Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking Back

So, this time last decade, I was planning a ginormous Y2K party. Remember Y2K? Do you feel a little silly now? I was kindasorta worried about it. My girlfriends and I rented out a room over the liquor store on Chicago and Wells and invited the crowds to come. I was engaged and living in Wicker Park and just barely 30 and on the edge of real life in a way that seems kind of adorable to me now.

Politically, globally, nationally, it was SUCH a shitty decade. It was the decade of 9/11 and George Bush and torture as foreign policy. But personally, it was really good. I got married to Don who is, honestly, the best man I know. He's so entirely himself, so full of life, and (mostly) so much fun to be around. (I add the parenthetical 'mostly' because he NEVER gets enough sleep and can be irritable as a result... I'm working on training him to sleep the way I know how to sleep. If sleep were an Olympic sport, I'd gold medal in that fucker every four years).

I got the job I'm in today. A few years ago, I felt like an epic failure working at the same place, not moving ahead, not bringing in the big bucks. But, y'all, these days, I like it a lot. I like having this job that's steady and liberating, that I'm good at. Some of my British colleagues disagree with me about the job. I say they should take a week working for a regular American corporation. Upon their return, they'd go all George Bailey running through the streets of Bedford Falls. No one polices my desktop. I am allowed to install my own software. I can sit at my desk in ripped jeans, a tank top and a snuggie and no one gives the tiniest rat's ass. These things mean something, I tell you.

And, Laney. I got Laney! I will never forget standing upstairs in my bedroom in Logan Square, in the middle of a workout, having just recently steeled myself to head back into the adoption breach after a series of disappointments. And the call came and they said there was a girl for us. And then the Fedex came to me at work the next day with pictures of the loveliest little girl. Oh, what an adventure! And what a (mostly) joy she is. (I add the parenthetical 'mostly' because she's a kid and a lot of times kids are giant pains in the balls).

And in between all these big things, there were small things. I remember standing in the living room at my Aunt Katty's house reciting Terence, This is Stupid Stuff with my father. Seeing the way my brother's eyes go all crinkley like my dad's when he laughs. Long conversations with my mother about just whatever. Evenings over ashtrays and wine bottles with my friends. Laney's arms around my neck. My head on Don's lap when we're watching TV. The color of the sky at twilight. Cold cold cold winter mornings driving to work, watching the mist rise off the lake. The ornaments dancing in the tree in the front of my house. A random, inconsequential, genuine pleasantry exchanged in line at the CVS.

So, here I sit in the kitchen of my first home. Well, sort of our first home. We owe more on it than it's worth. But, we're not going anywhere, so that's cool. There's snow on the ground and the house is mostly clean and I had a nice meal and played Clue with Laney and all seems right enough with the world that I'm prepared to make two resolutions.

1) I will finish my book. I'm almost halfway there and, at the risk of being immodest, I think I'm onto something. I've been talking about this book forever. It's time it was written. I'll write it.

2) I will, as god is my witness, learn to do something with my hair this year. It's time, for crying out loud. Surely someone of my intelligence can figure out how to do a fucking chignon or something.

I hope life is good for both of you. Oh, what the hell, I'm feeling optimistic, all three of you! Happy New Year!