December 30, 2005

A Retrospective on the Old Year

Well, another year is almost in the books and, like many, I greet the thought of slamming that book shut with a mingled sense of relief and nostalgia. Seems like a good opportunity to take stock of what transpired, think about roads not taken, and just sort of aimlessly reminisce.

First, this felt like the year of the disaster to me. From the tsunami to Katrina to earthquakes in Pakistan to the new wild fires (or maybe not so wild) in Texas and Oklahoma. Basta, I say. Enough. I think we’re all officially good on natural disasters, ok?

Second, this has been a year of no small change for me and mine. I’m not even sure where to begin. Maybe sort of chronologically.

*The Viking Bride quits and takes new job.

*The beloved nanny serves out her contract and leaves. We get new nanny for about three months and she goes home at request of her parents. We get next new nanny who only lasts a month.

*We sell our house in Westchester and buy a new place in Connecticut. We move. In the process, we live with my parents for a month.

*My grandfather breaks his hip and begins his slow physical and mental decline culminating in his death earlier this month. Many weekends spent visiting with him, mostly with the kids in tow. We bury him.

*My wife and I find out that we are going to be adding a third college tuition obligation come May of ‘06.

*I rediscover physical exertion and begin to exercise. Perspiration is good.

*As a result of above, I get to start buying nice clothes again and my wife doesn’t even seem to mind!

*The Boy Child begins to do his thing on the toilet and, last night, receives his first pairs of big boy underwear! YAY!

The year has been filled with lovely things. Long walks with my family; spying on deer and wild turkeys; hunting for seashells; swimming in the ocean; trips to the playground.

In fact, I notice, I do not have a single thing down about any professional success or failure. Well, I think that may be because this was the year that I tinkered with my career and because I value my family and take more pleasure in them than from anything else.

I applied for, interviewed for (second round) and probably would have taken jobs in any of Ft. Worth, Miami, Chicago and Washington D.C. All of these would have been government jobs, by the way, mostly regulatory and prosecutorial in nature.

I applied for and interviewed for a change of field job which I did not get and I am kind of not totally crushed about. More of that to come in the new year.

I am in the midst of career angst, unhappiness mixed with not a lot of sense of what I want to do next, no burning attraction to anything. So, unfocused angst.

The new year ought to be interesting. I have a lead on a change of career job. Might even pan out, you never know. I’ll know more in the new year. In the meantime, I will continue to push forward on all fronts. Even and including continuing to build my law practice, since, hey, you never know.

I had some nice recognition on the not for profit front, being put on another board. Got to meet some interesting, intelligent, and pretty famous people through that. Also got to wear my tuxedo a lot, which was a nice bonus.

I made a lot of friends this year, both through this blog (you know who you are and I feel it would be undignified to be specific) and in the flesh. Sometimes, both, as I got to have dinner and drinks with Helen and with Simon. Still waiting for Jim to get up to NY or me to Atlanta.

All in all, to sum up the summing up, the best parts of 2005 were spent with those I love and those who I like and learned to like even more. I suppose if there is a lesson here, and I am cursed to always seek a lesson from past experience, it is that the people matter. Find good people (add good wine if you can, just saying) and the rest will fall into place.

I plan to spend next year trying to be more patient with those who need patience and to cherish the ones I hold dear as much as I can.

I also plan to win a lottery or something and become filthy rich. And when I win, I want them to show up with beer. A real beer. Like Keystone. (Am I the only one who remembers that campaign?)

So, let me wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous new year, filled with joy and peace and with obstacles that, once overcome, leave you feeling like the greatest thing ever.

If you can’t have that, I wish you instead onion rings covered with chili and cheese. Works for me in a pinch, what can I say?

Pax tibi.

Posted by Random Penseur at December 30, 2005 02:48 PM | TrackBack

I like this:

I plan to spend next year trying to be more patient with those who need patience and to cherish the ones I hold dear as much as I can.

I join you in that plan, my friend.

Happy 2006. Best. Year. Yet.

Hugs and love,

Posted by: Margi at December 30, 2005 03:38 PM

And, as the late Warren Zevon once said, enjoy every sandwich!

Posted by: Tuning Spork at December 30, 2005 07:52 PM

Keystone!!!! With the specially lined cans for better taste!

Ahhh, to have been in college in the early-90's. I remember going to BYOB fraternity parties and being idignant when, after my beer got dumped into the communal ice vat, that some frat boy would have the gall to hand me an Old Milwaukee's Best. I brought Keystone! Give me a Keystone!

Happy New Year, RP!

Posted by: Kathy at December 31, 2005 10:59 AM

"onion rings covered with chili and cheese" sound really good right now.... but perhaps thats because I have the munchies.

I'd be happy with 'health, joy and peace' to be honest.

Take care, xx

Posted by: Mia at January 1, 2006 09:28 AM

What an amazing year... bitter, and sweet. Thank you for taking us along for the ride. Your words weree one of the sweet parts of my 2005.

I hope that 2006 brings more sweet, a healthy new addition to the RP clan, and if happiness can be found in Connecticut - then may it be you and yours that finds it. (Just please, not in Ridgefield. Anywhere but there!)

Blessings in 2006.

On of your most admiring lurkers,

Posted by: Elizabeth at January 1, 2006 12:54 PM

I wish you another year as wonderful!

Posted by: caltechgirl at January 1, 2006 09:38 PM

Oh yes, I remember Keystone. It tasted like beer from a bottle due to its specially lined cans. What were they lined with anyway? Glass?

Of course the commercials didn't mention that the bottled beer it tasted like was Piels. Heh.

Happy New Year, RP!

Posted by: Jim at January 3, 2006 10:57 AM

Happy New Year, RP! And this was a wonderful, thoughtful read, thanks as always. :-)

Posted by: Amber at January 3, 2006 03:50 PM
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