• KO

Should old acquaintance be forgot...

Dear friend,

Happy New Year to you. I hope you are well & safe- I have to believe some part of what I hope & wish for you is true. That's just how I deal with not knowing.

I worry/think/wonder about you all the time. Most of all I miss you. I don't hold out hope for a reunion, understand. I just felt like talking to you today. This time of year can make you feel a lot of feelings.

If you'd rather not be bothered (which is quite all right), read no further.

There's no heart-wrenching testimony to be found here, I promise. I'm done with that.

I remember well the more recent New Year's Eve you joined us. We played Cards Against Humanity for something like four hours straight. We made it all the way through the deck. What I remember best about that night is how much you were giggling. You're not really a giggler by nature. It made me happy to see you having such a good time.

Since I can't ask what you've been up to, I'll tell you what I've been up to.

I started this year by quitting my job. It was a good & necessary decision to do so. I went back to my old job at the shelter. And I took a new job at a pack walking company. What is a pack walking you ask? Walking dogs in a pack. I walk up to 12 dogs at the same time. And I drive around with them all in my SUV. Does it sound crazy? It isn't. There are moments of chaos, but it's actually quite peaceful. Anyway, it's a job.

I worked 7 day weeks for most of this year, which made me a little bit nuts & really tired & extra crabby, but I'm cutting back to just one job (the new one) as of tomorrow. I'm pretty convinced only working 5 days a week means I'm destined to be an extraordinarily lazy human being, so I will have to learn to live with that if I can.

Olli gave us a health scare in February. He had a mild muscle sprain & then less than a week later he couldn't walk. I was convinced he had some kind of cancer or nerve disorder, but it turned out to be a slipped disc in his spine. We had to keep him confined in his crate for two months. Needless to say, I was a complete wreck. He didn't really regain full mobility until recently.

I got married. I went & did it. And when I did it, I felt good about it. And I still do. I'm with the right man. Knowing that makes things a little easier for me. I wish I looked happier & less chubby in the photos, but I am trying to move on from that currently. The people surrounding me genuinely enjoyed the wedding & that's something. I wish you had been there to celebrate with us (even though you probably would have hated it).

We honeymooned through a bunch of national parks without a solid plan, which led to some hilarious experiences. Seth has acquired an arsenal of cooking apparatuses & I dine better at home than in restaurants these days. Right now we're working our way through screeners. Being married to someone in the DGA has its perks once a year.

We still live in the same house. Plans to change that have stalled, but I'm pretty content with things as they are for the time being.

What else? When I have days off at my disposal I'm planning to...

Work on a pilot for a dramatic comedy I started writing this year.

Work on the quilt I started 5 years ago.

Work on maintaining our cactus garden.

Work on reading a book. Any book. I made it through 2 this year (Jane Eyre & Louie Anderson's Dear Mom in case you were wondering).

Mostly I'm trying to find a way to get through every day without a negative outlook. It's a challenge. I don't succeed at it every day. I feel myself slipping & I get discouraged. It's worse when I'm tired, frustrated & overwhelmed, which I am probably too often. But I'm finding some minuscule improvement in my quality of life (albeit mostly in the form of trying to persuade others not to let themselves get discouraged & at a mind-numbingly slow pace). I'd like to get to a place where I don't retreat into darkness every time things don't pan out quite how I want them to. But if I never get there, I think I can keep finding things to look forward to.

That's all for now. The boys are blasting 90s dance music & the karaoke machine is getting warmed up. We're starting Forrest Gump at 10:37 so we can hear him say "Happy New Year, Lieutenant Dan" at exactly midnight.

Whatever you find yourself doing at exactly midnight, I hope it's something that brings you comfort & maybe even joy.


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