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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Roadside Reflections

I've spent the past week travelling around the country. I took a long, meandering trip down south and back again. I traveled through the deep south to Florida. It was a good way to end the year.

I met with friends along the way and in my hometown. We caught up after years or months. We laughed.

I drove out of the way, on purpose. We stopped at roadside stands we generally avoid in the rush and got free OJ and boiled p-nuts. I got up early and stayed up late. I disconnected and looked out the window at the changing countryside. 

I stayed at hotels, motels, and rented rooms. I ate at diners, cafes, fast food joints, and makeshift picnics. I bundled up next to the fire, hiked through fall leaves, and had my shoulders warmed by the sun on a sandy beach.

I experienced our country like I never have before. I was looking through the lens of reflection as we wrap up this year. I saw the recovery of our nation through freshly-painted buildings, new businesses, and familiar roadside stands still in business. I saw smiles and generosity. Traffic was smooth, and there was always a good place to stop to look over into a forest, learn about the history of an area, or find a unique shop. 

2014 will be a year of change. I'm already seeing it happen. After so much uncertainty, people are getting new jobs or are starting their own businesses. Couples are starting families and buying houses. Roads are being repaired and historical sites are being restored. People are investing in their community. 

I'm not one for resolutions, but the new year is always a time for reflection. It's time to think beyond a workout routine and figure out what changes you can make that you've been putting off or how you can enjoy what you have more. Think about how you can make 2014 count.

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