Today marks the beginning of a new year, but for me it's more than just a calendar event. In 2013, I am going to undergo a series of significant events that will completely change my life, all for the better. By this time next year, almost everything that has been familiar and routine in my old life will be behind me, and I will be well on my journey to a new and exciting life adventure.
I know that sounds like hyperbole, but it is true. As of 31 March, I will be retiring from the federal government after more than twenty-three years of service, the last ten years of which have involved my making like difficult for our nation's enemies, especially the Axis of Evil -- Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. I have worked with some of the finest men and women this nation has to offer, have visited and served in locations that I only dreamed about as a nerdy college student, and have participated in activities that most people only read about in novels. I have greatly enjoyed my time working to protect this country, and would like to think that as I walk away from it I've left the world a safer place. This career has been one of the driving forces for almost half my life, and I will leave it behind with a sense of loss but with no regrets.
Why? Because on 1 April, I will be heading down to Florida (along with the rabbits) to join my fiancee, Alison Beightol, where we will begin our lives together. In Alison I have found the most amazing woman I have ever known. I have been acquainted with her for less than three years, but she has become the most important person in my life. Alison is a colleague (she is also a vampire writer), fellow history enthusiast, best friend, and, most importantly, my soul mate. I am thrilled and honored that she is willing to not only be my wife, but wants me to be step-father to her charming daughter.
In addition to following my heart down to Florida, I will also be pursuing a life-long dream -- to become a full-time writer. I am fortunate enough to be in a financial situation that allows me to do this, and fortunate enough to have a fiancee who is pushing me to chase my rainbow.
Three months from today, everything I have known for the past twenty-three years will be behind me. Am I scared about the future? No. Am I overwhelmed by all the changes that will be happening soon? Definitely. But I am also more excited and content than I have been in decades. Today means not just the beginning of a brand new year for me. 2013 also marks the beginning of a brand new life. Not many people are as lucky as I am.
Happy New Year to all my fans.