Saturday, January 04, 2014

Happy New Beard

I took a walk with the woman and child on New Year's Day. We went to a park near home, almost two miles round trip, and it was blowing snow. But it was nice to be out, even though it was so cold and blustery. All these people complain about winter weather in northern Illinois. Come on. This kind of weather literally comes with the territory. Deal with it. Embrace it. Or move. You can always shift your latitude if the climate does not agree with you.

This photo shows what my crunchy beard looked like after the hike.

I call 2013 the year of the beard. I made a decision before the year not to shave unless I had to. And since I drive a semi truck and maintained that employment, there was no reason to. I also did not get a haircut either. And over the course of the year I went from a short haircut to a ponytail.

Here's what I looked like the day after Christmas last year. I got a haircut and shaved on Christmas Eve, and have done neither since.

Rare is it when a fashion decision I make becomes the cultural zeitgeist, but as it turns out, because of Duck Dynasty and the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox, 2013 was indeed the Year of the Beard.

I've gotten many compliments on my beard, even though it is slow growing and doesn't grow too high up the cheek bones. The only other times I've grown serious beardage was on long distance hikes in 2000 and 2004, and in those years there were noticeable bald spots and slow growing areas under my chin. But time has filled things out, in more ways than one, and I'm a little gray in spots too. The grays are so few in number, though, that a little plucking ameliorates their abundance.

This blog was neglected in 2013. Except for journaling, which I did more often 2013 than other years, the rest of my writing life was neglected. I made no headway on a novel and did no other creative writing other than writing a couple songs. 2014 will rectify these creative lapses. This will be the year I finish the novel, get it published, and start work on another one. This will also be the year I get back into a disciplined, regular running and workout routine, watch my diet, and lose the extra poundage that becomes easier to gain each year as metabolism ebbs.

And as for the beard. I'm leaving it as is until April 1. On that date I will decide whether I want to shave it entirely, trim it, or leave as is. Who cares about such cosmetic concerns?

2013 was a wonderful year! I re-married the love of my life, bought a house, and in so many ways enjoyed the good life with long-time friends and family. I am truly blessed and am ever striving to make life better in the small, beardy sphere of influence I maintain. May you, dear reader, wherever you are, be finding life equally as blessed.

And one more thing. Maybe, just maybe, I'll blog a bit more too. Time will tell.

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