2009 – Ending with a BANG or a BUST?

By: Travis E. Blythe

The year 2009 will be a year to remember for the ages.  I know I will always remember it.  This year we had our first Black President of the United States, we had one of the biggest economic downturns since the great depression, and social media has captured the marketing space.  Hold please while I send a tweet.  Not only are we ending a year, we are also ending a decade. I think back on the last 10 years and wonder where the time went.  I definitely had some happy times, some sad times and some years that just ran together.

As I reflect on the last decade, I lost some very close people to me, my Grandmother and my best friend. I also had one family pet pass away and another I had to put to sleep due to illness after 11 1/2 years together.  I am not saying all of this to have anyone feel sorry for me or to be sad.  It is true what they say, time does heal; however, all of those people and pets are still missed very much.

I also look back on all of the happy times of the past 10 years.  I met a wonderful, smart, beautiful woman and married her, I have grown closer to my father (still a serious mommas boy though), and my relationship with my brother is getting to the point of where we were like when we were kids.  I have met some wonderful people I consider to be my friends and I have had a opportunity to do some pretty cool things and have some wild adventures.

I was originally thinking I was going to use ten bullet points (one per year) and highlight the best parts of the year and my favorite memories.  Instead, I am going to just tell you about some of the cool adventures I have had and some of the things I remember the most.

I guess I should start out with the early ones, so one of my first memories is of having destiny or the powers that be, move me from Corpus Christi, TX  to the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex.  I had always wanted to live in Big D, so when a new opportunity came along I did not hesitate.  I also became a Private Investigator that year investigating Insurance Fraud, what a fun job and such a rush!  Over the past 10-years I had the best blind date ever (thanks mom!), I got engaged and married (yes to the same person), I bought my first and second house, bought my first Harley Davidson Motorcycle and BMW 5-series.  I have also been blessed with adopting three great boxer dogs, Tyson, Tanner and Shiner Bock.  My parents celebrated 40 years together (congrats!!!) and I got to travel to Jamaica and Cancun (hey I never went before!) and I took a cruise.

Now I am so thankful for all of the above mentioned things, but some of my favorite memories are of some of the adventures I was able to go on.  I participated in Rolling Thunder in Washington D.C. four times, I went to the Republic of Texas Rally (ROT) three times, I traveled to Fayetteville, AR for the Bikes, Blues, & BBQ rally, and Party in the Pines rally in Tyler, TX (had to mention that one! LOL).  I was also able to ride to the Grande Canyon and back, ride on parts of the original Route 66, stood on the corner in Winslow, AZ (yes feel free to sing), and we rode around the Colorado mountains (with only two near death experiences).  A couple other cool things I was able to do was ride my motorcycle on the Texas Motor Speedway track before the Bombardier 400 race, be a part of the Snowball Express and ride my motorcycle onto the NEW Cowboys Stadium floor.

But wait there is more! Seriously, I am not bragging, or at least I do not mean to.  But some of the cool places I was able to see, were Stone Henge II and the Falkenstein Castle (yes both in Texas).  I saw a meteor crater in Arizona and went to Roswell, NM (yes aliens everywhere!).  I rode in the Ozark’s in Arkansas and the pigtail highway, the Gila National Forest and the Apache National forest on the border of New Mexico and Arizona, the million dollar highway and Estes State park in Colorado.  I saw the Cadillac ranch in Amarillo, Texas, Mt. Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Monument, the Badlands and Custer State Park in South Dakota, Devils Tower in Wyoming, and White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. I also can not forget the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona and Garden of the Gods in Colorado.  One of my favorite places has to be the Royal Gorge Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado, the world’s highest suspension bridge at 1053 Ft.  I’ve been to Luckenbach, Texas, too bad Willie and the boys were not there at the time, and I was at the unveiling of the WWII Monument in  Washington D.C. over Memorial Day Weekend.

Wow, what a decade it was. I have to admit I had a ton of fun, I was very lucky I was able to travel across the USA on  my motorcycle.  I saw a ton of interesting places and I can not wait to see what the next ten years bring.  I have my map and the book “Weird Texas” so I am sure I will be all over the place!

As we draw this year to a close, I for one am thankful it is ending.  As great as the beginning of this decade was, the end on the other hand to me at least, it was a pretty crappy 2009.  I was a casualty of the unemployment bug and I hope our economy gets a jump start in 2010.  If you had a great 2009 then you can say you are ending with a BANG; however, I do feel that most of use are ending with a BUST and we are very grateful it is over and ready to move on to bigger and better times.

Every year we all make our New Years resolutions and every year it always seem so to be the exact same thing for the most of us.  Lose weight, eat right, quite smoking, and exercise more seem to be a few of the favorites.  Why is it those same resolutions are made every year.  What a great time to be a gym membership sales person, for January always sees a spike in new memberships.  I have of course the same resolution I have had for the past few years, yes it is to get back in shape and work out more.  I always have a great plan of action, yet executing it is always the problem.

So my resolution for 2010 I have decided to just set goals for myself that are more realistic. I plan to take better care of myself, compete in a mini-triathlon (yes a mini), be in shape for this years flag football league, love more and worry less.  I plan to continue to re-connect with my friends from High School, College and previous places of residence, for as I found out in 2009, life is too short.

So make your New Year’s resolutions. Kiss your beloved as the clock ticks to midnight. Leave 2009 behind and look forward to 2010, not only a new year but a new decade. And hopefully it will be a Happy New Year for you all.

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