It is the last day of the year but also the last day of the month. So what am I doing? Paying bills, naturally. The pen gets very heavy, as you know. But we all have to do it, unless we are trust fund kids, of course. And then we would be spending all our time at psychiatrist's offices, wondering why we never amounted to anything or worrying about the shade of the next Porsche Cayenne purchase.
Pick your poison.
Anyway being the last day of the year, I believe it calls for a summation. This year was tricky.
I bitch and moan every year, life was supposed to get easier in these pre-twilight years, but it didn't, it got harder. I missed the bus, made lousy choices, should have paid attention in class, whatever, there were times this year that I was definitely pushing the rock up the hill only to have it roll back over me like a certain Greek king.
Mix in at least three major operations that I can remember, a brown recluse spider bite, a dollop of existential angst and a smattering of plain bad luck, I won't lie to you, there were times I thought my goose was cooked.
But here I am, still breathing, ship somewhat righted, still able to get out and do my thing on occasion, write, photograph, indulge in a fair bit of navel contemplation, still peeing through the original equipment, what more could a man ask for?
So the word for this year for me is gratitude. Besides my wife Leslie, who never stops making it work, makes all the engines run and has her own special place in heaven, I need to publicly acknowledge the people who made it possible for me to keep the balls in the air this year. Tangibly.
Michael Loughlin stepped in again and again and saved my ass from the frying pan. My saint. What an incredible friend. I don't know what I would have done without you, Michael, I will be forever in your debt.
Ditto Vlad and Natasha and Retha and Doug. Don. Eternally grateful. My sister Barbara, my brother in law Andrew. Thank you. 💗
Paul Beach, who was always just a phone call away when I was miserable and depressed. Which was unfortunately too often. All the rest of my coffee cronies, you know who you are, Big Dave, Renee, Cam, Bill, Rick, Ron, Lena, Kerry, Steve, Shawn, John, Melissa, Jeff, Barry, David, just too many people to list. Rosemary, for always working with me and making it work. My restorer, Gary, my framer, Jennifer. Bob and Lois, who paid me more money than I was asking for a painting because they were worried about me.
My doctors, Dr. Wood, Dr. Gibson, Dr. Juma, Dr. Myers, Dr. Salem, all the nurses and anesthesiologists, for keeping me alive and reasonably together this past year.
All the rest of my friends, family, clients and readers. It is too hard to list everyone by name but you know who you are.
Thank you! I literally couldn't have made it without you.