I turned 44 earlier this morning,but in many ways,the last 12 days have been a new beginning for me.
I have made what I consider a fresh start,which cleared some things for me in my life.
I don't want to get too much into the minutia of things,but I am attempting to get me straight and that means with what's important in my life.
That starts with the people closest to me and pleasing them and eliminating negative forces from my life.
I just cannot continue to allow other people and their issues to gain so much importance in my life.
Sometimes,you just have to make the tough decision to allow people to do what they wish and move on from them.
I am in the process of moving away from the negative and towards the positive,so it is part of the campaign of changing things,even if it means changes that are painful to make.
However,this is not all bad as some of them will be improvements and attempting to put the people that mean most ahead of me at times will go a long way towards showing them that I do care.
I think that I have made the difficult decisions and now there will be some rewards too.
Rebuilding a strong relationship with my father has been a huge part of the last year and I hope to continue to shore up that foundation with continued efforts on my part.
You see,I have not always been the most involved member of my family and I hope to improve on that as time goes on.
I am not a social animal,but I am attempting to learn to tolerate these things or at least do better.
I want to make my parents happier and if by tolerating a pair of events a year,no matter the company to make them happy,I'll attempt to do so.
In the past,I might have been more concerned about my happiness,for these occasions-I'll worry about theirs,even if it is something that I would never do on my own.
I'll wrap with a few tips of the cap to my wonderful family that I reference here often.
To the two ladies that take care of me every day,the lovely Cherie and my terrific daughter Rachel.
With them,often times,I would not know what to do with myself.
I am so proud to be the man of this house with you two and I love you both so much.
To my son,Ryan,thanks for all that he does in making me proud as a father.
I would also like to add a special thanks to my cousin in Ohio-Missy.
Missy and I have grown very close over the past year and I would like to add a special thanks to her as being such a wonderful addition to my life.
Thanks to all of my friends as well.
From my personal life-Battlin' Bob,Corey and Tennessee Ernie.
Some of you,I see more than others,but your friendship is important to me.
Thanks to my buddy in Japan,Brandon,who has always been there when I needed him.
Thanks to my graphing friends,but I would like to add two special tips to Mike Oravec,who has been a huge help in these times,along with his help with the 1971 set that has been a respite away from the difficult times and my traveling partner Bill Cover,who I have shared so many good times on the circuit with.
Autographing has allowed me to not only meet so many neat people on the field,but more importantly,I have made many friends doing this and thanks to all of you!
44 isn't bad and my life is good.
I have struggles ahead,but I am trying to prepare myself for these struggles.
I do know that I am trying best and I'll get through the best that I can-as Tug McGraw once said "Ya gotta believe" and believe I do......