it is 7 days before christmas and i am reeling with things on my mind. i have been working parties on the weekends to catch up on bills and make room for gifts and extras in the budget. and i have been juggling ideas for the newsletter, contemplating the new hrsa guidelines for ryan white and how it may affect our tga, finishing the hours for my cacIII, and considering grant opportunities for the not-for-profit. my bi-polar brain loves all this activity, but is exhausted from the processing 24-7.
i think i'll take some time to enjoy the season. i have 2 things to attend today, and a last minute shopping excursion tomorrow, plus a bowling party sunday evening. monday starts 4-14 hours days before christmas day. 4 doubles the next week hails an end to some of this madness before i hang out with bff for new years day. i am thrilled at the thought of 3 days free next weekend and the one after that. but more immediately, i look forward to dinner this evening with the clinic where i work and lunch today with the board of t-e-n. and i cannot wait for the drive around idaho springs to gander at the outside decorations and spining of yarns about the circumstances around of the half-assed ones. the evidence of lack of inspiration on more than 1 or homes always amazes me. the storytelling around these anomolies of light has become a cherished holiday activity. so to any and all my readers, here is a sample image of the cardinal cards (image by charley harper) i am sending to my friends and family this year, along with this letter. please consider yourself part of the familly. and give someone you know who needs some love a big hug. i'll bet it makes you feel better, too.
It’s Holiday Time Again!
I hope this letter finds a smile on your face and hope in your heart. 2009 seemed to have just flown by. It started with that big celebration as President Obama took office. Millions of our countrymen (and women) got to feel as if they finally had a place at the table, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget the satisfaction and joy that I saw on so many faces.
I was able to be part of bringing a peer-to-peer project for Colorado in March. It appears to be taking root slowly but steadily and we hope it will be part of the healthcare landscape for decades to come. Cousin Rick is now helping shepherd this effort along with many, many others and it looks as if it is all effortless. At about the same time a colleague and I formed a not-for-profit organization to promote education and self-efficacy around healthcare. It was more of an exercise for me than a passion, however, I do want the work that my friend is doing to get more financial support and perhaps be expanded. You can visit our website at www.ontheten.org
Fate brought me to a new job at the local public hospital in April. It has been an amazing adventure and both eye-opening and heart-opening at the same time. My position is grant funded and it’s unclear if it will continue beyond a year or two, but the chance to see another culture such as this has been priceless. I have just begun to facilitate 2 groups there and am taking advantage of giving back some of the grace I have seen.
Mom has settled quite comfortably into her retired status. She has time to travel and gad about a bit, which she never seemed to have when she was younger. We took a weekend jaunt to Buena Vista and Salida this fall to see the colors of the autumn aspen. Neither of us had ever been before. I think we would both agree that the beauty of Colorado is highlighted along Highway 285. This was the best way I could think to celebrate the 5 years I have been drug and alcohol free. I guess the road trip did represent my journey in many ways. There was quiet, there was wonder, and it was breathtaking.
Cousin Gerry has relocated from California to Colorado. He is living in Aurora with his 2 dogs and seems happy he’s made the move. Seeking employment in the current environment is anything but easy, so cross your fingers for him. He and his brother hosted a family reunion party at their house when he first got here. It was a lotta fun. We saw Art and Mitzi, Greg Timmons, Chuck and Nancy, Patti, Claude, Mary and Gary Bailey, Kaley and Ryan, Gerry, Rick, Harold, Paul and Julie(glad he’s recuperating), Hannah and Zach (Chris’s twins), Rick, and Marcy. Hopefully the rest of you can make the next one.
I had a chance to visit Chicago for a few days just before Thanksgiving. I visited with old friends and drank in the urban effervescence that is that city. Cousin Laura and I had dinner at one of her favorite restaurants in Rogers Park. She caught me up a bit with what’s happening with the Smith’s of London Mills. Seeing her was a highlight of the trip.
These are just a few of the happenings this year. The truth is I could never recapture it all. I know this year has been a complete adventure. I can’t begin to pretend that I am in control of any of it, so I simply try to enjoy the ride. Every day is a miracle, and every day I try to start with that thought.
Joy Joy Joy in 2010
today's sound choice is from a favorite balladeer of mine- nancy lamott. she passed on at a younger age from breast cancer in the 1990's, but i still love the quality of her voice. it probably will always represent the holidays to me. here is "all the christmas cliches" from nancy lamott.