Thursday, December 31, 2009
It Was a Very Good Year
I keep reading how the world is collectively stoked on kicking 2009 to the curb. One article alleged that hating on 2009 is the only thing on which American political parties can agree. People like Tiger Woods and Charlie Sheen will be happy to see it go, and people like Bernie Madoff and Roman Polanski leave 2009 as perhaps their last year as free citizens. Conservatives take on the new role of attacking the President and somewhat surprisingly, the Democrats are not rallying to defend the Commander in Chief. Oh, and the hated Yankees once again are MLB champions. A bizarre year.
But I liked 2009. And it pretty much began with me losing my job.
I hated being a financial advisor. I'm not cut out for sales, which is something I had suspected and which a career as a financial advisor only confirmed. It would be hard enough for me to sell people something I'm not sure they need, but to try to sell financial products during a recession was a recipe for disaster. So when Bank of America let go nearly all of its new brokers here in the Del Mar office, I was relieved.
The only sweat there was that I was buying my home in Encinitas, and being gainfully employed was a requirement for the sale to close. Thankfully I made the cut, just barely, and in April I moved into my kickass little house on the rim of a canyon in Encinitas, California.
For two months I got the house furnished, cleaned, and fixed. Cabo and Lola freaking love it. They had more space, great trails, and a cool sun room for lounging. They have been in heaven.
For me, I've fallen in love with North County. Everything that my old neighborhood (UTC) lacked is present in abundance in Encinitas- mom and pop stores, beaches close by, and an unusual mix of canyon, farm, beach, and city all within a small area. The vibe is peaceful and sleepier, but full of flavor and groove.
At the suggestion of my buddy Noel, I took up hot yoga in May. My first class was brutal, but I have since overcome my aversion to pulverizing heat and I go about 6 days a week now. I am fully addicted to the practice of yoga, but I'm just as equally attracted to the vibe at the yoga studio, which is full of happy, outgoing, interesting people. I usually show up for class a half hour early just to hang out before class with my peeps there.
I traveled. Trips home to Boston were great, and I met my new (and first) niece- Grace. What a trip that was. It was an amazing experience to welcome this beautiful new life into my world. And of course, seeing the family and friends back home is good for the soul. Although the old neighborhood is looking roooooough...
I went to Denver with a bunch of friends where I took second place in a 5K! I ran two other half marathons this year before abandoning running for yoga.
Finally I made my long-awaited return to Sweden, which was the highlight of the year. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to having some apprehension about returning to the scene of so many crimes, and I was blown away at how easily I fell back into the old neighborhoods, the old friends, and the Scandinavian mindset which has always attracted me like a physicist to a cold fusion lecture. I spent time down in Denmark as well, and again found myself fighting the urge to move back to that neck of the woods. It was awesome.
I've made assloads of new friends, downloaded tons of great new music, bought three guitars that I don't need but which I love, and have found a great new job that I find interesting and exciting, and which affords me the time to enjoy my favorite things- spending time with my dogs, yoga, and just chilling.
I have no gripes with 2009. I wish it were a hundred days longer. But 2010 is a few hours away, and I say "Bring it on, baby!"