Some years, we tend to overdo Christmas, in the best way. We throw elaborate dinner parties with printed menus, we decorate every corner, we paint the coffee table red.
This year, I think we leaned toward under-doing Christmas, again in the best sense. We put up a tree and some outdoor lights. We kept a stack of Christmas books on the table. We baked cookies for the neighbors.
But there were no parties. We left most of the decorations in the attic. We hunkered down and settled in and, in the end, I think it was the best choice. We've all had plenty of fanfare already this year, thank you very much.
And now we find ourselves on the last day. I reflect on the year behind us and try to evaluate how I've done. I've shown mercy and reacted with kindness; I've been quick to anger and slow to forgive. I've worked hard; I've wasted time. I've worried about things that don't really matter; I've worried about things that do.
I've done the best that I can.
I'm not much for resolutions, but I do like setting goals. I set both business and personal goals each year that are fairly specific, but my one big goal every single year is to be able to look back and say that, overall, I did my best. Not every day, certainly not every minute, but more often than not.
Right now Steve and Arthur are raking leaves in the back yard with the last of the daylight. They just knocked on the back door with an offering of paper whites and rosemary. I'm preparing the last dinner of the year, which somehow seems important. Whatever else can be said about how I spent my year, let it be said that on the very last day, I roasted a chicken for my family.
I hope that you get to end your year doing what you like best (we'll be asleep long before midnight) and that 2014 finds you ready and excited for a fresh start!