So here I am at the office. It's cold and quiet. I am alone here. Light snow is falling outside matching the mood of the Glory soundtrack playing in the background. It's the last day of the year. My mind, still fresh with the image of my daughter's face as she waves from the window of her preschool I just dropped her off at.
The snow has picked up a bit...and I think about the past year. The losses and the births.
I saw the departures of the YMCA's after school program in Simsbury and the closing of the administrative offices of the Farmington Valley Arts Center. I miss the kids in that program. I miss running around and having fun with them. I remember the feelings of closure and rebirth as I left the driveway of the Y (the same day as the passing of Michael Jackson). I remember the shock of finding out that the Art Center was closing its office doors the night before I had to teach the last class of the session there. I remember going there to teach anyway that next afternoon for the kids. I miss Marty, Chris and Jim. Easily the closest I'd ever been to the office staff in all the years I worked at the art center.
We lost Rusty Haller this year. This hits me hard in a number of different ways. He was a good man. I feel regret because...
...I learned more about Rusty in the last year of his life than I knew in the years that I knew him overall. He was an awesome cartoonist and I am very proud of what we were able to do here at the office for him before he passed. He left behind a caring group of creators that rallied together for him. If you were not here for it, it was quite the sight to see...the room was packed. People threw their money around carelessly for his benefit.
I miss you, Rusty.
I can see the snow starting to accumulate on my Jeep. An indicator of how much I suck at typing. As I look out the window from my desk I scan the room. 2009 saw the birth of this office. Look at this place...if you haven't been here, it's an awesome space. I am surrounded by so many excellent things like: The Great White Board where I do my teaching now, the waiting area/graphic novel library where we host our meetings and our guests relax, the easels and workstations that see our hard work. Yeah, it's a mess right now...it's alright. This place has grown so much...from our first students, Chris, Rachel and Chris to working with local towns and organizations. I want to thank Steve and Peter for allowing me to be here. I want to thank them for helping me take the next logical step. I love it here-and you know what's great? I know other people love it here too. We are going to make this place even better in the coming year.
I look out the window again. It's still snowing. I see the baby seat that's right next to me and the playpen (that's still out) next to my desk. This year saw the addition of little Alaina to our family. The original projected delivery date was going to be October 2nd I think. That date would creep up earlier little by little week by week. By August I was in a full court press to get as much work done as possible before the birth of our new little one. Leigh Ann was put on modified bed rest. September 18th brought Alaina. What a beautiful little girl she turned out to be. She comes to work with me in the mornings every once and a while. Her favorite spot is up here on the desk with me. I wonder what she's going to be like. It's funny how when I look at her she seems so small. I'm very lucky to have my girls.
I want to thank my Mom, Omah and stepmother for all their support over the years. They're support allows me to do so much and keeps the family close. I really can't thank them enough.
Here is to 2010:
I'm not going to have a stupid resolution to eat better or get more exercise...I know that stuff.
My resolutions for me and for you...Chase the dream. Fight for it. Rebound. Take the hit and GET BACK UP. DO. LOVE. BE.
I will see you next year.