11 and 11.  Why can’t you?

I’ve labored this year to find some new truths in my life.  I’ve asked questions like, “Who says corporate social responsibility programs can’t make money?  Why do some stray so far from the core mission of the business or require so little return? Is this how you feel about the good deeds you do for others?  Why can’t they both do something that has more measurable impact than the sound of a clip book dropped on a boss’ desk in January?”

I’ve learned to quit asking God “Why” or “How much longer?” The answer is clearly because “It’s part of his plan” and “When he’s ready.”

I’ve had a life of impact and influence.  I did so because I worked hard and stuck to my principles. Even in the eighth grade at Mitchell Middle School in Atwater, California my “journalism” teacher, Mrs. Reid, gave me an F on a project: She wanted us to write a short, fictional story in journalism class and could not see the hypocrisy in such a practice.

I realized in October 2010 after compiling a list of what people used to say about me that was bold and complimentary, they weren’t saying anymore.  That was like pouring cold water over my head.

I realized that God has me on a mission, that all of the things I’d been through recently and every other moment of my life were with great purpose.  Meeting and working with Domestic Violence Survivor Veronica Galaviz has helped me see that as plain as the computer before me.  I realized that working in an agency trying to get people to remember the unmemorable was not what I needed to be doing, and was relieved the day I left trying to do so any longer.

So This Is 2011

Just think John Lennon when you read the subhead to this section.  Well, it begins in a few hours.  Already, as I’m putting away the last touches of Christmas 2010, tidying up the place from visitors over the holidays, and just doing some pre-spring cleaning.  I’m making some healthy readjustments in my life.  

I’ve created Claxton Creative, LLC.  I’m in business for myself and I’m picking up clients who, like me, are out to make a difference in this world;  Who don’t just sit around and look at the world for what it is, but rather for what it can become.

Sometimes having an outlook like that leaves one isolated and alone.  Let’s face it, few like change in their lives, and yet it is the only thing that’s actually constant in our lives.   I’m living for change.  I’m looking forward to 2011.  Even my 14-year-old daughter Chandler, when leaving here yesterday smiled and said, “Dad, go get 2011 and make it into your dreams, not someone else’s.” Well, those weren’t quite her words, but it’s what she meant.

I feel so alive going into 2011.  I’ve been beaten down and bruised by others recently, but the bandages, the hurt feelings, and the discomfort are gone.  Sure, I might slip back into a moment of grief or sadness now and then, but I know God will be there to catch me and shove me back into the good fight.  That’s what he’s been doing all year long.  It’s just taken me almost 365 days to figure it out.

Watch out 2011.  You’re going to be mine.

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