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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

miles away

so i thought i'd post the letter i sent to my family and friends this year. i am starting to get a little seasonal spirit. today, i just want to be grateful for the blessings i actually have- which are many. the gratitude expressed is intended just as much for the friends i have made online as all the other people in my life.

i hope you find at least as many blessings, too.

December 15, 2007
Dear Friends and Loved Ones,

It certainly has been a busy year in this man’s life. There have been so many changes and blessings, it is hard to catalog them. I know that it has been awhile since I have spoken or written to many of you, and the busy-ness certainly is partially responsible.

I have just marked the 1st anniversary of my little townhouse. Some updating has been completed, with many thanks to Adam, Walt, Quincy, Marcy, Mary, Bob B and Marc. It is a very small 2 bedroom, but nicely located just 3 blocks from City Park, which I consider one of the most attractive and user-friendly parks in the metro area. I even started jogging with a friend in the wee hours of the morning. That is 3.5 miles thank-you. It’s been amazing listening to the lions roaring at the zoo, located in the park, around that time, as there is very little other sound.

I took a position as a substance abuse counselor at a local clinic and became the coordinator of a program for gay men and crystal meth addiction. This became full time in August and is up and running. A psychotherapist has also been brought on board as some of the guys have some needs that are a bit beyond my safety zone. We have about 30 active clients currently which is not bad. There is a mix of HIV positive and negative which is a departure from the status quo in Denver treatment options and more accurately reflects the real world. Believe me, it is an adventure and a wake-up call many times a week to hear remarks thrown at me that I have so flippantly used in my past.

I was able to go to Miami, Chicago, and Provincetown this year. All were remarkably expansive for me. P-town really is quaint and I think it merits another visit. The town is so small, there are no stoplights.

I was part of a board that produced a recovery conference in Winter Park in early August. It was successful beyond our expectations with visitors from at least 6 other states. The tally was 148, I believe and it was a spiritual experience for many. It was refreshing to watch 1st time visitors to Colorado take in the depth and beauty of the Rocky Mountains. And equally enjoyable to watch jaded natives loosen their smiles.

I have been participating as a mayoral appointee on The Planning Council for The Mayor’s Office of HIV Resources for about a year as well. Last month I was voted in as co-chair. The committee oversees the percentages of disbursement to treatment categories for Ryan White Funding. It has offered me a incredible learning experience. Of course, I can never sit at these meetings quietly. I always have something to say. As Mom would say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

I have become an online moderator for Strength In Numbers, which is a social network for poz guys. We are publishing our first newsletter this month and having a pretty big social event in late January. This has been a completely pleasant surprise to me. I never would have expected to be involved in something like this.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the love and support of all of you in my life. I may not say it, but I do feel it in my heart. There is so much thanks and gratitude in my daily practice and any assistance I give is a direct result of that which I have received from you.

I am still talking- What a surprise – right? Anyway, please accept my wishes for a happy holiday and a blessed new year. And check out my blog once in awhile. It’s like getting a hug when people leave comments. And I can use all the hugs I can get.

Loadz' o’ love and laughter are my hopes for you.



Anonymous said...

That's a nice letter and a nice tradition you have for yourself. I may start doing that :)

Marc said...

Oh my, you can take the boy out of the midwest, but you can't take the midwest out of the boy.
I think I might have to write a parody letter now, though 2004 will offer a lot more fodder for humor: "This year started out on a, er, off note, when I was arrested for forgery and drug dealing in February! Worse was soon to follow..."

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