I've had an amazing year of growth.
I don't have anything to lay out on the table here and say, "I did this!" But 2014 is going to be the date on the end of a lot of hard work. Mostly, I think, I've done a lot on my way toward being a better, more well-rounded human.
If I have some stuff to pass along, it's mostly in some reading and experimentation.
My favorite books for the year – and I read 38 of them in 2013 – are all ones I'd recommend reading, and with good reason.
• Choose Yourself! by James Altucher. This is a reminder that, while it's important for you to do well by others, if you don't live for yourself first, you're not doing as well by anybody else as you thought you did.
• Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman. Feynman was a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who was curious about everything. He drew, had a gallery show, played drums in Brazil during carnival and in general spent a lot of time thinking. He said no when he didn't want to do something, and he was curious about pretty much everything.
• Walden by Henry David Thoreau. A lesson in doing some things yourself and simplifying where you can. You have to get past some preachiness, but once you do, it's a wondrous tome.
• Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth by R. Buckminster Fuller. This is the only book I read every year. It really does explain what we've done wrong and what we need to do to correct our path. It's not so much an operating manual for your soul as it is an operating manual for the physical world, and I fear we've lost touch with that.
I've been writing more of late. There's a reasonable chance we'll see some product in 2014. I'm getting married this year. I have some more tricks up my sleeve, some involving compasses and bibles and live oaks.
I'm brewing beer now. It puts me in a fairly small club, apparently, but there are a lot of beer drinkers out there, and now that I sort of understand how it works, I'm experimenting more. My fourth batch is underway; my best to date is a chocolate jalapeño porter. It's a little more peppery and yeasty than I wanted it – and has a lower alcohol content than I was looking for – but drinking a couple of cases of it is easy.
I hope your 2013 was half as amazing as mine. If it hasn't, let me know how I can help improve your 2014.
And, of course, my annual posting of Dougie McLean singing Robert Burns's "Auld Lang Syne."
And there's a hand my trusty fiere
And gi'e 's a hand o' thine
We'll tak a right guid-willy-waught
For auld lang syne