Reality Bites by James A. Norton

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A wonderful year ends and a new beginning is underway. Welcome to 2015.

Over the last decade or so, I have written many columns in this and other publications, typically with a very snarky tone to them and clearly directed towards people and situations that I felt deserved attention for whatever reason. What I learned many years ago is that in order to maintain a connection with the reader and not sound so preachy, I have to make sure I add plenty of self deprecation. The point being that you can’t possibly laugh at someone else’s issues unless you highlight your own and toss yourself into the grinder.

So here is the part where I would usually jump right in and toss both direct and indirect insults at people, places and things that have irked me since the last time I wrote a column. Last year I paid particular attention to people who really pissed me off and I blamed them for my problems to some extent. It was probably out of frustration for their completely fabricated and delusional outlook on life. So sad to waste so much time. Well I’m done with that. It’s not worth my time or energy. Believe whatever you’d like to believe, but feel free to ask me anything you’d like. I will answer honestly.

It’s time to let go – it’s time to bask in the warmth of a wonderful life and stop regretting the past or keep trying to understand what drives people to do what they do and think what they think. It doesn’t affect my life anymore and I feel very liberated.

Last year saw so many wonderful things happen to me and my family. I got married (just before the beginning of the year) and spent a whirlwind honeymoon in Ireland. My beautiful granddaughter Naomi was born and I got the chance to spend some time with her and my kids right after she was born. On the drive from Boston to Southern Illinois and back, my wife and I stopped in several cities along the way and made some unbelievable memories together – seeing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Niagara Falls to point out a couple.

So the new year has come and me wife and I are now starting to make plans for the future – there have been talks about buying a home further out in the suburbs and starting a business together. I finally began tooling around with making some headway on both a novel and a screenplay. We are figuring out where we will vacation this year and when we can go see Naomi again. There are some really good things in the works in the Norton home today. For that I am grateful.

I hope you have a blessed 2015 and remember to make the best out of every situation, good or bad, that comes your way and keep plugging away – don’t ever give up, even when faced with insurmountable odds. To quote Rob Schneider: “You can do it!” #GMK

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