Love, Hope and New Beginnings for 2019

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Every year at this time, we change the Daytimers on our desk to the new year, as many of us sit in quiet reflection, at least for a few minutes, to reflect on what the past year has meant to us. At work and in life, there have been so many who’ve shared special times with us. And I’m grateful to each of you for your continued trust and confidence in our family. That means more than I can say.

Chelsea and I spent many weeks this past fall traveling in support of the San Saba Armadillos as they played their way to the state playoffs. Chelsea’s younger brother plays on the team, and nothing brings back great teenage memories than Texas high school football and supporting your team. And, then of course we grabbed our Aggie gear for Saturday football across the SEC—this year’s team continues to make us proud, and they made it to the Taxslayer Bowl!

Last year, the Aggie team lost some great players but this year, they discovered the hearts and minds of others who rose to the top and gave their best. How many years have we all said, “Wait ‘til next year!”? One of the basic teachings of Aggieland, whether football or life: Aggies always have hope.

The Brazos Valley continues to grow in families, homes, and businesses; the year 2019 will bring new improvements to College Avenue, too, we’re excited to see. New housing developments in BCS plus Downtown Bryan’s crown jewel, Queen Theatre, bring hope for a strong 2019.

As you consider your goals for the new year, consider including time to recharge your personal batteries, meet up with old friends, and renew your joy in whatever hobbies you pursue. When you’re strong, you can be supportive for all those who count on you to be there for them.

Question—how many of you have made it through the new year so far without writing 2018 on some document? Most of us have slipped up at least once. We get so used to writing 2018 that we don’t even consider it anymore. The number of the year itself is amazing, it deserves a little more thought than to just sort of gloss over it as though it’s “just another year.”

It was not “just” anything, not by a long stretch of the imagination. Perhaps this past year brought you a new marriage, a new child, the loss of a dear one, or relocation, a new job, the loss of a longtime job, or a major change in your life. Nothing stays the same in life, we know this, but don’t we still like to measure our progress in terms of “always”?

We know that in the Spring, there’s always going to be new yard growth to mow, time to pack away the winter clothes (maybe sooner than Spring), and that there will be, of course, Spring Break.

How many of you have thought about where you’ll go or be on Spring Break? Wait! We are just a tad past New Year’s! That’s how our life pace is these days…rush-rush-rush. I learned from my grandfather many years ago how to take time to slow down, just stop and reflect. I know the term “reminisce” sounds a bit outdated, but I love to reminisce and remember when.

Whether it was a golf game with an unbelievable stroke to sink the putt, the Aggies vs. LSU game with seven (7!!) overtimes, the opportunity to watch Chelsea’s brother’s football team go so far up the ladder in the Texas state football games, before they lost the one that took them out of running for the championship. Still, the quest for the title was awesome. They played their hearts out and gave it everything they had. Reminiscing is great, even if it was just about last week’s activities.

Week-to-week was how that football team was pursuing their goals. But, as we learn from life what we see around us, football is not just a period of September through December. Rather, it begins with Spring training, working out between school semesters, staying in shape, getting your homework done, and being of a constant mindset that you have a major goal and you are focused.

As adults, we tend to take on multiple goals, and with those come some concessions towards the single-minded attitudes we have towards accomplishing our goals. At the beginning of the year, we do tend to list out priorities of what we’d like to do, to be, or to change about our lives and our careers, to make them all more efficient with more time to do additional things.

I wondered what it would be like to do everything I used to put on my list. When we are children we always talk in series. “First, I want to do this, then I want to do that, and then next I’d like to….” That’s how our minds roll—unending time without responsibilities and unending enthusiasm for conquering whatever we think up that we want to do.

That’s where hope comes in. As children take on a new challenge, so many times they see it as an exciting adventure! They are not burdened by fears they can’t do what they set out to do. They are not constrained by a lot of people saying, “You’ll never be able to do that.”

Instead, these children are encouraged by others, usually adults, to reach for those dreams and give it all they have. Looking around at successful adults, we find that they also have around them a team of people who believe in them, who encourage them, and who assure them (and reassure them) that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

As adults, we tend to throw cold water on some of our dreams as we engage in negative self-talk about “You’ll never be able to…” or “That’s too much to ask for…” or “So-and-so could not do that, so why do you think you can?”

I live in a world of positives. It’s purposeful behavior on my part, I admit, but I truly believe that when we surround ourselves with achievers who do a strong bit of dreaming, too, then we position ourselves with the hopes of others directed our way. It’s like you’re the one running the marathon and yet, without people cheering you on each step of the 26 miles, it’s hard. When you have a team around you, behind you, and in front of you, surrounding you with encouragement, then there’s virtually no limit to what you can do.

For each of you this year, I wish for you to be surrounded by positive people, who believe in you, trust you, and care about you. Chelsea and I, at work and in life, are blessed to have teams and family around us who do just that. You can’t help but be happy when people trust you. Never give up hope. Continue to love every day of your life, and never fail to take on a worthwhile challenge when it comes your way. You can do it!

Here’s to New Beginnings in 2019!