Happy New Year!

And welcome to my first post of twenty-ten, not two-thousand and ten. Goddamn language Nazi…

While it’s not officially the beginning of a new decade, (much like 2000 was not the beginning of the new millennium) people are still feeling relief that the “aughts” (or is that naughts?) are finally over. There is no other way to describe it: the past ten years have been horrific. Yesterday on Twitter, someone hash-tagged the phrase “ten years ago,” and that got me thinking about what was going on in my life back in 1999:

I was still living in San Francisco. I was working for PG&E Energy Services, a long-defunct subsidiary of Pacific Gas and Electric that was created in response to the energy trading frenzy whose unbridled greed eventually brought down Enron and the rest of the industry. I still had a perfectly functioning voice. There was no one special in my life, but I was surrounded by good friends. The beginning of the George Bush nightmare was still a year away. Looking back now, while I can’t say in all honesty I was happy, I was at least contented.

Then along came the decade from hell: Bush/Cheney, war, scandal, unemployment, leaving San Francisco, cancer, religious nutjobs, a rapidly receding hairline, and a general rise of teh st00pid in public discourse. Not exactly what I had envisioned the first 10 years of the 21st century looking like. It’s no wonder “good riddance” was on my lips as often as “Happy New Year” last night…

But without all those horrific things having happened, I wouldn’t be where I am now and would never have made the long-overdue re-examination and refocusing of my life me that ultimately brought me here; a place where I am now truly at peace with myself and yes, even honestly, happy.

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While 2009 in particular was one annoyingly big steaming pile of crap for the U.S. and most of the rest of the world, for me personally it wasn’t really all that bad.

Yeah, I lost my mom last April, but in so many ways her passing was a blessing. None of us wanted to see Alzheimer’s rob her of her memories of us, and thankfully she was gone before it had a chance to. Ben and I marked our one year anniversary together in September. Last February I bought new living room furniture (a very big deal for me) and Ben and I had the opportunity to see the Chihuly glass exhibition at the Desert Botanical Garden. In March I finally joined the 21st century by purchasing a flat screen television. Throughout the year Ben and I took several road trips: Flagstaff, Sedona, the Rim Country (no jokes, that’s what it’s called), Tucson, and White Sands New Mexico. In July I drove cross-country to inter Mom’s ashes in Wisconsin. In September I was transferred from the hospital where I’d worked since 2004 to our insurance company—a move I’d initially dreaded but one that has turned out to be the best thing that’s happened to me since I’ve been with this company. After being a dyed-in-the-wool Windows user for over twenty years, last October I made the switch and instead of upgrading to Windows 7, went out and bought a Mac. It the best thing I ever did.

I’m hoping that (except for the people dying part) when I sit down here to write here a year from now 2010 will have provided me just as rich a year to document.

Here’s to a great new year!