2013 was an amazing year filled with a lot of accomplishments that will have an affect on the rest of my life. If not for the death of my mother on New Years day in 2012, the changes I made in my life wouldn't have happened, and 2013 would have been completely different. It wasn't until her death that I decided to take the passion for photography that we shared together and turn it into a business. I consider all the accomplishments that I make in photography, especially Cass Imaging, to be a gift... from her.
To remind myself of the pain I felt on that New Years Day in 2012, I started the tradition last year of jumping into the frigid Jersey shore ocean water. The loss of my Mom was an extreme wake-up call to get my life together and start living life like tomorrow might not come. Nothing works like ice-cold ocean water to give you a wake up call, especially during the winter in New Jersey.
This year our family spent New Years Eve in Cape May, and the air temperature was reading 40 on the dot when I walked out onto the beach. The news reported the water temperature to be between 36 and 40. The last reading I seen was 39. I took my boots off, then my jeans, then my warm North Face coat and put a GoPro Hero on my head. Then hit play.
What you cant see from the video was that I broke into tears the moment I came out of the water. I was numb, not cold, but completely overcome with emotion. I miss my Mom terribly. I miss her everyday. But her death changed my life in so many positive ways, and it really was a wake-up call to change the way I was living it. This tradition is to remind myself of just that. Life is short. Don't wait for your dreams to come to you, go out and make them happen. Pray, and pray some more. I thank God everyday for everything he has done in my life. I may not understand why he took my Mom when he did, but I trust that he is in control.
I look forward to 2014. Along with a lot of big plans, I have a lot of goals, both personal and professional. As big as 2013 was for me, I plan to make 2014 even bigger. If 2013 was a tough year for you, learn from it. It's a new year, make it a good one.
New Years Day 2015....who is joining me??