Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve know, it's been a pretty damn good year. It just goes to show, when you choose to live, things take off.

Today is a day on which we tend to look back on the year and make some sort of assessment, though the only reason is the days have run out on the calendar. It's not as if the earth is in any special spot in its yearly spin around the sun. It's just a dark, cold day not too far into winter. Nothing more, nothing less.

And it's funny that I was thinking about all this and what a wonderful year it's been when I got a call from my cousin, Jerry, who I don't think I've spoken with in maybe two or three years. He had read this blog and about me getting laid off, and after the opening pleasantries he said something about it being a busy time. He was referring to getting laid off. Losing a job is a biggie, but if you can believe it, I didn't catch on at first, because hands down it's not affecting me the way I guess it might other people. Or it's not affecting me because of the way my life has been going, and it would take something more colossal than a job loss to get me down.

Not that I'm not affected by it; I don't mean that at all. It's just that I'm having a hard time wiping the grin off my face, when I look back on the year.

There was so much, starting in January when Sue and I moved into this apartment together. Everything's been so right from then on. I said to Jerry that it's taken me 52 years to achieve domestic bliss.

2008 was the year I made a concerted decision to start acting again. I took Meisner classes, got a new headshot, nailed the StageSource auditions, got cast in The Boys of Winter and got great reviews, and won SlamBoston. I closed out the year with a great run with The Halfway House Club, being very proud of my performance.

Right after Boys closed in September Sue and I went to the Austin City Limits Music Festival, and in November, despite storm warnings from Detroit, took off for two great weeks in Arizona.

Christmas with my two girls and friends was wonderful.

Interspersed in all that were concerts and great times with friends and Sue. Life is good, there's no other way to say it.

And yeah, somewhere in there the job went south.

But even with that, I met a lot of wonderful, fun, talented people at the agency who I wouldn't mind working with sometime in the future. Like I told Jerry: I don't have any bad feelings toward the agency. The money and the contract ran out.

You choose to live. You choose life over the alternative. Otherwise you're just sitting around waiting for the Grim Reaper. When Sue and I chose to live together, a couple of people didn't think it was such a good idea. One person actually called Sue one year ago and tried to convince her not to move in with me. Someone tried to sow some doubt in my head about Sue. Yeah, nice, huh? But we knew it was the right thing to do, and a year later we've put together a nice little home.

They say it makes all the difference in the world when people with terminal diseases choose to keep living. I knew I was going to lose my job. But Sue and I decided to take our trip anyway. Maybe more prudent, responsible people would have postponed it, saving the money for a rainy day--make that the deluge. But we asked ourselves if, when they're lowering us in our graves, we would regret going saving the money, and the answer was easy. The answer was, no.

We're choosing to live the way we want going into 2009. Starting in January, Sue is signed up for music lessons. I'm taking music theory and an another acting course. We'll find the money somewhere. Sue and I both see education as a life-long endeavor. You never stop learning. You never stop working on your craft.

And so, there's a pot of homemade chicken soup that's been cooking all day on the stove. I made it from the carcass of the Christmas chicken. There's fresh bread from the Middle Eastern grocery, and Sue's favorite bottle of wine to toast in the New Year, if Sue doesn't get called out tonight. We'll snuggle up on the love seat and watch Lonesome Dove, and laugh when Gus cuts the cards with Laurie for a poke, cause that's just the way we are.

And that closes out 2008.

Happy New Year, everyone.

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