Your Annual Cercone Birthday Commentary

37

Today marks 37 consecutive years of yours truly waking up and getting the opportunity to face the world. Not too shabby. And to quote Frank Costanza during the Festivus airing of grievances, “I’VE GOT A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH YOU PEOPLE! And NOW, you’re gonna hear about them…”

Not really. You’re pretty cool. But there are some things I’d like to chat with you about. So pour yourself a beverage, sport, and pull up a seat right here.

2016 was…well, it was a year. And depending on who you talk to, the last near-365 days conjure up the works of the late Charles Dickens: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. I guess it really depends on how you choose to look at life. Are you constantly focusing on the negatives and all the perils, big or small, they bring? Or do you accentuate the positives and find the good in all situations? That will go a long way in determining what side of the fence you land on, no matter what.

Personally, 2016 was pretty damn good for me. Yet another year has passed and I’m still here, waking up every day with the ability to tackle the world as I mentioned before. I’ve made some tremendous strides forward with my business and in my personal life and have built extraordinary relationships along the way that I wouldn’t trade for anything. Each and every day, I have the opportunity to work with passionate, talented, and hilarious men and women who take their craft seriously. I’ve also met hundreds of incredible craft beer enthusiasts whose passion for this product make being part of this industry supremely rewarding.

I have a healthy daughter who’s getting smarter and wittier by the day. I have an unbelievably supportive and caring girlfriend. I have an inseparable connection with family and friends that gets stronger as time passes by. I finally saw Guns ‘N Roses live this year. The Penguins won the Stanley Cup this year, for goodness sake. How could I possibly hate 2016?

OK, we’ve lost several celebrities this past year…seemingly right up to the final buzzer that’ll go off in a couple short days. And it sucks. At first, I was watching the outpouring of emotion people expressed and wondering why. They probably never met this person. But then I realized…that didn’t matter. These celebrities played some form of significance in their lives. I’m a huge wrestling fan (more so of the product in years past and less of what we see today, but I digress), and 2015 took with it the lives of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. And while I never met them personally, they made something I’ve loved since I was a little kid that much better. The celebrities we lost in 2016 did the same. So, if your friends are mourning and choose to express their feelings via Facebook, Twitter, etc., let them do it. It could be worse…your news feed could be filled with politics……………….

Ah, politics. If 2016 taught me anything, it’s that I have A LOT more friends with political minds than I could’ve ever imagined. The 2016 Presidential Election was…well, it was part of this year. I’ll get to more on that in a moment. But first, let me tell you what scares me and what should scare you more than Trump in the Oval Office…

Yes, Trump won. It happened. It can’t be changed. And absolutely yes, you’re allowed to have your thoughts and opinions on his victory. But what torches my insides and chills me to the bone is the reaction of people CRYING and THROWING TANTRUMS OVER THEIR CHOICE NOT WINNING……..AND THEN COLLEGES VALIDATING THESE REACTIONS BY GIVING THEM THE DAY OFF FROM CLASSES.

What?!

I’d like to take this moment to thank my Mom and Dad for teaching me how to deal with adversity. For teaching me you don’t always get what you want. For giving the me the ability to bounce back when shit doesn’t go my way. For showing me that life isn’t always fresh, delicious beer. Sometimes, the beer gets skunked (had to work a beer analogy in there somehow). When life kicks you where it hurts, you get up and you press forward and you find the positives in every situation.

On January 28th, 2015, I had A LOT of axes to grind and could’ve easily focused on all the negatives of the blindsiding I received from a group of people who don’t even deserve a line in this rant but’ll get one anyway because I’m in a good mood. But I got up the next day, took a very hard look in the mirror, and made the choice to focus on every positive at my disposal.

And since that day, life hasn’t been easy…but it’s damn sure been rewarding. I didn’t cry over what happened. I fought my ass off to overcome it. And that made me a stronger person.

That’s what we need to do as a nation. Collectively, we are the strongest nation on the planet. But we certainly won’t be if we stay down for the count when things don’t go our way or, worse yet, teach the generation below us that they can get through life without dealing with adversity along the way.

There’s some good advice from 2016: Don’t let a year get you down…tell it to go eff itself and keep coming til you own it.

Alright, so Trump. That shit was crazy. Is he the right person for the job? I don’t know. But neither do you. He’s a “different” candidate, but maybe he’s the candidate we need in 2017. Enough American citizens with the right to vote apparently felt this way or else we’d be having an entirely different conversation right now. I’m not going to use this platform to say we are in for the best of times or for the worst of times until this officially gets started.

And, for what it’s worth, once things officially get started, I’m going to use this platform to talk about adult beverages, not politics.

I’m sure I’ll have some fun things to say about all this on my 38th birthday.

This has been a good talk. I don’t want to keep you too long because you’ve got a great big positive life to lead. As we roll into 2017 and watch 2016 enter the history books for good, remember to focus on the good things in your world. They’re there. And they’re happening at all times. You just have to find them.

And before you completely write it off for shit, remember: 2016 also brought us two of the greatest SNL skits of all time. Here’s to that!

Knibb High Football Rules. PEACE, I’M OUTTA HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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