2013 Year in Review | Planet Ryan - Republic-Times | News

2013 Year in Review | Planet Ryan

By on January 8, 2014 at 9:39 am

planet_ryanHere we go again. The end of another year, which went by entirely too fast, and the beginning of a new one, which will surely have the same fate. 2013 was quite an interesting time, with a peculiar mixture of ups and downs. Lots of bad, lots of good. Even more in between.

Though I’ve done my best to forget about it, 2013 was full of overrated stories. Let me refresh your memory – twerking (I can barely stand typing that), royal babies, Anthony Weiner, Paula Deen… I’ll stop now. Those kinds of stories, while still technically “news,” seem to annoy most people I know, yet still gain a lot of traction. I’m not really sure how that works.

We did have some amazingly large and important stories this past year, though. The main one that comes to mind is the revelation of the unprecedented reach of the NSA and other government agencies, and how involved they are in keeping track of average citizens. I think we all kind of knew that in the back of our minds for quite some time now, but it didn’t really sink in until it was finally confirmed. Creepy stuff, to say the least.

Oh, and don’t forget the rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act and the ongoing trials of trying to sign up for it. What a debacle. And then there’s the great government “shutdown” of 2013 – remember how fun that was? Yeah, I’d nearly forgotten about it, too.

Luckily there were some amazing stories from this past year that should’ve received a lot more attention. The first one that comes to mind is the Moore, Okla., tornado. I know they received tons of support, but compared to other disasters, I think they should have received even more. And then there’s the homeless man who found $40,000 and returned it. Would you? Or how about the city of San Francisco, who turned part of their town into Gotham City and involved thousands of people to grant one sweet little boy with cancer his wish to be Batman for a day. Awesome stuff there.

The year 2013 has proven to be a game-changing year for me on a personal level. As you read earlier this year, I decided to change my health for the better during this past summer, and so far, so good! I completely change the way I eat, joined one of the most awesome and intense places to workout ever (Bare Hands Crossfit in Columbia), and consequently dropped over 50 pounds. Oh, and I stopped smoking cold-turkey.

Yeah, I’m a little proud of that. But make no mistake, it’s a constant battle, and I can never let my guard down. I can and will say with great confidence that I’m in it for the long haul. Life is simply too short to not live healthy, especially when it’s so easy to do so.

I’d like to wish you all a successful, lucky, prosperous, healthy and amazingly awesome 2014.

I’ll see you there.


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Ryan Ledendecker

Ryan is a biweekly columnist for the Republic-Times newspaper. When he's not working, he enjoys a good movie, bass fishing, and CrossFit.