Cheers to the New Decade

New Year’s has always been one of my favorite holidays. As a kid, Christmas is usually the king of all holidays, but as I grew up, I started to enjoy the celebratory aspect of New Year’s, especially New Year’s Eve itself, and now I enjoy being able to share that holiday with my kids. 

Part of what makes it a special holiday to me is that it gives us a great opportunity to take a step back and reflect on our past year, while at the same time looking forward to the unknown of the coming year. This year, it’s extra special to me since we are starting a brand new decade. The past decade has been nothing short of amazing for me and my family, and thinking about what is coming around the corner is equal parts scary and exciting. We are going to have kids in high school, college, driving cars, dating, and all sorts of never before experienced things for the Comeaux family. Part of looking forward though, is a “look back” to what went well for us and maybe a few things that didn’t work out as well. I think that by taking a peek behind us, it will prepare us to look forward confidently knowing that we have overcome struggles that, at the time, seemed insurmountable, and have maintained focus on our togetherness despite challenging situations that tested those bonds.

As this past decade started, we only had one child who was under the age of two. I was working at a different job, my wife was located in a different part of the city for her job, and we lived in a different house. My parents did not live close to us, and we were still trying to figure out how to be married with kids; we were married in 2006, so we were still very young into our marriage. It seems like forever ago, to be honest. When I compare where we were then to where we are now, there are moments when I am shocked at how much we have all grown and changed. We were blessed with two more children, experienced ups and downs at school, but have managed to lead our kids to a great place where they feel comfortable and supported, and are primed for great years ahead.

I was a completely different type of leader in my career 10 years ago; I was still learning that the value of a team means more than a set of deliverables or meeting a deadline. Some of these lessons were difficult to learn and I know I made so many mistakes along the way. I have experienced many wins but also many losses that have changed me in ways that I never could have anticipated in 2010, but I see now how they changed and molded me to give me the opportunity for the success that I now enjoy.

I have grown closer to my wife as a spouse, but even more so as a best friend, and we have learned how to balance each other out and give our kids the love and support that they need, while also finding a way to keep focus on each other and our needs. We’ve celebrated 13 years of marriage and have even packed the kids off with family so that we could take a second honeymoon trip together to Disney World to celebrate our time together. I couldn’t imagine back in 2010 how much she would continue to mean to me and how so much of what I do as an individual is wrapped up within our identity as a couple. I am definitely not perfect and make a ton of mistakes, but she sticks with me through all of that, and continues to encourage me to be a better person. I love her so much for that.

My parents moved closer to us, and then we decided to move closer to them–so close, in fact, that we are now next-door neighbors! Having family close has been a blessing, and something that we missed out on over the years as we lived in different parts of the country.

So many of these things were not even in my mind 10 years ago, so it’s fun to list them out and think about how far we have come. Being introspective is important for a parent, in my opinion, because it provides us with the space to evaluate ourselves and to make necessary changes so that we can be the very best versions of ourselves. I think that is what the new year brings for so many people–the hope that we can become more of the person that we want to be and maybe less of the person that we are at that moment. This is the hope that we pass on to our kids–the ability to look inward, make an account of what is working and what isn’t, and then put some plans in place that allow us to take those necessary steps to improvement. Whether it is the traditional New Year’s “resolutions” of losing weight, becoming more organized, planning a trip, or making strides for a career goal, these resolutions all speak to the same thing–moving forward to something new and different.

As we look to the new decade and prepare for 2020, I am setting some goals for myself, instead of resolutions. Going into this new decade, I want to spend more time talking with people, getting out of my comfort zone and relating to others in different situations, re-focusing on developing and growing my faith and my commitment to lead my family in the church, and to become an all-around nicer person. These are very different from goals that I had set for myself going into 2010, for sure, and I think they show how life changes what we see as important in terms of our own self-development. I’m proud of the progress that I have made as an individual, and I am immensely proud of the growth that we have made as a family. The journey over the past 10 years has been so amazing, and I am so very thankful for the ride. Here’s to a great start to the 2020s and to all of us achieving the goals that we set our for ourselves. Cheers!

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07 Jan 2020

By Toby Comeaux

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